Vincennes, a city and the capital of Knox co., Indiana, on the E. bank of the Wabash river, here navigable by steamboats, about 90 m. above its mouth, and 100 m. S. W. of Indianapolis; pop. in 1850, 2,070; in 1860, 3,960; in 1870, 5,440; in 1875, locally estimated at 8,500. It is in the midst of a fertile country abounding in coal, and has good manufacturing facilities. By rail it is connected with St. Louis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and other points. The lines meeting here are the Ohio and Mississippi, Evansville and Crawfordsville, Indianapolis and Vincennes, and Cairo and Vincennes. The chief manufactories are five flouring mills, two woollen factories, an iron foundery, a starch and sirup factory, a planing mill, a hub and spoke factory, and the machine shops of the Ohio and Mississippi railroad. Two national banks have a joint capital of $350,000. There are a high school and several other public schools, with about 1,300 pupils. The Roman Catholics have several schools and two orphan asylums. Vincennes university", chartered in 1807, is conducted as a high school. There are four libraries. A semi-weekly and three weekly newspapers are published.
There are 10 churches, viz.: Baptist, Christian, Episcopal, German Evangelical, Jewish, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic (2). - Vincennes is the oldest town in the state. In 1702 the French established a mission here, and a few years later a fort was built. It came into the possession of the British with the surrender of Canada, and was taken from them by Gen. Clark, Feb. 26, 1779. It became the capital of the territory of Indiana upon its organization in 1800, and so remained till the seat of government was removed to Corydon in 1814. It was incorporated as a borough Sept. 6, 1814, and as a city Feb. 13, 1856.
Vincennes, a town of France, in the department of Seine, 1 m. E. of Paris, on the railway to Lyons; pop. in 1872, 17,064. The old castle was the nucleus of the present fortifications, which are a part of those of Paris. It contains the principal arsenal of Paris, a large armory, extensive barracks, schools in which the best marksmen (chasseurs de Vincennes) are trained, a chapel, and a dungeon consisting of a square stone tower 170 ft. high, with walls 10 ft. thick. The castle, being surrounded by many of the other detached works, was of strategic importance during the siege of Paris in 1870-71. It had its origin in a hunting box built by Louis VII. in the 12th century. Philip of Valois substituted for this a royal palace, subsequently enlarged and embellished by Louis XIV. Under Louis Philippe it was surrounded with.a complete system of modern fortifications, and the former nine lofty towers were converted into bastions. The castle is associated with many great personages who resided or died here, and with celebrated prisoners of state incarcerated in the dungeon.
The duke d'Enghien was shot here, March 21, 1804. Various improvements, including the new military hospital and small chapel, originated with Napoleon III. The park of Vincennes has been much enlarged since 1854, when it was placed under the care of the Paris municipality, and extends over more than 3 m. The centre forms a continuous open space for the race course, and for artillery practice and other military exercises. Outside this space are extensive walks and drives which intersect the pleasure grounds. The principal artificial lake (des Minimes) has three wooded islands; Lake Charenton dates from 1866. A model farm was erected by Napoleon III. S. of the woods, near the Marne, and he also founded an asylum for convalescent workmen, with fine grounds. The park of Vincennes is for the east end of Paris what the Bois de Boulogne is for the west end.