SURVEYS AND INDIAN TREATIES



        At St. Mary’s, Ohio, in 1818 a treaty was negotiated by Governor Jennings, General Cass and Judge Benjamin Parke, men who acted as government commissioners, with the Indians. The red men gave up all title to their unceded land south of the Wabash river, except reservations, which included the territory in central Indiana, out of which thirty counties have been laid off, among them Hendricks county. This was the largest of the fifty-two purchases which were required to obtain from the Indians all of the land in the state of Indiana. In the terms of this treaty it was stated that the Indians should have possession of their improvements and reside in the country for a period of three years, after which time a portion of them ‘would have to go upon reservations, but the majority of them were to be transported beyond the great Mississippi river. The government surveys were stipulated to begin immediately, and the ceded lands to be opened to settlers. Prior to this time the land now forming Hendricks county had been occupied by the tribe of Delaware Indians, but, not being located on any of the great war trails or fighting grounds, there were no large Indian villages or Indian improvements in this district. Hendricks county land was used principally as a hunting ground.
        The government plans were carried out and the survey started at once. Hendricks county was on the meridian line from which the beginning was made, and accordingly it was
surveyed first in 1819. This survey started a great flood of immigration to every corner of the new purchase. In wagons, on foot, horseback, the sturdy men came to build their homes
here. Locations were indefinite and the settlers merely contented themselves with finding a convenient spot and then starting a clearing wherein to build their log homes. The Indians
were not hostile; in fact, they were very friendly and assisted the home seeker in many ways. Their knowledge of the hunting and fishing grounds was often a great help to the stranger.
Although the year specified for the removal of the Indians beyond the Mississippi was 1821. it was not until 1826 that the last of them departed.  When the first white men came to this county a large band of Indians was found camping on White Lick and Eel rivers. The former they called Wa-pe-ke-way, meaning “white salt ;“ and the latter they termed Sho-a-mack, which meant ”slippery fish.”

THE FIRST SETTLEMENT


        In the territory now known and designated as Hendricks County the first settlement was made in the spring of the year 1820 on White Lick creek. The band of settlers who made this initial location, a few miles south of Plainfield, was composed of Bartholomew Ramsey, Samuel Herriman, Harris Bray, John W. Bryant, James Dunn, George Dunn and Ezekiel Moore.
        The nearest settlements to this location were along the Wabash river, and in order to establish communication and a road for the transportation of supplies, these men cut a trail
through the woods and bushes, and gave it the name of the Terre Haute trail. It passed through Hendricks county about a mile south of what was later the National road, and in this
same year of 1820 Nathan Kirk, one of the settlers, afterwards one of the associate judges of the county, located on this trail in the southwest corner of the county and kept a public
tavern. He later transported his goods to Clinton county and became the founder of the town of Kirklin. Kirk’s prairie was also named after this man.
        In the spring months of 1821 Thomas Lockhart, Noah Kellum and Felix Belzer made settlement on the East fork of White Lick, in the southeast corner of what is now Guilford township. Beizer was the most notable of these three men, due to his reputation as a hunter. The tradition is that he killed one hundred and twenty-five deer within a year after he settled in this county. It was in this year, 1821 that the first death occurred in the county, that of Uriah Carson, who had come from Ohio and entered land from the government. He died at the home of Felix Seizer. In the autumn of 1821 William and Thomas Hinton, James Thompson and Robert McCrackin settled on the West fork of White Lick, in the territory now comprising Liberty township. Quite a number of other families settled in the territory now comprising Guilford and Washington townships in the following year of 1822, among them being Jeremiah Hadley, David Caner and Jonathan Hadley, who took the three adjoining farms on the hill immediately east of Plainfield.


