Entry 31 – Date 26 September 1829

Location, Location, Location

Came next day to the big White River at Hindostin. A year ago this was a flourishing town, but it is going to ruins in consequence of the county seat having been removed higher up the river. White River is a beautiful stream sufficient for navigation of large keel boats in season when waters are full. We forded it easily. Encamped at Washington, the county town of Davies County, a tolerably decent village.

THIS IS THE JOURNAL OF WILLIAM CAMPBELL (1805-1849) LEADING SEVERAL FAMILIES FROM LEXINGTON, IN ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, VIRGINIA TO ST. CHARLES COUNTY MISSOURI, WRITTEN IN 1829, 25 OF WHICH ARE ENSLAVED, AND AMONG THEM IS ARCHER ALEXANDER, BORN IN 1806, IN ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, VIRGINIA THIS JOURNAL IS LOCATED IN THE COLLECTIONS OF THE LEYBURN LIBRARY, SPECIAL COLLECTIONS AND ARCHIVES, LOCATED AT THE WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY, IN LEXINGTON, VIRGINIA, AND FOR WHICH WE ARE DEEPLY INDEBTED TO LISA MCCOWN. EDITOR IS DORRIS KEEVEN-FRANKE.
Sign: Site of Hindostan (.6 mile south) First settled in 1818, Hindistan became county seat of Martin County, boast a population of approximately 1,200 “A Great Sickness struck in 1828, bring death to the inhabitants. The town was never occupied again.

In 1829, your town’s location on a road that was well traveled was very important. Roads led to where people wanted to go! The County seat, the mill, any other important destination. Roads grew out of a need to get somewhere. Each and every destination by William Campbell is because it is the County Seat. Yet County Seats did get moved.

An epidemic of cholera broke out in Hindostan in 1820. Water- and insect-borne illnesses were the bane of many towns on the Midwestern frontier. Situated along rivers for the purpose of easy transportation, towns were often built on flood plains that bred insects in huge numbers. The ferocity of the epidemic that struck Hindostan, however, caused the population to succumb to disease or abandon the area. By 1824, less than half the population remained in Hindostan, though many seem to have stayed in the county.

An economic depression around 1820 worked alongside the epidemic to drive people away. Some families who had bought land on credit defaulted and fled the area. Hindostan may have lost as many residents to the economic depression as to sickness. Residents who remained were unable to pay their taxes and county and local creditors foreclosed on their property.

TODAY

The site is now the location of an Indiana state fishing and recreation area. A historic marker on County Road 550 stands a half-mile north of where the town was. No buildings survive, but there are a few surviving pioneer cemeteries nearby, a restored church, and numerous square holes in a large flat rock along the river drilled to support a mill at Hindostan. 
Diseases like Cholera can take down an entire town.

CONTINUE THE JOURNEY

One thought on “Entry 31 – Date 26 September 1829

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s