Vincennes, Indiana

Vincennes, Indiana

Infobox Settlement
official_name = City of Vincennes
native_name =
settlement_type = City
nickname =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location in the state of Indiana

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Indiana
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Knox
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Al Baldwin (D)
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
leader_title2 =
leader_name2 = b
leader_title3 =
leader_name3 =
established_title =
established_date =
established_title2 =
established_date2 =
established_title3 =
established_date3 =
area_magnitude = 1 E7
area_total_km2 = 18.6
area_total_sq_mi = 7.2
area_land_km2 = 18.5
area_land_sq_mi = 7.1
area_water_km2 = 0.2
area_water_sq_mi = 0.1
area_water_percent = 0.97
area_urban_km2 =
area_urban_sq_mi =
area_metro_km2 =
area_metro_sq_mi =
population_as_of = 2000
population_note =
population_total = 18,701
population_density_km2 = 1011.3
population_density_sq_mi = 2620.3
population_metro =
population_density_metro_km2 =
population_density_metro_sq_mi =
population_urban =
timezone = EST
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 38 |latm = 40 |lats = 42 |latNS = N
longd = 87 |longm = 30 |longs = 58 |longEW = W
elevation_m = 128
elevation_ft = 420
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 47591
website =
area_code = 812
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 18-79208GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0445300GR|3
footnotes =

The city of Vincennes is the county seat of Knox County, Indiana. It is located on the Wabash River in the southwestern part of the state. As of the 2000 census, the population was 18,701. It is the oldest continually inhabited European settlement in Indiana.


Indiana's first city

Vincennes was originally a part of the French colony of Louisiana, then the British colony of Canada, then the Illinois Country of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, then Knox County in the Northwest Territory, and then the Indiana Territory. Vincennes served as capital of the Indiana Territory from 1800 until 1813, when it was moved to Corydon.

New France

The oldest town in Indiana, Vincennes was originally established in 1732 as a French fur trading post. The Compagnie des Indes commissioned a Canadian officer, François-Marie Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes, to build a post along the Wabash River to discourage local nations from trading with the British. [Derleth , 4] de Vincennes founded the new trading post near the meeting points of the Wabash River, White River, and the overland Buffalo Trace. [Derleth, 8] de Vincennes, who had lived with his father among the Miami tribe, was able to convince the Piankeshaw to establish a village at his trading post. He also encouraged French settlers to move there, and took it upon himself to start a family and increase the village population. [Derleth, 9] Because the Wabash post was so remote, however, de Vincennes had a hard time getting the supplies he needed from Louisiana to trade with the native nations, who were being courted by British traders.

The French went to war with the Chickasaw nation, and in 1736, de Vincennes was captured and burned at the stake in the modern state of Arkansas. The trading post on the Wabash was renamed Poste Vincennes in his honor.

Louisiana Governor Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville next appointed Louis de Bellerive de St. Ange to command Post Vincennes. [Derleth, 14] With little help from the colonial government, St. Ange was able to build up the small village and attract new tribes to trade. In 1742, he received a grant from the Piankeshaw for a million and a half acres north and east of Post Vincennes. [Derleth, 16] The opportunity for land attracted many new French settlers, and the growing village was sometimes called St. Ange. [Derleth, 17]

As the French colonials pushed North from Louisiana and South from Canada, however, the British colonists to the East continued to push Westward, and British traders lured away many of Indians who had traded with the French. The trade wars escalated in the Ohio country until the eruption of the French and Indian War.

British Empire

On February 10, 1763, when New France was ceded to the British Empire after the Seven Years War (or French and Indian War), Vincennes fell under the dominion of Great Britain. British Lt. John Ramsey came to Vincennes in 1766. He took a census of the settlement, built up the fort, and renamed it Fort Sackville. The population grew quickly in the years that followed, creating a unique culture of interdependent Native Americans with French and British colonials and traders.

Vincennes was far from centers of colonial power, and in 1770 and 1772, British General Gage received warnings that the residents of Vincennes were not remaining loyal, and were inciting native tribes along the river trade routes against the British. The British Colonial Secretary, Earl of Hillsborough, ordered the residents to be removed from Vincennes. Gage delayed while the residents responded to charges against them, claiming to be "peaceful settlers, cultivating the land which His Most Christian Majesty granted us." The issue was resolved by the new Colonial Secretary, Lord Dartmouth, who notified Gage that the residents were not lawless vagabonds, but English subjects whose rights were protected by the King. [Barnhart, 172-173]

In 1778, residents at Poste Vincennes received word of the French alliance with the American Second Continental Congress from Father Pierre Gibault and Dr. Jean Laffont. They revolted in support of the Americans, as did the local Piankeshaw Chief Young Tobacco.

