Ohio Statewide Files
USGenWeb Archives
The information for this site was contributed by
Kay L. Mason
Chapter I.

When the New World Was Supposed To Have Been Discovered. Verging on Ancient History-What the Ancients Knew-DeSoto, the Spirit of the Sixteenth Century-Marquette, Joliet and LaSalle-1776 and 1983- Louisiana Territory-The Ground of Dispute-Ownership of the Northwest-French and Indian War-The Dunmore War-Lord Dunmore's March-The Treaty of Paris, France-The Government Owned It-Ordinance of 1787-Scioto Land Company-Judge Cutler's Letter. [Text Version]

When The New World Was First Supposed To Have Been Discovered.
Verging On History

The world generally dates the discovery of America from the time of the landing of Columbus, in 1492, but ancient history and ancient historians certainly point to a far earlier knowledge of this continent of ours. Still, it is safe to say that for all practical purposes its real discovery dates from the time the bold and intrepid voyager, sustained and encouraged by Ferdinand and Isabella, first trod the soil and gave the light and life of European civilization to this continent. The whole country and the islands contiguous were originally called the West Indies from its first discovery, and the name "Indian" was misapplied to its inhabitants. In the history of North America, by Samuel G. Drake, he remarked: "It has been the practice of every writer who has written about the primitive inhabitants of a country to give some wild theories of others as to their origin, and to close the account with his own which generally, has been more visionary, if possible, than those of his predecessors. Long, and it may be added useless, disquisitions have been yearly laid before the world, from the discovery of America by Columbus to the present time, to endeavor to explain by what means the inhabitants got from the old world to the new."

What the Ancients Knew

Hanno flourished 100 years before the founding of Rome, about 800 years before the Christian era. After fully exploring the cost [sic] of Africa he set out for what is now called the Straits of Gibraltar, and thence sailed westward thirty days, hence, many believe that he may have visited this continent or some of the West India Islands.

Plato, Diodorus Siculus and Aristotle all refer to the island and fertile lands west of the Straits of Gibraltar, full of forests, navigable rivers and fruits in abundance. It is evident from this that while no positive facts are given of the time of these several voyages, and no record kept of their actual occurrence, with their descriptions of what was seen and discovered by these early navigators of the ocean, yet there is the fact of tradition and a belief in a country beyond the mighty waters that swept the western shore of Europe, whose lands were rich and fertile; that mighty rivers coursed through its immense area, chains of lofty mountains and endless forests were to be found. These were not all a myth, but have become a reality, and doubtless these traditions were founded upon actual facts, yet who they were or when they came is only known as a tradition of the past. There were traditions of a country at the tropics, and only a few centuries later a native of Iceland, by the name of Liefur, actually came to the continent of America. This was in the eleventh century, and evidences have been found that corroborate the fact of this discovery. While almost every country of Europe claims the honor of discovering America, the Iceland navigator is the earliest of whom any positive knowledge has yet been ascertained. The traditions brought down of a tropical land was undoubtedly founded upon actual facts, but when the discovery was made, and by whom, will never been known. In the language of a prominent historical writer with regard to the peopling of this continent, he says: "Though nearly four centuries have elapsed since the red man was first known to the civilized world, his origin is still uncertain. The popular opinion of the unbiased mind is, that the Creator who made the universe and holds it in the 'hollow of his hand' could make a race of people on the Western as well as on the Eastern hemisphere, and that neither Moses nor any of his priests or scribes, 'with all the learning of the Egyptians,' had the remotest conception of the extent of the world." Having no desire to take part in a discussion of this kind, and knowing that the archaeological researches of this country show a prehistoric race, whom the Indians even, who had possessed the country for over four centuries, could give no account, the question will be left here, the facts embraced here being sufficient for the introduction of this work.

DeSoto, the Spirit of the Sixteenth Century

The next of interest in the discovery of our country, after that of Columbus in 1492, might be said to be that of that great adventurer, DeSoto. To be sure his discoveries have little to do with the Northwest Territory, but in bringing the foregoing history down to the present time it will be better if the reader shall know something of the country of his birth anterior to the local settlement, so that the gap may not be too wide, and a chasm in his country's history left so wide that even in his imaginings, he could not span it. DeSoto was the first white man that navigated the waters of the Mississippi, and that was as early as 1539, but he and his followers knew little of the mighty river that penetrated a continent, to its numerous branches which flowed from the east and from the west, or little dreamed of a land so rich in all the attributes of soil, climates, its forests and its inexhaustible mineral wealth. It was not these, not the evidence of the almost boundless extent of the country, which lured him on, but he traversed the country to the west to find that myth of his imagination, "The Fountain of Youth". He came back to die upon the turbid waters of the mighty streams on which he was the first to embark, at the hands of one of his followers, and the waters of the great river were his winding-sheet.

Marquette, Joliet and LaSalle

In 1673, that bold and fearless spirit, James Marquette, with his companion, Louis Joliet, were the first white men who traversed the soil of the Northwest Territory. The year above mentioned they started out to find the waters of the Mississippi River, which over a century before DeSoto had discovered, and upon its banks had given up his life.

After many weary days they reached the banks of the Mississippi, and launched their canoe upon its peaceful waters June 17, 1673, and explored its course from the mouth of Wisconsin River to the mouth of the Arkansas, then returned. The description they gave of the great forests which lined its banks, and here and there a broad expanse of prairie, which seemed a living sea of grass and flowers, stretching as far as the eye could see, excited a wild spirit of adventure among those who imbibe the spirit of Marquette was Robert LaSalle. He made his first attempt the same year of Marquette's return, but a series of misfortunes seemed to pursue him from the start, and not until the spring of 1682 did he succeed in his undertaking, when he successfully navigated the Mississippi from the mouth of the Illinois River to the Gulf of Mexico. He not long afterward met the fate of DeSoto-death by the hands of one of his followers.

