"THE LONG FELT WANT."
public or private, contain any reliable data concerning the history
of our own State. This little list of interesting events is
not claimed to be complete. We have only aimed at giving in
cheap, compact form, and as accurately as possible, a fund of
information not readily obtainable by the general reader.
Should circumstances permit, and the demand justify it,
this will be followed by a series of tracts on various special
topics of Ohio History.
PAINESVILLE, OHIO, January 1, 1886.
EARLY OHIO EVENTS.
From the death of
Marquette to the close of the Revolution, was a century of
exploration, intrigue and open warfare. French, English and
Indians fought valiantly, but vainly, for the dominion of the Ohio
Valley and the great North West. Their bold ventures, deadly
contests and varying fortunes are beyond the limits of our plan, for
little fruit of that century of struggle fell directly upon Ohio
soil. The first permanent Ohio settlements were made under the
American flag. The first United States military post in Ohio
was a small fort, built in 1778, near "the carrying place" at the
forks of the Tuscarawas and the Muskingum, in Coshocton County.
It was named Fort Laurens, in honor of the President of Congress; no
treaty had then been made with the Indian owners and it was soon
deemed expedient to abandon the location. The building of Fort
Harmar, the first permanent U. S. military post in Ohio, was
commenced in the fall of 1785 and completed the following spring.
This fort was located on the Ohio just below the mouth of the
Muskingum. Major John Doughty, who commanded the
expedition, named the fort in honor of the Colonel of his regiment.
|Sept. 3 -
Paris," by which England surrendered her claim of title to the
North West Territory.
|March 1 -
transferred to the U. S. all her claims upon the North West
Territory, except a few thousand acres retained for pensions,
|Oct. 27 -
||"Treaty of Fort
Stanwix," (near Rome, N. Y.,) by which the Six Nations ceded
to the U. S. Their claims upon the Territory.
|Jan. 31. -
||"Treaty of Fort
McIntosh" with four other tribes, who surrendered all of the
North West except that lying between the Cuyahoga and the
Maumee, and extending about half way to the Ohio.
|Jan. 10 -
and Benjamin Tupper called a delegate meeting of those
interested in settling the Ohio country, for the purpose of
forming a colonization society, to be known as "The Ohio
|March 1. -
||The meeting was
duly held at "The Bunch of Grapes Tavern," in Boston, and the
association organized with a proposed fund of $1,000,000.
|Sept. 14. -
relinquished her claims in the North West, reserving only a
strip of land lying north of the 41st parallel, and extending
westward 120 miles from the Pennsylvania line.
|July 13. -
||"An ordinance for
the government of the territory of the United States,
northwest of the river Ohio," enacted by the last Continental
|July 27. -
providing for the sale of 1,500,000 acres to the Ohio Company,
and 3,500,000 to private speculators at an average price of
seventy cents per acre.
|Aug. 29. -
Symmes petitioned Congress for a purchase of lands between
the Great and Little Miamis, upon terms similar to those of
the Ohio Company purchase.
|Oct. 2. -
was referred to the Board of Treasury to take order, and a
contract of purchase for one million acres was soon after
executed. Owing to delinquencies in making payments,
much of this land afterwards reverted to Congress.
|Oct. 5. -
the following officers for the new government: Governor,
Arthur St. Clairk Judges, James M. Varnum, Samuel H.
Parsons and John Armstrong; Secretary, Winthrop
Sargent. Mr. Armstrong declined and John Cleves
Symmes was appointed to fill his place February 19th,
1788. August 20th, 1789, Messrs. Parsons and
Symmes were re-appointed, and Wm. Barton.
September 12th, 1789, George Turner was appointed in
place of Wm. Barton, who declined. March 31,
1790, Rufus Putnam in place of Judge Parsons,
deceased. Dec. 22d, 1796, Joseph Gilman in place
of R. Putnam, who was appointed Surveyor General.
Feb. 12th, 1798, R. J. Meigs, Jr., in place of
G. Turner, resigned. In 1798 William Henry
Harrison succeeded Sargent as Secretary. Harrison
was in turn succeeded Dec. 30th, 1799, by Charles W. Byrd.
|Oct. 27. -
||The contract of
the sale to the Ohio Company was executed. The lands
selected were on the Muskingum and Scioto.
|Dec. 1 -
detachment of the Ohio Company pioneers left Danvers, Mass.,
for the Ohio Valley.
|Jan. 1. -
chiefly proprietors and surveyors, left Hartford, Conn., for
the same country.
