Indiana History: Early Civilizations - Civil war[]

Indiana's earliest known inhabitants were Native Americans, mostly of the Miami, Delaware, and Pottawatomie tribes. After Europeans began exploring North America, French explorer Robert Cavelier came to the area eventually known as Indiana in 1679, claiming it for France.

The territory of present-day Indiana passed from the French to the British as a result of the Treaty of Paris in 1763. However, at the end of the American Revolution, 20 years later, in 1783, Britain gave the entire trans-Allegheny region to the United States, including Indiana.

Native Americans resisted early settlement attempts, but Gen. Anthony Wayne's victory at Fallen Timbers (1794) effectively ended resistance to settlement. In 1800, the Indiana Territory was established, containing the area of the current states of Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and parts of Minnesota and Michigan. Vincennes was the capital, though it was later moved to Corydon.

A constitutional convention met in 1816, and in that same year, Indiana achieved statehood. Jonathan Jennings was elected governor of the state (he declared Indiana a free state), and he eventually moved the capital, yet again, to Indianapolis, to which the executive section of government moved in 1825 and 1826.

Indiana soon became, true to its self-appointed title, the crossroads of America, as railroads crisscrossed the landscape.

During the Civil war, Indiana, a free state, sided with the Union.

External reference[]

"Indiana." The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Columbia University Press., 2003. 02 Dec. 2006.

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