Monday, May 26, 2014

May 26, 1814

200 years ago today, Jesse B. Durham, John McAfee and Thomas Ewing were wondering if they would ever sell lots in their plat of Vallonia that they had laid out in 1810 near the fort.  They were still chafing that their plat had been given no consideration by the commission appointed by the Indiana Territorial Government to be designated as  the seat of government of Washington County, Indiana Territory.  They realized that they were in the northern part of this new county and that the Knobs were a formidable impediment to travel between their holdings and the rest of the county.  Yet, these settlers in the area of the Driftwood River had previously lobbied to have the Territorial Capital moved to their nascent town in 1813. There was public interest in moving the capital of the Indiana Territory in 1813 as there was a general fear that Vincennes was in a location that was exposed to attack by the British and their Native allies as long as the War of 1812 continued .

On February 12, 1813, the Territorial Legislature had passed a resolution to move the capital "to some convenient place in the Territory".  Durham, McAfee and Ewing were then disappointed to learn that the Legislature had voted on March 11, 1813 to move the capital to Corydon which had previously been their county seat before Washington County was formed. These Hoosier pioneers near Fort Vallonia took some satisfaction in the news that John DePauw had not yet sold any lots in the plat of Salem although they had been on sale since April 4, 1814.

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