Indiana's State Motto: The Crossroads of America - adopted in 1937
|"Land of the Indians"|
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An Early History of Indiana
A written language is the most important aspect of any civilizations growth. Without a written language, ideas, inventions, and history are all eventually lost. Originally, a written language was how one civilization could eventually overpower others. Through better organization and conveyance of information, measurable progress could be realized. Since the invention of the written language only the computer can compare as an equally important invention. Much of Indiana's history can only be derived from fossils and artifacts and that's where Indiana's history begins.
First there was the Ice Age in Indiana. All of northern Indiana was flattened by two separate glaciers; for that reason, southern Indiana's topography is like a rug folding up under an opening a door.
The earliest inhabitants of Indiana were the prehistoric Indians. They crossed the Bering Straight in 20,000 BC to 500 AD, but evidence shows they didn't actually live in Indiana until 7000 BC to 5000 BC. The Shell Mound Indians were here 500BC to 500 AD, the Adena Indians were here 500 AD to 900 AD. The Hopewell Indians occupied Indiana from 900 AD to 1300 AD, the Middle Mississippi Indians from 1300 AD to 1600 AD, and the Fort Ancient Indians from 1550 AD to 1700 AD. There was about 1,000,000 Indians living in what was the United States by 1700 AD.
The Shell Mound Indians usually camped near the White, Wabash or Ohio Rivers. They did not set up permanent homes, but moved around in search of food. They built mounds from the shellfish shells left after removing the meat and became known as the Shell Mound Indians.
The Adena Indians built mounds too, but they lived in villages and huts and didn't move around. They built tools and were artisans.
The Hopewell Indians also built mounds, but they farmed gardens and hunted. They traveled too because items from Michigan, Colorado, and North Carolina have been found in their artifacts.
The Middle Mississippi Indians lived in south western Indiana and were experts in agriculture. They built large villages with Fort Like walls and built furniture for their homes. They are the Indians responsible for the Angel Mounds in Evansville. They also played flutes made of bone.
The Fort Ancient Indians lived in south eastern Indiana and were musical like the Middle Mississippi Indians. We don't know what really happened to any of these tribes. Over time they disappeared, probably becoming the modern Indians we know of today.
==# 1510 - The pocket watch is invented by Peter Henlein #==
The first written recordings of someone going to Indiana was by a Hispanic man, a Spaniard. This is also the first recorded history of a horse being in Indiana. In June 1541, Hernando DeSoto's army marched from Evansville, then called Aquixo, to Vincennes then called Casqui, and then to Terre Haute then known as Pacaha. Pacaha had a hand dug moat all the way around it and was enclosed in a fort. DeSoto's men spent about a month in Terre Haute trying to find their way north to the South Sea (the Pacific Ocean). They believed that Michigan Lake was the Pacific Ocean. They camped in Oaktown and Merom and crossed Busseron Creek just west of Carlisle; some of his men went all the way to Chicago.
==# 1568 - Bottled beer invented in London #==
This was during the Christian Crusade era when the Christians were brutal. They killed the Indians without remorse because of their beliefs; they believed that they were savages and killing them was not a sin. They were actually disappointed if they didn't get to kill the Indians. The Indians began to wear crosses to prevent the Spaniards from killing them instantly. Although the Indians didn't necessarily understand what a cross represented to the Christians, they knew it represented life to them.
==# 1593 - Galileo invents a water thermometer
==# 1608 - Hans Lippershey invents the first refracting telescope
==# 1668 - James Gregory invents the first reflecting telescope
==# 1679 - Denis Papin invents the Pressure Cooker
Over 100 years later in 1679, Frenchmen Robert de La Salle sailed to New France (now Canada) and set up a trading post. He learned the language of the Indians and learned of a great river the Indians called Oh-ē-yo which meant "Beautiful River". This is the Ohio River running along the southern border of Indiana.
When news of his find got back to King Louis; the land in the Ohio Valley was claimed by France and La Salle was made a Knight.
At this time transportation by the Indians of Indiana was by foot and canoe, they had no horses when the white man settled here; they carried everything themselves. They made paths, called portages, between the waterways and carried their canoes from river to lake to stream etc., until they got to their destination.
A portage was generally about 2 feet wide since the Indians did not ride horses, pull sleds or wagons. The American Indians had not invented the wheel yet, all their travel was by foot and canoe, along waterways, portages, and animal trails. Necessity is the mother of invention and the American Indian didn't have a need for the wheel; they would have to build all new roads just to make the wheel useful.
Richness isn't felt in your pocket, it is felt in your heart.
James A. Miller
This information is the research of many people across the United States and may contain errors. It is presented as the best information to date. Like all of those whose work I have incorporated herein, my research is a work in progress and subject to change without notice. A special thanks to Marlene Ricci of CA, Dwayne Meyer of CA, Jacqueline Bean of TX, Debbie Dick of IN, Milus Miller of IL, Carol Hendricks Miller of IN, Clarence Miller of IN, and Harold Glen Miller of IN. There are numerous others too; many of which are unknown, but their findings and stories are still much appreciated. Much of this would not have been possible with out their information. Also this website includes historical facts gathered from Washington County History, Indiana History, Rowan County and Salisbury North Carolina Historical sources and other US Historical sources.
James A. Miller- Great -Great -Great -Great Grandson of Adam Miller and Hannah Sheets.
©2004-2008 The Millers of Washington County
Last Updated 12/17/10 03:32:34 PM -0800