GEOLOGY AND TOPOGRAPHY OF HENDRICKS  COUNTY

    Hendricks county has a central position in the state, the county seat being nearly in the exact center from north to south and twenty miles west of the center on an east and west line. Its geographical position is between parallels 39 and 40 degrees north latitude and meridians 86 and 87 west longitude. The exact position of Danville is 39 degrees 40 minutes north latitude and 86 degrees 30- minutes west longitude. In extent, the county was intended to be twenty miles square, but the surveyors' correction line, which passes through the northern part of the county, destroys its quadrilateral shape, and makes it more than half a mile wider at the north than the south. However, owing to irregularities in the surveys, which were caused by the passage through the county of both the second principal meridian and a correction line of the government surveys, the county averaged just twenty miles square until the year 1868, when a strip two miles in width, extending from the meridian line west to Mill creek and containing twenty square miles, was added to the county from Morgan county, which makes the area of the county four hundred and twenty square miles. The county is bounded on the north by Boone county, on the east by Marion county, on the south by Morgan county and on the west by the counties of Putnam and Montgomery.
    The general elevation of the surface of Hendricks county is much higher than the surrounding country, except portions of Boone and Putnam counties. Passing through the county from south to north, from near Clayton to Lebanon, in Boone county, is a natural water-shed, which divides the waters of Eel river and Sugar creek from the waters of White river, and at a point three miles northwest of Danville, at Mount Pleasant church, it attains an elevation of more than one thousand feet.
    The general surface of the county is level or gently undulating. Though the streams in many places have eroded deep, narrow valleys, there are but few acres in the county which, on this account, cannot be cultivated and not one which cannot be made useful for grazing purposes.
    The streams which make the natural drainage of Hendricks county are the White Licks, Big, Little, East and West forks, Abner's creek, Mill creek, School branch and Eel river. The east and north parts of the county are drained by the White Licks, the southwest by Mill creek and the northwest by Eel river. Owing to the elevation of the land, but few springs are found in the county, though pure water in great abundance is obtained at no great depth by digging through sand and clay. Originally the county was covered by a dense forest, composed of every variety of timber, trees and undergrowth found in this latitude, with an extraordinary amount of the more valuable kinds, popular, walnut and the oaks. After the Indians were gone and the annual burning of the woods ceased, there grew up a dense undergrowth, and the highways of the early settlers consisted of narrow trails through the woods, the thickness of which may be illustrated by the statement of a pioneer that when driving cattle from place to place they often tied handspikes across their foreheads, which prevented them from leaving the trail.
    In all parts of the county the soil is productive for cereals, grasses and fruits.

GEOLOGY

    No official survey has ever been made of Hendricks county until the spring of 1914, but the publication of this report, having been delayed by the United States government printing department, will not be issued in time for this work.    However, good information is at hand.
    The entire county is covered by a glacial drift formation from ten to three hundred feet in depth. This formation is composed of sand, clay and calcareous substances, boulders, fragments of crystalline rocks, remains of ancient animals and vegetable life and extensive moraines of gravel.
    The drift in Hendricks county rests upon a stratum of Devonian sandstone, known to geologists as the Marshall or knob sandstone. It is soft, brittle and shaly and unfit for economic uses. This sandstone ceases to appear near the eastern line of the county and it is probable that in the southeast corner of the county, the black slate of the Hamilton group, which underlies the Marshall sandstone, may be found. Near the western border of the county sub-carboniferous limestone overlaps the sandstone. The drift formation is composed of a disintegration and decomposition of almost every variety of rocks, soils, the remains of animal and vegetable life and various mineral elements.
 
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EARLY EXPLORERS

    As an introduction to the history of Hendricks county it is fitting that a brief survey of the history of the state of Indiana should be given, not for the purpose of teaching the reader the course of events which make up Hoosier history, but for the subordinate purpose of building a foundation for the county history, a preparatory word to lead the reader to a better understanding of this work.
    Not until the years 1670-2 did the first white travelers venture so far into the great Northwest as Indiana or Lake Michigan. Claude Dablon and Claude Allouez, two intrepid Frenchmen, then visited what is now the eastern part of Wisconsin,, the northeastern portion of Illinois, and probably the portion of this state north of the Kankakee river. In the year following M. Joliet, an agent of the French colonial government, and James Marquette, a missionary stationed at Mackinaw, explored the country around Green bay, and along Fox and Wisconsin rivers as far westward as the Mississippi river, the banks of which they reached on June 17, 1673. They descended this river a short distance and returned by way of the Illinois river. At a village among the Illinois Indians, Marquette and his followers were received with friendly hospitality and made guests at a great feast of hominy, fish, dog meat and roast buffalo. In 1682 LaSalle explored the West, but it is not known certainly whether or not he entered the territory now embraced in Indiana. He took possession, however, of the whole Mississippi region in the name of France, and, in honor of the king, he named it Louisiana. Spain at the same time claimed the region around the Gulf of Mexico. Consequently the two nations clashed.