Lt-Governor Henry Hamilton called it "a refuge for debtors and Vagabonds from Canada," and led an expedition from Detroit to reclaim the post. He then built up the fort and prepared for a Spring invasion of Illinois Territory. Instead, George Rogers Clark recaptured Fort Sackville on February 23, 1779 thanks to an Italian soldier and fur trader, Captain Francesco Vigo, who offered his financial assistance and services, even working as a secret agent. The episode was featured in the 1901 novel "Alice of Old Vincennes" by Maurice Thompson.

United States

Although the Americans would remain in control of Vincennes, it would take years to establish peace. In 1786, Captain John Hardin led a mounted Kentucky militia across the Ohio River and destroyed a friendly Piankeshaw town near Vincennes. This led to a series of attacks and counter-attacks between Wabash Indians and American settlers. Finally, on 15 July 1786, forty-seven war canoes landed at Vincennes to drive the Americans back to Kentucky. [Allison, 57] The Indians warned the French in advance of their attack and assured them that they would not be harmed, but the French warned the Americans, who quickly supplied Fort Patrick Henry and waited out the seige. One American was killed and four wounded, and the war party left after destroying the Americans' farms.

In response to the attack, Virginia Governor Patrick Henry authorized George Rogers Clark to raise the Kentucky militia and mount an expedition against the warring tribes. General Clark gathered a force of 1,000 militia and departed Clarksville 9 September 1786, along the Buffalo Trace. [Allison, 58] The army spent ten days in Vincennes before marching north along the Wabash, but men deserted by the hundreds, and Clark was soon forced to return to Vincennes without any action taken. Clark left 150 men to help defend Vincennes, but this force soon turned into a mob, and the citizens of Vincennes petitioned Congress for help. [Allison, 58: One resident of Vincennes was heard to pray "Lord, please send the Kentuckians home and bring back the Indians."] Secretary of War Henry Knox sent Colonel Josiah Harmar and the First American Regiment to restore order. The Kentucky militia fled Vincennes at the approach of U.S. Regulars. [Allison, 61]

Colonel Harmar left 100 regulars under Major Jean François Hamtramck and directed them to build a fort, Fort Knox. [Allison, 62] Vincennes remained an isolated town which was difficult to supply due to its position, deep within Indian territory. Secure transport to and from Vincennes meant travelling with a large, armed party, whether over land or via the Wabash River. On 30 September 1790, Major Hamtramck led 350 men from Vincennes as far north as the Vermillion River, looking to engage some of the Indian villages which had been at war with Vincennes. They Kickapoo tracked the party, however, and evacuated every village along the way before the Americans arrived. [Allison, 68] Hamtramck was able to destroy some abandoned villages, but was unable to engage any war parties. Faced with desertions from Kentucky militia (as Clark had been in 1786), Hamtramck returned to Vincennes. The expedition had done no serious harm to the enemies of Vincennes, but it was able to distract some of the Wabash villages while Josiah Harmar- now a General- led a much larger expedition up through Ohio country towards Kekionga. Vincennes was not safe until conclusion of the Northwest Indian War in 1795.

Flag of Vincennes, Indiana

This Flag for the city of Vincennes, Indiana albeit somewhat unofficial, is used by several areas around the city of Vincennes. It features the signature V, four fleurs-de-lis, symbolizing the city's French heritage, and the city's establishment in 1732. Similar in appearance to Indianapolis' flag, Vincennes' flag is more squared in appearance than Indianapolis' and has a diamond center rather than a circle center which represents the layout of Vincennes in a diamond-like formation. The white stripes emitting from the diamond represent Vincennes' part in the settlement of the frontier, being at the crossroads of many of the great pioneer trails.


Vincennes is located at coor dms|38|40|42|N|87|30|58|W|city (38.678329, -87.516067)GR|1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.2 square miles (18.6 km²), of which 7.1 square miles (18.5 km²) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) (0.97%) is water.


Higher Education

Vincennes University

Public Schools

Elementary Schools
*Tecumseh - Harrison Elementary
*Franklin Elementary
*Vigo Elementary
*Riley Elementary
*Washington ElementaryMiddle School
*Clark Middle SchoolHigh School
*Lincoln High School

Parochial Schools

Elementary School
*Flaget Elementary (K-5)High School
*Vincennes Rivet High School (6-12)

Other Private Schools

*Wabash Valley Christian Academy (K-1)
*Southwestern Indiana Youth Village (4-12)

Higher Education

*Vincennes University was established in 1801 as Jefferson Academy. It is the oldest college of higher learning in the US north of the Ohio River and west of the Appalachian Mountains.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 18,701 people, 7,614 households, and 4,332 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,620.3 people per square mile (1,011.3/km²). There were 8,574 housing units at an average density of 1,201.4/sq mi (463.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.34% White, 3.28% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.72% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.48% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.02% of the population.

