Economic History – Indiana – Economic Development


Free books & articles online for: Economic history of Indiana, development, canal construction, plank roads, Irish secret societies, Indian trails, Indiana railroads, Ohio River shipping, pioneer settlers, Wabash and Erie Canal, glass industry, early bicycling, banking in 1800s, cattle ranches, gas production, Solon Robinson, medical history, Indiana Medical Association, Indian traders, coal mining, general store in 1800s, women workers, New Albany – Salem Railroad

Find the Directory for 90+ pages in this collection at History of the Great Lakes States.

 

Foreign-born Laborers in Indiana

Adams, Donald Griffith
Indiana University 1911

Typewritten thesis in Economics.

The Wabash Trade Route in the Development of the Old Northwest

Benton, Elbert Jay
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press (1903)

The author was a Fellow in History in the Johns Hopkins University. His goal was to contribute to the understanding of how waterways contributed to the history of the Old Northwest through an intensive study of this particular waterway. Chapter headings are:

– Early History of the Wabash Trade Route
– The Wabash and Erie Canal
— Origin and Federal Character
— Organization and Construction as an Interstate Enterprise
— As the Trunk Line of a General System of Internal Improvements
— Mismanagement and Collapse in the Panic of 1837
— The Butler Bill: Repudiation or Resumption
— The Administration of the Trust
– Influence on the Development of the Old Northwest

The National Road in Indiana

Burns, Lee
Indianapolis: C.E. Pauley 1919

This 40-page paper starts with an introductory history of the National Road from Cumberland, MD through Ohio. This is followed with a more detailed narrative of construction of the road across Indiana.

Also see: Frost, Harwood, The Art of Roadmaking (1910) in Civil Engineering
Martzolff, Clement L., “Zane’s Trace” in Ohio Economic History
Hulbert, Archer B., The Old National Road: a Chapter of American Expansion in Economic History in the Great Lakes Region

Books and articles on education, the arts, journalism, recreation and architecture are in Indiana Cultural History

“Internal Improvements in Indiana: No. II—The National Road”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 3, Issue 2, 1907, pp 58-73

Chambers, Smiley N.
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University

Indiana History, Cumberland road

“Letters From Eighteenth Century Indiana Merchants”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 5, Issue 4, 1909, pp 137-159

Coleman, Christopher B.
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University

“History of Canals in Indiana”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 7, Issue 1, 1911, pp 1-15

Comstock, Howard Payne
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University

Also see: Harcourt, Leveson Francis V., A Treatise on Rivers and Canals relating to the Control and Improvement of Rivers and the Design, Construction, and Development of Canals (1882) in Civil Engineering

Books and articles on Exploration & Travel in Historic Indiana

“Early Commerce in Indiana”

Indiana Magazine of History Vol 4, Issue 1 (March 1908) pp 1-7

Cottman, George S.
Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society

This short article is about the importation of consumer goods to pioneer Indiana towns, including items for sale, transportation challenges, costs, and barter practices.

See our collection of articles on the History of Medicine and of books on Medicine – History of Medicine

“Internal Improvements in Indiana: No. IV—Railroads”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 3, Issue 4, 1907, pp 149-181

Cottman, George S.
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University

For more books on railroads in U.S. history, see: Railroad History.

“The Internal Improvement System of Indiana”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 3, Issue 3, 1907, pp 117-124

Cottman, George S.
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University

Also see: Harcourt, Leveson Francis V., A Treatise on Rivers and Canals relating to the Control and Improvement of Rivers and the Design, Construction, and Development of Canals (1882) in Civil Engineering

General histories and works that don’t fit the descriptions for other pages are in The History of Indiana

“Pioneer Transportation on the Ohio River”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 4, Issue 3, 1908, pp 129-133

Covington, Samuel T.
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University

For works on boats and shipping, see: Navigation on the Great Lakes & the Region’s Rivers

The Village at the End of the Road, a Chapter in Early Indiana Railroad History

Daniels, Wylie J.
Indianapolis. Indiana Historical Society 1938

The subject of this book is the great dissatisfaction in Indiana in early days with the condition of the roads, and the many issues surrounding funding, planning and construction of early railroads. The author’s approach to helping us see how people of that place and time viewed the issues was to enrich his narrative with numerous long quotes from local newspapers.

State Banking in Indiana

Dehority, George Hupp
Bloomington: Indiana University 1914

Typewritten thesis in the Department of Economics at IU.

Find 14 more subject pages of books and articles about Indiana at the History of the Great Lakes States Directory.

