John Hayward, Gazetteer of the United States of America… (Philadelphia: James L. Gihon, 1854), 50-53.
INDIANA. The history of the settlement of Indiana is nearly identical with that of its twin sister, Illinois, and of much of the vast surrounding region formerly included in the so-called North-west Territory. The first permanent occupancy of the country was effected in 1702, at a fertile spot on the eastern bank of the Wabash, about 100 miles above its confluence with the Ohio. To this place, which became a fortified trading post, its inhabitants afterwards gave the name of Vincennes. The original settlers were French soldiers from Canada, belonging to the army of Louis XIV. Their descendants remained an almost isolated community, increasing very slowly in numbers, for nearly one hundred years, and, in the mean time, from habits of constant intercourse with their Indian neighbors exclusively, with whom they often intermarried, had imbibed a taste for savage life, and had consequently retrogressed in the march of civilization. By the treaty of peace between France and England, in 1763, the territory became subject to the latter; from which power, however, it was wrested by the Americans during the revolutionary war. From the close of that struggle, in 1783, until General Wayne's treaty in 1795, and again just before the commencement of the second war with Great Britain, the people, generally residing in hamlets and villages remote from each other, were terribly harassed by the incursions of the Indians, who committed the most cruel atrocities. These merciless barbarians were at length effectually conquered and humbled by the United States military forces under General Harrison; a season of quietude and prosperity immediately ensued, and a vast tide of immigration has been flowing into the state since the peace of 1815. Indiana was originally embraced in the territory north-west of the Ohio, and so remained until the year 1800. It was then, including the present State of Illinois, newly organized under the name of Indiana Territory. In 1809, it was divided into two territories, Illinois having been set off, and became an independent state in 1816.
Boundaries and Extent. — The state is bounded north by Michigan and the southern portion of the lake of that name; east by the State of Ohio; south-east and south by Ohio River, which divides it from Kentucky; and west by Illinois, the Wabash River forming part of the boundary. It lies between 37° 47' and 41° 50' north latitude, and its mean length is estimated at 260 miles; its mean breadth is about 140 miles, extending from 84° 45' to 88° west longitude. Its area comprehends nearly 34,000 square miles.
Government. — The executive power resides in a governor and lieutenant governor, the latter being president of the Senate, and acting as governor in cases of vacancy. The legislature consists of two branches, — Senate and House of Representatives, — apportioned to the counties, according to the number of qualified electors, in such ratio that the number of representatives shall not be less than 36 nor more than 100. The Senate is never to contain less than 12 nor more than 50 members. All the above are elected by the people triennially, except the representatives, who are chosen every year. The legislature convenes annually. The chief magistrate cannot hold office longer than six years in any term of nine years. The secretary of state, treasurer, and auditor are chosen by the General Assembly in joint ballot, the first for a term of four years, and the two latter for three years.
Judiciary. — The judicial power is vested in a Supreme Court, in Circuit Courts, Courts of Common Pleas, Probate Courts, and justices of the peace. The Supreme Court is composed of three judges, the senior in office being chief justice, and are appointed for seven years by the governor and Senate. The Circuit Courts are thirteen in number, and consist of a president judge for each judicial circuit, acting with two associate judges in each county: the president judges are elected for seven years by the legislature, and the associate judges for the same term by the people. Judges of probate, justices of the peace, sheriffs, and coroners are chosen by the people, for various terms.
Education. — Attention to this important interest has been considerably awakened within a few years. A common school fund, to be derived from various sources, was founded by a law of the state in 1849, at which time the several funds set apart for the purpose were valued at upwards of $700,000. By the census of 1840, there were within the state over 38,000 white persons, above the age of 20 years, who could neither read nor write. Asylums for the blind, the deaf and dumb, and the insane, have been established. There are several colleges, and numerous academies, in various parts of the state.
Finances. — The annual revenue of Indiana is amply sufficient for the ordinary current expenditures. The amount of the public debt in July, 1849, was more than $12,000,000, the liability for which is nearly equally divided between the state and the Wabash and Erie Canal Company.