Thus, step by step, has been followed the progress of our discoveries, and but a little over two centuries after LaSalle made his memorable voyage a nation was born, and the ruling powers of the world gave it their recognition. Three centuries had nearly elapsed before what Columbus discovered as a wilderness, inhabited by wild beasts and roving savages, became the hope of oppressed humanity and a beacon light for the downtrodden of all nations. Liberty, the word emblazoned in letters of living light upon the hearts of the American people, by the memorable struggle of 1776, to-day still stands forth in undimmed luster, flashing in luminous light, and like the "Star of Bethlehem," showing a world redeemed and a haven of rest for the weary.

1776 and 1983.

Since the days of 1776, when the clarion voice of Henry proclaimed the knell of tyranny and oppression, and the triumph of liberty, civilization, under its inspiring wing, took a forward movement, and with steam, railroads, the telegraph and telephone, and, last but not least, the electric light, our country has rapidly advanced to the front rank of nations, leaving far behind the effete monarchies of the old world-standing forth as the pioneer in all that leads man to a higher and nobler plane. It is hard to believe that in the next hundred years the march of civilization and progress will be as rapid as that of the past century, yet with the spirit of genius expanded by the light of liberty and nobler aspirations, the people of a century hence may look upon us of to-day as but primitive in our ideas and actions compared to the civilization of 1983. The failure of LaSalle to colonize the country must be attributed to his death, for he lacked neither courage nor endurance, but his death gave it a temporary delay. However, other steps were soon taken, and the Territory of Louisiana was yet to be peopled.

Louisiana Territory.