|Feb. 14. -
companies, according to previous arrangement, met at Sumrill's
Ferry, on the Youghiogheny, in Pennsylvania, where they
proceeded to build a galley of 50 tons, called the
Mayflower, also a flat-boat and three canoes.
|April 1. -
embarked at Sumrill's Ferry on their voyage down the
Youghiogheny, the Monongahela and the Ohio.
|April 7. -
forty-eight in number, under the leadersihp of Gen. Rufus
Putnam, landed at the mouth of the Muskingum, where they
made the first permanent settlement in Ohio, named Marietta,
after the unfortunate Marie Antoinnette, of France.
|July 4. -
||The first regular
Fourth of July celebration in Ohio was held at what is now
Marietta. Judge James M. Varnum was the orator of
|July 9. -
Clair arrived at Marietta.
|July 15. -
was first formally established on Ohio soil at Marietta, by
Governor St. Clair, Judges Parsons and Varnum, and
|July 25. -
||The first law of
the Governor and Judges was published at Marietta. It
provided for the establishment and regulation of militia izing
Washington county, the first county erected in the Territory.
It extended from the Ohio to Lake Erie, eastward to the
Pennsylvania line, and westward to the Cuyahoga, the
Tuscarawas and the Scioto, including nearly half of the
|July 29. -
Benjamin Tupper and Winthrop Sargent were
commissioned the first Justices of the Peace within the
|July 30. -
Benjamin Tupper, Archibald Crary, Isaac Pierce and
Thomas Lord were appointed Judges of the Court of Common
Pleas and Quarter sessions. Also Return Jonathan
Meigs, the first Clerk of Courts.
|Aug. 23. -
||A law was
published establishing courts of Common Pleas and Courts of
|Aug. 30. -
establishing a court of probate.
|Sept. 1. -
Sproat was commissioned Sheriff.
|Sept. 2. -
||First Court of
Common Pleas in the N. W. Territory opened at Marietta with
imposing ceremonies. Rufus Putnam and Benjamin
Tupper, Judges; Return Jonathan Meigs, Clerk, and
Ebenezer Sproat, Sheriff. Paul Fearing, Esq.,
was admitted to practice - the first lawyer in the
|Sept. 6. -
criminal law was published at Marietta. Flogging,
confinement in the stocks and pillory, binding out to labor,
forfeiture of estate, and death, were among the penalties
imposed. This act contained the earliest temperance law
within present Ohio limits, viz.: "If any person shall
be convicted of drunkenness before one or more justices of the
peace, the person so convicted shall be fined, for the first
offense in the sum of five dimes, for each succeeding offense,
and upon conviction, in the sum of one dollar; and in either
case, upon the offender's neglecting or refusing to pay the
fine, he shall be set in the stocks for the space of one
|Sept. 22. -
and others, purchasers from Judge Symmes, arrived at
the mouth of the Licking river, opposite which they proposed
to lay out a town to be called "Losantiville." Alarmed,
however, by the loss of one of their party, John Filson,
they retreated to Limestone - now Maysville, Ky.
|Oct. 28. -
was appointed the first Probate Judge in the Territory.
|Nov. 7. -
Meigs was commissioned the first Recorder of Deeds.
|Nov. 23. -
marriage law was enacted. Judges, ministers and Quakers
were authorized to perform the ceremony. Publication of
bands must have been first made, or a license procured from
|Nov. (about middle) -
and a colony of about twenty familes established a settlement,
called Columbia at the mouth of the Little Miami; this was the
first settlement in the Miami country, and its site is now
inclosed within the corporate limits of Cincinnati.
|Dec. 17. -
Clair issued the first Thanksgivving proclamation naming
Thursday, Dec. 25, as a day of solemn thanksgiving and praise,
and the people may, with one voice and sincere hearts, express
their grateful sensations, and consecrate themselves to
the will and pleasure of their Devine Benefactor; and that
together with their acknowledgments, they may unite in humble
supplication to Almighty God, that he would be graciously
pleased to prosper this infant settlement, (Marietta), and the
whole Territory, in their husbandry, trade and manufactures,
and by his own nurturing hand mature and bring to perfection
all seminaries of learning, and the promotion and enlargement
of piety and true religion, amongst all the nations of the
earth. And I do prohibit all servile labor on that day."
|Dec. 28. -
Denman and party returned and began a settlement upon the
present site of Cincinnati. Within ten days they completed the
survey of a town which they called "Losantiville." A free
distribution of town lots followed but not until Sept. 9, 1789
were any sales of lots made. The land is said to have been
paid for in Continental certificates at a specie value of
about thirty cents per acre. The first statute was
enacted, limiting the time of the commencement of civil
actions and criminal prosecutions.
