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Indiana Constitution of 1851 - Focus

A conference celebrating the 150th anniversary of Indiana's Constitution was held in November 2001. Speakers at this sesquicentennial celebration noted the renewed interest of the Indiana Supreme Court and Court of Appeals in the Constitution. One speaker emphasized that the Constitution needs "to be in the hearts and minds of every citizen." He noted that the aspirations of the people are in the Constitution and that "every generation moves to achieve those aspirations." He admonished the audience to "spread the conversation."

This issue of The Indiana Historian, we hope, will help to fulfill that call. It provides only a brief introduction to an extensive topic, worthy of further investigation.

The articles on pages 3 and 4 explore why and how the voting citizens of Indiana finally called for amendment of the Constitution of 1816.

"The setting of the convention" is the focus on page 5; the organization of the convention is covered on page 6.

An overview of "delegates to the convention" is presented on page 7 in words of one of the members.

On pages 8-9, an excerpt from a contemporary satirical sketch of the convention is presented.

On pages 10-11, the issues of the convention and how the Constitution of 1851 has fared over time are briefly discussed.

A chart on pages 12-14 summarizes the content of the 1851 Constitution and major changes from the 1816 Constitution.

On page 15, there is the usual list of bibliography and resources.