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Schuyler Colfax Chapter
is located in South Bend, Indiana. The chapter was organized as the 50th
chapter in Indiana and was named for one of South Bend's most distinguished
citizens who served seven terms in the U.S. Congress and was Speaker of
the House before becoming Vice-President under Ulysses S. Grant.
Mr. Colfax was a close friend and ally of President Abraham Lincoln and
was at the White House on the evening of April 14, 1865, when President
Lincoln left for Ford's Theater. He was invited by the president to accompany
him to the theater but as he was not a theater enthusiast, he graciously
Schuyler Colfax was born in New York City on March 23, 1823, and moved
to South Bend in 1841. He died in Mankato, Minnesota on January 13, 1885,
while on his way to a speaking engagement.
Schuyler Colfax Chapter was organized on November 11, 1911, and granted
a charter on December 16, 1911. The organizing regent was Mrs. Agnes Brown
Council Oak, known also as the Treaty Oak and the Witness Tree, stood
within a few rods of the portage path between the St. Joseph and Kankakee
Rivers. Here, Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de LaSalle, first
white man to walk on Indiana soil, made a treaty with the Miami Indians
in 1679, and opened to subsequent travelers the portage to the Great
Through LaSalle's treaty on December 5 and another in May 1681, the
Miami, Illinois, and Potawatomi Indians united with the whites to
oppose the marauding Iroquois tribes.
Mrs. Shepard J. Crumpacker, regent of Schuyler Colfax Chapter from
1922 to 1924, made the drawing for the bookplate shown above.
(Permission was obtained to use this sketch.)