|A Year of Indiana History - 2016|
December 11, 1816 - Indiana Becomes a State
One year after the Indiana Territorial Assembly had sent a petition to Congress requesting admission as a state the Indiana Territory transitioned from territory to state.. On December 11, 1816, President James Madison approved the Assembly's request for Statehood. Indiana became the nineteenth state admitted to the Union. The road had been a long one since the establishment of the Northwest Territory in 1784.
Time Line of Events Leading to Statehood
October, 28 1702 - Trading Post at Vincennes Established
Established first as a trading post on October 28, 1702 by French Lieutenant General Sieur Juchereau of Montréal, Vincennes is the oldest continuously inhabited European town in Indiana and one of the oldest west of the Appalachian Mountains. The French abandoned the post after Juchereau died, even though it was a successful trading post. Historians do not know where this post was, exactly, but surmise it was near the spot the Buffalo Trace crossed the Wabash River.
February 25, 1779 - George Rogers Clark Recaptures Vincennes In From British
Colonel George Rogers Clark forced the British forces under British Lieutenant-Governor Henry Hamilton to surrender Fort Sackville. This returned the town of Vincennes to American jurisdiction. Clark and his men had captured the town, along with Kaskaskia, Cahokia and other small outposts the previous year. Lieutenant-Governor Henry Hamilton had retaken Vincennes on December 17, 1778. Then Hamilton, committing a fatal error, allowed most of his force to return home for the winter. Clark's feat strengthened the United States claim to the vast territory at the 1783 Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary war.
April 23, 1784 - Land Ordinance of 1784
The Ordinance of 1784 created an orderly procedure for the United States to deal with the lands west of the Allegheny Mountains that opened up by the compromises of 1781, 1782 and 1783 that led to the ratification of the Articles of Confederation in 1784.
May 20, 1785 - Land Ordinance of 1785
The Land Ordinance of 1785 set the stage for the orderly development of the western lands designated as the Northwest Territory by the Ordinance of 1784. This Ordinance had laid the lay the groundwork for development of the vast region that would become Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. The Ordinance of 1784 did not create a system for how these regions would be divided and sold to the public. The Land Ordinance of 1885 created this system and more. It also established a method of lands for public education and government in the new lands.
July 13, 1787 - Northwest Territory Ordinance Adopted
Congress established the Northwest Territory on July 13, 1787. The Territory existed as a legal entity from that date until Ohio became a State in 1803. Congress eventually carved six states out of the Territory.
July 15, 1788 - Arthur St. Clair Formally Establishes Northwest Territory Government
The Confederation Congress had established the Northwest Territory on July 13, 1787. President George Washington appointed Arthur St. Clair as governor of the territory. It would take more than a year before St. Claire officially set up the government at the new settlement at Marietta, Ohio.
August 03, 1795 - Treaty of Greenville Concluded
General Anthony Wayne defeated a consortium of Amerindian tribes at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The Greenville Treaty signed a year later established new boundaries between the Amerindian tribes and the encroaching whites.
August 25, 1795 - Northwest Territorial Assembly Adjourns - Maxwell's Code Becomes Law
Meeting in the town of Cincinnati, the Northwest Assembly revised and passed a series of laws for the newly created Northwest Territory that Northwest Territorial Governor Arthur St. Clair had compiled. The assembly passed the last of these laws on August 20, 1795 and adjourned on August 25.
July 04, 1800 - Indiana Territory Organized, Separated From Northwest Territory
President Jefferson had signed the bill authoring the creation of the Indiana Territory on May 7, 1800. The bill took effect on July 1, 1800.
May 07, 1800 - Bill to Divide Northwest Territory - Creates Indiana Territory
Congress organized the Northwest Territory by passing the Ordinance of 1787. Six states eventually arose from this huge expanse of land, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and a portion of Minnesota. By 1800, the easternmost portion of the region had gained enough population to begin the statehood process. The Act split the western portion of the Northwest Territory off, forming the Indiana Territory in the process. Ohio contained the remnants of the Northwest Territory until it gained statehood on March 1, 1803.
May 10, 1800 - Harrison Land Act of 1800
Congress passed the Land of 1796 in hopes of encouraging settlement of the Northwest Territory. In 1800, Congress, at the urging of William Henry Harrison, passed the Harrison Land Act of 1800 to remedy the faults of the Land Act of 1796.
March 26, 1804 - Land Act of 1804 Passed Congress
The Harrison Land Act of 1804 allowed more people to buy land in the Northwest Territory by reducing the minimum number of acres they had to buy that the Harrison Land Act of 1800 had required.
August 21, 1805 - Treaty of Grouseland Signed
Treaty of Grouseland
Indiana Territory Governor William Henry Harrison negotiated a treaty with the Amerindian tribes to compensate them for land lost due to white encroachment along the Ohio River. The tribes involved included the Miami, Wea (Piankeshaw, Kickapoo) Pottawatomie and Shawnee Lenape tribes
May 13, 1800 - William Henry Harrison Appointed Indiana Territory Governor
On May 12, 1800 President John Adams select William Henry Harrison to be governor of the newly created Indiana Territory, due to his political skills and knowledge of the west. Congress confirmed the selection the next day, May 13.
