Historic slave case to be portrayed
One of the state of Indiana’s most important court cases unfolded in Corydon during the town’s brief stint as the state’s capital.
In 1816, the Indiana Constitution was formed, forbidding slavery. The practice continued, however, until a young woman from the Vincennes area put the constitution to the test by suing for her freedom.
The case was appealed all the way to the Indiana Supreme Court, which ruled in Strong’s favor at the courthouse in Corydon.
Current Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard called it the most important case in the state’s history.
A re-enactment of the event will take place Friday, May 14, at 1:30 p.m. at the Leora Brown School in Corydon.
Maxine Brown, owner of the school, said she has written a new script for the re-enactment with Strong and Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Isaac Blackford. The re-enactment will detail the first time Strong met Blackford. She will speak about her life and what freedom means to her.
Strong will be played by Lanisha Gholstan, a student at the University of Louis-ville.
After the re-enactment, music will be provided by Evon Grundy and Neal Lewis.
‘It was such a significant case, people don’t realize it,’ Brown said. ‘When things of significance take place in our hometown, we often take them for granted.’
Brown said her ancestors, who were ex-slaves, were living in the area in 1820 when the ruling came down.
‘That had to be something for them,’ she said.
A bus tour group with the Indiana Society of Pioneers will make the trip from Indianapolis for the event. Be-fore attending the re-enactment, the tour will eat lunch at the Overlook Restaurant in Leavenworth and listen to William Bartlet, author of ‘There I Grew Up,’ a new book that focuses on Abraham Lincoln’s childhood in Harrison County.
The bus tour is already sold out, according to the Society’s website, www.indianapioneers.com.
‘We have a couple of bus trips a year, and they’re often not full,’ said Brown, who is a Society board member. ‘I’m excited about that.’
Next week also happens to be National Travel and Tourism Week.
‘I think it’s going to be special,’ Brown said. ‘It’s been in the works for a good while.’
The re-enactment will also be open for a limited number of public attendees not on the bus tour. To reserve a seat, call 738-3376. For those not on the bus tour, lunch will be served at the school at 12:30.
The Harrison-Crawford Bar Association is a co-sponsor of the event.