Indiana history books, Indiana history textbooks, Indiana 1800s & 1900s.
Free online books and articles; includes vintage histories.
Aley, Robert Judson and Aley, Max
Chicago: Barnes 1912
An Indiana history book aimed at students. Historical events in Indiana.
See the Menu at the top of every page for Directories of Free Online Fiction and NonFiction Books, Magazines, and more, on 400 pages like this at Century Past
Bigham, Darrel E.
Indiana Historical Society 2001
“In June 2000, highly respected scholars of Midwestern history, including Andrew Cayton, Nancy Rhoden, and James Madison, gathered at the Indiana Territory Bicentennial Symposium to reflect on the state of knowledge regarding different aspects of life in the Indiana Territory. The meeting produced six important essays that Darrel Bigham has compiled for this volume. These pieces offer a vivid picture of life in the Indiana Territory, an exploration of the relationship between history and memory, and a fitting commemoration of the Territory’s bicentennial.” – Publisher
Bower, John and Bower, Lynn
Bloomington, IN: Studio Indiana 2010
“Haunting images of crumbling, one-room, brick school houses; abandoned, pre-consolidation high schools; forlorn country chapels; and vacant, big-city churches fill the 144 pages of this captivating book. Also included are dramatic, sepia-toned portraits of the somber remains of a county home; derelict, closed-up buildings at a Victorian Era veterans hospital; gloomy, barred jail cells; a bleak and eerie mental hospital; and much, much more. Though most are now in decay, these once-proud structures and objects built for our mutual benefit still radiate with transcendent meaning and purpose.” – Publisher
See our post on History Journals and 19th Century Newspapers in the Great Lakes region
Bowman, Lewis S. and others
Indianapolis: Board of Public Printing 1928
The title of this Indiana history book is somewhat misleading. It is a booklet produced by the State of Indiana on the 150th anniversary of the capture of Fort Sackville (Feb 25, 1779) during the march of George Rogers Clark’s company from Kaskaskia to Vincennes. Publication in 1929 apparently coincided with completion of a national memorial on the site of Fort Sackville. This booklet describes that heroic feat of George Rogers Clark’s men 150 years before.
Carmony, Donald F. and Peckham, Howard H.
Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau 1950
This 36-page booklet covers the basics of Indiana history from 1679 to 1950. Author Donald Carmony (1910-2005) was a Professor of History at Indiana University for many years, and a leading authority on Indiana history. Co-author Howard Peckham was the director of the Indiana Historical Bureau. Indiana 1800s.
See our post about Early Western Travel Accounts
Carmony, Donald F.
Indianapolis: Indiana Sesquicentennial Commission 1963.
Cavinder, Fred D.
Indiana University 1985
What the Guinness brothers have done for the records of the world, this book does for Indiana, whose resourceful inhabitants have blazed a bright trail of accomplishments in nearly every field. There is wonderful whimsy in this census of people who excel, excite, enthrall, and exceed the expectations of even the most eager Hoosierphile.
See our post about finding County Archives in the Great Lakes States
Clem, Harry M.
Chicago: Hall & McCreary 1913
Book of Indiana history.
Cockrum, William M. (Col.)
Oakland City, IN: Oakland City Journal 1907
The author writes that the book is the result of 50 years “gathering data”, …” from personal acquaintance with the pioneers, from a history of incidents transmitted from parents to children and from tradition that is accepted as reliable.” It is also clear from his acknowledgement that he spent a lot of time with archival sources. Indiana 1800s, Indiana history books.
Some of the topics mentioned in the Table of Contents:
French colonization of Indiana. Post Vincennes. Pontiac. George Rogers Clark and the English. Clark’s march from Kaskaskia to Vincennes. Later achievements and failures of Clark. Virginia cedes Northwest possessions to the U.S. Ordinance of 1787. The Northwest Territory organized. Governor St. Clair and the Indians. General Wayne’s victory near the Maumee. Terrible fighting around the place where Owensville, Indiana now stands.
Organization of Indiana Territory. William Henry Harrison, Governor. Slavery question. Laws of indenture. Settlement of Southern Indiana. The Pioneer: character, hardships, routes followed. Settlements. Thrilling and amusing incidents. Work. Dress. Indian depredations. Division of Indiana Territory. Land offices. Battle of Tippecanoe. Indiana’s tribute to Kentucky. Further history of Tecumseh and the Prophet.