NATIONAL POLICIES

    The English, who were envious of the French, resorted to every method to extend their territory westward. Both nations secured aid from various Indian tribes, and a bloody and merciless warfare continued for many years. France continued in her effort to connect the Canadian country with the gulf of Mexico by a chain of trading posts and colonies, which further increased the jealousy of England and really laid the foundation for the French and Indian war, which terminated in the treaty of 1763 at Paris, and by which France ceded to Great Britain all of North America east of the Mississippi river, except New Orleans and some contiguous territory. The British policy, after getting control of the Indian territory, was still unfavorable to its growth in population. In 1765 the number of French families within the limits of the Northwestern territory did not exceed six hundred. These were in settlements around Detroit, along the Wabash river, and in the neighbor! hood of Fort Chartres. Cahokia and Kaskaskia on the Mississippi river. Of these families, eighty five resided at Post Vincennes, fourteen at Fort Ouiate-non on the Wabash and in the neighborhood of the confluence of the St. Mary and St. Joseph rivers. The colonial policy of the British government opposed any measures which might strengthen the settlements in the interior of this country, lest they become self supporting and independent of the mother country. Thomas Jefferson, the wise statesman and governor of Virginia, saw from the first that actual occupation of western lands was the only way to keep them out of the hands of foreigners and Indians.    Accordingly he engaged a corps of scientific .men and sent them to the Mississippi river to ascertain the point on that stream intersected by latitude thirty six degrees thirty minutes and to measure its distance north to the Ohio. In that quarter he intrusted the military operations to General Clark, with instructions to select a strong position near the named point and erect a fort and garrison the same for protecting the settlers, and then to extend his conquest toward the great lakes on the north. Conforming to his instructions, General Clark erected Fort Jefferson on the Mississippi, a few miles above the southern limit. The result of these operations was the addition to Virginia of the vast Northwest territory. The fact that a chain of forts was established by the Americans in this region convinced the British commissioners that we had entitled ourselves to the land. During this time minor events were transpiring outside the territory in question which later promoted the settlement in what is now known as Indiana.