Cleves Symmes and party reached North Bend where
soon formed a third Miami settlement known for a time as
|June 1. -
Doughty with 140 soldiers arrived at "Losantiville" and
commenced the erection of Fort Washington.
|Aug. 7. -
||The ordinance of
1787 was ratified, with slight change, by the Federal
|Jan. 2. -
St. Clair and party arrived at "Losantiville,"
and on the 4th issued a proclamation establishing civil
government, erected Hamilton county, and made "Cincinnati" its
county-seat, thus officially abolishing the awkward name of "Losantiville"
which had already fallen into disrepute. Hamilton county as
thus created included all the territory between the Great and
Harmar's expedition against the Miami Indians left
Cincinnati—thirteen hundred strong. They destroyed a number of
villages and valuable crops, but themselves suffered
|Sept. 17. -
Clair, with about two thousand men, started from
Ludlow's Station near Cincinnati on an expedition against
the Indians. November 4th, he was surprised in camp and
defeated with great lobs near Fort Recovery, Mercer County.
granted half a million acres from the west end of her Reserve
to certain Revolutionary sufferers. This tract was for this
reason called "The Fire Lands."
|Sept. 18. -
Sargent, acting for Governor St. Clair, issued at
Cincinnati an order reciting that "the practice of assembling
for public worship without arms may be attended with most
serious and melancholy consequences. It presents the
opportunity to an enemy of the smallest degree of enterprise
to effect such fatal impresssion upon our infant settlement"
as posterity might long in vain lament," and requiring all
good citizens and especially
militia officers to report delinquents for punishment.
service established between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Row
boats were used between Cincinnati and Wheeling, making the
trip every two weeks and calling at Marietta and Gallipolis.
Beyond Wheeling the mails were carried on horseback.
|Aug. 20. -
Anthony Wayne, with three thousand men, defeated an
immense Indian force near the Maumee Rapids. This was the
decisive battle of a long and bitter campaign.
|May 30. -
||At a meeting of"
the Legislature," and Judges, the first application for
divorce was made by one Wm. Lemond.
|July 15. -
||The first divorce
law of the Territory was adopted from the statutes of
Massachusetts. Divorce a vinculo was allowed "where
either of the parties had a former wife or husband alive at
the time of solemnizing the second marriage; or for impotency,
or adultery, in either of the parties." Divorce from bed and
board was also allowed in cases of extreme cruelty. Exclusive
jurisdiction was vested in the general and circuit courts.
|Aug. 3. -
||The Treaty of
Greenville was concluded with eleven of the leading Indian
tribes resulting in general peace between the races. The
boundary line then agreed upon ran up the Cuyahoga River, down
the Tuscarawas branch of the Muskingum to Fort Laurens, thence
due west to Fort Recovery, thence southerly, striking the Ohio
near the mouth of the Kentucky.
|Sept. 5. -
deeded to John Caldwell and others, trustees for
the Connecticut Land Company, organized on that day, the
remainder of the Western Reserve, 3,000,000 acres, at forty
cents per acre. This was only a quit-claim, however, and left
the Company to extinguish the Indian title.
|June 23. -
||Agreement made at
Buffalo by the Connecticut Land Company with the Six Nations
for the purchase of the claims of this great confederation
upon the Reserve lands. The price paid was, "500 pounds,
N. Y. currency, to be paid in goods," two beef cattle and 100
gallons of whisky, besides some other gifts and provisions.
|June 27. -
Cleveland and party, fifty-two in number, left Buffalo,
some by water and others by land, to explore and survey and
"New Connecticut" land.
|July 4. -
||The land party of
General Cleveland's expedition crosssed the
Pennsylvania line with three cheers" precisely at five
o'clock, p.m." Half an hour later they reached Conneaut
creek where the lake party soon landed, and the first
celebration of National Independence on the Western Reserve
was then held.
|July 22. -
party reached the mouth of the Cuyahoga and laid the
foundations of Cleveland.
election in the Territory was held on the third Monday of this
month for the purpose of choosing delegates to the first
General Assembly. Complaints of fraud were made and on
this ground a new election was ordered in Wayne county, and
held on the 14th and 15th of the following January 1799.
|Feb. 4. -
||First meeting of
Representatives to the General Assembly of the Northwestern
Territory for the purpose of nominating ten persons from whom
the President was to select five, who should constitute a
"Legislative Council." The Representatives, 22 in
number, assembled at Cincinnati; they had been chosen by the
inhabitants of the Territory the preceding December,
preparatory to entering upon the second stage of territorial
government provided by the Ordinance. After making the
nominations they adjourned to meet at the same place September
16th. Not until September 23d or 24th, however, were a
sufficient number of Representatives present to warrant the
organization of the House and the transaction of business.