Pioneer industries. Farming implements. Cooking, loom, shoe making. Witchcraft. Amusements and sports. Indiana during the War of 1812. Pigeon Roost massacre. Expeditions against the Indians. General John Gibson. Governor Thomas Posey. Logan the Indian chief. Rappites at Harmony. Indiana becomes a State. Taxes. Internal improvements. Site of Indianapolis chosen for capital. Land sharks.
Animals of early Indiana. Game birds, game animals, fur-bearing animals. Schools of early Indiana. Houses, books. Aaron Burr’s conspiracy. Panthers. Wild hogs. Shooting matches. Hunting wolves, deer. Flat boating. General Joseph Lane. The State Bank. Counties organized. Michigan’s attempted theft. Brave women. Canals, railroads, turnpike roads. Penal, benevolent and educational institutions. State universities.
Indiana in the Mexican War. Experience of two young boys with two bear cubs. Kidnapping free negroes. A slave hunt at Kirk’s Mills bridge in Gibson county. Underground Railroad. Fugitive slave law. Indian religion. The Mound builders.
See our post about Books by 19th Century American Indian Authors
Committee of the History section of the Indiana State Teachers’ Association, comp. and ed.
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University 1914
This is a 385-page compilation of 150 short excerpts from almost that many different sources, intended for use in schools. This Indiana history book covers a wide variety of historical events in Indiana history. Some of the chapters and excerpt titles are:
– Indiana when Englishmen First Came: The Miami Indians, Natives of the Wabash Country, Indian Life and Customs, The French in Indiana: Ouiatanon
– George Rogers Clark Conquers the Northwest: Capture of Kaskaskia, Clark moves on Vincennes
– Coming of the Settlers: Blazing the Wilderness Trail: Whetzel’s Trace, Migration to the New Purchase
– Pioneer Farming: Cost of Preparing a new farm, Early scientific agriculture: Stock, Hogs!!
– Transportation and Travel: The “Buffalo Trace”, A plank road, Some early stage lines, an old time western tavern, Flatboating days: building a flatboat.
– Pioneer society: Some Hoosier characteristics, the shooting-match: the weapons, the “Cornstalk Militia”
– Hunting stories: Snake-killing on the Big Wea, Wolf tales of the forest.
– Civic ideals of the Pioneers: An early court scene, legislating in the backwoods
– Health of the Pioneers: Sickness and exposure in the wilderness, the life of the pioneer physician, some old recipes
– Political Parties: A Jackson convention, perils of a congressional campaign.
Conklin, Julia S.
Indianapolis: Sentinel 1899
Book about Indiana history.
The story of the state from its beginning to the close of the civil war, and a general survey of progress to the present time
Cottman, George S.
Indianapolis: Hyman 1915
In the same volume is A survey of the state by Counties, embracing specific and local information, with numerous illustrations.
For works on the Old Northwest under the French regime (until about 1760), see: Great Lakes General History
See our post on Books by Foreign Visitors to the U.S. 1800-1867
Cottman, George Streiby and Hyman, Max R. ed. and comp.
Indianapolis: M.R. Hyman 1916
This “Centennial Souvenir” is a 40-page picture book, with full-page photos or images of buildings, sites or objects with significance for Indiana’s history, and a facing page for each illustration with a one-page description.
A History of Indiana, from Its Earliest Exploration by Europeans to the Close of the Territorial Government in 1816 …
Comprehending a History of the Discovery, Settlement, and Civil and Military Affairs of the Territory of the U.S. Northwest of the River Ohio and a General View of the Progress of Public Affairs in Indiana from 1816 to 1856
Dillon, John B.
Indianapolis. Bingham and Doughty 1859
In a biographical article about John Dillon Brown in the first issue (1905) of Indiana Quarterly Magazine of History, Brown was called the “father of Indiana history”, who “not only ranks as Indiana’s first and best historian, but whose ideals, methods, character and accomplishment we deem worthy to keep continually in mind as a model to follow in historical work.”
This is the earliest survey of Indiana history on this website. While many histories from this time period were merely collections of stories from a variety of sources, Brown made a sustained effort to critically examine sources and customary stories, and weed out doubtful details and interpretations. One aspect of his approach was to make extensive use of direct quotes. He writes in the preface that readers …”will find many brief extracts from official documents, and many interesting passages, which have been copied from various manuscript journals, and from autograph letters which were written between the years 1778 and 1816.”
