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Town History

The First State Capital


Chapters of Change


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Capitol Moves to Corydon

May 1, 1813

The Capital of Indiana Territory was moved from Vincennes to Corydon. Harrison County had just completed a new stone courthouse; this building was offered and accepted for the use of the territorial offices. Shortly after the moving of the capital, Thomas Posey was appointed Governor of the territory. Because of Governor Posey’s delicate health, he did not reside in Corydon but spent most of his time in Jeffersonville where he could be near a doctor.


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Constitution Drafted

June 10, 1816

Delegates (43) from 13 counties met in Corydon to draw up the first constitution for the new State of Indiana. Because of the extreme hot weather, some of the sessions were held under a large elm tree about one block northwest of the capitol building. Near this tree was a fine spring that furnished drinking water and proved an excellent place to cool the jugs of brandy.

The delegates chosen for the convention at Corydon were some of the wealthiest and most prominent men of the territory. Most had been educated in good schools of the east and had migrated westward to make their homes. Not one of the delegates was a native of Indiana.


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Constitution Completed

June 29, 1816

The constitution was completed and the convention adjourned.


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Officers Elected

August 5, 1816

An election was conducted in the territory for state officers; in this election, Jonathan Jennings was elected first governor.


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General Assembly Meets

November 4, 1816

The General Assembly, consisting of ten senators and twenty-nine representatives met at Corydon. The legislature chose Robert A. New, Secretary of State; William H. Lilly, Auditor; and Daniel C. Lane, Treasurer.


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Indiana Becomes a State

December 11, 1816

Indiana became a state and Corydon officially became the capital. At the time Indiana was admitted as a state, Corydon was a small frontier village with mostly log houses and a few stone and brick buildings.


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President Monroe Visits

June 1819

President James Monroe, accompanied by General Andrew Jackson, visited Governor Jennings in Corydon. The year before, President Monroe had appointed Governor Jennings to be Indian Commissioner, and this visit was made to discuss the Indian situation, which was then a perplexing question in Indiana. On the morning when the President and the General left Corydon, Governor Jennings, General John Tipton and others accompanied them to the Ohio River ferry-boat that carried them across to Louisville.


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Hendricks Elected Governor

1822

William Hendricks was elected Governor of Indiana. The stone statehouse did not furnish enough room for all the officers. Rooms were rented elsewhere. The state auditor and the state treasurer occupied a brick building which is standing today. The State’s money was kept in strong boxes in the cellar of this building.


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Capitol Moves to Indianapolis

1825

Corydon was selected as a temporary capital, the treaties with the Indians in 1818 made the northern part of the state a safe place in which to live. A committee was appointed to locate a new capital near the center of the state – this group chose the present site of Indianapolis. State Treasurer, Samuel Merrill, was engaged by the legislature to move the State’s belongings to Indianapolis. He sold off the furniture that could not be moved advantageously and packed the books and records in boxes. The journey was made in wagons. In January 1825, Indianapolis officially became the second state capital of Indiana.



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