INDIANA

From Agepedia

Jump to: navigation , search

INDIANA ; one of the U. States, bounded N. by lake Michigan and the Michigan Territory, E. by Ohio, S. by Kentucky, from which it is separated by the Ohio river, and W. by Illinois; lat. 37° 507 to 41° 45' N.; Ion. 84° 45' to 88° W.; length from north to south 270 miles, breadth 220; square miles, 36,000: population in 1800, 4651; in 1810, 24,520; in 1820, 147,178 ; and, in 1830, 341,582, of whom, at the last period, 3562 were free blacks. There are, besides, about 4000 Indians of the Miami, Eel river, Pottawatamie and Chippeway tribes. These Indians receive annuities from the U. States, by virtue of treaties for the cession of lands, amounting to about $40,000. The state is divided into 59 counties. The seat of government is at Indianopolis, a town situated near the centre of the state, the settlement of which was begun in 1821. The largest town is Vincennes, Which is situated on the river Wabash, and was originally settled by French emigrants from Canada. The other chief towns are Madison, Corydon, Jeffersonville and Vevay. The principal rivers are the Ohio, which forms the southern boundary ; the Wabash, which, after passing through the whole width of the state, forms part of its western boundary ; the White river, the Whitewater, the Maumee and the Petohra. A canal for uniting the navigable parts of the Wabash river with lake Erie, is proposed, and a grant of land for effecting the object has been made by congress, but the work is not begun. There are no mountains in Indiana; the country, however, is more hilly than Illinois, particularly towards the Ohio river. A range of hills, called the Knobs, extends from the falls of the Ohio to the Wabash, in a southwest direction, which, in many places, produces a broken and uneven surface. North of these hills lie the flat woods, 70 miles wide. Bordering on all the principal streams, except the Ohio, there are strips of bottom and prairie land; both together from three to six miles in width. Between the Wabash and lake Michigan, the country is mostly champaign, abounding alternately with woodlands, prairies, lakes and swamps. A range of hills runs parallel with the Ohio, from the mouth of the Great Miami to Blue river, alternately approaching to within a few rods, and receding to the distance of two miles. Immediately below Blue river, the hills disappear, and there is presented to view an immense tract of level land, covered with a heavy growth of timber. North of the Wabash, between Tippecanoe and Ouitanan, the banks of the streams are high, abrupt and broken, and the land, except the prairies, is well timbered. Between the Plein and Theakiki, the country is flat, wet and swampy, interspersed with prairies of an inferior soil. The sources of rivers are generally in swamps or lakes, and the country around them is low, and too wet for cultivation. There are two kinds of prairies,the river and the upland prairies. The former are bottoms, destitute of timber, and are said to exhibit vestiges of former cultivation; the latter are from 30 to 100 feet more elevated, and are far more numerous and extensive. Some of them are not larger than a common field, while others extend farther than the eye can reach. They are usually bounded by heavytimbered forests, and not unfrequently adorned with copses of small trees. In spring and summer, they are covered with a luxuriant growth of grass and fragrant flowers, from six to eight feet high. The soil of these plains is often as deep and fertile as the best bottoms. The prairies bordering on the Wabash are particularly rich. Wells have been dug in them, where the vegetable soil was 22 feet deep, under which was a stratum of fine white sand. The ordinary depth is from two to five feet. The principal productions of this state are wheat, Indian corn, rye, oats, barley, buckwheat, potatoes, pulse, beef, pork, butter, whiskey and peach brandy. Not far from Big Blue river, there is a large cave, the entrance of which is on the side of a hill, that is about 400 feet high. Here are found great quantities of sulphate of magnesia or Epsom salt, and of *nitre, &c. The climate is generally healthy and pleasant, resembling that of Ohio. The Wabash is frozen over in the winter, so that it may De safely crossed on the ice. With the exception of the French settlement at Vincennes, which formed a solitary village for near a century, there were no civilized inhabitants within the present limits of the state, until near the commencementof the present century. From that period, the population has increased rapidly, chiefly by emigration from the other states. A territorial government was formed in 1800, and, in 1816, the.state was admitted into the Union, and the present state constitution was formed. Under this constitution, a governor and lieutenantgovernor are chosen by' the people once in three years. There is a general assembly, consisting of a senate, the members of which are chosen for periods of three years, a third part being elected annually; and of a house of representatives, the members of which are elected annually. The present number of senators is 23, and of representatives 62. The number of representatives may be increased to 100, and of senators to half the number of representatives. The judges of the supreme court are appointed by the governor, with the consent of the senate; the presidents of the circuit courts by the legislature;. and the associate judges are elected by the people. Justices of the peace are elected by the people. A 36th part of the land, in each township, is reserved, by a compact between the state and the U. States, for the support of education, and reservations of land have been made for the support of a college, which is established at Bloomington, but which is not yet in operation. The national road, which commences at Cumberland in Maryland, and passes through Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio, will run through the centre of this state, from east to west. The construction of the road in this state is yet but little advanced.