SETTLEMENT OF THE MIAMI VALLEY
IN no part of the Union are there more objects of archaeological interest than in the Miami valley, in Ohio, and never before were we so well prepared to study them so successfully as at the present time. It is not our purpose, however, in these volumes to go in detail into this subject, but rather to give a brief outline of the evidences extant that this region was once the abode of that mysterious people whom, for want of a better name, we call "Mound Builders." In the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, published in October, 1883, Prof. F. W. Putnam, of Cambridge, Mass., who has taken great interest in the archaeology of Ohio, has this to say of the fortified hill in Butler county:
"Fort Hill, of which an accurate description and figure are given by Squier and Davis, is in several respects one of the most remarkable of the prehistoric works in the State of Ohio, and has not yet suffered much by the hand of man, thanks to its being difficult of access. Nature has held almost undisputed sway over the works since they were deserted, and forest trees of great age are growing upon the walls and within the enclosure. The walls of this fort are formed of stones taken from the top of the hill and from the ditch made on the inside of the walls. These walls are from eight to fifteen feet high and from twenty to thirty or more feet in width, and they enclose an area of nearly fifty acres. They are carried around the very brow of the hill, forming a continuation of its steep sides. Some conception of the antiquity of the place may be derived from the size of a decayed oak stump still standing upon the summit of the wall, which measures seven by nine feet in its two diameters, nearly three feet from the ground. This is probably the same stump which thirty-seven years ago Squier and Davis reported as having a circumference of twenty-three feet." With the exception of Ross county, Butler contains more antiquities than any other in the State. Prof. S. F. Baird pronounces it one of the most interesting spots on this continent. When it is considered that within its borders are less than three hundred thousand acres of land, the claims put forth appear to be exaggerated. And yet there are over 250 artificial mounds and seventeen enclosures. All of the latter have been surveyed and described save one. Add to these over three hundred thousand various kinds of stone implements which have been picked up, and no mean appearance is presented. Of these remains, the most celebrated is the one already mentioned and known as Fortified Hill, located in Ross township, on Section 12, and less than two and one-half miles from the Miami. The plan of the work with accompanying description was first printed in Squier and Davis' Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley, published by the Smithsonian Institution in the year (page 19) 1848. Passing over such works as contain only a description, the following books may be named which contain a delineation of Fortified Hill. Appletons' Cyclopoedia, 1873; Baldwin's Ancient America, 1872; Bancroft's Native Races of the Pacific Slope, vol. IV., 1875; MacLean's Mound Builders, 1879; Larkin's Ancient Man in America, 1880; Smithsonian Report, 1883; History of Butler County, 1883; and Allen's Pre-historic World, 1885. It is thus seen that great prominence has been given to this work.
The following bibliography of earthworks in the Miami valley is taken from an article prepared by Mrs. Cyrus Thomas, under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution, and published in Volume I of the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society publications :
Ancient earthworks six miles southeast from the town of Hamilton. Surveyed and described in 1842 by Jas. McBride, J. B. MacLean in Sm. Rep., 1881, pp. 600, 603. Diagram on page 602. These works are located partly in Fairfield township, Sec. 15, 8, and 16, and partly in Union township, Secs. 8 and 14.
Fortified Hill, on the west side of the Big Miami, three miles below Hamilton. Described and figured, Anc. Mon., pp. 16, 18, P1. vi.; also by MacLean in Mound Builders, pp. 184-187, fig. 53, and brief notice and fgure by same in Sm. Rep., 1883, p. 850. Explored, described, and figured by John P. Rogan, Thomas MS.
The A. McCormick mound, Fairfield township, on farm of Mrs. A. McCormick. Described and figured by John P. Rogan, Thomas MS.
The Wm. M. Cochran mound, one mile northeast of Bunker Hill, Reily township. Explored, described, and figured by John P. Rogan, Thomas MS.
The John Hoffman group of mounds near the central portion of the county. Explored, described, and figured by John P. Rogan,
Thomas MS. Probably the same one mentioned by John P. MacLean, situated in St. Clair township, Mound Builders, p. 214. The George Warwick mound, two miles north of Hamilton, in St. Clair township. Explored, described, and figured by John P. Rogan, Thomas MS. Noticed by J. P. MacLean, Mound Builders, p. 216.
Large circular enclosure on the west side of the Big Miami, about seven miles below Hamilton, Ross township. Described and figured, Anc. Mon. pp. 85, 86, Pl. xxx, No. 2; also by MacLean, Mound Builders, pp. 190, 191, fg. 55.
Group of six mounds in Ross township, mentioned and figured, Anc. Mon., p. 170, fig. 57, No. 1. More fully described and figured, MacLean, Mound Builders, pp. 194, 195, fg. 56.
Mound on land of J. and G. Meescopf in the southern portion of the county; one mile east of the R. Cooper mounds. Explored, described, and figured by John P. Rogan, Thomas MS. Mound on farm of Robert Cooper, Fairfield township. Explored, described, and figured by John P. Rogan, Thomas MS. Noticed by J. P. MacLean, Mound Builders, p. 181.
(page 19) The Samuel Lamdon mound, Reily township. Explored, described, and figured by John P. Rogan, Thomas MS. Brief description by John P. MacLean, Mound Builders, p. 202.
The Henry Schwarm mound, a mile and a half northwest of the village of Reily. Explored, described, and figured by John P. Rogan, Thomas MS. Probably the one in Reily township, mentioned by J. P. MacLean, Mound Builders, p. 202.
Enclosure, ditch, and mound on Seven Mile creek, near Somerville, Milford township. Described and figured by MacLean, Mound
Builders, pp. 207, 209, fg. 59. Brief notice and figure, Anc. Mon. p. 90, Pl. xxxi, No. 2.
Mound from which was taken a frog pipe and charred cloth. Reported by Thomas Dover.
Mound one mile south of Post Town station and two miles north of Middletown in which were found rolls of cloth and other relics. Reported by John S. Earhart, O. T. Mason, Sm. Rep., 1880, pp. 443, 444.
Ancient work (enclosure) on Four Mile Creek, in Oxford township. Described and fgured, Anc. Mon. pp. 29, 31, Pl. xi, No. 2 and also by MacLean Mound Builders, pp. 204, 205, fg. 58.
Ancient work (enclosure) on the bank of Seven Mile creek in St. Clair township, about fve miles north of Hamilton. Described and figured, Anc. Mon., p. 29, Pl. xi, No. 1; also by MacLean in Mound Builders, pp. 212, 213, fig. 60. The mound explored by John P. Rogan, Thomas MS.
Ancient fortification in Fairfield township. Described and figured by MacLean, Mound Builders, pp. 177, 178, fg. 49. Brief description and figure, Anc. Mon., p. 22. Pl. viii, No. 2. Ancient inclosure near the preceding. Brief notice and figure, MacLean, Mound Builders, p. 178, fg. 50.
Enclosure with oblong mound inside on the bank of Nine Mile creek, in Wayne township. Described and figured by MacLean, Mound Builders, pp. 217-220, fg. 61. Briefly noticed and figured in Anc. Mon., p. 90, Pl. xxxi, No. 3.
Square enclosure and mounds on east side of the Big Miami, about four miles below Hamilton, in the southwest part of Fairfield township. Described and figured, Anc. Mon., p. 85, Pl. xxx, No.1
Circular earthwork on east side of the Big Miami, southwest corner Fairfield township. Described and figured by MacLean,
Mound. Builders, p. 178, fg. 50. Brief notice and figure in Anc. Mon., pp. 90, 91, Pl. xxxi, No. 4. Enclosure with double walls ; mounds and ditch on the west bank of the Big Miami, four miles southwest of Hamilton, in Ross township. Described and figured Anc. Mon. pp. 30, 31, Pl. xi, No. 3; also by MacLean, Mound Builders, pp. 188, 190, fg. 54. The mound explored, described at length and fgured by J. P. MacLean, Sm. Rep., 1883, pp. 848, 849.
Mounds in Liberty township (only ancient works in this township) are mentioned by MacLean as follows : In Sec. 20, on the farm of S. Rose, one, and on the farm of D. B. Williamson, one; (page 20) in Sec. 26, on the farms of Stephen Clawson and C. Bandle, three; one in Sec. 15 and another on Sec. 34 (Mound Builders, p. 176).
Group of small works (square and oval enclosure and mound) in Union township. Described and figured in Anc. Mon., pp. 91, 92, Pl. xxxii, No. 1. More complete description by MacLean, Mound Builders, pp. 171, 172, fig. 46.
On the adjoining section (8), same township, is a small circular enclosure described and figured by MacLean, Mound Builders, pp. 172, 174, figs. 47, 48.
Ancient Fortification on the east bank of the Big Miami about six miles above Hamilton, in northeast corner Fairfield township.
Described and figured, Anc. Mon., pp. 21, 22, Pl. viii, No. 1; also by MacLean, Mound Builders, pD. 181, 183, fg. 52.
Maps and diagrams of Butler county showing location of signal mounds with explanatory notes, J. P. MacLean, Sm. Rep., 1882, pp. 752, 758. A thorough description of the various ancient works of this county, a separate description being given of each work with fig. of most of them. J. P. MacLean, Mound Builders, pp. 153, 228, figs. 46, 64 and map of the county showing location of the several works. Those described by others are mentioned separately in this catalogue under "Butler County, Ohio."
General description of the mounds of the county with special notices of the group on Sec. 21 in Ross township (same group figured in Anc. Mon., p. 170), figured, one opened. Brief description of the group on the Miami described in Anc. Mon., p. 30, P1. xi, fg. 3; one opened and figured. J. P. MacLean, Sm. Rep., 1883, pp. 844, 851.
The Langdon Mound, near Red Bank; brief notice of the mound and contents, and of another near by Mound on the farm of Mr. Gould, two miles from Reading. Brief description of the mound and contents, 16th Rep. Peab. Mus., pp. 175,176
Large enclosure, with outside ditch, on the right bank of the great Miami, near the village of Colerain. Described and figured Anc. Mon., pp. 35, 36, Pl. xiii, No. 2. (See also C. Pl. iii.) Possibly one of the works alluded to by Hugh Williamson, Obs. on Climate of America, Appendix D, pp. 189, 190.
Ancient cemetery near Madisonville. Mentioned in Anc. Nat., Jan. 1881, Vol. XV, pp. 72-73. A lengthy and illustrated description by T. W. Langdon in the Jour. Cin. Soc. Nat. Hist., V. III, pp. 40-68, p. 139, pp. 203-220, and pp. 237-257. Partial notices also in 15th Rep. Peab. Mus., pp. 63-67 and 77, and 16th Rep., pp. 1.65-167; pp. 196 and 199. Brief notice from C. L. Metz, Sm. Rep., 1880, p. 445.
A square enclosure and parallel lines, opposite side of Little Miami river from the Milford Works ; nearly opposite Milford, Clermont county. Brief description Anc. Mon., p. 95, Pl. xxxiv, A, No. 2. Also figured in Hugh Williamson's work on Climate, p. 197, fig. 2.
Ancient works in Anderson township. Notices and partial (page 21) descriptions, 16th Rep. Peab. Mus., pp. 167-174 and p. 202; also 17th Rep., pp. 339-346, 374 and 376. Noticed by C. L. Metz, Sm. Rep., 1879, p. 439.
Two circular enclosures in Sycamore township. Reported by J. P. MacLean, Sm. Rep., 1881, p. 683. 225. Brief notice and figure Fortified Hill, at the mouth of the Great Miami. Described and figured, Pres. Harrison in Trans. Hist. Soc. Ohio, Vol. I, pp. 217 (copy from op. cit.) Anc Mon., pp. 25-26, Pl. ix, No. 2.
Four mounds on the present site of Cincinnati ; opened; the articles obtained described by Dr. Drake in "Pictures of Cincinnati," p. 204, etc. Mentioned by Caleb Atwater, Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc., Vol. I, (1820) pp. 156-160.
Mound and grave at Cincinnati. Opened by Col. Winthrop Sargent, and the articles taken from them described by him in a letter to Dr. Benj. L. Barton, in 1794. Illustrated, Trans. Am. Phil. Soc., Vol. IV, (1799), pp. 177-180, and Vol. V (1802), p. 74.
The following ancient works have been found "in the precincts of the town of Cincinnati :"
Three circular embankments, two parallel convex banks, an excavation, and four mounds of unequal dimensions. Described with measurements in Western Gazetteer or Emigrant's Directory, pp. 282-283.
Mound at Sixth and Mound streets, Cincinnati. Reported by H. H. Hill, Sm. Rep., 1879, p. 438.
Aboriginal vault or oven at the junction of the two branches of Duck creek, near the Red Bank station, in the vicinity of Madisonville.
Old roadway on Sec. 11, Columbia township. Reported by C. L. Metz, Sm. Rep. 1879, p. 439.
Mound on Corn Island, near Troy. Opened. Described and contents noted by George F. Adye in a letter in Cincinnati Gazette, and quoted in Hist. Mag., Nov. 1869, Vol. VI, 2d Ser., from the Christian Intelligencer.
Earthworks and mounds in Concord and Newton townships. Brief descriptions by E. T. Wiltheiss, Papers Relating to Anthropology, from Sm. Rep. 1884, p. 38.
Embankment of earth and stone on the left bank of the Great Miami, two miles and a half above the town of Piqua. Described and figured, Anc. Mon., p. 23, Pl. viii, No. 3. Noticed also by
Drake, View of Cin. Described and figured by John P. Rogan, Thomas MS. Notice by John P. MacLean, Mound Builders, p. 27.
Below the preceding a group of works (circles, ellipses, etc.), formerly existed on the site of the present town of Piqua. Described in Long's "Second Expedition," Vol. I, pp. 54-66. Mentioned in Anc. Mon., p. 23.
Mounds and earthworks in, Washington and Spring Creek townships, on the Great Miami and its tributaries. Full description and diagram by E. T. Wiltheiss, Papers Relating to Anthropology from Sm. Rep. 1884, pp. 35-38.
(page 21)Tablets of burnt clay found on farm of W. Morrow near Piqua. Reported by E. T. Wiltheiss, Sm. Rep. 1879, p. 440.
Graded way at Piqua. Described in Long's Sec. Expd., Vol. I., p. 60. Noticed in Anc. Mon., p. 88.
Nest of flint implements, found two miles west of Centreville. Described by S. H. Binkley, Am. Antiq., Vol. III., (1881), p. 144.
Earthworks on the east bank of the Great Miami river, three miles below Dayton. Described and fgured, Anc. Mon., pp. 23-24, Pl. viii, No. 4.
Small stone mound near Alexandersville. Opened, described, and contents noted at length by S. H. Binkley, Am. Antiq. Vol. III, (1881), pp. 325-328. Young Mineralogist and Antiquarian, April, 1885, pp. 79-80.
Enclosure, partly of stone, on the bluff, two miles south of Dayton. Described by S. H. Binkley, Am. Antiq. Vol. VII (1885), p. 295. (Possibly the same as mentioned in Anc. Mon., pp. 23-24.)
Group of ancient works consisting of square, circles, and mounds, near Alexandersville and six miles below Dayton. Described and fgured, Anc. Mon., pp. 82-83, Pl. xxix, No. 1. S. H. Binkley, Am. Antiq., Vol. III (1881), pp. 192-193 and 325-328. Young Mineralogist and Antiquarian, April, 1885, pp. 79-80.
The great mound at Miamisburg. Western Gazetteer (1847), p. 295. Howe's Hist. Coll. Ohio (1847), p. 375. Anc. Mon. (1848), p. 5, fig. 1. Ohio Centen. Rep. (1877), Pl. ii. MacLean's "Mound Builders," (1879), pp. 59-60, fig. 1.
Ancient manufacturing village on the farm of M. T. Dodds, near West Carrollton. Described by S. H. Binkley, Am. Antiq., Vol. (1879), pp. 256-258.
Aboriginal cemetery on the bank of the Miami river, close to Dayton. Full description of the explorations by Aug. A. Foerste, Sm. Rep., 1883, pp. 838-844. Also noticed by S. H. Binkley, Am. Antiq., Vol. VII (1885), pp. 295-296.
A mound in the northern part of Van Buren township. Explored ; contained balls and burnt human bones. Described by C. Williamson, "Science," Vol. IX (1887), p. 135.
Fort Ancient, on a bluff in Washington township, overlooking the Little Miami, six miles east of Lebanon. Described and plan given in the "Portfolio" (Phila., 1809)_ Described and fgured by Caleb Atwater, Trans. Amer. Antiq. Soc., Vol. 1 (1820), pp. 156-159, PI. ix. Howe's Hist. Coll. Ohio, pp. 503-505. Drake's "Pictures of Cin." (1815), p. 2. Western Gazetteer, p. 292. Anc. Mon.
(1847), pp. 18-21, P1. vii. Drake's Inds. N. A. (15th Ed.), p. 58. Amer. Antiq., Vol. I (1878), pp. 49-51, and Vol. V (1883), pp. 238-239. Statement of present condition, Sixteenth Rep. Peab. Mus. (page 23) (1884), Vol. III, pp. 168-169; also by Prof. Cyrus Thomas, with figures, in "Science," Vol VIII (1886).
A mound on N. W. Quar. Sec. 23, Franklin township. Opened and briefly described.
Two mounds on the S. W. Quar. Sec. 22, Franklin township, between the turnpike and the township line. Opened. Briefly noticed by J. P. MacLean, Sm. Rep., 1883, p. 851.
Ancient forks (fortifications and mounds) near Foster's Crossing, on the hills west of the Little Miami. Brief notice by Josiah Morrow, Sm. Rep., 1879, p. 439. Reported also by J. D. Blackburn. The Miamisburg mound is the second most important one of its character perhaps in the United States. It is of perfect conical shape, some seventy feet high with the circular base of 300 feet in diameter. It is located just outside the city on one of the highways. In 1869 a number of citizens sunk a shaft from the top to two feet below its base. So far as startling revelations are concerned, the exploration was not a success. About eight feet below the summit a human skeleton was discovered in a sitting posture. A cover of clay several feet in thickness and a deposit of ashes and charcoal seemed to be the burial. At a depth of twenty-four feet was found a number of flat stones, set at an angle of forty-five degrees, and overlapping like shingles on a roof, and this may have been the top at one time. Several theories have been advanced regarding the object of the builders of this mound. It is thought to have been a place for sacrifice, or a burial mound. The failure to discover a large number of human bones within it seems to disprove these theories. It was in all probability used as a place of signaling, as it is one of a chain of similar earthen structures through this part of Ohio. Fires on its summit, which rises above the top of the surrounding forests, could be seen at a great distance. The trees which now cover it have grown since the settlement of the country by the whites.