The territory now comprised within the limits of Ohio was formerly a part of that vast region claimed by France, between the Allegheny and the Rocky Mountains, first known by the general name of Louisiana. After the tour of exploration by Marquette and Joliet, and the unsuccessful effort at colonization by LaSalle, the French, still ardent in their purpose of securing possession of the fertile lands east of the Mississippi, finally had the satisfaction of seeing it successfully colonized under the leadership of M. D'Iberville. This officer entered the mouth of the Mississippi and explored that mighty river for several hundred miles, made permanent establishments at different points, and from the Alleghenies steadily increased in numbers and strength. Previous to the year 1725 the colony had been divided in to quarters, each having its local government, but all subject to the superior authority of the Council General of Louisiana. One of these quarters was established northwest of the Ohio. At this time the French had erected forts on the Upper Mississippi, on the Illinois, on the Maumee and on the lakes. Communication with Canada was yet, at this time, through Lake Michigan; but before 1750 a French post had been fortified at the mouth of the Wabash, and a communication was established through that river and the Maumee with Canada. About the same time and for the purpose of checking the progress of the French, the Ohio Company was formed and made some attempt to establish trading posts among the Indians. The French, however, by establishing a chain of fortifications, back to the English settlements, secured, in a measure, the entire control of the great Mississippi Valley. Great alarm was thus caused to the British Government, and, the attempt to settle the disputed boundaries by negotiation having failed, both parties were determined to settle their differences by the force of arms. The Ground of Dispute. The principle ground whereon the English claimed dominion beyond the Alleghenies, says Howe's history, was that the Six Nations owned the Ohio Valley, and had placed it with their other lands under the protection of England. Some of the Western lands were also claimed by the British as having been actually purchased at Lancaster, Pa., in 1744, by a treaty between the Colonists and the Six Nations at that place. In 1749 it appears that the English built a trading house upon the Great Miami, at a spot since called Loramie's Store. In 1751 Christopher Gist, an agent of the Ohio Company, who was appointed to examine the Western lands, made a visit to the Twightwees who lived upon the Miami River, about 100 miles from its mouth. Early in 1752 the French, having heard of the trading house on the Miami, sent a party of soldiers to the Twigtwees and demanded the traders as intruders upon the French lands. The Indians refused to deliver up their friends. The French, assisted by the Ottawas and Chippewas, then attacked the trading house, which was probably a blockhouse, and after a sever battle, in which fourteen Indians were killed and others wounded, took and destroyed it, carrying away the traders to Canada. This post was called by the English, Pickawilany. Such was the first British settlement in the Ohio Valley of which record has ever been made. To Go Back a Little When the early explorers and missionaries first visited the country afterward described as the Northwest Territory they found it in the possession of that powerful combination of Indians known as the Six Nations. It was afterward claimed by Great Britain that the territory north of the Ohio was theirs by purchase from the Six Nations, in 1644, and was one of the reasons given for going into the French and Indian War. Later in the beginning of the eighteenth century, after their power and prestige had diminished, this region of country was in the possession of and occupied by several independent Indian tribes. Those located in what is now Ohio were the Delawares, Shawnees, Wyandots (called the Hurons by the French), the Mingoes (an offshoot of the Iroquois), the Chippewas and the Tawas (more commonly known as the Ottawas). The Delawares occupied the valleys of the Muskingum and the Tuscarawas; the Shawnees, the Scioto Valley; the Miamis, the valleys of the two rivers, upon which they left their names; the Wyandots held the country bordering upon the Sandusky River; the Ottawas had their homes in the valleys of the Maumee and Sandusky; the Chippewas were masters of the south shore of Lake Erie, and the Mingoes were in their strength on the Ohio, below Steubenville. All the tribes, however, frequented more or less lands outside of their prescribed territory, and at different periods of time when the first definite knowledge concerning them was obtained down to the era of white settlement, they occupied different locations. Thus the Delawares, whom Boquet found in 1764 in greatest numbers in the valley of the Tuscarawas, had, thirty years later, the majority of their population in the region of the county which now bears their name; and the Shawnees, who were originally strongest upon the Scioto, at the time of St. Clair's and Wayne's wars, had concentrated upon the Little Miami. The several tribes commingled to some extent as their animosities toward each other were supplanted by the common fear of the enemy of their race. They gradually grew stronger in sympathy and more compact in union as the settlements of the whites encroached upon their loved domain. Hence the divisions, which had in 1750 been quite plainly marked, became, by the time the Ohio was fringed with the cabins and villages of the pale face, in a large measure obliterated. In Eastern Ohio, where the Delawares were now to be found also Wyandots, Shawnees, Mingoes, and even Miamis from the western border-from the Wabash, Miami and Mad rivers. The Delawares, as has been indicated, had their densest population upon the Upper Muskingum and Tuscarawas, and they really were in possession of what is now the eastern half of the State, from the Ohio to Lake Erie. This tribe, which claimed to be the elder branch of the Lenni-Lanape, has by tradition and in history and in fiction been accorded a high rank among the savages of North America. Schoolcraft, Loskiel, Albert Gallatin, Drake, Zeisberger, Heckewelder and many other writers have borne testimony to the superiority of the Delawares, and James Fennimore Cooper, in his attractive romances, has added luster to the fame of the tribe. According to the tradition preserved by them the Delawares, many centuries before they knew the white man, lived in the western part of the continent, and, separating themselves from the rest of the Lenni-Lenape, migrated slowly eastward. Reaching the Allegheny River they, with the Iroquois, waged war successfully with a race of giants, the Allegewi, and, still continuing their migration, settled on the Delaware River, and spread their population eventually to the Hudson, the Susquehanna and the Potomac. Here they lived, menaced, and often attacked by the Iroquois, and finally, as some writers claim, they were subjugated by the Iroquois through strategem. The Atlantic Coast became settled by Europeans, and the Delawares, being also embittered against the Iroquois, whom they accused of treachery, turned westward and concentrated upon the Allegheny. Disturbed here again by white settlers, a portion of the tribe obtained permission from the Wyandots, whom they called their uncles, thus confessing their superiority and reputation of greater antiquity, to occupy the lands along the Muskingum. The forerunners of the nation entered this region in all probability as early as 1745, and in less than a score of years their entire population had become resident in this country. They became here a more flourishing and powerful tribe than they had ever been before. Their warriors numbered not less than 600 in 