Southeast Indiana Day Trips
Chapter title – Grave of Jonathan Jennings
Title of Marker:
Grave of Jonathan Jennings 1784-1834
Market Street/Indiana State Road 3 at Pleasant Street, Charlestown. Indiana State Road 3 intersects Indiana State Road 62 near the center of town. (Clark County, Indiana) Pleasant Street intersects Market Street/Indiana State Road 3 just south of Jonathan Jennings Elementary School.
Indiana Sesquicentennial Commission, 1966
Marker ID #:
Indiana Territorial Delegate to Congress, 1809-1816. President of Indiana Constitutional Convention, June 1816. First Governor of Indiana, 1816-1822. Member of Congress, 1822-1830.
Brief History By the Author
Jonathan Jennings (1784-1834)
Jonathan Jennings became the sixth child of Jacob and Mary Kennedy Jennings when he was born in New Jersey. he attended grammar school at Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and studied law at Washington, Pennsylvania. he immigrated to the Indiana Territory in 1806 and became a lawyer in Jeffersonville, later moving to Vincennes. There were not enough clients in the new territory to make a living, so he served in various government offices and participated in several land speculation deals. These deals brought him some wealth. He and Territorial Governor Benjamin Harrison had a series of political disputes after Jennings became a clerk at Vincennes University.
Election to Congress
Jonathan Jennings – First Indiana Congressional Representative
As a territory, the Indiana Territory was entitled to non-voting representation in Congress. Jennings gained election to the Eleventh Congress in 1809. In 1815, Jennings introduced a petition for Statehood to Congress. The 1815 census indicated that the population exceeded the 63000 requirement laid down by the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Congress passed the Enabling Act on April 11, 1816, authorizing Indiana’s authority to form a government. .
1816 Constitutional Convention
He became a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Corydon in June 1816. He was a leading advocate to ban slavery in the state. In this endeavor, he succeeded. The convention adjourned on June 29 and Jennings announced his candidacy for governor. He used the slogan “No Slavery in Indiana” during his campaign.
First Indiana Governor – Jonathan Jennings
Jennings beat the other candidate, the former pro slavery Territorial Governor Thomas Posey handily. He served as governor for two terms, and returned to Congress as Indiana’s elected representative in 1822. Jennings retired to his Charlestown home in 1831 after leaving Congress. He died at his Charlestown farm of a heart attack.
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