Indiana and Indianans: A History of Aboriginal and Territorial Indiana and the Century of Statehood vol 1
Dunn, Jacob Piatt
Chicago: The American Historical Society 1919
Author Jacob Piatt Dunn (1855-1924) was a journalist, ethnologist and historian who grew up in Indiana and published his first book on history in 1886. Among his publications were a history of Indianapolis and a dictionary of the Miami language. He served as the recording secretary of the Indiana Historical Society for over 35 years, and served four years as the state librarian of Indiana. Indiana history books.
The first two volumes of this 5-volume set consist of a 1,200-page history of Indiana. The last three volumes consist entirely of biographical sketches. To look up a person in volumes 3, 4 and 5, use the index found in Volume 1 immediately after the Table of Contents.
Author note: Jacob Piatt Dunn Jr. (1855-1924) was an American historian, journalist, and author. A political writer and reformer, Dunn worked on ballot reform issues based on the Australian ballot system, authored a new Indianapolis city charter, and served as adviser to Indiana governor Thomas R. Marshall and U.S. Senator Samuel M. Ralston.
Indianapolis: Stewart 1915
Professor Logan Esarey (1873-1942) grew up in New Albany, Indiana and served on the faculty of the History Department at Indiana University from 1912 to 1941. He is still considered an authority on Indiana history. “During his teaching and writing career Esarey was able to draw on personal experience and observation in writing of such experiences as butchering, sheep-shearing, blacksmithing, grist milling, churning, drying fruits, making maple syrup and sugar, tanning, spinning, weaving and other pioneer practices. When he explained the importance of ax, broadax, crosscut saw, sickle, maul, cradle, wedge and walking plow, he was describing tools he himself had used. He could identify dozens of trees and point out which wood was most suitable for a particular purpose. He treasured his pioneer heritage and became one of its most eloquent and understanding interpreters.”
– Bob Gagen, “Professor Logan Esarey grew up with Indiana History” FW Daily News Oct 16, 2009.
For works on the Old Northwest under the French regime (until about 1760), see: Great Lakes General History
See our post about Pioneers in Illinois who Told their Stories
Furlong, Patrick J.
Indiana history textbooks.
Indiana Magazine of History Volume 8, Issue 2, 1912, pp 70-83
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University
Indiana geography book.
See our post about Memoirs and Diaries from the Indiana Frontier
Garoogian, David, ed.
Millerton, NY: Grey House 2007
“History, statistics, demographics for 714 populated places in Indiana including comparative statistics & rankings. Provides data on all populated communities and counties in the state of Indiana for which the US Census provides individual statistics. This edition also includes profiles of 135 unincorporated places based on US Census data by zip code, and, for the first time, includes communities that span multiple zip codes.” – Publisher
Being a full and authentic civil and political history of the state from its first exploration down to 1875. Including an account of the commercial, agricultural and educational growth of Indiana. With historical and descriptive sketches of the cities, towns and villages … together with biographical sketches and portraits of the prominent men of the past and present, and a history of each county separately
Goodrich, De Witt C. and Tuttle, Charles R.
Indianapolis: Peale 1875
This is a popular rather than academic history, and contains many stories. The first part of the book, 330 pages, is a survey of Indiana history from French discovery of the territory until the 1870s. The second part consists of about 400 pages of county histories and biographical sketches. The indexes of portraits and biographies are found near the beginning of the book, before the table of contents. Chapter headings for Part 1 are:
– Miami Villages and French Settlements – General Clarke’s Celebrated Expedition – Clarke’s March against Vincennes – Early Settlement and Land Grants – Harmar, Scott and Wilkinson’s Expeditions – St. Clair’s and Wayne’s Expeditions – Organization of the Indiana Territory – Governor Harrison and the Indians – Statistics, Land Titles, Indian Affairs – Harrison’s Campaign – Civil Matters – Review of Civil and Political Events – Organization of the State – [Successive chapters for several Governors’ administrations, 1816- 60] – Record in the War for the Union – [Successive chapters for remaining Governors’ administrations 1860- 73] – Educational – Benevolent Institutions – Wealth and Progress – Agricultural – Manufacturing and Commerce – The Mineral Wealth of Indiana – Laws and Courts of Indiana – Official Register of Indiana. Indiana 1800s.
Orlando, FL: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt School Publishers 2010
4th grade textbook of Indiana Social Studies and Indiana history.
See our post about Magazines for Farmers 1850s-1900s
Hoover, Dwight W.