THE GEORGE ROGERS CLARK EXPEDITION

    George Rogers Clark, a resident of Kentucky, but a native of Virginia, some time in the spring of 1776 formulated a scheme of more rapid settlement in the Northwest territory. That part of Kentucky was occupied by Henderson and Company, who pretended to own the land and set a high price on the same. Clark doubted the validity of their claim, and wished to make a test of it, and adjust the control of the country so that settlements might be fostered. He called a meeting of the citizens at Harrodstown, to assemble June 6, 1776, and consider the claims of the company, and consult with reference to the interests of the country.
This meeting was held on the day appointed and delegates elected to confer with the state of Virginia as to the propriety of attaching the new country as a county to that state. Many causes prevented a consummation of this object until the year 1778. Virginia was favorable to the enterprise, but would not take action as a state. Governor Henry and a few others, however, assisted Colonel Clark all they could. Clark organized an expedition and took in stores at Pittsburgh and Wheeling, and proceeded down the Ohio to the falls, where he built some light fortifications.
    Clark's original plan was to take Vincennes, but he changed it on account of an erroneous idea as to the strength of the garrison at that place. He left the Falls of the Ohio on June 24, 1878, and, with one hundred and fifty three men, floated down the Ohio, reaching the mouth of the Tennessee river four days later. He then landed his men and marched them to Kaskaskia, reaching the quaint little French village on the night of July 4th. Clark had no difficulty in winning the French inhabitants to the American cause and a few days later the people of Cahokia also took the oath of allegiance to the Americans. Clark now had Kaskaskia and Cahokia and only Vincennes remained to be secured. Clark wanted some of the people of Kaskaskia to go to Vincennes and win over the inhabitants of the village and finally Doctor Lafont and Father Gibault, a Catholic priest who had charge of the Wabash mission, undertook the task. On July 14, 1778, these two emissaries left Kaskaskia with a small retinue and within a few days were at Vincennes. Two days after their arrival they had won the people to the American cause and had the deep satisfaction of gathering all of the French inhabitants in the church, where they took the oath of allegiance. An officer was elected; the fort was garrisoned; and for the first time an American flag was raised on Indiana soil.
Father Gibault returned to Kaskaskia about the first of August and brought the glad news to Clark, but just at this time a new trouble was threatening Clark. His men were leaving him because their enlistment had expired and, since he had no authority to extend it, he was in grave danger of losing the larger part of his force. But Clark was not to be dismayed. He made some liberal promises and finally succeeded in getting one hundred of them to re-enlist, filling the vacancies with French volunteers. Clark now placed Capt. Leonard Helm in command of Vincennes and made him superintendent of Indian affairs on the Wabash. As the summer and fall of 1778 wore away the British were planning to capture Vincennes and late in the fall Gen. Henry Hamilton moved down the Wabash with a force of thirty regulars, fifty Canadian volunteers and four hundred Indians. He reached Vincennes December 15th and found Captain Helm and one other man in the fort. Captain Helm stood by a loaded cannon with a lighted match in his hand as the envoys of General Hamilton approached the fort and shouted out that no one should enter the fort until he knew' what terms would be given. General Hamilton assured him that he could march out with all the honors of war and Vincennes became a British post.
    On January 29, 1779, Clark, who was still at Kaskaskia, heard of the fall of Vincennes and determined to retake the place. He gathered together about one hundred and seventy men, and on February 5th started from Kaskaskia, crossing the stream of the same name. . The weather was wet and the lowlands covered with water. He had to subsist on such game as he could kill en route. The men underwent great privations, wading through acres of water to their hips, and suffering intensely with the cold.    However, Colonel
Clark shared all of the hardships of the men and asked nothing of them which he would not undergo himself. They reached the little Wabash on the 13th, and two days were occupied in crossing the swollen stream. They found the roads no better, but marched down and reached the Embarrass on the 17th of the month. The next two days were consumed in attempting to cross the angry stream. Finally canoes were constructed and the entire force crossed the main stream, and then found the lowlands entirely under water and ice which had formed recently. His men refused to proceed. All of Clark's persuasions had no effect upon the half starved men. In one company was a small drummer boy and also a sergeant who stood six feet and two inches high. Clark ordered him, the sergeant, to mount the boy on his shoulders and plunge into the water. He did so, and the small drummer beat the charge from his position, while Clark, sword in hand, followed. This maneuver was electrical, and the men, with a cheer, followed their leader. On arriving within two miles of the fort Clark halted his men and sent in a letter demanding surrender, to which he received no reply. He next ordered Lieutenant Bayley, with fourteen men, to advance and fire on the fort, while the main body of men moved in another direction and took possession of the strongest portion of the town. Clark then demanded Hamilton's immediate surrender, on penalty of being treated as a murderer. Hamilton refused indignantly. Fighting began and continued for over an hour, when Hamilton proposed a three days' truce. Clark, characteristically, sent word that nothing but unconditional surrender was satisfactory. In less than an hour the surrender was dictated by General Clark. This was on February 24, 1779.
    Of this expedition, of its results, of its importance, as well as of the skill and bravery of those engaged, a volume could well be written. The expedition has never been surpassed in modern warfare, when we consider that by it the whole territory now included in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and a part of Minnesota was added to the Union, and so admitted by the British commissioners in the treaty of peace in 1783. Clark reinstated Captain Helm in command at Vincennes, with instruction to subdue the marauding Indians, which he did, and soon comparative quiet prevailed on Indiana soil. The whole credit of this conquest belongs to Colonel Clark and Francis Vigo.
 