Surface, Soil, &tc. — The face of the country, though not mountainous, is in some quarters hilly and broken. The greater portion of the state, by far, consists of immense tracts of level lands, studded at intervals with picturesque clusters of trees. Many of the upland prairies are skirted for long distances with noble forests, while those bordering upon the rivers are rarely productive of any description of timber. The whole earth is replete with vegetable wealth. Upon the prairies there is, at the proper seasons, intermingled with gay and odorous flowers, a thick covering of grass, growing to a height of seven or eight feet. The soil of the prairies, as well those which are elevated as those which lie along the rivers, is surpassingly rich, the loam commonly reaching to a depth of two to five feet. The trees of native growth comprise several varieties of oak, walnut, maple, elm, sycamore, beech, ash, linden, locust, sassafras, buckeye, cottonwood, cherry, and mulberry. The most important of the cultivated products are wheat, Indian corn, rye, and other grains, potatoes, and various other esculents. Grapes, and indeed fruits of all kinds peculiar to the climate, grow profusely. Among the many valuable staples of this state are large quantities of beef, pork, butter, cheese, sugar, wool, tobacco, and hemp.
Rivers. — The entire state is admirably watered by large and beautiful streams, many of them navigable for hundreds of miles. Among the most considerable rivers, besides the Ohio, are the Wabash, a tributary of the former; White River, a branch of the Wabash, with its two great forks ; Whitewater, St. Joseph's, &c.
Internal Improvements. — The Wabash and Erie Canal, 187 miles in length, connecting the navigable waters of the River Wabash with those of Lake Erie, is the most important enterprise of the kind in which this state has been concerned. Nearly 100 miles of its extent are in Indiana, and the residue in Ohio. The whole was completed in 1843. The Whitewater Canal, a work of much less magnitude, is partially completed, and several additions are contemplated. A railroad, commencing at Indianapolis, connects the capital with three or four different points on the Ohio, a distance of about 100 miles. From the same point of beginning, another road, partly macadamized, extends northwardly to Michigan city. Other railroads have been projected, some of which are in course of construction.
Minerals. — The mineral resources of this state have been but partially explored or developed. Iron is known to exist in various quarters, and some copper has been found. Salt springs have been opened, at which salt in considerable quantities has been manufactured. Epsom salts, and saltpetre in a pure state, have been quite plentifully obtained from caves in Crawford and Harrison counties. Coal in abundance has been recently excavated from the bluffs near the Ohio, in Perry county. At a place called Cannelton, the deposits are extremely productive, yielding in profusion a very superior quality of bituminous coal, resembling, in all its characteristics, the celebrated English Cannel coal.
Manufactures. — The business of manufacturing has not been pursued largely, except for domestic uses. Cotton and woollen fabrics are extensively manufactured in families throughout the state; and there are also a number of fulling mills, woollen and cotton factories, iron furnaces, tanneries, potteries, breweries, flouring and saw mills, &c.
Indians. — The various tribes formerly inhabiting this region have yielded to the advances of their civilized successors, parted with their native right to the soil, and sought other homes farther west.
Population. — The population of Indiana, since the year 1825, has increased with unexampled rapidity. At that date, the number of inhabitants was estimated at 185,000. It is now, in (1850,) 988,416. Among the causes which have conduced to attract settlers thither, the extraordinary fertility of the soil, the low price of lands, the facilities for inland water communication, and the healthful climate, are doubtless among the most prominent.
Climate. — Residents of the country characterize the climate as generally mild and salubrious. In summer, the temperature is genial and uninterrupted by injurious changes. The winters are neither long nor severe, six weeks being considered as their average duration. Frosts, however, are common in spring and autumn. Fevers and agues prevail only in marshy places, and in the neighborhood of stagnant waters.
Religion. — In "modes of faith" there is much diversity. The most numerous classes of Christians are Methodists, Presbyterians, and Baptists; there are also considerable numbers of Lutherans, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, and Friends.
Curiosities. — Among the most remarkable curiosities of the state are the mineral caves already alluded to, and the multitudes of singular mounds scattered over the face not only of Indiana, but most of the Western States, supposed by many to have been ancient Indian fortifications, by others conjectured to be places of sepulture, and by some to be tumuli produced solely by natural causes.