Of the historic fortifications of the Miami valley that known as Fort Ancient is the most imposing. It is located in Warren county, on the Little Miami river, about ten miles east of Lebanon. It is on a promontory 270 feet above the river bottoms, and commands a magnificent prospect of the fertile valley below. Two ravines head near each other on the tableland to the east of the river. Along the margin of the summit of the jagged outline eroded by these streams earth has been piled all around to strengthen the natural fortification. So irregular is the line, that though enclosing but 150 acres, it measures nearly four miles in length (18,712 feet, not counting any detached works). A moderate estimate of the amount of material removed to constitute this earth wall is 9,000,000 cubic feet. Its construction would require the continuous labor of several hundred men, with primitive tools, as much as ten years. In the words of Prof. Orton, "We cannot be mistaken in seeing in the work of Fort Ancient striking evidence of an organized society, of intelligent leadership, in a word, of a strong government. A vast deal of labor was done and it was done methodically, systematically and with continuity. Here again we must think of the conditions under which the work was accomplished. * * * Not only were (page 24) the Mound Builders without the aid of domestic animals of any tort, but they were without the service of metals. They had no tools of iron; all the picks, hoes and spades that they used were made from chipped flints, and mussel shells from the river must have done the duty of shovels and scrapers. In short, not only was the labor severe and vast, but was all done in the hardest way. * * * Can we be wrong in further concluding that this work was done under a strong and efficient government? Men have always shown that they do not love hard work, and yet hard work was done persistently here. Are there not evidences on the face of the facts that they were held to their tasks by some strong control?"
If it is desired to go further into the unknown and largely conjectured past, it may be stated that the Miami valley is located well within the glaciated region of Ohio. And it is of great interest to know that when man, in a state of development similar to that of the Eskimo, was hunting the mastodon, and the reindeer, and the walrus in the valley of the Delaware, the ice-front extended in Ohio as far south as Cincinnati. At that time the moose, the caribou, the musk-ox, and reindeer ranged through the forests and over the hills of Kentucky. And, if the theory of a glacial dam at Cincinnati can be entertained, there was for a period a long, irregular lake occupying the valley of the Ohio and its tributaries, rising to the top of the blufs in all the lower portions of the valley above Cincinnati, and being as much as three hundred feet deep at Pittsburgh. The explorer at that time, coming up from the south, would have encountered an ice wall along the line which marked the glacial margin; and upon ascending it would have had before him naught but such icy wastes as Commodore Peary and Dr. Cook found while engaged in their polar expeditions. The forests and flowers south of this margin were then also very different from those now covering the area. From the discoveries of Prof. Orton and others, it may be inferred that red cedar abounded all over the southern part of Ohio. There is record of preglacial red cedar wood in Butler county, specimens of which can be seen in the cabinet of the State university. Excavations made in these glacial terraces have disclosed evidences of a preglacial race of men, which opens a new realm of conjecture. The chief value of this fact, in this connection, is to show that the work of the Mound Builders is very recent, as compared with the glacial period. The mounds and earthworks of the lost race which inhabited the Miami valley before its discovery by Europeans, are all upon the surface, being built like our present cities, upon the summits of the glacial terraces, or upon the present flood plains. Without doubt, where the antiquity of the Mound Builders is counted by hundreds of years, that of preglacial man must be counted by thousands.
To what degree of civilization the Mound Builders attained will perhaps ever remain a matter of conjecture, as they have left naught, save the mounds and the articles found in them, upon which we can base an opinion. But whatever their status as a civilized people, certain it is that the region of which we write was later allowed to become an unclaimed and unbroken wilderness. At the (page 25) of early explorations in this region there were no permanent settlements by the white race within what is now a populous territory, and with the exception perhaps of a few French traders and, a few captives among the Indians, there were within it no white people. Within this valley there are now several populous and prosperous cities, many prosperous towns and villages, and a population of approximately a million people, living under conditions of prosperity and happiness, of morality and intelligence not surpassed by any community of equal magnitude which has ever existed in the history of the world. But we must not forget that another people-another race-occupied this territory between the exodus of the Mound Builders and the entrance of the Anglo-Saxons, and that here they lived and energized for many centuries, before the advent of the white man. And in this introduction to the marvelous record of development in the Miami valley it is fitting that mention be made of our immediate predecessors, the Indians. The Miamis, of the Algonquin linguistic family, occupied all the western portion of Ohio, all of Indiana and a large portion of what is now the State of Illinois. This tribe had long occupied that territory and was once the most numerous and powerful of the tribes in the Northwest. They had no tradition of ever having lived in any other portion of the country and so they must have occupied this territory for many generations. Their principal villages were along the headwaters of the two Miamis of the Ohio, and the Miami of the Lake (now the Maumee) and along the waters of the Wabash in Indiana as far south as the vicinity of Vincennes. At the time of the treaty of Greenville they had been greatly reduced in numbers and in power, but were the oldest occupants of the Ohio territory. They claimed the right of possession in the territory between the Scioto and the Miamis, and they were at one time in possession of and entitled to the same, but in time the Wyandots seem to have been accorded the right thereto. In the traditions which the Miamis gave of their own history they stated that they had been at war with the Cherokees and Chickasaws for so long a period of time that they had no account of any time when there had been peace between them. As illustrating the ferce nature of the conflicts between the tribes north of the Ohio and those south of it in times past, it is an important fact that no tribes lived along the banks of that river or permanently occupied the contiguous territory. The Ohio as it flowed through the wilderness was and has always been considered one of the most beautiful rivers on the globe and its banks presented every allurement to. and advantages of permanent occupation. Yet, there was not on it from its source to its mouth, a distance of more than a thousand miles, a single wig-wam or structure in the nature of a permanent abode. Gen. William Henry Harrison, in an address before the Historical Society of Ohio, said:
"Of all this immense territory, the most beautiful portion was unoccupied. Numerous villages were to be found on the Scioto and the headwaters of the two Miamis of the Ohio ; on the Miami of the Lake (the Maumee) and its southern tributaries and throughout the whole course of the Wabash, at least as low as the present (page 26) town of Vincennes; but the beautiful Ohio rolled its amber tide until it paid its tribute to the "father of waters" through an unbroken solitude. At and before that time and for a century after its banks were without a town or single village or even a single cottage, the curling smoke of whose chimneys would give the promise of comfort and refreshment to a weary traveler."
There is every reason to believe that it was the ambition and efort "of the five nations to subdue, disperse or assimilate all the tribes of the Ohio valley," as stated by Dodge, in his "Indians in the Ohio valley." But they seem to have been successful only along the lake shore. In the hundred years preceding 1750, it is certain that many Indian tribes were gravitating towards the navigable rivers, rich valleys and fertile fields of Ohio. That was the most accessible and advantageous territory between the Great Lakes and the "beautiful river." There were easy portages connecting the sources of the rivers emptying into the Erie and those debouching into the Ohio; short transfers from the Cuyahoga to the Tuscarawas ; the Sandusky to the Scioto ; the Maumee to the Miami or to the Wabash. Thus the canoes of traffic and travel from the St. Lawrence to the Mississippi would traverse the natural water channels of the Ohio country. All roads led to Rome. All rivers led to and from Ohio. The cunning red man selected in peace and war these avenues of least resistance. Hence the Ohio country was a chosen center for the western tribes and in the early half of the eighteenth century the tide of permanent settlement was Ohioward. The Miamis, chief occupants of Indiana and portions of Illinois, spread into the valleys of the Maumee and the Miamis. They were divided into three tribes: the Twigtwees, or Miamis, the Piankeshawes and the Weas. Their limits were well defned and doubtless correctly described by Little Turtle: "My father kindled the first fire at Detroit; from thence he extended his lines to the head waters of the Scioto ; from thence to its mouth ; from thence down the Ohio to the mouth of the Wabash, and from thence to Chicago, over Lake Michigan. These are the boundaries within which the prints of my ancestor's houses are everywhere to be seen." The Miamis, who belonged to the Algonquin family, were a powerful nation and were undoubtedly among the earliest immigrants into Ohio. In their prime, they could command two thousand warriors, and it is claimed were the forces that met and repelled the inundating waves of the Iroquois. It must be kept in mind that the settlements of the various tribes, which came into the Ohio country, were not permanent, but were more or less shifting as tribal wars, white immigration and changing conditions required. The Indian above all else is migratory, and if he did not descend from the lost tribes of Israel, as many ethnologists claim, he certainly had the characteristics of the "wandering Jew."
It is not quite 170 years since the first white man of which we have knowledge visited the locality of the Miami valley. In 1751 Christopher Gist, accompanied by George Croughtan and Andrew Montour, passed over the Indian trail from the forks of the Ohio to the Indian towns on the Miami. Gist was the agent of an English and Virginia land company. On January 17, 1751, he and his party (page 27) were at the great swamp in what is now Licking county, known to us as the "Pigeon Roost," or "Bloody Run Swamp," which is five miles northwest from the Licking reservoir and one-half mile south of the line of the National road. Thence they proceeded to the Miami towns, which were in the region of Xenia and Springfield. In 1780, while the Revolutionary war was still in progress, Col. Bird, with a detachment of 600 Indians and Canadians, and with four pieces of artillery, left Canada, passed up the Maumee over to Loramie creek, thence to the Miami, down the same, passed the site of what eleven years later was Fort Hamilton, all a wilderness, to the Ohio, up the Ohio to the Licking, reduced several American frontier stations and returned by the same route with prisoners and plunder. And in the same year, Gen. Rogers Clark, with his Kentuckians, took up his line of march from the site of Cincinnati for the Shawnee towns on Little Miami and Mad rivers, which towns he destroyed. On this campaign he erected two blockhouses on the north side of the Ohio. These were the first structures known to have been built on the site of the city of Cincinnati. The beautiful country between the Miamis had been, so infested by the Indians that it was avoided by the whites, and its settlement might have been procrastinated for years, but for the discovery and enterprise of Major Benjamin Stites, a trader from New Jersey. In the summer of 1786 Stites happened to be at Washington, just back of Limestone, now Maysville, where he headed a party of Kentuckians in pursuit of Indians who had stolen some horses. The pursuit continued for some days, and the Indians escaped, but Stites gained a view of the rich valleys of the Great and Little Miami as far up as the site of Xenia. With this knowledge, and charmed by the beauty of the country, he hurried back to New Jersey and revealed his discovery to judge Cleves Symmes, of Trenton, a man of great influence. Symmes was about forty-four years old, a native of Long Island, had been a colonel of militia in the Revolution, and had rendered public service as lieutenant-governor of New Jersey, judge of the supreme court of that State, and member of the council and of Congress. Stites was of a speculative turn of mind and became enthusiastic over the possibilities of the Miami valley. He had but little trouble in arousing the interest of Symmes, and with the latter was associated Gen. Jonathan Dayton, Elias Boudinot, Dr. Witherspoon, and other worthies of that day. An association resembling the Ohio, or Marietta, company, was formed, Congress was asked (August, 1787) for a grant on the same terms given Rufus Putnam and his associates in the Muskingum country. The territory asked for was the lands between the two Miamis, as far back as the north line of the proposed purchase of the Ohio company. Symmes encountered considerable delay on the part of the government, but being of an enthusiastic nature, he seems to have taken it for granted that his enterprise would be approved, and began disposing of the country, in November, by covenanting to deed Stites 10,000 acres of the best lands in the valley. This he followed with a glowing prospectus, inviting settlers to select lands and avail themselves of the low price, two-thirds of a dollar per acre, before it was raised on May (page 28) 1, 1888, to one dollar. On his own behalf he reserved the nearest entire township to the mouth of the Great Miami, as well as fractional townships about it, as the site of a proposed city. There was a rush for the land bargains, and Matthias Denman, of New. Jersey, also with a town in view, took up an entire section opposite the mouth of Licking river.
While the settlers at Marietta were busy clearing fields and building log houses, in 1788, they were visited, Aug. 27, by the advance guard of the Miami colony, led by Symmes, who stopped at Marietta for a few days to perform his duties as a lawmaker for the territory. He had been appointed judge the preceding February, and thus was one of the lawmaking body of the Northwest territory. The Miami valley was, naturally, a more inviting field for settlement than the Muskingum, but it had been avoided on account of the Indian hostilities. So frequent were the forays of Kentuckians, Shawanees and Wyandots through this beautiful valley and among its verdant hills that it had become known as the "Miami slaughter house," and future events were to confirm the aptness of the title. As late as March, 1788, while Putnam and his Marietta colony were coming down the Ohio, a considerable party of explorers, including Samuel Purviance, of Baltimore, and some French mineralogists and botanists, were nearly all killed or captured by the Indians at the mouth of the Great Miami. Stites and a party of settlers landed, Nov. 18, 1788, just below the Little Miami, and founded a town called Columbia. Symmes and party were on the way, but waited at Limestone (Maysville, Ky.) for a military escort, and Denman, without a following, went to Lexington, Ky., and formed a partnership with the founder of that city, Col. Robert Patterson, a Pennsylvanian who had visited Ohio -as an officer in the Indian campaigns, and John Filson, a Pennsylvania schoolmaster who had become a Kentucky surveyor and the first of Kentucky historians. In the deal between these three, Denman received $100 in Virginia currency, and the Kentuckians each a third interest in the section opposite the mouth of Licking, where the partners proposed to found a town and call it Losantiville. Free lots being ofered as an inducement to immediate settlement, a large company of Kentuckians followed Patterson and Filson to the city cite, where they met Denman, Symmes and Israel Ludlow, chief surveyor of the Miami company, Sept. 22, 1788. A plat had been made by Filson, and the city of Cincinnati then had its dedication. But the survey and location of lots could not be made until Ludlow had ascertained if this section were within twenty miles of the mouth of the Great Miami. Symmes, in his headlong course as a promoter, had been brought to a sudden check by the fact that the treasury board did not favor his application for such a great river front, and in view of his unauthorized procedure, was disposed to have nothing to do with the project. Through the intercession of Gen. Dayton and Daniel Marsh, representing Symmes' associates, the board was brought to consent to the sale of a twenty-mile front, eastward from the mouth of the Great Miami, and running back far enough to contain one million acres, and this tract was not formally contracted (page 28) for until three weeks after the preliminary location of Cincinnati (October 15, 1788.) The matter was finally settled by a patent to Symmes and his associates, September 30, 1794, for the land between the two Miamis, and far enough inland to include 311,682 acres, from which Sections 16 and 29 were reserved for the support of education and religion, and 8, 11 and 26 for disposal by Congress; also the Fort Washington reservation, and one complete township for a college. The latter was finally selected in Butler county, though not quite complete, and is the site of Oxford. While awaiting the survey, a large part of the adventurers, as they called themselves in that day, made an excursion into the interior to view the promised land and encountered an encampment of Indians, from which they turned back. The historian, Filson, becoming separated from the party, probably was killed by the Shawanese, as he was never again heard from. The adventurers all returned to Kentucky or the east. Ludlow became the successor of Filson in the partnership. Symmes went to Limestone, and waited for the conclusion of a new treaty with the Indians to insure peace. This desired treaty was concluded by Gov. St. Clair at Fort Harmar, January 8, 1789, reaffirming the bounds set by the treaty of Fort McIntosh, as the fruit of conquest. The Iroquois chief, Joseph Brant, approached the council place, but did not participate, and it afterward appeared that the Indians present were unauthorized to bind their tribes to cede any lands northwest of the Ohio. Romance has it that Brant was met in the forest by his former acquaintance, the Governor's daughter, Louisa St. Clair, whose horsemanship and skill with the rife was the admiration of the frontier.
Meanwhile, about Christmas, 1788, or New Year's, 1789, Patterson and Ludlow and a small party returned to Losantiville, and began laying out town lots, and the first settlers of that city gathered to select their property. "On the 24th of December, 1788," says Symmes, in one of his letters, "they left Maysville to form a station and lay a town opposite the Licking." The river was flled with ice "from shore to shore," but "perseverance triumphing over difficulty, they landed safe on a most delightful high bank of the Ohio, where they founded the town of Losantiville, which populates considerably." James H. Perkins, in his Annals of the West, points out that the day of the settlement is unknown. "Some, supposing it would take about two days to make the voyage, have dated the being of the Queen City of the West from December 26. This is but guesswork, however, for as the river was full of ice, it might have taken ten days to have gone the sixty-fve miles from Maysville to Licking. But, in the case in chancery, to which we have referred, we have the evidence of Patterson and Ludlow that they landed opposite the Licking in the month of January, 1789; while William McMillan testifies that he `was one of those who formed the settlement of Cincinnati on the 28th day of December, 1788.’ "But it is quite certain that Symmes and his party were delayed until late in January. Then, on coming down the river to Fort Finney, the country about it was found under water. The disgusted military officer abandoned the fort to go to Louisville, but (page 30) Symmes landed upon the nearest dry spot and began a town, which was given his name. With the advent of pioneer recruits, North Bend was established a few miles up the river. Which of the various locations should be the center of development was in doubt until Symmes' appeal for military protection led to the placing of an army post. Ensign Luce and eighteen men built a stockade at North Bend and occupied it several months, but there was an Indian attack in the spring of 1789 that stampeded the inhabitants. Then Major Doughty came down with a larger force and in the summer of 1789 selected Losantiville as the best position and built a stockade that he called Fort Washington. The story was told by Judge Jacob Burnet that the commanding officer became "enamored with a beautiful, black-eyed female," at North Bend, whom her husband took to Cincinnati, whereupon the officer decided that the latter was the best strategic position. "This anecdote was communicated by judge Symmes," said Burnet, "and is unquestionably authentic," but judge Symmes was much offended at the officer. Gen. Josiah Harmar, commanding the regular army of the United States, which was composed of his regiment of infantry and Major Doughty's battalion of artillery, occupied this fort with the main part of his command, December 29, 1789, and Gov. St. Clair, stopping there on his way to the Wabash and Mississippi, established, January 2, 1790, a new county, which Symmes named in honor of Alexander Hamilton. The name of the town St. Clair changed to commemorate the title of the new military order, the Cincinnati. This county included the country between the Miamis back to the Standing Stone forks of the larger river. Cincinnati, as the seat of an unsettled county, began, in a squalid and barren fashion, its history as the metropolis of the Ohio valley. In 1792 (February 11), Gov. St. Clair extended the county jurisdiction to include all west of the Scioto and a line north from the lower Shawanee down to Sandusky bay, and east of a line from Standing Stone forks of the Great Miami to Lake Huron, including all Eastern Michigan.
In 1795, Gen. Wayne had made a treaty with the Indians, at Greenville, by which the line of the lands of the United States had been extended from Loramie's, westward to Fort Recovery, and thence southward to the mouth of the Kentucky river. The boundary of Hamilton county was extended westward, June 22, 1798, to make it correspond with this change in the boundary of the government territory. The line between Hamilton and Knox counties then became : "The western boundary of the county of Hamilton shall begin at the spot, on the bank of the Ohio river, where the general boundary line of the United States and the Indian tribes, established at Greenville the third day of August, 1795, intersects the bank of that river, and run with that general boundary line to Fort Recovery, and from thence by a line to be drawn due north from Fort Recovery, until it intersects the southern boundary line of the county of Wayne, and from thence to the southern boundary of the county of Wayne, shall also be the eastern boundary of the county of Knox." Hamilton county in this way got a part of Knox county, and a part of what is now Indiana.
