Let's start at the beginning. No, not THAT beginning. Ah...much better. The land that would become Indiana. The population of this land was diverse...indigenous peoples...European Americans...and African Americans.
Adding to the challenge of peaceful co-existence was the conflict between Native and European Americans over land. In addition, the Europeans themselves had conflicting views about such issues as religion, slavery, and the role and purpose of government.
How did these diverse groups of people go about resolving these conflicts? How was this new state to be governed?
David Dale Owen Survey Map
Source: Geological Society of London, Lyell Collection
Compelling Question: Who owns the resources that are under the land we live on and who decides how they should be used?
Indian Land Grants
Richardville’s Fort Wayne Land Grant
Source: Indiana Archives and Records Administration
Compelling Question: How can we integrate the concepts of land stewardship and land ownership?
Spring Mill State Park
Source: Indiana Geological and Water Survey
Compelling Question: As water resources become more scarce, how do we balance the rights of individuals “upstream” with the rights of those “downstream?”
1821 State Map
Early Indiana Counties
Source: Indiana Historical Society
Compelling Question: How can competing populations justly determine “ownership” of the land?
Caleb Mills (1854)
Source: Hoosier State Chronicles: Evansville Daily Journal, June 16, 1856
Compelling Question: Should all public education be free, and if so, who should bear the cost?
Indiana’s Black Registry
Source: Nelson Perry Collection, Indiana State Library
Compelling Question: How do we resolve conflict when restrictions on migration are based on race?