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ins, Geographer of the United States, assisted by a surveyor from each State, proceeded to examine and divide the newly acquired territory.
Among those, who at that time visited the region in question, was Colonel Benjamin Tupper. During the summer and fall of 1785, this gentleman, acting as temporary surveyor for Massachusetts, made himself acquainted with the country about the Muskingum; and, being fairly carried away by its beauty and seeming fertility, was strongly instrumental, it is believed, in causing its selection as the restingplace for the colony that went out nearly two years afterwards, under the patronage of the Ohio Company. Indeed, there is reason to think that Tupper's visit to the West was the immediate cause of the formation of that company; which resulted from a meeting of those entitled to land bounties, called through the newspapers by General Putnam and Colonel Tupper, in January, 1786. The meeting took place upon the 1st of March; the "Ohio Company of Associates" was organized; and the resolution taken, to collect a million dollars' worth of certificates, and to employ some one at the West, who should select a spot, for which they might definitely contract with Congress. Congress, on their part, showed a disposition to do all in their power to forward the settlement of the northwestern lands; and with that view, upon the 21st of April, 1787, passed a resolution, authorizing the sale of those surveyed townships, which might remain after the portion assigned the army had been drawn for, for public securities; the sale to commence upon the 21st of the following September, and the price not to be less than one dollar per acre.
Before this public disposition of the lands commenced, however, it was the purpose of the Associates to make a separate contract for that part of the territory, which their agent in the West might select as most suitable. This agent was General Samuel Holden Parsons, who, as Indian commissioner, had, in the year 1786, visited the Ohio country as far down, at least, as the mouth of the Great Miami, where a treaty was concluded, on the 31st of January, with "the Shawanoe nation." This gentleman, in the spring of 1787, selected, after due examination, the same spot which had
* Old Journals, Vol. IV. p. 739. Ibid. p. 627. — Land Laws, p. 258.
pleased Colonel Tupper,—the valley of the Muskingum. At the mouth of this river he proposed to have the chief city, while the purchase was to stretch along the Ohio to the mouth of the Scioto, so as to include the half of the rich valley that borders that stream. Many things acted as inducements to this selection; the beautiful scenery and rich soil upon the banks of the clear "Elk-eye";† the protection that would be afforded to the settlers by Fort Harmar, built in 1786, and then the frontier post; the near neighbourhood of Western Virginia, from which men and food might be had in time of need; the knowledge, that within the selected territory were coal, salt, and iron, ‡ and (as strong an inducement as any) the expectation, then entertained, that through the Cuyahoga and Muskingum would be the communication between the Ohio and Lake Erie, while the bulk of the Atlantic trade, it was thought, would pass the mountains from James River and the Potomac, and flow down the Kenhawa. S
One other thing is said to have influenced General Parsons; this was the advice of some persons, that were supposed to be good judges, that he should not select the spot he did. The story is this, and, as our informant had it from General Rufus Putnam, we presume it to be correct. After General Parsons had examined the country immediately about the junction of the Muskingum with the Ohio, he proceeded up the valley of the former, that he might have a view of the interior. Having gone many miles, he met with one of the Zanes, four of which family were among the most noted of the frontier rangers. || Zane was probably engaged in salt
The Scioto was early famous for its rich bottoms; "for forty miles on each side of it," says Dr. Franklin, in his Albany Plan of Union, 1754, "and quite up to its heads, is a body of all rich land; the finest spot of its bigness in all North America."
The meaning of the Indian word “Muskingum.”
In the passage, part of which we have given, from Franklin, in 1754, he refers to "the particular advantage of sea-coal in plenty, (even above ground,) in two places," which recommended the Scioto Valley.
§ See Washington's Correspondence, during 1785-6; particularly a letter to Knox (Sparks's Washington, Vol. IX. p. 110), in which he says, that the confluence of the Kenhawa and Ohio may in time "be a more eligible place than Pittsburg." Under the impression that it might be, the Ohio Company laid out, opposite to the Kenhawa, the town of Fairhaven; which is still but a small village, and will, probably, never be more.
They founded Wheeling in 1770. See Silliman's Journal, Vol. XXXI.
making at Salt Creek, which runs into the Muskingum, about ten miles below the present town of Zanesville. * Parsons, well knowing that the man he had chanced upon knew, from an acquaintance of fifteen years or more, the whole of what now forms the State of Ohio, asked his advice touching the location of the purchase which the Ohio Company proposed to make. Zane, having pondered the matter, and consulted with some of the old Delaware Indians that lived thereabout, recommended the General to choose either the Miami country, or the valley of the Scioto, in preference to that which he was then examining. What it was that made Parsons doubt the good faith of the pioneer, we know not; but he came to the conclusion that Zane really preferred the Muskingum to any other point, and wished to purchase it himself when the sales should begin during the following September.† This impression did away what little doubt still remained in his mind; and, returning to the east, he laid his proposal to contract with Congress for all the land along the Ohio, between the seventh range of townships and the Scioto, and running back as might be afterwards agreed upon, before the directors of the Company of Associates.
