Skip to Content
Indiana University

Search Options

View Options

Indiana, a drama of progress. McKnight, L. A. (Levi Adolphus), b. 1846 
no previous
page: [2][View Page [2]]

[View Figure]
Yours very sincerely,
L.A. McKnight.

page: [3][View Page [3]]



A History of Indiana in a Play
of Four Acts




For the use of Schools, Colleges, Churches, Clubs, Lodges, Young
Men's Christian Associations, Chautauquas, &c.


Published by the Author

page: [4][View Page [4]]

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1908, by
In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
All rights to publication, to staging, and to public performance,
reserved by the Author.


page: [5][View Page [5]]


To the rising kings and queens of Indiana homes whose manly and womanly aspirations are leading them along the majestic highway of all-conquering Progress, and to my Home Queen whose daily life teaches me that,

"The noblest lives are those that bless--
Silent rivers and happiness
Whose hidden fountains but few may guess."


page: [6][View Page [6]]


"LaSalle was an indifferent trader; and his heart was not in the commercial part of his enterprise. He aimed at achievement, and thirsted after greatness. His ambition was to found another France in the West.


America owes him enduring memory; for in this masculine figure she sees the pioneer who guided her to the possession of her richest heritage."


page: [7][View Page [7]]


Because of the often expressed idea that this is an age of frivolity and there is no appreciation of anything substantial in the way of entertainment, the author firmly believes that too low an estimate has been placed upon the intelligence of the masses-- the great cultured common people who control the destinies of our Nation-- and humbly ventures to combine instruction with pleasure in an entertainment which tells of Indiana's rise from an unknown wilderness to her present proud position in the affairs of the greatest nation the world has ever known.

Last year the people of England spent millions in the preparation of a great pageant of their nation's history. In a few weeks one of Indiana's most honored citizens, Vice-President Fairbanks, will visit Quebec as the representative of the United States at a meeting in which five thousand characters will take part in a pageant showing the history of the province and city of Quebec. Why should Indiana not have such a pageant at her Statehood's Centennial, and why should not all of her citizens, young and old, be interested in a simple narration of wonderfully dramatic events in the life of their chosen or native state?

This work was conceived and a part of it written ten years ago. It has grown slowly because of the time necessary to obtain and substantiate many interesting historic facts. The author has taken no liberties with the spirit of the facts, and none with the letter that will harm a proper interpretation of the truth. LaSalle raised a cross near the junction of the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers at the time that he secured the allegiance to France of the Indians occupying that region. This event occurred soon after his treaty with the Miamis and it is certainly in harmony with the spirit of his work to assume that in intent (if not as an actual fact) he raised a cross at some point in the vast wilderness that has since become Indiana. It is certain that what is now Indiana was proclaimed a part of France at the time a cross was raised somewhere, and it does not conflict with the spirit of the act to place it on Indiana soil, though it may have been at the mouth of the Mississippi. The purpose not place of raising the cross is the thought in the play. Again, it is probable (but not certain) that the flag raised by the French under Gibault was not the stars and stripes, but the flag then raised represented a new national life. Hence, the flag in the play is the first flag adopted by the new nation. The real names of the great Miami chief and Hamilton's aid have not been ascertained. All other names of men are historic.

The words and music of "The Happy Farmer Boy," and the music for "The Song of Labor," were written by Prof. J. R. Dunham, a popular composer of New York City.


Fowler, Indiana, July 16, 1908.

page: [8][View Page [8]]


  • Robert de LaSalle.-- French nobleman, discoverer and explorer.
  • Henri de Tonty.-- French officer and explorer.
  • White Beaver.-- Indian scout and guide.
  • Duplessis.-- A mutineer.
  • Lacona. Great Indian chiefs.
  • Big Door. Great Indian chiefs.
  • Tecumseh. Great Indian chiefs.
  • Henry Hamilton.-- English Colonel and Governor of Vincennes.
  • Captain Farley.-- Aid-de-camp to Hamilton.
  • George Rogers Clark.-- Colonel of Virginia forces in Revolutionary War.
  • Leonard Helmy. Officers with Clark.
  • John Baley. Officers with Clark.
  • William Henry Harrison.-General and Governor of Indiana Territory.
  • Louis Hennepin. French priests.
  • Father Zenobe (Membre). French priests.
  • Anastase Douay. French priests.
  • Peter Gibault. French priests.
  • Le Metaire.-- Notary to LaSalle.
  • Secretary to Governor Harrison.
  • Uncle Sam.-- Companion of Columbia.
  • James Baker.-- Young patriot and orator.
  • Progress.-- Daughter of Civilization.
  • Columbia.-- Spirit of Union.
  • France.-- Spirit of Kingdom of France.
  • England.-- Spirit of British Empire.
  • History.-- Scribe of the Ages.
  • Commerce. Spirits of human thought and toil.
  • Education. Spirits of human thought and toil.
  • Literature. Spirits of human thought and toil.
  • Agriculture. Spirits of human thought and toil.
  • Industry. Spirits of human thought and toil.

Spirits of States of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana.

Chief, Winnemac, and other Indians. Cotineau, Bosseron, Lecroix, and other citizens. Woodmen, soldiers, "hunting-shirt men," volunteers, merry farmers, factory workers, little girl and boy, &c., &c.


Time required for presentation of play, two hours.

no previous