1764. Ownership of the Northwest. Though the actual occupants, and as most will say the rightful owners, of this region were these native tribes of Indians, there were other claimants to the soil, who, though for a long time they made little pretense of actual possession, were eventually to dispossess the Indians of their hunting grounds. France, resting her claim upon the discovery and exploration of Robert Cavelier de LaSalle and Marquette, upon a sort of nominal occupation of the country by means of forts and missions, and later, upon the provisions of several European treaties (those of Utrecht, Ryswick and Aix-la-Chapelle), was the first nation to formally lay claim to the soil of the territory now included within the boundaries of the State of Ohio, as an integral portion of the valley of the Mississippi and of the Northwest. Ohio was thus a part of New France. After the treaty of Utrecht in 1713, it was a part of the French province of Louisiana, which extended from the gulf to the Northern lakes. The English claims were based on the priority of their occupation of the Atlantic Coast, in latitude corresponding to the territory claimed; upon an opposite construction of the same treaties above named; and last, but not least, upon the alleged cession of the rights of the Indians. England's charters to all of the original colonies expressly extended their grants from sea to sea. The principle ground of claim by the English was by the treaties of purchase from the Six Nations, who, claiming to be conquerors of the whole country and therefore its possessors, asserted their right to dispose of it. France successfully resisted the claims of England, and maintained control of the territory between the Ohio and the lakes by force of arms until the treaty of Paris was consummated in 1763. By the provisions of this treaty, Great Britain came into the possession of the disputed lands, and retained it until ownership was vested in the United States by the treaty of peace made just twenty years later. Virginia had asserted her claims to the whole of the territory northwest of the Ohio, and New York had claimed titles to portions of the same. These claims had been for the most part held in abeyance during the period when the general ownership was vested in Great Britain, but were afterward the cause of much embarrassment to the United States. Virginia, however, had not only claimed ownership of the soil, but attempted the exercise of civil authority in the disputed territory as early as 1769. In that year the colonial house of Burgesses passed an act establishing the county of Botetourt, including a large part of what is now West Virginia, and the whole territory northwest of the Ohio, and having, of course, as its western boundary the Mississippi River. It was more in name then in fact, however, that Virginia had jurisdiction over this great county of Botetourt through the act of 1769. In 1778, after the splendid achievements of General George Rogers Clarke,-his subjugation of the British posts in the far West, and conquest of the whole country from the Ohio to the Mississippi,-this territory was organized by the Virginia Legislature as the county of Illinois. John Todd was appointed as County Lieutenant and Civil Commandant of Illinois County, and served until his death (he was killed in the Battle of Blue Licks, Aug. 18, 1782). He was succeeded by Timothy de Montburn. New York was the first of the several States claiming right and title in Western lands to withdraw the same in favor of the United States. Her charter, obtained March 2, 1664, from Charles II., embraced territory which had formerly been granted to Massachusetts and Connecticut. The cession of claim was made by James Duane, Wm. Floyd and Alexander McDougall, on behalf of the State, March 1, 1781. Virginia, with a far more valid claim than New York, was the next State to follow New York's example. Her claim was founded upon certain charters granted to the colony by James I., and bearing date respectively, April 10, 1806, May 23, 1609, and March 12, 1611; upon the conquest of the country by General George Rogers Clarke; and upon the fact that she had also exercised civil authority over the territory. The act was consummated March 17, 1784. Massachusetts ceded her claims, without reservation, the same year that Virginia did hers (1784), though the act was not formally consummated until the 18th of April, 1785. The right of her title had been rested upon her charter, granted less than a quarter of a century from the arrival of the Mayflower, and embracing territory extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Connecticut made what has been called "the last tardy and reluctant sacrifice of State ownership to the common good" Sept. 14, 1786. French and Indian War. This movement of the Ohio Company and the prompt action of the French to what they claimed as their territory, caused the British lion to roar and lash himself into fury, and reprisals were going on until war became inevitable. The French had possession of the territory and they meant to hold it, and the Ohio Company claimed that the French were encroaching on their territory. The prompt action of the French in driving out all intruders soon convinced the English government that if they retained possession or secured any of the territory it would have to be done by force of arms. They therefore sent General Edward Braddock, with a considerable force, to take possession of the country early in the spring of 1755. The Governors of the Atlantic States met General Braddock, and a plan of campaign was mapped out and agreed upon. It is not necessary to go into more than general particulars of the French and Indian War, as this struggle was called. Braddock, disdaining the advice of Washington and others, marched into the country without proper precautions, and there met defeat and death, but the war was carried on until success crowned the British arms, which in a measure was due to the military ability of Colonel George Washington, Major Lewis and others. The latter, in January, 1756, was sent with a strong body of troops against the Indian towns on the Ohio, the Upper Shawanese towns on the Ohio, above the mouth of the great Kanawha, but this expedition, like Braddock's, was a failure, but more on account of swollen streams than want of military strategy, and upon the known treachery of the guides. The terrible route of Braddock's troops was very paralyzing to the British forces, and although the war continued, no new expedition against that part of a the French possession was undertaken until 1758, when General Forbes advanced against the French on the western frontier and Fort Du Quesne. A portion of his force, an advance guard of 900 men under Major Grant, was met and defeated with great slaughter, but this did not stop General Forbes's advance, and the French, finding that the British were still coming, and were too strong for them, abandoned the fort after removing all valuables and destroying guns, etc. The ended the French occupation of the territory, peace was concluded in 1763, and France ceded to Great Britain all her North American settlements. In 1764, General Bradstreet, having dispersed the Indian forces besieging Detroit, passed down into the Wyandot country by way of Sandusky Bay. Having ascended the bay and river as far as possible in boats, the party encamped, and here a treaty of peace was concluded with the chiefs and representatives of many of the Indian tribes. The Shawnees of the Scioto River, and the Delawares of the Muskingum, however, still continued hostile. Colonel Boquet, in 1764, marched with a body of troops from Fort Pitt into the heart of the Ohio country on the Muskingum River. This expedition was conducted with great prudence and skill; but few lives were lost, and a treaty of peace was effected with the Indians, who restored all the prisoners