Indiana Votes - History

182415,838John Q Adams3,07119.4Andrew Jack7,444
182839,210Andrew Jackson22,20156.6John Q Ada17,00943.4
183257,152Andrew Jackson31,65255.4Henry Clay25,47344.6
183674,423Martin Van Buren33,08444.5William Harr41,33955.5
1840117,605William Harrison65,28055.5Martin VaN51,69644
1844140,157James Polk70,18350.1Henry Clay67,86648.4
1848152,394Zachary Taylor69,66845.7Lewis Cass74,69549
1852183,176Frankilin Pierce95,34052Winfield Sco80,90744.2
1856235,401James Buchann118,67050.4John Fremon94,37540.1
1860272,143Abraham Lincoln139,03351.1Stephen Dou115,50942.4
1864280,117Abraham Lincoln149,88753.5George McCl130,23046.5
1868343,528Ulysses Grant176,54851.4Horatio Sey166,98048.6
1872349,779Ulysses Grant186,14753.2Horace Greel163,63246.8
1876431,073Rutherford Hayes208,01148.3Samuel Tilde213,52949.5
1880470,758James Garfield232,16949.3Winfield Sco225,52347.9
1884491,649Grover Cleveland244,98949.8James Blaine238,46648.5
1888536,988Benjamin Harrison263,36649Grover Cleve260,99048.6
1892553,613Grover Cleveland262,74047.5Benjamin Ha255,61546.2
1896637,089William McKinley323,75450.8William Brya305,53848
1900664,094William McKinley336,06350.6William Brya309,58446.6
1904682,206Theo. Roosevelt368,28954Alton Parker274,35640.2
1908721,117William Taft348,99348.4William Brya338,26246.9
1912654,474Woodrow Wilson281,89043.1Theo. Roose162,00724.8
1916718,853Woodrow Wilson334,06346.5Charles Hug341,00547.4
19201,262,974Warren Harding696,37055.1James Cox511,36440.5
19241,272,390Calvin Coolidge703,04255.3John Davis492,24538.7
19281,421,314Herbert Hoover848,29059.7Alfred Smith562,69139.6
19321,421,314Franklin Roosevelt848,29059.7Herbert Hoo562,69139.6
19361,650,897Franklin Roosevelt934,97456.6Alfred Lando691,57041.9
19401,782,747Franklin Roosevelt874,06349Wendell Will899,46650.5
19441,672,091Franklin Roosevelt781,40346.7Thomas Dew875,89152.4
19481,656,212Harry Truman807,83148.8Thomas Dew821,07949.6
19521,955,049Dwight Eisenhower1,136,25958.1Adlai Steven801,53041
19561,974,607Dwight Eisenhower1,182,81159.9Adlai Steven783,90839.7
19602,135,360John F Kennedy952,35844.6Richard Nixo1,175,12055
19642,091,606Lyndon Johnson1,170,84856Barry Goldw911,11843.6
19682,123,597Richard Nixon1,067,88550.3Hubert Hum806,65938
19722,125,529Richard Nixon1,405,15466.1George McG708,56833.3
19762,220,362Jimmy Carter1,014,71445.7Gerald Ford1,183,95853.3
19802,242,033Ronald Reagan1,255,65656Jimmy Carter844,19737.7
19842,233,069Ronald Reagan1,377,23061.7Walter Mon841,48137.7
19882,168,621George Bush1,297,76359.8Michael Duk860,64339.7
19922,305,871Bill Clinton848,42036.8George Bush989,37542.9
19962,088,489William Clint874,66841.88Bob Dole995,08247.65%
20002,199,302George W Bush1,245,83656.6Al Gore901,98041
20042,468,002George W Bush1,47959.9John Kerry969,01139.3
20082,749,853Barack Obama1,374,03950.0%John McCain1,345,64848.9%

Tag: voting

Indianapolis News, November 2, 1920, 13, accessed

A caravan of automobiles, expertly commanded by Evansville women, arrived at polling stations on November 2, 1920. That day, Hoosier women exercised their right to vote for the first time in history. In their decades-long work for enfranchisement, many women found their political voice, gained self-assurance by withstanding public scrutiny, and mastered the art of grassroots mobilization. This served them well on Election Day, when the Evansville Courier reported that “One girl had been held up by some of her boy friends who were attempting to remove the political insigna [sic] from her car, but she was demonstrating the fact that this day had women came into their own and was defending her car and her party valiantly. From somewhere another young amazon came to her rescue. It was a good natured scrap but the girls won.”

Indeed, the activism of the suffrage movement carried over to ballot box. In Evansville, women in “conspicuously labeled” automobiles ensured that no sister was left behind and picked them “up off the streets and hauled to their respective voting places, irrespective of politics.” Hoosier women invoked the communal spirit of the homefront during World War I, when they organized for war work and suffrage. Munster women drove to women’s houses to watch their children, while the “mistress of the house was taken to the polls.” In Evansville, as with cities across the country, “Many women took turns with her neighbor in minding the children while the other voted. That plan worked nicely. The political women workers also took charge of the children while mothers voted.”

Some working women in Evansville arrived at the polls early, so as to miss as little work as possible. Other women, like those employed by the Fendrich Cigar Factory, were given a “half holiday,” so they could exercise their newfound right. On the northside of the city, women went from “house to house,” arranging for housewives to vote earlier in the day. This would “clear the way for factory workers who could vote only between 5 and 6 o’clock.”

Evansville Courier, November 3, 1920, 13, Indiana State Library microfilm.

Once at the polls, women capitalized on the long-awaited opportunity. In Noblesville, papers reported that it was common for women who encountered long voting lines to insist that men let them vote first. The men obliged. Women at one precinct demonstrated passion equal to that of male voters, as they “became involved in some pretty heated arguments over politics,” but quickly disengaged when polling officials intervened. Muncie women, especially those who worked, voted early and the Star Press reported that “Intense interest was manifested in the campaign issues by the women clerks in many uptown stores and there were many heated debates overheard by those so fortunate to be far back in line awaiting their turn to vote.” As with Noblesville, the Muncie debates dissipated without incident.

Mrs. F. T. Reed, of Indianapolis, wouldn’t let a car accident, which left her “badly bruised and shaken,” keep her from casting her vote. After an ambulance took her home, she rested for a few hours before returning to the polls. Inspector of the Third Precinct of the 18th Ward, Charles H. Taylor, observed that women voted “intelligently, quickly, and manifested more interest in the election than the men.” In Gary, mothers hurried to the polls in the early morning. The Gary Evening Post remarked, “She didn’t stop outside to chat though, just hurried back home and resumed her management of a successful home while all the silly talk about mother neglecting her home and children to vote evaporated.”

Some Hoosiers marveled that women needed little help with the process of voting. In Indianapolis, “Contrary to expectations, women voters did not become confused when they reached the voting booths.” Far from meek or bewildered, one Evansville woman cast her vote so fervently that she ripped the handle off of the machine. The Noblesville Ledger remarked that Hamilton County women, some of whom voted in their “kitchen apparel” so as not to waste any time, “walked into the precincts as if they had been voting all of their lives.” The Tipton Daily Tribune attributed the success of local women in voting “to the interest they took in learning to vote. The voting schools in Tipton and over the county were filled each day with women trying out the system and receiving instructions.”

Indianapolis News, November 2, 1920, 13, accessed

African American women, who had been so integral to obtaining the vote, too turned out in droves. The Indianapolis News noted that in some parts of the city “colored women swarmed to the polls in greater numbers than men.” According to historian Jill Weiss Simins, party organizers arranged for a cannon blast to rouse residents of the Fifth Ward, who lived in predominantly-Black areas like Indiana Avenue and Ransom Place, to ensure that no voters overslept on Election Day. Weiss Simins vividly depicted the moment:

The Black women of the Fifth Ward’s Second Precinct dressed up in high-heeled shoes and lace up boots, donned coats with wide collars and fur edging, and sported a variety of hats trimmed with satin ribbons. They made their way to 904 Indiana Avenue, walking past several shops, a large dry goods store, and a doctor’s office, and lined up outside ‘Wm. D. Chitwood Fruits,’ a large market that served as their polling place.

Like many white women voters, they endured long lines in the bitter cold and generally voted for the Republican Party. Unlike white voters, their livelihood and well-being depended much more on the results of the election, as Indiana Equal Suffrage Branch #7 president Carrie Barnes contended, “We all feel that colored women have need for the ballot that white women have, and a great many that they have not.”*

Evansville Courier, November 3, 1920, 6, Indiana State Library microfilm.

The women who staffed the polls displayed the same grit as female voters. In Elwood, women workers did whatever was asked of them, “holding the poll books in the chill November air.” In Culver, Republican women instructed voters how to properly mark their ballots, occasionally ducking into tents equipped with stoves to keep them warm. Hoosier reporters across the state commended the efficiency with which women worked the polls. The Elwood Call-Leader wrote, “The Republican and Democratic chairmen owe much to the efforts of the woman who entered the campaign with a commendable spirit and their participation lent dignity all along the line.”

Evansville Courier, November 3, 1920, 5, Indiana State Library microfilm.

While Hoosier women suffered no fools at the polls, their presence also produced a kinder, more dignified election than of those past. The Evansville Courier noted that “At the polls there was nothing but courtesy and kindliness, showing that the softening influence of a woman’s presence was felt even there.” The Richmond Item reported that the barbs thrown at voters whose candidates lost were noticeably gentler and that no brawls erupted due to the attendance of women. Even the ballots were cleaner, as the Tipton Daily Tribune reported: “All the ballots marked by the ladies were folded with an exactness and neatness which could easily be detected when the ballot boxes were opened.”

Evansville Courier, November 3, 1920, 11, Indiana State Library microfilm.

On the evening of November 2, Hoosier women, likely exhausted yet proud, waited as their ballots were counted. Evansville residents watched returns projected from stereoptican slides onto a twenty-four foot wide screen hung from a downtown building. In Muncie, crowds watched returns projected by the Star Press on a screen hanging from the YMCA building. The 1920 election experienced the largest voter turnout in the state’s history, with 71,000 of 76,000 registered women casting their vote in Indianapolis. The Black vote in Indiana, an estimated 45,000 voters, played a large part in the national election and shifted “the balance of power,” according to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). With the victors declared, many women held election parties at sites like the Victoria Hotel and the mayor’s office in Gary.

The 1920 election was significant not only because women skyrocketed voting rates, but because they changed the nature of elections. Hoosier women demonstrated how to conduct an election not only efficiently, but respectfully and with kindness. Evansville Democrat Walter Wunderlich said he had never seen “anything like it before in politics” and that “I wouldn’t go back to the old conditions for anything. I haven’t heard a quarrel all day.” The ingenuity women displayed in getting their fellow voters to the polls, regardless of party affiliation, was truly American. The spirit of Indiana’s suffragists lives on through the League of Women Voters, which formed with the ratification of the 19 th Amendment and continues to ensure that voters are informed, empowered, and show up for the democratic process.

* While some southern states disenfranchised Black women through state election laws and voter intimidation, Black women in Indiana faced no legal obstacles to voting.

*All newspaper articles accessed via unless otherwise specified.

“Clean Sweep is Made,” Star Press (Muncie, IN), November 3, 1920, 4.

“Did You Hear That,” The Times (Munster, IN), November 3, 1920, 1.

“Election Crowd Good Natured,” Richmond Item, November 3, 1920, 2.

“Election is Quietest Ever,” Evansville Courier, November 3, 1920, 11, Indiana State Library microfilm.

“Indiana Women Wear Boudoir Caps to Elections,” Gary Daily Tribune, November 2, 1920, 1, Indiana State Library microfilm.

“Less Than 5,000 of 76,000 Women in County Fail to Vote,” Indianapolis Star, November 3, 1920, 11.

“Made Fine Showing,” Tipton Daily Tribune, November 3, 1920, 1.

Anita Morgan, “We Must Be Fearless:” The Woman Suffrage Movement in Indiana (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 2020) , 204.

Jill Weiss Simins, “A ‘Record of Protest Against Prejudice’: Black Hoosier Women Vote in the 1920 Election,” Indiana Historical Bureau (2020).

“The Election,” Culver Citizen, November 3, 1920, 1.

“Women Ballot Early and Fast,” Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, November 3, 1920, 1.

“Women Filled All Requirements in Election Day Duties,” Call-Leader (Elwood, IN), November 3, 1920, 1.

“Women Had Good Time at Election,” Noblesville Ledger, November 3, 1920, 1.

“Women Hurry to Polls to Cast Ballots,” Gary Evening Post, November 2, 1920, 7, Indiana State Library microfilm.


When the Indiana Territory was formed in 1800 its original boundaries included the western portion the Northwest Territory. This encompassed an area northwest of a line beginning at the Ohio River, on the bank opposite to the mouth of the Kentucky River, extending northeast to Fort Recovery, in present-day western Ohio, and north to the border between the United States and Canada along a line approximately 84 degrees 45 minutes West longitude. [5] [6] [7]

The territory initially included most of the present-day state of Indiana, all of present-day states of Illinois and Wisconsin, fragments of present-day Minnesota that were east of the Mississippi River, nearly all of the Upper Peninsula and the western half of the Lower Peninsula of present-day Michigan, and a narrow strip of land in present-day Ohio that was northwest of Fort Recovery. [6] [8] This latter parcel became part of Ohio when it attained statehood in 1803. The Indiana Territory's southeast boundary was shifted in 1803, when Ohio became a state, to the mouth of the Great Miami River from its former location opposite the mouth of the Kentucky River. In addition, the eastern part of present-day Michigan was added to the Indiana Territory. The territory's geographical area was further reduced in 1805 with the creation of the Michigan Territory to the north, and in 1809, when the Illinois Territory was established to the west. [9]

In the 1800 United States census, 4 counties in the Indiana Territory (2 of which were located in contemporary Illinois and 1 in contemporary Michigan) reported the following counts: [2] [3] [4]

Rank County Population
1 Knox 2,517
2 Randolph 1,355
3 St. Clair 1,103
4 Michilimackinac 551
Unincorporated 115
Indiana Territory 5,641

In the 1810 United States census, following the passage of organic acts by the 9th U.S. Congress to create the Michigan Territory in 1805 and by the 10th U.S. Congress to create the Illinois Territory in 1809, 4 counties in the Indiana Territory located within contemporary Indiana reported the following population counts: [2]

Rank County Population
1 Knox 7,945
2 Dearborn 7,310
3 Clark 5,670
4 Harrison 4,699
Indiana Territory 24,520

The Indiana Territory's government passed through a non-representative phase from 1800 to 1804 a semi-legislative second phase, which included the election of lower house of the territorial legislature, that extended through the ongoing hostilities with Native Americans and the War of 1812 and a final period, when the territory's population increased and its residents successfully petitioned Congress for statehood in 1816. [10]

Under the terms of the Northwest Ordinance, during the non-representative phase of territorial government the U.S. Congress, and after 1789, the president with congressional approval, appointed a governor, secretary, and three judges to govern each new territory. Local inhabitants did not elect these territorial officials. During the second, or semi-legislative phase of government, the territory's adult males who owned at least fifty acres of land elected representatives to the lower house of the territorial legislature. In addition, the Congress, and later, the president with congressional approval, appointed five adult males who owned at least five hundred acres of land to the upper house of the territorial legislature from a list of ten candidates that the lower house submitted for consideration. In the semi-legislative phase of government, the upper and lower houses could legislate for the territory, but the territorial governor retained absolute veto power. When the territory reached a population of 60,000 free inhabitants, it entered the final phase that included its successful petition to Congress for statehood. [11] [12]

In 1803, when the Indiana Territory was formed from the remaining Northwest Territory after Ohio attained statehood, the requirement for proceeding to the second or semi-legislative phase of territorial government was modified. Instead of requiring the territory's population to reach 5,000 free adult males, the second phase could be initiated when the majority of territory's free landholders informed the territorial governor that they wanted to do so. [13] In 1810 the requirement for voters to be landholders was replaced with a law granting voting rights to all free adult males who paid county or territorial taxes and had resided in the territory for at least a year. [14]

Governors Edit

Because of William Henry Harrison's leadership in securing passage of the Land Act of 1800 and his help in forming the Indiana Territory in 1800, while serving as the Northwest Territory's delegate to the U.S. Congress, it was not surprising that President John Adams chose him to become the first governor of the territory. Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison made a total of three appointments to the office of governor of the Indiana Territory between July 4, 1800, when the territory was officially established, and November 7, 1816, when Jonathan Jennings was sworn in as the first governor of the state of Indiana. [15] [13]

# Name Took office Left office Appointed by
1 William Henry Harrison May 13, 1800 (appointed) [10]
January 10, 1801 (took office) [16]
December 28, 1812 (resigned) [17] John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison
2 John Gibson December 28, 1812 (appointed) [18]
Acting governor: July 4, 1800 – January 10, 1801
June 1812–May 1813 [19]
March 3, 1813 [18] James Madison
3 Thomas Posey March 3, 1813 (appointed) May 1813 (took office) [18] November 7, 1816 [20] James Madison

Judicial court Edit

When the Indiana Territory was created in 1800, the Ordinance of 1787 made no provision for a popularly-elected territorial government in the non-representative phase of territorial government (1800 to 1804). [11] Instead of separate legislative and judicial branches of the territorial government, the U.S. Congress, and later, the president with congressional approval, had the authority to appoint a General Court, consisting of three territorial judges. The judges were initially appointed by the president, who later delegated this authority to the territorial governor. President Adams chose William Clarke, Henry Vanderburgh, and John Griffin as the territory's first three judges. Following Clarke's death in November 1802, Thomas T. Davis was appointed as his replacement. [21]

Acting as the combined judicial and legislative government, the territorial governor and the three judges adopted the laws to govern the territory. In addition to working with the territorial governor on legislative issues, the territorial judges presided over the General Court. When the Indiana Territory entered the second or semi-legislative phase of government in 1805, the legislature gradually became the dominant branch and the judges focused on judicial matters. [21] [22] In 1814, as the territory progressed toward statehood, three circuit courts were established. Governor Posey appointed Isaac Blackford, Jesse Lynch Holman, and Elijah Sparks as presiding judges over the circuit courts. James Noble was appointed to replace Sparks following Sparks' death in early 1815. [23]

Legislature Edit

When the Indiana Territory entered its second or semi-legislative phase of government in 1805, territorial inhabitants were allowed to elect representatives to the lower house of its bicameral legislature. President Jefferson delegated the task of choosing the five members of the Legislative Council (upper house of the legislature) to the governor, who chose from a list of ten candidates provided by the lower house. [24] [25]

After the formation of the new legislative body, each county in the territory was granted the right to elect representatives to the House of Representatives (the legislative assembly's lower house). The lower house initially included seven representatives, one from Dearborn County, one from Clark County, two from Knox County, two from St. Clair County, and one from Randolph County. [24] [25] The territorial legislature met for the first time on July 29, 1805. [26] Harrison, the territorial governor, retained his veto powers, as well as his general executive and appointive authority, while the legislative assembly had the authority to pass laws, subject to the governor's approved before they could be enacted. The change in territorial governance also removed the territorial judges' legislative powers, leaving the territorial court with only its judicial authority. [24] [25]

In 1809, after the Indiana Territory was divided to create the Illinois Territory, the U.S. Congress altered the makeup of the territorial legislature. The members of the House of Representatives continued to be elected by the territorial inhabitants, and apportioned in relation to each county's population, but membership in the five-member upper house (Legislative Council) was also by popular vote and apportioned among the territory's counties. Harrison County, established in 1808 from portions of Knox and Clark counties, elected one representative to the lower house Clark and Dearborn counties each had two representatives and the more populated Knox County had three. In Harrison, Clark, and Dearborn counties the voters in each county elected one legislative councilor to the upper house, while Knox County elected two members. [27] [28] This bicameral legislative structure remained unchanged for the remainder of the territory's existence.

