THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, JULY
SEVENTEEN HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-SIX
(Page 3 - 7)
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one
people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them
with another, and to assume among the powers of earth, the
separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of
Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of
mankind requires that they should declare the causes which
compel them to a separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men
are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights,
governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers
from the consent of the governed, and that whenever any form of
government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of
the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new
government, laying its foundations on such principles and
organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most
likely to effect their safety and happiness.
Prudence indeed, will dictate that governments long
established should not be changed for light and transient
causes, and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind
are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable, than to
right themselves by abolishing the form to which they are
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations
pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce
them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their
duty to throw off such government, and provide new guards for
their future security.
Such has been the patient sufferance of the colonies,
and such is now the necessity of which constrains them to alter
their former system of government.
The history of the present king of Great Britain is a
history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in
direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over
To prove this let these facts be submitted to a candid
world: He has refused his assent to pass laws the most
wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has
forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing
importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent
should be obtained, and when so suspended, he has utterly
neglected to attend to them. He has refused to pass other
laws for the accommodation of large districts of people unless
those people would relinquish their right of representation in
the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to
tyrants only. He has called together legislative bodies at
pleasure, unusual and uncomfortable and distant from the
repository of their public records, for the sole purpose of
fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. He has
dissolved representative houses repeatedly for opposing with
manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time after such dissolutions, to cause
others to be elected whereby the legislative powers incapable of
annihilation have returned to the people for their exercise.
The States remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers
of invasion from without, and convulsions within. He has
endeavored to prevent the population of these states, for that
purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners,
refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and
raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands. He
has obstructed the administration of a justice by refusing his
assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers. He has
made judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of their
offices and the amount and payment of their salaries. He
has erected a multitude of new offices and sent hither swarms of
officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He kept among us in times of peace a standing army without the
consent of our legislators. He has affected to render the
military independent of and superior to the civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction
foreign to our Constitution and unacknowledged by our laws,
giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation.
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us;
for protecting them by a mock trial and punishment for any
urders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these
states; for cutting off our trade with all parts of the world;
for imposing taxes on us without our consent; for depriving us
in many cases of the benefits of trial by jury; for transporting
us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses; for
abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring
province, establishing therein an arbitrary government and
enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example
and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into
these colonies; For taking away our charger, abolishing our most
valuable laws and altering fundamentally the forms of our
government; for suspending our own legislatures and declaring
themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases
whatsoever. He has abdicated government here by declaring
us out of his protection and waging war against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned
our towns and destroyed the lives of our people. He is at
this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to
complete the work of death, desolation and tyranny already begun
with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in
the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a
Christian nation. He has constrained our fellow citizens,
taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their
country, to became the executioners of their friends and
brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
He has excited domestic insurrection among us and has
endeavored to bring the inhabitants of our frontiers under the
merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an
undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for
redress in the most humble terms. Our repeated petitions
have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince whose
character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant
is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British
brethren. We have warned them from time to time of the
attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable
jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the
circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We
have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity and we
have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow
these usurpations which would inevitably interrupt our
connections and correspondence. They, too, have been deaf
to the voice of justice and consanguinity. We must,
therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our
separation; and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind,
enemies in war; in peace, friends. We, therefore,
representatives of the United States of America, in general
Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world
for the rectitude of our intentions, do in the name and by the
authority of the good people of these Colonies, solemnly publish
and declare that these United Colonies are, and of right ought
to be, free and independent states.
That they are absolved from all allegiance to the
British crown, and that all political connection between them
and the state of Great Britain is and ought to be totally
dissolved; and that as free and independent states they have
full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances,
establish commerce and to do all other acts and things which an
independent state may of right do.
And for the support of this declaration with a firm
reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually
pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred
honor, July fourth, seventeen hundred and seventy-six.
John Hancock, President.
Georgia - Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton,
New Hampshire - Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple,
Massachusetts Bay - Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert
Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry.
Rhode Island - Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery.
Connecticut - Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William
Williams, Oliver Wolcott.
New York - William Floyd, Philip Livingstone, Francis
Lewis, Lewis Morris.
New Jersey - Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon,
Francis Hopkinson, Abraham Clark and John Hart.
Pennsylvania - Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin
Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, John Hancock,
George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross.