December 19th this lengthy session was prorogued by the
Governor, at the request of the members, until the first
Monday of the following November.
||The St. Clair an
ocean-going brig of no tons burden, cleared from Marietta,
where she had just been built—"the first full-rigged vessel
built on the river." Loaded with flour and pork, she passed
down the river, across the Gulf of Mexico, and was finally
sold in Philadelphia.
|May 7. -
||By Act of
Congress, the Territory was divided by a "line beginning on
the Ohio, opposite the mouth of the Kentucky river; thence
running to Fort Recovery; thence north until it intersects the
territorial line between the United States and Canada." The
eastern division remained under the existing territorial
government, with its seat temporarily at Chillicothe.
|May 30. -
deed of cession, relinquished her claims upon the Reserve
lands, thus settling the question of jurisdiction over the new
|July 10. -
including the entire Reserve, was erected by the proclamation
of Gov. St. Clair.
|Aug. 26. -
||First court on
the Western Reserve opened at Warren.
||On the second
Tuesday of this month the inhabitants of Trumbull county held
their first election, for the purpose of choosing a
Representative in the Territorial Assembly. The votes,
forty-two in number, were cast viva voce, and were
nearly unanimous in favor of Gen. Edward Paine.
|Dec. 9. -
session of the First Territorial Assembly was prorogued by
Gov. St. Clair. He gave as a reason that his own term as
Governor expired on that day, and there was no provision of
law by which the Secretary should in such case become Acting
|Nov. 23. -
Legislature convened at Chillicothe.
|Jan. 1. -
||By act of the
Legislature, the seat of government was removed to "the town
of Cincinnati, in the county of Hamilton."
|Jan. 23. -
was adjourned by the Governor to meet at Cincinnati on the
fourth Monday of the following November. No subsequent session
was ever held however.
|April 30. -
||"An act to enable
the people of the eastern division of the Territory, northwest
of the river Ohio, to form a constitution and state
government, and for the admission of such State into the
Union, on an equal footing with the original States, and for
other purposes," was passed by Congress and became a law.
|Nov. 1. -
Constitutional Convention, authorized by above act, assembled
|Nov. 22. -
||An order was made
by President Jefferson removing Arthur St. Clair
from his position as Governor of the North-Western Territory.
No successor was ever qualified; Charles W. Byrd,
Secretary, remained Acting Governor until the State
organization was completed.
|Nov. 29. -
was ratified and signed by the members of the convention.
It was never submitted to a vote of the people. On the
same day the convention also passed a resolution accepting,
with some modifications, the terms and conditions imposed by
the enabling act of April 30th.
|March 1. -
||The first session
of the first General Assembly of the State of Ohio opened at
Chillicothe in the stone state house erected in 1801 for the
use of the Territorial Legislature. The body was
composed of fifteen Senators and thirty Representives.
|March 3. -
was inaugurated first Governor of the State of Ohio. On
the same day Congress enacted a substantial acceptance of the
modifications suggested by the Constitutional Convention, and
recognized Ohio as a State.
built the first blast furnace in Ohio, on Yellow Creek,
||Coal was first
mined in Ohio, by stripping the vein, near Talmadge, Summit
Assembly opened at Zanesville, which enterprising town, hoping
to obtain the permanent capital, had erected and proffered to
the authorities a state house. Subsequent sessions,
however, were held at Chillicothe until 1816.
||The Orleans, the
first western steamboat, passed down the Ohio river on her
trial trip. The distance of 480 miles, between Pittsburgh and
Louisville, was made in four days. The boat was built by
Robert Fulton, and on this first trip was in charge
of his agent, Mr. Roosevelt, of New York. From
this time steam navigation of the great western rivers was an
|Feb. 14. -
||By an act of the
Legislature, the proposition of Lyne Starling
and others was accepted, and a plateau owned by them opposite
the little town of Franklinton, on the Scioto, was selected as
the 4 permanent capital of the State. These gentlemen, as an
inducement to the choice, gave the State twenty acres of land,
and erected thereon, gratuitously, a capitol building and
penitentiary at a cost of fifty thousand dollars.
|Feb. 20. -
||The name of
"Columbus" was given to the new capital. Gen. Joseph
Foss, an old member from Franklin county, is credited
with having made the suggestion.
|Sept. 10. -
||Com. O. H.