Congressional delegation Edit

Territorial delegates to the U.S. House of Representatives could attend congressional sessions with the right to debate, submit legislation, and serve on committees, but were not permitted to vote on legislation. [29] When the Indiana Territory entered its second phase of governance in 1805, the territory's legislative assembly elected Benjamin Parke as its delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. Jesse B. Thomas was appointed to the post following Parke's resignation in 1808. [30] Congress approved a law in 1809 that allowed the territory's inhabitants to choose a delegate to Congress in a territory-wide election. [31] Jonathan Jennings defeated Thomas Randolph, the territory's attorney general and Harrison's chosen candidate, in a highly contested race to become the territory's first popularly-elected representative to the U.S. Congress. Jennings was reelected to the post in 1811, 1812, and 1814, prior to his election as the first governor of Indiana in 1816. [32] [33]

Delegate Years Party
Benjamin Parke December 12, 1805 – March 1, 1808 none
Jesse Burgess Thomas October 22, 1808 – March 3, 1809 Democratic-Republican
Jonathan Jennings November 27, 1809 – December 11, 1816 none

Other high officials Edit

In addition to the territorial governor and three judges, the office of secretary was established in 1800, when the Indiana Territory was initially formed. Governor Harrison appointed a treasurer and attorney general in 1801 as the only additional government officials during the territory's non-representative phase of government. [34] During the second, or semi-representational phase, which Governor Harrison announced in December 1804, the offices of secretary, treasurer and attorney general continued however, the office of territorial auditor continued only until 1814, when it was combined with the office of territorial treasurer. The territory also had chancellor during most of this period. [35]

# Name Took office Left office Party Hometown Notes
1 John Gibson July 4, 1800 November 7, 1816 Democratic-Republican Knox County, Indiana Gibson also served as acting governor of the Indiana Territory (July 4, 1800 – January 10, 1801, and June 1812–May 1813) and officially as territorial governor (December 28, 1812 – March 3, 1813) [36]

# Name Took office Left office Hometown Notes
1 William Prince 1810 1813 Vincennes, Indiana [37]
2 Davis Floyd 1813 1814 Corydon, Indiana

# Name Took office Left office Hometown Notes
1 General Washington Johnston 1813 1814 Vincennes, Indiana
2 Davis Floyd 1814 1816 Corydon, Indiana

# Name Took office Left office Hometown Notes
1 Benjamin Parke 1804 1808 Knox County, Indiana
2 John Rice Jones 1808 1816 Clark County, Indiana

Territorial finances Edit

During the first or non-legislative phase of government, the federal government paid the salaries of the governor, the three-member judicial council, and the territorial secretary, which cost about $5,500 per year. In addition, a small fund of approximately $200 covered other expenses such as printing, postage, and rent. The federal government did not provide funds for any additional governmental offices such as the treasurer and attorney general. Salaries for these officials were paid from the territory's treasury. When the Indiana Territory reached the second or semi-legislative phase of government, the federal government paid the salaries of the territorial governor, judges, and secretary at a cost of approximately $6,687 per year. The territorial treasury was responsible for funding legislative expenses, as well as the salaries of the treasurer, auditor, attorney general, and chancellor. The territorial treasurer also paid operational expenses such as printing, rent, stationery, and other supplies and services. These expenses were estimated to cost $10,000 per year. [38] [39]

Revenue for the territory was limited, with the primary source of funds coming from the sale of federal lands. (The territory collected three percent of the proceeds of each sale. [ citation needed ] ) Other revenue came from the collection of duties, licenses, and excise taxes. In 1811 property taxes collected from landowners were based on the numbers of acres and its rating previously, these taxes were based on land values. Taxes were also collected for territorial counties to use. After 1815 taxes were levied on some types of manufactured goods to provide additional funds for the territorial government. [40] Trading ventures with the Native American tribes also provided lesser revenues. [ citation needed ]

Territorial revenue fell to critical levels due to the War of 1812, when many of the territory's taxpayers were unable to pay what they owed and their land reverted to the federal government. Financial issues also caused the movement for statehood to be delayed until after the war's end. At one point during 1813, for example, the balance in territory's treasury was a meager $2.47. To increase the treasury, tax levies were modified and new forms of revenue were established. These changes included reductions in some taxes, increases in others, and implementing licensing requirements for some types of business ventures in order to stabilize revenue. William Prince, the first territorial auditor, was also blamed for the territory's revenue shortage because he had failed to collect taxes from two territorial counties. [41]

Growth of territory's population helped improve its financial situation through the collection of various taxes, including property taxes and taxes on sale of public lands. However, governmental expenses also increased as new counties and towns were formed, causing the need for new governmental offices and further increases in the government's overall size. [42]

The major political issue in Indiana's territorial history was slavery however, there were others, including Indian affairs, the formation of northern and western territories from portions of the Indiana Territory, concerns about the lack of territorial self-government and representation in Congress, and ongoing criticisms of Harrison's actions as territorial governor. [43] [44]

Most of these issues were resolved before Indiana achieved statehood. The formation of the Michigan Territory in 1805 and the Illinois Territory in 1809 ended the debate about the territory's geographical size. In the second phase of territorial governance after 1805, the increasing democratization of the government shifted the authority initially placed in the hands of the territorial governor and a judicial council to a legislative branch of elected representatives and a delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. The debate over the issue of allowing slavery in the territory was settled in 1810 however, criticism of Governor Harrison continued, even after much of his authority was transferred to territorial legislators and judges. [43]

Slavery Edit

Congress granted territories the right to legalize slavery within their boundaries if they so chose to do so. In December 1802 delegates from Indiana Territory's four counties passed a resolution in favor of a ten-year suspension of Article Six of the Northwest Ordinance, which prohibited slavery in the original Northwest Territory. They also petitioned Congress for the suspension in order to make the region more appealing to slave-holding settlers and ultimately make the territory economically viable by increasing its population. In addition, the petition requested that the slaves and their children brought into the territory during the suspension period should remain slaves even after the suspension ended. Benjamin Parke, a pro-slavery supporter who became the territory's first representative in Congress in 1805, carried the petition to Washington, D.C. however, Congress failed to take action, leaving Harrison and the territorial judges to pursue other options. [45] [46]

In 1803 Harrison and the General Court judges passed legislation that evaded the Ordinance of 1787 in order permit slavery in the Indiana Territory. The bill authorized legalized indenture, which allowed adult slaves owned or purchased outside the territory to be brought into the territory and bound into service for fixed terms set by the slave owner. [47] [46] [48] After the territory was granted representation in Congress in 1805, Parke, the territory's delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, was able to get Congress to pass legislation to suspend Article Six for ten years, granting the territories covered under the ordinance the ability to legalize slavery in their territories. [49]

Harrison's attempts to allow slavery in the Indiana Territory caused a significant opposition from the Quakers who had settled in the eastern part of the territory. They responded by forming an anti-slavery party. Davis Floyd of Clark County was the only anti-slavery representative elected to the territory's House of Representatives in the 1805 election, but Harrison's measures to legalize slavery in the territory were blocked by the two representatives from St. Clair County, who refused to authorize slavery unless Harrison supported their request for a separate territory, which Harrison opposed. [50] [51]

In 1809, five years after Congress established the Michigan Territory from the northern portion of the Indiana Territory, the St. Clair County settlers successfully petitioned Congress for the formation of a separate territory. Despite Harrison's disapproval, Congress approved the formation of the Illinois Territory from the western portion of the Indiana Territory, in addition to granting the inhabitants of the Indiana Territory the right to elect a delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives and members of the territory's Legislative Council (upper house). Harrison, whose political power was reduced by these changes, found himself at odds with the territorial legislature when the anti-slavery party came to power after the 1809 elections. Voters promptly rebuffed many of his plans for slavery, and in 1810 the territorial legislature repealed the indenturing laws that Harrison and the judicial court had enacted in 1803. [52] [53]

Relocating the seat of government Edit

The capital of the Indiana Territory remained in Vincennes from 1800 to 1813. when the territorial legislature moved it to Corydon. After the Illinois Territory was formed from the western portion of the Indiana Territory in 1809, Vincennes, which was initially situated in the center of the territory, was now on its far west edge. The territorial legislature was also becoming increasingly fearful that the outbreak of the War of 1812 could cause an attack on Vincennes, resulting in their decision to move the seat of government to a location closer to the territory's population center. In addition to Corydon, the towns of Madison, Lawrenceburg, Vevay, and Jeffersonville were considered as potential sites for the new capital. On March 11, 1813, the territorial legislature selected Corydon as the new seat of government for the territory, effective May 1, 1813. [54] [55]

Harrison also favored Corydon, a town he had founded, named, and where he owned an estate. In 1813, after it was brought to the territorial legislature's attention that plans were underway to construct a new county courthouse in Corydon and the new building could also be used for its assemblies (a significant cost savings), the government made the decision to relocate the territorial capital to Corydon. Construction on the new capitol building began in 1814 and was nearly finished by 1816. [54] [55]

The area that became the Indiana Territory was once part of the Northwest Territory, which the Congress of the Confederation formed under the terms of the Northwest Ordinance on July 13, 1787. This ordinance outlined the basis for government in the western lands, and also provided for an administrative structure to oversee the territory, including a three-stage process for transitioning from territory to statehood. In addition, the Land Ordinance of 1785 called for the U.S. government to survey the newly-acquired territory for future sale and development. The Northwest Territory, which initially included land bounded by the Appalachian Mountains, and the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes, and the Ohio River, was subsequently partitioned into smaller territories that included the Indiana Territory (1800), Michigan Territory (1805), the Illinois Territory (1809), and eventually became the present-day states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and eastern Minnesota. [56]

Naming the new territory Edit

Indiana, meaning "Land of the Indians", references the fact that most of the area north of the Ohio River was still inhabited by Native Americans.

Formal use of the word Indiana dates from 1768, when the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy reserved about 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) of land in the present-day state of West Virginia and deeded it to a twenty-five-member Philadelphia-based trading company that engaged in trade with the native tribes in the Ohio River valley. The company named their land claim Indiana, in honor of its previous owners. In 1776 the land claim was transferred to the Indiana Land Company and offered for sale however, the government of Virginia disputed the claim, arguing that it was the rightful owner because the land fell within its boundaries. The United States Supreme Court took up the case and extinguished the company's right to the land in 1798. Two years later, Congress applied the Indiana Land Company's name to the new territory. [57]

Western expansion and conflict Edit

Passage of the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 committed the U.S. government to continued plans for western expansion. Increasing tensions with the Native Americans who occupied the western lands erupted into the Northwest Indian War. [58] [59] During the Autumn of 1790, American forces under the command of General Josiah Harmar unsuccessfully pursued the Miami tribe near present-day Fort Wayne, Indiana, but had to retreat. In the meantime, Major Jean François Hamtramck led an expedition from Fort Knox to Wea, Potawatomi , and Kickapoo villages on the Wabash, Vermilion, and Eel Rivers, but lacked sufficient provisions to continue, forcing a return to Vincennes. [60] [61]

In 1791 Major General Arthur St. Clair, the governor of the Northwest Territory, commanded about 2,700 men in a campaign to establish a chain of forts and enforce peace in the area. In the early morning of November 3, 1791, nearly a 1,000 Miamis, Shawnees, Delawares, and other warriors under the leadership of Chief Little Turtle launched a surprise attack on the American camp near the Miami town of Kekionga, costing the Americans nearly nine hundred casualties and forcing the militia's retreat. St. Clair's Defeat (1791) remains the U.S. Army's worst defeat by American Indians in history. Casualties included 623 federal soldiers killed and another 258 wounded the Indian confederacy lost an estimated 100 men. [62] [63]

In August 1794, General "Mad Anthony" Wayne organized the Legion of the United States and defeated a Native American force at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The battle was a turning point for the Americans, who took control of the area near the strategically important Maumee–Wabash portage, as well as Fort Miami at Kekionga (rebuilt as Fort Wayne). In addition, several other forts were built in the territory to maintain American control of the area. [63] [64]

The Treaty of Greenville (1795) ended the Northwest Indian War and marked the beginning of a series of land cession treaties. Under the terms of this treaty, native tribes ceded southeastern Indiana and two-thirds of present-day Ohio to the U.S. government. As a result of the treaty, the Miamis considered themselves allies with the United States and thousands of acres of newly-ceded western lands attracted an increasing number of new settlers to what would become the Indiana Territory. [65] [66]

Territory formation Edit

The U.S. Congress passed legislation to form the Indiana Territory on May 7, 1800, effective July 4, 1800. The new territory was established by dividing the Northwest Territory in advance of Ohio's statehood. [67] At the time the Indiana Territory was formed, the two main American settlements in what would later become the state of Indiana were at Vincennes and Clark's Grant, while the settlement at Kaskaskia would later become a part of Illinois (but, because it is now west of the Mississippi River, is accessible only from Missouri, ). In 1800 the Indiana Territory's total white population was 5,641, but its Native American population was estimated to be near 20,000, possibly as high as 75,000. [68] [69]

President John Adams appointed William Henry Harrison as the first governor of the territory on May 13, 1800, but Harrison did not arrive in the territory to begin his duties as governor until January 10, 1801. John Gibson, the territorial secretary, served as acting governor until Harrison's arrival at Vincennes. [15] [70] [71]

A three-member panel of judges called the General Court assisted the territorial governor. Together they served as both the highest legislative and judicial authority in the territory. [22] As governor of a territory of the first stage, which was outlined in the Northwest Ordinance, Harrison had wide-ranging powers in the new territory that included the authority to appoint all territorial officials and members of the territorial General Assembly. He also had the authority to divide the territory into districts. [72]

Vincennes, the territory's oldest settlement and among its largest with 714 townspeople in 1800, became its first territorial capital. The former French trading post was also one of the few white settlements in the territory. [73] [74] Indiana Territory began with four counties: Saint Clair and Randolph County, which became part of present-day Illinois Knox in present-day Indiana Wayne County, which became part of present-day Michigan. [75] [76] Governor Harrison formed Clark County, the first new county in the territory, out of the eastern portion of Knox County. [77] Additional counties were established as the territory's population increased. [69] By 1810 the Indiana Territory's population reached 24,520, even after the territory's size had been reduced with formation of the Michigan Territory (1805) and Illinois Territory (1809). When the Indiana Territory petitioned for statehood in 1816, its population was spread among fifteen counties and exceeded 60,000 people, which was the minimum required for statehood under the terms of the Northwest Ordinance of 1796. [78]

Because Harrison's political fortunes were tied to Indiana's rise to statehood, he was eager to expand the territory. In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson granted Harrison the authority to negotiate and conclude treaties with the Native American tribes in the territory. Harrison oversaw the establishment of thirteen treaties that ceded more than 60,000,000 acres (24,000,000 hectares) of land from Native American tribes, including most present-day southern Indiana, to the U.S. government. [79]

The Treaty of Vincennes (1803) was the first of several treaties that Harrison negotiated as territorial governor. Leaders from local tribes signed this treaty to recognize Americans' possession of the Vincennes tract, an area that George Rogers Clark had captured from the British during the American Revolutionary War. The Treaty of Grouseland (1805) further secured the federal government's possession of land in present-day south-central Indiana. After the signing of the contentious and disputed Treaty of Fort Wayne (1809), in which Harrison acquired for the U.S. government more than 250,000,000 acres (100,000,000 hectares) of land in what later became central Indiana and eastern Illinois, tensions between the Native American and settlers on the frontier neared the breaking the point. [79] [80]

The availability of low-cost federal land led to a rapid increase in the population of the territory, with thousands of new settlers entering the region every year. Large settlements began to spring up on the periphery of the territory around the Great Lakes, the Ohio River, the Wabash River, and the Mississippi River. Much of the interior, though, remained inhabited by the Native American tribes and was left unsettled. [79]

District of Louisiana Edit

While Native Americans continued to cede large tracts of land in the Indiana Territory to the federal government, the Americans also expanded their ownership of lands farther west as a result of the Louisiana Purchase agreement with France. From October 1, 1804, until July 4, 1805, administrative powers of the District of Louisiana were extended to the governor and judges of the Indiana Territory as a temporary measure to establish a civil government for the newly purchased lands. The district encompassed all of the Louisiana Purchase lands north of the 33rd parallel, which serves as the present-day border between the states of Arkansas and Louisiana. [81] [82]

Under the terms of the act establishing the district's temporary government, Governor Harrison and the Indiana Territory's judges enacted laws that extended to the Louisiana district. [81] Local residents, who had previously lived under France's civil law, objected to many of the provisions of the U.S. government, including their imposition of common law. [83] The Indiana Territory's temporary administration of the district of Louisiana lasted only nine months, until the Territory of Louisiana was established, effective July 4, 1805, with its own territorial government. [84]

One of the most notable events during the Indiana Territory's administration of the district of Louisiana was the Treaty of St. Louis in which the Sac and Fox tribes ceded northeastern Missouri, northern Illinois, and southern Wisconsin to the United States. Resentments over this treaty later caused the native tribes to side with the British during the War of 1812 in raids along the Missouri, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers, and lead to their involvement in the Black Hawk War in 1832. [85]