(page 31) The settlements mentioned were not to enjoy peaceful conditions for a number of years. The Miami valley, as a part of the Northwest territory had passed to the United States and had been opened to their people. But the Indians were still in a large measure its occupants and in some degree its owners. They began to feel the pressure of the white settlements, and they began to commit depredations and destroy property and even lives of the settlers. Gen. Josiah Harmar, a Revolutionary veteran, was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the United States army, September 29, 1789, and was at once directed to proceed against the Indians. He centered a force of some fifteen hundred men at Fort Washington (Cincinnati). His army consisted of some three hundred regulars and eleven hundred "militia," which really meant indiscriminate volunteers mostly from Kentucky, aged men and inexperienced boys, many of whom had never fired a gun. "There were guns without locks and barrels without stocks, borne by men who did not know how to oil a lock or fit a flint." With this "outfit" Gen. Harmar proceeded (September 30, 1790), into the heart of the Indian country, around the headwaters of the Maumee and the Miami. The Indians, less than two hundred, say the historians, led by the Miami warrior, Chief Little Turtle, divided the army, defeated and routed them, and Harmar, chagrined and humiliated, retreated to Fort Washington after suffering great loss of men. It was a stunning blow and created dismay and terror among the Miami valley settlers. The Indians were highly elated and emboldened to further and more aggressive attacks upon their white enemies. It was now evident to the government that large measures must be taken to establish the authority of the United States among the Indians and protect their Ohio settlements. Washington called Gov. St. Clair to Philadelphia, and with the approval of Congress placed him in command of an army to be organized for a new Indian expedition. On October 4, 1791, Gen. St. Clair, at the head of some three thousand troops, hardly better in quality than those under Harmar, set out from Fort Washington. The plan was to proceed northward along the present western line of the state and establish a line of Forts to be properly maintained as permanent points for military operation and protection. Forts Hamilton, St. Clair and Jefferson, the latter near Greenville, were erected. But when the expedition, now about twenty-five hundred strong, had reached a branch of the Wabash in what is now Mercer county, some thirty miles from Fort Jefferson, it was attacked by an allied force of Indians, fifteen hundred strong, under Little Turtle. It was a desperate, irregular combat, the troops were completely demoralized and panic stricken, and indulged in "a most ignominious f light," with the woeful loss of over six hundred killed and two hundred and fifty wounded, a loss equal to that of the American army at Germantown, when Gen. Washington suffered one of the worst defeats and greatest losses of the Revolution. The Indian question had now become more serious than ever before, and there was great danger of the disaffection spreading among the Six Nations, with whom the whites had been at peace since the treaty of Fort Harmar. Washington anxiously scanned (page 32) the list of officers for a reliable successor to St. Clair. The choice finally fell upon Anthony Wayne, the dashing, intrepid hero of Ticonderoga, Germantown, Monmouth and the storming of Stony Point. Wayne arrived at Fort Washington in April, 1793, and by October had recruited his army and was ready to move. He cautiously crept his way into the interior as far as Fort Greenville, which he erected, and where he spent the winter, and whence he forwarded a detachment of several hundred to build Fort Recovery, in commemoration of the defeat of St. Clair, at that point. This fortification was attacked by the advancing Indians, one thousand strong, under their puissant general, Little Turtle, who made a desperate charge only to be repulsed and compelled to retreat. It was their frst serious check. In August, 1794, Wayne with his
"Legion," as his army was called, reached the confluence of the Auglaize and Maumee. Here he established another link in the chain of forts, named Defiance. The Indian allies had concentrated about thirty miles down the river at the rapids of the Maumee, near the British fort, Miami, one of the post retained by the English at the close of the Revolutionary war and then recently reoccupied by an English garrison from Detroit, under the direction of John G. Simcoe, lieutenant-governor of Canada. The feld chosen for battle was at the Falls of the Maumee on the wind swept banks, covered with fallen timber. The savages were outwitted and overwhelmed. They fed in wild dismay toward the British fort. Wayne's triumph (August 20, 1794), was complete, the brilliant and dashing victory of Stony Point was won again. The Indian warfare was shattered, and the red man began to realize his critical condition. The famous Greenville treaty was entered into in August, 1795, between Gen. Wayne for the United States and the representatives, over eleven hundred in all, of some eleven leading Indian tribes. This treaty removed that influence which for six years had prevented the development of the colony planted in the Miami valley, and it was now possible to extend settlements uninterrupted into that region.
At the time of the Treaty of Greenville there were gathered under the protection of Fort Washington and close to the stockades of Columbia, North Bend, and the dozen or more stations in that vicinity, several hundred anxious settlers who hailed that event as the beginning of an era of peace and security and an opportunity for better times. "The return of peace gave them new ambitions and new hopes." They removed from their forts into the adjacent country, selected farms, built cabins, and began to subdue the forests. So decisive was this movement that, for a time, the curious phenomenon presented itself of settlements like Cincinnati, North Bend and Columbia, in a new and growing country, actually losing a large part of their population. In evidence of this, Miller, in his Cincinnati's Beginnings, says that judge Symmes wrote to Jonathan Dayton, August 6, 1795, that North Bend was reduced more than one-half in its number of inhabitants since he had left to go to New Jersey, in February, 1793; that the people had spread themselves into all parts of the purchase below the military range since the Indian defeat on August 20, and that the cabins were (page 36) deserted by dozens in a street. Another thing that had in some measure contributed to this exodus was the demand that Symmes had made on all volunteer settlers to go out and improve on their forfeitures in the course of the year, as the truce with the Indians afforded a very favorable opportunity for the purpose. News of the treaty also accelerated the westward movement and deflected to the northwest territory many of those who otherwise probably would have gone into Kentucky. And many people who had settled below the Ohio river when the Indian wars were raging north of it now crossed the river and became numbered with the settlers in the future states of Ohio. Four important centers of settlement within the present limits of the state received the newcomers, the Western Reserve in the neighborhood of Cleveland, the Marietta district, the Scioto district in the neighborhood of Chillicothe, and the Miami valley.
These settlers were engaged for a time almost exclusively in the primitive occupations of the wilderness. They built their own cabins and made for themselves a rude sort of necessary furniture and utensils. Preparatory to the development of a clearing the trees were deadened and soon a crop of Indian corn was planted to supply the necessities of the family. And the pioneer was a hunter as well as a primitive farmer. His time was occupied for several seasons with clearing the forest, securing a sufficient food supply, and possibly improving his cabin so that it would be more habitable. His limitations under such circumstances did not permit him to produce a surplus, and so he was enabled to buy little or nothing. He and his family were compelled to be manufacturers of a primitive sort, as store goods were necessarily denied them. They dressed in clothing made of skins or fax raised and spun and woven at home. An important step in advance was made when a few sheep were secured and linsey woolsey was substituted for cloth of pure fax. In some instances the pioneer was only a squatter, while in others he had enough money to make the first payment on his land and thus held the title in his own name.
From the very beginning of this great rush of individual settlers "men of capital and enterprise in the older settlements became interested in securing claims and titles to extensive bodies of land and in leading forth colonies for their occupation," says Monette, in his History of the Mississippi Valley. Seventeen days after the conclusion of the treaty of Greenville, a company composed of a number of gentlemen who were prominent in the affairs of the Northwest territory made a joint purchase of land from John Cleves Symmes and subsequently laid out the town of Dayton at the junction of the Great Miami and Mad rivers. Those interested were: Winthrop Sargent, Secretary of the Territory; Gen. James Wilkinson, Jonathan Dayton, who was one of the original owners of the Miami purchase, and Israel Ludlow. The last named had already identified himself with the early history of Cincinnati by surveying the town site and also establishing Ludlow's Station, now Cumminsville. In December, 1794, he had laid out the town of Hamilton, under the protection of Fort Hamilton on the Great Miami, and now he was called upon to lay out what was to become (page 34) the first city of importance in the Miami valley, north of Cincinnati.
But Judge Turner seems to have anticipated the founders of Dayton, for on the day before they had completed their purchase from Symmes the Centinel of the Northwest Territory published an advertisement, saying that, "Encouragement will be given to the first ten families who will go and form a station on a township of land lying with a front of several miles upon the eastern bank of Mad river." And in the following March, Robert Benham, who appears to have been agent for Turner, advertised in the same periodical, a sale of lots in the town of Turnerville on Mad or Chillekothi river.
An unusual thing in that early day was an editorial in a frontier newspaper, but following Wayne's treaty with the Indians the rush of population to the Mad river country was of such importance as to induce Editor Maxwell, of the Centinel, to produce the following, in his issue of April 2, 1796:
"It is with great satisfaction that we can announce to our readers the rapid strides of population and improvement on the frontiers of this country. The banks of the Mad (or as called by the Indians) Chillekothi river, display at this moment hopeful appearances. But yesterday that country was a waste, the range of savages and prowling beasts; today we see stations formed, towns building, and the population spreading. At the mouth of the river on the eastern side now stands the town of Dayton, in which are already upwards of forty cabins and houses, with the certain prospect of many more. Three and twenty miles above this in the forks of the river, a town called Turnerville will shortly be laid out on an admired plan, and from whose situation many advantages may be expected, as roads to the lakes and Pittsburgh intersect at this point. Stations in the neighborhood are already in forewardness, and a mill will shortly be built on a fne never failing seat within a mile or two from town. Two stores of goods will be opened there in the course of the Spring*** Thus we have a certain prospect of a flourishing frontier, that in the case of a renewal of Indian hostilities, will be a shield to the older and more popular settlements within the Miami Purchase."
Individual settlements were pushing up the (valley of the Little Miami and in 1798 the town of Waynesville was located in the wilderness on the banks of that river. In the opening year of the new century we find judge Symmes again active in a personal endeavor to extend the frontier. The Western Spy, published at Cincinnati, of March 26, 1800, contains a communication from him calling a meeting at John Lyon's tavern on Millcreek of those gentlemen who intended to become adventurers on "Scioto and Whetstone waters" to enter into articles of regulation, elect a foreman and inform each other who would furnish wagons, oxen or horses, for the purpose of transporting utensils of husbandry and provisions to the new settlement. In one week after the meeting the party was to march in a body to the place of settlement with their wagons, pack horses, cattle, sheep and hogs.
But before their dreams could be realized these ambitious town (page 35) builders were compelled to wait for a further agricultural development. At first the best that they could hope for was a limited population of the squatter class and possibly an occasional farmer, who settled in or near one of these proposed towns in hopes of a larger social intercourse, than could be secured on a wilderness farm.
The area of unoccupied land was so great, notwithstanding the great movement of population to the Northwest territory, that for many years, after the treaty of Greenville most of the country was sparsely settled and large areas of native forest remained untouched. In 1797, a traveler passing in a northwesterly direction from Manchester to the Little Miami river found but one cabin on the trace between those points. That one was built by a Mr. Van Metre, about seven miles from where Newmarket, Highland county, is now located. A man by the name of Wood had built a mill on the little Miami and there were several cabins in that vicinity. On the return trip the same traveler passed but two homes between Cincinnati and Chillicothe. Bailey, in his journal of a Tour, tells of passing down the Ohio in 1797 and remarks that "this tract of country lying between the two Miamis is the only properly settled country on the north side of the Ohio; for though there are a few scattered plantations along the banks of the Ohio, and on some of the rivers which run into it, yet they are too widely diffused to assume any corporate form." But at this time the whole southern bank of the Ohio, from Limestone to Louisville, had begun to assume a civilized appearance, according to the same writer. About 30,000 settlers found their way into Ohio in the first five years following the treaty of Greenville, and thus the population was increased from about 15,000, in 1795, to about 45,000, in 1800, a gain of 200 per cent. Of this number, 14,629 were living in Hamilton county. However, it must be remembered that at that time Hamilton county included practically the entire Miami valley. Its eastern boundary was identical with the present eastern boundary of Clermont county to the northeast corner of that county, and from there it extended north to the Indian treaty line. The treaty line formed both its northern and western boundaries, and Hamilton county thus included a small part of what is now Southeastern Indiana. This gave Hamilton county at that time an area of about 4,000 square miles and a population of a little over three and a half persons per square mile. That part of the Miami valley west of the river and north of the latitude of Dayton was almost entirely unoccupied.
That speculation in land became a flourishing business is indicated by the numerous newspaper advertisements of the time, and the land law of 1800 did much to accelerate the movement of population into the Miami valley. For the next few years almost every edition of the Cincinnati papers contained numerous advertisements of land for sale. Small tracts were sometimes ofered, but generally the advertisements were for tracts of from 500 to 2,000 acres. Proximity to a mill site or a navigable stream, or on a road recently laid out, or near a community already somewhat settled added much to the value of the land. Notwithstanding that a large area had (page 36) been opened to settlement by the land law of 1800, and the minimum price had been fixed at $2 per acre, the price continued to advance, according to the Western Spy and Miami Gazette of November, 1815, especially near the few towns that were beginning to become local centers of industry and trade. And Melish, in his Travels in the United States, says that in 1805 good land near the mouth of the Great Miami was offered at $6.50 per acre, and that as late as 1809 uncleared land could be purchased as low as $5 per acre.
By 1805 immigration to Ohio and the Miami valley was truly astonishing. Says the American Pioneer: "New settlements and improvements were springing up along the banks of the Ohio; and the busy hum of civilization was heard where silence had reigned for ages, except when broken by the scream of the panther, the howl of the wolf or the yell of the savage." There were no less than twelve towns in the distance between Cincinnati and Limestone, and some of them were of considerable importance. Espy, in his Memorandum of a Tour, estimated that from 20,000 to 30,000 immigrants had come into Ohio within that year. Many of them who settled in Southern Ohio came from the southern states, whence they had emigrated to escape the environment of slavery. The Western Spy and Miami Gazette of January 8, 1806, says that one ferry at Cincinnati, within eight months of 1805, transported 2,629 immigrants from the southern states. Of that number North Carolina furnished 463, South Carolina 669, Kentucky 568, Tennessee 200, Virginia 465, and Georgia 264. It is difficult to say what proportion of this population from the south settled in the Miami valley, but it must have been small in comparison with the number of settlers arriving from the free states. According to the Cincinnati directory for 1825, the immigrants from the southern states and their descendants then living in Cincinnati formed but 14 per cent of the inhabitants.
The most important centers of population in the interior at this time were Dayton and Lebanon. In 1806 Dayton contained about forty houses, was situated in the midst of a prosperous farming community, and an excellent beaten public road, the borders of which were sprinkled with settlements and neat and improved farms, connected that town with Hamilton. And Ash, in his Travels in the United States, says that Lebanon was situated in the midst of a fne agricultural region that had been settled within five years, and that it had a church and schoolhouse and a population of about 200 inhabitants, living in neat log and frame houses. Other towns not heretofore mentioned that were marked on Rufus Putnam's map, which was published in 1804, were Newtown, Williamsburg, and Deerfield. This map, prepared by the Surveyor General of the United States, near the beginning of the last century, located but ten towns in the Miami valley, and none of them, except Cincinnati, was much more than a collection of log cabins. This great increase in population in the Miami valley between 1795 and 1805 must have meant considerable agricultural development and the production of a surplus that the farmer would desire to exchange for commodities that he could not produce. This (page 37) surplus was the basis of the early commerce of the Miami valley ; and the improvement in means of transportation and the building of a commercial system were two most important questions that the pioneers had to meet. And this surplus called for a trade center to which the produce of the region might be brought for export and from which also imported goods could be distributed. The building of Fort Washington at Cincinnati had given that place an advantage over other points in the Symmes purchase during the Indian wars, and to the remainder of the Miami valley, it was the most accessible point on the Ohio. It at once became the metropolis. In early settlements there have always been a number of the well-to-do among the settlers who were prepared to buy some of the conveniences of life, even at frontier prices. To accommodate such as these, traders followed closely the advance line of the frontier; therefore, soon after the founding of Columbia and Losantiville, there were merchants in the Miami valley who were prepared to furnish to the army and to the settlers whiskey and tobacco and some of the more necessary articles of eastern and foreign production. Although such commercial operations must have been limited because of the small number of immigrants who were prepared to indulge in the luxury of store goods, there were several merchants advertising groceries and dry goods for sale in Cincinnati before the time of Wayne's victory. Judging by an advertisement which appeared in the Centinel of Northwest Territory on November 29, 1793, and again on January 4 and February 22, 1794, one enterprising tradesman even considered that this frontier community had so far advanced in the scale of civilization as to be a market for imported wines. And in the same newspaper, on Nov. 30, 1793, another advertised that he would receive corn, beef, pork, butter, cheese, potatoes, furs and skins at his store in Columbia, in exchange for merchandise, groceries, etc.
But beyond the sale of a few commodities to the settlers under the protection of the guns at Fort Washington, there was no opportunity for an extension of commercial operations before the treaty of Greenville, but following that, trade was much stimulated by the rush of population to the Miami valley, as most of the immigrants to this region landed at Cincinnati, and perhaps not a few of them bought some necessaries before breaking into the wilderness. It was also increased by the fact that Cincinnati became the grand depot for stores that came down the Ohio, bound for the forts that were located near the Indian treaty line, as we are informed by Bailey, in his journal of a Tour.
These pioneer merchants were usually young men with abundant energy and small capital. McBride, in his Pioneer Biography of Butler county, says that such a one would purchase a stock of goods in Philadelphia or Baltimore and transport it in wagons over rough roads to Pittsburg at a cost of from $6 to $10 per hundredweight. There he would buy a flatboat or a keel-boat, load his goods in it, and float them down the river. He was usually unacquainted with the stream, and if the water was low he would be frequently in danger from sand bars, snags and other obstructions. If fortunate he would reach Cincinnati within fifteen or (page 38) twenty days. Perhaps he would stop there, or maybe hire a team and haul his goods to one of the inland settlements. Referring again to the Centinel of the Northwest Territory, issue of May 23, 1795, one of those pioneer merchants, having established himself, advertised that he had just arrived from Philadelphia with a large assortment of dry goods and groceries which he would sell on very low terms for cash only. These merchants usually found, however, that frontier conditions were unfavorable to the maintenance of cash sales; yet the general impression prevailed that these early dealers made enormous profits and generally were able to increase their stock as rapidly as the expanding business of the country demanded. But this early business of supplying eastern goods to settlers admitted of little expansion, for any considerable commercial development must depend upon the production of a surplus of agricultural products. As the Miami valley was rich in agricultural possibilities, the energetic pioneer farmer did not keep trade waiting long for those products that were to furnish the basis of early commerce.
