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John Dickson family collection

 Collection — Folder: S2791
Identifier: S2791

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of two indentures for John Dickson (1816/9/31 and 1816/10/30); typewritten copies of a United States grant to Canadian Volunteers for two quarter-sections of land assigned to Lambert and Dickson families (1817/10/26); and an account of the Dickson family tradition about the miracle that saved Fort Harrison during the siege of 1812 by Sarah Elizabeth Chandler Dickson (undated), which was published in the Terre Haute Gazette on March 30, 1900.

In the first indenture, John Dickson, Charles B. Modesitt, and J. Lambert owed $712, and in the second Dickson and William Winters owed $184 to Cuthbert and Thomas Bullitt, Jonathan Lindley, Abraham Markle, and Hyacinth Lasselle.

The grant was issued by the presidential office of James Madison after the War of 1812 and was acting in accordance with a congressional act allowing Canadians who had rendered service for the United States, to be rewarded for said service. It was given to the Dickson and Lambert families - most likely John Dickson and John Lambert and was enabled by Josiah Meizo, the commissioner of the General Land office.


  • 1816-1818


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Historical Note

Fort Harrison was a stockade constructed in 1811 which saw fighting during the War of 1812. Under the command of future president Zachary Taylor, a small force of around 50 mostly sick soldiers and a small group of citizens defended themselves against a force of almost 600 attackers from combined Native American tribes. Even with their food storage set alight, they were able to defend themselves and hold out for siege and starvation until reinforcements arrived.


Items in the collection

Indiana State Library. "September 4th, 1812: The Siege of Fort Harrison." This Week in Indiana History. Accessed 2023/10/13.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

Copies were received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from H.D. Bertsch on 1926/2/18. There is nothing noting where or when the two original indentures come from.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection was processed on 2023/10/12 by Alexander Chrapliwy. EAD finding aid created on 2023/10/16 by Alexander Chrapliwy.
John Dickson family collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.