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Indiana Statehood

Lesson Plans

Download these free lesson plans:

Teacher Resource for Abigail (pdf)

Teacher Resource for The Carter Journals (pdf)

Teacher Resource for Pioneer Indiana* (pdf)

*Resource is also available as a free download on the Indiana 1700-1851: Native American to the National Road DVD set.


As settlers made their way into the Indiana territory and the population increased, the territorial government was able to petition the federal government for statehood. Congress passed the Enabling Act of 1816 to provide a process by which Indiana could become a state. This act called for a constitutional convention to meet in Corydon beginning in June of 1816. Delegates included Jonathon Jennings, who had been Indiana's territorial delegate to Congress and who would be elected Indiana's first governor. The convention drafted Indiana's first constitution, which provided for a state-supported system of education and forbade slavery (though this provision was not enforced). On Dec. 11, 1816, Indiana entered the Union as the 19th state.

The first General Assembly opened in November 1816 at the Harrison County Courthouse in Corydon. This building served as the state capitol until 1825, when the capitol of the state was moved to Indianapolis. By the 1870s, it had become clear that Indiana was outgrowing its Indianapolis capitol building and plans were made for construction of a new capitol building. The current Indiana Statehouse building opened in 1888.

The 1816 Constitution remained in effect until 1851, when it was amended to the current constitution. The 1851 Constitution included an article (Article 13) that prohibited the settlement of African-Americans in the state. This article was declared void by the Indiana Supreme Court in 1866.


Available for purchase from the Basile History Market:

Indiana 1700-1851: Native Americans to the National Road (a two-disc DVD set)

Youth Historical Fiction

Available for purchase from the Basile History Market:

Abigail (paperback)



Special Notice

Educators receive a 25% discount on purchases form the Basile History Market.