Indiana Explorers – Exploration and Travel in Indiana History – Who Explored Indiana?


Indiana Explorers, Free online books, Indiana Travel, Descriptions of Indiana

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


Indiana Guidebooks Collection

A number of free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Indiana – Guidebooks”. Be patient as the page loads.

The Insider’s Guide to Greater Indianapolis

Berry, S. L., and Ketzenberger, Jolene Phelps
Indianapolis Newspapers 1995       

This appears to be a very substantial guide for use by tourists as well as by Indiana residents. In addition to sections for recreation, attractions and nightlife there is a comprehensive directory of services, shopping, local businesses, government, etc. Prepared as a joint effort between ‘Insider Guides’ and the major newspapers of Indianapolis.

A Friendly Mission: John Candler’s letters [to his wife] from America, 1853-1854

Candler, John
Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society. 1951

John Candler was an English Quaker on an Anti-Slavery mission to the U.S. He visited numerous states, but his travels in Indiana make up a significant part of the book. The account is of value for several reasons, including a look at Quaker efforts toward abolition, and also as a portrayal of western modes of travel in the 1850s.

Indiana Explorers, Who explored Indiana

“Journal of Ebenezer Mattoon Chamberlain 1832–5”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 233-259, 1919

Chamberlain, Ebenezer M.; Fogle, Lousie, ed.
Bloomington: Indiana University

A lively and sometimes amusing account of a young man who went west, hoping to begin a law career. As he was nearly penniless, he generally traveled on foot and stayed at the homes of strangers. The account includes rich details of life and travel in the 1830s, and many interesting incidents.

“Mrs. Lydia B. Bacon’s Journal 1811-12” – Part 1

– Part 2

Indiana Magazine of History Vol 40, No. 4, 1944, 367-86; Vol 41, No. 1, 1945, 59-79

Crawford, Mary M., ed.
Bloomington: Indiana University

In 1811 Lydia Bacon traveled with her husband, a lieutenant in the U.S. Infantry, from Boston through Pennsylvania, then down the Ohio River to Vincennes. She stayed in Vincennes through the winter of 1811-12 while he participated in an Indian campaign in the area. After the battle at Tippecanoe in November 1811 the couple traveled by horseback through Kentucky with his troops, then on toward Detroit. Enroute she and other ladies were taken prisoner by the British. Mrs. Bacon recorded much of the trip in letters home, and twenty years later used those letters to write a book, which was published as The Biography of Lydia B. Bacon. Because the published version of the book had been over-edited, the editor of this two-part article drew upon her original manuscript.

Also see our collection of articles at Biography Articles

See our Biography Page for free online biographies of many historical figures.

Journal of Thomas Dean: A Voyage to Indiana in 1817

Dean, Thomas
Ft. Wayne: Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County. 1955

Thomas Dean (1779-1842) was a successful Quaker businessman in Oneida County, New York who went west to secure land for the Brothertown Indians; then living in Oneida County. The voyage to southern Indiana was made entirely by water, and took the party, mostly made up of Indians, down the Ohio River to the Wabash, then up the Wabash to the mouth of the Mississinewa River, near present-day Peru, IN. He also made a long overland journey in Indiana and canoed down the Maumee.

Indiana State Parks

a guide to Hoosier parks, reservoirs and recreation areas, for campers, hikers, anglers, boaters, hunters, nature lovers, skiers and family vacationers

Goll, John
Glovebox Guidebooks 1995       

35 state parks, reservoirs and recreation areas are profiled. Each is described, and entries include information about available activities and facilities, and nearby attractions. Some entries have simple maps.

“A Journal of Travel from New York to Indiana in 1827”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 17, Issue 4, December 1921, pp 338-352

Judah, Samuel Bernard
Bloomington: Indiana University

The author of this journal, Dr. Samuel Bernard, was a well-to-do city urbanite in New York City when he made the journey to Vincennes, IN to visit his son. He was somewhat delicate physically and accustomed to comforts, so the normal rigors of travel in the frontier west must have been particularly hard on him. This journal contains his views and reactions to whatever and whoever drew his attention.

Works of Fiction set in Indiana

Indiana as Seen by Early Travelers; a collection of reprints from books of travel, letters and diaries prior to 1830

Lindley, Harlow
Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Commission. 1916

Editor Harlow Lindley was the Director of the Department of Indiana History and Archives at the Indiana State Library. This volume of nearly 600 pages contains excerpts of accounts by 33 early visitors to Indiana. A sample of these include:

-Imlay, George – A Topographical Description of the Western Territory of North America, 1793.
-Ashe, Thomas – Travels in America Performed in 1806.
-Cutler, Jervasse – A Topographical Description of the Indiana Territory, 1812.
-Brown, Samuel R. – The Western Gazetteer, or Emigrant’s Directory, 1817.
-Warden, D. B. – A Statistical, Political and Historical Account of North America, 1819.
-Teas, Thomas S. – Journal of a Tour to Fort Wayne and the Adjacent Country in the Year 1821.
-Faux, W. – Memorable Days in America: Being a Journal of a Tour to the United States, 1823.
-Reed, Isaac – The Christian Traveller, 1828.
-Coffin, Charles F. – Personal Recollections of Charles F. Coffin of Wayne County, Indiana from 1824 to 1833.

For several early-19th century descriptions of the Great Lakes states and adjoining areas, see: Settlers’ Guides for the Great Lakes Region

Country Roads of Indiana

McKinney, Sally
Country Roads 1993       

12 driving & sightseeing routes described, all around the state.

Please visit our collection of 2,000+ selected online magazine and newspaper articles on 40 subjects, plus online map & vintage photo collections, at Century Past History Resources

A Traveler’s Impression of Indiana in 1851

Staff of Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County
Fort Wayne. 1954

This small book consists of excerpts from a 2-volume work by J. Richard Beste entitled The Wabash, or, Adventures of an English Gentleman’s Family in the Interior of America. It is an account of a trip that Beste, his wife and 11 children made from England in the early 1850s. You can find the full two-volume work on this website, at Explorers and Travelers in Great Lakes History.

Indiana Explorers, Who explored Indiana

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

A Tour through Indiana in 1840: the Diary of John Parsons of Petersburg, Virginia

Rabb, Kate Milner. ed.
NY: R. M. McBride. 1920

23-year-old John Parsons, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, made a tour of Indiana in 1840 to look into the possibility of purchasing land and settling there. His modes of transport included the stage coach, canal boat, steamboat and one of the early railroads. He carried letters of introduction to the “most respected families” of various Indiana towns, whom he describes. The account also describes the 1840 presidential campaign.

See our book collections on Exploring Africa and Exploring Asia

A Native’s Guide to Northwest Indiana

Skertic, Mark
Lake Claremont 2003       

This book covers the three counties that are close to the southern tip of Lake Michigan and to metropolitan Chicago: Lake, Porter and LaPorte.

Kids Love Indiana

A Parent’s Guide to Exploring Fun Places in Indiana with Children … Year Round!

Zavatsky, George
Kids Love 2005       

The book divides the state into eight regional sections, providing a chapter of attractions for each. Most attractions would be of interest for adults as well as children. Activities aren’t rated, but there is a list of “Our Favorites” at the beginning of each region’s chapter.


Most works on exploration and travel in the Great Lakes states in the 1600s, 1700s and early 1800s, and works that cover more than one of our five states, are on the page Explorers and Travelers in Great Lakes History on this website.

 

Of nearly 250 webpages of books and other resources at Century Past History,

over 90 pages are in the group History of the Great Lakes States.

 



Your comments and feedback are welcome!