Indiana University 1980
“A lavishly illustrated, colorful chronicle of the Hoosier state and the people who made it great. Over 900 photographs, maps, and drawings and a lively accompanying text relate the fascinating history of Indiana—from the earliest-known cultures through the gleam of modern industry to the space age. The vast collection of pictures has been gathered from individuals and the archives of colleges and universities, businesses, libraries, and newspapers.” -Book jacket.
The Indiana Historian December 1998
Indiana Historical Bureau
Indiana Historical Bureau
16-page overview of the geography, history, demographics etc. of Indiana. Also a bibliography.
The Indiana Historian March 1999
Indiana Historical Bureau
Indiana Historical Bureau
16-page overview of territorial history, including sections on surveying and selling the public land, governance, Indians. Also a bibliography.
Indiana Historical Bureau
Indiana Territory Sesquicentennial Commission 1950
A brief, 30-page history of the period leading up to Statehood.
For U.S. histories of this period, see this page: History of the U.S. Under the Constitution – 1789-1809, and America in the Early 19th Century – 1809-1861
See our post with Articles from the early 20th Century about African American Problems
Awesome Almanac – Indiana: A Treasury of Facts and Fictions, Celebrities and Celebrations, and the Weird and Wonderful!
From the romantic period of foreign exploration and dominion through pioneer days, stirring war times, and periods of peaceful progress, to the present time
NY: G. P. Putnam 1909
“A brief account of what is “most memorable, striking, and picturesque in the past and present-day history of lndiana.” lt includes the various phases of development of the commonwealth—the foreign dominion on the Wabash, the plain tale of early settlers, lndiana’s salient part in war, the development of her natural resources and the position that she has come to assume among the states in provisions for education, and the enactment of liberal laws.”
“No one could desire a more informative review of the conditions attending the transformation of the ‘western country’ from an lndian-infested wilderness into a region of prosperous and progressive commonwealths.”
– The Book Review Digest
“The author’s lifelong familiarity with the scenes, the characters, the movements, and the events mentioned, insures to the reader a sympathetic treatment of the subject. Fireside recitals by aged pioneers, addresses at old settlers’ meetings, local historical society papers, reminiscences of early citizens, State records, scholarly monographs and histories have all gone to the making of these pages.” – from the Preface. Chapter headings are:
– La Salle and the Exploration – French Dominion – British Occupation – How Spanish Rule affected Indiana – American Conquest – The Pioneers – Indiana Territory: 1763- 1816 – The New State – 1816 – Early Churches in Indiana – Crimes of the Border – The Trail – from Birch- bark Canoe to Electric Trolley – The Social Experiments at New Harmony – In the Forties and Fifties – Indiana as affected by the Civil War – Picturesque Indiana – An Indiana Type – Letters and Art in Indiana – Education in Indiana – The Quality of the People – Agriculture in Indiana – Natural Resources – The State Civilization in Indiana as shown by her Laws – Bibliography
Read full books online free at our fiction section
Indiana Magazine of History Volume 5, Issue 4, 1909, pp 183-184
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University
Lockridge, Ross F.
Oklahoma City: Harlow 1956
Intended as a school textbook for use at the Junior High level.
See our post with links to U.S. Railroad Digital Collections
Madison, James H.
Indiana University Press 1986
“Madison has succeeded as have few other authors of state histories in blending modern scholarly concerns with the traditional narrative historiography of his state. This book is in many ways a model state history.” — Choice
“Neither too detailed and provincial, nor too broad and comparative, The Indiana Way adopts an integrated analytical approach, but also includes some narrative and biography.” — Journal of American History.
Martin, John Bartlow
Beginning with the State Fair as a window on Indiana as a whole, Martin interprets the Hoosier state and its history, from the Civil War and its impact on the state to the period during and just after World War II. As he says, “It is a conception of Indiana as a pleasant, rather rural place inhabited by people who are confident, prosperous, neighborly, easygoing, tolerant, shrewd.”
Author note: John Bartlow Martin was an American diplomat, author of 15 books, ambassador, and speechwriter and confidant to many Democratic politicians including Adlai Stevenson, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Hubert Humphrey. -Wikipedia.
Moore, Edward E.
