Material Development of Indianapolis
From the Earliest Period to the Present.
Indiana was organized as a territory July 4, 1800, and admitted
as a state December 11, 1816. In 1810 the territory of Indiana
had a population of 24,520, and in 1820, four years after its
admission to statehood, the population had expanded to 147,178.
The settlers had not strayed very far away from the Ohio river,
but there were a few settlements along Whitewater, and a few
along the Wabash; but most of them were along the southern border
of the state. The state stretched from the Ohio to the lake,
but the central and northern sections were an unknown wilderness
given over to the Indians. Dense forests covered the central
section, while to the north stretched away the trackless prairies.
It was not an inviting field for the hardy pioneer.
It was a struggle for existence. The soil was rich enough,
but it was the work of years to clear a farm and get it ready
to produce and when its productions were ready for the harvest
there was no market, and the malaria arising from the decaying
vegetation made the outlook anything but favorable. It was under
such circumstances Indiana became a member of the great Federal
Union. Indian wars had about ceased east of the Mississippi river,
but Indian massacres had not come to an end. It was not safe
to stray very far away from the confines of the few settlements,
and if human life was spared stock was stolen and driven away,
thus depriving the settler of all means of cultivating his homestead.
Corydon, the capital, was a little village on the southern border,
some miles back from the river, and hidden among the hills; hard
to get at in the best of seasons, in the winter it was almost
inaccessible. Around it there was nothing that gave promise of
future growth; there was no future for it even if the capital
remained there. There was absolutely no foundation on which to
build a city.
Hyman, Max R., Editor, The Journal Hand
Book of Indianapolis, An Outline History and Descriptions of
the Capital of Indiana, with Over Three Hundred Illustrations
from Photographs Made Expressly for the Work, © 1902,