But for the first ten years following the treaty of Greenville, the growth of Cincinnati was slower than for any succeeding period of its early development, nor did it in any way keep up with the development of the Miami valley. In 1795 the population was about 500. By 1805 it had increased to about 960. This was an average increase of forty-six persons, or less than 10 per cent per year. In all it amounted to 90.2 per cent in ten years, whereas the increase of the Miami valley for the same period was about 480 per cent. This relatively slow increase may be easily understood when we remember that in 1795 the Miami valley, outside of the few settlements on or near the Ohio, was an uninhabited region and could supply nothing as a basis of commercial life. Agriculture must be developed before there could be any considerable growth in the towns of the region. So, while the preliminary house-raising, and clearing and planting was going on, Cincinnati in a great measure seemed to have been playing a waiting game. She could do nothing else. She received great numbers of immigrants and retained but a few of them. A few incomplete pictures have been left, in the Cincinnati directory of 1819 and in Burnet's Notes on the Settlement of the Northwest Territory, that may in some degree assist us in an appreciation of the growth of Cincinnati during the first decade following the treaty. In 1795 the 500 inhabitants were housed in ninety-four log cabins and ten frame houses, and the public improvements, aside from Fort Washington, consisted of an unfinished frame schoolhouse, a strong log building occupied as a jail and a Presbyterian church. The jail was ornamented with a pillory, stocks, and whipping post. The church was a building, 40x30, enclosed with clapboards, neither lathed, plastered nor ceiled. The floor was of boat plank laid loosely on sleepers and the seats were of the same material supported by blocks of wood. In the work called American Pioneer it is stated that by 1805 the log cabins of Cincinnati had decreased to fifty-three and the frame buildings then numbered 109. There were also six brick and four stone houses. The town boasted of two churches, a court (page 39) house and a prison. Large warehouses had arisen near the water for the storing of groceries and merchandise, brought up in barges and keel boats from New Orleans. The abandonment of Fort Washington, which occurred in 1803, was probably the most significant change to be noticed. Like all other frontier forts of its kind, when no longer needed, it was falling into decay. In 1808 the government sold the property and the land was soon afterward divided into city lots. Says Mansfeld in his Memoirs of Dr. Daniel Drake : "The enlivening notes of the fife and drum at Reveille were no longer heard, and the loud booming of the morning gun as it rolled its echoes along the hills and the winding shores along the river had ceased to awaken the inhabitants from their slumbers. * * * The enlivening hum of commerce was now beginning to be heard on the landings, while the hustle and hurry of hundreds of immigrants thronged the streets as they took their departure for the rich valleys on the banks of the Miamis."
However, the streets were yet in a state of nature and the roads consisted of traces of narrow pathways, almost impassable on account of mud, stumps and roots. According to the Cincinnati directory for 1819, in what is now the very heart of the city many of the forest trees were still standing and the trunks of others which had been cut down encumbered the ground for several years afterward. Such in brief, was the metropolis of the Miami valley ten years after the treaty of Greenville. (Treaty signed in 1795.)
We have seen that the decade between 1795 and 1805 was a period of locating frst settlements and clearing new farms. A few towns were located and the more important roads were marked out. The production of a surplus was begun, a commercial system had been organized and the manufacture of a few articles had commenced on a small scale. Yet the entire region retained its former character and the development of the Miami valley was only begun. After the demands of the home were met, those farmers who were near Cincinnati or some other center into which the settlers were moving, found a limited market among the newcomers. A little later the surplus corn, wheat, pork, whiskey, etc., began to demand a larger market, and no place in the Mississippi valley could furnish such a market, as the entire region was agricultural in character. The long and expensive haul prevented sending this surplus over the mountains to the east, and so the only outlet was by flat-boat down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans, there to reshipped to the eastern seaboard or to a foreign market. But the attitude of Spanish officials toward this trade was unsettled and wavering. High tariffs for the privilege of deposit and reshipment were the rule, and it was not uncommon for whole cargoes to be confiscated. This situation, however, had existed prior to the Spanish treaty of Oct. 27, 1795, which gave Americans the free navigation of the Mississippi and allowed them to use New Orleans as a place of deposit and reshipment. The adjustment of this difficulty with Spain was of much importance to the older settlements south of the Ohio, and it came at an opportune moment for the Miami valley. Two months before that event, the Treaty of Greenville had been signed, and by 1805 all of those western influences (page 40) that affected immigration were in full force. The first break into the wilderness had been made, it was seen that the land would produce abundantly, favorable land laws had been passed, Ohio had become a state, and the annexation of Louisiana had removed every obstacle to the free navigation of the Mississippi river. These influences, combined with the decline of commerce and the hard times that followed as a result of the embargo of 1807, sent an increasing number of settlers into the west, and no section profited by this more than did the Miami valley.
But other problems presented themselves for solution in the matter of marketing the surplus products of the farms. In the first place, there were no roads over which produce might be transported. As centers of population grew, trails were made which later were developed into wagon routes, but it was many years before any of these were passable for loaded wagons, except in the most favorable seasons. The forest must be cleared, improvements on the farms must be made, and population must be increased before highway construction could proceed on any considerable scale. Before 1809 roads had been located connecting the principal towns of this region, and four principal routes extended from Cincinnati through Southwestern Ohio and one through Kentucky to Lexington. One of these roads led up the Ohio to Columbia and from there through Williamsburg, Newmarket and Bainbridge to Chillicothe; another led down the river to Cleves. Two roads led to the north-one to Lebanon and the other through Hamilton and Franklin to Dayton. Dayton was also connected with Springfeld, Urbane and Piqua. The road to Hamliton followed the old military trail used by St. Clair and Wayne. From Hamilton a road led northwest to Eaton and another led eastward through Lebanon to Chillicothe. Those highways connecting points in the Miami valley with Chillicothe were of particular importance, as they joined, some miles east of that point, with the main road to the east. Melish, in his Travels in the United States, says that this was originally the trace located by Ebenezer Zane, in 1795, extending from Wheeling to Maysville via Zanesville, Lancaster and Chillicothe. Between 1800 and 1810 Hamilton county had been subdivided by the admission of Ohio and by the-formation of new counties. Eight of these new counties lie entirely within the original boundaries of Hamilton county and in 1810 returned a population of 75,349, or more than one-third of the population of the entire state. This was an average of a little more than twenty-one persons per square mile, whereas the average of the entire state was 5.8 per square mile. Hamilton county showed a density of 38 persons per square mile; Butler county 36; Warren 23; Montgomery 15; and Miami 9.9. Within the present boundaries of Hamilton county alone there were living 629 more people than occupied the whole Miami country a decade before.
Although numerous roads had been laid out in Southwestern Ohio before the beginning of the War of 1812, no effort had been made to improve them, and they were impassable for a loaded wagon the greater part of the year. This condition must have retarded the agricultural development of the country, and during the (page 41) war it so seriously interfered with the movements of the northwestern army as to bring about a proposal for a series of military roads. And the war seems to have retarded immigration to some extent, as an estimate made in 1815 gave the average density of population in the Miami country as but twenty-three to the square mile. Generally speaking, the growth of the towns was hardly keeping pace with the development of the country, although a few of them were growing rapidly. In Dayton the number of houses was doubled within three years, and in 1809 it contained a brick courthouse and four other brick buildings. South of Third street was called Cabin Town, while on Main street were located thirteen log cabins, two frame and two small brick houses, a tavern and a courthouse. Within the same period the number of houses in Lebanon had increased from about forty to about one hundred; while Franklin had about sixty houses and was rapidly increasing. Columbia and Hamilton both seemed to suffer by the influence of more favorably situated Cincinnati. Columbia, although established more than twenty years, contained but forty houses, and Hamilton, the first town to be laid out in the interior of the Miami valley after Wayne's victory, had ten or fifteen, according to Cutler, in his description of Ohio. By 1815 there were about ten towns in the Miami country that contained forty or more houses, but Kilbourn, in the Ohio Gazetteer, says that not more than four of them, except Cincinnati, contained as many as 100. Troy was as yet only a village of a few cabins.
The general advance of the section is probably well indicated in the rise in value of real estate. The following estimate was made by Dr. Drake in 1815: Within three miles of Cincinnati the price of good unimproved land was between $50 and $150 per acre. From this limit to the extent of twelve miles from the city land ranged in value from $10 to $30 per acre. Near the principal villages of the Miami valley the price was from $20 to $40 per acre, and in more remote sections from $4 to $8. An average for the settled portions of the valley, for fertile and uncultivated land, may be stated at $8 per acre, and if cultivated at $12 per acre.
The rapid development of the valley soon brought about the production of an ever increasing surplus that furnished the basis of a commerce that was to build up Cincinnati as a metropolis. The very slow growth of that city during the first decade following the treaty of Greenville has already been noted, but by 1805 products were flowing in that direction for export in such quantity as greatly to increase the commerce and accelerate the growth of population. The census of 1810 returned a population of 2,320, which showed a gain of 201 per cent within fve years ; while within the preceding decade the gain had been but 90 per cent. The War of 1812 seems to have retarded slightly the growth of population in the metropolis, as well as in the tributary region, but regardless of that the population had grown to about 6,000 by 1815. This was a gain of 158 per cent, or about 43 per cent less than for the preceding five years.
In Cuming's Tour, Thwaite's Travels, a traveler of the year 1808 described Cincinnati as covering more ground and seeming to (page 42) contain nearly as many houses as Lexington. Many of the houses were of brick, generally well built, and had an air of neatness about them that was characteristic of Connecticut and New Jersey, from which many of the settlers came. Some of the new brick houses were three stories high, with flat roofs, and one four stories high was then building. The Burnet residence, at Third and Vine, and the Suydam residence, where Sedamsville was afterward located, were the most imposing.
For a knowledge of Cincinnati immediately before and after the War of 1812, we are largely indebted to Dr. Daniel Drake, one of the most honored citizens in the early days of the city. As a boy he settled there when it was a small village composed largely of log cabins. He continued to reside in Cincinnati, with the exception of a brief interval, until the time of his death, some time in the fifties ; and in his time no man surpassed him in promoting the economic and intellectual welfare of the community of his adoption. In 1810 he published Notices Concerning Cincinnati, the first of a long line of books, describing the Queen City of the West. This little book gives but a brief glimpse of the frontier metropolis, as the most of it is taken up with topographical and other physical conditions of the Miami valley. Five years later he published A Natural and Statistical View of Cincinnati, which gives a good picture of the then youthful western city. It was written for the purpose of encouraging immigration, but its evident honesty and sincerity is in striking contrast with pamphlets that have been issued by some boom towns of a more recent period. This booklet states that in 1810 the residents of Cincinnati were domiciled in 360 dwelling houses, chiefly of brick and wood; about two-thirds of them were in the bottom and the rest were "on the hill." Main street, the principal thoroughfare, was well built up to Sixth or Seventh, but as yet all of the streets were unimproved. The town contained a courthouse, three market houses, two printing offices, a bank of issue and about thirty mercantile stores.
To the same source we turn for the chief facts about the subject of our study at the close of the War of 1812. By this time the population of Cincinnati was not far from that of Pittsburg, and by 1820 it exceeded that of Pittsburg by 2,359. It extended a half mile back from the river and occupied nearly a mile of the river front. Of its 1,110 houses, twenty were stone, 250 brick and 800 wood. There were four places of public worship and the Cincinnati Lancaster Seminary was housed in a commodious building that would accommodate 900 students.
There was a regular influx of immigrants to Cincinnati for some years after the close of the War of 1812, and for a period of five years the increase in population was more than 700 annually. A visitor has left us the following flattering description of conditions in 1817: "Cincinnati * * * a most thriving place, backed as it is already by a great population and a most fruitful country, bids fair to be one of the first cities of the west. We are told and we cannot doubt the fact, that the chief of what we see is the work of four years. The hundreds of commodious, well finished brick houses, the spacious and busy markets, the substantial public (page 43) buildings, the thousands of prosperous, well dressed individuals with industrious habits, the numerous wagons and drays, the gay carriages and elegant females, * * * the shoals of craft on the river, the busy stir prevailing everywhere, house building, boat building, paving and leveling streets, the numbers of country people, constantly coming and going, with the spacious taverns, crowded with travelers from a distance." Another said that the "general appearance is clean and handsome; indeed elegant and astonishing when we reflect that less than forty years ago it. was the resort of Indians and the whole surrounding country a wilderness full of wild beasts and savages."
Between 1815 and 1820 immigration to the Miami valley was rapid, and it was stated that the growth of population had been so rapid that many good towns and villages had arisen on different streams, but a few miles distant from each other, between which there was hardly any road or communication. This statement was made by Palmer in his journal of Travels in the United States, and the same author, in describing the road leading from Cincinnati to Lebanon, said : "We pass through a thickly, but lately settled country, frame and log houses, and cabins, and fine farms of corn, wheat, rye and oats; * * * the smoke of the fire made in burning trees and underwood rising around us, and large fields of naked trunks and branches of the girdled trees meet the eye at every turn of the road."
The west was too new and too sparsely settled to be interested when the rage for turnpikes spread over the east in the latter part of the first decade of the nineteenth century, but when the great rush of population into Ohio began after the close of the War of 1812, and an increasing agricultural product had to be marketed, there was an agitation for better roads, and several turnpikes companies were chartered to build roads connecting Cincinnati with towns in the interior of the state. It was not uncommon, in the advertisements of new town sites, to see presented as one of the advantages of the location that the new town was on proposed turnpike road. Dr. Drake remarked that the policy of constructing from Cincinnati toward the sources of the Miamis a great road which should at all times be equally passable, had been for some time in agitation. He further said: "The benefits which an execution of this plan would confer, cannot be fully estimated, except by those who have traveled through the Miami country in the winter season and have studied the connections in business between that district and Cincinnati. The salt, the. iron, the castings, the glass, the cotton and foreign merchandise of eight counties would be transported on this road." But those who. hoped for immediate improvement in road construction in the west were doomed to disappointment, as it was not until early in the thirties that turnpike construction was seriously undertaken. in Ohio. This lack of good roads, combined with the long journey to New Orleans, made the cost of transporting goods to market so high as practically to prevent shipment from a large part of the interior, thus precluding the development of a surplus that. would otherwise have swelled the volume of trade. It has been estimated (page 44) that in the early part of the last century the average cost of transportation by land was $10 per ton per hundred miles, and that grain and flour could not stand the cost of transportation more than 150 miles at such rate. This estimate was made by McMaster, in his History of the People of the United States, but taking into consideration the cost of river transportation and the cost of marketing, it is doubtful if such articles in the Miami valley could have been hauled profitably more than fifty miles to the place of export. A record of what was actually charged for transportation has been preserved in some instances. Referring to the Centinel of the Northwest Territory, issue of April 4, 1795, it appears that goods for the army were being shipped from Fort Washington to Fort Hamilton by water in private boats, and that the rate was $1.10 per barrel for four, $1.30 per barrel for whiskey, and fifty cents per hundredweight for corn. And Curwen's History of Dayton is authority for the statement that in 1799 the cost of transportation from Cincinnati to Dayton was $2.50 per hundredweight. In 1805 a four-horse stage coach furnished weekly service between Cincinnati and Yellow Springs, and passengers were charged $5 per single trip. Way passengers paid at the rate of six cents per mile. The line passed through Hamilton, Franklin and Dayton, and two days were required to make the trip.
As the result of these difficulties in the matter of transportation, according to Burnet's Notes, it was not uncommon for corn and oats to sell as low as 10 and 12 cents per bushel, beef at $1.50 per hundredweight, and pork at $1 to $2 per hundredweight. Ash, in his Travels in the United States, tells of a farmer-a Mr. Digby -well situated with an improved farm about forty miles northeast of Cincinnati, who stated that the price of produce was so low and -the price of labor so high that very little profit attended the most laborious exercise of industry. Indian corn carried so mean a value that he never offered to sell it, and wheat made into four sold for $3 per barrel. This farmer could not wait for roads to be built, and in consequence he was about to abandon a system so little advantageous and take to grazing cattle, breeding hogs, and raising horses for distant market where money was to be obtained. In fact, he had already attempted one such venture, having sent his son with a cargo of 200 live hogs to New Orleans, and in the spring he proposed taking a drove of cattle and horses over the mountains to Philadelphia and Baltimore.
Mr. Ash's contemporaries speak most disparagingly of his veracity, and his writings are chiefly noted for the all too evident intent to misrepresent and ridicule the pepole of the United States. But his statements in regard to economic conditions are in accord with more authoritative writers, and Farmer Digby may be not entirely a myth. Certain it is that the prairies of the upper Miami country and the Scioto valley furnished pasture for droves of cattle that were driven over the mountains to Philadelphia or Baltimore, and the mast of the woods furnished free food for hogs that were in some instances driven northward to Detroit. In 1817 Morris Birkbeck met a drove of very fat oxen on their way from the banks of the Miami to Philadelphia, and as late as 1819, according to (page 45) Mc Bride's Pioneer Biography, Jeremiah Butterfeld, of Butler county, drove a large number of hogs through the woods to Detroit to market.
Of course, it was impracticable to feed all the surplus product of the farm to live stock and send it to market on its own legs, and so the farmers, in common with other frontier communities of the time, solved the problem of reducing bulk and weight for purposes of shipment by turning their grain into whiskey and their fruit into brandy. Beers' History of Montgomery County states that during this early period a large number of the well-to-do farmers each had his own small still and thus turned his surplus fruit and sometimes grain into a marketable product. Larger distilleries began to be erected about the time that water-power gristmills came into use, and whiskey became an important article of export. Lebanon seems to have been a particularly attractive town for settlers and travelers alike. Birkbeck, who visited it in 1817, describes it as one of those wonders which are the natural growth of the back woods. In fourteen years it had grown from two or three cabins of half savage hunters to be the residence of a thousand persons, with habits and looks in no way different from their brethren from the east. At this time Lebanon contained a courthouse, a jail, two churches, a school, a postoffice, a printing office, a public library, and a bank with a capital of $250,000. Franklin, with fifty-five families, and Waynesville, were the other towns of importance in Warren county. Dayton claimed 130 dwellings and contained a courthouse, two churches and an academy, a library, a postoffice, a printing office, and several grist and sawmills were located near the town. Hamilton had become a place of seventy-five buildings and the other chief towns of Butler county were Rossville, Oxford and Middletown. Besides Cincinnati, the chief towns in Hamilton county were: Columbia, Newtown, Reading, Montgomery, Springfield, Colerain, Harrison, Crosby, and Cleves. The section of country bordering on the Ohio river in the vicinity of Cincinnati and extending back about one hundred miles was described by Fearson, in his Sketches of America, as being an excellent body of land, well settled, though but small improvements had been made, except in a few places near the towns. The price of land varied much according to situation. Farms which were called improved could be bought at from $8 to $30 per acre. The improvements, however, often consisted of rough log buildings and from twelve to twenty acres under partial cultivation. A better class of farms had from twenty to fifty acres under cultivation. Grazing was still the chief occupation on the prairies near the headwaters of the Miamis.
