Its a little eerie looking at the electoral map today. Not simply because Indiana is strangely blue. I can't help but notice that the Midwestern demarcation of the Mason-Dixon line is back. Indiana has rejoined the Union. Once Indiana farm boys proudly fought alongside Ohioans, men from Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan. We fought against slavery. The Underground Railroad ran right up through this state.
Probably more slaves crossed the Ohio river in front of Louisville than any place else from the mouth of the Wabash to Cincinnati. The black settlements at Jeffersonville, Clarksville and New Albany were the reason for this. The crossing at these places were all conveyed to Wayne county, Indiana, and on to the Lake. Wayne county had a large community of Quakers and the belief among fugitives was, that if they made it to Wayne County, the prospect of finding them was very remote. It was said that the old house built by Levi Coffin at Fountain City, Indiana had sheltered ten thousand runaway slaves.
When I was little and first learned about the Civil War, I was dumbfounded to learn that Indiana was once at war... with Kentucky! We share so much; common landscape, accents and family connections. In this century both states have been conservative 'red states,' solidly Republican. But it wasn't always that way. Once we were on different sides of a violent, ideological divide.