NORTHWEST GOVERNMENT


    By the conquest of Colonel Clark, Indiana came within the territory belonging to Virginia. In January, 1783, the General Assembly of the Old Dominion resolved to cede this territory to the general government of the United States. The proposition made by Virginia was accepted by the government and the transfer made early in 1784. The terms were that Virginia was to be reimbursed for all expenses incurred in exploring and protecting settlers in the territory; also that one hundred and fifty thousand acres of land should be granted to the soldiers who, with Colonel Clark, had made the famous expedition. After all these matters had been attended to, in the spring of 1784, the matter of governing this section of the west was referred to a committee of Messrs. Jefferson, of Virginia, Chase, of Maryland, and Howell, of Rhode Island, which committee, among other things, reported an ordinance prohibiting slavery in the territory after 1800, but this article of the ordinance was rejected. The Ordinance of 1784 was passed April 23d and remained the fundamental law of the Northwest territory until July 13, 1787. The ordinance of 1787 has an interesting history. Much controversy has been indulged in as to who is really entitled to the credit of framing it. The honor was held by several men jointly, among them being Nathan Dane, Rufus King, Timothy Pickering, Thomas Jefferson and Manasseh Cutler. Mr. Jefferson had vainly tried to secure a system of government for the Northwest territory excluding slavery therefrom. The South, however, invariably voted him down.
    In July, 1787, an organizing act without the slavery clause was pending, which was supposed to secure its passage. Congress went into session in New York City. July 5th, Dr. Manasseh Cutler, of Massachusetts, came to New York in the interests of some land or speculators in the Northwest territory. He was a courtly gentleman of the old school type and had won the confidence of the Southern leaders. He wished to purchase five million, five hundred thousand acres of land in the new territory. Jefferson and his administration desired to make a record on the reduction of the public debt, and this was a rare opportunity. Massachusetts' representatives could not vote against Cutler's scheme, as many of their constituents were interested in the measure personally; Southern members were almost committed. Thus, Cutler held the key to the situation, and dictated terms, which were as follows:
1. The exclusion of slavery from the territory forever.
2. Providing one thirty sixth of all lands for public schools.
3. Be it forever remembered that this compact declares that religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall always be encouraged.
Dr. Cutler planted himself on this platform and would not yield, stating that unless they could procure these lands under desirable conditions and surroundings, that they did not care to purchase. On July 13, 1787, the bill became a law. Thus the great states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin were consecrated to freedom, intelligence and morality. On October 5, 1787, Congress elected General Arthur St. Clair governor of the Northwest territory. He assumed his official duties at Marietta and at once proceeded to treat with the Indians and organize a territorial government. He first organized a court at Marietta, consisting of three judges appointed by Congress, himself being president of the court.
The Governor, with his judges, then visited Kaskaskia for the purpose of organizing a civil government, having previously instructed Major Hamtramck at Vincennes to present the policy of the new administration to the several Indian tribes and learn their feelings. They received the messenger with a cool indifference, which, when reported to the governor, convinced him that nothing short of military force would command compliance with the civil government. He at once proceeded to Fort Washington to consult with General Harmar as to future action. In the meantime he intrusted to the secretary of the territory, Winthrop Sargent, the settlement of the disputed land claims, who found it a hard task, and in his reports states that he found the records so falsified, vouchers destroyed, and other crookedness as to make it impossible to get at a just settlement, which but again proves that the "graft" of the twentieth century existed decades before this word had been coined.
    The general court in 1790 passed stringent laws against the sale of intoxicating liquors to Indians and also to soldiers within ten miles of any military post; also prohibiting any games of chance within the territory.
The consultation between St. Clair and General Harmar ended by a decision to raise a large military force and thoroughly chastise the Indians. about the head of the Wabash river. Accordingly, Virginia and Pennsylvania were called upon to muster eighteen hundred men at Fort Steuben, and, with the garrison of that fort, join the forces at Vincennes under Major Hamtramck, who proceeded up the Wabash as far as the Vermillion river, destroying villages, but without riding an enemy to oppose him. General Harmar, with one thousand four hundred and fifty men, marched from Fort Washington to the Maumee, and began punishing the Indians, but with little success. The expedition left Fort Washington September 30th, and returned to that place November 4th, having lost during that period one hundred and eighty three men killed and thirty one wounded. General Harmar's defeat alarmed as well as aroused the citizens in the frontier counties of Virginia, thinking the Indians might invade that state.
    The governor of Virginia called out the militia along the upper borders of that state; at the same time Charles Scott was appointed brigadier general of the Kentucky militia now preparing to defend the frontiers of that state. This excited Congress and a war board was appointed, consisting of five members. On March 9, 1971, General Knox, secretary of war, wrote to General Scott recommending an expedition against the Indians on the Wabash. On March 3, 1791, Congress invested Governor St. Clair with the command of three thousand troops, and he was instructed by the secretary of war to march to the Miami village and establish a strong and permanent military post After that was accomplished he was to seek the enemy with all his available forces and make them feel the effect of the superiority of the whites.

