Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Northwest Territory: Indiana

French fur traders were the first Europeans to establish settlements in what would became the state of Indiana. Trading posts and forts were established by the French at Fort Miamis [Fort Wayne], Ouiatenon [Lfayette] and Vincennes by 1732.

During the French and Indian War, Robert Rogers led a force of British rangers to secure Forts Detroit, Miamis and Vincennes. Chief Pontiac, allied with the French, laid siege to Fort Detroit, while other tribes attacked Forts Miamis, Vincennes and Ouiatenon. All was for naught, as the French surrendered to Great Britain and ceded the territory to the Brits.

During the Revolution, George Rogers Clark's Virginia militia wrested control of Vincennes and other regional forts from the British.

Modern-day Indiana became part of the Northwest Territory in 1787. Vincennes and Clark's Grant [a large tract of land on the Ohio, across from Louisville, KY, granted to George Rogers Clark for his Rev War service] were the only settlements. Indiana Territory was created in 1800. William Henry Harrison [1800-1813] and Thomas Posey [1813-1816] served as territorial governors. Vincennes served as the capital until a new capitol building was finished at Corydon in southern Indiana in 1813. During the War of 1812, General Harrison defeated Shawnee chief Tecumseh at the Battle of Tippecanoe. Jonathan Jennings was among those who led the push to make Indiana a state.

Indiana settlement developed along the Ohio River and gradually shifted northward as Indian tribes were push farther north and west. By the time statehood was granted in 1816 a new, more centrally located capital was needed.

In 1820 a site on the White River became the new capital, Indianapolis. City founders believed that the White River would become a major water route for trade into the city. They were wrong. However, the National Road would reach the city by 1825 and make Indianapolis a major trade hub.
A canal system was developed during the 1830s, but soon replaced by the railroad. Indiana's population would continue to grow northward.

Family connections: Faucett [1824], Cawby, Gulley, Clark, Simmons, Crousore, Crail, O'Neil, Prall, McHugh [c1912] and a few others in between. The majority of the families came in from SW Ohio and worked their way north into central Indiana. The Pralls came into Grant Co. and the McHughs arrived from Chicago.

More on Indiana: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Indiana

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