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IHS Press Announces Release of Murder in their Hearts: The Fall Creek Massacre

May 17, 2010

For Immediate Release

Contact: Amy Lamb, Media Relations Manager

(317) 232-1878 or

Indianapolis—The Indiana Historical Society Press is proud to announce the release of Murder in their Hearts: The Fall Creek Massacre, written by David Thomas Murphy. The book highlights the tenuous relationship between Indiana settlers and Native Americans in the early 19th century and details the groundbreaking punishment dealt to the perpetrators of the Fall Creek Massacre.

In March 1824, a group of angry and intoxicated settlers brutally murdered nine Indians camped along a tributary of Fall Creek. The carnage was recounted in lurid detail in the contemporary press and the events that followed sparked a national sensation.

Although violence between settlers and Native Americans was not unusual during the early 19th century, the white men responsible for the murders in this particular incident were singled out and hunted down, brought to trial, and, for the first time under American law, sentenced to death and executed for the murder of Native Americans.

In the aftermath of the slayings, federal and state authorities—perhaps motivated more by the encouragement of economic growth and the preservation of regional security than a commitment of justice for the victims—were determined to maintain the fragile peace of interracial existence. Their success in doing so proved to be local, temporary, and imperfect.

About the Author

David Thomas Murphy holds a PhD from the University of Illinois. He is the recipient of fellowships from several foundations, including the Stiftung Volkswagenswerk, the German Academic Exchange Service and the Social Science Research Council. His previous works include two books—The Heroic Earth: Geopolitical Thought in Weimar Germany, 1918-1933 (1997) and German Exploration of the Polar World, 1870-1940 (2002)—and several articles. He is chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Anderson University, where he also serves as codirector of the University Honors Program.


Title: Murder in their Hearts

Illustrations: Black-and-white illustrations

Price: $13.95

Pages: 150

Size: 6 x 9

Cover: Cloth

Publication Date: May 2010

ISBN: 978-0-87195-285-1

Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller™, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving, interpreting and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor exhibitions called the Indiana Experience. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups, publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; and provides youth, adult and family programming.


For more information, images or to schedule an interview, contact Amy Lamb, Media Relations Manager, at (317) 232-1878 or

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