they had taken from the white settlements. The Dunmore War. "Dunmore's War" is the designation applied to a series of bloody hostilities between the whites and Indians, carried out by Lord Dunmore and the troops under his command in 1774. It was the culmination of the bitter warfare that has been waged with varying success between the frontier population of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and the Delawares, Iroquois, Wyandots and other tribes of Indians. One of the most noted of the many massacres of the period was that of Logan's family by the whites, and in retaliation the swift vengeance of the Mingo chief upon the white settlements on the Monongahela, where, in the language of his celebrated speech, he "fully glutted his vengeance." In the summer of that year an expedition under Colonel McDonald was assembled at Wheeling, marched into the Muskingum country and destroyed the Indian town of Wapatomica, a few miles above the site of Zanesville. It is well enough here to embrace some facts in regard to the murder of Logan's family. In a late work called the "Historical and Biographical Encyclopaedia of Ohio," a somewhat labored attempt is made to prove that Colonel Cresap had nothing to do with the murder of the celebrated Mingo chief's family, and that the said chief was also a murderous brute. It is a matter of both fact and history that if Logan glutted his vengeance by murder of palefaces, he was not that brute and murderer until after all he held dear, Indian though he was, had been cowardly butchered in cold blood by the very race whom he had defended, and many of whom he had succored, and whose lives he had preserved. It would be enough to start the sluggish blood of a white man and rouse his spirit to undying vengeance, to have the friends whom he had befriended and whose lives perhaps he had saved, murder his wife and family in cold blood. Such was the fate of Logan. Is it to be wondered at, if the friend of the white man became a demon under such provocation? Craven indeed must be that man who would fail to become even a fiend incarnate under such brutal acts. So much in the defense of Logan. Who killed Logan's family may be a subject of dispute, but will hardly clear the skirts of Colonel Cresap. Logan accused him, and he was prepared to know, for it seems he hunted with the pertinacity of revenge to find the author of his wrong, and he traced it to Colonel Cresap's command, and while not personally the cause of Logan's family slaughter, which left him wifeless and childless, and turned a warm and active friend into an equally active and unrelenting enemy, it was done by a portion of his command. In Atwater's history of Ohio, first edition, he says: "On the 27th of April, 1774, Captain Cresap, at the head of a party of men, at Wheeling, in Virginia, heard of two Indians and some of their families being up the river hunting, not many miles off. Cresap and his party followed them, and killed them without provocation, in cold blood and in profound peace. After committing these murders, on their return to Wheeling that night they heard of an Indian encampment down the river, at the mouth of Captina Creek, and they immediately went, attacked and murdered all these Indians. After these unprovoked and cruel murders, a party under Daniel Greathouse, forty-seven in number, ascended the river above Wheeling, to Baker's Station, about forty miles, which was opposite the mouth of Great Yellow Creek. Then keeping his men out of sight of the Indians, Captain Greathouse went over the river to reconnoiter the ground, and to ascertain how many Indians were there. He fell in with an Indian woman, who advised him not to stay among them, as the Indians were drinking and angry. On receiving this friendly advice he returned over to Baker's blockhouse, and induced persons to entice all the Indians they could that day and get them drunk. This diabolical stratagem succeeded; many Indians coming over and getting drunk were slain by the part of Greathouse. Hearing the firing, two Indians came over to Baker's to see what it meant, and were slain as soon as they landed. By this time the Indians were at their camp, suspecting what was going on, sent over an armed force, but these were fired upon while on the river, several being killed, and the survivors were compelled to return. A firing of guns then commenced across the river, but none of the whites were even wounded, but among the murdered Indians was the woman who gave the Captain the friendly advice; and they were all scalped who were slain. Among the murdered at Captina and Yellow Creek was the entire family of Logan, the friend of the whites. Knowing that these cruel and unprovoked murders would be speedily avenged by the Indians, all the whites along the whole western frontier either left the country or retired to their block-houses and forts." The above was published in 1838, when many living actors in the scenes of those days could be found, and it is likely to be nearer correct than any information gained nearly half a century later. A letter of General George Rogers Clarke, published in March, 1839, places the murder of the Logan family at the hands of Daniel Greathouse and the men in his command. This letter was dated June 17, 1798. Captain Greathouse was under Colonel Cresap and a portion of his command, and that is the extent of Colonel Cresap's connection with the murder of Logan's family. Lord Dunmore's March. In August, 1774, Lord Dunmore, then Governor of Virginia, determined to raise a large force and carry the war into the enemy's country. The plan of the campaign was simple. Three regiments were to be raised west of the Blue Ridge, to be commanded by General Andrew Lewis, while two other regiments from the interior were to be commanded by Dunmore himself. The forces were to form junction at the mouth of the great Kanawha and proceed, under the command of Lord Dunmore, to attack the Indian towns in Ohio. The force under Lewis, amounting to 1,100 men, rendezvoused at Camp Union, now Lewisburg, Greenbriar Co., W. Va., whence they marched early in September, and reached Point Pleasant on the 6th of October. Three days later Lewis received dispatches from Dunmore, informing him that he had changed his plan of operations; that he (Dunmore) would march across the Scioto, situated within the present limits of Pickaway County, and Lewis was ordered to cross the Ohio River at once and join Dunmore before these towns. This movement was to have been made on the 10th of October. On that day, however before the march had begun, two men of Lewis's command were fired upon while hunting a mile or so from camp. One was killed the alarm that Indians were at hand. General Lewis had bearly time to make some hasty dispositions when there began one of the most desperate Indian battles recorded in border warfare- the battle of Point Pleasant. The Indians were in great force, infuriated by past wrong and by the hope of wiping out their enemy by this day's flight, and were led on by their ablest and most daring chiefs. Preeminent among the savage leaders were Logan and "Cornplanter" (or Cornstalk), whose voices rang above the din and whose tremendous feats performed in this day's action have passed into history. The contest lasted all day, but was not yet decided. Toward evening General Lewis ordered a body of men to gain the enemy's flank, on seeing which movement about to be successfully executed the Indians drew off and effected a safe retreat. The force on both sides in this battle was nearly equal-about 1,100. The whites lost half their officers and fifty-two men killed. The loss of the Indians, killed and wounded, was estimated at 233. Soon after the battle Lewis crossed the river and pursued the Indians with great vigor but did not again come in conflict with them. Meanwhile Lord Dunmore, in whose movements we are more interested, had, with