The State of Indiana closed its militia organization to African Americans. The constitutions of 1816 and 1851 authorized only "able-bodied" white males to enlist in the militia. Remarkably, the state legislature did not enact this policy. There was no doubt, however, that the state constitution carried the force of law, and African Americans in Indiana would not carry weapons as soldiers until the Civil War. Why would the state bar blacks from the militia when African Americans had fought in colonial wars and the American Revolutionary War? It is likely because state militia organizations were reserved as clubs for white men. Its members received privileges and immunities denied to other whites. Consequently, it is not surprising that Indiana denied African Americans access to the "high calling" of the militia, a para-military organization.
Constitution of Indiana, Article 7, 1816.
Section 1. The militia of the state of Indiana shall consist of all free, able-bodied male persons, negroes, mulattoes, and Indians excepted, resident in the said state, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years; except such persons as now are, or hereafter may be, exempted by the laws of the United States, or of this state; and shall be armed, equipped, and trained, as the general assembly may provide by law.