In 1821, Mary Bateman Clark won an Indiana Supreme Court case that helped end indentured servitude in the state. Now almost 200 years later, the Indiana Historical Society (IHS) is honoring Bateman Clark’s great-great-great-granddaughter for her work researching, preserving and sharing this important piece of Indiana’s history.
IHS is proud to announce Eunice Brewer-Trotter of Indianapolis has been named a winner of the 2016 Dorothy Riker Hoosier Historian Award. Each year, the award goes to one or two historians who have made distinguished contributions to the field of historical scholarship and/or the affairs and activities of IHS.
Brewer-Trotter has researched African-American history in Indiana for 30 years, including her own Hoosier family roots. This research resulted in a Mary Bateman Clark historical marker that now stands in front of the Knox County courthouse in Vincennes, Indiana.
Research into her ancestor’s life and legacy also led to the documentary, Mary Bateman Clark: A Woman of Colour and Courage, which airs regularly on Indiana’s Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations. In addition, Brewer-Trotter and her sister, Ethel Brewer-McCane, perform reenactments of the Mary Bateman Clark story for churches, history groups, libraries, private and government organizations and schools across the state.
Prior to her work as one of Indiana’s best-known historians, Brewer-Trotter had a decades-long career in journalism. She was the first African American editor at the Indianapolis Star and formerly owned a controlling interest in the Indianapolis Recorder.
Brewer-Trotter will receive her award during IHS’s Founders Day Dinner and Awards on Monday, Dec. 5, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center. The annual event, sponsored by Hirtle, Callaghan & Co., celebrates the accomplishments of historians, teachers, writers and businesses from around the state, as well as the work of IHS.
2016 IHS Founders Day Award Winners
Caleb Mills Indiana History Teacher of the Year
• Andrea Neal, Indianapolis
• Michael Potts, Ellettsville
Dorothy Riker Hoosier Historian
• Kenneth Schoon, Munster
• Eunice Brewer-Trotter, Indianapolis
Eli Lilly Lifetime Achievement
• Rita Kohn, Indianapolis
Hubert Hawkins History
• Carolyn Schmidt, Fort Wayne
• Denis and Pat Schrank, Batesville
Willard C. Heiss Family History/Genealogy
• Lee Bilderback, Holland
Outstanding Event or Project
• History Center (Ft. Wayne), Fort Wayne
• Indiana Women’s Prison, Indianapolis
Outstanding Historical Organization
• Madison County Historical Society, Anderson
• Porter County Museum, Valparaiso
Outstanding Bicentennial Project
• Indiana Barn Foundation/Indiana Bicentennial Barn Quilt, Indianapolis