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While a member of Congress Jonathan Jennings petitioned the government for statehood in 1811. However, when the War of 1812 broke out, the issue was delayed. After the war Congress ordered a census of the Indiana Territory be taken. The census revealed there were over 63,000 adults residing within Indiana, more than the required 60,000 needed for a territory to be considered for statehood. In 1816 Jennings again petitioned Congress for an enabling act, the legal procedure territories followed in order to become a state. Congress then set the boundaries of the future state of Indiana. Delegates from within the new state were chosen to attend the state convention at Corydon to, among other things, draw up a state constitution. The new state would have a general assembly to make laws, a governor to ensure the laws were followed and a supreme court to decide the legality of laws. After writing the constitution an election was held to determine the first governor and members of the general assembly. Jonathan Jennings became the first governor. With a working constitution and government in place, Indiana was admitted as the nineteenth state on December 11, 1816.
Internet: Indiana Territory
MJCPL: Indiana History: a book of readings by Ralph D. Gray (977.2 IND)
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