The Hoosierist: On This Day in History, Feb. 10

Like the pickle atop a tenderloin sandwich, these occasional briefs from The Hoosierist make a good thing (his monthly Q&A column) better.

On this day in 1851, Indiana wrapped up its second constitutional convention. The first was in 1816, but it produced a document about as original as a Wikipedia article (entire sections were cribbed, verbatim, from other state constitutions). Indiana made do until late 1850, when delegates convened at the Indiana Statehouse for a do-over. Shortly thereafter, a leaky roof forced them to move to a nearby Masonic lodge, where proceedings dragged on for 127 days. Finally, a new constitution—the same one we have now, minus a slew of wacky amendments (I’m looking at you, HJR-3)—was hammered out. All that wrangling set taxpayers back some $88,280, which is probably more than it would have cost to subcontract the job to a couple of ghostwriters.

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