about 1,200 men, crossed the mountains at Potomac Gap, reviewed his force at Fort Pitt, now Pittsburg, and descended the Ohio River as far as the mouth of the Hosking. Here he landed, formed a camp and built a fortification, which he called Fort Gower. It was from here that he sent word to General Lewis of the change in his plan of campaign, and he remained here until after the battle of Point Pleasant. Leaving a sufficient force at Fort Gower to protect the stores and secure it as a base, he marched up the Hocking as far as Logan now stands, and from there westward to a point seven miles from Circleville, where a grand parley was held with the Indians. It was at this council that the famous speech of the Mingo chief was made, beginning, "I appeal to any white man to say if he ever entered Logan's cabin hungry and he given him not meat," etc. After the execution of a treaty with the Indians, Lord Dunmore returned to Fort Gower by nearly the same route he had pursued in his advance, across the country and down the valley of the Hocking to its mouth. It is probably that his army was disbanded at this point, and returned in small parties to their homes. In the fall the Indians were defeated after a hard-fought battle at Point Pleasant, on the Virginia side of the Ohio. Shortly after this event Lord Dunmore concluded a treaty with the Indians at Camp Charlotte, near the pleasant site of Circleville. In 1779 Colonel Bowman headed an expedition against the Shawnees in their country. Their village, Chillocothe, three miles north of Xenia, on the Little Miami, was burned, but the warriors showed an undaunted front, and the whites were forced to retreat. In the summer of 1780 General Clarke led a body of Kentuckians against the Shawnees. On their approach the Indians burned their town of Chillicothe and retreated, but at Piqua, their town on the Mad River, six miles below the site of Springfield, they gave battle to the whites and were defeated. In September, 1782, this officer led a second expedition against the Shawnees, this time destroying their towns of Upper and Lower Piqua, on the Miami, within what is now Miami County. Other expeditions from Kentucky were conducted against the Indians a few years later. One was that of Colonel Logan, in 1786, which was conducted successfully against the Mackachuack towns, on the head waters of Mad River, in what is now Logan County. Edwards, in 1787, led an expedition to the head waters of the Big Miami, and in 1788 Todd led one into the Scioto Valley. There were also several minor expeditions at various times into the present limits of Ohio. The Moravian missionaries, prior to the war of the Revolution, had a number of missionary stations within the limits of Ohio. The missionaries Heckewelder and Post were on the Muskingum as early as 1762. Colonel Crawford, at the head of about 500 men, was defeated by the Indians, three miles north of the site of Upper Sandusky, in Wyandot County. Crawford was taken prisoner in the retreat, and burned at the stake with horrible tortures. The Treaty of Paris, France Although the United States had declared their independence and become a distinct nation since 1776, that the English monarch renounced his claim to the late Northwest Territory, by a treaty signed at Paris on that date. The provisional articles which formed the basis of that treaty, more especially as related to the boundary, were, however, signed at Paris the preceding November. During the pendeney of the negotiation relative to these preliminary articles, Mr. Oswald, the British commissioner, proposed the Ohio River as the western boundary of the United States, and but for the indomitable perseverance of the Revolutionary patriot, John Adams, one of the American commissioners, who insisted upon the Mississippi as the boundary, it is probable that the proposition of Mr. Oswald would have been acceded to. Numerous tribes of Indian savages, by virtue of prior possession, asserted their respective rights which also had to be satisfied. A treaty for this purpose was accordingly made at Fort Stanwix, Oct. 27, 1784, with the sachems and warriors of the Mohawks, Onondagas, Senecas, Cayugas, Oneidas, and Tuscaroras; by the third article of which treaty the above Six Nations ceded their claims to a country west of a line extending along the west boundary of Pennsylvania, from the mouth of the Oyounayea to the river Ohio. By acts of Congress all citizens of the United States were prohibited settling on lands of the Indians, as well as on those of the United States. The Government Owned It. The United States Government was the only one claiming authority over the Northwest, for at this time, 1786, all the States had ceded their claims to the country, and there remained only the task of extinguishing the Indian title before the question of ownership could be finally settled. This was no easy matter, as the Indian tribes were allies of the English and hostile to the Americans, and they did not relish the idea of giving up their homes without a struggle. The result was a series of hostile movements and numerous acts of revenge. The Government prosecuted almost a continuous war against them without bringing about a satisfactory peace, until, in 1786, a conciliatory policy was adopted, which proved more effectual. By a series of purchases and treaties made at various dates the title of the Indians was peaceably extinguished. It is a fact worthy of note, one of which the State may well be proud, that the title to every foot of Ohio soil was honorable acquired from the Indians. Ordinance of 1787. In 1784 a committee, of which Thomas Jefferson was chairman, reported to Congress an ordinance providing for the establishment and maintenance of Government in the Northwest Territory. This measure of 1784, although it remained nominally in force until repealed by the ordinance of 1787, was really inoperative-a dead letter. May 20, 1785, an ordinance was passed for the survey of Western lands. A surveyor was chosen from each State, to act under the geography of the United States, in laying off the land into townships of six miles square. The geographer was instructed to designate the townships by numbers, beginning at the south, and the ranges by numbers, beginning at the east and going westward. It is this simple system of describing land that has been adopted by the Government in the survey of all its lands since that time. The famous ordinance of 1787, passed July 13, and from its most important provision often termed the "Ordinance of Freedom," was the last gift of the Congress of the old Confederation to the people of the States. The ordinance of 1787 above referred to, besides the above freedom clause, provided that there should be formed not less than three not more than five states. The western State of said Territory, if only three States were formed, should be bounded by the Mississippi, the Ohio, and the Wabash Rivers, a direct line drawn from the Wabash and Port Vincent (Vincennes) due north to the territorial line between the United States and Canada, and by the said territorial line to the Lake of the Woods and the Mississippi. The middle State was to be bounded by said direct line and the Wabash from Port Vincent to the Ohio; and the Ohio by a line drawn due north from the mouth of the Great Miami to the said territorial line, and by the said territorial line, which formed its eastern boundary, this State being Indiana, and the first Illinois. The third State, Ohio, was to have the east line above of Indiana as its western line, the Ohio River, Pennsylvania and the territorial line. But it also was provided that Congress could form two States north of a line drawn due east and west, through the most southerly bend of Lake Michigan; this was done and Michigan and Wisconsin became those States. When Ohio became a State, under the rules prescribed by Congress, this east