Episodes 11 and 12: The Settlement of Ohio and Indiana

I didn't do an Episode 11 post, but this one will cover some of the stuff in that episode as well.

So to start with, let's look at the population of various midwestern states.

So the first thing to notice is that the line is pretty close to zero with fairly little growth up to 1780 or so. If you're curious, here are NW territory growth rates from 1700 to 2015

That's the lagged 10-year compound growth rate, by the way, so it's smoothing out a lot of annual volatility. And you can clearly see the negative growth after the Proclamation of 1763, and then around the American Revolution, and then huge spikes after the area was opened for settlement. Peak rates of Midwestern growth were from 1790 to 1810.

So that's the whole region. Let's look at individual states.

As we discussed in the episode, Ohio was by far the population leader in the midwest before 1860. Towards the end, Illinois began to catch up. By the mid 1880s, Illinois was the largest midwestern state, and Ohio has never quite caught up. But for our purposes, Ohio was really big, and then Indiana was the second most populous state. Wisconsin doesn't even really register until 1840, and Minnesota is irrelevant until 1860.

From this population data, we can then derive our usual migration estimates. I showed these estimates for the whole midwest in the Episode 10 blog post, but now I'll show them disaggregated by state.

As you can see, Ohio is the leader early on, then Indiana reaches parity by the 1820s, but by the 1830s and 18403 states like Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan have begun to draw migrants.

Okay, so we've got our population and migration data. Cool. Now, I want to note, this is domestic net migration. Students of midwestern history, or midwesterners themselves, will note that we totally ignored a huge factor in midwestern population growth: immigration! Don't worry, we will get to immigration. But that comes a bit later. Large-scale immigration doesn't really get going until the 1830s, and isn't huge until the 1840s.

But now, let's look at those treaty-maps we promised.


First up, here's a map of the treaties that made Indiana:

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Indiana_Indian_treaties.svg

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Indiana_Indian_treaties.svg

You can also see a map of Ohio. Notice the "Treaty of Greenville" in 1795 that we mentioned in the episode includes that small sliver of eastern Indiana, and a huge chunk of Ohio:

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Greenville_Treaty_Line_Map.png

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Greenville_Treaty_Line_Map.png

If you look at the dates on the Indiana treaties, you'll see the procession northwards we discuss on the episode, which would necessarily make it easier for southerners to get there than Yankees.


From there, we can use the data supplied by David S. Rose's work to chart out which Indiana counties were dominated by which origin-groups. Again, we want to really laud this work, it supplied a lot of insight, analysis, and raw data that we would have been hard-pressed to get elsewhere. Rose's work, while a bit dated now, is nonetheless interesting and impressive, and still of great relevance.

So, to begin with, here's a color-coding of counties by dominant state-origin-group in 1850:

Now, to get this, I did do some imputations on where Ohioans were from, with some being treated as "native Ohioan," but others being treated as Yankees or Pennsylvanians.  As you can see, Yankees are generally dominant in the north, and in a few of the counties along the southeastern edge, while Southern-origin settlers dominated in the south, and midland-settlers like Pennsylvanians dominated the middle section of the state.

We can get a bit more detailed, however, and look at each county for each origin-group. So here they are:

These charts should make the trends already described even clearer. Yankees were in the northern rim and, to a lesser extent, a few southeastern counties.Pennsylvanians and Ohioans were more widely dispersed, but still with a northern and eastern bias. Southerners dominated the south and center, especially Kentuckians, who made up a huge share of the southerners.


That pretty well wraps up the data pieces for these episodes, but please let us know if you have any questions or comments we can answer!