Indiana Territory and Statehood

In 1800, Indiana Territory was formed and included the states of Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, and parts of Michigan and Minnesota. Vincennes was made the capital, which in 1813 was moved to Corydon. A constitutional convention met in 1816, and Indiana achieved statehood. Jonathan Jennings, an opponent of slavery, was elected governor. Indianapolis was laid out as the state capital, and the executive moved there in 1824–25.

Indiana was the site of several experimental communities in the early 19th cent., notably the Rappite (1815) and Owenite (1825) settlements at New Harmony. In the 1840s the Wabash and Erie Canal opened between Lafayette and Toledo, Ohio, giving Indiana a water route via Lake Erie to eastern markets. Also in the 1840s the state’s first railroad line was completed between Indianapolis and Madison. The Hoosier spirit of simplicity and forthrightness that developed during Indiana’s early years of statehood figured in the writings of Edward Eggleston in The Hoosier Schoolmaster and was represented in much later days by James Whitcomb Riley, George Ade, Gene Stratton Porter, and also in the nostalgic lyric by Paul Dresser (brother of Indiana-born novelist Theodore Dreiser) for the song β€œOn the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away.”.

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