There was a noticeable evolution in social and intellectual conditions along with this economic advance. Fast disappearing were the manners that had been acquired and the ignorance that had been induced while settlers were living in forts and getting their bread and meat at the peril of their lives, and even later when almost all of the people were battling with the wilderness. Schools and even libraries were established, and a limited education and some culture took the place of the ignorance and rude life of the (page 46) frontier, as cultivated farms took the place of forests and towns came into existence. In the interior, of course, there continued to be found the various types of settlers characteristic of the frontier. Travelers have generally divided them into three classes: First, the squatter, or man who "sets himself down" upon land which is not his own, and for which he pays nothing; cultivates to a sufficient extent to supply himself and family with the necessaries of life; remains until he is dissatisfied with his choice, had realized a sufficiency to become a land-owner, or is expelled by the real proprietor. Second, the small farmer who had recently immigrated, had barely sufficient to pay the first installment for his 80 or 160 acres of $2 land; cultivates; or what he calls improves, ten to thirty acres; raises a sufficient "feed" for his family ; has the females of it employed in making or patching the wretched clothing of the whole domestic circle; is in a condition which, if compelled by legislative acts, or by external force to endure, would be considered truly wretched; but from being his own master, having made his own choice, from the having "no one to make him afraid," joined with the consciousness that, though slowly, he is regularly advancing towards wealth; the breath of complaint is seldom heard to escape from his lips. Third, the wealthy or "strong-handed" farmer, who owns from five to twelve hundred acres, has one-fourth to one-third under cultivation, of a kind much superior to the former; raises live stock for the home and Atlantic city markets; sends beef, pork, cheese, lard, and butter to New Orleans; is perhaps a legislator, at any rate a squire (magistrate) ; is always a man of plain businesslike sense, though not in possession, nor desirous of a very cultivated intellect; understands his own interest, and that of his country; lives in sufficient affluence, and is possessed of comfort; but, in conclusion, and a most important conclusion it is, the majority of this class of men were, ten or fifteen years ago, in
habitants of the eastern states, and not worth, upon their arrival in Ohio, $20.
The platting of new towns was another characteristic of western development, especially between the years 1814 and 1820. In the territory immediately contiguous to Cincinnati more than thirty towns were laid out within that time. Some have long since been forgotten, while others still exist as prosperous towns or villages. Among the towns established within that period that are still thriving communities is Carthage. An enterprising proprietor of a tract of land that was situated in a region already somewhat settled and favorably located on a navigable stream, near a mill site, or on an established highway, would see a chance for increasing his wealth by the rise in value of real estate. He would employ a surveyor and have a portion of his land laid out in town lots, then advertise in a Cincinnati newspaper, setting forth the advantages of the proposed town and announcing that on a certain day lots would be sold at auction on the premises, usually on a credit of six months or a year. Some of these land owners dreamed of towns on a magnificent scale that were never realized; but while many of the speculations failed, many prospered and are today the centers of thriving (page 47) communities. Birkbeck has given a most interesting account of the rise and development of these frontier towns : "A storekeeper builds a little framed store, and sends for a few cases of goods; and then a tavern starts up, which becomes the residence of a doctor and a lawyer, and the boarding house of the storekeeper, as well as the resort of the weary traveler; soon follow a blacksmith and other handicraftsmen in useful succession; a schoolmaster, who is also the minister of religion, becomes an important accession to this rising community. Thus the town proceeds, if it proceeds at all, with accumulating force, until it becomes the metropolis of the neighborhood. * * * Thus trade begins and thrives, as population grows around these lucky spots; imports and exports maintaining their just proportion. * * * The town being fairly established, a cluster of inhabitants, small as it may be, acts as a stimulus on the cultivation of the neighborhood ; redundancy of supply is the consequence, and this demands a vent. Water mills, or in defect of water power, steam mills, rise on the nearest navigable stream, and thus an effectual and constant market is secured for the increasing surplus of produce. Such are the elements of that accumulating mass of commerce ; in exports, and consequent imports, which will render the Mississippi the greatest thoroughfare in the world." Mr. Birkbeck wrote in a prophetic vein and the fulfillment of his prophecy in regard to transportation on the Mississippi and on the Ohio river as well is an interesting story. But the navigation of the great Miami deserves mention in this connection. Beers' History of Montgomery County says the first flatboat that navigated the Great Miami was built by David Loury at Dayton, in 1800, and was sent to New Orleans loaded with grain, pelts, and 500 venison hams. From that time till the completion of the canal between Cincinnati and Dayton, in 1829, flatboats continued to navigate the Great Miami river. The stream was navigable during the greater part of the year, but boats were usually built and launched with the spring foods and loaded with four, bacon, whiskey and other staple products, bound for New Orleans. McBride, in his Pioneer Biography, says it was not uncommon for one of the more prosperous farmers on the Ohio or Great Miami to load a flatboat with his own produce. These boats frequently carried as much as 300 or 400 barrels and were five to six days in passing from Dayton to the Ohio river. And Dana, in his Geographical Sketches of the Western Country, says that in April, 1818, 1,700 barrels of four were shipped from Dayton to New Orleans.
That the navigation of the Great Miami was not all that could be desired appears from the narrative of Thomas Morrison, left by him in the form of unpublished manuscript. He left Dayton with a boat load of produce, Nov. 17, 1822, and on the evening of the second day his boat struck a rock and upset near Franklin, but he was fortunate in saving the cargo. The boat was repaired, but he did not feel safe in continuing down the river with the full cargo. Two wagon loads were hauled to Cincinnati at a cost of $1 per hundredweight, put on another flatboat and floated to the mouth of the Great Miami, while the balance was floated to the Ohio. The boat (page 48) from Cincinnati was then lashed to the one from Dayton and they proceeded down the Ohio. In 1825 Mr. Morrison made another trip to the south with a cargo of flour; but this time he hauled his four from Dayton to Cincinnati, floated his boat empty down the Great Miami to its mouth, ran her up to Cincinnati and loaded there. From the foregoing it will be apparent to the reader that during the earlier period of development in the Miami valley disintegrating conditions existed to a considerable extent. The movement of live stock over the mountains or to Detroit, and the transportation of produce down the Great Miami cannot be regarded otherwise. But from the beginning Cincinnati was the natural metropolis of this whole region of country. These disintegrating tendencies were gradually overcome as the city grew and roads were improved, and by 1829 the completion of the Miami canal definitely gave Cincinnati control of the entire trade of the Miami valley.
A matter which is entirely germane to the subject of this chapter-the settlement of the Miami valley-is the Great Kentucky revival, and its subsequent camp-meetings, which lasted for a period of over fifty years. Owing to the rapidity of the increase in population and the advent of foreigners with their variant sectaries, it is difficult to measure the depth of the influence of the enthusiasm resultant from that religious upheaval, but certain it is that the effort of the reformers made a marked impression upon the people of the valley. The settlements were almost wholly communities of farmers. Books and newspapers were but sparingly supplied to them, and religion was their chief intellectual food. Without the advantages enjoyed by their descendants, scattered, though naturally gregarious, a religious revival naturally held out its allurements to all alike.
The early settlers, for the most part, were Christians by profession, and different denominations were early in the field, employing their zeal in making proselytes and propagating their respective tenets. The great majority ranked among the Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists. The first church organized in Ohio was the Baptist church at Columbia, near Cincinnati, in 1790, and the building, erected in 1793, stood until 1835. In 1797, besides the Presbyterian church at Cincinnati, there were preaching points at (a short distance south of Franklin), Turtle creek (now Union, or Shaker village, west of Lebanon), Bethany (two miles east of Lebanon), and Big Prairie (at the mouth of Dick's creek in Butler county, afterward called Orangedale). Of these country congregations the largest and most influential was Turtle Creek. Acknowledging one another as of the same parent stock, the various sects "stood entirely separate as to any communion or fellowship, and treated each other with the highest marks of hostility ; wounding, captivating and bickering another, until their attention was called of by the appearance of deism." As early as 1796 a religious apathy appears to have pervaded the pulpit. One writes, "the dead state of religion is truly discouraging here, as well as elsewhere" ; another says, "I have this winter past preached with diffculty, my heart but little enjoyed," and still another, "I (page 49) see but little prospect of encouragement." But however dark the picture may be painted, the despondent were soon awakened to what they deemed a season of refreshment.
In the year 1800, on the Gaspar, in Logan county, Kentucky, there began a religious revival which was the precursor of the most wonderful upheaval ever experienced in Christian work. The excitement commenced under the labors of one John Rankin, and almost immediately James McGready, also a Presbyterian clergyman, was seized with the same spirit. McGready has been described as a homely man, with sandy hair and rugged features, and was so terrifc in holding forth the terrors of hell that he was called a son of thunder. He pictured "the furnace of hell with its red-hot coals of God's wrath as large as mountains" ; he would open to the sinner's view "the burning lake of hell, to see its fiery billows rolling, and to hear the yells and groans of the damned ghosts roaring under the burning wrath of an angry God." Under his preaching the people would fall down with a loud cry and lie powerless, or else groaning, praying, or crying to God for mercy. The news of the excitement spread not only over Kentucky, but also into Ohio and Tennessee, and people rushed to the Gaspar to witness the scenes, and returned to their homes carrying a measure of the enthusiasm with them.
Out of the Kentucky revival there originated three sects, or religious denominations entirely new to the western country. The one which exerted the most power in the Miami valley is generally called New Lights, and sometimes Schismatics. The sect repudiates both these names, and styles itself The Christian church, which name it assumed in 1804. In 1802, Richard McNemar took charge of the Turtle Creek church (near Lebanon, Ohio), where his labors met with abundant success. At the meeting of the Presbytery in Cincinnati, Oct. 6, 1802, an elder entered a verbal complaint against him, as a propagator of false doctrine. The accused insisted the question was out of order, for charges must be made in writing. Nevertheless the Presbytery proceeded to examine him "on the fundamental doctrines of the sacred scriptures," which were election, human depravity, the atonement, etc. The finding was that McNemar held these doctrines in a sense diferent from that in which Calvinists generally believe them, and that his sentiments were "hostile to the interests of all true religion." Notwithstanding this condemnation he was appointed one-half his time at Turtle Creek, until the next stated session; two Sabbaths at Orangeville, two at Clear Creek, two at Beulah, one at the forks at Mad river, and the rest at discretion.
At the next session at Springfield (now known as Springdale, some eleven miles north of Cincinnati, in April, 1803, a petition from a number of persons, in the congregations of Beulah, Turtle Creek, Clear Creek, Bethany, Hopewell, Dick's Creek, and Cincinnati, was presented, praying for a re-examination of McNemar, and that Rev. John Thompson undergo a like examination. The Presbytery refused to acquiesce. A petition, signed by sixty persons of the Turtle Creek congregation, asked for the whole of McNemar's time, which was granted. The matter was brought before the (page 50) Synod, held at Lexington, Ky., in September, 1803, with the result that McNemar and others were suspended and their parishes were declared as being without ministers.
Up to the time of these charges of heresy being made against him McNemar has been described to have been a mild and unassuming man. But his trials appear to have awakened all the resources of his strong nature. With enthusiasm he began his work at Turtle Creek, and in summer his congregations were so large that the meetings were held in the grove near the church. Strange physical phenomena of the revival attended his ministrations in Warren county. At Turtle Creek almost all the adult persons in a large congregation would fall to the ground in a short time and lie unconscious, with hardly a sign of breathing or beating of the pulse. At the same meeting of the Presbyterian Synod at Lexington, when McNemar was suspended, the dissolution of the Springfield Presbytery was ordered, and this launched a new denomination in the west. The preachers carried their churches with them. Every Presbyterian church in southwestern Ohio was swept into this new organization, with one or two exceptions, and even the church at Cincinnati was fairly tainted with the new doctrines and methods. The Turtle Creek church, with uplifted hands, was constituted a schismatic church. The influence of Richard McNemar was irresistible. Before the close of the year 1804, Turtle Creek, Eagle Creek, Springfield (Springdale), Orangedale, Clear Creek, Beaver Creek, and Salem had joined the new movement. A demand for more preachers was made. Camp meetings were popular and were used to extend the general influence. The names of "brother" and "sister" were applied to church members, and the custom of giving the right hand of fellowship was introduced. The spirit of the Kentucky revival, especially in camp meetings was kept aflame. "Praying, shouting, jerking, barking, or rolling; dreaming, prophesying, and looking as through a glass, at the infinite lories of Mount Zion, just about to break open upon the world." A history of the Kentucky Revival says: "They practiced a mode of prayer, which was s singular as the situation in which they stood, and the faith by which they were actuated. According to their proper name of distinction, they stood separate and divided, each one for one: and in this capacity they offered up each their separate cries to God, in one united harmony of sound; by which the doubtful footsteps of those who were in search of the meeting, might be directed, sometimes to the distance of miles."
Troubles, however, rapidly accumulated on the infant sect. Notwithstanding the fact that it started with established churches and possessed with unbounded enthusiasm, yet the leaders were not equal to the occasion. The early preachers inveighed against a hireling ministry, which forced into the ranks many whose minds were diverted to the question of sufcient support; there was a want of organization and a wise administration of government. The power of other churches forced them into intellectual lines, which they were not slow, in the later years, to take advantage of. But the Miami valley owes much to the Christian church, and the showing of that church, contrasted with other sects, will compare (page 51) favorably. A Presbyterian may not regard the coloring as of the brightest hue, for, in all probability, had it not been for the Kentucky Revival, Presbyterianism in Southwestern Ohio would be relatively as strong as it is today in Western Pennsylvania. In March, 1805, there arrived at Lebanon the forerunners of another religious movement, John Meacham and his associates, who came to found a community of the Shaking Quakers, started in England about sixty years before, in the delusions of a woman, Ann Lee, who claimed to be a reincarnation of Christ. She was put in a madhouse in the old country, but came to America and found favor. The sect had much success at Lebanon, and founded the Shaker town at Union village. In 1810 feeling against this sect became very strong and in August of that year occurred a most extraordinary and unwarranted attack upon the resident believers in that peculiar creed. The believers were told in effect that they must renounce their faith and practice-their manner of living, preaching, and mode of worship, or, as an alternative, leave the country. Refusal to comply with the demands meant a resort of violence, they were told. The threat was not carried out, however, and the Shakers continued to worship according to the dictates of their conscience; but they gradually grew fewer in numbers. If any excuse is desired for the above mentioned proceeding it must be that it was in accord with the spirit of that early day. Religious belief and practices frequently developed into fanaticism and the feeling of enmity between the followers of different creeds became in some instances extremely bitter. But in the Miami valley, as elsewhere, the ecclesiastical development kept pace with the development of the country and exercised a marked influence on the character of its population. Dr. Drake, in writing of the population of the valley in 1815, says that Cincinnati then had about one thousand houses, a stone courthouse with dome, Presbyterian. Methodist, Baptist, and Friends' meeting-houses, two banks, two newspapers, a library, a two-story building in process of erection for the accommodation of the newly founded Lancastrian Seminary, and a number of manufacturing establishments, including one stone mill. Hamilton had seventy houses, chiefly log, a postoffice and printing office, but no public buildings save a stone jail. Lebanon was a considerable village with houses of brick and wood, a courthouse and a schoolhouse, Baptist and Methodist churches, a stone jail, a printing office, a library, a bank, and several manufactories. Franklin had forty-fve families, grist and sawmills and a postoffice. Dayton had one hundred dwellings, principally wood, a courthouse, a Methodist meeting-house, a brick academy, a library of 250 books, a bank, a postoffice and a printing office. Oxford was described as a sparsely populated village, located on the frontier of the state, that had gained notoriety from having been fixed on as the seat of a university.
The first churches were planted to the northward of the Ohio a full quarter century before Dr. Drake penned his description of the Miami country. A little more than a year after the coming of the first settlers steps were taken to effect a religious organization. The initiative was taken by the Baptists who, at Columbia, (page 52) on Jan. 20, 1790, organized the first Protestant church in the northwest territory. The officiating clergyman was Rev. Stephen Gano, and the number of charter members was nine, though this was shortly added to. The following May, Elder John Smith, later a member of the Constitutional Convention, and United States Senator from Ohio, took charge of the congregation. This church grew rapidly, but after Wayne's Treaty, in 1795, many of its members moved into the interior, and in 1797 was recorded the founding of Miami Island, Carpenter's Run and Clear Creek churches. In December, 1790, a Presbyterian congregation was organized at Cincinnati by the Rev. David Rice, of Danville, Ky. A few months later James Kemper, a licentiate, was sent to supply this congregation and to establish preaching stations at Columbia, North Bend, and Round Bottom. He arrived at his field of labor a few days before St. Clair's defeat, and proved a tower of strength to the disheartened settlement in those troublous days. Although the Baptists have the honor of organizing the first congregation, to the Presbyterians belong the credit of erecting the first house of worship in the Miami country, and this by the Cincinnati church. In January, 1792, subscriptions were made by 116 persons, totaling $289 plus 3 pounds and six pence in English money, 170 days' work, 71 days' work with team, 23 pounds of nails, 450 feet of boards, and 65 boat planks. The church erected at that time is described as a good frame house, 30x40 feet, but "neither lathed, plastered, nor ceiled." The floor was of boat plank laid loosely upon the joists. The seats were of the same material, supported by blocks of wood. There was a breastwork of unplaned cherry boards called a pulpit, behind which the clergyman stood on a piece of boat plank resting on a block of wood. This church, somewhat improved a few years later, served the congregation until 1812, when a more commodious edifce was erected.
While there may have been some prior sporadic preaching, it was not until 1798 that a definite effort was made to establish Methodism in the Miami valley. In that year, Rev. John Kobler, acting under appointment of Bishop Asbury, crossed the Ohio at Columbia and made his way to the cabin of Francis McCormick, near Milford. Here he organized a class of twenty-one members. A few days later, accompanied by McCormick, he set out on a tour of the settlements between the Miamis, visiting among other points, Dayton, Franklin,- Hamilton, and Cincinnati. The few score of Methodists whom he found he organized into eight or ten classes which he sought to visit every two weeks. After such a ministry of several months, he retired from the circuit, reporting ninety-nine members. It was not, however, until five years after the close of his ministry in the Miami valley that Methodism gained a foothold in Cincinnati, as on his visit to the place in 1798 he could find no one interested in his ministry, and so did not include it in his list of appointments. It was in 1804 that John Collins, a local preacher residing in Clermont county, while on a business trip to Cincinnati, learned of the presence there of a number of Methodists. These he at once gathered together, and after preaching to them organized them into a class, and a little later secured their inclusion (page 53) in the appointments of the Miami circuit. However, there was no regular place of preaching until about 1807, when a stone meeting house was erected. By 1812 this church had so grown that it had 209 names upon the roll of its members.
