Search for a New Capital, Part 1 - Focus

The 175th anniversary of the founding of Indiana's capital city is the impetus for a two-part examination of how Indianapolis came to be. Part 2 is in the June 1996 issue (Indianapolis, the capital).

Indianapolis was created by law to be the permanent seat of government for the state. The legislative process of locating and establishing the capital city was complex. The documentary evidence of that process-sampled in this issue-provides an example of how government works. It also provides a fascinating picture of life in Indiana in 1820-1821.

On page 3, a quotation and a map provide an interesting overview of the capitals of the area which became Indiana.

Pages 4-6 include materials that provide historical context from the territorial period: a timeline of important events, a map of boundary changes, a discussion of why the capital was moved from Vincennes to Corydon, and the achievement of statehood and title to Indian lands.

The process of selecting the site of Indianapolis begins on page 7 with a law appointing the commissioners. On pages 8-11, two journals describing the commissioners' activities are excerpted.

The report of the commissioners and the General Assembly's acceptance of that report are the focus of pages 12-13. Included is a summary of the interesting law that moved the process forward to plat and establish Indianapolis.

On page 14, some background of how Indianapolis was named is provided.

As usual, selected resources are provided on page 15.