Perry won a decisive victory over Com. Barclay in
the western part of Lake Erie.
|Aug. 1. -
whipping-post, pillory and stocks were formally abolished in
Ohio as instruments of Justice.
||The first session
of the Legislature held at Columbus was opened in the capitol
Library, now containing 60,000 volumes, was founded at
|Aug. 25. -
Walk-in-the-Water, the first steamboat on the Great
Lakes, arrived in Cleveland at 11 o'clock a.m., on her first
trip from Buffalo to Detroit. She was a queerly made
craft of about 300 tons burthen, accommodating one hundred or
more passengers, and capable of making eight or ten miels an
hour in favorable weather.
|Dec. 6. -
"Committee on Schools" was appointed by the General Assembly.
For four or five years the idea of common schools had been
agitated, chiefly in Cincinnati, Marietta and the Western
Reserve. In 1819 a bill for their establishment,
introduced by Ephraim Cutler, of Washington county, had
|Jan. 31. -
||Bill passed by
General Assembly "authorizing an examination into the
practicability of connecting Lake Erie with the Ohio River by
canal." As early as 1784 Washington and Jefferson had dwelt
upon the advantages of such a system.
|Feb. 4. -
of two canals was authorized one from the Ohio to Lake Erie,
by way of the Scioto and Muskingum; the other from Cincinnati
to Dayton. On the 4th of July, following, with
impressive ceremonies, ground was broken for the main canal
near Newark, Licking county.
|Feb. 5. -
||A bill for the
establishment of common schools became a law.
|March 3. -
or National Road, was completed from Cumberland, Md., to the
Ohio river at Wheeling; the road was subsequently extended
westward across the State, and was a most important factor in
the development of Ohio.
with thirty Mormon followers, arrived in Kirtland, where they
gathered around them many believers, and remained for six or
seven years in various stages of prosperity.
||The first Ohio
railway company, " The Mad River & Lake Erie," was
incorporated, to build a road from Dayton to Sandusky via
Springfield. Work was begun in 1835, and a portion of the road
opened in 1838. Not until 1848, however, was the line
completed across the State. The first railway actually
completed in Ohio was probably The Painesville & Fairport R.
R., chartered Feb. 10,1835; it went into operation in the fall
of 1837, extending from Fairport, at the mouth of Grand
River, to the village of Painesville, a distance of three
miles. Steam was never employed, the cars being drawn by
horses. The road "continued in operation to the great
convenience of the public, but without any dividends to the
stockholders," till the spring of 1841, when the Grand River
Bridge was carried away by a flood, and the company collapsed.
The old road bed is still visible.
|Feb. 12. -
Territorial Legislature passed "an act to prevent the
organization of a foreign jurisdiction within the limits of
the Territory of Michigan," severely punishing any person who
should assume official functions within the Territory of
Michigan, unless. under the authority of that Territory or of
the United States. The enabling act under which Ohio was
admitted into the Union bounded the proposed State on the
north "by an east and west line drawn through the southern
extremity of Lake Michigan," and extending easterly "until it
shall intersect Lake Erie." Later surveys proved that such an
east and west line would pass from five to eight miles south
of Lake Erie, and it was on this ground that Michigan claimed
jurisdiction over the lake shore to the Pennsylvania line, and
to enforce this claim the above act was passed.
|Feb. 23. -
Legislature passed a law claiming their jurisdiction over the
entire lake shore, erecting it into counties, and appointing
commissioners to locate and mark the boundary line, on the
ground that such was the manifest intention of Congress.
|March 31 -
of Ohio, with staff, commissioners and six hundred armed men,
arrived at Perrysburg and encamped in old Fort Miami,
intending to establish a boundary line, known as the Harris
line, passing through the north cape of Maumee Bay. Gov.
Mason, of Michigan, with one thousand men, then hastened
to occupy Fort Swan, a few miles below Perrysburg, bent upon
resisting the Ohio claimants and enforcing what was called the
Fulton line. At this juncture two Federal commissioners
arrived and finally induced the belligerent governors to
retire with their men, and await the arbitration of Congress,
who, at their next session, June 15th, 1836, decided in favor
of the Ohio claim, but mollified Michigan by a gift to her of
what is now her Upper Peninsula.
manufactured with raw coal in Ohio, at Lowell, Mahoning
county; the first in the United States having been made on the
Pennsylvania side of the State line the previous year.
|Feb. 1. -
||The old State
House at Columbus was totally destroyed by fire.
|March 11 -
Legislature adopted a "code of civil procedure," for the
regulation of legal practice in civil cases.
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