NY: American Book 1910
“The production of this work is the result of a belief that there is a field for a new history of Indiana, briefer in general narrative, though fuller in political and constitutional history, than other standard works heretofore published.” -from the Preface. Chapter headings are:
– The Geography of Indiana – Aboriginal Inhabitants – Early Explorations – Early Settlements – Saxon versus Gaul – The War for Independence – Early Jurisdictions and Territorial Government – The Slavery Question – Indian Wars – The Early Settler – Progress under Statehood – Indiana’s Part in the Civil War – Era of Modern Development – A Century’s Progress – Indiana Civics – Educational Development.
-Appendix: Socialistic Experiments at New Harmony; Geologic Indiana; Miscellaneous Facts of Interest; Constitution of 1851 as Amended.
See our post with links to Vintage Picture Postcard collections
Moore’s Hoosier Cyclopedia; a compilation of statistical, official, historical, political and general information …
Adapted especially to meet the needs of busy Indianians, illustrated with portraits of officials and other persons of note and prominence; complete directories of state, county, township and judicial officers
Moore, E. E., comp.
Connersville, IN: Moore 1905
Peckham, Howard H.
An account of Hoosier social, economic, and political history demonstrates the way in which Indiana has adapted to change while preserving its distinctive character. Indiana — History.
Author note: Howard Henry Peckham was a professor and historian and an authority on colonial and early American history who published a number of works on those subjects. His academic career encompassed a wide variety of involvements in educational institutions and various historical societies. -Wikipedia. /span>
Indiana Magazine of History Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 1-46, 1914
Shockley, Ernest V.
Bloomington: Indiana University
Struggles over where to locate county seats had been a constant source of trouble in Indiana, even at the level of the State Legislature, from Indiana’s early days clear up to the date of publication of this article in 1913. The author reviewed the selection of county seats and described a number of bitter county seat wars.
Indiana Miscellany, Consisting of Sketches of Indian Life, the Early Settlement and Hardships of the People …
And the Introduction of the Gospel and of Schools, together with Biographical Notices of the Pioneer Methodist Preachers of the State
Smith, Rev. William C.
Cincinnati: Poe & Hitchcock 1867
The author wrote in the Preface that this book contains “… sketches and incidents of the early settlement of Indiana, and of some of the noble men and women who first emigrated to her territory. Much of what I have written has been from memory and personal knowledge. I have desired to rescue from oblivion some incidents in the history of my native State, and perpetuate the memory of some of the worthy pioneers who endured all the hardships and privations of a frontier life.” There are also many incidents and details about the early history of Methodism in Indiana. Indiana — History, Methodist Episcopal Church, Indiana, Indiana, Clergy — Biography, Indiana — Description and travel, Indiana — History — Biography.
With a chapter on charities and corrections by Cecil Clare North, PhD
Streightoff, Frances Doan and Streightoff, Frank Hatch
Indianapolis: Stewart 1916
Indiana economic conditions.
NY: American Book 1898
The author attempts to convey the history of Indiana solely through a series of “life sketches” and stories, without the usual historical narrative. Chapter headings are:
– The Very First Inhabitants – The First Human Inhabitants – Traits and Habits of Wild Indians – Early Explorers – Early French Life in Indiana – Pontiac – Clark’s Capture of Ft. Vincennes, and other Incidents – Tecumseh – the Prophet – Tippecanoe – A Daring Man – Narrow Escapes – An Itinerant Pioneer Preacher – Flatboat Days – A Great Man’s Boyhood and Youth – Black and White – A Genial Hermit – The Romance of New Harmony – A Distinguished Oddity – Frontier Pests and Afflictions – Characteristic Incidents and Anecdotes – The Period of Canals and Plank Roads – The Birth and Growth of Free Public Schools – A Raid into Indiana – Richard Jordan Gatling – The Writers of Indiana – The Latest Developments in Indiana.
Trissal, Francis Marion
Hammond, IN: Trissal 1922
Mooresville, IN: Backroads 2003
“Author Wendell Trogdon combines news events with personal recollections to weave a fascinating review of two of the nation’s most significant decades. He reviews the Great Depression and World War II and the sadness and happiness that made a nation cry and laugh. Read how both rural and town residents copped with hard times and the rationing, shortages and the casualties their sons and brothers made in the Pacific and in Europe in combat against the Germans and Japanese.” – Publisher
Vexler, Robert I.
Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana 1978
A chronology of historical events from 1672 to 1977 with a directory of prominent citizens and copies of pertinent documents.
Wilson, William E.
Indiana University 1966
Indianapolis: Olcott 1883
Historical events in Indiana.