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Indiana Bicentennial Celebration 2016

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Legacy Projects > Elizabeth English Pennington Project Elizabeth English Pennington Project

Elizabeth English Pennington, captured and raised by the Cherokee Indians, was kidnapped back by her white brother in time to marry Dennis Pennington, lately come to the frontier from Virginia. Together, they worked to bring education to the new Indiana territory. Dennis included Article 9 in the constitution for the new state, but it was “Betsy” who reminded him that it must be free for all children. Indiana became the first state to make such a provision, but it was quickly made standard throughout the country, free public education, thanks to Elizabeth English Pennington. Otis Amanda Dick offers an overview and re-enactment of her to audiences statewide.