It will give some idea of the growth in population, as well as interest in religious work to note the establishment of church organizations in the Miami valley, prior to 1816. The years given are the time of establishment: In 1790, at Columbia, a Baptist, and at Cincinnati a Presbyterian; 1795, Presbyterian at Springfield; 1796, Presbyterian at Pleasant Ridge ; 1797, Baptist churches at Clear Creek, Miami Island, and Carpenter's Run ; 1798, Methodist at Dayton, United Presbyterian at Sycamore, and Baptist at Turtle Creek; 1799, Presbyterian at Beulah and also the first church of that denomination at Dayton ; 1800, Baptist at Trenton and United Presbyterian at Clear Creek ; 1802, Presbyterian at Hamilton and United Presbyterian at Monroe; 1803, Evangelical Lutheran and also German Lutheran at St. John's, and a Friends' church at Waynesville; 1804, Methodist at Duck Creek, Baptist at Muddy Creek ; 1805, Presbyterian at Hamilton, Methodist at Lebanon, Friends at Middleburg, Congregational at Paddy's Run, German Reformed at Springboro, Shaker at Shaker village ; 1807, Friends at Goshen, Baptist at Troy, and Friends at West Milton ; 1808, United Presbyterian at Hopewell, and Presbyterian at Unity ; 1809, German Reformed and Lutheran, both at Germantown; 1810, Presbyterian at Collinsville, Baptist at Indian Creek, Methodist at Rossburg, and Baptist at Bethel; 1811, United Brethren at Poasttown, Presbyterian at Harrison, Baptist at Todd's Fork, Methodist at McKendree Chapel, and Baptist at Bethel, in Hamilton county; 1813, Presbyterian at New Jersey, Baptist at Cincinnati, and Methodist at Zane; 1814, Presbyterian at Bethel in Warren county, Friends at Cincinnati, Lutheran at Cincinnati, and Baptist at Little Creek ; 1815, Lutheran at Ellerton, United Presbyterian at Hamilton, Presbyterian at Bethel in Butler county, and Lutheran at Samuels. The churches herein named are still in existence and are therefore all more than one hundred years old. It is noteworthy that among them there is found neither a Catholic nor Episcopal church nor a Jewish synagogue.
Resuming the story of the Shakers, it may be stated that on a beautiful elevation near the old church at Shaker village they erected their community buildings, some of which are still standing, more than a hundred years old. There, in 1810, they erected their chapel, which is a fne example of pioneer architecture, and it is perhaps the oldest building devoted to religious services now standing in the Miami valley. Here the Shakers led their life, introducing new methods of agriculture, developing new breeds of stock, providing garden seeds and remedial agents to the general public, and engaging in certain forms of manufacturing. For many years the community flourished until it numbered several hundred people. North and south villages were erected on the Turtle Creek property, while additional communities were established on Whitewater and near Dayton. In time, however, the community declined, and as numbers decreased they centralized at Union village. Finally, (page 54) in 1912, recognizing that they must- soon become extinct, they disposed of their buildings and farm lands amounting to about six thousand acres to the United Brethren church, reserving a life interest in one of the buildings and its grounds. Here, enjoying the comforts of life, the remnant of this interesting community calmly await the ultimate call.
As early as 1802 J. W. Brown, of Cincinnati, preached at various points in the region of Paddy's Run, Butler county. The Christians of the community were from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and New England ; they were of various denominations, but in order to properly maintain the ordinances of the church decided to drop personal predilections and organize on the broad basis of Christian love. A committee was appointed to draft a constitution and rules of discipline. The report of the committee was, after due deliberation, adopted, and the church was formally organized on September 3, 1803, at the home of John Templeton, and given the
name of The Congregational Church of Whitewater, but it has been commonly known as the Paddy's Run church. The first members were Benjamin McCarty, Asa Mitchell, Joab Comstock, Andrew Scott, Margaret Bebb, Ezekiel Hughes, William and Ann Gwilyne, David and Mary Francis. In 1804 a committee of their own members set apart the aforementioned John W. Brown to the office and work of the ministry. The relation thus established continued until 1811, when Mr. Brown was sent on a mission to the eastern states by Miami university. The church received large accessions to its membership, among whom were many Welsh. These soon became numerous and, in 1817, a minister was secured, Rev. Rees Lloyd, who could hold services in both English and Welsh, which custom was continued for many years.
The members of this congregation early evinced an interest in education, and in 1807 erected a schoolhouse and started a subscription school. In 1821 the co-pastor, Rev. Thomas Thomas of the congregation, opened a high school with a boarding department. This school soon acquired considerable distinction. In 1821 a Union Library association was formed and chartered, and it is still flourishing. In 1823-25, a brick meeting house, 43x30 feet, was erected.
In 1856 a new church was built and the old one was given over to community purpose. This congregation continues to flourish, and recently has, at very considerable expense, remodeled its building in order to better adapt it to its present needs.
It is but natural that a congregation with such a spirit should send forth a due compliment of its sons and daughters to achieve distinction in the world's work. Among them have been Gov. William Bebb, Murat Halstead, Dr. Griffn Shaw, Alfred Thomas, legal adviser in the United States Treasury department; Rev. Thomas E. Thomas, at one time a professor in Lane theological seminary; Rev. Mart Williams, of the China mission; Prof. S. W. Williams, of Miami university, and many others.
Among the pioneers who came into the Miami valley in the early years of the last century were many Germans from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the valley of Virginia. Judging by churches founded these settled almost wholly within the valley of the Great (page 55) Miami, and for the most part within the upper half of the west slope of the valley. One important center was about Germantown, German township, Montgomery county. Here they organized a United Brethren church, in 1806, and Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed congregations in 1809. These latter two, as they frequently did throughout the valley, united in erecting a house of worship and used it alternately. As the congregation grew in strength each built its own house of worship, and today both are flourishing congregations with well appointed buildings. Many of the German churches endeavored to continue the exclusive use of the German language in their church services. They found in time that they could not do this and retain their young people. Thus they were led to use the English in part or in whole in their services.
After 1800 a number of families settled in the vicinity of Franklin. On August 14, 1813, a number of them met at the home of William P. Barkalow and resolved to form themselves into a congregation, to apply to Presbytery for one-half of the ministerial services of Rev. Francis Montfort, and to raise him $150 in half yearly payments. The following year ruling elders were chosen and Mr. Montfort was ordained as their pastor. In 1815 steps were taken to build a frame church. This was used until 1867. when" it gave place to a handsome brick structure that cost $16,365 and is well adapted to religious services, Bible school work and the social work of the community. This congregation today numbers more than two hundred members who look well to the comfort and support of their pastor and are deeply interested in all missionary activities.
Within half a mile of this church stands the Tapscott Baptist church, founded in 1814 by people of the same general stork, but with different religious ideals. A little later a brick meeting-house, which still stands, was erected and for a time the church prospered. But in 1835 dissension arose in the Baptist churches as to the propriety of undertaking missionary work, establishing Bible schools and joining in evangelistic effort. In 1836 a majority of this congregation decided in opposition to those agencies. Those favoring withdrew and formed the Franklin Baptist church. Today the Tapscott church numbers a very few members, holds an occasional service, and is without any vital hold on the community life. Of similar history is the Clear Creek Baptist. founded in 1797, but which stands today practically unused and with trees growing about its doors.
It would be interesting to study the lives of the men who pioneered in the religious and other developments of the Miami valley. And in this connection it will be not out of place to mention a few of the early preachers :
Stephen Gard, 1776-1839, was born in Fs-ex county. New Jersey. and educated in a classical academy near his home. He arrived at Columbia, in 1798, and located at Trenton, where, in 1801. he was married to Rachel Pierce. He founded Baptist churches at Trenton, Middletown, Carlisle, Dayton and Hamilton.
James Kemper, 1755-1784, was born at Warrentown, Fauquier (page 56) county, Virginia. Though reared in the Episcopal church he was led to espouse the Presbyterian faith. In 1735, at the solicitation of Rev. David Rice, he moved to Kentucky to take a position as teacher in the Transylvania seminary. In 1791 he was licensed and appointed to supply in the churches of the Miami. The same year he came to Cincinnati where, after a year, he was ordained and installed pastor of the Presbyterian church at that place. Later he ministered to the Turtle Creek Presbyterian church, but his work here was cut short on account of the disapproval by the plain dressing pioneers of his wife's elaborate headdress. Later he founded the Second Presbyterian church of Cincinnati. He was a man of ambitious plans and promoted the Kentucky academy, the Walnut Hills academy, the Cincinnati college, and Lane theological seminary.
James Hughes was born of English parentage in York county, Pennsylvania. About 1780 he moved with his parents to Washington county, where he received his classical and theological education, in part at least, under the tuition of Rev. John McMillan in the log college which he erected near his house, and which still stands on the campus of old Jefferson college. He was licensed in 1788, and two years later was ordained and installed as pastor of the Short Creek and Lower Buffalo churches. He was probably the first Presbyterian clergyman ordained west of the Alleghenies In these fields he labored until 1814. In 1815 he settled at Urbana, where he founded the Presbyterian church, to which he ministered until 1818, when he was elected principal of the grammar school of Miami university. On moving to Oxford he organized the Presbyterian church at that place. Here he died in 1821. Robert H. Bishop (1777-1855) was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, graduating in the university at that place in 1798, and from the theological seminary at Selkirk in 1802. In that year he, with four others, was induced to migrate to America to minister to the Associate Presbyterian churches there. With another of these, he was sent to the Ohio valley to labor. After ministering for a time to churches in Southern Ohio, he located at Lexington, Ky., where he occupied a professorship in Transylvania university, and the pastorate of two congregations near that place. In 1819 he connected with the Presbyterian church and became pastor of McChord church, Lexington. In 1820 he was made first president of Miami university. In this connection he served for a time as pastor of the Presbyterian church at Oxford. In Kentucky he was reckoned as one of her best pulpit orators. In 1844 he severed his connection with Miami and became president of Farmers' college at College Hill, where he served until his death.
The pioneer Methodist preacher of the Miami valley was Francis McCormick, who was born in Frederick county, Virginia, June 4, 1764. In 1790 he became a local preacher. In 1795 he moved to Kentucky and two years later crossed the river into Ohio, locating at Milford in Clermont county. At his suggestion, Bishop Asbury sent Rev. John Kobler to Ohio, and it was at his cabin that the first class was organized. He acted as guide to Kobler on his first tour of the Miami country. He was instrumental in organizing a (page 57) class near Lockland and another near Columbia, where he located in 1807.
Rev. John Kobler was born in Virginia in 1768. At twenty-one he entered the ministry, and in 1798 he was appointed to the work in Ohio where he formed the Miami circuit, being the first regularly appointed Methodist preacher in the northwest territory. He is described as tall and well proportioned, with long black hair, and unusual intellectual powers. The arduous work of the frontier undermined his health and he died after rendering eighteen years of ministerial service.
Rev. John Collins was born of Quaker parentage in New Jersey, in 1789. At an early age he was licensed as a local preacher.
In 1803 he moved to Ohio and settled on the east fork of the Little Miami where he purchased a tract of land. In 1807 he became an itinerant and attached to the Miami circuit. He was a man of prepossessing appearance, gentle spirit and great eloquence. He was the founder of the churches at Cincinnati, Columbia, Dayton, Hillsboro, and other places. He died in 1845.
One thing of much importance that retarded the settlement of the Miami valley was the want of an organized commercial system. It has already been noted that a few well-to-do farmers met this difficulty occasionally by taking their own cargoes to New Orleans, but the greater number did not produce in sufficient quantity to dispense with the services of the middleman in finding a market. Probably the earliest exporters of the products of the Miami valley were the pioneer merchants who followed in the wake of the settlers. It would appear that Cincinnati did very little exporting before 1800, when her merchants seemed to have become active in the purchase of the products of the surrounding country. From that time advertisements similar to the following appeared in increasing number: "Wanted: A quantity of corn-fed pork." "Good f lour will be taken by the barrel, whiskey and corn at market prices."
"The subscriber will pay cash for 100,000 weight of good corn-fed pork."Wanted: 5,000 bushels of wheat, at 50 cents per bushel." Advertisements for contracts for future delivery of wheat and pork were frequent. Trade was principally by barter. Store goods were exchanged for country produce. This growing commercial spirit was also evidenced by frequent quotations of Cincinnati and New Orleans prices in the local papers.
On August 31, 1802, John Wilkins, jr., through the Pittsburg Gazette, issued an address to the farmers, millers, traders and manufacturers of the western country, setting forth the difficulties of the Mississippi trade and proposing the organization of an exporting company in order to more effectually meet them. The Pittsburgh district soon acted upon the suggestion, and near the close of the following winter the idea was taken up in Cincinnati, when Jesse Hunt, an experienced merchant and pioneer, suggested the formation of an exporting company to handle the entire exports of the Miami country. The organization, which was known as the Miami Exporting company, was chartered to do an exporting and an importing business, and it also was privileged to engage in business as a banking institution. It was the business of the (page 58) directors to build or purchase boats, employ superintendents and boatmen, transport to New Orleans produce entrusted to their care, sell it and make returns to the owners. That there was an effort to interest the entire Miami valley in the enterprise is shown by the fact that every important center of population in that region was represented on the committee appointed to receive subscriptions. In 1807 it ceased to engage in the exporting business, but continued to do business as a banking institution until 1822, when it was carried down by the financial crisis that began in 1835. It is needless to say that the exporting business continued to grow without the assistance of a co-operative company and that commercial farms continued to rise that met the demands of the rapidly increasing trade of the Miami valley.
The organization of the Miami Exporting company was hastened by the closure of the Mississippi river by the Spanish intendant at New Orleans, early in November, 1802. On January 19, 1803, the Western Spy published an extract from a New Orleans letter, dated November 12, saying that the orders of the intendant were rigidly enforced and that Americans had nothing to hope from his clemency. That the people of the valley were deeply interested in the situation is shown by the fact that from that time until the following July, when the Western Spy published in large type the news of the purchase of Louisiana, nearly every edition of a Cincinnati paper contained some communication on the subject. The whole thing was irritating, but trade was not entirely stopped ; as exporters continued to advertise for "corn-fed pork," "good flour," "good whiskey," "country linen," "sugar," and "good merchantable wheat."
The opening of the Mississippi by the purchase of the Louisiana territory and the admission of Ohio to the Union doubtless greatly accelerated immigration to the west and did much to increase the volume of exports. By 1805 it was estimated that 30,000 people a year were settling in Ohio, and a goodly portion of them were finding homes in the Miami valley. The development of the Miami country and the growing export business soon brought about a corresponding import business, and very frequently both branches of commerce were carried on by the same firm. By 1805 there were twenty-four merchants and grocers doing business in Cincinnati, and in 1809 upwards of thirty merchants were selling from $200,000 to $250,000 worth of imported goods. The prosperity of the region and its advance in civilization is evidenced by the fact that its citizens were demanding some of the luxuries of life. As early as 1805, the merchants of this frontier metropolis were selling fine coatings and cassimeres, white and colored satins, silk stockings, silk and leather gloves, Irish linens, Morocco and kid shoes, umbrellas and parasols, and fine wines.
The wholesale business of Cincinnati began not later than 1806. Dealers were then offering special inducements to country merchants, in order to divert their trade from eastern markets to Cincinnati. Some were offering to take at New Orleans market prices three-fourths of the amount of the purchase price in produce delivered at that point, and the balance cash.
(page 59) The merchants of today can little appreciate the difficulties encountered by these early dealers. In order to sell their goods they were compelled to attend not only to the ordinary duties of a merchant and to incur ordinary responsibilities and risks, but also they were compelled to be the produce merchants of the country as well. They must take the farmers' produce and send or convey it to New Orleans, the only market for the west. It was necessary for the western merchant to buy pork and pack it, to buy wheat and have it ground into flour, to have barrels made to hold the four, and then to build fat-bottomed boats and with considerable expense and great risk, float it down the Ohio and the Mississippi to New Orleans. Having arrived at New Orleans and disposed of the cargo, the dangers were not over, as there was the long journey home. In returning there was the choice of routes. The merchant could either return home by land, a distance of 1,100 miles over the Natchez trace, 500 miles of which was through the Indian country, or go by sea to Philadelphia or Baltimore and thence home by land. The latter route was frequently chosen when the merchant wished to lay in a new stock of goods. One merchant of the Miami valley made fourteen such trips. On the first trip he had charge of five flatboats loaded with produce. Thirteen trips were made on flatboats and one on a barge. Eight times he traveled home by land and was usually about thirty days in making the journey from New Orleans to Cincinnati.
A large part of the imports continued to come from Philadelphia or Baltimore until, and even after, the introduction of the steamboat. Once or twice in the year the merchant would go to one or both of those cities to buy goods. If, after selling his produce at New Orleans, he did not go by sea from that place, he would start from his home and travel on horseback, a distance of 600 miles, or go by keel-boat to Pittsburg and thence over land to one of the coast cities. When the goods were purchased he must engage wagons to haul them over a bad road to Pittsburg at a cost of from $6 to $10 per hundredweight; and after a journey of from twenty to twenty-five days over the mountains, he must buy flatboats or keel-boats and employ hands to take his goods to Cincinnati. The round trip from Cincinnati to Pittsburg usually consumed about three months, says McBride in his Pioneer History of Butler County. This growing business soon brought about the construction of large warehouses near the river and storage and commission firms began to appear.
There is little evidence showing the influence of the War of 1812 on the settlement of the Miami valley, but it is probable that the export of products, under existing conditions, were somewhat interfered with. However, the demands of the northwestern army for sustenance doubtless compensated in this respect for any such loss. According to market quotations in the Western Spy, wheat was worth 622 cents per bushel in October, 1812, and rose to $1 per bushel by the middle of the following December. John H. Piatt, the principal western army contractor, had frequent advertisements in the Cincinnati papers for pack horses, beef, cattle, hogs, four, and whiskey. After the war the development of this region and its (page 60) growing commerce is indicated by what appears to have been a great extension of the flatboat business. Under the head of Ship News, Cincinnati papers published the arrival and departure of barges. The following are some of the typical notices of the time: "Arrived on the 6th inst. the barge Cincinnati from New Orleans. Cargo, sugar, cotton and molasses."
"Arrived June 1, the barge, Nonesuch, Capt. M. Baum, from New Orleans. Cargo, cotton and sugar. Also, two large keel-boats, cargo same."
"Arrived on Wednesday last, the barge Fox, Capt. Palmer, from New Orleans to Messrs. Marsh & Palmer; cargo, sugar, cotton, and coffee."
On the first anniversary of St. Jackson's Day, Liberty Hall published the following:
"Sailed for New Orleans :
"Barge Nonesuch, 100 tons flour and pork.
"Barge Cincinnati, 115 tons flour and pork. "Barge Fox, 40 tons flour and pork.
"Ten to 12 flat boats, each carrying 300 to 400 barrels, have sailed from Cincinnati within two months, loaded with pork, four, lard and other products."
In 1817 this extensive flatboat trade was carrying down the river for export from Cincinnati the surplus produce of about 100,000 people, situated in what was then probably the richest and most productive agricultural section of the west. Flour, pork, and whiskey were the chief articles of export. Dr. Drake assures us that in 1815 the city exported annually several thousand barrels of flour to New Orleans, and it follows that a goodly portion of this export business was the product of the Miami valley. Richard Foster had given the people of the valley their first lessons in pork packing, and droves of swine were beginning to move toward Cincinnati for slaughter and shipment down the river. Nor did the commercial basis continue to be entirely agricultural. Local manufacturers were beginning to contribute their share to the general development. Within the twenty-two years since the Treaty of Greenville, Cincinnati had increased from a village of 500 inhabitants to a city of a population of about 7,000; Dayton and other villages in the interior were rapidly increasing in size, and a considerable number of the inhabitants were engaged in manufacturing. Their principal business, of course, was to supply the local demand, but there had already begun a limited export of manufactured goods to regions farther west and south. Chief among these exports were beer, porter, cheese, soap, candles, spun yarn, lumber and cabinet furniture.