There were 7,614 households out of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.8% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.1% were non-families. 35.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 20.5% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 98.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,289, and the median income for a family was $35,424. Males had a median income of $27,029 versus $20,254 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,993. About 15.0% of families and 20.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.9% of those under age 18 and 12.7% of those age 65 or over.

Time Zone Controversy

On November 4, 2007, Knox County joined Daviess, Martin, Pike, and Dubois counties in returning to Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-5). Controversy concerning time in Indiana has caused a change in the time zone of Vincennes on three different occasions since The Standard Time Act of 1918.

Notable residents

*Red Skelton (b.1913-1997), Comedian
*Clint Barmes (b.1979), Baseball Player, Colorado Rockies
*William Henry Harrison, Indiana Territorial Governor and 9th U.S. President
*Alvy Moore (b. 1921-1997), Actor
*Sarah Knox Taylor, wife of Jefferson Davis, daughter of Zachary Taylor
*Curtis Painter (b.1985) American Football Player, Quarterback Purdue University
*Mike Eskew, Chairman and CEO of UPS
*David Goodnow, Television News Broadcaster
*Dan Stryzinski, American Football Player, Punter Indiana University

Attractions of Vincennes

* George Rogers Clark National Historical Park The memorial and park built for the war hero George Rogers Clark.
* Xavier Cathedral and Library The oldest Catholic church in the state of Indiana.
* The Old Cathedral Library, Indiana's oldest library.
* Grouseland, the mansion home of William Henry Harrison, 9th United States President.
* Fort Knox II: Outline of the fort is marked for self-guided tours.
* Fort Sackville, one of the forts of Vincennes.
* The U.S. Navy has named four ships in honor of Vincennes.
* The Servant of God, Bishop Simon Bruté de Remur, first Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Vincennes.
*The Indiana Military Museum (


*Site of the First Catholic church in Indiana. (1749)

*Home of the First newspaper in Indiana. (1799)

*Site of the First Presbyterian church in Indiana. (1806)

*Site of the First Masonic Lodge in Indiana. (1809)

*Home of the First bank in Indiana. (1814)

*Host to the First medical society in Indiana. (1817)

*1923 and 1981 (IHSAA) State Basketball Champions. 2002 IHSAA State Baseball Champions.





ee also

*Indiana Territory

External links

* [ "News, Talk, Sports" 1450 WAOV-AM]
* [ "Wisdom" 92.1 WZDM-FM]
* [ "Hot Country" Hoosier 105.7 WUZR-FM]
* [ Vincennes history site]
* [ Vincennes brief history (Vincennes University)]
* [ Vincennes Sun-Commercial newspaper]
* [ Vincennes Businesses]
* [ Official Web Site for the City of Vincennes, Indiana]
* [ Vincennes School Corporation]
* [ Vincennes University Home Page]
* [ Basilica of St. Francis Xavier (The Old Cathedral)]
* [ George Rogers Clark National Park]
* [ Fort Knox II]

Unincorporated Communities should be added: Verne, Jordanville, Spauldingville

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vincennes (Indiana) — Vincennes Ciudad de los Estados Unidos …   Wikipedia Español

  • Vincennes (Indiana) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Vincennes (homonymie). Vincennes Administration Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Vincennes (Indiana) — Vincennes Lage in Indiana …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Forts of Vincennes, Indiana — During the 18th and 19th centuries, the French, British and American nations built and occupied a number of forts at Vincennes, Indiana. These outposts commanded a strategic position on the Wabash River. Fort Vincennes François Marie Bissot,… …   Wikipedia

  • Rivet High School (Vincennes, Indiana) — Rivet High School is a private, Roman Catholic high school in Vincennes, Indiana. It is part of the the Roman Catholic Diocese of Evansville. BackgroundExternal links* [ School Website] Notes and references …   Wikipedia

  • Vincennes (disambiguation) — Vincennes may refer to:* Vincennes, a commune in the Val de Marne département of France, in the suburbs of Paris * Vincennes, Indiana, United States **Vincennes University ** The Battle of Vincennes during the American Revolutionary War * Forts… …   Wikipedia

  • Vincennes — Vincennes …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Vincennes (Begriffsklärung) — Vincennes kann bedeuten: Vincennes, eine Stadt im Département Val de Marne, Frankreich, im Großraum Paris, davon abgeleitet die Verwaltungseinheiten Kanton Vincennes Est Kanton Vincennes Ouest Bois de Vincennes, ein Stadtwald von Paris Vincennes… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore — IUCN Category V (Protected Landscape/Seascape) …   Wikipedia

  • Indiana locations by per capita income — Indiana has the twenty seventh highest per capita income in the United States of America, at $20,397 (2000). Its personal per capita income is $28,783 (2003).Indiana Counties Ranked by Per Capita IncomeThere are ninety two counties located in… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.