January 11, 1805 - Congress Separates Michigan Territory from Indiana Territory
Congress established the Northwest Territory on July 13, 1787. The Territory existed as a legal entity from that date until Ohio became a State in 1803. Congress eventually carved six states out of the Territory. This separation was the second act of dividing this vast territory into states. When Congress made the first division, they separated the Northwest Territory from the Indiana Territory in 1800.
July 29, 1805 - First Meeting of the Indiana Territorial Assembly - Red House Vincennes
The first meeting of the Indiana Territorial Assembly in the Red House at Vincennes took place on July 29, 1805 during what historians call the second stage of Territorial government. The session would last until August 19. This ended the first stage of Territorial government.
April 3, 1809 - Congress Creates the Illinois Territory
The vastness of the Indiana Territory created a problem of governance. Its size made it difficult for people to travel to Vincennes, the Territorial capital. To address the problem Congress passed an act that separated the Indiana Territory from areas to the west and northwest. This new Illinois Territory would have its capital at Kaskaskia, at the junction of the Mississippi and Kaskaskia Rivers. The Indiana Territory acquired the approximate boundaries it would have when admitted as a State in 1816.
November 07, 1811 - Battle of Tippecanoe
Forces under the command of General William Henry Harrison met in battle with the Shawnee chief, Tenskwatawa, during the early morning hours and fought a battle that temporally destroyed Prophetstown, the Shawnee center of power in the Indiana Territory.
March 11, 1813 - Resolution Passed to Move Capital from Vincennes to Corydon
Amerindian raids in the Indiana Territory increased after the Battle of Tippecanoe. In addition, a political struggle developed between William Henry Harrison and his supporters and the rising politician, Jonathan Jennings. In response to this, the Assembly passed an Act moving the Territorial Capital from Vincennes to Corydon.
May 01, 1813 - Corydon Becomes Capital of Indiana Territory
The Indiana General Assembly passed the State Capital Act on March 11, 1813 that would move the Indiana Territorial Capital from Vincennes to Corydon. The law became effective on May 1, 1813.
August 29, 1814 - Census Authorized by Territorial Assembly Shows 63,897
The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 had established the Northwest Territory and established rudimentary boundaries between the five to seven proposed states that would be formed in the territory. Congress had decreed that when a region reached a population of 63,000 people, it could apply for statehood on an equal basis with existing states.
April 19, 1816 - President James Madison Signs Enabling Act - Allows Indiana Territory to Form Constitution
On December 11, 1815, the Indiana Territorial Assembly sent a petition to Congress, requesting it be granted statehood. The Territorial representative in Congress presented the petition to select committees in the House and the Senate. Both committees returned a favorable verdict, and the Enabling Act went on for a floor vote. The United States House of Representatives voted in favor of admitting Indiana as a state on March 30, 1816. by a 108 - 3. The Senate passed the Act on April 13, 1816. President James Madison signed the bill on April 19, 1816. The Indiana Territorial Assembly was now free to write a constitution. The Act specified that the Convention should meet on June 10, 1816 to draft the Constitution that would lead to Statehood.
May 13, 1816 - Election of Delegates to the Indiana Constitutional Convention
June 10, 1816 First Constitutional Convention Meets
President James Madison signed the Enabling act on April 19, 1816, authorizing Indiana to write a state constitution. Voters that would make up the new state voted on May 13, 1816 to choose delegates from each county to meet at Corydon, the capital of the Indiana Territory and write the constitution. The Enabling Act had designated June 10, 1816 as the date the convention would adjourn. Thus, on June 10, 1816 forty-three delegates from thirteen counties met at Corydon to begin the constitution making process. The delegates, and the counties they represented, were:
June 29, 1816 - Indiana Adopts Constitution
When President James Madison signed the Enabling Act on April 19, 1816, he authorized the residents of the Indiana Territory to write a Constitution in anticipation of statehood. The Act set a date to elect delegates for that constitution. The voters went to the polls on May 13, 1816 and chose forty-three delegates to meet at the territorial capitol at Corydon.
August 5, 1816 - First Election Under the 1816 Constitution
In 1816, the Indiana Territory contained almost 64,000 people, of which around 12,000 were qualified to vote. 9000 voters cast ballots for a governor, a lieutenant governor, members of the Assembly, and a member of Congress.
November 4, 1816 - General Assembly of Indiana Meets First Time in Corydon
The assembly chose James Noble and Waller Taylor to serve as Indiana's first United States Senators
December 6, 1816 - The United States Senate Passed Resolution Approving Statehood for Indiana
December 9, 1816 - The United States House of Representatives Resolution Approving Statehood for Indiana
December 11, 1816 - President James Madison Signed Resolution Approving Statehood for Indiana
Louisiana had preceded Indiana, gaining statehood on April 30, 1812; Mississippi came soon after on December 10, 1817. There were fifteen counties, all in the southern part of the state. Two thirds of the state was still occupied by Amerindians. Frontier conditions still prevailed over most of the new state, roads were poor to nonexistent. The journey to statehood had ended. The journey of the new state of Indiana had just begun.