Corydon: The Original Capital of Indiana

Corydon was the first capital of the state of Indiana, established in 1816. It was inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years before the first European settlers arrived, and became part of the United States when the Delaware tribe gave up their rights to their land there. It was chosen as the capital of Indiana due to its central location within the small territory. The Federal-style square capitol, built between 1814 and 1816, is located in the heart of downtown Corydon. The first constitution was drafted and the first sessions of the state legislature and the supreme court met in Corydon.

Under Article XI, section 11, of the Indiana Constitution of 1816, Corydon was designated the state capital until 1825, when the seat of state government was moved to Indianapolis. Most of the settlers were from the eastern United States and many were descendants of the original English settlers, as well as descendants of the first settlers from France, Ireland, Germany, Scandinavia and other parts of northern Europe. The city's original charter continued to be revised and updated as the city grew and times changed and became more modern. When Indiana obtained statehood in 1816, the United States Congress donated four different sections of federal land in the state to provide state capital.

In November 1816, the first General Assembly of 29 representatives, 10 senators and the lieutenant governor met in Corydon's new capitol building. Opponents of William Henry Harrison, the territory's former governor, wanted to move the capital away from its political stronghold in Knox County. Built in 1805, the Vincennes Capitol Building, or the Red House, is still open to the public as part of visits to the Indiana Museum. Indianapolis is now the capital of Indiana and continues that tradition of innovation today. Tour the original State Capitol building in Corydon which served as Indiana's government center from 1816 to 1825, and see a copy of the 1815 census that helped officials demonstrate that the territory's population was a requirement for statehood.

Since its creation as a territory in 1800, statehood in 1816 and transfer to Indianapolis in 1825, Indiana has had 3 headquarters for its capital and 4 permanent structures for government meetings.

Wilson Imada
Wilson Imada

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