In the year 1679, a group of Frenchmen led by Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, were the first whites to set foot in Indiana as they were exploring the Mississippi valley. In the first several decades of the eighteenth century, French settlements were established at Vincennes; at Quiatenon, near present-day Lafayette; and at Fort Miami, near present-day Fort Wayne.
When the French and Indian War ended in 1763, Britain gained control of French Canada and French-controlled American territory and also Indiana, although Chief Pontiac resisted giving up some British-claimed villages until 1765. In 1779, American colonel George Rogers Clark captured Vincennes from the British during the American Revolutionary War. After the war, Indiana became a part of the U.S. in what was then known as the Northwest Territory (which also included Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota). Congress, under the Ordinance of 1787, set up an organizational structure to govern the territory In 1811, in response to an Indian uprising, William Henry Harrison and over 1,000 troops attacked and defeated a force of Shawnee Indians lead by The Shawnee Prophet (brother of Chief Tecumseh). Harrison then burned their village and left. As a result, Harrison was made a national hero. British interest in the area continued until Great Britain was finally defeated in the War of 1812.
In 1800, the Northwest Territory was reorganized as the Indiana Territory with Vincennes as the capital. In 1805, Michigan was detached from the Indiana Territory, and four years after that the territory was reduced to Indiana’s present borders with William Henry Harrison as its first governor. In the year 1816, Indiana was allowed into the Union as the 19th state with Corydon. It was the state capital until 1825 until its capital switched to Indianapolis in that same year.
In 1846, the last Indians (Potawatomi) were forced from the state, and in 1851 a new state constitution excluded blacks from settling in the state. Despite strong sympathies for the Confederate cause, Indiana remained part of the Union during the Civil War. Only one raid took place on Indiana soil during the Civil War. In 1863, Confederate General John Hunt Morgan led raids into Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio before being captured by Union troops.
Later, blacks began to make headway in Indiana life and politics. Gary was one of the first cities in the United States to elect a Black mayor (Richard Hatcher) in 1967. The first Black congress member (Katie Hall) was a woman who was elected in 1983.
Indiana was the first state in the Union to provide a state-supported school system. In 1816, the modern school system was founded, and in !907, high schools were added to the state system.
1679 Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, passes through Indiana while exploring the Mississippi valley.
1725 Jesuits found permanent settlement at Vincennes.
1763 Treaty of Paris forces France to cede control of lands including Indiana to Britain.
1779 American George Rogers Clark defeats British at Vincennes. 17 A7 Creation of the Northwest
1809 Indiana Territory reorganized to reflect present-day boundaries.
1811 William Henry Harrison defeats Shawnee Indians at the Battle of Tippecanoe.
1816 Indiana admitted to the Union as the nineteenth state.
1824 Robert Owen founds utopian colony of New Harmony.
1825 State capital moved to Indianapolis.
1851 New constitution forbidding black settlers is adopted.
1853 Wabash and Erie Canal is opened.
1888 Benjamin Harrison is elected twenty-third president of the U.S.
1894 Elwood Haynes tests his one- cylinder horseless carriage in Kokomo.
1905 U.S. Steel opens its largest plant at Gary, founded on the site to house the workers.
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