1850 Indiana

Indiana, one of the United States, situated between 3745' and 4152' north latitude, and 8412' longitude west from Greenwich; and is bounded north by Michigan lake and state, east by a small portion of Michigan, Ohio and a small part of Kentucky, southeast by the Ohio river, which separates it from Kentucky, and west by Illinois, from which it is separated in part by the Wabash river.  Its superficial area is 34,000 square miles.

Physical Aspect--In features, soil and climate, Indiana forms a connecting link between Ohio and Illinois.  It is more hilly than the latter, but contains no mountains.  A range of high land, called the "Knobs", extends from the falls of the Ohio to the Wabash, which in many places produces a broken surface.  Bordering on all the principal streams, except the Ohio, are belts of "bottom" and prairie. Between the Wabash and Lake Michigan the country is generally level, abounding alternately in woodlands, prairies, lakes and swamps.  A range of hills runs parallel with the Ohio, from the mouth of the Great Miami to Blue river, alternately approaching to within a few rods, and receding to the distance of two miles.  Immediately below Blue river the hills disappear, and the country immediately becomes level.  The prairies of this state are of two kinds, the "river", and the "upland."  The former are bottoms, Destitute of timber; the latter are from 30 to 100 feet or more in elevation, and are far more numerous and extensive.  The soil of these plains, or tablelands, are often as deep and fertile as the best bottoms.  The prairies bordering on the Wabash are particularly rich, varying from 2 to 25 feet in depth.  In truth, no state in the Union can show a greater extent of fertile land, in one body, than Indiana.

Rivers & Lakes--The principal rivers are, the Ohio, which flows along the entire southern boundary; the Wabash, which bounds the state partly on the west; the Patoka, Tippecanoe, Eel, Salamanic Plein, Theakiki, St Mary's, St Joseph, White, Whitewater and Kankakee, a branch of the Illinois.  Besides Lake Michigan, there are English and Beaver lakes, all of which lie at the northwestern part of the state.

Climate--The climate is generally healthy and resembles that of Ohio and Illinois.  In all places situated near stagnant water or sluggish streams, fevers and bilious attacks prevail during the hotter months of the year.  The Wabash is generally closed in the winter, and may be safely crossed on the ice.  In the central and southern parts of the state snow seldom falls to a greater depth than 6 inches; but in the northern parts it is sometimes from an foot to eighteen inches deep.

Productive Resources--The staple productions of this state are horses, mules, neat cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, butter, cheese, wax, furs, skins, wool, sugar, wine, hops, hay, hemp, flax, tobacco, wheat, barley, rye, buckwheat, oats, potatoes and Indian corn.  Among the mineral resources may be mentioned, iron, coal and Epsom salts.

Manufacturing--In 1850 there were in Indiana, 4,326 manufacturing establishments, which produced $500 and upward each annually. The total amount of manufacturing in the state was over $7,000,000, having more than doubled since 1840.

Railroads & Canals--Indiana has about 1,000 miles of railroad already completed, and in successful operation, and new lines projected.  The principal canal in Indiana is the Wabash and Erie, 459 miles long, connecting the waters of Lake Erie with those of the Ohio river; next in importance is the Whitewater canal, extending from Lawrenceburg to Cambridge, 76 miles.

Commerce--Indiana has no direct foreign commerce, its exports being shipped at the ports of other states.  Its river and lake trade is considerable, and increasing.

Education--The collegiate institutions of Indiana are, the State University, at Bloomington founded in 1827; Hanover College at South Hanover in 1829; Wabash College at Crawfordsville in 1833; Franklin College at Franklin in 1837; Indiana Asbury University in 1839; St Gabriel's College at Vincennes in 1843.  A law school is attached to the State University and medical schools at Laporte and Indianapolis.  There are about 100 academies and high schools in the state.  The common school fund is nearly a million dollars.

Government--The legislative authority is vested in a senate and house of representatives; the senate is not to exceed 50 members, elected for 4 years.  The representatives, not to exceed 100 in number, are chosen for 2 years.  The executive power is vested in a governor, elected by the people for 4 years, but not eligible the next four years. A lieutenant-governor is also chosen in the same manner, and for the same term.  The elections are held once in tow years, on the second Tuesday in October. All elections by the people are by ballot, and decided by a plurality of votes; all elections by the legislature are viva voca.  The legislature meets biennially, at Indianapolis, the first Monday in January.  The judicial power is vested in a supreme court of not less than three, nor more than five judges, elected by the people at large, for a term of 6 years; in circuit courts, the judges of which (one in each) are elected by the people in each judicial circuit for a term of 6 years; and in such inferior courts as the legislature may establish.  The right of suffrage extends to every white male citizen of the United States, of the age of 21 and upward, who shall ahve resided in the state during the six months immediately preceding an election.

Population--In 1800 was 2,640; in 1810 was 24,520, exclusive of Indians; in 1820 was 147,178; in 1830 was 343,031; in 1840 was 685,866 and in 1850 was 988,416

History-- This state embraces a part of the ancient territory of Upper Louisiana, as held by the French prior to 1763, when it was ceded to England, together with Canada and Acadia.  The first permanent settlement was made at Vincennes, in about the year1690.  At the close of the Revolutionary War, and by the treaty of 1783, the country was claimed under the charter of Virginia, and held by that state until ceded to the United States, in 1787.  It was then made a part of the territory northwest of Ohio river.  When Ohio was made a separate territory, in 1800, Indiana and Illinois remained united, and continued under one government until 1809, when each became a distinct territory.  In 1816 Indiana was admitted into the Union as an independent state.  A new constitution was adopted in 1851.