THE ST. CLAIR AND WAYNE EXPEDITIONS

    Although seriously damaged, the Indians were far from subdued. The Canadians and English along the border gave them much encouragement. In September, 1791, St. Clair moved from Fort Washington with a force of two thousand men and a number of pieces of artillery. November 3d he reached the headwaters of the Wabash, where Fort Recovery was later built, and here the army camped, consisting of one thousand four hundred effective men. The following morning the army advanced and engaged a force of twelve hundred Indians. Here the American army was disastrously defeated, having thirty nine officers and five hundred and thirty nine men killed and missing, twenty two officers and two hundred and thirty two men wounded. Several pieces of artillery and all their provisions were taken from them. The property loss was estimated at thirty two thousand dollars. There has always been some disposition to blame General St. Clair for this awful defeat, but his recent biographer, John Newton Boucher, of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, proves conclusively that he was not to blame. Be that as it may, he resigned his commission after that battle and the work was taken up by General Anthony Wayne, of Revolutionary fame, who organized his forces at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and in October, 1793, moved westward at the head of an army of three thousand six hundred men. He proposed an offensive campaign. The Indians still held that the Ohio river should be the boundary line between the United States and their lands.
    Major General Scott, with about sixteen hundred volunteers from Kentucky, joined the regular troops under General Wayne on July 26, 1794, and on the 28th the united force began their march for the Indian towns on the Maumee river. Arriving at the mouth of the Auglaize, they erected Fort Defiance and on August 15th the army advanced toward the British fort at the foot of the rapids of the Maumee, where, on the 20th, almost within reach of the British, the American army gained a decisive victory over the combined forces of the hostile Indians and a considerable number of Detroit militia at the battle of Fallen Timbers. The number of the enemy was estimated at two thousand, against about nine hundred American troops actually engaged. As soon as the action began this horde of savages abandoned themselves to flight and dispersed with terror and dismay, leaving Wayne's victorious army in full possession of the field. The Americans lost thirty three killed and one hundred wounded; the loss of the enemy more than doubled this number.
    The army remained three days and nights on the banks of the Maumee, in front of the field of battle, during which time all the houses and cornfields were consumed and destroyed for a considerable distance both above and below Fort Miami, as well as within pistol shot of the British garrison, who were compelled to remain idle spectators to this general devastation and conflagration among which were the houses, stores and property of Colonel McKee, the British Indian agent, and general stimulator of the war then existing between the United States and the savages. On the return march to Fort Defiance the villages and corn fields for about fifty miles on each side of the Maumee were destroyed as well as those for a considerable distance around the post.

ORIGIN OF FORT WAYNE

    On September 14, 1794, the army under General Wayne commenced its march toward the deserted Miami villages at the confluence of St. Joseph and St. Mary's rivers, arriving October 17th, and on the following day the site of Fort Wayne was selected. The fort was completed November 22d and garrisoned by a strong detachment of infantry and artillery under the command of Colonel John F. Hamtramck, who gave to the new fort the name of "Fort Wayne."   
    The Kentucky volunteers now returned to Fort Washing ton, and were mustered out of service. General Wayne, with the federal troops, marched to Greenville and took up his headquarters for the winter. Here, on August 5, 1795, after several months of active negotiation, this gallant officer succeeded in concluding a general treaty of peace with all the hostile tribes of the Northwest territory. This treaty opened the way for the flood of immigration for many years, and ultimately made the states and territories now constituting the mighty Northwest.
    Up to the organization of the Indiana territory there is but little history to record aside from those events connected with military affairs. In July, 1796, after a treaty was concluded between the United States and Spain, the British garrison, with their arms, artillery and stores, were withdrawn from the posts within the boundaries of the United States northwest of the Ohio river, and a detachment of American troops consisting of sixty five men under the command of Captain Moses Porter took possession of the evacuated post of Detroit in the same month.