Tecumseh's War Edit

Ongoing tensions between the Native Americans and new settlers led to further hostilities between American forces and a pan-Indian confederacy. [86] A resistance movement against U.S. expansion that developed around two Shawnee brothers, Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa (The Prophet), became known as Tecumseh's War. Tenskwatawa convinced member of native tribes that the Great Spirit would protected them from harm if they would rise up against the whites. He further encouraged resistance by telling the tribes to only pay white traders half of what they owed, and to give up all the white man's ways, including their clothing, whiskey, and guns. [87]

In 1810 Tecumseh and an estimated 400 armed warriors traveled to Vincennes, where he confronted Harrison and demanded that the governor rescind the Treaty of Fort Wayne. Harrison refused and the war party left peacefully, but Tecumseh was angry and threatened retaliation. Afterwards, Tecumseh journeyed south to meet with representatives of the tribes in the region, hoping to create a confederation of warriors to battle the Americans. [88]

In 1811, while Tecumseh was still away, U.S. Secretary of War William Eustis authorized Harrison to march against the nascent confederation as a show of force. Harrison moved north with an army of more than 1,000 men in an attempt to intimidate the Shawnee into making peace. Early on the morning of November 6, tribal warriors launched a surprise attack on Harrison's army. The ensuing battle became known as the Battle of Tippecanoe, where Harrison ultimately won his famous victory on November 7 at Prophetstown, along the Wabash and Tippecanoe Rivers. Harrison was publicly hailed as a national hero and the nickname of "Old Tippecanoe," despite the fact that his troops had greatly outnumbered the Indian forces and had suffered many more casualties. [89] [90] After the battle, central Indiana was opened to further settlement by allowing more settlers to safely venture beyond the southern periphery of the territory. [91]

War of 1812 Edit

Tecumseh's war with the Americans merged with the War of 1812 after the pan-Indian Confederation allied with the British in Canada. In May 1812, Chief Little Turtle hosted a meeting of tribal leaders in the region in the Miami village of Mississinewa. Most of the tribes decided to remain neutral during the conflict and rejected Tecumseh's plans of continued rebellion. [92] Despite their rejection, Tecumseh continued to lead his dwindling army against the Americans, moving farther north so the British army could support them. Tecumseh's followers who remained behind continued to raid the countryside and engaged in the Siege of Fort Harrison, which was the U.S. Army's first land victory during the war. [93] John Gibson served as acting governor of the territory during the War of 1812, while Harrison was leading the army. After Harrison resigned, Gibson continued as acting-governor until Thomas Posey, the newly-appointed governor arrived in May 1813. [94]

Other battles that occurred during the war within the boundaries of the present-day state of Indiana include the Siege of Fort Wayne, the Pigeon Roost Massacre and the Battle of the Mississinewa. Most of the territory's native inhabitants remained passive throughout the war however, numerous incidents between settlers and the native tribes led to the deaths of hundreds in the territory. The Treaty of Ghent (1814), ended the war and relieved American settlers from their fears of attack by the nearby British and their Indian allies. [95]

Movement toward statehood Edit

On December 5, 1804, Governor Harrison issued a proclamation announcing the Indiana Territory's advancement to the second or semi-legislative phase of government. The territory's voters elected members to its House of Representatives for the first time on January 3, 1805 the governor selected the five-member Legislative Council (upper house) from a list of candidates that the elected representatives provided. The first legislative session of the territorial general assembly met in Vincennes from July 29 through August 16, 1805, and chose Benjamin Parke as its first delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. [96]

Between 1805 and 1811 the northern portion of Indiana Territory was partitioned to establish Michigan Territory (1805) and the western portion of the territory set off to form the Illinois Territory (1809). In addition, Governor Harrison negotiated a series of treaties with native tribes that ceded additional lands within the Indiana Territory to the federal government, opening millions of acres for sale and settlement in the present-day southern of Indiana and most of Illinois. In 1810 antislavery supporters in the territorial legislature also succeeded in repealing the 1805 indenture law. [97]

In late December 1811 and early January 1812, Jonathan Jennings, who had become the territory's first popularly-elected delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1810, [98] presented the territorial legislature's petition to the U.S. Congress that requested permission to draft a state constitution for Indiana in preparation for statehood. [99] At that time the white population of the entire territory in 1810 was only 24,520, well below the threshold of 60,000 that the Northwest Ordinance required as a condition for statehood. [96] [100] Congress took no action on the petition, largely due to the outbreak of the War of 1812. [101]

Thomas Posey was appointed territorial governor on March 3, 1813, and served until the state's first governor was sworn into office on November 7, 1816. Posey, who was age sixty-two and in poor health, had created a rift in the politics of the territory by refusing to reside in the capital of Corydon, instead living in Jeffersonville to be closer to his doctor. [102] [103]

Achieving statehood Edit

Efforts to attain statehood for Indiana were revived in 1815, [104] following a census made in 1814–15 that found the territory's total population had reached 63,897. [105] On February 1, 1815, a petition for statehood for Indiana was presented to the U.S. House of Representatives, but no immediate action was taken. Territorial legislature presented another petition to the U.S. House on December 28, 1815, and the U.S. Senate on January 2, 1816, prompting Jennings to introduce a bill to authorize the election of delegates to a constitutional convention to discuss statehood for Indiana. [106]

There was considerable disagreement between Jennings and Thomas Posey, the territorial governor, on the subject of statehood. Posey, who thought it was too early to petition for statehood for Indiana, argued that a state government would pose a fiscal burden on its residents and there would not be sufficient candidates to fill all the new state offices. He also supported slavery, much to the chagrin of his opponents, including Jennings, Dennis Pennington, and others in the territorial legislature and who sought to use the bid for statehood to permanently end the possibility of slavery in Indiana. [101] [107] Posey's concerns were valid. If Indiana became a state it would lose the federal government subsidies it received to operate the territorial government. To support the new state government expenses and to offset the loss of the federal government subsidies, additional taxes would have to be levied on residents. [104] Supporters of statehood argued that the territory's residents were willing and capable of electing government officials to run the state government and wanted to have representatives in Congress who could vote on their behalf. [100] [108]

On April 19, 1816, President James Madison approved an enabling act that the U.S. Congress passed on April 13. This act granted permission to convene a group of elected delegates tasked with drafting a state constitution, [106] subject to the approval of U.S. Congress, [109] that would establish the form of government for the new state. Elections of the forty-three delegates took place on May 13, 1816, and the constitutional convention assembled on June 10, 1816, in Corydon to begin their work. Convention delegates signed the state's first constitution on June 29, 1816, which immediately went into effect. [110] [111]

Elections were held on August 5, 1816, to fill the offices of the new state government, including governor, lieutenant governor, a congressional representative, members of the Indiana General Assembly, and other offices. Jonathan Jennings defeated Thomas Posey to become the first governor of Indiana Christopher Harrison was elected the state's first lieutenant governor and William Hendricks was elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. [112]

In November 1816 Congress approved the state constitution. The first session of the General Assembly for the state of Indiana convened on November 4, 1816. Jonathan Jennings and Christopher Harrison were inaugurated on November 7, 1816. On the following day the state legislature elected James Noble and Waller Taylor to represent Indiana in the U.S. Senate. [113] [114] Hendricks, Noble, and Taylor were sworn into their congressional offices and took their seats in Congress in early December. [115] The dissolution of the territorial government ended the existence of the Indiana Territory. [116] [117] On December 11, 1816, President James Madison signed the congressional resolution that formally admitted Indiana to the Union as the nineteenth state, [118] and federal laws were formally extended to the new state on March 3, 1817. [115]

The Indiana Territory is celebrated at an annual event in Corydon that is centered around the territorial capitol building. The festival includes actors in period dress who portray some of the early settlers and re-enact historical events. [119] Other commemorative festivals occur in Vincennes and Madison. [ citation needed ]

The history of the period is also noted on historic markers and monuments across the former territory. For example, an Indiana Boundary Territory Line state historical marker, erected in 1999 in La Porte County, Indiana, commemorates the establishment of the Indiana Territory's northern boundary when the Michigan Territory was formed in 1805. [120]


Following the end of the last glacial period, about twenty thousand years ago, Indiana's topography was dominated by spruce and pine forests and was home to mastodon, caribou, and saber-toothed cats. While northern Indiana had been covered by glaciers, southern Indiana remained unaltered by the ice's advance, leaving plants and animals that could sustain human communities. [1] [2] Indiana's earliest known inhabitants were Paleo-Indians. Evidence exists that humans were in Indiana as early as the Archaic stage (8000–6000 BC). [3] Hunting camps of the nomadic Clovis culture have been found in Indiana. [4] Carbon dating of artifacts found in the Wyandotte Caves of southern Indiana shows humans mined flint there as early 2000 BC. [5] These nomads ate quantities of freshwater mussels from local streams, as shown by their shell mounds found throughout southern Indiana. [5]

The Early Woodland period in Indiana came between 1000 BC and 200 AD and produced the Adena culture. It domesticated wild squash and made pottery, which were large cultural advances over the Clovis culture. The natives built burial mounds one of this type has been dated as the oldest earthwork in Anderson's Mounds State Park. [6]

Natives in the Middle Woodland period developed the Hopewell culture and may have been in Indiana as early as 200 BC. The Hopewells were the first culture to create permanent settlements in Indiana. About 1 AD, the Hopewells mastered agriculture and grew crops of sunflowers and squash. Around 200 AD, the Hopewells began to construct mounds used for ceremonies and burials. The Hopewells in Indiana were connected by trade to other native tribes as far away as Central America. [7] For unknown reasons, the Hopewell culture went into decline around 400 and completely disappeared by 500. [8]

The Late Woodland era is generally considered to have begun about 600 AD and lasted until the arrival of Europeans in Indiana. It was a period of rapid cultural change. One of the new developments—which has yet to be explained—was the introduction of masonry, shown by the construction of large, stone forts, many of which overlook the Ohio River. Romantic legend attributed the forts to Welsh Indians, who supposedly arrived centuries before Christopher Columbus reached the Caribbean [9] however, archaeologists and other scholars have found no evidence for that theory and believe that the cultural development was engendered by the Mississippian culture. [10]

Mississippians Edit

Evidence suggests that after the collapse of the Hopewell, Indiana had a low population until the rise of the Fort Ancient and Mississippian culture around 900 AD. [11] The Ohio River Valley was densely populated by the Mississippians from about 1100 to 1450 AD. Their settlements, like those of the Hopewell, were known for their ceremonial earthwork mounds. Some of these remain visible at locations near the Ohio River. The Mississippian mounds were constructed on a grander scale than the mounds built by the Hopewell. The agrarian Mississippian culture was the first to grow maize in the region. The people also developed the bow and arrow and copper working during this time period. [11]

Mississippian society was complex, dense, and highly developed the largest Mississippian city of Cahokia (in Illinois) contained as many as 30,000 inhabitants. They had a class society with certain groups specializing as artisans. The elite held related political and religious positions. Their cities were typically sited near rivers. Representing their cosmology, the central developments were dominated by a large central mound, several smaller mounds, and a large open plaza. Wooden palisades were built later around the complex, apparently for defensive purposes. [11] The remains of a major settlement known as Angel Mounds lie east of present-day Evansville. [12] Mississippian houses were generally square-shaped with plastered walls and thatched roofs. [13] For reasons that remain unclear, the Mississippians disappeared in the middle of the 15th century, about 200 years before the Europeans first entered what would become modern Indiana. Mississippian culture marked the high point of native development in Indiana. [11]

It was during this period that American Bison began a periodic east–west trek through Indiana, crossing the Falls of the Ohio and the Wabash River near modern-day Vincennes. These herds became important to civilizations in southern Indiana and created a well-established Buffalo Trace, later used by European-American pioneers moving west. [14]

Before 1600, a major war broke out in eastern North America among Native Americans it was later called the Beaver Wars. Five American Indian Iroquois tribes confederated to battle against their neighbors. The Iroquois were opposed by a confederation of primarily Algonquian tribes including the Shawnee, Miami, Wea, Pottawatomie, and the Illinois. [15] These tribes were significantly less advanced than the Mississippian culture that had preceded them. The tribes were semi-nomadic, used stone tools rather than copper, and did not create the large-scale construction and farming works of their Mississippian predecessors. The war continued with sporadic fighting for at least a century as the Iroquois sought to dominate the expanding fur trade with the Europeans. They achieved this goal for several decades. During the war, the Iroquois drove the tribes from the Ohio Valley to the south and west. They kept control of the area for hunting grounds. [16] [17]

As a result of the war, several tribes, including the Shawnee, migrated into Indiana, where they attempted to resettle in land belonging to the Miami. The Iroquois gained the military advantage after they were supplied with firearms by the Europeans. With their superior weapons, the Iroquois subjugated at least thirty tribes and nearly destroyed several others in northern Indiana. [18]

European contact Edit

When the first Europeans entered Indiana during the 1670s, the region was in the final years of the Beaver Wars. The French attempted to trade with the Algonquian tribes in Indiana, selling them firearms in exchange for furs. This incurred the wrath of the Iroquois, who destroyed a French outpost in Indiana in retaliation. Appalled by the Iroquois, the French continued to supply the western tribes with firearms and openly allied with the Algonquian tribes. [19] [20] A major battle—and a turning point in the conflict—occurred near present-day South Bend when the Miami and their allies repulsed a large Iroquois force in an ambush. [21] With the firearms they received from the French, the odds were evened. The war finally ended in 1701 with the Great Peace of Montreal. Both Indian confederacies were left exhausted, having suffered heavy casualties. Much of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana was depopulated after many tribes fled west to escape the fighting. [22]

The Miami and Pottawatomie nations returned to Indiana following the war. [23] [24] Other tribes, such as the Algonquian Lenape, were pushed westward into the Midwest from the East Coast by encroachment of European colonists. Around 1770 the Miami invited the Lenape to settle on the White River. [25] [note 1] The Shawnee arrived in present-day Indiana after the three other nations. [23] These four nations were later participants in the Sixty Years' War, a struggle between native nations and European settlers for control of the Great Lakes region. Hostilities with the tribes began early. The Piankeshaw killed five French fur traders in 1752 near the Vermilion River. However, the tribes also traded successfully with the French for decades. [26]

French fur traders from Canada were the first Europeans to enter Indiana, beginning in the 1670s. [27] The quickest route connecting the New France districts of Canada and Louisiana ran along Indiana's Wabash River. The Terre Haute highlands were once considered the border between the two French districts. [28] Indiana's geographical location made it a vital part of French lines of communication and trade routes. The French established Vincennes as a permanent settlement in Indiana during European rule, but the population of the area remained primarily Native American. [29] As French influence grew in the region, Great Britain, competing with France for control of North America, came to believe that control of Indiana was important to halt French expansion on the continent. [30]

France Edit

The first European outpost within the present-day boundaries of Indiana was Tassinong, a French trading post established in 1673 near the Kankakee River. [note 2] French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, came to the area in 1679, claiming it for King Louis the XIV of France. La Salle came to explore a portage between the St. Joseph and Kankakee rivers, [31] and Father Ribourde, who traveled with La Salle, marked trees along the way. The marks survived to be photographed in the 19th century. [32] In 1681, La Salle negotiated a common defense treaty between the Illinois and Miami nations against the Iroquois. [33]

Further exploration of Indiana led to the French establishing an important trade route between Canada and Louisiana via the Maumee and Wabash rivers. The French built a series of forts and outposts in Indiana as a hedge against the westward expansion of the British colonies from the east coast of North America and to encourage trade with the native tribes. The tribes were able to procure metal tools, cooking utensils, and other manufactured items in exchange for animal pelts. The French built Fort Miamis in the Miami town of Kekionga (modern-day Fort Wayne, Indiana). France assigned Jean Baptiste Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes, as the first agent to the Miami at Kekionga. [34]

In 1717, François-Marie Picoté de Belestre [note 3] established the post of Fort Ouiatenon (southwest of modern-day West Lafayette, Indiana) to discourage the Wea from coming under British influence. [35] In 1732, François-Marie Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes, established a similar post near the Piankeshaw in the town that still bears his name. Although the forts were garrisoned by men from New France, Fort Vincennes was the only outpost to maintain a permanent European presence until the present day. [36] Jesuit priests accompanied many of the French soldiers into Indiana in an attempt to convert the natives to Christianity. The Jesuits conducted missionary activities, lived among the natives and learned their languages, and accompanied them on hunts and migrations. Gabriel Marest, one of the first missionaries in Indiana, taught among the Kaskaskia as early as 1712. The missionaries came to have great influence among the natives and played an important role in keeping the native tribes allied with the French. [37]

During the French and Indian War, the North American front of the Seven Years' War in Europe, the British directly challenged France for control of the region. Although no pitched battles occurred in Indiana, the native tribes of the region supported the French. [38] At the beginning of the war, the tribes sent large groups of warriors to support the French in resisting the British advance and to raid British colonies. [39] Using Fort Pitt as a forward base, British commander Robert Rogers overcame the native resistance and drove deep into the frontier to capture Fort Detroit. The rangers moved south from Detroit and captured many of the key French outposts in Indiana, including Fort Miamis and Fort Vincennes. [40] As the war progressed, the French lost control of Canada after the fall of Montreal. No longer able to effectively fight the British in interior North America, they lost Indiana to British forces. By 1761, the French were entirely forced out of Indiana. [41] Following the French expulsion, native tribes led by Chief Pontiac confederated in an attempt to rebel against the British without French assistance. While Pontiac was besieging British-held Fort Detroit, other tribes in Indiana rose up against the British, who were forced to surrender Fort Miamis and Fort Ouiatenon. [42] In 1763, while Pontiac was fighting the British, the French signed the Treaty of Paris and ceded control of Indiana to the British. [43]

Great Britain Edit

When the British gained control of Indiana, the entire region was in the middle of Pontiac's Rebellion. During the next year, British officials negotiated with the various tribes, splitting them from their alliance with Pontiac. Eventually, Pontiac lost most of his allies, forcing him to make peace with the British on July 25, 1766. As a concession to Pontiac, Great Britain issued a proclamation that the territory west of the Appalachian Mountains was to be reserved for Native Americans. [44] Despite the treaty, Pontiac was still considered a threat to British interests, but after he was murdered on April 20, 1769, the region saw several years of peace. [45]