With the beginning of the steamboat era, in 1817, a new impetus was given to the varied industries of the Miami valley and this influence caused the population to increase more rapidly. A rich agricultural region, under frontier conditions and primitive means of transportation, had developed until in some portions there was already a population of nearly forty-five inhabitants to the square mile, according to McMaster, in his History of the People of the United States. And this population was growing rapidly and (page 61) demanded an increasing quantity of manufactures and imported goods, for which it would be ready to exchange a large surplus of farn3' products. Raw material for manufacturing purposes was convenient, and all the necessary advantages were present to make the Miami valley the center of a prosperous and progressive civilization.
Taking them in chronological order, Hamilton was the first settled of the seven counties that are considered in this work as forming the territory of the Miami valley. And Hamilton was the second county settled in the state of Ohio. On November 18, 1788, the first settlement was made at Columbia by Major Benjamin Stites, with a party of eighteen or twenty frontiersmen. The site of the village was a little below the mouth of the Little Miami and is now within the limits of the city of Cincinnati, fve miles east of Fountain Square. Henry Howe, in his Historical Collections, says of these settlers that they were superior men. Among them were Col. Spencer, Major Gano, Judge Goforth, Francis Dunlavy, Major Kabbey, Rev. John Smith, Judge Foster, Col. Brown, Mr. Hubbell, Capt. Flinn, Jacob White, and John Riley, and for several years the settlement was the most populous and successful. Two or three blockhouses were first erected for the protection of the women and children, and then log cabins for the families. The boats in which they had come from Maysville, then Limestone, were broken up and used for the doors, floors, -etc., to these rude buildings. They had at that time no trouble from the Indians, which arose from the fact that they were then gathered at Fort Harmar to make a treaty with the whites. Wild game was plentiful, but their breadstuffs and salt soon gave out, and as a substitute they occasionally used various roots, taken from native plants, the bear grass especially. When the Spring of 1789 opened their prospects grew brighter. The fine bottoms on the Little Miami had long been cultivated by the savages, and were found mellow as ash heaps. The men worked in divisions, one-half keeping guard with their rifles while the others worked, changing their employments morning and afternoon.
Turkey Bottom, on the Little Miami, one and a half miles above Columbia, was a clearing in area of a square mile, and had been cultivated by the Indians for a long while, and supplied both Columbia and the garrison at Fort Washington at Cincinnati with corn for that season. From nine acres of Turkey Bottom, the tradition goes, the enormous crop of 963 bushels were gathered the very first season. Before this the women and children from Columbia early visited Turkey Bottom to scratch up the bulbous roots of the bear grass. These they boiled, washed, dried on smooth boards, and finally pounded into a species of four, which served as a tolerable substitute for making various baking operations. Many of the families subsisted for a time entirely on the roots of the bear grass, and there was great suffering for provisions until they could grow corn.
The facts connected with the settlement of Cincinnati are given substantially as follows by Henry Howe : In September, 1788, a large party, embracing John Cleves Symmes, Benjamin Stites, (page 62) Denman, Patterson, Filson, Ludlow, with others, in all about sixty men, left Limestone to visit the new Miami purchase of Symmes. They landed at the mouth of the Great Miami and explored the country for some distance back from that and North Bend, at which point Symmes then decided to make a settlement. The party surveyed the distance between the two Miamis, following the meanders of the Ohio, and returned to Limestone. On December 24, 1788, Denman and Patterson, with twenty-six others, left Limestone in a boat to found Losantiville. After much difficulty and danger from floating ice in the river, they arrived at the spot on or about the 28th., the exact date being in dispute. The precise spot of their landing was an inlet at the foot of Sycamore street, later known as Yeatman's Cove. Ludlow laid out the town. On January 7, ensuing, the settlers by lottery decided on their choice of donation lots, the same being given to each in fee simple on condition that he raised two crops successively, and not less than an acre for each crop ; that he built within two years a house equal to twenty-five feet square, one and a half stories high, with brick, stone, or clay chimney, each house to stand in front of the respective lot. The following is a list of settlers who so agreed, thirty in number: Samuel Blackburn, Sylvester White; Joseph Thornton, John Vance, James Dumont, a man named Fulton, Elijah Martin, Isaac Van Meter, Thomas Gissel, David McClever, a man named Davidson, Matthew Campbell, James Monson, James McConnell, Noah Badgely, James Carpenter, Samuel Mooney, James Campbell, Isaac Freeman, Scott Traverse, Benjamin Dumont, Jesse Stewart, Henry Bechtle, Richard Stewart, Luther Kitchell, Ephraim Kibbey, Henry Lindsey, John Porter, Daniel Shoemaker, Joel Williams. The thirty in-lots in general terms comprised the space back from the landing between Main street and Broadway, and there the town was started. The North Bend settlement was the third within the Symmes purchase, and was made under the immediate care of Judge Symmes.
The party, on their passage down the river, were obstructed, delayed and exposed to imminent danger from floating ice, which covered the river. However, they reached the bend, the place of their destination, in safety, early in February. The first object of the Judge was to found a city at that place, which had received the name of North Bend from the fact that it was the most northern bend in the Ohio river below the mouth of the Great Kanawha. The water-craft used in descending the Ohio, in those primitive times, were flatboats made of green oak plank, fastened by wooden pins to a frame of timber, and caulked with tow or any other pliant substance that could be procured. Boats similarly constructed on the northern waters were then called arks, but on the western rivers they were denominated Kentucky boats. The materials of which they were composed were found to be of great utility in the construction of temporary buildings for safety, and for protection from the inclemency of the weather, after they had arrived at their destination.
Gen. Harmar, at the earnest solicitation of Symmes, sent Capt. Kearsey with forty-eight rank and flee to protect the improvements just commencing in the Miami valley. This detachment reached (page 63) Limestone in December, 1788, and a few days later Capt. Kearsey sent a part of his command in advance, as a guard to protect the pioneers under Major Stites, at the Little Miami, where they arrived soon afterward. Accompanied by Capt. Kearsey, Mr. Symmes and his party landed at Columbia, on their passage down the river, and the detachment previously sent to that place joined their company. They then proceeded to the bend and landed, about the first or second of February. When they left Limestone it was the purpose of Capt. Kearsey to occupy the fort built at the mouth of the Miami by a detachment of United States troops who afterward descended the Ohio river to the falls at Louisville, but that purpose was defeated by the high water, which had spread over the low grounds and rendered it difficult to reach the fort. Thus disappointed, the captain resolved that he would not build a new fort, but would leave the bend and join the garrison at Louisville. In pursuance of that resolution, early in March, he descended the river with his command. Symmes immediately wrote to Major Willis, commandant of the garrison at the Falls, complaining of the conduct of Capt. Kearsey, representing the exposed situation of the Miami settlement, stating the indications of hostility manifested by the Indians, and requesting a guard to be sent to the bend. This request was promptly granted, and before the close of the month Ensign Luce arrived with seventeen or eighteen soldiers, which, for a time, removed the apprehensions of the pioneers at that place. However, it was not long before the Indians made an attack on the settlement, and one soldier was killed and four or fve others were wounded, including Major J. R. Mills, from Elizabethtown, New Jersey, who was a surveyor and an intelligent and highly respected citizen. Although he recovered from his wounds, he felt their disabling effects to the day of his death.
The surface of the ground where Symmes and his party had landed was above the reach of the water and sufficiently level to admit of a convenient settlement. Therefore he determined, for the immediate accommodation of his party, to lay out a village at that place and to suspend, for the present, the execution of his purpose as to the city of which he had given notice until satisfactory information could be obtained in regard to the comparative advantages of diferent places in the vicinity. However, the determination to lay out such a city was not abandoned, but was executed in the succeeding year on a magnificent scale. It included the village and extended from the Ohio across the peninsula to the Miami river. This city, which was certainly a beautiful one, on paper, was called Symmes, and for a time was a subject of conversation and of criticism ; but it soon ceased to be remembered-even its name was forgotten, and the settlement continued to be called North Bend. Since then, that village has been distinguished as the home of William Henry Harrison, soldier and statesman, whose remains now repose in an humble vault on one of its beautiful hills. In conformity with a stipulation made at Limestone, every individual in the party received a donation lot, which he was required to improve as the condition of obtaining a title. As the number of these adventurers increased, in consequence of the (page 64) protection afforded by the military, Symmes was induced to lay out another village, six or seven miles higher up the river, and which place he called South Bend, where he disposed of some donation lots; but that project failed, and in a few years the village was deserted and converted into a farm.
In the midst of these transactions, Symmes was visited by a number of Indians from a camp in the neighborhood of Stites' settlement. One of them, a Shawnee chief, had many complaints to make of frauds practiced on them by white traders, who fortunately had no connection with the pioneers. After several conversations, and some small presents, the chief professed to be satisfied with the explanation he had received and gave assurances that the Indians would trade with the white men as friends. In one of their interviews, Symmes told the chief that he (Symmes) had been commissioned and sent out to their country, by the thirteen fires, in the spirit of friendship and kindness, and that he was instructed to treat them as friends and brothers. In proof of this he showed them the flag of the Union, with its stars and stripes, and also his commission, which bore the great seal of the United States, exhibiting the American eagle with the olive branch in one claw, emblematical of peace, and the instrument of war and death in the other. He explained the meaning of those symbols to the satisfaction of the Indians, though at first the chief seemed to think they were not very striking emblems, either of peace or friendship; but before he departed from the bend he gave assurances of the most friendly character. Yet, when they left their camp to return to their towns, they carried of a number of horses belonging to the Columbia settlement, to compensate for the injuries done them by wandering traders who had no part or lot with the pioneers. These depredations having been repeated, a party was sent out in pursuit, and the trail of the Indians was followed a considerable distance, when they discovered fresh signs and sent Capt. Flinn, one of their party, in advance to reconnoitre. He had not proceeded far before he was surprised, taken prisoner, and carried to the Indian camp. Not liking the movements he saw going on, which seemed to indicate personal violence in regard to himself, and having great confidence in his activity and strength, at a favorable moment he sprang from the camp, made his escape and rejoined his party. Fearing an ambuscade, the Indians did not pursue. The party possessed themselves of some horses belonging to the Indians and returned to Columbia. In a few days the Indians brought in Capt. Flinn's rifle and begged Major Stites to restore their horses, alleging that they were innocent of the depredations laid to their charge. After some further explanations, the matter was amicably settled and the horses were given up.
Although they had one general object and were threatened by one common danger, there existed a strong spirit of rivalry among these three settlements-the first in the Miami valley; each person feeling a pride in the prosperity of the little colony to which he belonged. That spirit had a strong influence on the pioneers of the different villages and produced an esprit du corps, scarcely to be expected under circumstances so critical and dangerous as those (page 65) which threatened them. At first it was a matter of doubt which of the rivals-Columbia, Cincinnati, or North Bend-would eventually become the chief seat of business. However, the doubt lasted but a short time. The garrison having been established at Cincinnati, that fact made it the headquarters and the depot of the army, and as soon as the county courts of the territory were organized it was made the seat of justice of Hamilton county. These advantages convinced everybody that it was destined to become the metropolis of the Miami country.
A large number of the original adventurers to the Miami purchase had exhausted their means by paying for their land and removing their families to the country. Others were wholly destitute of property and came out as volunteers, under the expectation of obtaining, gratuitously, such small tracts of land as might be forfeited by the purchasers, under judge Symmes, for not making the improvements required by the conditions stipulated in the terms of sale and settlement of Miami lands, published by Symmes in 1787. The class of adventurers first named was comparatively numerous, and had come out under an expectation of taking immediate possession of the lands and of commencing the cultivation of them for subsistence. Therefore, their situation was distressing. To go out into the wilderness to till the soil appeared to be certain death; to remain in the settlements threatened them with starvation. The best provider of the pioneers found it difficult to obtain subsistence; and, of course, the class now spoken of were not far from total destitution. They depended on game, fish, and such products of the earth as could be raised on small patches of ground in the immediate vicinity of the settlements. Small lots of provisions were brought down the river by immigrants, occasionally, and sometimes were transported on packhorses from Lexington, at a heavy expense, and not without danger. But supplies, thus procured, were beyond the reach of the destitute.
Having endured these privations as long as they could be borne, the more resolute of them determined to brave the consequences of moving on to their lands. To accomplish the object with the least exposure, those whose lands were in the same neighborhood united as one family, and on that principle a number of associations were formed, amounting to a dozen or more, who went out resolved to maintain their positions. Each party erected a strong blockhouse, near to which their cabins were put up, and the whole was enclosed by strong log pickets. This being done, they commenced clearing their lands and preparing for planting their crops. While they were at work, during the day, one person was placed as a sentinel to warn them of approaching danger. At sunset they retired to the blockhouse and their cabins, taking everything of value within the pickets. They proceeded in this manner from day to day and week to week till their improvements were sufficiently extensive to support their families. They depended for subsistence during this time on wild game, obtained at some hazard, more than on the scanty supplies they were able to procure from the settlements on the river. In a short time these stations gave protection and food to a large number of destitute families. After (page 66) they were established, the Indians became less annoying to the set tlements, as part of their time was employed in watching the stations. However, the former did not escape, but endured their share of the fruits of savage hostility. In fact, no place or situation was exempt from danger. The safety of the pioneer depended on his means of defense and on perpetual vigilance. The Indians viewed those stations with great jealousy, as they had the appearance of permanent military establishments, intended to retain possession of their country. In that view they were correct, and it was fortunate, as the settlers lacked either the skill or the means of demolishing them. The great error of the Indians consisted in permitting those works to be constructed. They might have prevented it with ease, but they appeared not to be aware of the serious consequences until it was too late to act with effect. However, several attacks were made, at different times, with an apparent determination to destroy them; but they failed in every instance. The assault made on the station erected by Capt. Jacob White, a pioneer of much energy and enterprise, at the third crossing of Mill creek from Cincinnati, on the old Hamilton road, was resolute and daring; but it was gallantly met and successfully repelled. The attack was in the night, and in the fight which ensued Capt. White shot and killed a warrior, who fell so near the blockhouse that his companions could not remove his body. The next morning it was brought in, and judging from his stature, as reported by the inmates, he might have claimed descent from a race of giants. The appearances of blood on the ground in the vicinity of the blockhouse indicated that the assailants had suffered severely.
In the winter of 1790-1, a strong party, estimated at probably four or five hundred, made an attack on Dunlap's Station, at Colerain. The blockhouse at that place was occupied by a small number of United States troops, commanded by Col. Kingsbury, then a subaltern in the army. The fort was furnished with a piece of artillery, which was an object of terror to the Indians; yet that did not deter them from an attempt to effect their purpose. The attack was violent, and for some time the station was in imminent danger. The savages were led by the notorious Simon Girty and outnumbered the garrison at least ten to one. The works were entirely of wood, and the only obstacle between the assailants and the assailed was a picket of logs that might have been demolished with a loss probably not exceeding twenty or thirty lives. The garrison displayed unusual gallantry, frequently exposing their persons above the pickets to insult and provoke the assailants; and judging from the facts reported their conduct was as much folly as bravery. Col. John Wallace, of Cincinnati, one of the earliest and bravest of the pioneers, and as amiable as he was brave, was in the fort when the attack was made. Although the works were completely surrounded by the enemy, the Colonel volunteered to go to Cincinnati for reinforcement. The fort stood on the east bank of the Big Miami, and late in the night he was conveyed across the river in a canoe and landed on the opposite shore. Having passed down some miles below the fort, he swam the river and directed his course for Cincinnati. The next day he met a body of men from that (page 67) place and from Columbia, proceeding to Colerain. They had been informed of the attack by persons hunting in the neighborhood and who had been sufficiently near the fort to hear the firing when it began. The Colonel joined the party and led them to the station by the same route he had traveled from it; but before they arrived the Indians had gone. Abner Hunt, a respectable citizen of New Jersey, who was on a surveying tour in the neighborhood of Colerain at the time of the attack, was killed before he could reach the fort. His body was found, shockingly mangled. The Indians had tied him to a sapling within sight of the garrison and built a large fire so near as to scorch him, inflicting the most acute pain. And he was thus literally roasted to death.
The route of St. Clair, in his disastrous campaign of 1791, passed through Butler county, and in September of that year Fort Hamilton was built at the crossing of the Great Miami on the site of the present city of Hamilton. It was intended as a place of deposit for provisions and to form the frst link in the communication between Fort Washington and the object of the campaign. It was a stockade of fifty yards square, with four good bastions and platforms for cannon in two bf them, with barracks. In the summer succeeding an addition was made to the fort by order of Gen. Wilkinson, which consisted in enclosing with pickets an area of ground on the north part, so that it extended up the river to about the north line of the present Stable street. The southern point of the work extended to the site afterward occupied by the Associate Reformed church. From manuscript left by the late James McBride and published in Howe's Collections, the following items of early history are gleaned :
Late in the fall of 1792, an advance corps of troops, under the command of Major Rudolph, arrived at Fort Hamilton, where they wintered. They consisted of three companies of light dragoons, one of rifle, and one of infantry. Rudolph was a major of dragoons from lower Virginia. His reputation was that of an arbitrary and tyrannical officer. Some time in the spring seven soldiers deserted to the Ohio river, where, procuring a canoe, they started for New Orleans. Ten or fifteen miles below the falls of the Ohio they were met by Lieut. (afterward Gen.) Clark and sent back to Fort Hamilton, where a court-martial sentenced three of them to be hung, two to run the gauntlet, and the remaining two to lie in irons in the guardhouse for a stipulated period. John Brown, Seth Blinn, and a man named Gallagher were the three sentenced to be hanged, and the execution took place the next day. Five hundred soldiers were drawn up in arms around the fatal spot to witness the exit of their unfortunate comrades. Immediately after the sentence had been pronounced on these men, a friend hastened to Fort Washington, where he obtained a pardon from Gen. Wilkinson. But he was too late. The execution had been hastened by Major Rudolph, and the friend arrived at Hamilton fifteen minutes after the spirits of these unfortunate men had taken their flight to another world. Their bodies were immediately committed to the grave under the gallows. The two other deserters were sentenced to run the gauntlet sixteen times between two ranks of soldiers, and this (page 68) punishment forthwith was carried into execution. The lines were formed in the rising ground east of the fort, where afterward Front street was laid out, and extended to the intersection of Ludlow street. Some time afterward Gen. Wayne arrived at the post, and although frequently represented as an arbitrary man, he was much displeased with the cruelty of Major Rudolph and gave him his choice, either to resign or be cashiered. He chose the former, returned to Virginia, and subsequently, in company with another gentleman, purchased a ship and went on a trading voyage to Europe. It is related that they were captured by an Algerian cruiser and that Rudolph was hanged at the yardarm of his own vessel.