ORGANIZATION OF INDIANA TERRITORY, JULY 4,   l800

    On the final victory of the American army in 1796 the principal town within what is now the state of Indiana was Vincennes, which comprised only fifty houses, but presented a thrifty appearance. There was also a small settlement where Lawrenceburg now stands, and several smaller settlements around trading posts, and the total number of civilized inhabitants in the territory was estimated at four thousand eight hundred seventy-five.
    Indiana territory was organized by act of Congress May 7, 1800, the material features of the Ordinance of 1787 remaining in force and the people being invested with all the rights and advantages granted and secured by that ordinance.
    The seat of government was fixed at Vincennes. On May 13, 1800, William Henry Harrison, a native of Virginia, was appointed governor. John Gibson, of Pennsylvania, was made secretary of the territory. The government for Indiana territory went into active operation on July 4, 1800, and General Harrison called together the first territorial Legislature or Council January 12, 1801. From this time to 1810 the chief questions under dis¬cussion were land speculators, African slavery and the hostile views of the Shawnee chief, Tecumseh, and his brother, the wily Prophet.
    Up to this time the sixth article of the Ordinance of 1787, prohibiting slavery, had been somewhat neglected and many French settlers held slaves; many slaves had been removed to slave-holding states.   A session of delegates elected by popular vote in the new territory met December 20, 1802, and petitioned Congress to revoke the sixth article of the old ordinance. Congress failed to grant this, as well as many other similar petitions. When it appeared from a popular vote in the territory that a majority of one hundred and thirty-eight were in favor of organizing a General Assembly, Governor Harrison, on September 11, 1804, issued a proclamation, and called for an election to be held in the several counties of the territory January 3, 1805, to choose mem¬bers of the House of Representatives, who should meet at Vincennes, February 1 st. The delegates were duly elected and assembled as ordered, and they perfected plans for territorial organization and selected ten men whose names were sent to President Jefferson and the President chose five of the number to act as members of the Council. The first General Assembly or Legislature of the territory met at Vincennes July 29, 1805.
    On July 30th the Governor delivered his first message to the Council and House of Representatives. Benjamin Parke, who came from New Jersey in 1801, was the first delegate elected to Congress.
    The first newspaper published within the territory of Indiana was the Western Sun, first issued at Vincennes in 1803, by Elihu Stout, of Kentucky, and first named the Indiana Gazette, but changed to the Sun July 4, 1804.
    In 1810 the total population of Indiana was 24,520. There were then reported 33 grist mills, 14 saw mills, 3 horse mills, 18 tanneries, 28 distilleries, 3 powder mills, 1,256 looms, 1,300 spinning wheels; value of woolen, cotton, hemp and flax cloth, $150,059; of nails, 30,000 pounds; of wine from grapes, 96 barrels, and 50,000 pounds of maple sugar.
The territory of Indiana was divided in 1805, when the territory of Michigan was established to comprise practically the same territory which it has today. In 1809 Illinois was set off and Indiana was left with practically its present limits. For the first half century after the settlement Vincennes grew slowly.
The commandants and priests governed with absolute power; the whites lived in peace with the Indians. The necessaries of life were easily procured; there was nothing to stimulate energy or progress. In such a state of society there was no demand for learning and science. Few could read and fewer still could write their own names; they were void of public spirit, enterprise or ingenuity- Not until the close of the war of 1812 and 1814 did Indiana take on her vigorous growth, and since then she has kept pace with her sister states. In 1815 the total white population was sixty-three thousand eight hundred and ninety-seven. On February 13, 1813, the Legis¬lature in session at Vincennes changed the seat of government to Corydon.
    Governor Posey took Governor Harrison's place May 25, 1813, for the latter was engaged in subduing the enemies of this country.
Up to 1811 a man must own at least fifty acres of land before he was entitled to cast his vote. To become a member of the Council he must pos¬sess five hundred acres of land, and each member of the Legislature must needs own two hundred acres.
    In 1814 the territory was divided into three judicial districts. The Governor appointed the judges and the compensation was fixed at seven hundred dollars per annum. The same year two banks were authorized, the Mechanics Bank of Madison, with seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and the Bank of vVincennes, with a capital of five hundred thousand dollars.

STATE ORGANIZATION IN  l8l6

    The last territorial Legislature convened at Corydon December 14, 1815, and petitioned Congress for authority to adopt a state constitution and main¬tain a state government. Congress enacted the proper legislation and Indiana was made a state. On May 13, 1816, an election was held for forty-three delegates to a constitutional convention. That body met at Corydon, June 10th to 29th, Jonathan Jennings presiding, and William Hendricks acting as secretary.
    The representatives in the constitutional convention were able men. The constitution they there formed for Indiana in 1816 was in no wise inferior to that of any other commonwealth in the Union at that date.
    The first state election was held the first Monday in August, 1816, and Jonathan Jennings was elected governor, Christopher Harrison, lieutenant governor, and William Hendricks, representative to Congress.
    The close of the war of 1812 and 1814 was followed by a great rush of immigrants to the new state and in 1820 the state had more than doubled its population, having at this time one hundred and forty-seven thousand one hundred and seventy-eight inhabitants. This date was the beginning of pros¬perity for Indiana, and at this time begins our history of the county of Hendricks.

