Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
INDIANA, a state of the American Union, formed mainly from the Virginia cession, and in the north from small strips of the Massachusetts and Connecticut cessions. (See
—April 19, 1816, an enabling act was passed by congress for the formation of a state government by the people of Indiana territory, the following boundaries being assigned by the act to the new state: "Bounded on the east by the meridian line which forms the western boundary of the state of Ohio; on the south by the river Ohio, from the mouth of the Great Miami river to the mouth of the river Wabash; on the west by a line drawn along the middle of the Wabash, from its mouth to a point where a due north line drawn from the town of Vincennes would last touch the northwestern shore of the said river; and from thence by a due north line until the same shall intersect an east and west line drawn through a point ten miles north of the southern extreme of Lake Michigan; on the north by the said east and west line, until the same shall intersect the first mentioned meridian line which forms the western boundary of the state of Ohio." The state convention met at Corydon, June 10, 1816, ratified the boundaries established in the act of congress, and formed the first constitution of the state of Indians. It fixed the governor's term of office at three years, but prohibited the holding of the office by one person longer than six years in any term of nine years; provided for a popular vote every twelfth year on the question of calling a convention to revise the constitution; gave the right of suffrage to "white male citizens of the United States, of the age of twenty one years and upward," on one year's residence: prohibited slavery, and provided that no alteration of the constitution should ever introduce slavery into the state, "since the holding of any part of the human creation in slavery or involuntary servitude can only originate in usurpation and tyranny;" prohibited the chartering of any banks in the state, except a state bank and branches; and made Corydon the seat of government until 1825, and until removed by law (as it has since been removed to Indianapolis). The state was admitted by joint resolution, Dec. 11, 1816. A new and more complete constitution was formed by a convention at Indianapolis, Feb. 10, 1851. It provided that no negro or mulatto should have the right of suffrage; changed the governor's term to four years; prohibited local or special legislation in seventeen specified cases; provided for a general banking law; prohibited the entrance of any negro or mulatto to the state; and made the employment of such negroes or mulattoes, or the encouragement of their immigration, a punishable offense. The last named provision was decided by the supreme court of the state, in November, 1866, to be repugnant to the constitution of the United States, and invalid. The constitution was ratified by popular vote, and went into effect Nov. 1, 1851. An amendment has since been made to it, repudiating any liability for certain certificates of stock, and prohibiting the state officers from paying them. (See
—Indiana originally had a larger southern population than Illinois. In 1850 this part of the population amounted to near 20 per cent. of the whole, mainly from Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky. In 1870 the proportion had decreased to less than 10 per cent. This element has apparently had a considerable influence upon the state's political history. A straight line drawn across the middle of the state would separate the southern counties, which have been quite steadily democratic since 1850, from the northern counties, which have been as steadily anti-democratic.
—In presidential elections the vote of Indiana until 1860 was cast for democratic candidates, except in 1836 and 1840, when it was cast for Harrison, the whig candidate. In 1860 the state voted for Lincoln, and its vote has always since been given to republican candidates, except in 1876, when it was given to the democratic candidates by a plurality. The result in 1876 was probably due to the popularity of Hendricks, the democratic candidate for the vice-presidency, in his own state, Indiana.
—Until 1822 the one representative to which Indiana was entitled was a democrat (William Hendricks), but until 1825 the representatives and United States senators were chosen more for personal than for political reasons. Upon the re-formation of parties in 1825-8 (see
—The state elections have always been closely and stubbornly contested. The governors were democratic until 1857, with the exception of governors Wallace and Bigger, who were whigs. Since 1857 the governors have been republicans, with the exception of governors Hendricks and Williams, who were democrats. The election of 1872, at which the former was chosen, was probably the most closely contested in the history of the state, and Hendricks' election was mainly due to his personal popularity. Out of over 375,000 votes he had but 1,148 majority; the two republican candidates for congressman at large had but 126 and 533 majority respectively.
