Abe Spirits’s story is one about tragedy and adventure. It is certainly an Indiana legend, but it is a story not unlike that of some other men. The accounts of the tragedies, adventures, and the unusual life he led are similar to those of others who lived closely with Indian tribes.
The legend of Abe Spirits goes a bit like this:
Abe’s life started out like any normal child’s life in the early 1800’s. He was born to his mother and father on a farm in Indiana. He was the youngest of 12 children. However, when Abe was about 6 months old, his life was changed forever.
One night, in the middle of the night, the cabin where Abe lived with his family caught fire. The entire family died in the fire except Abe. Miraculously, he survived the fire, sustaining only a few burns. However, he was left alone and would surely die soon if he was not rescued. See, in those days, people did not live close to one another, so Abe’s neighbors did not know that his family’s cabin had burnt down. It was rare that a visitor would even pass that way in time to rescue Abe.
The day after the fire, however, and Indian warrior from a local Indian tribe was walking in the woods near the cabin and heard the baby crying. When he saw the pile of rubbish and realized there had been a fire, he snuck closer to check things out. He didn’t see anyone around, so he approached the burned down cabin to try to find the crying baby. By now, the baby’s cries were soft and weak. He was nearly starved to death, dehydrated, and exhausted from crying. When the Indian warrior found him, he took him back to his village and gave him to one of the women there.
The woman who was given the responsibility of nursing little Abe back to health had him feeling better in no time. Now, they had to decide what to do with him. The Indian warrior who had found him asked a local trapper if he knew what had happened to the family. He confirmed that they had died in the fire, and he was astonished that the baby had survived. He told the Indian warrior that the family was new to the area and did not know any of the neighbors. He only knew them because he had to pass by their way occasionally. There would be no one to take the baby, whose name he said was Abe. Thus, the Indian tribe kept Abe and raised him as one of them.
Abe was raised as an Indian brave. He learned to hunt and live as the Indians did. The strained relations between white men and Indians bothered Abe to no end, and he determined as a young man to do all he could to improve these relations. Abe became known in the area for being a peace maker between Indians and white men. He was brave and mighty in the eyes of his tribe, and in the eyes of the white men in the area, he was their only hope for peace and safety. Abe’s tragedy became a blessing to the Indian tribe with which he lived and the community around him giving Abe’s tragic story an ending of triumph.