Delaware - Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean.
Maryland - Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone,
Charles Caroll, of Carrollton.
Virginia - George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas
Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis
Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton.
North Carolina - William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John
South Carolina - Edward Rutledge, Thomas Hayward,
Thomas Lynch, Arthur Middleton.
(Page 14 - 16)
[Extract from the History of the United
States of America, by Timothy Pitkin,
Vol. 2, Page 214.]
In consequence of
cessations of the United States became possessed of all the
lands northwest of the Ohio, and the establishment of a
government for the inhabitants already settled, as well as
others how might remove these, became necessary.
Colonial Congress, then in session at New York).
This Congress, therefore, in July, 1787, established an
Ordinance for the government of this territory.
This Ordinance is the basis of the governments
established by Congress in all the territories of the United
States, and may be considered an anomaly in American
legislation. The whole territory was under one district,
subject to be divided into two, at the pleasure of Congress.
With respect to the mode of governing the settlers in
this territory or colony, the ordinance provided that until the
number of free male inhabitants of full age in the district
should amount to five thousand, the legislative, executive and
judicial power should be vested in a governor and three judges,
who, together with a secretary, were to be appointed by
Congress. The governor was to remain in office three years
and the judges during good behavior. The governor, with
the judges were empowered to adopt and publish such laws of the
original states, criminal and civil, as might be necessary, and
best suited to the circumstances of the district, and report
them to Congress; such laws to be in force until disapproved by
that body. The governor was empowered to divide the
district into counties or townships and to appoint all civil
officers. As soon as the free, male inhabitants of full
age and should amount to five thousand, a general assembly was
to be constituted, to consist of the governor, a legislative
council, and house of representatives. The representatives
to be chosen from the counties or townships, one for every five
hundred free, white male inhabitants, until the number should
amount to twenty-vie, after that the number to be regulated by
the legislature. A representative must have been a citizen
of the United States for three years, and be a resident of the
district, or have resided three years in the district, in either
case to have the fee simple of two hundred acres of land in the
district. An elector was to reside in the district, have a
freehold of fifty acres of land therein, and be a citizen of one
of the states, or a like freehold and two years residence.
The representatives to be chosen for two years.
The legislative council was to consist of five persons,
to continue five years in office, unless sooner removed by
Congress, were chosen in the following manner: The house
of representatives to nominate ten persons, each possessed of a
freehold in five hundred acres of land; out of this number
Congress was to appoint five to constitute the council.
The general assembly had power to make laws for the government
of the district not repugnant to the Ordinance. All laws
to have the sanction of the majority of both houses, and the
assent of the governor. The legislative assembly were
authorized by joint ballot to elect a delegate, who was to have
a seat in Congress with the right of debating, but not of
It was necessary to establish certain principles as the
basis of the laws, constitutions, and governments, which might
be formed in the territory, as well as to provide for its future
political connection with the American confederacy.
Congress, therefore, at the same time established certain
articles, which were to be considered as articles of compact
between the original states and the people of the territory, and
which were to remain unalterable unless by common consent.
By these no person in the territory was ever to be molested on
account of his mode of worship, or religious sentiments, and
every person was entitled to the benefits of the writ of habeas
corpus, trial by jury, and all those other fundamental rights
usually inserted in American bills of rights. Schools, and
the means of education were forever to be encouraged, and the
utmost good faith to be observed toward the Indians;
particularly their lands and property were never to be taken
from them without their consent.
The territory and the states to be formed therein were
forever to remain a part of the American confederacy, but not
less than three, nor more than five states, were to be
The bounds of these were fixed with liberty for
Congress to alter them, by forming one or two new states in that
part of the territory lying north of an east and west line drawn
through the southern bend, or extreme of Lake Michigan. It
was also provided that whenever in any of these states there
should be sixty thousand free inhabitants, such state was to be
admitted into the Union, on the same terms or at liberty to form
a permanent constitution and government, such constitution and
government was to be republican and conform to the principles of
If consistent with the general interests of the
confederacy such state, however, might be admitted into the
Union with a less number than sixty thousand free inhabitants.
By the sixth and last article it was provided there should be
neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the territory
otherwise than in the punishment of crime, of which the party
should have been duly convicted, and in consequence of this
lastwise and salutary provision the evil of slavery has been
prevented in all the new states formed out of this territory
northwest of the river Ohio."
