1780-1789 Timeline of Allen County, Indiana

1781 - 1782 - 1783 -1784 -1785 - 1787 - 1788 - 1789


1780, November 5 - Fraudulently claiming to act under orders from Congress, Augustus Martine de LaBalme's and his troops plunder and destroy Miami Town, an early name for the Fort Wayne area. Little Turtle's forces, encouraged by the French, retaliate by attacking his camp at night, annihilating their enemies. Copied from Millennium milestones in Fort Wayne in the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.


1781 - Britain’s defeat at the Battle of Yorktown marked the conclusion of the American Revolution and the beginning of new challenges for a new nation. 

1781, March 1 - the Continental Congress adopts the Articles of Confederation. The First Constitution - The Articles of Confederation

1781, October 17 - British General Charles Cornwallis writes letter to George Washington conceding defeat at Yorktown, Virginia. Surrender ceremony was on October 19, 1781.


1782, June 20 - the Great Seal is adopted and the bald eagle becomes a standard symbol of the United States. The copper pattern dollar from 1794 carries the first depiction of an eagle on any U.S. national coin shown on the Smithsonian National Museum of American History blog and National Archives Identifier: 596742 on US National Archives on Facebook. How did the bald eagle become America’s national bird? published February 25, 2015 on Ask History.


1783, April 15 - the Revolutionary War officially ended.

1783, September 3 - the Treaty of Paris when Prince George the Third King of Great Britain signed document to recognize the United States of America see actual document on Fold3. See a map created by John Wallis in 1783 depicting the boundaries of the United States established by the Treaty of Paris posted December 15, 2014 by Campaign 1776 on Facebook. Read more on unanimous vote by Congress on Ratification of the Treaty of Paris January 14, 1784 officially ending the American Revolution on Todays Document from the The National Archives.

1783, December 4 - General Washington bids farewell to the Continental Army in New York in Goodbye to General Washington on Today in History - December 4 at The Library of Congress.


1784, January 14 - the Continental Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris, officially establishing the United States as an independent and sovereign nation. The treaty was signed in Paris, France on September 3, 1783 and required Congress to return the ratified document to England within six months. Today in History - January 14 Treaty of Paris Ratified by The Library of Congress.

1784, March 1 - John Wesley charters the first Methodist church in US.

1784, April 23 - the Ordinance of 1784, primarily written by Thomas Jefferson, established government for the Northwest Territory and a system for the area to be divided into states. Indiana became a state 32 years later. Read Learn More: Indiana Territory from The Indiana Historian magazine on IN.gov. Map posted April 23, 2017 on Indiana Bicentennial Commission on Facebook.

1784, June 20 - the Continental Army no longer exists from FURLOUGHS, DISCHARGES AND THE END OF THE CONTINENTAL ARMY by Bob Ruppert published October 13, 2015 on Journal of the American Revolution.

1784, September 21 - the Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser published the first daily newspaper. Many independent newspapers ran before that on a weekly or monthly basis. America's first independent newspaper, the New England Courant, was published by Benjamin Franklin's older brother in 1721. By the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775, there were 37 independent newspapers to keep the colonists informed. Copied from The Nation's First Daily Newspaper Began Publication by AmericasLibrary.com. See also America’s first daily by Judy G. Russell published September 21, 2018 on her Legal Genealogist blog.

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1785, April 26 - Naturalist John Audubon is born. Audubon was known for painting birds. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History blog has lithographs from his Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.

1785, May 23 - Benjamin Franklin introduced his latest invention: bifocals. See more of his inventions on: Ancestry.com. From May 23, 2015 Ancestry.com Tweet.

1785, July 8 - the U.S. dollar was chosen to replace the continental note - generating the slogan Not Worth a Continental.


Northwest ordinance at The Library of Congress
Image of the  first page of the Northwest Ordinance

at The Library of Congress photo.

1787, July 13 - Northwest Territory established by the U.S. Congress. See a copy of An ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States, North-west of the river Ohio by The Library of Congress. The Northwest Ordinance Day, July 13 was adopted by the 1988 Indiana General Assembly (IC 1-1-14) to celebrate the adoption by the U.S. Congress in 1787 of this ordinance which established the Northwest Territory. See Special Days of Celebration by the Indiana Historical Bureau. July 13, 2017 Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook posted: ON THIS DAY// On July 13, 1787, while the Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia, the Congress of the Confederation enacted the Northwest Ordinance. The ordinance planned for governance of the territory north and west of the Ohio River. It also asserted that freedom of religion, right to trial by jury, and public education were rights of the people. Slavery was also provisionally banned. Out of the Northwest territory came five states and part of a sixth: Ohio (1803), Indiana (1816), Illinois (1818), Michigan (1837), Wisconsin (1848), and Minnesota (Portion east of the Mississippi river; full statehood in 1858). To learn more about the Northwest Ordinance, visit the Indiana Historical Bureau’s Northwest Ordinance timeline: NORTHWEST ORDINANCE OF 1787. To see the enacting document, check out the digital scan by the Library of Congress: An ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States, North-west of the river Ohio. See also Americans versus Indians: The Northwest Ordinance, Territory Making, and Native Americans by Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr. published Volume 84, Issue 1, March 1988 in the Indiana Magazine of History. Watch a 50 minute Northwest Ordinance video by Carlton Basmajian Assistant Professor at Iowa State University posted September 9, 2015 on C-SPAN.org.