After Britain established peace with the natives, many of the former French trading posts and forts in the region were abandoned. Fort Miamis was maintained for several years because it was considered to be "of great importance", but even it was eventually abandoned. [46] The Jesuit priests were expelled, and no provisional government was established the British hoped the French in the area would leave. Many did leave, but the British gradually became more accommodating to the French who remained and continued the fur trade with the Native American nations. [47]

Formal use of the word Indiana dates from 1768, when a Philadelphia-based trading company gave their land claim in the present-day state of West Virginia the name of Indiana in honor of its previous owners, the Iroquois. Later, ownership of the claim was transferred to the Indiana Land Company, the first recorded use of the word Indiana. However, the Virginia colony argued that it was the rightful owner of the land because it fell within its geographic boundaries. The U.S. Supreme Court extinguished the land company's right to the claim in 1798. [48]

In 1773, the territory that included present-day Indiana was brought under the administration of Province of Quebec to appease its French population. The Quebec Act was one of the Intolerable Acts that the thirteen British colonies cited as a reason for the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The thirteen colonies thought themselves entitled to the territory for their support of Great Britain during the French and Indian War, and were incensed that it was given to the enemy the colonies had been fighting. [49]

Although the United States gained official possession of the region following the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War, British influence on its Native American allies in the region remained strong, especially near Fort Detroit. This influence caused the Northwest Indian War, which began when British-influenced native tribes refused to recognize American authority and were backed in their resistance by British merchants and officials in the area. American military victories in the region and the ratification of the Jay Treaty, which called for British withdrawal from the region's forts, caused a formal evacuation, but the British were not fully expelled from the area until the conclusion of the War of 1812. [50]

United States Edit

After the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, George Rogers Clark was sent from Virginia to enforce its claim to much of the land in the Great Lakes region. [51] In July 1778, Clark and about 175 men crossed the Ohio River and took control of Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes, along with several other villages in British Indiana. The occupation was accomplished without firing a shot because Clark carried letters from the French ambassador stating that France supported the Americans. These letters made most of the French and Native American inhabitants of the area unwilling to support the British. [52]

The fort at Vincennes, which the British had renamed Fort Sackville, had been abandoned years earlier and no garrison was present when the Americans arrived to occupy it. Captain Leonard Helm became the first American commandant at Vincennes. To counter Clark's advance, British forces under Lieutenant Governor Henry Hamilton recaptured Vincennes with a small force. In February 1779, Clark arrived at Vincennes in a surprise winter expedition and retook the town, capturing Hamilton in the process. This expedition secured most of southern Indiana for the United States. [53]

In 1780, emulating Clark's success at Vincennes, French officer Augustin de La Balme organized a militia force of French residents to capture Fort Detroit. While marching to Detroit, the militia stopped to sack Kekionga. [ why? ] The delay proved fatal when the expedition met Miami warriors led by Chief Little Turtle along the Eel River. The entire militia was killed or captured. Clark organized another assault on Fort Detroit in 1781, but it was aborted when Chief Joseph Brant captured a significant part of Clark's army at a battle known as Lochry's Defeat, near present-day Aurora, Indiana. [51] Other minor skirmishes occurred in Indiana, including the battle at Petit Fort in 1780. [54] In 1783, when the war came to an end, Britain ceded the entire trans-Allegheny region to the United States—including Indiana—under the terms of the Treaty of Paris. [55]

Clark's militia was under the authority of the Commonwealth of Virginia, although a Continental Flag was flown over Fort Sackville, which he renamed Fort Patrick Henry in honor of an American patriot. Later that year, the areas formerly known as Illinois Country and Ohio Country were organized as Illinois County, Virginia until the colony relinquished its control of the area to the U.S. government in 1784. [56] Clark was awarded large tracts of land in southern Indiana for his service in the war. Present-day Clark County and Clarksville are named in his honor. [57]

Northwest Indian War Edit

Passage of the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 committed the U.S. government to continued plans for western expansion, causing increasing tensions with native tribes who occupied the western lands. In 1785 the conflict erupted into the Northwest Indian War. [58] [59] American troops made several unsuccessful attempts to end the native rebellion. During the fall of 1790, U.S. troops under the command of General Josiah Harmar pursued the Miami tribe near present-day Fort Wayne, Indiana, but had to retreat. Major Jean François Hamtramck's expedition to other native villages in the area also failed when it was forced to return to Vincennes due to lack of sufficient provisions. [60] [61] In 1791 Major General Arthur St. Clair, who was also the Northwest Territory's governor, commanded about 2,700 men in a campaign to establish a chain of forts in the area near the Miami capital of Kekionga however, nearly a 1,000 warriors under the leadership of Chief Little Turtle launched a surprise attack on the American camp, forcing the militia's retreat. St. Clair's Defeat remains the U.S. Army's worst by Native Americans in history. Casualties included 623 federal soldiers killed and another 258 wounded the Indian confederacy lost an estimated 100 men. [62] [63]

St. Clair's loss led to the appointment of General "Mad Anthony" Wayne, who organized the Legion of the United States and defeated a Native American force at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in August 1794. [63] [64] The Treaty of Greenville (1795) ended the war and marked the beginning of a series of land cession treaties. Under the terms of the Treaty, native tribes ceded most of southern and eastern Ohio and a strip of southeastern Indiana to the U.S. government, which opened the area for settlement. Fort Wayne was built at Kekionga to represent United States sovereignty over the Ohio-Indiana frontier. After the treaty was signed, the powerful Miami nation considered themselves allies of the United States. [65] [66] During the 18th century, Native Americans were victorious in 31 of the 37 recorded incidents with white settlers in the territory. [67]

Territory formation Edit

The Congress of the Confederation formed the Northwest Territory under the terms of the Northwest Ordinance on July 13, 1787. This territory, which initially included land bounded by the Appalachian Mountains, the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes, and the Ohio River, was subsequently partitioned into the Indiana Territory (1800), Michigan Territory (1805), and the Illinois Territory (1809), and later became the states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and part of eastern Minnesota. The Northwest Ordinance outlined the basis for government in these western lands and an administrative structure to oversee the territory, as well as a process for achieving statehood, while the Land Ordinance of 1785 called for the U.S. government to survey the territory for future sale and development. [68]

On May 7, 1800, the U.S. Congress passed legislation to establish the Indiana Territory, effective July 4, 1800, by dividing the Northwest Territory in preparation for Ohio's statehood, which occurred in 1803. [69] At the time the Indiana Territory was created, there were only two main American settlements in what would become the state of Indiana: Vincennes and Clark's Grant. When the Indiana Territory was established in 1800 its total white population was 5,641 however, its Native American population was estimated to be nearly 20,000, but may have been as high as 75,000. [70] [71]

Indiana Territory initially comprised most of the present-day state Indiana excluding a narrow strip of land along the eastern border called "The Gore" (ceded by Ohio in 1803), all of the present-day states of Illinois and Wisconsin, and parts of present-day Michigan and Minnesota. [72] [73] The Indiana Territory's boundary was further reduced in 1805 with the creation of the Michigan Territory to the north and again in 1809 when the Illinois Territory was established to the west. [74]

Naming the territory Edit

In 1800 the U.S. Congress applied the name Indiana to the newly established territory. The name dates from a 1768 land claim that was transferred to the Indiana Land Company however, the U.S. Supreme Court extinguished the land company's right to the claim in 1798. Indiana meaning "Land of the Indians", also references the fact that most of the area north of the Ohio River was still inhabited by Native Americans. Early American settlers in Kentucky, a traditional hunting ground south of the Ohio River for tribes that resided north of the river, referred to the north bank as the land of the Indians. [48]

Territorial government Edit

When the Indiana Territory was established in 1800, President John Adams appointed William Henry Harrison as the first governor of the territory. John Gibson, who was appointed the territorial secretary, served as acting governor from July 4, 1800, until Harrison's arrival at Vincennes on January 10, 1801. When Harrison resigned his position, effective December 28, 1812, Gibson served as territorial governor until Thomas Posey was appointed on March 3, 1813. Posey left office on November 7, 1816, when Jonathan Jennings was sworn into office as the first governor of the state of Indiana. [75] [76] [note 4]

The first territorial capital was established at Vincennes, where it remained from 1800 to 1813, when territorial officials relocated the seat of government to Corydon. [77] [78] After the Illinois Territory was formed in 1809, Indiana's territorial legislature became fearful that the outbreak of war on the frontier could cause an attack on Vincennes, located on the western border of the territory, and made plans to move the capital closer to the territory's population center. Governor Harrison also favored Corydon, a town that he had established in 1808 and where he was also a landowner. Construction on the new capitol building began in 1814 and was nearly finished by 1816, when Indiana became a state. [79] [80]

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 made no provision for a popularly elected territorial government in the first or non-representative phase of territorial government (1800 to 1804). [81] Acting as the combined judicial and legislative government, a territorial governor and a General Court, which consisted of a three-member panel of judges, were appointed by the U.S. Congress, and later, the president with congressional approval. (The president subsequently delegated his authority to appoint these judges to the territorial governor.) [82] When the territory entered the second or semi-legislative phase of government in 1805, its voters were allowed to elect representatives to the House of Representatives (lower house) of its bicameral legislature. President Jefferson delegated the task of choosing a five-member Legislative Council (upper house) to the territorial governor, who chose the members from a list of ten candidates provided by the lower house. [83] [84] The newly elected territorial legislature met for the first time on July 29, 1805, and gradually became the dominant branch, while the judges continued to focus on judicial matters. [85] Governor Harrison retained veto powers, as well as his general executive and appointment authority. The legislative assembly had the authority to pass laws, subject to the governor's approval before they could be enacted. [83] [84]

As the population of the territory grew, so did the people's interest in exercising of their freedoms. In 1809, after the Indiana Territory was divided to create the Illinois Territory, Congress further altered the makeup of the territorial legislature. Voters in the Indiana Territory would continue to elect members to its House of Representatives however, they were also granted permission for the first time to elect members to its Legislative Council (upper house). [86] [87]

Political issues Edit

The major political issue in Indiana's territorial history was slavery however, there were others, including Indian affairs, the formation of northern and western territories from portions of the Indiana Territory, concerns about the lack of territorial self-government and representation in Congress, and ongoing criticisms of Harrison's actions at territorial governor. [88] [89] Most of these issues were resolved before Indiana achieved statehood, including the debate over the issue of allowing slavery in the territory, which was settled in 1810 however, criticism of Governor Harrison continued. [88]

In December 1802 delegates from Indiana Territory's four counties passed a resolution in favor of a ten-year suspension of Article 6 of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. The ordinance prohibited slavery in the original Northwest Territory, although it had existed in the region since French rule. The resolution was made in order to legalize slavery in the territory and to make the region more appealing to slave-holding settlers from the Upper South who occupied areas along the Ohio River and wanted to bring their slaves into the territory. However, Congress failed to take action on the resolution, leaving Harrison and the territorial judges to pursue other options. [90] [91]

In 1809 Harrison found himself at odds with the new legislature when the anti-slavery party won a strong majority in the 1809 elections. In 1810 the territorial legislature repealed the indenturing and pro-slavery laws Harrison and the judicial council had enacted in 1803. [92] [93] Slavery remained the defining issue in the state for the decades to follow. [94] [95]

War of 1812 Edit

The first major event in the territory's history was the resumption of hostilities with Native Americans. Unhappy with their treatment since the peace treaty of 1795, native tribes led by the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa formed a coalition against the Americans. Tecumseh's War started in 1811, when General Harrison led an army to rebuff the aggressive movements of Tecumseh's pan-Indian confederation. [96] The Battle of Tippecanoe (1811), which caused a setback for the Native Americans, [97] earned Harrison national fame and the nickname of "Old Tippecanoe". [98]

The war between Tecumseh and Harrison merged with the War of 1812 after the remnants of the pan-Indian confederation allied with the British in Canada. The siege of Fort Harrison is considered to be the Americans' first land victory in the war. [99] Other battles that occurred within the boundaries of the present-day state of Indiana include the siege of Fort Wayne, the Pigeon Roost Massacre and the Battle of the Mississinewa. The Treaty of Ghent (1814) ended the war and relieved American settlers from their fears of attack by the nearby British and their Indian allies. [100] This treaty marked the end of hostilities with the Native Americans in Indiana. During the 19th century, Native Americans were victorious in 43 of the 58 recorded incidents between Native Americans and white settlers in Indiana. In the 37 battles between Native American warriors and U.S. Army troops, victories were nearly evenly split between the two parties. Despite the Native American victories, most of the native population was eventually removed from Indiana, a process that continued after the territory attained statehood. [101]

In 1812, Jonathan Jennings defeated Harrison's chosen candidate and became the territory's representative to Congress. Jennings immediately introduced legislation to grant Indiana statehood, even though the population of the entire territory was under 25,000, but no action was taken on the legislation because of the outbreak of the War of 1812. [102]

Posey had created a rift in the politics of the territory by supporting slavery, much to the chagrin of opponents like Jennings, Dennis Pennington, and others who dominated the Territorial Legislature and who sought to use the bid for statehood to permanently end slavery in the territory. [102] [103]

Founding Edit

In early 1816, the Territory approved a census and Pennington was named to be the census enumerator. The population of the territory was found to be 63,897, [104] above the cutoff required for statehood. A constitutional convention met on June 10, 1816, in Corydon. Because of the heat of the season, the delegation moved outdoors on many days and wrote the constitution beneath the shade of a giant elm tree. The state's first constitution was completed on June 29, and elections were held in August to fill the offices of the new state government. In November Congress approved statehood. [105] [106]

Jennings and his supporters had control of the convention and Jennings was elected its president. Other notable delegates at the convention included Dennis Pennington, Davis Floyd, and William Hendricks. [107] Pennington and Jennings were at the forefront of the effort to prevent slavery from entering Indiana and sought to create a constitutional ban on it. Pennington was quoted as saying "Let us be on our guard when our convention men are chosen that they be men opposed to slavery". [108] They succeeded in their goal and a ban was placed in the new constitution. [109] But, persons already held in bondage stayed in that status for some time. That same year Indiana statehood was approved by Congress. While settlers did not want slavery, they also wanted to exclude free blacks, and established barriers to their immigration to the state.

Jonathan Jennings, whose motto was "No slavery in Indiana", was elected governor of the state, defeating Thomas Posey 5,211 to 3,934 votes. [110] Jennings served two terms as governor and then went on to represent the state in congress for another 18 years. Upon election, Jennings declared Indiana a free state. [110] The abolitionists won a key victory in the 1820 Indiana Supreme Court case of Polly v. Lasselle, which stated that even slaves purchased before Indiana statehood were free in the case In re Mary Clark, a Woman of Color involving an indentured servant, the Indiana Supreme Court decided, in 1821, that indentured servitude was merely a ruse for slavery and was therefore prohibited. Slavery was finally extinct by 1830. [111]

As the northern tribal lands gradually opened to white settlement, Indiana's population rapidly increased and the center of population shifted continually northward. [112] One of the most significant post-frontier events in Indiana occurred in 1818 with the signing of the Treaty of St. Mary's at St. Mary's, Ohio to acquire Indian lands south of the Wabash from the Delaware and others. The area comprised about 1/3 of the present day area of Indiana, the central portion, and was called the "New Purchase". Eventually, 35 new counties were carved out of the New Purchase. An area like a large bite in the middle of the northern boundary [113] was reserved to the Miami, called the Big Miami Reserve, which was the largest Indian reservation ever to exist in Indiana. Indianapolis was selected to be the site of the new state capital in 1820 because of its central position within the state and assumed good water transportation. However the founders were disappointed to discover the White River was too sandy for navigation. [114] In 1825, Indianapolis replaced Corydon as the seat of government. The government became established in the Marion County Courthouse as the second state capital building. [112]

Early development Edit

Historical population
Census Pop.
181024,520 831.6%
1820147,178 500.2%
1830343,031 133.1%
1840685,866 99.9%
1850988,416 44.1%
18601,350,428 36.6%

The National Road reached Indianapolis in 1829, connecting Indiana to the Eastern United States. [116] In the early 1830s citizens of Indiana began to be known as Hoosiers, although the origin of the word has been subject considerable debate, [117] and the state took on the motto of "Crossroads of America". In 1832, construction began on the Wabash and Erie Canal, a project connecting the waterways of the Great Lakes to the Ohio River. Railroads soon made the canal system obsolete. These developments in transportation served to economically connect Indiana to the Northern East Coast, rather than relying solely on the natural waterways which connected Indiana to the Mississippi River and Gulf Coast states. [118] [note 5]

In 1831, construction on the third state capitol building began. This building, designed by the firm of Ithiel Town and Alexander Jackson Davis, had a design inspired by the Greek Parthenon and opened in 1841. It was the first statehouse that was built and used exclusively by the state government. [119]

The state suffered from financial difficulties during its first three decades. Jonathan Jennings attempted to begin a period of internal improvements. Among his projects, the Indiana Canal Company was reestablished to build a canal around the Falls of the Ohio. The Panic of 1819 caused the state's only two banks to fold. This hurt Indiana's credit, halted the projects, and hampered the start of new projects until the 1830s, after the repair of the state's finances during the terms of William Hendricks and Noah Noble. Beginning in 1831, large scale plans for statewide improvements were set into motion. Overspending on the internal improvements led to a large deficit that had to be funded by state bonds through the newly created Bank of Indiana and sale of over nine million acres (36,000 km 2 ) of public land. By 1841, the debt had become unmanageable. [120] Having borrowed over $13 million, the equivalent to the state's first fifteen years of tax revenue, the government could not even pay interest on the debt. [121] The state narrowly avoided bankruptcy by negotiating the liquidation of the public works, transferring them to the state's creditors in exchange for a 50 percent reduction in the state's debt. [122] [note 6] The internal improvements began under Jennings paid off as the state began to experience rapid population growth that slowly remedied the state's funding problems. The improvements led to a fourfold increase in land value, and an even larger increase in farm produce. [123]

During the 1840s, Indiana completed the removal of the Native American tribes. The majority of the Potawatomi voluntarily relocated to Kansas in 1838. Those who did not leave were forced to travel to Kansas in what came to be called the Potawatomi Trail of Death, leaving only the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians in the Indiana area. [124] The majority of the Miami tribe left in 1846, although many members of the tribe were permitted to remain in the state on lands they held privately under the terms of the 1818 Treaty of St. Mary's. [125] The other tribes were also convinced to leave the state voluntarily through the payment of subsidies and land grants further west. The Shawnee migrated westward to settle in Missouri, and the Lenape migrated into Canada. The other minor tribes in the state, including the Wea, moved westward, mostly to Kansas. [126]