NOTE: - Mr. Dana of Massachusetts is said to be the
author of the sixth article.
P. S. - When this ordinance was being framed in New
York City, the Constitutional Convention was preparing a
Constitution for the National in Philadelphia.
THE OHIO LAND
The Ohio Land Company originated with the disbanded officers
of the Revolutionary army, while a large portion of the
stockholders were citizens at large. This company was
organized in Boston early in the year 1787. The purchase
from Congress consisted of a million and a half acres of land by
negotiations made by Rev. Manassah Cutler, in 1787.
The State of Ohio was admitted into the Union in 1802, and
comprised that portion of the Northwest Territory on its eastern
boundary, extending from the Ohio river on the south to the
shores of Lake Erie on the north, comprising seventeen million
five hundred thousand acres of very fine land.
The lands of the Ohio Company's purchase were located in the
southern part of the state bordering on the Ohio river.
These lands were surveyed by men appointed by the
President, George Washington, of whom were General
Tupper, General Meigs, General Israel Putnam, Colonel Ebenezer
Sproat, John Matthews, and others. These surveyors
divided the lands into townships containing six square miles,
and these townships were sub-divided into ranges, and further
surveyed into sections of 640 acres. Townships, ranges,
and sections were numbered, as were 100-acre lots, which sold to
purchasers. In every township, three section are reserved
for Congress, Ministerial and school purposes. The
boundaries of these lands were permanent, thus, when any county
or township or road refers to certain points - Township 2, Range
11, Section 6 - it has reference to the surveys of the Ohio
Meigs county was formed in June, 1819, and was composed of
territory set off from Gallia county, Athens county, and
Washington county,, and contained the following townships:
From Gallia County - Letart township, organized in
1803; Salisbury township, organized in 1805; Rutland township
organized in 1812; Lebanon township, organized in 1813; Salem
township, organized in 1814; Sutton township, organized 1814.
From Athens County - Orange township, set off in 1813;
Olive township, set off in 1819; Scipio township, set off in
1819; Columbia township, set off in 1820; Bedford, including
Chester, township, set off in 1821.
NAMES OF HEADS
OF FAMILIES IN LEBANON,
LETART, AND SUTTON TOWNSHIPS, OHIO, 1820.
Ziba Lindley, Jr.
Stephen K. Miller
Samuel M. Jackson
Levi T. Gandy
|John H. Sayre
Samuel A. Deviney
Henry Roush, Jr.
David C. Sayre
David B. Sayre
John S. White
Peter R. Goodfellow
William A. Boyce
John H. Hayman
John R. Smith
Robert C. Barton
Township boundaries were made anew, or within the limits of
the older townships. Letart township originally extended
from the mouth of Shade river to the mouth of Kerr's run and out
of its territory the townships of Lebanon and Sutton were
Salisbury township originally embraced territory as far
north as Ross county, but such portions of the township as were
within the boundaries of Meigs county were divided into Rutland
township, Salem township, and a township remaining Salisbury.
Deeds of land are recorded according to the nomenclature of the
Ohio Company's surveys.
Ohio, having been admitted into the Union in 1802, it
followed that a constitutional convention should be called to
prepare a constitution for the new state, therefore, electors,
or delegates, were elected according to the regulations given by
the Congress of the United States, and according to the
Ordinance of 1787, for the Northwest Territory, eliminating only
one claim of that ordinance, viz: the property qualifications
from the counties its boundaries.
The Constitutional Convention was composed of
thirty-five members. Washington county was entitled to
four delegates, as follows: Rufus Putnam,
Ephraim Cutler, Benjamin Ives Gilman, and John McIntyre.
This convention assembled at Chillicothe, Nov. 1st, 1802,
and adjourned Nov. 29th, 1802. That assembly formed Gallia
county by a law that was to come in force April 30th, 1803, by a
division of Washington county, with specified boundaries, but it
was bounded on the west by Scioto county until 1816.
Athens county was formed March 1st, 1805, and was bounded on the
south by Gallia county until Jan. 7th, 1807. The boundary
of the south of Athens county was changed to take a portion on
which Chester is located, from Gallia, and add it to Athens
county, where it remained until the formation of Meigs county,
April 1st, 1819.
An act of legislature authorizing associate judges to
divide the counties into townships was made May 10th, 1803.