EARLY SETTLEMENT AND ORGANIZATION

    The history of the early settlement of Hendricks county would be worthy of treatment in a separate volume were the records and other sources of information in regard to those days in existence. At that time the importance of keeping such things was not realized, and consequently few can be obtained. The settlement of Hendricks county occurred early in 1820, within six years of one hundred years ago. Many of the people in the county today remember of hearing their fathers and mothers recount the thrilling tales of pioneer life in the early period of log rollings, husking bees, barbecues, cabin raisings, hunts and the thousand and one other incidents which were a part of the early life. Settlements were miles apart and social intercourse was difficult, so these entertainment's afforded the only opportunities for the people to congregate, and these periods were generally months apart So the pioneer lived alone with his family in the silent and mighty forest, sallying out before dawn to shoot the game or to cast a line in the stream nearby for the day's food supply. The meat of the wild game and the rough cereals raised in the patch of cleared ground provided the principal sustenance for the family; the clothes were manufactured by the women, who sat for days before the loom; linsey-woolsey and homespun, adorned with the skins of small animals, were the popular weaves. The good mother was the teacher of the children also; meager teaching it was, but thorough.
    Relative to the early settlement, it is well to quote a few paragraphs from the writings of Logan Esarey, an authority on Indiana history. He writes: "The attempt to better their economic condition was no doubt the cause that led a great majority of the immigrants to come to Indiana in the early period of its statehood. They were encouraged and many of them grossly deceived by the advertisements in the Indiana papers. The Western Sun and the Sentinel of Vincennes, the Indiana Republican of Madison, the Intelligencer and the Ledger of Richmond, from which the following data has been collected, are full of the most glowing accounts of the prosperity of this western world. Judged from these papers, there was bustle and activity everywhere.   Cotton gins, ox mills, grist mills, salt wells, rich mines of silver and gold, steam saw mills, card mills, breweries were in need of laborers everywhere. Dozens of towns, each sure to be a metropolis, were springing up and in which lots could be bought for a trifle and on credit. A steamer one hundred and sixty six feet long was on the ways at Jeffersonville. Another would soon be launched at Bono to ply on the branches of White river. Indiana seemed to be a bee-hive of industry, glowing with opportunity for the poor and industrious.
    "The period from 1816 to 1825, while the capital was at Corydon, was one of unprecedented immigration into Indiana. The settlers crowded up the waterways beyond the middle of the state. The number of counties in the state rose from thirteen to fifty two. Almost all of the territory south of White river was organized and the line of settlement was pushed well to the north of the National road. The latter had not yet been opened and practically all of the settlers came by way of or across the Ohio river."
    The long, weary journey in a covered wagon, over rough hills, through tangled valleys, fording streams, slow, tortuous miles traveled, made the final stopping point inviting to the settler, even if it consisted of but a convenient nook in the forest or a sequestered spot on the banks of a stream, for it meant home was Therever it was. The first nights were spent under the wagon canopy or in a lean to hastily erected of branches and grasses. The pioneer immediately began the erection of his cabin, hewing the logs and notching them into place. A fireplace was constructed in one end of the small hut, made of sticks and mud, and the fire therein afterward served the purpose of light, heat and as a cook stove. The furniture of the interior was as rough as the cabin itself; three legged stools, puncheon floor, a bed built against the wall, and a small table generally comprised the interior of the shack. The walls, through which numerous breezes penetrated, were hung on the inside with animal skins, that is, if such skins were procurable. However crude these homes might have been, the health and sturdiness of the occupants was mighty, and many of those who live today in luxury and idleness would swap their all for this strength of body and mind.
A great part of the land in central Indiana in those days was swampy. Sloughs were scattered through the forests and were far from healthy. Ague among the settlers was an established illness, and the best remedy was quinine and whiskey, the latter in quantities. Fevers, the intermittent kind which attend malaria, were frequent too. The people believed many peculiar things about these ailments and the fear of miasma and germ laden atmosphere was wholesome.
 


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