As the state looks forward to celebrating our Bicentennial next year, You Are There 1816: Indiana Joins the Nation recreates the Corydon meeting house where delegates met to draft Indiana’s first state constitution. You can engage with the debate over principles that would guide the birth of America’s 19th state.
In a room in a private home converted for this important purpose, you will join in conversation with delegates representing various viewpoints on issues such as education, slavery, personal liberty and the balance of power between branches of this new government. You’ll meet characters such as Jonathan Jennings, president of the 1816 constitutional convention and Indiana’s first governor; Dennis Pennington, a Harrison County representative and anti-slavery advocate; Robert Hanna, a politically active young farmer from Brookville; and Alexander Devin, a Christian minister representing Gibson County.
In the exhibit space next door, guests will learn more about Indiana at the time – who lived where and the ways the area was changing, the act of drafting a constitution and the process of statehood. A touchscreen interactive invites you to participate in live-tally voting on issues such as education, personal liberty and the balance of power – issues present both for delegates in 1816 and voters 200 years later.
Presented by the O’Bannon Foundation, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation, and Jock and Penny Fortune.