and west line and Lake Erie became her northern boundary, and the lines above quoted her western, southern, and eastern boundaries. It was but a short time after the close of the Revolutionary war before Congress decided upon some action in regard to the disposal of the lands which had been acquired from the States and the Indian tribes. Some arrangement leading to the sale of this land at a nominal price to actual settlers or to companies who would guarantee its occupation within a seasonable time was decided upon. Only, however, a part or small part of the acquisition was placed upon sale. The Author of Ordinance of 1787. The great ordinance of 1787, which even at this day stands out boldly as an act of consummate wisdom, was undoubtedly the work and inspiration of more than one man,-and while Jefferson was absent, yet it is clear that his views were known to the author, and while Dr. Manassah Cutler was a strong factor, and the probable hand that drew this masterpiece of political wisdom,-yet it is not going beyond the bounds of facts to state that the views of Thomas Jefferson were well known to him, and was the foundation upon which the celebrated ordinance was built, that his own inspired mind was strengthened, and that the ordinance above mentioned was the work of Doctor Cutler, while it embraced the views of both Cutler and Jefferson, and was really the joint work of these master minds, who have left the impress of their greatness and wisdom upon their country's history. It was the product of what we may call inspired statesmanship, the foundation upon which five great commonwealths were to be built up, the fundamental law, the constitution of the Northwest Territory, and a sacred compact between the old colonies and the yet uncreated States to come into being under its benign influence. The Congress of 1787 "builded wiser than it knew," and more grandly. Let us pass the broader significance and vaster value of the ordinance, and look upon it simply as the act of legislature providing for the opening, development and government of the territory; we find it alike admirable and effective. It provided for successive forms of territorial government, and upon it were based all of the territorial enactments and much of the subsequent State legislation. It was so constructed as to give the utmost encouragement to immigration, and it offered the utmost protection to those who became settlers, for "when they came into the wilderness," says Chief Justice Chase, "they found the law already there. It was impressed upon the soil, while as yet it bore up nothing by the forest." The authorship of the ordinance of 1787 has been variously ascribed to Nathan Dane, a Congressman from Massachusetts, to Rufus King of the same State, and to Thomas Jefferson; and arguments more or less weighty have from time to time been advanced to support their claims or those of their friends. Thomas Jefferson was, however, identified with the ordinance of 1784, which introduced the clause prohibiting slavery after the year 1800, which did not pass. Mr. King was undoubtedly the author of the anti-slavery clause in an ordinance which secured some attention in 1785, but he was not even a member of the Congress of 1787. Mr. Dane's claim is combated chiefly on the ground that it was never made while any of the other men, who, from their position, were supposed to know about the formation of the ordinance, were alive, and on the ground that he had none of those graces of composition which are exhibited in the ordinance. Of later years investigation has convinced many prominent writers on the subject the Dr. Manassah Cutler, embodying the views of Thomas Jefferson with his own, was the real author. The evidence is too lengthy to introduce here, but it has not been refuted, and the suppositions accord very well with the known facts of history. Dr. Cutler had come before Congress to purchase for a company, composed chiefly of Massachusetts men, a large body of public lands. The purchase would have been almost entirely worthless in the opinion of most of the Ohio Company associates, if they could not have the lands to which they proposed to emigrate covered with the law to which they had been accustomed. The ordinance of freedom was, as an act of legislation, the natural predecessor of the sale to the Ohio Company. It was considered by Congress, after the plan had been fully examined, very desirable that the public domains should be disposed of, and that a colony should be established in the Federal Territory. Such a colony would form a barrier against the British and Indians, it was argued, and this initiative step would be followed speedily by other purchases in which additional settlements would be founded. The Southern States had a greater interest in the West than New England had, and Virginia, especially, from her past protection, future prospect and geographical location, was especially eager for the development of the country beyond the Ohio. Virginia and the South in general may have justly regarded the planting in the West of a colony of men whose patriotism was well known, a measure calculated to bind together the old and new parts of the nation, and promote union. It is presumable that much was said by Dr. Cutler upon these advantages, and that it was their importance which led the Southern numbers to favor the measure and procure the enactment of such an ordinance. In May, 1785, Congress passed an ordinance for ascertaining the mode of disposing of these lands. Under that ordinance, the first seven ranges, bounded on the east by Pennsylvania and on the south by the Ohio River, were surveyed. Sales of parts of these were made at New York in 1787, the avails of which amounted to $72,974, and other sales of the same were at Pittsburg and Philadelphia in 1796, the aggregate of these latter sales amounting to $48,566. A portion of these lands were located under United States military land warrants. No further sales were made in that district until the land office was opened at Steubenville, July 1, 1801. On the 27th of October, 1787, a contract was entered into between the Board of Treasury of the United States and the New England Ohio Company of Associates for the purchase of a tract of land bounded by the Ohio from the mouth of the Scioto to the western boundary of the survey just mentioned, thence by a line north to the northern boundary of the tenth township from the Ohio River, thence by a due west line to the Scioto, and down that river to its mouth, the point of starting. The bounds of that contract were altered in 1792 when the western boundary was set further to the east. The settlement of this purchase, commenced at Marietta in the spring of 1788, was the first permanent one formed within the limits of Ohio. An attempt at settlement had been made, however, in April, 1785, at the mouth of the Scioto, on the site of Portsmouth, by four families from Redstone, Penn., but the hostility of the Indians compelled its abandonment. The year in which Marietta was settled Congress appointed General Arthur St. Clair, an officer of the Revolution, Governor, and Winthrop Sargent, Secretary. Soon after the territorial government was organized, sundry laws were adopted, and by a proclamation of the Governor the county of Washington, then extending westward to the Scioto and northward to Lake Erie, and embracing about one-half the present State, was formed. A short time after the settlement of Marietta had commenced an association was formed under the name of the Scioto Land Company. A contract was made for the purchase of a part of the land included in the Ohio Company's purchases. Plats and descriptions of the land contracted for were, however, made out, and Joel Barlow was sent as an agent to Europe to make sales of the lands for the benefit of the company, when sales were effected to companies and individuals in France. Feb. 