By the 1850s, Indiana had undergone major changes: what was once a frontier with sparse population had become a developing state with several cities. In 1816, Indiana's population was around 65,000, and in less than 50 years, it had increased to more than 1,000,000 inhabitants. [127]

Because of the rapidly changing state, the constitution of 1816 began to be criticized. [128] [note 7] Opponents claimed the constitution had too many appointed positions, the terms established were inadequate, and some of the clauses were too easily manipulated by the political parties that did not exist when then constitution was written. [129] The first constitution had not been put to a vote by the general public, and following the great population growth in the state, it was seen as inadequate. A constitutional convention was called in January 1851 to create a new one. The new constitution was approved by the convention on February 10, 1851, and submitted for a vote to the electorate that year. It was approved and has since been the official constitution. [130]

Religion Edit

Frontier Indiana was prime ground missionary for the Second Great Awakening, with a never-ending parade of camp meetings and revivals. [131] Baptist church records show an intense interest in private moral behavior at the weekly meetings, including drinking and proper child-rearing practices. The most contentious issue was antimission controversy, in which the more traditional elements denounced missionary societies as unbiblical. [132]

Eastern Presbyterian and Congregational denominations funded an aggressive missionary program, 1826–55, through the American Home Missionary Society (AHMS). It sought to bring sinners to Christ and also to modernize society promoted middle class values, mutual trust among the members, and tried to minimize violence and drinking. [133] The frontierspeople were the reformees and they displayed their annoyance at the new morality being imposed on society. The political crisis came in 1854–55 over a pietistic campaign to enact "dry" prohibition of liquor sales. They were strongly opposed by the "wets," especially non-churched, the Catholics, Episcopalians, the antimissionary elements, and the German recent arrivals. Prohibition failed in 1855 and the moralistic pietistic Protestants switched to a new, equally moralistic cause, the anti-slavery crusade led by the new Republican Party. [134] [135]

The earliest institutions of education in Indiana were missions, established by French Jesuit priests to convert local Native American nations. The Jefferson Academy was founded in 1801 as a public university for the Indiana Territory, and was reincorporated as Vincennes University in 1806, the first in the state. [136]

The 1816 constitution required that Indiana's state legislature create a "general system of education, ascending in a regular gradation, from township schools to a state university, wherein tuition shall be gratis, and equally open to all". [137] It took several years for the legislature to fulfill its promise, partly because of a debate about whether a new public university should be founded to replace the territorial university. [138] The 1820s saw the start of free public township schools. During the administration of William Hendricks, a plot of ground was set aside in each township for the construction of a schoolhouse. [139]

The state government chartered Indiana University in Bloomington in 1820 as the State Seminary. Construction began in 1822, the first professor was hired in 1823, and classes were offered in 1824.

Other state colleges were established for specialized needs. They included Indiana State University, established in Terre Haute in 1865 as the state normal school for training teachers. Purdue University was founded in 1869 as the state's land-grant university, a school of science and agriculture. Ball State University was founded as a normal school in the early 20th century and given to the state in 1918. [140]

Public colleges lagged behind the private religious colleges in both size and educational standards until the 1890s. [141] In 1855, North Western Christian University [now Butler University] was chartered by Ovid Butler after a split with the Christian Church Disciples of Christ over slavery. Significantly the university was founded on the basis of anti-slavery and co-education. It was one of the first to admit African Americans and one of the first to have a named chair for female professors, the Demia Butler Chair in English. [142] Asbury College (now Depauw University) was Methodist. Wabash College was Presbyterian they led the Protestant schools. [143] The University of Notre Dame, founded by Rev Edward Sorin in 1842, proclaims itself as a prominent Catholic college. [144] Indiana lagged the rest of the Midwest with the lowest literacy and education rates into the early 20th century. [141]

In the early 19th century, most transportation of goods in Indiana was done by river. Most of the state's estuaries drained into the Wabash River or the Ohio River, ultimately meeting up with the Mississippi River, where goods were transported to and sold in St. Louis or New Orleans. [145] [146]

The first road in the region was the Buffalo Trace, an old bison trail that ran from the Falls of the Ohio to Vincennes. [147] After the capitol was relocated to Corydon, several local roads were created to connect the new capitol to the Ohio River at Mauckport and to New Albany. The first major road in the state was the National Road, a project funded by the federal government. The road entered Indiana in 1829, connecting Richmond, Indianapolis, and Terre Haute with the eastern states and eventually Illinois and Missouri in the west. [148] The state adopted the advanced methods used to build the national road on a statewide basis and began to build a new road network that was usable year-round. The north–south Michigan Road was built in the 1830s, connecting Michigan and Kentucky and passing through Indianapolis in the middle. [148] These two new roads were roughly perpendicular within the state and served as the foundation for a road system to encompass all of Indiana.

Indiana was flat enough with plenty or rivers to spend heavily on a canal mania in the 1830s. Planning in the lightly populated state began in 1827 as New York had scored a major success with its Erie Canal. [149] In 1836 the legislature allocated $10 million for an elaborate network of internal improvements, promoting canals, turnpikes, and railroads. The goal was to encourage settlement by providing easy, cheap access to the remotest corners of the state, linking every area to the Great Lakes and Ohio River, and thence to the Atlantic seaports and New Orleans. Every region joined in enthusiastically, but the scheme was a financial disaster because the legislature required that work must begin on all parts of the all the projects simultaneously very few were finished. The state was unable to pay the bonds it issued and was blackballed in Eastern and European financial circles for decades. [150] [151]

The first major railroad line was completed in 1847, connecting Madison with Indianapolis. By the 1850s, the railroad began to become popular in Indiana. Indianapolis as the focal point, Indiana had 212 miles of railroad in operation in 1852, soaring to 1,278 miles in 1854. They were operated by 18 companies construction plans were underway to double the totals. [152] The successful railroad network brought major changes to Indiana and enhanced the state's economic growth. [116] Although Indiana's natural waterways connected it to the South via cities such as St. Louis and New Orleans, the new rail lines ran east–west, and connected Indiana with the economies of the northern states. [153] As late as mid-1859, no rail line yet bridged the Ohio or Mississippi rivers. [154] Because of an increased demand on the state's resources and the embargo against the Confederacy, the rail system was mostly completed by 1865.

Indiana put further restrictions on African Americans, prohibiting them from testifying in court in a case against a white man. [155] The new constitution of 1851 expanded suffrage for white males, but excluded blacks from suffrage. While the state did not have legal segregation, it excluded black children from public schools as a matter of custom. [155]

Temperance movement Edit

Temperance became a part of the evangelical Protestant initiative during Indiana's pioneer era and early statehood. Many Hoosiers freely indulged in drinking locally distilled whiskey on a daily basis, with binges on election days and holidays, and during community celebrations [135] Reformers announced that the devil was at work and must be repudiated. [156] [157] A state temperance society formed in 1829 and local temperance societies soon organized in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and Logansport. By the 1830s pietistic (evangelical) Protestants and community leaders had joined forces to curb consumption of alcohol. In 1847, the Indiana General Assembly passed a local option bill that allowed a vote on whether to prohibit alcohol sales in a township.

By the 1850s Indiana's Republican party, whose adherents tended to favor the temperance movement, began challenging the state's Democrats, who supported personal freedom and a limited federal government, for political power. [158] Early temperance legislation in Indiana earned only limited and temporary success. In 1853, Republicans persuaded the state legislature to pass a local option law that would allow township voters to declare their township dry, but it was later deemed unconstitutional. In 1855, a statewide prohibition law was passed, but it met the same fate as the local option. [159] In the decades to come Protestant churches, especially the Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Disciples of Christ, Quakers, and women's groups would continue to support temperance efforts and gave strong support to the mostly dry Republican Party. The Catholics, Episcopalians and Lutherans stood opposed and gave strong support to the wet Democratic Party. [160]

Black Hoosiers before the Civil War Edit

African Americans pioneered rural settlements in the state throughout the first half of the nineteenth-century. [161] Although Indiana entered the Union in 1816 as a free state it gave only a tepid welcome to African Americans and frequently sought to exclude and/or marginalize African Americans from public and social life. African Americans faced discrimination on a variety of fronts. Blacks were denied the right to testify in court in 1818. In 1829, the Indiana Colonization Society was founded to help repatriate African Americans to Liberia which reflected a desire to rid the state of its black residents. [162] The 1830 census recorded three slaves in the state. The earliest days of the territory and of statehood witnessed intense debates over whether to allow slavery in Indiana. Laws in the 1830s sought to prevent free blacks from entering the state without certificates of freedom under threat of fines and expulsion. [163] While the 1830 law was only sporadically enforced it reflected hostility towards African Americans and their settlement in the state. Throughout the early nineteenth century, Black Hoosiers struggled to enjoy basic civil rights in the state, including the right to educate their children. In 1837, and 1841 the state shifted towards formally excluding African Americans from public education. In 1837, the state legislature moved to recognize "The white inhabitants of each congressional district" as the citizens qualified to vote in school board elections. Four years later, they followed with an effort to preclude black households from school board assessments. This helped to establish Hoosier schools as de facto white. Efforts in 1842 to formally exclude African American children from public education were rebuffed, however. The State Committee on Education responded to the matter acknowledging that they ". Are here, unfortunately, for us and them, and we have duties to perform in reference to their well-being." [164] Indiana also passed laws against interracial marriage in 1818 and 1821. [165] Under 1840 state laws to ban miscegenation Indiana became the first state to make interracial marriage a felony. [166] Article XIII of the Indiana Constitution of 1851 sought to exclude African Americans from settling in the state, declaring "No negro or mulatto shall come into or settle in the State." This was the only provision of the new constitution submitted to a special election. Indiana constitutional convention delegates voted 93 to 40 in favor of the article. The popular vote was even more enthusiastic in its support for exclusion with a vote of 113,828 in favor and only 21,873 against excluding African Americans. [167] Throughout the first half of the nineteenth century, Indiana attempted to keep Black Hoosiers from attending public school, voting, testifying in court, and endeavored to set other limits on African American citizenship and inclusion. [168] Racial hostility and discrimination co-existed alongside abolition sentiments and efforts, however. The Underground Railroad in Indiana sought to help runaway slaves escape to northern states and Canada. White Quakers, Baptists, and others worked to secure safe passage for runaway slaves. Abolition efforts conflicted with a growing antipathy towards free blacks in the state.

Abolition Edit

Abolition in Indiana reflected a mix of anti-black sentiment, religiously oriented social reforms, and pro-black sentiments. [169] Several groups and notable individuals stood in opposition to slavery and in support of African Americans in the state. The North Western Christian University [later Butler University] was founded by Ovid Butler in 1855 after a schism with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) over slavery.

Women's suffrage movement Edit

Indiana has a long history of women's activism in social movements including the women's suffrage movement.

The Indiana Woman's Suffrage Association was founded in 1851 by important suffrage leaders such as Agnes Cook, Mary B. Birdsall, Amanda M. Way, and Mary F. Thomas. [170] With the exception of Way, all these women were the first to address the Indiana State Legislature on January 19, 1859, with petitions calling for women's suffrage, temperance, and equal rights. [171] In 1854, Birdsall had purchased The Lily, the first U.S. newspaper edited by and for women, from its founder, Amelia Bloomer, and moved it to Richmond, Indiana. The newspaper had begun as a temperance newspaper but was later used to campaign for women's suffrage and rights. [172]

Indiana, a free state and the boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln, remained a member of the Union during the American Civil War. Indiana regiments were involved in all the major engagements of the war and almost all the engagements in the western theater. Hoosiers were present in the first and last battles of the war. During the war, Indiana provided 126 infantry regiments, 26 batteries of artillery, and 13 regiments of cavalry to the cause of the Union. [173]

In the initial call to arms issued in 1861, Indiana was assigned a quota of 7,500 men—a tenth of the amount called—to join the Union Army in putting down the rebellion. [174] So many volunteered in the first call that thousands had to be turned away. Before the war ended, Indiana contributed 208,367 men to fight and serve in the war. [175] Casualties were over 35% among these men: 24,416 lost their lives in the conflict and over 50,000 more were wounded. [175]

At the outbreak of the war, Indiana was run by a Democratic and southern sympathetic majority in the state legislature. It was by the actions of Governor Oliver Morton, who illegally borrowed millions of dollars to finance the army, that Indiana could contribute so greatly to the war effort. [176] Morton suppressed the state legislature with the help of the Republican minority to prevent it from assembling during 1861 and 1862. This prevented any chance the Democrats might have had to interfere with the war effort or to attempt to secede from the Union. [177]

Sanitary Commission Edit

In March 1862, Governor Oliver Morton also assembled a committee known as the Indiana Sanitary Commission to raise funds and gather supplies for troops in the field. It was not until January 1863 that the commission began recruiting women as nurses for wounded soldiers. [178] Notable women members of the included Mary F. Thomas, a Hoosier suffragist, and Eliza Hamilton-George, also known as "Mother George". [179] Although the exact number of women volunteers is unknown, William Hannaman, president of the Indiana Sanitary Commission, reported to Morton in 1866 that "about two hundred and fifty" women had volunteered as nurses between 1863 and 1865. [178]

Raids Edit

Two raids on Indiana soil during the war caused a brief panic in Indianapolis and southern Indiana. The Newburgh Raid on July 18, 1862, occurred when Confederate officer Adam Johnson briefly captured Newburgh by convincing the Union troops garrisoning the town that he had cannon on the surrounding hills, when in fact they were merely camouflaged stovepipes. The raid convinced the federal government that it was necessary to supply Indiana with a permanent force of regular Union Army soldiers to counter future raids. [180]

The most significant Civil War battle fought in Indiana was a small skirmish during Morgan's Raid. On the morning of July 9, 1863, Morgan attempted to cross the Ohio River into Indiana with his force of 2,400 Confederate cavalry. After his crossing was briefly contested, he marched north to Corydon where he fought the Indiana Legion in the short Battle of Corydon. Morgan took command of the heights south of Corydon and shot two shells from his batteries into the town, which promptly surrendered. The battle left 15 dead and 40 wounded. Morgan's main body of troopers briefly raided New Salisbury, Crandall, Palmyra, and Salem. Fear gripped the capitol, and the militia began to form there to contest Morgan's advance. After Salem, however, Morgan turned east, raiding and skirmishing along this path and leaving Indiana through West Harrison on July 13 into Ohio, where he was captured. [181]

Aftermath Edit

The Civil War had a major effect on the development of Indiana. Before the war, the population was generally in the south of the state, where many had entered via the Ohio River, which provided a cheap and convenient means to export products and agriculture to New Orleans to be sold. The war closed the Mississippi River to traffic for nearly four years, forcing Indiana to find other means to export its produce. This led to a population shift to the north where the state came to rely more on the Great Lakes and the railroad for exports. [182] [183]

Before the war, New Albany was the largest city in the state, mainly because of its river contacts and extensive trade with the South. [184] Over half of Hoosiers with over $100,000 lived in New Albany. [185] During the war, the trade with the South came to a halt, and many residents considered those of New Albany as too friendly to the South. The city never regained its stature. It was stilled as a city of 40,000 with its early Victorian Mansion-Row buildings remaining from the boom period. [186]

Economic growth Edit

Historical population
Census Pop.
18801,978,301 17.7%
18902,192,404 10.8%
19002,516,462 14.8%
19102,700,876 7.3%
19202,930,390 8.5%
19303,238,503 10.5%

Ohio River ports had been stifled by an embargo on the Confederate South and never fully recovered their economic prominence, leading the south into an economic decline. [182] By contrast, northern Indiana experienced an economic boom when natural gas was discovered in the 1880s, which directly contributed to the rapid growth of cities such as Gas City, Hartford City, and Muncie where a glass industry developed to utilize the cheap fuel. The Indiana gas field was then the largest known in the world. [187] The boom lasted until the early 20th century, when the gas supplies ran low. This began northern Indiana's industrialization.

