Missing from the Museum: The McCormick Table

MISSING TABLE- Amos McCormick, at a 1909 Settler’s Day, sits at the table where legislators met to sign papers declaring Indianapolis the capitol of Indiana   Photo Courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society


Missing from the Museum: The McCormick Table

By Carla Charter

INDIANAPOLIS, IN. – The search is on for a historic table which the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites is hoping can be located in time for the bicentennial of Indianapolis which begins in June of 2020 and ends in the summer of 2021.

The McCormick’s were one of the first if not the first settlers in Central Indiana. There is a marker where their homestead was near the White River, now a part of the White River State Park.

“It was in that cabin around a drop leaf table where legislators met and decided to make Indianapolis the capitol of Indiana. There is where the papers were signed to create Indianapolis as the capitol,” said David M. Buchanan, Curator at the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites

As for the table it is currently missing. nobody knows when it disappeared.

The state museum in the mid 1920’s was in the basement of the capitol building.   “The table is said to have been located in the building where the original museum collection was stored but it is unclear if that means the table was actually in the collection or if it was located in the basement where the majority of objects were kept or in another room entirely,” said Buchanan.  Edwin McCormick had placed a sign on the table recognizing it as the table where the papers were signed, making Indianapolis the capitol.

The museum has no records from that time stating the table had been donated to the museum. “We do have records from that time and we have no records saying he donated it. McCormick at one point had a disagreement with the Governor and may have taken the table with him. Our hope is that if Mr. McCormick did take it, he gave it to another family member. ,” said Buchanan.  The table is asked about quite often at the museum by visitors, he added.

The table is an early style that is a cherry wood, drop leaf style which was very common at the time however there are markings on the table which will assist in its identification.  Anyone with information on the table can e-mail the museum at museumcommunication@indianamuseum.org or call them at 317-232-1637