—The political complexion of the legislatures has generally followed that of the congressional representation. The manner of districting the state for representation in the legislature has always been a theme for political declamation, each party accusing the other of gross unfairness. (See
—A peculiar provision of the constitution of 1851, requiring two thirds of each house of the legislature as a quorum to do business, has often been utilized in state politics. In 1856 the state senate had two republican majority, and the house twenty-eight democratic majority. The republican senate, therefore, refused to go into joint ballot to elect United States senators, as the democratic senate had done in a similar case two years before, and claimed that neither house could take part without a quorum. The house and a minority of the senate met in joint convention and elected senators, who were seated by the United States senate after a long contest. In 1863 the republican minority withdrew, and virtually dissolved the legislature, in order to prevent the passage of a bill which deprived the governor of the power to appoint militia officers. In March, 1869, the democratic minority resigned in a body in order to prevent the ratification of the 15th amendment. A special election having been ordered, and a special session of the legislature called in April, the democratic minority, after passing the necessary appropriation bills, again resigned, but the speaker of the house ruled that a quorum was present, and the amendment was ratified. The state supreme court afterward indirectly upheld the validity of the ratification. The next legislature was democratic in both branches, and in February, 1871, the republican minority in the lower house resigned in a body in order to prevent the redistricting of the state and the passage of a resolution declaring the ratification of the 15th amendment null and void.
—The most distinguished citizens of Indiana in national politics have been Thos. A. Hendricks, Oliver P. Morton, Schuyler Collax and Wm. H. English. (See those names.) Among the leading names in state politics are those of Jesse D. Bright, democratic United States senator 1845-62, expelled for treason; John W. Davis, democratic representative 1835-7, 1839-41, 1843-7, and speaker of the house 1845-7; Edward A. Hannegan, democratic representative 1833-7, senator 1843-9, and minister to Prussia 1849-50; Benjamin Harrison, republican United States senator 1881-7, William S. Holman, democratic representative 1859-65 and 1867-77, "a better critic of appropriation bills than any opposition party ever had before or since"; George W. Julian, one of the founders of the free-soil and republican parties, free-soil candidate for the vice-presidency in 1852, and republican representative 1849-51 and 1861-71; Michael C. Kerr, democratic representative 1865-73 and 1875-6, and speaker of the house; J. E. McDonald, democratic senator 1875-81; Caleb B. Smith, whig representative 1843-9, and secretary of the interior 1861-2 (see
—The name of Indiana was coined for the territory and state as a memorial of its original inhabitants, the American Indians; the derivation of the popular name of its people, "Hoosiers," is unknown.
—GOVERNORS: Jonathan Jennings (1816-22), William Hendricks (1822-5), James B. Ray (1825-31), Noah Noble (1831-7), David Wallace (1837-40), Samuel Bigger (1840-43), James Whitcomb (1843-9), Joseph A. Wright (1849-57), Ashbel P. Willard (1857-61), Henry S. Lane (1861, resigned), Oliver P. Morton (1861-7), Conrad Baker (1867-73), Thomas A. Hendricks (1873-7), James D. Williams (1877-81), Albert T. Porter (1881-5).
—See Poore's Federal and State Constitutions and Political Register; 2 Stat. at Large, 58, and 3:289 (for the acts of May 7, 1800, and April 19, 1816); Dillon's History of Indiana (to 1816); Chamberlain's Indiana Gazetteer (1849); Sutherland's Biographical Sketches of Members of the State Government (1861); Drapier's Brevier Legislative Reports of Indiana; Scribner's Indiana Roll of Honor (1866); Wilson's Digest (1867); Barber and Howe's History of the Western States (1867); Brown's History of Indianapolis (to 1868); Ball's History of Lake County 1834-73; Brown's State Government (1875); Goodrich and Tuttle's History of Indiana (to 1875); Porter's West in 1880, 132.
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