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Dunn, Jacob Piatt. Greater Indianapolis: The History, the Industries, the Institutions, and the People of a City of Homes. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1910.
Although many early histories of Indianapolis exist, Dunn's excellent use of citations makes this a valuable book.
Indianapolis Donation. Atlas of Selections, 1913.
This book, located in the Indiana State Archives, records land purchases in Indianapolis from 1821. It was compiled by George Pence, examiner of the State Board of Accounts, in 1913 in an attempt to get the state land records in order. It uses early plat maps of Indianapolis and records the date of sale of lots, giving the names of purchasers.
Indianapolis Remembered: Christian Schrader's Sketches of Early Indianapolis. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau, 1987.
Schrader was an Indianapolis merchant during the mid-to-late 1800s. A gifted artist, he made beautiful pencil sketches of the early Indianapolis he remembered as a young man.
Nowland, John H. B. Early Reminiscences of Indianapolis, with Short Biographical Sketches of Its Early Citizens, and of a Few of the Prominent Business Men of the Present Day. Indianapolis: Sentinel Book and Job Printing House, 1870.
Nowland, son of one of the founding fathers of Indianapolis, provides details about some of the earliest residents of Indianapolis in his personal reminiscences.
Nowland, John H. B. Sketches of Prominent Citizens of 1876, with a Few of the Pioneers of the City and County Who Have Passed Away. Indianapolis: Tilford & Carlon, Printers, 1877.
An expansion of Nowland's 1870 Early Reminiscences.
Pence, George, and Nellie C. Armstrong. Indiana Boundaries: Territory, State, and County. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau, 1933; reprint, 1967.
Considered the standard reference for legal boundaries of Indiana from territorial days to 1933.
Sulgrove, B. R. History of Indianapolis and Marion County, Indiana. Philadelphia: L. H. Everts & Co., 1884.
History of early Indianapolis with sketches and photographs of many early residents.
Thornbrough, Gayle, ed. The Diary of Calvin Fletcher, Vol. 1, 1817-1838. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1972.
Fletcher, one of the founding fathers of Indianapolis, gives a detailed day-to-day account of life in the city with many of its earliest and most prominent citizens.
Other Selected Resources
Barnhart, John D., and Donald F. Carmony. Indiana: From Frontier to Industrial Commonwealth. 4 vols. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1954; 2 vols. reprint, Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau, 1979.
Excellent general resource on Indiana's history up to 1950.
Barnhart, John D., and Dorothy L. Riker. Indiana to 1816: The Colonial Period. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau and Indiana Historical Society, 1971.
A standard resource.
Bodenhamer, David J., and Robert G. Barrows, eds. The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994.
Comprehensive reference on Indianapolis history.
Johnson, Oliver. A Home in the Woods: Pioneer Life in Indiana: Oliver Johnson's Reminiscences of Early Marion County. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1978.
Account of everyday life in early Indianapolis, first published by the Indiana Historical Society in 1951.
Walsh, Justin E. The Centennial History of the Indiana General Assembly, 1816-1978. Indianapolis: The Select Committee on the Centennial History of the Indiana General Assembly in cooperation with the Indiana Historical Bureau, 1987.
Provides useful early history of General Assembly and legislators.
Selected Student Resources
Beekman, Dan. Forest, Village, Town, City. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1982.
The evolution of the city from small village to metropolis is told through limited text and delightful illustrations.
Henry, Joanne Landers. A Clearing in the Forest: A Story About A Real Settler Boy. New York: Four Winds Press, 1992.
Indianapolis in the 1830s is depicted in this fictional account based on the Calvin Fletcher diaries.
Henry, Joanne Landers. Log Cabin in the Woods: A True Story about a Pioneer Boy. New York: Four Winds Press, 1988.
Oliver Johnson's recollections of life in early Marion County rewritten for intermediate readers.
Howe, Daniel Wait. Making a Capital in the Wilderness. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1908.
A brief and readable history of early Indianapolis based on primary sources.
Mallett, Ann. A Child's History of Indianapolis. Indianapolis: The Indiana State Museum Shop, 1985.
An interesting publication, originally published in 1973.