1787, September 17 - the U.S. Constitution is adopted by the Constitutional Convention meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with George Washington presiding over the convention. See Constitution of the United States at The National Archives. Read Taking a Constitutional by Judy G. Russell posted on September 17, 2014 on her blog The Legal Genealogist. Constitution Day 2014 It is The Legal Genealogist‘s mantra: To understand the records, we have to understand the law that created them. She gives several examples how useful genealogical records result from the constitution. See We the People by Erin Allen published September 17, 2014 by The Library of Congress with links to various download formats of The Constitution.

1787, December 7 - Delaware, nickname First State, by a unanimous 30 - 0 vote, was the first state to ratify the Constitution. It took 10 months for the first nine states to approve it. See Teaching With Documents: The Ratification of the Constitution on the The National Archives.

1787, December 12 - Pennsylvania becomes the second state to ratify the Constitution, known as the Keystone State.

1787, December 18 - New Jersey became the third state to ratify the Constitution.


1788, January 2 - Georgia became the fourth state to join the union. See Georgia FamilySearch Wiki.

1788, January 9 - Connecticut, the "Constitution State" became the 5th state to join the Union. See Connecticut's Nicknames at the Connecticut State Library.

1788, April 7 - American Pioneers to the Northwest Territory arrive at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers, establishing Marietta, Ohio, as the first permanent American settlement of the new United States in the Northwest Territory, and opening the westward expansion of the new nation.

1788, April 28 - Maryland becomes the 7th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. See a 1 2/3 dollar from the state from 1775. Figures on the bill represent America, Liberty, and Slavery on Smithsonian National Museum of American History blog.

1788, June 21 - U.S. Constitution goes into effect when New Hampshire is the ninth state to ratify it. From Revolution and the New Nation from Smithsonian National Museum of American History blog and June 21, 2013 Twitter.

1788, June 25 - Virginia became the 10th state to ratify the United States Constitution.

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1789, January 7 - America’s first presidential election is held to choose state electors. Only white men who owned property were allowed to vote. As expected, George Washington won the election and was sworn into office on April 30, 1789.

1789, February 4 - the electoral college unanimously elected George Washington as the first President of the United States.

1789, April 6 - the first meeting of the United States Senate.

1789, April 30 - George Washington inauguration when he becomes the first elected president of the U.S. taking the oath of office on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City. See his blue wool uniform he wore from 1789 until his death in 1799 at George Washington's Uniform on the Smithsonian National Museum of American History blog. Read George Washington's First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789 Records of the United States Senate at the The National Archives, Congress in the Archives on the The National Archives tumblr, or Washington’s First Inaugural Address (Full Text) on Accessible Archives. U.S. Presidential Inaugurations: George Washington on Web Guides from The Library of Congress. See U.S. Presidential Inaugurations: "I Do Solemnly Swear..."  A Resource Guide for the List of U.S. Presidents.

The History Center photo  posted on Facebook
The History Center photo

1789, May 7 - the first inaugural ball is held in New York in honor of President George Washington and his wife, Martha. A bird-fan sleeve black lace jacket, a gift from her parents, was worn by Elizabeth Keplinger Sutter at George Washington's First Inaugural Ball. The jacket was passed down through the family for four generations until Mrs. Maude Cahill of Fort Wayne, at the age of 87, donated it to the museum in 1956. Copied from a May 7, 2019 post by The History Center on Facebook.

1789, May 14 - Congress officially adopted the title “President of the United States” for Washington from May 14, 2015 Mount Vernon Twitter Tweet.

1789, June 1 - President George Washington signed The Oath of Office Bill into law. The simple text read, I, A.B., do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States.

1789, September 24 - the "Judiciary Act" is passed by Congress and signed by President George Washington, establishing the Supreme Court of the United States as a tribunal made up of six justices who were to serve on the court until death or retirement. From September 24, 2015 post by Arlington National Cemetery on Facebook. In 1869, the court was raised to nine.

1789, November 21 - North Carolina (also known as the Tar Heel State) became the 12th state.

1789, November 26 - President George Washington issued a proclamation designating November 26 of that year as a national day of thanksgiving to recognize the role of providence in creating the new United States and the new federal Constitution. From Thanksgiving on George Washington's Mount Vernon. 74 years later, President Lincoln Proclaimed Thanksgiving a National Holiday on October 3rd, 1863. The proclamation stated that the fourth Thursday in November set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving. From The National Civil War Museum on Facebook. Read more on Thanksgiving in the News- Periodically Speaking by Jennifer Harbster published November 25, 2014 at the The Library of Congress. Today in History - November 26 on The Library of Congress.

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