Courts in the Classroom
Supreme Court of Indiana
Division of State Court Administration
30 S. Meridian Street, Ste 500
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Dr. Elizabeth R. Osborn
Public History and
2011 Outstanding Public
History Project Award
from the National Council
on Public History
Did you know that in 1816 the population of Indiana was 63,897? (Statehood required 60,000)
Did you know that the 1816 Constitutional Convention took place during the heat of the summer and that many of the discussions and debates took place beneath the cooling branches of an elm tree outdoors? (Now called the "Constitutional Elm")
Did you know that the "Constitutional Elm" died in 1925 of Dutch Elm Disease, but its trunk was saved by the State. They built a shelter around the trunk that is open on all sides. You can still visit when you are in Corydon.
Did you know that 34 of the 43 Constitutional Convention delegates who wrote Indiana 's first constitution in 1816 were not born in Indiana but were from states south of the Mason-Dixon line?
Did you know the oldest delegate was Charles Polk from Perry County? He was about 72 (born circa 1744). The youngest was Joseph Holman from Wayne County. He was age 28 (born October 1, 1788).
Did you know that the President of the Constitutional Convention, Jonathan Jennings, went on to be elected Indiana's first Governor? He beat out Thomas Posey, the former Territorial Governor, by a vote of 5,211 to 3,934.
Did you know that there were only 13 counties in Indiana when the Constitutional Convention took place in 1816? Knox County encompassed an area of nearly two-thirds of today's state.
Did you know that even in 1850, when the 2nd Constitutional Convention was held, only 13 of the 150 delegates were native-born Hoosiers?
Did you know that the population of Indiana soared from about 64,000 in 1816 to 988,000 in 1850?
Did you know that it took Hoosiers' voters fifteen times between 1820 and 1847 about calling for a convention to revise the state constitution?
Did you know that the 1816 Constitutional Convention only had 43 delegates while the 1850-51 Convention had 150?
Did you know that only 25% of the delegates to the 1850-51 Constitutional Convention were lawyers, while a full 42% were farmers, thus reflecting Indiana 's strong agricultural heritage?
Did you know that Frederick Rapp, business leader and spokesmen for the Harmonist Society as well as the adopted son of George Rapp of Harmonie (later New Harmony), represented Gibson County as a delegate?