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Madison County Native American murders statement of expenditures

 Collection — Folder: OB022
Identifier: OB022

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a December 21, 1824 statement of expenditures written and signed by Indian Agent John Johnston regarding the costs "arising out of the murder of nine friendly Indians in Madison County Indiana by sundry Citizens of the United States in March 1823." This opening statement on the document uses the incorrect date of 1823 instead of 1824. The document is an itemization of a number of different expenses, including the coroner's inquest fees; the cost of guarding the prisoners; costs for boarding the guards; allowances for the bailiff, clerk, and sheriff; attorney fees; and provision purchased for the families of the murder victims. The collection also includes a February 28, 1873 statement written on an Indiana State Library letterhead noting the deposit of the Johnston document at the State Library.


  • 1824, 1873

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

On March 22, 1824, a group of white men murdered nine Indian men, women, and children who were camping for the winter along Deer Lick Creek, a tributary of Fall Creek, in Madison County, Indiana. Under the pretense of needing help in locating some missing horses, the white settlers lured the two Native men, Logan and Ludlow, from the camp and killed them. Then the men returned to the camp and killed three women and four children.

Shortly after the crime, the county militia moved to capture the men involved and though one escaped, the rest were taken into custody and put on trial for murder. Indiana Agent John Johnston made the arrangements for prosecuting the accused and he used federal funds to provide provisions to the families of the victims. Following jury trials, three men were executed and one was pardoned due to his youth. The events that occurred back in March 1824 stand out not only for the cruel and senseless violence against innocent victims, but also for the fact that Indians were able to obtain justice through the laws of the United States, a rare occurrence in the early nineteenth century.


Indiana Historical Bureau. "Indians Murdered 1824." Historical Markers. Accessed June 28, 2018.

Neal, Andrea. "Massacre at Fall Creek Tested Frontier Justice." Norhtwest Indiana Times, May 7, 2014.


0.05 Cubic Feet (1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



This collection contains two items.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from the Indiana State Museum on February 28, 1873.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2018/06/28 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2018/06/28 by Laura Eliason.
Madison County Native American murders statement of expenditures
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.