Indiana is the 19th State Admitted to the Union

"Be it ordained by the Representatives of the people of the Territory of Indiana, in convention met at Corydon, on Monday, the tenth day of June, in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and sixteen.

That we do, for ourselves and our posterity, agree, determine, declare and ordain that we will, and do hereby, accept the propositions of the Congress of the United States, as made and contained in their act of the nineteenth day of April, eighteen hundred and sixteen, entitled. 'An act to enable the people of the Indiana Territory to form a State government and Constitution, and for the admission of such state into the Union, on an equal footing with the original States.'

"And we do, further, for ourselves and our posterity, hereby ratify, confirm and establish the boundaries of the said State of Indiana, as fixed, prescribed, laid down and established in the Act of Congress aforesaid; and we do also, further, for ourselves and our posterity, hereby agree, determine, declare and ordain, that each and every tract of land sold by the United States, lying within the said State, and which shall be sold from and after the first day of December next, shall be and remain exempt from any tax laid by order, or under any authority of the said State of Indiana, or by or under the authority of the general assembly thereof, whether for State, county or township, or any other purpose whatsoever, for the term of five years from and after the day of sale of any such tract of land; and we do, moreover, for ourselves and our posterity, hereby declare and ordain that this ordinance, and every part thereof, shall forever be and remain irrevocable and inviolate, without the consent of the United States, in Congress assembled, first had and obtained for the alteration thereof, or any part thereof.

"Jonathan Jennings.
President of the Convention.

"Attest :

"William Hendricks, Secretarv.

"June 29, 1816."

The State was formally admitted to the Union
December 11, 1816, though the State government
actually began with the qualifying of the State
officers on November 7.

In December 1813, Corydon was established as the capital of the Indiana Territory. Two years later, A petition for statehood was approved by the Indiana legislature and sent to Congress. Afterwards, an Enabling Act was passed to provide an election of delegates to write a constitution.for Indiana. On June 10, 1816, Delegates assembled at Corydon to write the constitution, which was completed in nineteen days. President James Madison approved Indiana's admission into the union as the nineteenth state on December 11, 1816.

In 1825, the state capital was moved from Corydon to Indianapolis and 26 years later, a new constitution was adopted. Following statehood, the new government set out on an ambitious plan to transform Indiana from a wilderness frontier into a developed, well populated, and thriving state to accommodate for significant demographic and economic changes. The state's founders initiated a program that led to the construction of roads, canals, railroads and state funded public schools. The plans nearly bankrupted the state and were a financial disaster, but increased land and produce value more than fourfold

The Final Steps to Statehood

Following adjournment of the convention, there was action on two fronts--in Indiana Territory and in Washington. Indiana's Constitution was implemented upon passage, before Indiana was formally admitted to the union on December 11, 1816. The people did not vote on the Constitution.

Events in Indiana

The transition process was stated in Article 12 of the Constitution. Most sections provide for the legal transition from territory to state so that all "shall continue as if no change had taken place in this Government."

Section 8 of Article 12 required that the convention president notify the sheriffs of all counties to call for an election on August 5. Jonathan Jennings' writ of election to the Knox County sheriff and the sheriff's resulting order were printed in the Vincennes Western Sun, July 6, 1816. There were only five weeks between the end of the convention and the election. Jennings beat Thomas Posey in the gubernatorial race 5,211-3,934.

Section 9 of Article 12 established county representation in the General Assembly until the next census--twenty-nine representatives and ten senators. The first General Assembly under the Constitution met November 4, 1816.

Governor Jennings and Lieutenant Governor Christopher Harrison were inaugurated on November 7. On November 8, the General Assembly elected its two members for the U.S. Senate--James Noble and Waller Taylor.

Events in Washington

Acceptance by the convention of the provisions of the Enabling Act on June 22 helped fulfill the requirements of the Enabling Act. On July 6, Jennings transmitted the acceptance to Washington, as ordered by the convention June 27, to begin the final steps.

The seating of the Indiana congressional delegation was also an important step. Indiana's elected representative, William Hendricks, was sworn into office and seated in the U.S. house on December 2, 1816. Indiana's two senators, elected by the General Assembly, were sworn in and seated on December 12.

The resolution admitting Indiana "into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, in all respects whatever" was signed by President James Madison on December 11, 1816, which has been celebrated as Indiana's birthday ever since.

The final step of admission, however, was not accomplished until March 3, 1817, when "AN ACT to provide for the due execution of the laws of the United States within the State of Indiana" was approved.