In accordance therewith Gallia county was divided into three
townships - Gallipolis, Kerr's, and Letart.
The same act of the legislature authorized the
associate judges to appoint justices of the peace for each of
the aforesaid townships. Robert Safford and
George W. Putnam were appointed for Gallipolis township.
In Letart township an election of justice of the peace
was to be held in the house of Henry Roush - one justice
of the peace for Letart township. For Kerr's township one
justice of the peace was to be elected, and the election to be
held in the house of William Robinson Another act
of the legislature creating a board of county commissioners came
into force March 1st, 1804. The commissioners aforesaid on
the 11th of June, 1805, proceeded to re-divide the county of
Gallia into townships, recognizing the boundaries of Letart, but
abolishing that of Kerr's, and forming a new township by the
name of Salisbury and establishing its boundaries as follows:
Beginning on the Ohio river in the Thirteenth range of townships
at the southeast corner of 100-acre lot No. 376; thence west
with the south line of said lot to the southwest corner of the
same; thence north to the southeast corner of Section No. 10, in
Range No. 14, of Township No. 5; thence north to the northwest
corner of Township No. 5, in the Fourteenth range; thence west
to the county line; thence north to the northwest of the county;
thence east until it intersects the line between Kerr's and
Letart; thence with the same to the Ohio river; thence down to
the place of beginning.
The first election for township officers
township was held in the house of Brewster Higley, Esq.,
July 27th, 1805.
Trustees Elected. - Hamilton Kerr, James G.
Phelps, Felix Benedict.
Overseers of the Poor - John
Niswonger, William Parker,
Fence Viewers - Samuel Denny, David Thomas.
Appraisers of Houses and Listers - William
Parker, Jr., Benjamin Smith.
Supervisors of Highways -
William Green, Abijah Hubbell, John Niswonger.
Constables - James Smith, Jared
Treasurer - Joel Higley, Jr.
Clerk - Abel Larkin
In accordance with the above order,
John Niswonger and Horatio Strong were elected
justices of the peace for Salisbury township, July 27th, 1805.
The names of the
first settlers in the territory included in Meigs county
and the dates of their arrival, as
|James Smith, from Marietta
|Thomas L. Halsey
|John Case, a surveyor
|Fuller Elliot, agent for O. L. C. P.,
|Captain James Merrill,
|William Parker, Sr.
|Alshire Brothers, Conrad, Michael and Peter
|William Johnson; James E. Phelps
|William Buffington; Abel Larkin
|Rev. Eli Stedman
|Fuller Elliott, located in
|James and John Forrest
|JOsiah and Joseph Vining
|Samuel Everett, son-in-law of Ham. Kerr
|John, Erastus, and Nathaniel Williams
|Dr. Philip Lauck
The electors for
Governor of Ohio, 1805, in Salisbury township, were the
John Hilverson, James E.
Phelps, John Niswonger, Elam Higley, William Sparks, Brewster
Higley, Daniel Strong, Caleb Gardner, Cornelius Thomas, John
Miles, William Green, Nimrod Hysell, Stephen Strong, Jared
Strong, William Barker, Daniel Rathburn, Samuel Denny, Hamilton
Kerr, Thomas Shephard, Benjamin Williams, Horatio Strong, Joel
Higley, 1st, James Smith, William Spencer, Joel Highley, Jr.,
Abel Larkin, Samuel Ervin, Felix Benedict.
The state elections for Governors and state officers
were held on the second Tuesday in October, 1802, and until
November, 1886, when , by a constitutional provision, the time
was altered to conform to the time of holding elections for the
Presidents of the United States.
Three road districts were made in Salisbury
township in 1806 and the following supervisors elected, namely:
First District: Benjamin Smith, supervisor.
He made returns for work done in 1806 to the trustees in 1807.
Second District: Daniel Rathburn,
supervisor. He made returns for work done in 1806 to the
trustees in 1807.
Third District: John Miles supervisor.
Returns made in 1807 for work done in 1806. The work on
the highways was to pay a road tax. By a law of 1804 every
male person over 18 years of age to do three days work on the
public roads. The trustees of Salisbury township levied a
tax to be worked out at sixty-two and one-half cents a day.