Valley of the Upper Wabash, Indiana, with hints on its agricultural advantages; plan of a dwelling, estimates of cultivation, and notices of labor-saving machines

Ellsworth, Henry William
NY. Pratt, Robinson 1838

Henry William Ellsworth was a grandson of Oliver Ellsworth, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, who had purchased 41,000 acres in the Connecticut Western Reserve, including the later site of Cleveland. His father was a mayor of Hartford, Connecticut and then the first Commissioner of the U.S. Patent Office. Henry was a Yale graduate and then a lawyer in Lafayette, IN. He was later appointed Minister to Sweden and Norway.

This book was written during Ellsworth’s Lafayette years, and encourages investment in large-scale farms in the Wabash River Valley. It is filled with information gained from Ellsworth’s own experience and from information gleaned from other farmers about the costs, methods and potential profits of raising a variety of crops and livestock. He also promotes several types of state-of-the-art agricultural equipment.

Internal Improvements in Early Indiana

Esarey, Logan
Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society 1913

Section and Chapter Headings:

I Introduction
1. Economic Situation in the United States, 1816-20 2. Conditions of Travel in Early Indiana

II. Early Attempts To Build Transportation Routes 1816-’27
1. State Roads and the Three Per Cent Fund 2. The National Road 3. The Michigan Road 4. Opening Streams for Navigation 5. The Ohio Falls Canal 6. Commerce of Early Indiana 7. Early Parties and Government Aid

III. Era of Systematic Internal Improvements 1827-40
1. The Problem, the People, and the Legislature 2. ‘The System’ of 1836 3. Construction 4. Financial Management

IV. Failure of the System
1. The Settlement with the Creditors 2. Finishing the Wabash and Erie Canal

V. Conclusion

See our book collection on Railroad History and Civil Engineering and Construction

State Banking in Indiana, 1814-1873

Esarey, Logan
Bloomington, IN: 1912

Chapter headings are:

– The First State Bank of Indiana – Popular Ideas of Banking in 1834 – The Second State Bank of Indiana – Chartering the Bank in 1834 – Organizing the Bank – The Panic of 1837 – Attitude of the Constitutional Convention of 1850 – The Free Banks of 1852 – Bank of the State of Indiana — The Third State Bank

Books and articles on Local, City, and County History in Indiana

“Hoosier Cattle Kings”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 44, Issue 1, March 1948, pp 1-24

Gates, Paul W.
Bloomington: Indiana University

“The Gas Boom in East Central Indiana”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 96, Issue 4, December 2000, pp 313-335

Glass, James A.
Bloomington: Indiana University

Indiana’s Canal Heritage

Harlow, Alvin F.
Fort Wayne, IN: Fort Wayne Public Library 1926

In Indiana’s early decades its pioneers could see the state’s tremendous potential for agricultural production, but the obstacle to realizing that potential was the impossibility of transporting that product to eastern markets. The tremendous success of the Erie Canal, opening in the 1820s, seemed to show the solution for the transportation problem, and there followed a canal craze throughout the new Great Lakes states. This small book recounts the financial and political dramas that convulsed early Indiana during the canal-building era.

For works on boats and shipping, see: Navigation on the Great Lakes & the Region’s Rivers

Collected Maps & Gazetteers for Historic Indiana

Indiana at the World’s Columbian Exposition

Havens, B. F.
Chicago: Rand, McNally 1893

This report from the Board of World’s Fair Managers of Indiana lists all Indiana’s exhibits of every type, and the individual or company providing the exhibit.

“Canal Mania in Indiana”

The Indiana Historian June 1997

Indiana Historical Bureau
Indiana Historical Bureau

A 16-page article on the history of canals throughout the 19th century, focusing on the economic effects of canals and the experience of canal travel. Also see the related article “Canal Construction in Indiana” on this webpage. Contains a bibliography.

“Canal Construction in Indiana”

The Indiana Historian September 1997

Indiana Historical Bureau
Indiana Historical Bureau

16-page article covering the various steps in constructing canals; including surveying, engineering, and construction. The Whitewater canal is used as an example for engineering and construction. A bibliography is included. Also see the related article “Canal Mania in Indiana”, on this webpage.

Collected Newspapers and journals in historic Indiana

“Little Bottle – Big Business”

The Indiana Historian September 1995

Indiana Historical Bureau
Indiana Historical Bureau

16-page article about the Indiana glass and glass jar industry, and especially the history of the Coca-Cola bottle. Also a bibliography.

See our book collections on Ships, Sailing & Seamanship and Sailors & Shipping on the Great Lakes

“A Marvel of Ingenuity”

The Indiana Historian December 1996

Indiana Historical Bureau
Indiana Historical Bureau

16-page overview of the rapid growth of bicycling in Indiana in the 1890s, including the sport and its economic impact. Photos of several types of bicycles of the period. Also a bibliography.