His choice being approved by them, he addressed a memorial to the legislature of the confederation, asking them to empower the Board of Treasury to make the proposed contract. This memorial was reported upon on the 14th of July, the day after the passage of the well-known Ordinance of 1787; and the report was passed, and the Board authorized to make the contract, upon the 23d of that month. § Information of this act of Congress having reached New York, Rufus Putnam and Manasseh Cutler, for themselves and their associates, wrote upon the 26th to the Board of Treasury, offering to accept the proposition of the report with some few variations, but providing that the company should receive no more land than they paid for. Three months
* Silliman's Journal, Vol. XXXI. p. 84.
This anecdote has been told, somewhat differently, in the American Quarterly Review, for March, 1833, p. 100. Had the writer of that article looked at the contract made by the Ohio Company, he would not have said their choice was made when the first settlers were on their way to the West; nor, had he thought a moment, would he have supposed Yankees so shiftless as to take any man's opinion pro or con, as conclusive in a matter of such importance.
Old Journals, Vol. IV. p. 755.
§ Ibid. Appendix, p. 17. Land Laws, p. 362.
passed before the contract was finally concluded,* the indenture bearing date October 27th; and, when the patents issued, in 1792, the million and a half of acres named in this contract were diminished to something over eleven hundred thousand; the rise in continental certificates having prevented the Company from securing the sum they had expected. In consequence of this non-performance, by the Associates, of their original plan, they lost the rich lands upon the Scioto, their western range of townships being the fifteenth.
All being now ready for actual emigration, a plan of the city, which was to be built at the mouth of the Muskingum, was prepared in Boston; and, by a vote of the Company in November, one hundred settlers were to be sent forward at once; being furnished with provisions while on the way to the new country, and taken into pay at four dollars per month, from their arrival at Pittsburg till the following May. Each man was to provide himself with "a good musket, bayonet, and cartridge-box"; and if he had besides an axe and hoe, and the mechanic his needful tools, he was to be transported free of cost. † Accordingly, in December, one party assembled at Danvers, Massachusetts, and upon the 1st of January a second detachment left Hartford. Their route was the old road, nearly that followed by Braddock; and it was April before the united parties left the Youghiogany, and began to float down toward their destined home; so that any who might have counted upon the wages which they were to receive after passing Pittsburg, and which were to be paid in land, must have found their farms but small, compared to their expectations.
Upon the 7th of April, 1788, this little band of fortyseven persons landed, and encamped upon the spot where Marietta now stands; and from that day Ohio dates her existence. The river, at whose mouth this first colony of the
*These matters may be found at length in the Land Laws. The price of the land was to be one dollar per acre, subject to a deduction for bad lands, not to exceed 33 cents per acre throughout. One seventh of the purchase might be paid for by warrants for military bounties.
+ Carey's Museum, 1787, Vol. II., Chronicle, page 14.
Many of the facts which we state are derived from oral testimony, in the general accuracy of which we have full confidence; many others might be brought to light by examining the newspapers of the day. The measures taken by the Ohio Historical Society, at its last session, will make perma
new settlers placed itself, was noted, even then, as the scene of many interesting historical events. At the forks of the Muskingum, upon the 9th of November, 1764, Bouquet had received from the Indians two hundred and six persons who had been made captive during the short but bloody war of Pontiac.* Near that spot the first Protestant Christians that lived in Ohio, the Moravians, built their house of worship in 1772. † There dwelt the noble-spirited Logan; and the well-known peace chief of the Delawares. § Heckewelder labored upon its banks; there, upon the 16th of April, 1781, was born his daughter Maria, the first of the "Buckeyes "; || and, in one year from that time, was enacted there the most disgraceful of all frontier acts, the murder of the Moravian Indians.¶
Upon these matters we cannot dwell; nor can we, indeed, refer to more than a few events relative to the settlement made by Putnam and his companions. As this settlement was undertaken at a time when Indian hostilities were much to be apprehended, the more remote savages having, the preceding fall, avowed their intention to oppose all attempts to civilize the northwestern wilderness, upon the ground that those, who had made the treaties of 1785 and 1786, were not authorized to do so,** one of the most prominent objects of the settlers was the renewal of these treaties; and the Indians were invited to meet the whites for that purpose in May, at a spot seventy or eighty miles up the Muskingum. Meanwhile, the governor, Arthur St. Clair, who had been appointed upon the 5th of the preceding
nent the testimony of most of the early pioneers still living. See also some papers on the history of Ohio in the Western Monthly Magazine, for 1833.
Bouquet published an account of his western expeditions of 1763 and 1764, in Philadelphia. The Indians gave up two hundred and six prisoners, and the Shawanese gave hostages for the delivery, in the spring, of a hundred more still in their hands. Holmes (Annals, Vol. II. p. 131) says, Bouquet made peace with the savages; but he only agreed to the selection of emissaries to go and make peace with Sir William Johnson; he had no authority to make peace himself.
† Doddridge's Indian Wars, p. 257.
McClung's Sketches of Western Adventure, p. 279.
§ Thatcher's Indian Biography, Vol. II. p. 122. Silliman's Journal, Vol. XXXI. p. 66.
Ibid. p. 64. Doddridge, p. 248. The writer in Silliman's Journal says, Crawford was in this expedition; but, from Doddridge's account, we think this a mistake.