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Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > Shop > Books Listed by Topic > The Indiana Historian > Indiana Constitution of 1851 > The Delegates to the Convention The Delegates to the Convention

[Schuyler Colfax, South Bend, an elected delegate to the convention, was a newspaper editor; his columns about the convention appeared frequently in his paper. A original copy of the broadside referred to in this excerpt from one of his columns is in the Indiana State Library.]

Excerpt from St. Joseph's Valley Register, October 24, 1850

Indianapolis, Oct. 18, 1850

The list of members of the Convention, with their ages occupation, place of nativity, &c., has been printed and appeared in the Hall yesterday. Some of its statistics may be considered worth reading, and I have therefore made a schedule of the principal points for the readers of the Register.

Kentucky is the birth place of more of the Delegates than any other State, and Virginia comes next. Nearly one third of the members were born in these two States.--The list stands Kentucky 23, Virginia 20, Pennsylvania 19, New York 16, Ohio 16, Indiana 12, North Carolina 10, Tennessee 7, Maryland 7, Massachusetts 4, South Carolina 4 . . . Ireland 3 . . . Scotland 3 . . . Connecticut 2 . . . N. Hampshire 1

. . . Vermont 1 . . . Delaware 1 . . . New Jersey 1 . . . . This shows that 72 Delegates were born in the Free States, 72 in the Slave States, and 6 in foreign lands.

The occupations are as follows: farmers 63, lawyers 37, physicians 18, merchants 10, printers 5, manufacturers 2, surveyor 2, accountant 1 . . . tanner 1 . . . joiner 1, millwright 1, teacher 1 . . . professor 1 . . . clerk of county 1 . . . recorder 1 . . . bricklayer 1 . . . miller 1 . . . banker 1 . . . .

The Delegates who have been longest in the State are Mooney of Jackson, who has lived in Indiana 44 years, and is 46 years old, Newman of Wayne, a resident 43 years, and is 45 years old, and G. W. Carr, the President, who was born in the State and is 43 years old

. . . . The Delegate who has lived the shortest time in the State is Col. Taylor of Michigan City, who has resided in Indiana but 4 years. . . .

The married Delegates number 137, the single ones 10, 3 not stated on list. . . .

As regards age, 12 are under 30. . . . From 30 to 40 years of age, there are 42 Delegates; from 40 to 50, 57 Delegates; from 50 to 60, 24 Delegates, and over 60 the following [6] . . . .

The convention, yesterday by a large vote, elected Austin H. Brown, the publisher of the Sentinel, as their printer. . . . S. C. [Schuyler Colfax]

Article on Cholera

Cholera epidemics swept through Indiana and much of the rest of the U.S. in 1832, 1833, 1834, 1849, and 1854.
The morning after delegate James Van Benthuysen's death, the convention assembled, and Mr. Richey rose and made the announcement. The committee formed to make arrangements recom-mended "that the members will testify their respect for the memory of the deceased by wearing the usual badge of mourning for thirty days." (Report of Debates, 1:491-93; Public Health in Indiana, Indiana Historical Society Publications, Vol. 7, No. 6 [1923], 276-77, 284, 290)