Solon Robinson, Pioneer and Agriculturist; Selected Writings

– Volume 2

Kellar, Herbert A., ed.
Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau 1936

Solon Robinson (1803-1880) was a native of Connecticut who arrived in Indiana in 1830 and settled in Lake County in 1834. He was a prominent early settler there and a founder of the county seat of Crown Point. In his early years there he was a postmaster, ran a general store, and bought a small printing press with which he produced handbills and newssheets that he wrote himself. He also wrote for newspapers, including a serialized short novel, and an emigrant guide entitled The Prairie Farmer. He was a popular orator on a variety of topics, and was a strong advocate for farmers’ organizations, for education, and for scientific farming practices.

These two volumes are collections of his agricultural writings, in a broad sense, from 1825 to 1851. Mostly they seem to be letters and articles published by numerous periodicals. Vol 1. covers 1825-1845, and Vol 2 covers 1846-51.

For information about American and Canadian agriculture at the beginning of the 20th century, see: Bailey, Liberty Hyde. ed. , Cyclopedia of American Agriculture in Gardening, Farming & Forestry

Books and articles on Politics & Government in historic Indiana

A Medical History of the State of Indiana

Kemper, G. W. H.
Chicago: American Medical Association 1911

The author was a physician and long-time member of the State Medical Society. This history originally appeared as several articles published in the Journal of the Indiana State Medical Association, so it is assumed that medical professionals were the intended audience. The book is both a history of medical progress and a memorial to many of the individual physicians who rendered service.

Also see:
– Dittrick, Howard, “The Equipment, Instruments and Drugs of Pioneer Physicians of Ohio” in Ohio Economic History
;
Juettner, Otto, Daniel Drake and his Followers: Historical and Biographical Sketches, 1785-1909 in Biographies & Memoirs in Ohio History;
Zeuch, Lucius H., M.D., compiled, History of Medical Practice in Illinois in Illinois Economic History;
Michigan State Medical Society, Medical History of Michigan (Volume 1) in Michigan Economic History
Frank, Louis Frederick (Dr.), The Medical History of Milwaukee: 1834-1914 in Wisconsin Economic History

History of Medicine, Indiana medical history

“The Old Indian Traders of Indiana”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 2, Issue 1, March 1906, pp 1-13

Lasselle, Charles B.
Bloomington: Indiana University

This account of early Indiana traders was written in about 1860 by Lasselle, of Logansport, IN.

Books and articles on War in historic Indiana

The Soft Coal Industry in Indiana

Maartz, Fred Moses
Bloomington: Indiana University 1908

Typewritten thesis for B.S. in Economics and Social Science.

See our book collections on Workers and Working Conditions and Farming and Forestry

“A Hoosier General Store in 1847”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 35, Issue 3, September 1939, pp 299-302

McFadden, I. M.
Bloomington: Indiana University

Description of the activities of a merchant in Bedford in the 1840s, who supplied manufactured goods to the community, acted as purchasing agent for the products of local farms, and carried out banking functions.

Hours, Earnings, and Conditions of Labor of Women in Indiana Mercantile Establishments and Garment Factories

Obenauer, Marie Louise and others
Washington: U.S. Dept of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics 1914

Books and articles on Great Lakes Sailors & Shipping in History

A Brief Practical Treatise on the Construction and Management of Plank Roads

Owen, Robert Dale
New Albany, IN: Kent & Norman 1850

Robert Dale Owen was the son of the founder of the ‘utopian’ community of New Harmony, IN, and served in the U.S. House of Representatives twice. He explained in the Preface that he had been elected one of the Directors of a company formed to build a 15-mile road from New Harmony to the Ohio River. However, the Directors found that they knew nothing of road-building, so Owen drew upon his circle of acquaintances in Washington, D.C. to research the subject. Since he saw a great need in Indiana for better roads, he put his newly-acquired expertise in this book to persuade other communities of the advantages of plank roads, and so it could serve as a practical guide for funding and building them.

See also: books on road construction in Civil Engineering.

“The New Albany-Salem Railroad—Incidents of Road and Men”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 15, Issue 4, 1919, pp 342-362

Perring, Thomas Carter
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University

Indiana and Foreign Trade

U.S. Department of State
Washington: U.S. Department of State 1951

Early Indiana Trails and Surveys

Wilson, George R.
Indianapolis: C.E. Pauley 1919

This book was written by an ex-surveyor and historian of Dubois County. He identifies numerous Indian trails, locates them with precision, and provides some interesting historical background information for many of them.


We have many more books from the late 19th and early 20th centuries on topics such as manufacturing, engineering, agriculture, business management, transportation and home economics. Visit the Subject Directory on our Century Past Free Online Library.


Your comments and feedback are welcome!