19, 1791, 218 of these purchasers left Havre, France, and arrived at Alexandria, D. C., on the 3d of May, following. During their passage two were added to their number. On their arrival they were told that the Scioto Company owned no land. The agent insisted that they did, and promised to secure to them good titles thereto, which he did at Winchester, Brownsville, and Charlestown (now Wellsburg). When they arrived at Marietta about fifty of them landed. The rest of the company proceeded to Gallipolis, which was laid out about that time, and were assured by the agent that the place lay within their purchase. Every effort to secure titles to the lands they purchased having failed, an application was made to Congress, and in June, 1798, a grant was made to them of a tract of land on the Ohio, above the mouth of the Scioto River, called the French Grant, which contained 24,000 acres, and was in the southeast part of what is now called Scioto County. Judge Cutler's Letter. The annexed article respecting the Scioto Company and its connection with the Ohio Company was written by Ephraim Cutler, of Washington County. Judge Cutler was the son of Rev. Manasseh Cutler, who was the agent for the New England Ohio Company, in making the contract with Congress for their lands. His opportunities for accurate information upon this subject render his testimony of great historical value; it also explains the foregoing passage more fully: "The Scioto Land Company has been the subject of considerable mystery and the cause of much misrepresentation. I am not precisely informed concerning its origin. It was probably started during the negotiation of Dr. Cutler with the old Congress, in 1787, for the Ohio Company's purchase. Dr. Cutler arrived in New York, July 5, and carried on his negotiations for a week; he was then absent another week on a visit to Philadelphia, where the convention that formed out Federal Constitution was sitting. On his return from New York the project for the Scioto Company was broached to him by Colonel William Duer, as appears by the following extract from the Doctor's journal: 'Colonel Duer came to me with proposals from a number of the principal characters in this city to extend our contract and take in another company.' "The arrangements of Dr. Cutler with the Government made room for another company. But this other association was entirely distinct from the Ohio Company. Yet it has been represented that the Ohio Company was concerned in the alleged wrongs toward the French emigrants of 1790, who were induced to come over in expectation of beneficial acquisitions of and in this quarter, by the agency Joel Barlow. But this imputation is entirely groundless. What were the actual regulations and doings of the Scioto Company previous to or connected with that agency I have never learned. Dr. Cutler contracted for a million and a half acres for the Ohio Company. In connection with his negotiations, the 'Board of Treasury' was empowered to sell all west of the seventh range up the northwest corner of township 10 to the Scioto, and south to the Ohio. This would have included Zanesville and Columbus. It was estimated at 5,000,000 acres-much below the actual amount. "The arrangements and objects of the Ohio Company and the Scioto Company are believed to have been very different. The aim of the Ohio Company was actual settlement by shareholders. The lands obtained were ultimately to be allotted in shares, of which no one was to hold more than five shares. "The object of the Scioto Company seems to have been solely and simply land speculation; to purchase of Congress-nominally at two thirds of a dollar an acre-paying mostly in continental money, at that time passing at an enormous discount, so that in fact the actual cost per acre might not be more than 8 or 10 cents, then to sell at prices which would yield them enormous profits. "That any dishonest intention was entertained by Colonel Duer or the other associates of the Scioto Company, I have no belief. Dr. Cutler speaks of the association as comprising some of the first characters in America. Their object, no doubt, was to make large profits by the purchase and sale of public lands. "It is understood that Joel Barlow was by them authorized to offer lands in France, and to invite French immigrants, but of his authority or instructions we have no specific information. In this matter the Ohio Company had as little concern as in the South Sea bubble. "But the splendid project of the Scioto Company was blighted. Probably they expected to purchase public securities to pay for their purchase of Congress at the excessively low rates of 1787. But the adoption of the Federal Constitution and the successful establishment of the Federal Government under Washington and his compatriots raised the credit of their securities and blasted the hopes of speculation. Meantime the French immigrants were coming. The Scioto purchase was not effected, and where should these immigrants go? "Certain person who styled themselves 'trustees to the proprietors of the Scioto lands' applied to General Ruful Putnam and Dr. Manassah Cutler, two of the directors of the Ohio Company, for the purchase of certain interests in this company. The persons who thus styled themselves 'trustees' were William Duer, Royal Flint and Andrew Cragie. They bargained with General Putnam and Dr. Cutler for 148 forfeited shares in the Ohio Company. The eight, three and 160 acre lots and the town lots had been already allotted and drawn. The undrawn portions- equal to 100, 262 and 640 acres to each share-were to be located in a body, in the southwest corner of the purchase, viz.: Townships 1, 2 and 3 in range 14; townships 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 in range 15; townships 1, 2 and 3 in range 16; townships 1, 2, 3, and 4 in range 16; townships 1, 2, 3, and 4 in range 17; and so much of south of township 4, range 16, and township 5 in range 17 as would make up in all 196,544 acres in this compact body. "This contract was ratified by the Ohio Company. The lands for the French settlement of Gallipolis (which is in the fourteenth range), were located and occupied, I suppose, in consequence of this arrangement. General Putnam, as agent for Duer & Co., provided, at some $2,000 expense, for the accommodation of the French immigrants there, and by the failure of Duer & Co. had to lose most or all of it. "The Scioto Company not only failed in securing the large purchase contemplated, but did not succeed in obtaining the interest for which they stipulated in the lands of the Ohio Company. They did not pay, and the contract with Putnam and Cutler became a nullity. All that was required by the contract was, that the Scioto Company associates should pay as much proportionally as the Ohio Company were to pay Congress, and relinquish to the Ohio Company the preemption right which the Scioto Company was understood to have, in reference to lands lying north of the Ohio Company's location. All was failure on the part of the Scioto Company. The French immigrants were planted at Gallipolis, and General Putnam was left to pay some $2,000 expended in behalf of the Scioto Company. "It is rather surprising that any complaint should have been made against the Ohio Company for selling the lands in and about Gallipolis to the French for $1.25 per acre. It was, in truth, an act of favor and courtesy in deference to the misfortunes of the French. The Ohio Company was under no obligation to them. They had no agency in inviting or deceiving them. How much blame there was in the case, and to whom it belonged, we are not now able to decide. Barlow was poetic, but we know now that he was intentionally false. Most probably the immigrants were greatly beguiled by their own vivid imaginations. We may well enough suppose there was more poetry than truth in the whole concern."


Return To Table of Contents Page