Isaac Knight Memorial – Evansville, Indiana - Atlas Obscura

Isaac Knight Memorial

A tribute to a 13-year-old boy who was kidnapped in 1793 and escaped over two years later.  


At the turn of the 18th century, white people were just beginning to settle in the land that is now the state of Indiana. They often came into conflict with the region’s Native American tribes, which included the Miami, Potawatomi, and Kickapoo, and Lenape tribes. One of those conflicts has been memorialized with a plaque in Evansville, Indiana.

It started with five young boys playing on the banks of the Ohio river. Their boisterous games attracted the attention of groups of Potawatomi and Kickapoo Native American tribes. The encounter turned violent, and two of the boys were killed while the other three were taken captive.

One of the boys, Isaac Knight, was 13 years old at the time of the kidnapping. After two years and six months, during which he contracted a severe illness, he escaped from the encampment in Michigan where he was being held. He journeyed south to look for his family, who had, by then, moved to another settlement. The tired boy somehow made his way to this site and in 1795 was reunited with his family, who had long since believed he was dead.

Much later, as an adult, he relocated to Vanderburgh County in Indiana, and established a township that would later be named after him. He also published a book recounting his experiences and tracking his arduous escape and journey back home. A painting showing his capture can be seen at the Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science. A commemorative marker was placed at the location of his original grave site. It sits in a small garden in front of Snodgrass Floral Co. on Lincoln Avenue, just east of Green River Road. 

Know Before You Go

The monument is located on the north side of Lincoln Ave, just east of Green River Road.

In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web