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Bill Thayer

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History of Indiana

Histories and Source Documents

Indiana has a special place in American history, as the heart of the Northwest Territory, that first great chunk of land to extend the thirteen colonies of the Atlantic seaboard to what would become the continent-spanning United States; and — nomen est omen — the very name of the State points us to a crucial aspect of that national expansion: the land was Indian land, and it was on the soil of Indiana that the first act (well, alright, Act II) was played out of the great drama of the native American vs. the European influx: the French and Indian War, Clark's campaign, Tecumseh's War, the War of 1812, would set a pattern for the deteriorating relations between the two sides and the supremacy of the foreigners, inevitable given the massive demographic push from across the ocean and European technological superiority. Neither side can be very proud of a lot, but it's all part of our history now, and I hope to be bringing it to these pages.

For now, the best possible first installment:


[image ALT: A woodcut of a group of people in the dress of working people of the late 19c, many of them armed with muskets, in front of a wooden fort. It is the icon on this site for George Rogers Clark's Memoir, 'The Conquest of the Illinois'.]

[ 8/25/08: 175 + xxv print pages, 1 photo, presented in 9 webpages ]

George Rogers Clark's Memoir is in some sense the foundational document of the State. A fascinating record of the first important military encounter in Indiana — a key primary source since written by the victorious commander himself — it also gives an interesting picture of conditions there at the time of the birth of the Republic.



[image ALT: A stylized classical torch, shown standing upright, surrounded by 19 five-pointed stars in a symmetrical circular design, six of which are connected to the flame of the torch by lines. The star directly above the flame slightly larger and surmounted by the word INDIANA forming an arc above it. It is the flag of the State of Indiana.]

The icon I use to indicate this subsite is of course the flag of the State of Indiana. Details on the genesis and meaning of the flag, preceded by the state laws pertaining to it, may be found on the Indiana State Flag page of the State's official site. (Irritatingly, that site keeps on moving its pages around; if it's not on that page, use their search engine.)


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Site updated: 25 Aug 08