1780-1789 Timeline of Allen County, Indiana

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


1780, March 1 -

March 1, 2023 post by Pennsylvania Trails of History on Facebook:

Pennsylvania became the first state to move toward abolishing slavery when it passed the Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery on March 1, 1780. The act outlawed the importation of enslaved people and freed those who were carried into the state by new residents. Overall, it extended to enslaved newborns the rights of indentured servants and took steps to eliminate enslavement for life. The State #Archives preserves this document. #OnThisDay- An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery - March 1, 1780






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.

November 5, 2022 post by The Founding of the United States on Facebook:

On This Day in History > November 5, 1780:

De La Balme's Defeat

"On November 5, 1780, a Revolutionary War battle known as De la Balme's Defeat or De la Balme's Massacre takes place when retired French cavalry officer Augustin de la Balme is killed near present day Fort Wayne, Indiana in a battle with Miami Indians. The officer had been appointed in 1777 as the Continental Army's Inspector of Cavalry, but resigned this position due to his dislike for Polish General Casimir Pulaski, the Commander of the United States Cavalry.

In 1780, De la Balme left on a voyage down the Ohio River on a mission to capture the British Fort Detroit. Historians are uncertain whether he undertook this mission on his own or if he was acting on secret orders from General George Washington. De la Balme gathered Canadian colonists who had been living under British rule along the way in Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes (in what is now Indiana).

De la Balme's men moved north toward Fort Detroit and when they arrived in Kekionga (modern day Fort Wayne, Indiana), they found an unoccupied British and Indian trading post, the British and their Miami Indian allies having left the post, apparently on a hunting mission. De la Balme occupied the post and began to raid other British posts in the area. On the 5th, De la Balme set out for a post along the Eel River.

In the meantime, a group of Miami hunters returned to Kekionga, killed the 20 men De la Balme had left there and spread the word among the local Indians. Chief Little Turtle, who lived on the Eel River nearby, attacked De la Balme's party before he could reach the trading post. de la Balme's men entrenched themselves along the river, but were eventually overcome. De la Balme and most of his men were killed, with only a few escaping to tell the tale.

Chief Little Turtle would go on to become a successful war chief against the Americans in the Northwest Indian Wars of the 1790s and, in spite of De la Balme's failure, the British would post a group of Rangers at Kekionga to protect it from further attack. Fort Detroit would remain in British possession until the signing of the Jay Treaty in 1794."



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 known collectively as the Charters of Freedom. See America's Founding Documents at The National Archives.

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 theSmithsonian National Museum of American History blogand 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.

1782, August 7 - General George Washington wrote down the concept for a “Badge of Military Merit," which we know today as the Purple Heart. It is the oldest military award in the U.S. "...whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear on his facings over the left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth, or silk, edged with narrow lace or binding." The Library's collection of Washington's papers contains this document, which you can see below written in his own hand. Copied from an August 7, 2022 post by The Library of Congress on Facebook, The document has been transcribed with a link to the page George Washington, August 7, 1782, General Orders at The Library of Congress.


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, March 1 -

March 1, 2023 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook:

#OTD in 1784, the legislature of Virginia delivered a deed of cession to the United States that included the area that would become the Northwest Territory. One of the conditions of the land cession was that George Rogers Clark and his men would receive title to 150,000 acres of land in a location of their choosing as promised by the Virginia legislature in 1781 for their service during the American Revolutionary War. Known as “Clark’s Grant,” the area Clark chose included all of present-day Clark County and parts of surrounding counties. However, this area and the entire Ohio River Valley was already home to Shawnee, Myaamia, Wea, Lenape and other nations who lived in the region long before colonial contact. Learn about how different indigenous groups resisted removal over the following decades: How Did Six Different Native Nations Try to Avoid Removal?. Or learn more about George Rogers Clark and Shawnee leader Tenskwatawa with the Talking Hoosier History podcast: Talking Hoosier History

(Easy to read transcripts are also posted at the podcast link.)

Plat map accessed William H. English’s Conquest of the Country Northwest of the River Ohio 1778-1783, Conquest of the country northwest of the river Ohio 1778-1783; Watercolor by Earnest L. Spybuck (Absentee Shawnee) courtesy National Museum of the American Indian, Shawnee War Dance.

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 Facebookon 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. TheSmithsonian National Museum of American History bloghas 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.comTweet.

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


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 Facebookposted: 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 blog. 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 Congresswith 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 onSmithsonian 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 fromSmithsonian National Museum of American History blogand 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 theSmithsonian 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 Archivestumblr, 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.

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 Centeron 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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