John Tipton Edit Profile
When he was an infant, his uncle's house was besieged by supporters of an attempt to create the 14th state in Northeastern Tennessee called the State of Franklin. At the age of 17, Tipton moved to Harrison County, Indiana. He became a farmer. Fighting various Native American tribes, he commanded a militia unit of the Yellow Jackets in the Battle of Tippecanoe campaign in 1811, and served as Major in command of two companies of Indiana Rangers at Fort Vallonia during the War of 1812.
When peace was declared, Tipton was promoted to Brigadier-General. He eventually entered politics. During this time, he founded the town of Columbus, Indiana originally known as Tiptonia, he participated in commissions to establish a new state capital for Indiana and to set the boundaries between Indiana and Illinois.
In 1823, he became the United States Indian agent for the Potawatomi and Miami tribes. Also a captain in the militia, Tipton was responsible for rounding up the uncooperative Potawatomi and forcibly moving them to Kansas in what became known as the Potawatomi Trail of Death. In 1831, Tipton was elected by the state legislature to a seat in the United States Senate from Indiana to fill the unexpired term of James Noble who had died.
He was reelected to a full term in 1832. He served as chairman of the committees on roads and canals and Native American affairs from 1837 to 1839. In 1838, at the behest of Governor David Wallace, Tipton organized the forced removal of 859 Potawatomi from the vicinity of Plymouth and started them on the two-month-long "Trail of Death" to Kansas, which resulted in the deaths of more than 40 of them.
Tipton declined to run for reelection due to poor health, and his term expired a month before his death. He died in Logansport, Indiana, a town that he helped to found. He is interred in Mount Hope Cemetery in Logansport, Indiana.
The towns of Tipton, Indiana, and Iowa, and Tipton County, Indiana are named after him.
He served as a member of the Indiana State House of Representatives from 1819 to 1823. He was a member of the United States Democratic Party and a strong supporter of Andrew Jackson.
Married Jennett Shields (his cousin), 1818, 3 children. Married second, Matilda Spencer, 1825, 3 children.