Alumnus making documentary in honor of Primitive Baptist ancestors

September 18 2006

From the homestead of his great-great-great grandfather in Fairbanks, Ind., former Indiana State Representative Ron Drake is embarking on what he calls a "Journey of Remembrance" in honor of his ancestry and their Primitive Baptist roots.

Drake, an Indiana State University alumnus, former Indiana teacher and now an attorney in Washington, D.C., is spending a good deal of his time these days at the Closs Thompson family homestead in Fairbanks, building a replica of the flatboat his family used to travel the Mississippi River in the early 1800s.

When completed in mid-November, Drake will make the same journey, from the confluence of the Little Miami and Ohio rivers, to the Mississippi, and end up where his ancestors landed in Cape Girardeau, Mo. After staying in Cape Girardeau for many years, in 1830, Drake's lineage moved to Fairbanks.

Drake plans to film this endeavor as a documentary, and will include stories he has discovered about his family?s involvement in the Primitive Baptist Church, as well as unique accounts he has uncovered of slaves being baptized into the church before the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.

Drake's next trip to Fairbanks to work on the flatboat is this week: Sept. 19-22. The media are welcome.

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Contact: Ron Drake, c: (202) 365-8262, homestead: (812) 394-2276; rondrakeatty@msn.com

Writer: Katie Spanuello, media relations assistant director, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3790 or kspanuello@isugw.indstate.edu

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Ron Drake, an Indiana State University alumnus, former Indiana teacher and now an attorney in Washington, D.C., is spending a good deal of his time these days at the Closs Thompson family homestead in Fairbanks, building a replica of the flatboat his family used to travel the Mississippi River in the early 1800s.

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