Rutland township was organized in
1812, being formed out of territory embraced by Salisbury
township, Gallia county, and consisted of Township 6, Range 14,
of the Ohio Company's purchase. This township 6 was
divided by the original land company into thirty-six square
miles, or sections of 640 acres each, commencing to number them
at the southeast corner, running north. Three sections
were secured to Congress, namely: Nos. 8, 11, and
26. For ministerial purposes No. 29, and for school
purposes No. 16, making in all five sections. Nine
sections near the center of the township were cut up into
fractions of 262 acres each, as follows: Nos. 9, 10, 14,
15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, leaving twenty-two whole sections and
twenty-two fractions for the company. The fractions in
Rutland township are numbered so as to correspond with the
sections belonging to the company, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12,
13, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36.
Six sections were added after the formation of Meigs county,
Apr. 1st, were added after the formation of Meigs county, Apr.
1st, 1819, and are an important addition to Rutland township.
Among the pioneers who settled on this tier of sections were
Joel Highley, Jr., James E. Phelp, Daniel Rathburn, and
Benjamin Williams, all from Granby, Connecticut, in 1803.
In looking back to the days when Salisbury township
extended from Kerr's run westward to Ross county, we have
introduced a list of some supervisors of roads, and after giving
names, dates and returns, find it interesting to describe the
boundaries of one or two road districts, viz, of Daniel
Rathburn, Second district, ordered to do work, beginning at
Widow Case's, down to the Butternut rock, when he thought
most proper, this being highway tax for the year 1806:
Daniel Rathburn, $2.15; Joel Higley,
$1.95; Brewster Higley, $2.65; Abel
Larkin, $1.15; Luke Brine, 85 cents; Joel
Higley, Jr., $1.45; James E. Phelps, $2.05;
Shubael Nobles, $1.05; Esquire Bullock,
$1.35; Eli Stedman, $1.15; Benjamin
Williams, 75 cents; Elam Higley, 75 cents;
Jesse Fleshman, $1.55; Jesse Carpenter,
85 cents; Edward Faller, $1.65; Moses Russell,
$1.85; Martin Roup, $1.65; William
Sparks, 95 cents; William Campbell, 85 cents;
Nicholas Sins, $1.55; _____ Stillwell,
$1.55; Amos Carpenter, 75 cents.
JAMES E. PHELPS,
October 15th, 1806.
John Miles, supervisor of the Third road
district in Salisbury township, highway taxes for the year 1806,
the district beginning at the Widow Case's, up the road
to the 7-mile tree:
William Spencer, 95 cents; Abijah Hubbell,
$1.35; John Miles, $1.55; Caleb Gardner, $1.65;
Erastus Stow, $1.15; William Parker, Jr. $1.55;
Thomas Shepherd, $1.35; Thomas Everton, 85 cents'
Felix Benedict $1.15.
JAMES E. PHELPS,
JOEL HIGLEY, JR.,
The Widow Case mentioned in the boundaries of the
Second and Third road districts lived where the late lamented
Virgil C. Smith afterwards lived. Mrs. Case was his
maternal grandmother, who subsequently married Abijah Hubbel,
Sr. She was the widow of John Case, mentioned,
also, in the account of the settlement of Brewster
Highley. Mr. Case had gone back to
Vermont, and in company with his friend and neighbor, Noah
Smith, started for Ohio. Mr. Case had
a young wife, and Mr. Smith had a wife and three
or four daughters, and son 3½ years old. After journeying
on the road from Philadelphia as far as Carlisle, in Cumberland
county, Noah Smith suddenly died. His family went on with
Mr. Case until reaching a little town West Liberty, the
county seat of Ohio county, West Virginia, where John Case
suddenly died, and where Mrs. Case gave birth to a
daughter - her first child, who was named Eliza. As
soon as these conditions were known by Brewster Highley
he went to their relief and brought them all to Leading creek.
Mrs. Smith settled on land bought of Samuel Denny,
on the west side of the creek, and Mrs. Case settled on
the east side of the same stream, and nearly opposite Mrs.
Smith There she brought up her daughter, Eliza,
and the Smith family were reared, so in the later years
Livingston Smith and Eliza Case were married,
reared a respectable family, and died, after living to a good
The Butternut rock is on the west side of Leading
creek, half a mile above the mouth of Thomas fork. The
7-mile tree is thought to be on the road up Leading creek on the
road traveled to Scioto salt furnaces, but the exact place is
unknown - probably about Langsville.