'The Crossroads of America'
Indiana Local History
From Mound Builders to Tippecanoe
The Mound Builders were Indiana's earliest known inhabitants, and the remains of their culture have been found along Indiana's rivers and bottomlands. The region was first explored by Europeans, notably the French, in the late 17th cent. The leading French explorer was Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, who came to the area in 1679. At the time of exploration, the area was occupied mainly by Native American groups of the Miami, Delaware, and Potawatamie descents. Vincennes, the first permanent settlement, was fortified in 1732, but for the first half of the 1700s, most of the settlers in the area were Jesuit missionaries or fur traders...more
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