Jonathan Jennings (1776-1834) to Congress on an anti-slavery platform. In 1810, by which year the number of slaves had increased to 237, the anti-slavery party was strong enough to secure the repeal of the indenture law, which had received the unwilling acquiescence of Governor Harrison. Jennings was re-elected in 1811, and subsequently was chosen first governor of the state on the same issue, and the state constitution of 1816 pronounced strongly against slavery. The liberation of most of the slaves in the eastern counties followed; and some slave-holders removed to Kentucky. In 1830 there were only three slaves in the state, and the danger of the establishment of slavery as an institution on a large scale was long past.
The problem of “internal improvements” came to be of paramount importance in the decade 1820-1830. In 1827 Congress granted land to aid in the construction of a canal to connect Lake Erie and the Ohio river. This canal was completed from the St Joseph river to the Wabash in 1835, opened in 1843, and later abandoned. In 1836 the state legislature passed a law providing for an elaborate system of public improvements, consisting largely of canals and railways. The state issued bonds to the value of $10,000,000, a period of wild speculation followed, and the financial panic of 1837 forced the abandonment of the proposed plan and the sale to private persons of that part already completed. The legislature authorized the issue of $1,500,000 in treasury bonds, which by 1842 had fallen in value to 40 or 50% of their face value. A new constitution was adopted in February 1851 by a vote of 109,319 against 26,755.
Despite its large Southern population, Indiana’s answer to President Lincoln’s first call for volunteers at the outbreak of the Civil War was prompt and spirited. From first to last the state furnished 208,000 officers and men for the Union armies, besides a home legion of some 50,000, organized to protect the state against possible invasion. The efficiency of the state military organization, as well as that of the civil administration during the trying years of the war, was largely due to the extraordinary ability and energy of Governor Oliver P. Morton, one of the greatest of the “war governors” of the North. The problems met and solved by Governor Morton, however, were not only the comparatively simple ones of furnishing troops as required. The legislature of 1863 and the state officers were opposed to him politically, and did everything in their power to thwart him and deprive him of his control of the militia. The Republican members seceded, legislative appropriations were blocked, and Governor Morton was compelled to take the extraconstitutional step of arranging with a New York banking house for the payment of the interest on the state debt, of borrowing money for state expenditure on his own responsibility, and of constituting an unofficial financial bureau, which disbursed money in disregard of the state officers. Furthermore Indiana was the principal centre of activity of the disloyal association known as the Knights of the Golden Circle, or Sons of Liberty, which found a ready growth among the large Southern population. Prominent among Southern sympathisers was Senator Jesse D. Bright (1812-1875), who on the 5th of February 1862 was expelled from the United States Senate for writing a letter addressed to Jefferson Davis, as President of the Confederacy, in which he recommended a friend who had an improvement in fire-arms to dispose of. The Knights of the Golden Circle at first confined their activities to the encouragement of desertion, and resistance to the draft, but in 1864 a plot to overthrow the state government was discovered, and Governor Morton’s prompt action resulted in the seizure of a large quantity of arms and ammunition, and the arrest, trial and conviction of several of the leaders. In June 1863 the state was invaded by Confederate cavalry under General John H. Morgan, but most of his men were captured in Indiana and he was taken in Ohio. There were other attempts at invasion, but the expected rising, on which the invaders had counted, did not take place, and in every case the home legion was able to capture or drive out the hostile bands.