The development of heavy industry attracted thousands of European immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as internal migrants, both black and white, from the rural and small town South. These developments dramatically altered the demographics of the state. Indiana industrial cities were among the destinations of the Great Migration. After World War II, industrial restructuring and the shifts in heavy industry resulted in Indiana's becoming part of the Rust Belt. [188] [189]

In 1876, chemist Eli Lilly, a Union colonel during the Civil War, founded Eli Lilly and Company, a pharmaceutical company. His initial innovation of gelatin-coating for pills led to a rapid growth of the company that eventually developed as Indiana's largest corporation, and one of the largest corporations in the world. [190] [191] [note 8] Over the years, the corporation developed many widely used drugs, including insulin, and it became the first company to mass-produce penicillin. The company's many advances made Indiana the leading state in the production and development of medicines. [192]

Charles Conn returned to Elkhart after the Civil War and established C.G. Conn Ltd., a manufacturer of musical instruments. [193] The company's innovation in band instruments made Elkhart an important center of the music world, and it became a base of Elkhart's economy for decades. Nearby South Bend experienced continued growth following the Civil War, and became a large manufacturing city centered around the Oliver Farm Equipment Company, the nation's leading plow producer. Gary was founded in 1906 by the United States Steel Corporation as the home for its new plant. [194]

The administration of Governor James D. Williams proposed the construction of the fourth state capitol building in 1878. The third state capitol building was razed and the new one was constructed on the same site. Two million dollars was appropriated for construction and the new building was completed in 1888. The building was still in use in 2008. [195]

The Panic of 1893 had a severely negative effect on the Hoosier economy when many factories closed and several railroads declared bankruptcy. The Pullman Strike of 1894 hurt the Chicago area and coal miners in southern Indiana participated in a national strike. Hard times were not limited to industry farmers also felt a financial pinch from falling prices. The economy began to recover when World War I broke out in Europe, creating a higher demand for American goods. [196] Despite economic setbacks, advances in industrial technology continued throughout the last years of the 19th and into the 20th century. On July 4, 1894, Elwood Haynes successfully road tested his first automobile, and opened the Haynes-Apperson auto company in 1896. [197] In 1895, William Johnson invented a process for casting aluminum. [198] [199]

Political battleground Edit

During the postwar era, Indiana became a critical swing state that often helped decide which party controlled the presidency. Elections were very close, and became the center of frenzied attention with many parades, speeches and rallies as election day approached voter turnout ranging over 90% to near 100% in such elections as 1888 and 1896. In remote areas, both sides paid their supporters to vote, and occasionally paid supporters of the opposition not to vote. Despite allegations, historians have found very little fraud in national elections. [200]

To win the electoral vote, both national parties looked for Indiana candidates for the national tickets a Hoosier was included in all but one presidential election between 1880 and 1924. [201] [202]

In 1888, Indiana Senator Benjamin Harrison, grandson of territorial Governor William Henry Harrison, was elected President after an intense battle that attracted more than 300,000 partisans to Indianapolis to hear him speak from his famous front porch. [203] Fort Benjamin Harrison was named in his honor. Six Hoosiers have been elected as Vice-President. The most recent was Mike Pence, elected in 2016. [204]

High culture Edit

The last decades of the 19th century began what is known as the "golden age of Indiana literature", a period that lasted until the 1920s. [141] Edward Eggleston wrote The Hoosier Schoolmaster (1871), the first best seller to originate in the state. Many other followed, including Maurice Thompson's Hoosier Mosaics (1875), and Lew Wallace's Ben-Hur (1880). Indiana developed a reputation as the "American heartland" following several widely read novels beginning with Booth Tarkington's The Gentleman from Indiana (1899), Meredith Nicholson's The Hoosiers (1900), and Thompson's second famous novel, Alice of Old Vincennes (1900). [141] James Whitcomb Riley, known as the "Hoosier Poet" and the most popular poet of his age, wrote hundreds of poems celebrating Hoosier themes, including Little Orphant Annie. A unique art culture also began developing in the late 19th century, beginning the Hoosier School of landscape painting and the Richmond Group of impressionist painters. The painters were known for their use of vivid colors and artists including T. C. Steele, whose work was influenced by the colorful hills of southern Indiana. [141] Prominent musicians and composers from Indiana also reached national acclaim during the time, including Paul Dresser whose most popular song, "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away", was later adopted as the official state song. [205]

Prohibition and women's suffrage Edit

By the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, prohibition and women's suffrage had become the major reform issues in the state. Although supporters and their opponents closely linked the two movements, temperance received a broader hearing than the efforts toward equal suffrage. While many Protestant churches in Indiana supported temperance, few provided a forum for discussions on women's voting rights. [206]

The drive for women's suffrage was reinvigorated in the 1870s, and was sponsored by the leaders of the prohibition movement, especially the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). The Indiana branch of the American Woman Suffrage Association was re-established in 1869. [207] In 1878, May Wright Sewall founded the Indianapolis Equal Suffrage Society, which fought for world peace before the nation plunged into World War I. [208] Several Indiana women also became temperance leaders and took an active role in the movement. [206] [209] The Indiana chapter of the WCTU was formed in 1874 with Zerelda G. Wallace as its first president. [210] Like many other suffrage leaders, Wallace was radicalized for woman's suffrage through her temperance reform work. During her 1875 speech before the Indiana General Assembly in support of prohibition, legislators demonstrated an open contempt for women involved in politics and speaking in public. Afterward, Wallace credited the experience with her embrace of suffrage. [211]

The first major effort to give women the right to vote in all non-federal elections attempted to amend the state constitution. It passed by both houses of the state legislature in 1881 [208] however, the bill failed to pass in the next legislative session in 1883 as state law required. Temperance efforts fared little better. In 1881, the Indiana chapter of the WCTU, along with organizations participating in the Indiana Grand Council of Temperance, successfully lobbied the Indiana General Assembly to pass an amendment to the state constitution to prohibit the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in the state, but the Indiana Liquor League and a Democratic majority in the state legislature killed the bill in the legislative session in 1883. [210] Following these legislative defeats women's suffrage and prohibition became sensitive issues in local politics as the Democrats rallied the opposition. [208] In German strongholds such as Fort Wayne, opposition to prohibition and women's suffrage was strong until World War I. As one historian notes, "within German working-class family traditions, women in particular were sharply defined in terms of family responsibilities. Suffrage and women's rights ran counter to deep social and religious traditions that placed women in a subservient relationship to men." [212] Renewed interest in women's suffrage did not occur until the end of the century, [213] while prohibition crusaders continued to press for legislative action.

To gain political power in favor of prohibition legislation, a state Prohibition Party was formed in 1884 however, it was never able to effectively mobilize a significant force of voters within the state. [214] Many temperance advocates continued to work within the more established political parties. The liquor issue pitted wets and drys in stable uncompromising coalitions that formed a main theme of Hoosier politics into the 1930s. [215] One legislative success occurred in 1895, when the state legislature passed the Nicholson law, a local option law authored by S. E. Nicholson, a Quaker minister who served in the state legislature and was a leader of the national Anti-Saloon League. [216] The League became a political powerhouse, mobilizing pietistic Protestant voters (that is, members of the major denominations except Lutherans and Episcopalians) to support dry legislation. The Nicholson law allowed voters in a city or township to file a remonstrance that would prevent an individual saloon owner from acquiring a liquor license. [210] Additional legislative efforts to extend the Nicholson law and achieve statewide prohibition in Indiana would not occur until the early twentieth century. One of the leading supporters for the temperance movement in Indiana was Emma Barrett Molloy, who was an active member of the WCTU and lectured across the country to promote the ban of alcohol. [217] Through her vocal activism in temperance and prohibition, Molloy also entered into the women's suffrage sphere as a strong supported for women's rights, particularly freedom of speech. [217]

In May, 1906, in Kokomo, a meeting was called to try to revive the defunct Indiana suffragist movement. An Indiana Auxiliary of the National American Woman Suffrage Association was formed and officers were elected. The officers included: Sarah Davis, President Laura Schofield, first vice-president Anna Dunn Noland, second vice-president Mrs. E. M. Wood, secretary Marion Harvie Barnard, treasurer and Jane Pond and Judge Samuel Artman, auditors. [218]

In 1911, a suffrage group was formed after the Indianapolis Franchise Society and the Legislation Council of Indiana Women merged to form the Women's Franchise League of Indiana (WFL). [219] The WFL was a member of the national suffrage organization, the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The league was influential in obtaining the vote for women at the state level and formed 1,205 memberships in thirteen districts. [220] After the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted, the Women's Franchise League of Indiana organized the League of Indiana Women Voters. [221]

High profile crime Edit

Hoosiers were fascinated with crime and criminals. Some historians have argued that the popularity of bandits and their exploits in robbing banks and getting away with murder derived from working class resentment against the excesses of the Gilded Age. [222] A group of brothers from Seymour, who had served in the Civil War, formed the Reno Gang, the first outlaw gang in the United States. [223] The Reno Gang, named for the brothers, terrorized Indiana and the region for several years. They were responsible for the first train robbery in the United States which occurred near Seymour in 1866. Their actions inspired a host of other outlaw gangs who copied their work, beginning several decades of high-profile train robberies. Pursued by detectives from the Pinkerton Detective Agency, most of the gang was captured in 1868 and lynched by vigilantes. [223] Other notorious Hoosiers also flourished in the post-war years, including Belle Gunness, an infamous "black widow" serial killer. She killed more than twenty people, most of them men, between 1881 and her own murder in 1908. [224]

In response to the Reno Gang and other criminals, several white cap groups began operating in the state, primarily in the southern counties. They began carrying out lynchings against suspected criminals, leading the state to attempt to crack down on their practices. By the turn of the 20th century, they had become so notorious that anti-lynching laws were passed and in one incident the governor called out the militia to protect a prisoner. When the white caps showed up to lynch him, the militia opened fire, killing one and wounding eleven. Vigilante activity decreased following the incident, and remained low until the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s.

Crime stories grabbed the headlines in the 1920s and 1930s. After Prohibition took effect in 1920 until its demise in 1933, it opened up a financial bonanza for criminal activity, especially underground bootlegging and the smuggling of liquor into Chicago, Gary, South Bend, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Evansville and other thirsty cities. Enforcement was haphazard the Anti-Saloon League was more of a lobbying agency and never rallied community support for enforcement. [225] The KKK called for punishment of bootleggers and set up the "Horse Thief Detective Association" (HTDA) to make extra-legal raids on speakeasies and gambling joints. It seldom cooperated with law enforcement or the state or federal courts. Instead gave enforcement a bad name. Arthur Gillom, a Republican elected state attorney general over Klan opposition in 1924, did not tolerate its extra-legal operations. Instead, "He stressed the dangers of citizens relinquishing their constitutional rights and personal freedoms, and emphasized the importance of representative government (at all levels), states' rights, and the concept of separation of church and state." When Rev. Shumaker proposed that "personal liberty had to be sacrificed in order to save people," Gilliom replied that surrendering power and individual freedoms was a slippery slope to centralized government and tyranny. [226]

John Dillinger, a native of Indianapolis, began his streak of bank robberies in Indiana and the Midwest during the 1920s. He was in prison 1924 to 1933. After a return to crime, Dillinger was returned to prison the same year, but escaped with the help of his gang. His gang was responsible for multiple murders and the theft of over $300,000. Dillinger was killed by the FBI in a shootout in Chicago in 1934. [227]

Economic modernization Edit

Although industry was rapidly expanding throughout the northern part of the state, Indiana remained largely rural at the turn of the 20th century with a growing population of 2.5 million. Like much of the rest of the American Midwest, Indiana's exports and job providers remained largely agricultural until after World War I. Indiana's developing industry, backed by inexpensive natural gas from the large Trenton Gas Field, an educated population, low taxes, easy access to transportation, and business-friendly government, led Indiana to grow into one of the leading manufacturing states by the mid-1920s. [228]

The state's central location gave it an dense network of railroads. The line most identified with the state was the Monon Line. It provided passenger service for students en route to Purdue, Indiana U. and numerous small colleges, painted its cars in school colors, and was especially popular on football weekends. The Monon was merged into larger lines in 1971, closed its passenger service, and lost its identity. [229] Entrepreneurs built an elaborate "interurban" network of light rails to connect rural areas to shopping opportunities in the cities. They began operation in 1892, and by 1908 there were 2,300 miles of track in 62 counties. The automobile made the lines unprofitable unless the destination was Chicago. By 2001, the "South Shore" was the last one it still operating from South Bend to Chicago. [230] [231]

In 1907, Indiana became the first state to adopt eugenics legislation, that allowed the involuntary sterilization of dangerous male criminals and the mentally defectives. It was never put in effect and in 1921 Indiana became the first state to rule such legislation unconstitutional when the Indiana Supreme Court acted. [232] A revised eugenics law was passed in 1927, and it remained in effect until 1974. [233]

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway complex was built in 1909, inaugurating a new era in history. Most Indiana cities within 200 miles of Detroit became part of the giant automobile industry after 1910. The Indianapolis speedway was a venue for auto companies to show off their products. [234] The Indianapolis 500 quickly became the standard in auto racing as European and American companies competed to build the fastest automobile and win at the track. [235] Industrial and technological industries thrived during this era, George Kingston developed an early carburetor in 1902 in 1912, Elwood Haynes received a patent for stainless steel. [197] [198]

Statewide prohibition Edit

In the first two decades of the twentieth century the Indiana Anti-Saloon League (IASL), formed in 1898 as a state auxiliary of the national Anti-Saloon League, and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union [214] successfully organized pressure on Indiana politicians, especially members of the Republican party, to support the dry cause. [159] The IASL, although not the first organization to take up the dry crusade in Indiana, became a key force behind efforts at attaining passage of statewide prohibition in early 1917, and rallied state support for ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1919. [236] The IASL's success, under the leadership of Edward S. Shumaker, an ordained Methodist minister, made it a model for the League's other state organizations. [237] Shumaker made clear to politicians he did not care whether they drank, but insisted they vote for dry laws or face defeated in the next election by dry voters. [238]

In 1905, passage of the Moore amendment expanded the state's Nicholson local option law to apply to all liquor license applicants within a local township or city ward. [210] The next step was to seek countywide prohibition. The IASL appealed to the general public, holding large rallies in Indianapolis and elsewhere, to support a county option law that would provide a more restrictive ban on alcohol. [239] In September 1908 Indiana governor J. Frank Hanly, a Methodist, Republican, and teetotaler, called for a special legislative session to establish a county option that would allow county voters to prohibit alcohol sales throughout their county. [240] [241] The state legislature passed the bill with only a narrow margin. [241] By November 1909 seventy of Indiana's ninety-two counties were dry. In 1911, a Democratic legislative majority replaced the county option with the Proctor law, a less-geographically restrictive local option, and the number of dry counties was reduced to twenty-six. [214] [242] Despite the setback prohibition advocates continued to lobby legislators for support. In December 1917 several temperance organizations formed the Indiana Dry Federation to fight the politically powerful liquor interests, [243] with the IASL joining the group a short time later. [244] The Federation and the League vigorously campaigned for statewide prohibition, which the Indiana General Assembly adopted in February 1917. [240] [243] Subsequent legal challenges delayed implementation of statewide prohibition until 1918, when a court ruled in June that Indiana's prohibition law was constitutionally valid. [245]

On January 14, 1919, Indiana became the twenty-fifth state to ratify the Eighteenth Amendment, which mandated nationwide prohibition. [240] [246] [247] Three days later Nebraska became the thirty-sixth state to ratify the amendment, providing the two-thirds majority of states required to amend the U.S. Constitution. [247] With the beginning of nationwide Prohibition on January 17, 1920, after formal ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment the previous day, efforts turned to enforcement of the new law. Protestant support for Prohibition remained intense in Indiana in the 1920s. Shumaker and the IASL lead a statewide grassroots campaign that successfully passed a new prohibition law for the state. Sponsored by Indiana representative Frank Wright and known as the Wright bone-dry law, it was enacted in 1925. The Wright law was part of a national trend toward stricter prohibition legislation and imposed severe penalties for alcohol possession. [248] [249]

The Great Depression and the election of Democratic party candidates in 1932 ended widespread national support for Prohibition. Franklin D. Roosevelt, who included repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment as a major issue of his presidential campaign in 1932, made good on his promise to American voters. [250] On December 5, 1933, the Twenty-first Amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment and ended nationwide Prohibition. However, Indiana's legislature continued to regulate alcohol within the state through allocation of state liquor licenses and prohibition of sales on Sunday. [248]

Women's organizing and activism Edit

White middle-class Indiana women learned organizational skills through the suffrage and temperance movements. By the 1890s they were applying their new skills to the needs of their home communities, by organizing women's clubs, the combined literary activity with social activism focused on such needs as public health, sanitation, and good schools. Hoosier women worked at both the state and local level to materialize Progressive Era reforms. In Lafayette, for example, the suffragists concentrated in the Lafayette Franchise League, while those oriented toward social concerns worked through the Lafayette Charity Organization Society (LCOS), the Free Kindergarten and Industrial School Association (FKISA), and the Martha Home. [251] Albion Fellows Bacon led statewide and national efforts at housing reform. A native of Evansville, Bacon worked to pass tenement and housing legislation in Indiana in 1909, 1913, and 1917. She also held leadership roles in Indiana Child Welfare Association the Child Welfare Committee, a part of the Women's Section of the Indiana State Council of Defense the Indiana Conference of Charities and Corrections, and the Juvenile Advisory Commission of Indiana's Probation Department. Women in Indiana would officially gain the right to vote in 1920 when the 19th Amendment was ratified for the United States constitution.

Middle-class black women activists were organized through African American Baptist and Methodist churches, and under the leadership of Hallie Quinn Brown who formed a statewide umbrella group, the Indiana State Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. Racism prevented the organization from association with its white counterpart, the Indiana State Federation of Women's Clubs. [252] White Hoosier suffragist May Wright Sewall spoke at the founding convention in a show of solidarity with Black Hoosier women. [252] The Indiana Association of Colored Women's Clubs sponsored 56 clubs in 46 cities in the state, with 2000 members by 1933, and a budget of over $20,000. Most members were public school teachers or hairdressers, as well as women active and local business in the black community, and in government positions. They affiliated with the National Federation of Afro-American Women, headed by Mrs. Booker T. Washington, and became part of her husband's powerful network of black activists. One of the most prominent members in Indiana was Madame C. J. Walker of Indianapolis, who owned a nationally successful business selling beauty and hair products for black women. Club meetings focused on home-making classes, research, and statistics regarding the status of African Americans in Indiana and nationwide, suffrage, and anti-lynching activism. The local clubs operated rescue missions, nursery schools, and educational programs. [253]

Floods Edit

Between March 23 and March 27, 1913, Indiana and more than a dozen other states experienced major flooding during the Great Flood of 1913 it was Indiana's worst flood disaster up to that time. [254] [255] [256] The weather system that created the unprecedented flooding arrived in Indiana on Sunday, March 23, with a major tornado at Terre Haute. [257] [note 9] In four days, rainfall topped nine inches in southern Indiana, more than half of it falling within a twenty-four-hour period on March 25. [258] Heavy rains, runoff, and rising rivers resulted in extensive flooding in northeast, central, and southern Indiana. [259] [note 10] Indiana's flood-related deaths were estimated at 100 to 200, [260] [261] with flood damage estimated at $25 million (in 1913 dollars). [259] State and local communities handled their own disaster response and relief. [262] The American Red Cross, still a small organization at that time, established a temporary headquarters in Indianapolis and served the six hardest-hit Indiana counties. Indiana governor Samuel M. Ralston appealed to Indiana cities and other states for relief assistance and appointed a trustee to receive relief funds and arrange for distribution of supplies. Independent organizations, such as the Rotary Club of Indianapolis and others, helped with local relief efforts. [263]

World War I Edit

Hoosiers were divided about entering World War I. Before Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare and tried to enlist Mexico as a military ally in 1917, most Hoosiers wanted the U.S. to be neutral in the war. Support for Britain came from professions and businessmen. Opposition came from churchmen, women, farmers and Irish Catholics and German-American elements. They called for neutrality and strongly opposed going to war to rescue the British Empire. [264] Influential Hoosiers who opposed involvement in the war included Democratic Senator John W. Kern, and Vice President Thomas R. Marshall. [265] Supporters of military preparedness included James Whitcomb Riley and George Ade. Most of the opposition dissipated when the United States officially declared war against Germany in April 1917, but some teachers lost their jobs on suspicion of disloyalty, [266] and public schools could no longer teach in German. [267] [note 11] Socialist leader Eugene V. Debs, from Terre Haute, went to federal prison for encouraging young men to evade the draft.

