In 1821, the city of Indianapolis was founded as a planned city for the new seat of Indiana's state government. Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham were responsible for formulating the grid pattern for the city, which extended from the Governor's Circle in the center of the city. This primitive grid pattern is still evident in the center of downtown Indianapolis and is a lovely place to see some of Indianapolis's most beautiful architectural gems. The history of Indianapolis is explored in depth by historian Dunn in his book, “The History of Indianapolis and Marion County”.
Dunn dedicated an entire chapter to reviewing the evidence on the first settlers of the area, and also addressed topics such as ethnicity and the development of the greater metropolitan area. The language of Dunn's discussion of the city's African-American community may seem anachronistic or even offensive to modern readers, but he deserves credit for being the first historian to recognize that the city had an African-American community. The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital is the flagship medical center of the oldest health system in Indiana, founded in 1855 as the Indianapolis City Hospital. Indianapolis was originally founded as a trading post by Alexander Ralston, who came up with the name Indianapolis for his convenience.