Politically Indiana has been rather evenly divided between the great political parties. Before the Civil War, except when William Henry Harrison was a candidate for the presidency, its electoral vote was generally given to the Democratic party, to which also most of its governors belonged. After the war the control of the state alternated with considerable regularity between the Republican and Democratic parties, until 1896, between which time and 1904 the former were continuously successful. In 1908 a Democratic governor was elected, but Republican presidential electors were chosen.
|Governors of Indiana|
|Arthur St Clair (North-West Territory)||1787-1800|
|John Gibson, Territorial Secretary (acting)||1800-1801|
|William Henry Harrison||1801-1812|
|John Gibson, Territorial Secretary (acting)||1812-1813|
|Jonathan Jennings||1816-1822|| Democratic- |
|Ratliff Boone (acting)||1822||”|
|James B. Ray, President of Senate (acting)||1825||”|
|James B. Ray||1825-1831||”|
|Paris C. Dunning, Lt.-Gov. (acting)||1848-1849||”|
|Joseph A. Wright||1849-1857||”|
|Ashbel P. Willard||1857-1860||”|
|Abram A. Hammond, Lt.-Gov. (acting)||1860-1861||”|
|Henry S. Lane||1861||Republican|
|Oliver P. Morton, Lt.-Gov. (acting)||1861-1865||”|
|Oliver P. Morton||1865-1867||”|
|Conrad Baker, Lt-Gov. (acting)||1867-1869||”|
|Thomas A. Hendricks||1873-1877||Democrat|
|James D. Williams||1877-1880||”|
|Isaac P. Gray, Lt.-Gov. (acting)||1880-1881||”|
|Albert G. Porter||1881-1885||Republican|
|Isaac P. Gray||1885-1889||Democrat|
|Alvin P. Hovey||1889-1891||Republican|
|Ira J. Chase, Lt.-Gov. (acting)||1891-1893||”|
|James A. Mount||1897-1901||Republican|
|Winfield T. Durbin||1901-1905||”|
|J. Frank Hanly||1905-1909||”|
|Thomas R. Marshall||1909-||Democrat|
Bibliography.—There is a bibliography of Indiana history, by Isaac S. Bradley, in the Proceedings of the Wisconsin State Historical Society for 1897. The History of Indiana by William Henry Smith (2 vols., Indianapolis, 1897) is the best general account of Indiana history and institutions. J. B. Dillon’s History of Indiana (Indianapolis, 1859) is the most authoritative account of the early history to 1816. J. P. Dunn’s Indiana, a Redemption from Slavery (Boston, 1888) in the “American Commonwealth” series, as its secondary title indicates, is devoted principally to the struggle over the provision in the Ordinance of 1787 prohibiting slavery. For the Civil War period consult J. A. Woodburn, “Party Politics in Indiana during the Civil War” in Annual Report of the American Historical Association (Washington, 1902); W. H. H. Terrell, “Indiana in the War of the Rebellion” (Official Report of the Adjutant-General Indianapolis, 1869); and E. B. Pitman, Trials for Treason at Indianapolis (Indianapolis, 1865). See also De W. C. Goodrich and C. R. Tuttle, Illustrated History of the State of Indiana (Chicago, 1875); the same, revised and enlarged by W. S. Haymond (Indianapolis, 1879); O. H. Smith, Early Indiana Trials and Sketches (Indianapolis, 1858); and Nathaniel Bolton, “Early History of Indianapolis and Central Indiana,” in Indiana Historical Society Publications, No. 5. “The Executive Journal of Indiana Territory” has been reprinted in the Indiana Historical Society’s Publications, vol. iii., 1900. For government and administration see E. L. Hendricks, History and Government of Indiana (New York, 1908), The Legislative and State Manual of Indiana (Indianapolis, published biennially by the State librarian), Constitutions of 1816 and 1851 of the State of Indiana with Amendments (Indianapolis, 1897), School Law of Indiana, with Annotations (Indianapolis, 1904), and Wm. A. Rawles, Centralizing Tendencies in the Administration of Indiana (New York and London, 1903), Columbia Univ. Press. “The New Municipal Code of Indiana” is explained in an article by H. O. Stechhan in the Forum (October-December, 1905). For education see Fassett A. Cotton’s Education in Indiana (Indianapolis, 1905), and James A. Woodburn, Higher Education in Indiana (Washington, 1891), U.S. Documents, Bureau of Education, Circulars