The Indiana National Guard was federalized during WWI many units were sent to Europe. A separate organization, the Liberty Guard, was formed in 1910, primarily for social purposes: members marched in parades and at patriotic events. Governor Samuel Ralston had to call out the Liberty Guard in November 1913 to put down a growing workers strike in Indianapolis. By 1920, the state decided to formalize this group, renaming it the Indiana Civil Defense Force and supplying it with equipment and training. [268] In 1941, the unit was named the Indiana Guard Reserve it effectively became a state militia. During World War II, it was again federalized and members were called up by the federal government.

Indiana provided 130,670 troops during the war a majority of them were drafted. [269] Over 3,000 men died, many from influenza and pneumonia. [269] To honor the Hoosier veterans of the war, the state began construction of the Indiana World War Memorial. [270]

1920s and the Great Depression Edit

The war-time economy provided a boom to Indiana's industry and agriculture, which led to more urbanization throughout the 1920s. [271] By 1925, more workers were employed in industry than in agriculture in Indiana. Indiana's greatest industries were steel production, iron, automobiles, and railroad cars. [272]

Scandal erupted across the state in 1925 when it was discovered that over half the seats in the General Assembly were controlled by the Indiana Ku Klux Klan, including members of three political parties. The Klan pushed an anti-Catholic legislative agenda, including a ban on parochial education. During the 1925 General Assembly session, Grand Dragon D. C. Stephenson boasted, "I am the law in Indiana." [273] Stephenson was convicted for the murder of Madge Oberholtzer that year and sentenced to life in prison. After Governor Edward L. Jackson, whom Stephenson helped elect, refused to pardon him, Stephenson began to name many of his co-conspirators. This led the state's making a string of arrests and indictments against political leaders, including the governor, mayor of Indianapolis, the attorney general, and many others. The crackdown effectively rendered the Klan powerless. [274]

During the 1930s, Indiana, like the rest of the nation, was affected by the Great Depression. The economic downturn had a wide-ranging negative impact on Indiana. Urbanization declined. Governor Paul V. McNutt's administration struggled to build from scratch a state-funded welfare system to help the overwhelmed private charities. During his administration, spending and taxes were cut drastically in response to the Depression. The state government was completely reorganized. McNutt also enacted the state's first income tax. On several occasions, he declared martial law to put an end to worker strikes. [275]

During the Great Depression, unemployment exceeded 25% statewide. Southern Indiana was hard hit, and unemployment topped 50% during the worst years. [272] The federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) began operations in Indiana in July 1935. By October of that year, the agency had put 74,708 Hoosiers to work. In 1940, there were still 64,700 people working for agency. [272] The majority of these workers were employed to improve the state's infrastructure: roads, bridges, flood control projects, and water treatment plants. Some helped index collections of libraries, and artists were employed to create murals for post offices and libraries. Nearly every community had a project to work on. [272] [276]

During the 1930s, many local businesses collapsed, several railroads went bankrupt, and numerous small rural banks folded. [277] [278] Manufacturing came to an abrupt halt or was severely cut back due to the dwindling demand for products. The Depression continued to negatively affect Indiana until the buildup for World War II. The effects continued to be felt for many years thereafter. [279]

World War II Edit

The economy began to recover in 1933, but unemployment remained high among youth and older workers until 1940, when the federal government built up supplies and armaments going into World War II. [280]

Indiana participated in the mobilization of the nation's economy and resources. Domestically, the state produced munitions in an army plant near Sellersburg. The P-47 fighter-plane was manufactured in Evansville at Republic Aviation. [281] The steel produced in northern Indiana was used in tanks, battleships, and submarines. Other war-related materials were produced throughout the state. Indiana's military bases were activated, with areas such as Camp Atterbury reaching historical peaks in activity. [282]

The population was highly supportive of the war efforts. [283] The political left supported the war (unlike World War I, which Socialists opposed.) The churches showed much less pacifism than in 1914. The Church of God, based in Anderson, had a strong pacifist element, reaching a high point in the late 1930s. The Church regarded World War II as a just war because America was attacked. Anti-Communist sentiment has since kept strong pacifism from developing in the Church of God. [284] Likewise the Quakers, with a strong base near Richmond, generally regarded World War II as a just war and about 90% served, although there were some conscientious objectors. [285] The Mennonites and Brethren continued their pacifism, but the federal government was much less hostile than before. The churches helped their young men to both become conscientious objectors and to provide valuable service to the nation. Goshen College set up a training program for unpaid Civilian Public Service jobs. Although the young women pacifists were not liable to the draft, they volunteered for unpaid Civilian Public Service jobs to demonstrate their patriotism many worked in mental hospitals. [286]

The state sent nearly 400,000 Hoosiers who enlisted or were drafted. [287] More than 11,783 Hoosiers died in the conflict and another 17,000 were wounded. Hoosiers served in all the major theaters of the war. [288] [289] Their sacrifice was honored by additions to the World War Memorial in Indianapolis, which was not finished until 1965. [290]

Tens of thousands of women volunteered for war service, through agencies such as the Red Cross. Representative was Elizabeth Richardson of Mishawaka. She served coffee and doughnuts to combat soldiers in England and France from a Red Cross clubmobile. She died in a plane crash in 1945 in France. [291]

Central Indiana was struck by a major flood in 2008, leading to widespread damage and the evacuations of hundreds of thousands of residents. It was the costliest disaster in the history of the state, with early damage estimates topping $1 billion. [292]

In 2012, Indiana's exports totaled US$34.4 billion, a record high for the state. The rate of export growth in 2012 was faster in Indiana than it was for the Nation. [293]

The Development of Modern Indiana

The issue of reconstruction for the southern states largely dominated the decade following the Civil War. Reconstruction concerned the whole country and how a nation was going to deal with a new united country.

Reconstruction referred to the plans of the national government to help rebuild the South, and Indiana&rsquos leaders played an important role to form such policies. The main issue in reconstruction was the question of how to deal with a large population of freed Blacks and whether or not Blacks should have the right to vote. Some leaders thought that the freed Blacks should have the right to vote. Still others thought that they should have the right to vote immediately and that the administrators of the former Confederate Government should be punished, and even executed. This group became known as the radical Republicans and included such Hoosiers as Schuyler Colfax (South Bend), Speaker of the House of Representatives and George W. Julian, a staunch abolitionist and a representative of eastern Indiana.

On the conservative side were those who favored a gradual change for the South and opposed the ideas of the radicals. Daniel W. Voorhees, from Terre Haute and Senator Thomas A. Hendricks from Indianapolis were the leading Hoosiers in Congress who favored a less violent attitude towards the defeated Confederacy. However, the radicals, and the radical point of view, was a view held by a majority of representatives and their policies went into effect. One of their main accomplishments was the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment.

Indiana&rsquos General Assembly had already ratified the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments that gave Blacks their freedom and rights of citizenship. There had been great difficulty among the states in getting the 13th Amendment passed, however the 14th passed with little or no discussion. 1

However, in 1869, when the 15th Amendment (that gave Blacks the right to vote) was due for ratification, there were many heated debates in the Indiana General Assembly. The Republicans controlled the legislative body, but some Democrats were necessary in order to actually be able to vote on the issue of the 15th Amendment. In protest many Democrats began to resign from the General Assembly and the process of ratification within Indiana came to a grinding halt. A special state election was held and all of those members who had resigned were again reelected to their posts. When the amendment was again brought up for ratification, members of the General Assembly again began to resign in protest. However, the members that were left went ahead and held a vote. The General Assembly still had two-thirds of its members and was legally able to hold the vote. The 15th Amendment was ratified with a majority vote. Later, when the Democrats gained control of the General Assembly they attempted to recall the passage of the amendment but met with no success. 2

The reconstruction policy that the radical Republicans of Congress put into effect for the treatment of the defeated southern states is looked upon today as one of the shameful periods of our collective history&mdashthe tragic carpet bagging days. Some of Indiana&rsquos representatives in Congress, like Schuyler Colfax and Oliver P. Morton, were among those radical Republicans. Not all Republicans favored the policies enacted by the radicals. The outstanding Republican opponent of such policies was a man who spent 14 years-from the age of 7 to 21-in our state of Indiana. That man was Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. President Lincoln had already instituted a just and humane policy for the treatment of the defeated southern states when his assassination closed his career, and his wishes.

Andrew Johnson, the Vice-President, was a staunch supporter of Lincoln&rsquos policy and tried to carry it out. He was bitterly opposed by radicals in Congress, who finally brought impeachment proceedings to remove him from office. The impeachment failed and Johnson remained President, but he was helpless to prevent the policies of the radical Republicans from going into effect. His vetoes of bills were simply overridden by the radical Republicans who controlled Congress for 12 years following the Civil War.

The ratification of the 15th Amendment by Indiana was not followed by an immediate change in the Indiana Constitution. Blacks were still excluded from voting in the state and, in addition, free Blacks were not allowed to enter the state. During the next two decades, Blacks were gradually granted the standing of full citizen. The laws made to restrict Blacks within Indiana were eventually eliminated and they were allowed to take part in the making of contracts. In education there was to be a fair distribution of public funds between white and colored schools. In 1881, Blacks gained full equality in voting and the only remaining discrimination in the Indiana constitution at the time was the clause that prevented Blacks from taking part in the state militia. 3

Reconstruction Governors of Indiana

There were two governors during the period of the Reconstruction, Conrad Baker and Thomas A. Hendricks. Baker was lieutenant governor under Oliver P. Morton and gained the governor&rsquos office when Morton resigned to become a U.S. Senator. Baker&rsquos home was in Evansville. He ran for the office of governor against Thomas Hendricks in the election of 1868. Humane and public oriented, Baker was known as a good man with a high intellect. He was especially concerned with the social welfare of his fellow Hoosiers. He actively secured reforms in the prisons and other state institutions. Governor Baker was a believer in eliminating the state&rsquos debt as soon as possible and began making arrangements for paying it off. When he left office the state&rsquos debt was significantly reduced. He died in 1885.

Also during Governor Baker&rsquos term in office a Hoosier was elected Vice-President of the United States. In 1868 South Bend native, Schuyler Colfax, was on the Republican ticket that elected General Ulysses S. Grant to the presidency of the United States.

Governor Thomas Hendricks

Governor Hendricks took office as Indiana&rsquos governor in 1873. He had served in the state legislature, in the constitutional convention of 1850, as a United States Senator and previously ran for office of governor twice (both times being defeated). His first Indiana home was in Shelbyville, but had moved to Indianapolis. In what became known as the &ldquoDisputed Election of 1876,&rdquo Hendricks ran for the office of Vice-President of the United States with Samuel J. Tilden, but never won the national election of that year. 4 He gave 35 years to public service in this state and finally died in the office of Vice-President in 1885.

The Panic of 1873

A national depression hit the United States in the first year of Hendricks&rsquo term as governor. This depression did not affect the expansion and prosperity throughout Indiana after the Civil War but the industrial and commercial areas of the economy within the state suffered. There were conflicts between laborers and employers, often followed by strikes. In the coal industry around Knightstown and Brazil, rioting was quieted only after the involvement of the state militia. At Logansport, employees of the Pennsylvania Railroad, who had recently gone on strike, were causing severe problems for the local sheriff, who had contacted the governor for help. Detachments of troops were sent to Logansport to disperse the crowds of disgruntled workers. There were several other incidents, but none led to any serious violence.

Governor James D. &ldquoBluejeans&rdquo Williams

Governor James D. Williams was elected to office during the first centennial of American Independence (1876). The 100 years from the signing of the Declaration of Independence had been a century of progress for the state of Indiana. Governor Williams will long be remembered in history as the &ldquofarmer governor of Indiana.&rdquo He became the 17th Hoosier governor and was the first farmer by occupation to make it to that office.

In his early youth his parents moved from Ohio to Knox County, Indiana, where he resided until he went to the state capital to assume the duties as governor. Williams&rsquo early education was a one-room schoolhouse and to this he added a good general knowledge of current events. When he was 20 years old his father died making Jim the sole support for his family. He soon established a good reputation within his community and was known for his honesty, hard work and common sense. Williams became the wealthiest man in his Knox County community through his excellent farming techniques.

Williams&rsquo first taste of public service was as a justice of the peace. Four years later, in 1843, he was elected to the General Assembly where he served until 1874, when he was elected to Congress. In his campaigns for governor he wore his usual homespun clothing, or blue jeans. His opponents called him &ldquoBlue Jeans&rdquo and made fun of him, regarding him as an ignorant hick. This was a huge mistake on his opponent&rsquos part, knowing that Indiana is a highly agricultural state and Williams&rsquo appeal to the Hoosier farmer. When the campaign ended, the election returns showed that the old farmer from Knox County had beaten his opponent, General Benjamin Harrison, by over 5,000 votes! 5

Williams&rsquo administration is marked by some very important events. Several amendments to the state constitution were proposed at this time and pushed forward to final adoption in 1881. The most important events included the holding of elections on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November (instead of the former October elections), limiting of debts by local communities and elimination of the restrictions against Black voters. Governor Williams died November 20, 1880, and lieutenant governor Isaac Gray served out the remaining 7 weeks of his term.

During Governor Williams&rsquo term Oliver P. Morton died and Benjamin Harrison completed his mansion in Indianapolis.


Indiana sits, as its motto claims, at “the crossroads of America.” It borders Lake Michigan and the state of Michigan to the north, Ohio to the east, Kentucky to the south, and Illinois to the west, making it an integral part of the American Midwest. Except for Hawaii, Indiana is the smallest state west of the Appalachian Mountains. After the American Revolution the lands of Indiana were open to U.S. settlers. The influx of white immigrants brought increased war with the Native American tribes. The conflicts continued until the 1811 Battle of Tippecanoe, which was won by General, and future president, William Henry Harrison. With a name that is generally thought to mean “land of the Indians,” Indiana was admitted on Dec. 11, 1816, as the 19th state of the union. Its capital has been at Indianapolis since 1825.

Date of Statehood: December 11, 1816

Did you know? The first train robbery in the United States occurred in Indiana on October 6, 1866. A gang known as the Reno Brothers stopped an Ohio and Mississippi train in Jackson County and made off with $13,000.

The snake oil salesman at the top

The Klan was not a headless snake, though. At the top was Grand Dragon D.C. Stephenson, who had risen to prominence from the Evansville "Klavern" to eventually run the largest Klan organization in the country.

Above: D.C. Stephenson. (Credit: Indiana Historical Society Indianapolis Recorder Collection, Indiana Historical Society Bass Photo Co. Collection, Indiana Historical Society.)

Stephenson, according to Madison, was just the right person to capitalize on the anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant sentiment of his day.

"Stephenson was a salesman with no moral core, no ethical core, but very good at selling his product," Madison said. "He could have sold snake oil or anything else. He had a bombastic, authoritarian, 'I am the law' sort of style, and he built a very successful business organization, which is what the Klan was. He certainly did not in his private life hold in high regard the values that Hoosiers across the state who were members of the Klan did."

According to another IU historian, Professor Allen Safianow, the Klan of the 1920s was a magnet for Hoosiers with political aspirations.

"There was a symbiotic relationship between the Klan and people with political ambitions," Safianow said. "Political leaders found it expedient to align themselves with the Klan. The Klan involved itself in elections, and through this they were able to exert a fair amount of influence, to the point where in some communities like Kokomo it's reported that you really had to join the Klan to have a shot at a political appointment."

Whether the Klan exerted political influence because its membership grew large, or whether its membership grew because of its political influence is a chicken-or-egg question, Safianow said. But either way, Indiana's Klan by the mid-1920s could claim politicians ranging from local officeholders all the way up to Governor Edward L. Jackson, along with the majority of both houses of the General Assembly.

Photos courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society. Click the image above to see more.

Though Stephenson first ran for office in Indiana as a Democrat, the Klan eventually aligned itself with the Republican Party, which controlled most of the state at the time.

"Many politicians saw election victory via the Klan," Madison said. "The Klan was very active in political campaigns and elections and government. They made a list of candidates, and a candidate was approved or not approved by the Ku Klux Klan. Democrats tended not to get the approval of the Ku Klux Klan. Some stood up, most stayed silent out of fear of alienating their voters."

Perhaps even more than its actual political power, Madison said the fear the Klan was able to induce allowed it intimidate its opposition into silence.

"If you owned a men's clothing store on Washington Street in Indianapolis, you might want to join the Klan just to make sure you don't lose customers."

"The Klan was intimidating. This was part of D.C. Stephenson's salesmanship. He had a way of striking fear," Madison said. "There were two things there: One was that people agreed with the message. But the other was that people feared what their neighbors would think of them if they didn't join the Klan. That they weren't 100 percent American. If you owned a men's clothing store on Washington Street in Indianapolis, you might want to join the Klan just to make sure you don't lose customers."

Fortunately for the Klan's political opponents, fractures in the organization blunted its effectiveness when it came down to the actual business of governance.

"While it's said the Klan through the Republican Party controlled the state legislature, the two houses were divided, with one house aligned with D.C. Stephenson and the other with the governor," Safianow said. "As a result, the Klan really wasn't able to exert as much legislative influence as it could have."

Madison agreed, saying the Klan's only major legislative accomplishment was passing the so-called "Bone-Dry Law," which enhanced penalties for possession of alcohol during Prohibition.

"The fact of the matter is, Stephenson was not as competent and powerful as he thought he was, and that session of the legislature did not manage to pass any significant laws," Madison said. "The Klan did not, ever, at any time, pass its agenda."

Before the Klan had a second attempt, it had fallen into disgrace following Stephenson's conviction for the rape and murder of Oberholtzer.

TIMELINE: The Indiana Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s.

“An Act of Tardy Justice”: The Story of Women’s Suffrage in Indiana

In 1851, Winchester native Amanda Way called for a women’s rights convention—the kick off to a 69-year effort to guarantee women’s right to vote in Indiana. Between then and the moment when Gov. James P. Goodrich, also a Winchester native, oversaw the state’s ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, Indiana women organized, marched, petitioned and sometimes resisted. There were ups and downs along the way, including two major wars and a brief moment in 1917 when it seemed the state would beat the nation in the race for women’s suffrage—an exciting summer when Indiana women flooded the polls before the franchise was snatched from them again. In 1920, Hoosier women’s continuous and tireless work paid off and their goal was realized. On January 16, the Indiana General Assembly approved the national amendment for women’s suffrage then, at last, on August 26, the U.S. Congress approved the final paperwork ratifying the change to the Constitution.

