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The documents comprised in these two volumes are designed to illustrate and interpret the constitutional growth and development of the State of Indiana from the beginnings of its institutional history to the present. For the hundred years from 1816-1916, an attempt has been made to include every document of a constitutional character. The amount of labor required to collect these documents from the session laws, the journals of the House and Senate and from newspapers has been rather extraordinary, and the lack of indices or at best the service of very imperfect indices has added to the difficulties.
Under these circumstances it would be rather strange if some important documents had not been overlooked and omitted which deserve a place in this collection. Many bills and resolutions are no longer in existence and only the titles are given. During comparatively recent times, when the originals of these documents have been preserved, it seemed unnecessary to give the text of proposed bills submitting the question of calling a constitutional convention to the people since the provisions of these measures are substantially identical. As all constitutional measures are required to pass through the ordinary legislative process it has seemed necessary to give a detailed description of the adventures of each measure as it was advanced to maturity and the political complexion of the Gen
eral Assembly having it under consideration, since politics has ! been the most potent factor in advancing or retarding constitu
tional amendments. The historical introductions preceding each document were rendered brief to secure the necessary compression of the work into two volumes. The general introduction is treated topically, as that plan, after repeated trials, and confronted by the exigency of limited space, seemed to be the only practicable one.
It is impossible for the compiler to acknowledge his indebtedness to all of the persons whose assistance has been valuable in the preparation of this work. It would, however, be an act of ingratitude not to formally express my indebtedness to the staff of the State Library for their unfailing courtesy in extending the use of the facilities of their historical collections; to Dr. Samuel B. Harding of Indiana University who rendered invaluable assistance in devising the general format of the work; to Mrs. Edward F.
White who read through the entire manuscript, prepared the index, and who not only made countless helpful suggestions, but saved me from several embarrassing errors; and to Mrs. E. A. Doyle and Miss Augusta Murphy for arduous, painstaking and commendable work in preparing and verifying the manuscript. In conclusion, I wish to express my especial obligation to my friend, Mr. John A. Lapp, the Director of the Indiana Bureau of Legislative Information, who has followed the preparation of these volumes with sympathetic interest and to whose unfailing generosity I owe the opportunity of undertaking and completing this work.
The Indiana Historical Commission desires to express its appreciation and thanks to Dr. Kettleborough for his excellent work. He has rendered a service to the people of Indiana. The Commission believes that his volumes are of signal historical importance, and that they will prove to be of decided value to all who may be especially interested in the legislative and governmental experience of Indiana. They are such volumes as no private publisher could afford to produce for commercial gain. Their sale to private buyers, or even to libraries, might be negligible. But it is eminently desirable that such service to our history as the production of these volumes, should be rendered to the State. During 1916 Indiana celebrated the centennial of her statehood in many worthy ways. The public and historical value to the State of these volumes will be recognized by all intelligent citizens, and the Commission deem their publication at this time another fitting memorial of the Centennial Year.
23. Adverse Report of House Committee on Creation of Illinois
Territory (April 11, 1808)..