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The first few years of statehood saw much of the population of Indiana clustered near the southern part of the state but on October 16, 1818 the Miami Indians agreed to relinquish much of their land in Indiana and Ohio. This treaty opened up central Indiana for settlement. Madison, already an established town strategically positioned on the Ohio River midway between Cincinnati and Louisville, was the natural gateway to the interior. There was at least one ferry operator anxious to transport people from the Kentucky shore to Indiana and flatboats and rafts found a wide smooth bank on which to land. Here the emigrants paused before continuing their arduous journey inland and here merchants, horse dealers, blacksmiths, whiskey distillers and others found a rich source of revenue from the settlers. With a banking system already in place, and an established revenue from river traffic, businessmen were ready to invest in Madison’s future. Within a few short years there would spring up a city worthy of any in the east. Not only would Madison welcome steamboats, it would build them from boiler to bilge pump. She would create a railroad and build the cars to run upon it. She would ship and receive goods from all over the world and she would fleetingly become the largest and richest city in the state.
Internet: Treaty with the Miamis
Internet: Google Books-The Tribes and the States, pg 34 by Bays and Fouberg
Our local history-genealogy specialist is
Monday and Wednesday 1-5; Thursday 4-9 and Saturday 9-5. You can ask a question online or by phone at 812-265-2744.
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