Born in Wisconsin in 1844, May Wright Sewall arrived in Indiana in the early 1870s. A teacher and reformer, she was a close ally to national leaders like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Sewall helped to found the Indianapolis Equal Suffrage Society in 1878 and also helped establish several Indianapolis organizations including the Indianapolis Woman’s Club, the Indianapolis Propylaeum, the Art Association of Indianapolis (later known as the Indianapolis Museum of Art), and the Contemporary Club.

Image: Library of Congress

Grace Julian Clarke was a columnist for the Indianapolis Star from 1911-1929. She authored three books about her father, George Julian, a U.S. Congressman and staunch abolitionist. Clarke is credited with reviving the suffrage movement in Indiana and was active in the national campaign for women’s suffrage.

Image: Indiana State Library

Dedicated in 1891, the Propylaeum building in Indianapolis, funded entirely through the contributions of women, became a cultural center for the community where men and women met as intellectual equals. The building pictured here was on North Street the Propylaeum continues to thrive and now lives on North Delaware Street.

Image: Propylaeum in Indianapolis. Bass Photo Co. Collection, Indiana Historical Society.

A group of Auburn suffragists in the early 1910s.

Image: Suffragists in Auburn, Indiana. Indiana Historical Society.

Early Steps

Indiana Quaker women and men were central to the start of the story. Early on, suffrage was one of a number of women’s rights for which Quakers advocated. These demands also included improved property rights, access to the same jobs and education as men, and equal pay for equal work. Only three years after Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Frederick Douglass attended the famous Seneca Falls Convention in New York in 1848, Hoosier women met in Dublin, Indiana, and formed the Indiana Woman’s Rights Association (IWRA). It’s widely considered one of the first state-level suffrage organizations.

The IWRA met annually through 1859, the same year that three suffragists presented the first women’s suffrage petition to the Indiana legislature. However, due to the Civil War, the voting rights movement got sidetracked. Though the editors of Peru’s The Mayflower found a way to support both the war and suffrage and continued to publish in the early 1860s, many women turned their attention to supporting the war effort. Here and around the country, suffragists saw the mobilization toward war as an opportunity to prove their “fitness” for suffrage, throwing themselves into volunteer work to support Union men on the field and their families at home. Yet when the war was over, despite women’s support of men, neither Congress nor the Indiana General Assembly recognized women’s hard work and devotion. The battle off the field, for the right to vote, would continue.

Women in every corner of Indiana, in the smallest towns and largest cities, organized for the right to vote. This photo from around the turn of the 20th century depicts a campaign in Brookville in Franklin County. Note the many young girls (and a few men and boys looking on).

Image: Election Day Scene. Indiana Historical Society, P0468.

A Galvanizing Defeat

The IWRA began meeting again in 1869, the first year that historians can document that African American women attended Indiana women’s suffrage meetings. Over the next fifty-odd years, their attempts to secure the vote were continually hampered by the Indiana Constitution itself. Its structure made it difficult for women to gain the vote through the state legislative process. Any amendment to the state constitution had to be approved by two separate legislative sessions—yet the state legislature convened only every other year. Therefore, it took at least two years to amend the constitution, making the challenge steeper for suffragists and giving their opponents more time to organize and kill any proposed suffrage law or amendment. This challenge reared its head in 1881, when Indiana legislators approved an amendment granting Hoosier women the right to vote. But when the Indiana General Assembly reconvened in 1883, it was discovered that the 1881 law had mysteriously not been recorded in the official legislative record from the previous session. Thus, according to the Indiana Constitution, the suffrage amendment couldn’t be voted on a second time because it officially didn’t exist.

Indiana women played a major role in the national suffrage movement. This photo, likely of women touring out west on behalf of the League of Women Voters after the 19th Amendment was ratified, shows suffragist leaders with their luggage doing work on the sidewalk. It includes Marie Stuart Edwards (middle), an activist and reformer from Peru who served as the president to the Woman’s Franchise League of Indiana and the director of the National American Suffrage Association before becoming the first Vice President of the National League of Women Voters. Adah Bush, also of Indiana (seated left), is also pictured.

Image: Indiana State Library.

Presidential candidate Warren G. Harding, the first to have to campaign to women, greets Marie Edwards, treasurer of the League of Women Voters, at Social Justice Day in Marion, Ohio. Edwards, of Peru, Indiana, helped plan the event where Harding called for equal wages and the creation of an eight-hour work day.

Image: Warren G. Harding and Marie Edwards of Peru, Indiana at the Social Justice Day in Marion, Ohio. Indiana Historical Society, M0612.

Arcada Balz represented Marion County in the Indiana State Senate from 1943-1947, and was active in many state and national women’s clubs. In the State Senate, she served as chairwoman of the Public Health Committee, recommending state legislation for foster home care, state institutions for mental illness and physical disabilities, and other related public health issues. She ran on a platform of equal pay and equal legal rights for women.

Image: Arcada Balz, Indiana State Legislator. Indiana Historical Society, P0569.

Elected in 1948, Cecil Harden served 5 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, making her one of the longest-serving women when she retired. Six other Hoosier women have served in Congress—Virginia Jenckes, Katie Hall, Julia Carson, Jill Long, Susan Brooks and Jackie Walorski.

Image: Indiana Congresswoman Cecil Harden. Indiana Historical Society, M0584.

Julia Carson, longtime Congresswoman from Indianapolis, is pictured here in 1981 when she was a state senator. More than 125 women have served in the Indiana General Assembly, starting with Julia Nelson of Muncie, who was first elected in 1921.

Image: State Senator Julia Carson Talking With Women. Indianapolis Recorder Collection, Indiana Historical Society.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded in 1966 in an effort to combat discrimination against and to promote equality for women in all aspects of American society. Indiana’s first chapter was organized in Muncie in 1970. This view shows a NOW group demonstrating in Indianapolis. Hoosier NOW activists pushed the state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment Indiana became the last state to do so in 1977.

Image: NOW Rally in Indianapolis. Indiana Historical Society, M0583.

This photo shows the Volunteer Church Women for Political Education gathered together in 1983. The interdenominational nonpartisan coalition of women focused on providing voters with information on how to vote and making sure voters understood their rights.

Image: Church women coalition will try ‘schooling’ black voters. Indianapolis Recorder Collection, Indiana Historical Society.

Nevertheless, They Persisted

Though Hoosier suffragists had deployed various political tactics leading up to the debate of 1881–83, they got even more organized and learned even more ways to hone their political skills. Though it would take men making legislative actions to get women the right to vote, it was women themselves who agitated, pushed and persisted. Suffragists presented petitions and gave speeches to several sessions of the state legislature. Indiana women asked for and were assigned offices at the state house so they could lobby legislators to keep up the pressure, they learned how to call in extra suffragists at a moment’s notice. Susan B. Anthony, during one of several visits to the Hoosier state,asked a joint session of the general assembly to request a national suffrage amendment, memorably declaring, “I want the politicians of Indiana to see that there are women as well as men in this State, and they will never see it until they give them the right to vote. Make the brain under the bonnet count for as much as the brain under the hat.”

Indiana women also formed powerful and well-organized groups, including the Woman’s Franchise League, the Legislative Council, and the Indianapolis Equal Suffrage Society. By 1912, African American Hoosier women had formed their own suffrage associations, one of these meeting for the first time in the home of Madam CJ Walker.

In the midst of all of this activity and the constant setbacks, World War I broke out (the U.S. didn’t enter the war until 1917). Like most of their counterparts across the nation, the majority of Hoosier suffragists answered the call to support the Great War. But they learned a lesson from the suffrage movement during the Civil War. This time, they made suffrage a part of the plan to “make the world safe for democracy.” Suffragists knitted socks for soldiers, raised money for Liberty Loans and spoke in support of the war to various civic groups. But unlike during the 1860s, they participated in these efforts while also agitating for suffrage. Activists cannily connected their cause to the surge of wartime patriotism and rhetoric around the idea of “duty.”

Given the increasing power of the suffrage movement and the heightened expectations raised by World War I, progress appeared favorable in 1917. Thanks to continued and increasing agitation in Indiana and nationally, the Indiana General Assembly actually passed three laws favored by suffragists during the 1917 session. The first called for a convention to be held in September, for the purpose of drafting a new state constitution (with the hopes that the new constitution would include women’s suffrage). The second law amended the current state constitution to allow for women’s suffrage (which in order to become effective would have to be passed again by the 1919 legislature and approved by a majority of voters—though the passage of the constitutional convention bill and the prospects of a new state constitution appeared to make this law moot). The third law offered Indiana women partial suffrage, giving them the right to vote for presidential electors, for some state offices and in municipal elections that very year. Just as important, it also gave them the right to vote for delegates to the upcoming constitutional convention and for ratification of the new constitution.

Imagine the scene: Thousands of Indiana women celebrating their victories, rushing out to register to vote over the course of the summer of 1917. Women in their eighties and nineties joined younger women at clerks’ offices around the state. The first women to vote in the state were in Warren County Mrs. JE McCloud was at the head of the line, thus was possibly the first woman to cast a ballot in the state. In Columbus, two African American women were the first women to register. “There was a boom Tuesday afternoon in the matter of registration…when a long file of women entered the courthouse,” remembered Natalie Parker, the president of the Porter County Woman’s Franchise League by the end of the summer, 80 percent of all registered voters in Porter County were women.

Then came the next setback, which for Indiana women was possibly even more difficult to endure than the 1881–83 debacle. Men who opposed women’s suffrage challenged both the constitutional convention law and the partial suffrage law, and in separate rulings the Indiana Supreme Court found them to be unconstitutional. There would be no opportunity to introduce suffrage in a new state constitution, and women were stripped of their partial suffrage rights effective October 26, 1917. The constitutional amendment law still stood, but that meant restarting a long, slow process.

Porter County suffragists unfurl their “Votes for Women” banner as they parade in a horse-drawn wagon circa 1919. This image captures Hoosier efforts to gain suffrage and documents women’s newfound “visibility” as they ventured out in public to gather petition signatures and deliver speeches.

Image: Postcard, Suffragettes in Hebron, Indiana. Indiana Historical Society, P0408.

Home Stretch

The defeat of the 1917 effort heightened the importance of a federal suffrage amendment. Suffragists around the country had long debated whether state-level or federal action was the way to accomplish their goal, but by 1915, many Indiana activists, along with their sisters around the country, had coalesced around Carrie Chapman Catt and the National American Woman Suffrage Association’s “Winning Plan.” This plan had state-level suffragists campaigning for individual states to expand the franchise while also putting pressure on Congress to pass a federal amendment. Thus, even with setbacks at the state level in 1917, and again at the federal level (the U.S. Senate failed to pass a federal amendment in 1918), women kept driving toward their goal. “Real patriotism,” Mrs. Richard E. Edwards, the president of the Woman’s Franchise League of Indiana, wrote, “demands that we serve the Government no matter how out of patience we get with state authorities.” In 1918, Indiana suffragists set themselves the task of recruiting 100,000 members and 700,000 signatures petitioning Congress to pass a suffrage amendment. Mrs. Fred H. McCulloch of Fort Wayne, the chairwoman of this effort, said it would “be the instrument by which we can do it.”

So, with this final wave of pressure from suffragists, the U.S. Congress finally approved the 19th Amendment and sent it to the states for ratification after World War I ended. Indiana became the 26th state to ratify it, on January 16, 1920. It went into effect on August 26, eight days after the two-thirds majority for ratification had been achieved.

Indiana women had been everywhere in the fight for suffrage. Women like Dr. Mary Thomas, Amanda Way, May Wright Sewall, Grace Julian Clarke, Helen Gougar, Zerelda Wallace, Dr. Amelia Keller, Martha McKay, Sara Messing Stern, Dr. Hannah Graham, Laura Donnan, Carrie Barnes, Mary Nicholson, Luella McWhirter, Marie Edwards, Charity Dye, Harriet Noble, Sara and Eldena Lauter, Emma Swank, Frances Berry Coston, Ida Husted Harper, Mary Garrett Hay, and Elizabeth Boyton Harbart worked for suffrage in the state and across the nation. They surely agreed with Governor Goodrich when, in 1920, he described the ratification of the 19th Amendment as “an act of tardy justice.”

Inquire Indiana: What's The History Of Racism In Indiana?

We’re answering people's questions about the Hoosier state as part of our Inquire Indiana project.

A Bloomington resident asked us to find out more about the history of racism and hate groups in Indiana, and their impact on our lives today.

"So Jim Crow and segregation and all of those kind of things because I feel that we don’t talk about that type of stuff," says Shelby Hoshaw. "And, it’s an important part of our history and we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it. Because without talking about it, we’re not going to address the issues that are happening today."

We found out the history of racism in Indiana is long and complicated. 

Early Racism Illustrated In Constitution, Rise Of KKK

Though it’s evolved over the years, racism’s been a constant in Indiana history. It’s been around much longer than the state itself, but we see the attitudes manifest in Indiana’s first constitution in 1816. While it prohibited slavery, it also didn’t allow black men to vote.

"And in many other ways the pioneers at the very beginning excluded African Americans from citizenship and from full participation in everyday life in Indiana," says James Madison, a professor emeritus in Indiana University's history department. "And that pattern laid down at the very beginning and persisted into the 20 th century."

Many people think of Indiana's history with the Ku Klux Klan when they think of racism in the state. The KKK became especially powerful in the 1920s, when it had significant influence over state politics. At the time, Madison says a great number of Hoosiers supported or were sympathetic to the Klan. 

In 1924 voters elected Edward Jackson as governor, who was rumored to be a Klan member because of his close ties with Indiana Klan leader D.C. Stephenson.

Madison says the KKK of the '20s had a long list of enemies. 

"Certainly the Klan’s enemies included African Americans," he says. "But the Klan’s enemies also included Jewish Hoosiers and, above all and most importantly, Catholics and immigrants."

Crispus Attucks was the first and only all-black high school in Indianapolis. (WFIU/WTIU News)

Racial Divides Illustrated In Makeup Of School Systems, Neighborhoods 

During the same decade the Klan rose to power, Indianapolis opened its first and only all-black high school, Crispus Attucks. 

"When it first was built, it was built out of racism," says Patricia Payne, director of the Racial Equality Initiative for Indianapolis Public Schools. "The school board members were Ku Klux Klan members. They did not want white students and black students going to school together."

Payne’s parents were in the first two graduating classes and their pictures still hang on the walls of the school.

She says Crispus Attucks became a symbol of strength for the black community. Many of the teachers were university professors who couldn't get jobs elsewhere because they were black. Payne says they challenged and encouraged the students, who left the school culturally and academically prepared for the complicated world. 

"What happened was we took lemons and made lemonade," she says.  

Now there’s a museum in the high school that tells the story of much more than Crispus Attucks. It starts as far back as ancient Egypt.  

"The museum is important also because we make sure all children understand that the history of black people did not start on a plantation in America," Payne says. "I have been told so many lies about my history in school now where you’re supposed to be learning the truth."

The exhibits are far from the only evidence of racism still present in Indiana today. It’s evident in the makeup of school systems, neighborhoods, and jail populations. Decisions made decades ago are still having an impact today.

Like the decision Indianapolis city leaders made in the 1970s to unify Marion County and Indianapolis governments – but not the school systems.

"You look at what it did to public education and how in many ways the divisiveness we have with school districts … really shifted issues around access and issues around parity and quality and equity that have unfortunately fallen along racial lines," says Michael Twyman, who teaches classes at IU about race and social justice.  

He also points to how the building of the Interstate impacted historic, vibrant black communities in Indianapolis. Payne's family was among those displaced to make way for the roads. 

"I don’t know how you ever really rebound from that, at least in a short amount of time because it then begins to create certain impediments and barriers for other economic development," Twyman says. "Because when you do infrastructure that really begins to define what’s possible, it makes it very difficult to get not only economies of scale but really the type of critical mass of resources that will allow certain communities and neighborhoods to be vibrant again."

The KKK held a rally in Madison, Ind. in 2018. But most of the people who showed up were protestors. (WFIU/WTIU News)

Is Indiana A Racist State?

Those scars make it hard for Indiana to buck the reputation of being a close-minded, sometimes racist state.

Just last year the KKK held a rally in Madison, Ind. But the event drew far more protestors.

"Across the state in small towns I sense that there is a movement toward more acceptance and a movement against hatred and dismissiveness toward those who are different," Madison says. 

Madison says it’s up to Hoosiers to take a stand and make a change.

"Individual Hoosiers in communities in Indiana have done just enough dumb, stupid, hateful things to spark the question again and again ‘Well is Indiana klan state?’ My answer to that is no, it’s not. But Indiana has flirted down to the 21 st century with some of the culture, some of the ideas, some of the beliefs and values that so informed the Klan in the 1920s."

That's one of the reasons IPS has a racial equity initiative that teaches educators and community members about the impact of racism, and what they can do to stop it from being normalized.

"No institution or organization can escape racism," Payne says. "It is here and that is why we are so serious about this initiative."

But she says addressing racism is also an individual responsibility.  

"We can’t change your hearts and minds and mindset. That’s something you’ve got to take on your own self."

Indiana 2020 election results

The state has 11 electoral votes at stake in the presidential race.

Why don’t the Electoral College and popular vote always match up?

ABC News projects Donald Trump will win in Indiana.

Voters head to the polls on Tuesday in Indiana, where there are 11 electoral votes up for grabs.

Presidential Election

Governor Election

House Election

The state offered in-person absentee voting and absentee voting by mail. Although Indiana encouraged voters to request absentee ballots to vote in its primary election, Indiana was one of just five states across the country to require voters to cite an excuse beyond COVID-19 concerns to vote absentee in the November general election. On Election Day, polls are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

State Significance

The Hoosier State has gained notoriety in the 2020 election cycle as the home state of both Vice President Mike Pence and former South Bend Mayor and Biden campaign surrogate, Pete Buttigieg.

Indiana is widely regarded as a Republican stronghold, where President Donald Trump won by a landslide in 2016 with more than 56% of the vote. While incumbent Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb is expected to win another term, the race for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District, which encompasses the wealthy suburbs of Indianapolis, is offering a rare toss-up contest.

*Counties are colored red or blue when the % expected vote reporting reaches a set threshold. This threshold varies by state and is based on patterns of past vote reporting and expectations about how the vote will report this year.