HOOSIER HISTORY HIGHLIGHTS: Tecumseh Comes to Vincennes


August 15 – August 21

The Week in Indiana History


1810     Territorial Governor William Henry Harrison met with Shawnee Chief Tecumseh at Grouseland, the Governor’s home in Vincennes.  Tecumseh (pictured) was accompanied by 75 tribe warriors.  He expressed disapproval of a recent treaty which gave the United States a large tract of Native American land.  Their meeting ended with no resolution.  Harrison reportedly wrote to the Secretary of War, calling Tecumseh “one of those uncommon geniuses which spring up occasionally to produce revolutions and overturn the established order of things.”


1859     Professor John Wise, a balloonist, was authorized to carry mail by air from Lafayette to the East Coast.  An estimated 30,000 people gathered to see the ascent of the balloon Jupiter, which was carrying 123 letters and circulars.  Blown off course by a heavy wind, it landed in Crawfordsville and its cargo was sent eastward by train.

button1888     Mary F. Thomas died in Richmond, Indiana.  A prominent leader for women’s rights, she was the first person to address the Indiana Legislature when she advocated female suffrage and women’s property rights.  She was also a medical doctor who helped nurse soldiers during the Civil War.

flag1909     The first automobile race was held at the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Over 15,000 people came to cheer for drivers competing in short races of five or ten miles.  The track, made of crushed-rock and tar, quickly disintegrated, causing numerous serious accidents.  Two drivers, two mechanics, and two spectators were killed.  Track officials soon decided to pave the entire track with bricks.

Helms1933     Bobby Helms was born in Helmsburg in Brown County.  His singing talent took him to Nashville, Tennessee, where he signed a contract with Decca Records.  An appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1957 helped solidify his success.  His hit records include “Fraulein,” “My Special Angel,” and “Jingle Bell Rock.”


2017    Wreckage of the USS Indianapolis was discovered 72 years after the ship had been sunk by a Japanese torpedo.  Using high-tech sonar, a civilian research team found the remains of the ship 18,000 feet beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean.  Paul Allen, who led the research team, said, “I hope everyone connected to this historic ship will feel some measure of closure at this discovery so long in coming.” (Above:  The headline from the Muncie Star Press.)


Think twice before you speak and about a week before you write.

(Kin Hubbard, Abe Martin Sayings, 1916)


Follow this link to subscribe to Hoosier History Highlights and to view archived editions

Follow us on Instagram: @instatehousetouroffice

Indiana Statehouse Tour Office

Indiana Department of Administration

Guided Tours of the Indiana Statehouse are offered Monday through Saturday.  For more information, please contact the tour office.

(317) 233-5293

   Indiana Quick Quiz


     Select the correct mileage for each trip below.

1.  Gary to Evansville  a/ 115 miles  b/ 175 miles  c/  275 miles

2.  Terre Haute to Richmond         a/ 139 miles  b/ 199 miles  c/  269 miles

3.  Fort Wayne to Vincennes          a/ 134 miles  b/ 234 miles  c/ 384 miles

Answers Below 

Hoosier Quote of the Week


“Teaching is the royal road to learning.”

– – -  Jessamyn West (1902 – 1984)

From Vernon, Indiana, Jessamyn West was an author of short stories and novels, most notably The Friendly Persuasion.

Did You Know?

     When the USS Indianapoliswas attacked by a Japanese torpedo, it had already completed its mission.  It had delivered vital components of the atomic bomb.  On a top secret assignment, the battleship had carried the shipment to Tinian Island.   The crew was totally unaware of their ship’s cargo.  From Tinian Island, the Indianapolis sailed to Pacific Headquarters at Guam where orders were received  to meet the USS Idaho at Leyte Gulf in the Phillipines.   Enroute to that destination, the ship was hit by two torpedoes.  It sunk within 12 minutes.  About 300 sailors died on the ship and another 900 were cast into the shark-infested waters.  Help did not arrive until four days later.  Only 316 were still alive.  Just days later, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Take an “Armchair Tour” of the Indiana Statehouse

Statehouse Virtual Tour

ANSWERS:  1.  C    2.  A     3. B