In the summer of 1792 two wagoners were, watching some oxen, which had been turned out to graze on the common below the fort. A shower of rain coming on, they stepped under a tree for shelter, and some Indians, who had been watching from under the covert of the adjoining underbrush, rushed suddenly upon them, killed one, and took the other prisoner. The latter was Henry Shafer, who afterward returned and lived for many years a few miles below Rossville, on the river.
In September, 1793, the army of Wayne marched from Cincinnati to Fort Hamilton and encamped in the upper part of the prairie, about half a mile south of the present city, nearly on the same ground on which Gen. St. Clair had encamped in 1791. Here they threw up a breastwork, the remains of which may yet be traced at the point where the present road strikes the Miami river.
A few days afterward they continued their march toward the Indian country. Gen. Wayne detailed a strong guard of men for the defense of the fort, the command of which was given to Major Jonathan Cass, of the army of the Revolution, and father of the Hon. Lewis Cass, later prominent as a United States Senator from Michigan. Major Cass continued in command until the treaty of Greenville.
On December 17, 1794, Israel Ludlow laid out, within Symmes' purchase, the original plat of the town of Hamilton, which he at first, for a short time only, called Fairfield. Shortly afterward a few settlers came in. The first settlers were Darius C. Orcut, John Green, William McClennan, John Sutherland, John Torrence, Benjamin F. Randolph, Benjamin Davis, Isaac Wiles, Andrew Christy, and William Hubbert. Previous to 1801 all the lands on the west side of the Great Miami were owned by the United States, consequently there were no improvements made on that side of the river, except by a few squatters. There was one log house built at an early period near the west end of the bridge. On the first Monday in April, 1801-at the first sale of United States lands west of the Miami, held at Cincinnati-a company purchased the site of Rossville, on which, March 14, 1804, they laid out the town. John Reily was the agent for the proprietors.
The first settlers of Hamilton suffered much from the fever and ague, and, being principally disbanded soldiers, without energy, and many of them dissipated, but little improvement was made for the first few years. In those early times horse-racing was a favorite amusement and an affair of all engrossing interest. On public days, (page 69) indeed on almost every other Saturday, the streets and commons in the upper part of the town were converted into race-paths. The race course comprehended the common from Second to Fourth street. On grand occasions the plain within the course and near it was occupied with booths erected with forks and covered with boughs. Here everything was said, done, eaten, sold and drunk. Here was Black Jack with his fiddle, and his votaries making the dust fly with a four-handed, or rather four-footed reel; and every fifteen or twenty minutes was a rush to some part to see a "fisticuffs."
Among the bustling crowd of jockeys were assembled all classes. Even judges of the court mingled with the crowd, and sometimes presided at the contests of speed between the ponies of the neighborhood.
Soon after the formation of Butler county Hamilton was made the county seat. The first sessions of the court were held in the tavern of Mr. Torrence, and later sessions were held in the former messroom of the fort. In 1810 the court was removed to a room over the stone jail, and in 1817 transferred to a newly erected courthouse. At their July term, in 1803, the court selected the old magazine within the fort as a county jail. It was a heavy-built log building, about twelve feet square, with a hipped roof coming to a common center, and surmounted by a ball. The door had a hole in the center shaped like a half-moon, through which air, light, and food were conveyed, while on the outside it was secured by a padlock and hasp. It was very insecure, and escapes were almost as frequent as committals. It was the only jail for Butler county from 1803 to 1809. A small log house, formerly a settler's store, was used as a clerk's office. The house erected by Gen. Wilkinson, in 1792, for officers' quarters, was converted into a tavern, kept by the county sheriff, William McClennan, while the barracks and artifcers' shops were used as stables.
On September 21, 1795, William Bedle, from New Jersey, set out from one of the settlements near Cincinnati with a wagon, tools and provisions, to make a new settlement in the Third or Military range. This was about one month after the fact had become known that Wayne had made a treaty of peace with the Indians. He traveled with a surveying party under Capt. John Dunlap, following Harmar's trace to his lands, where he left the party and built a blockhouse as a protection against the Indians, who might not respect the treaty of peace. This was the first attempt at permanent occupation in what is now Warren county, and Bedle's Station came to be a well-known place in its early history. It was located five miles west of Lebanon and nearly two miles south of Union village. There several families lived in much simplicity, the clothing of the children being made chiefly out of dressed deerskin, some of the larger girls being clad in buckskin petticoats and short gowns. About the time of the settlement of Bedle's Station, however, or not long afterward, William Mounts and five others established Mounts' Station, on a broad and fertile bottom on the south side of the Little Miami, about three miles below the mouth of Todd's Fork, building their cabins in a circle around a spring as a protection against the Indians. But South Lebanon, originally called (page 70) Deerfield, is probably the oldest town in the county. Its proprietors gave a number of lots to those who would erect houses on them and become residents of the place. On January 25, 1796, the proprietors, advertised in the Centinel of the Northwest Territory that all the lots they proposed to donate had been taken, and that twenty-five houses and cabins had been erected. Benjamin Stites, sr., Benjamin Stites, jr., and John Stites Gano were the proprietors. The senior Stites owned nearly ten thousand acres between Lebanon and Deerfield. Andrew Lytle, Nathan Kelly, and Gen. David Sutton were among the early settlers at Deerfield. The pioneer and soldier, Capt. Ephraim Kibbey, died there in 1809, aged 55 years. In the spring of 1796 settlements were made in various parts of the county. The settlements at Deerfield, Franklin, and in the vicinities of Lebanon and Waynesville, all date from the spring of 1796. A few cabins may have been erected at Deerfield and Franklin in the autumn of 1795, but it is not probable that any families were settled at either place until the next spring. Among the earliest white men who made their homes in the county were those who settled on the forfeitures in Deerfield township. They were poor men, destitute of means to purchase land, and were willing to brave dangers from savage foes and to endure the privations of a lonely life in the wilderness to receive gratuitously the tract of 106 acres forfeited by each purchaser of a section of land who did not commence improvements within two years after the date of his purchase. In a large number of the sections below the third range there was a forfeited one-sixth part and a number of hardy adventurers had established themselves on the northeast corner of the section. Some of these adventurers were single men, living alone in little huts and supporting themselves chiefly with their rifles. Others had their families with them at an early period.
The site of the present city of Dayton was selected in 1788 by some gentlemen who designed laying out a town by the name of Venice. They entered into an agreement with John Cleves Symmes, for the purchase of the lands. But the Indian wars which ensued prevented the extension of settlements from the immediate neighborhood of Cincinnati for some years, and the project was abandoned. Soon after Wayne's treaty, in 1795, a new company, composed of Gens. Jonathan Dayton, Arthur St. Clair, James Wilkinson, and Col. Israel Ludlow, purchased the lands between the Miamis around the mouth of Mad river, of judge Symmes, and on November 4th laid out the town. Arrangements were made for its settlement in the ensuing spring, and donations of lots were offered, with other privileges, to actual settlers. Forty-six persons entered into engagements to remove from Cincinnati to Dayton, but before spring most of them had scattered in different directions and only nineteen fulfilled their engagements. The first families who made a permanent residence in the place arrived on April 1, 1796. The first nineteen settlers of Dayton were William Gahagan, Samuel Thomson, Benjamin Van Cleve, Solomon Goss, Thomas Davis, John Davis, James McClure, John McClure, Daniel Ferrell, William Hamer, Solomon Hamer, Thomas Hamer, Abraham Glassmire, John Dorough, William Chenoweth, James Morris, William (page 71) Newcom, and George Newcom. Judge Symmes was unable to complete his payments for all the lands he had agreed to purchase of the government, and those lying about Dayton reverted to the United States, by which the settlers were left without titles to their lots. Congress, however, passed a pre-emption law, under which those who had contracted for lands with Symmes and his associates had a right to enter the same lots or lands at government price. Some of the settlers entered their lots and obtained titles directly from the United States; and others made an arrangement with Daniel C. Cooper to receive their deeds from him, and he entered the residue of the town lands. He had been a surveyor and agent for the first company of proprietors, and they assigned him certain of their rights of pre-emption, by which he became the titular proprietor of the town. In 1803, on the organization of the state government, Montgomery county was established and Dayton was made the seat of justice, at which time only five families resided in the town, the other settlers having gone onto farms in the vicinity or removed to other parts of the country. The increase of the town was gradual until the war of 1812, when it became a point on the thoroughfare for the troops and stores on their way to the frontier. Its .progress was then more rapid until 1820, when the depression of business put an almost total check to its increase, but the commencement of the Miami canal, in 1827, renewed its prosperity. Among the first settlers who established themselves in Miami county was John Knoop. He removed from Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, in 1797. In the spring of that year he came down the Ohio to Cincinnati and cropped the first season on a farm four miles above Cincinnati. That summer he made two excursions into the Indian country with surveying parties and at that time selected the land he afterward occupied. Early the next spring, in 1798, he removed to near the present site of Staunton village and, in connection with Benjamin Knoop, Henry Garard, Benjamin Hamlet, and John Tildus, established there a station for the security of their families. Mrs. Knoop there planted the first apple tree introduced into Miami county. They remained at the station two years, during which time they were occupied in clearing and building on their respective farms. At this time there were three young single men living at the mouth of Stony creek, and cropping on what was afterward called Freeman's Prairie. One of these was D. H. Morris, and at the same time there resided at Piqua, Samuel Hilliard, Job Garrard, Shadrach Hudson, Jonah Rollins, Daniel Cox, Thomas Rich, and a man named Hunter. These last three had removed to Piqua in 1797, and together with the company at a nearby station, comprised all the inhabitants of Miami county from 1797 to 1799. In the latter year John, afterward judge Garrard, Nathaniel and Abner Garrard ; and the year following, Uriah Blue, Joseph Coe, and Abraham Hathaway came in with their families. From that time all parts of the county began to receive numerous immigrants. For many years the citizens lived together on footings of the most social and harmonious intercourse. For their accommodation they sought the mill of Owen Davis, afterward known as Smith's Mill, on Beaver creek, a tributary of the Little Miami, some twenty-seven (page 72) miles distant. Two days were consumed in the trip. Only one man was killed in the settlement from 1797 to 1811. This person was one Boyier, who was shot by a straggling party of Indians, supposedly through mistake.
For some time the most popular milling was at Patterson's, below Dayton, and with Owen Davis, on Beaver; but the first mill in Miami county is thought to have been erected by John Manning, on Piqua bend. Nearly the same time Henry Garrard erected on Spring creek a corn and sawmill.
Staunton was the first place of permanent settlement in the county and the nucleus from which its civilization spread. It was the first platted town. Among the earliest settlers of Staunton were Levi Martin and Andrew Dye. Most of the pioneers wore buckskin pantaloons. One was Tom Rogers, a great hunter, who lived in two sycamore trees in the woods. He had long gray whiskers, a skull cap and buckskin pantaloons. The first survey of Troy was made by Andrew Wallace, in 1807, with additions from time to time. On December 2nd of that year Robert Crawford was appointed town director, and he gave bonds to the county commissioners to purchase the land for the seat of justice and lay it of into streets and lots.
The first white family who settled in Shelby county was that of James Thatcher, in 1804, who settled in the west part on Painter's run, and Samuel Marshall, John Wilson, and John Kennard came soon afterward. The first court was held in a cabin at Hardin, May 13 and 14, 1819. Hon. Joseph H. Crane, of Dayton, was the president judge; Samuel Marshall, Robert Houston, and William Cecil, associates; Harvey B. Foot, clerk ; Daniel V. Dingman, sheriff, and Harvey Brown, of Dayton, prosecutor. The frst mill was a sawmill, erected in 1808 by Daniel McMullen and Bilderbach. Logan county was first settled about the year 1806. The names recorded of the early settlers are Robert and William Moore, Benjamin and John Schuyler, Philip and Andrew Mathews, John Makimson, John and Levi Garwood, Abislia Warner, Joshua and Samuel Sharp, David and Robert Marmon, Samuel and Thomas Newell, and Benjamin J. Cox. In the War of 1812 the settlements in this county were on the verge of civilization and the troops destined for the northwest passed through this region. There were several blockhouse stations in the county: Manary's, McPherson's, Vance's and Zane's. Manary's, built by Capt. James Manary, of Ross county, was three miles north of Bellefontaine ; McPherson's stood three-fourths of a mile northwest, and was built by Capt. Maltby, of Green county; Vance's, built by ex-Gov. Vance, then captain of a rifle company, stood on a high bluf on the margin of a prairie, about a mile east of Logansville; Zane's blockhouse was at Zanesfield.
The Maimi valley is rich to excess in names of men known to the nation as possessed of rare intellect, wide attainments and great force of character; and it would seem to be fitting in this connection to give biographical mention of some of the noted characters:
Othniel Looker was born in New York, in 1757. He was a (page 73) private in the war of the revolution and a man of humble origin and calling. His history is little known, but, being speaker in the Ohio Senate, by virtue of that office he became acting governor for eight months when Gen. Meigs resigned to go in President Madison's cabinet. He was later defeated as a candidate for governor by Thomas Worthington.
John Reily was born in Pennsylvania, in 1763. In 1791 he removed to Cincinnati, and in 1803 settled in Hamilton. He served as a member of the first constitutional convention of Ohio. His friend, judge Burnet, in his Notes, refers to Reily's character and services. He was clerk of the supreme court of Butler county from 1803 to 1842, and died at the age of eighty-seven years. He was a man of clock-work regularity of habits and system, and could in a few minutes find a paper he had not seen in twenty years. In every respect he was a first-class man.
Jeremiah Morrow was born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, October 6, 1771. He was of Scotch-Irish descent, the family name being originally Murray. In 1795 he removed to the northwest territory and settled at the mouth of the Little Miami river, but soon moved up to what is now Warren county. In 1801 he was elected to the territorial legislature ; was a delegate to the frst constitutional convention, in 1802; was elected to the state senate in 1803, and in the same year to Congress, serving for ten years as the sole representative of Ohio in the lower house. In 1814 he was commissioner to treat with all of the Indians west of the Miami river. From 1813 to 1819 he was a member of the United States senate and served as chairman of the committee on public lands. In 1822 he was elected governor and at the end of his term was re-elected. He served as canal commissioner in 1820-22, and he was also the first president of the Little Miami railroad company. In 1841 he was again elected to Congress, and he died March 22, 1852. While in Congress, Mr. Morrow drafted most of the laws providing for the survey and disposal of public lands. He introduced measures which led to the construction of the Cumberland road, and in February, 1816, presented the first report recommending a general system of internal improvements.
Daniel C. Cooper was born in Morris county, New Jersey, November 20, 1773. He came to Cincinnati about 1793, as the agent for Jonathan Dayton, of New Jersey, who was interested in the Symmes purchase. He obtained employment as a surveyor, and his business gave him an opportunity to examine lands and select valuable tracts for himself. In 1794-1795, he accompanied the surveying parties led by Col. Israel Ludlow through the Miami valley. As a preparation for the settlement of Dayton, by the direction of the proprietors, in September, 1795, he marked out a road from Fort Hamilton to the mouth of Mad river. In the fall and winter he located 1,000 acres of fine land in and near Dayton. In the, summer of 1796 he settled there, building a cabin at the southeast corner of Monument avenue and Jefferson street. About 1798 he moved out to his cabin on his farm, south of Dayton. There, in the fall of 1799, he built a distillery, "corn cracker" mill, and a sawmill, and made other improvements. St. Clair, Dayton, Wilkinson, and (page 74) Ludlow, on account of Symmes' inability to complete his purchase from the United States, and the high prices charged by the government' for land, were obliged to relinquish their Mad river purchase. Soon after the original proprietors retired Mr. Cooper purchased pre-emption rights and made satisfactory arrangements with land owners. Many interests were involved, and the transfer was a work of time. He was intelligent and public-spirited, and to his enlarged views, generosity, and integrity, and business capacity, much of the later prosperity of the city was due. He induced settlers to come to Dayton by donations of lots, gave lots and money to schools and churches, provided ground for a playground and a public common, later known as Cooper park, and built the only mills erected in Dayton in the first ten years of its history. He was appointed justice of the peace for Dayton township, Oct. 4, 1799, and served till May 1, 1803, the date of the formation of Montgomery county. In 1810-1812 he was president of the Select Council of Dayton, and he was seven times elected a member of the state legislature. Mr. Cooper died, July 13, 1818.
Benjamin Stanton was born of Quaker parentage on Short Creek, Belmont county, Ohio, March 4, 1809. He was bred a tailor, which appears to have been a favorite trade for young Friends, probably from its humanitarian aspects-"clothing the naked." He studied law and was admitted to the bar at Steubenville, in 1833; came to Bellefontaine in 1834, and was successively prosecuting attorney, state senator, member of the Ohio Constitutional Convention in 1851, and served several terms as a member of Congress. In 1861 he was elected lieutenant-governor of Ohio, on the same ticket with Gov. David Tod. In 1866 he removed to West Virginia, where he practiced law until his death.
Ethan Allen Brown was born in Darien, Conn., July 4, 1766. He studied law with Alexander Hamilton, and settled in Cincinnati, in 1804. From 1810 to 1818 he was a supreme judge, and then was elected governor and began agitating the subject of constructing canals. In 1820 he was re-elected over Jeremiah Morrow and Gen. William Henry Harrison. In 1822 he was elected to the United States senate, and from 1830 to 1834 he was United States minister to Brazil. Later, he served as commissioner of public lands and then retired to private life. He died in Indianapolis, in 1852, after a long and useful career.
The governor of Ohio during the Mexican War, 1846-48, was William Bebb. He was born of Welsh stock, in 1802, on the Dry Fork of Whitewater, in Morgan township, Butler county. He removed to the Rock river country, in Illinois, early in the fifties, where he had a large farm, and he later went to Europe and led a colony of Welsh colonists from Wales to the wilderness of Scott county, Tennessee. He lived to be a pension examiner under Lincoln and help in the election of Grant; and he died at his home in Rockford, Ill., in 1873.
Judge Francis Dunlevy, who died at Lebanon, Warren county, in 1839, was born in Virginia, in 1761. When he was ten years of age his family removed to Western Pennsylvania. At the early age of fourteen years he served in a campaign against the Indians, (page 75) and continued mostly in this service until the close of the revolution. He assisted in building Fort McIntosh, about the year 1777, and was afterward in the disastrous defeat of Crawford, from whence, with two others, he made his way alone through the woods without provisions, to Pittsburgh. In 1787 he removed to Kentucky, in 1791 to Columbia, and in 1797 to Warren county. By great perseverance he acquired a good education, mainly without instructors, and part of the time taught school and surveyed land until the year 1800. He was elected from Hamilton county a member of the convention which formed the state constitution. He was also a member of the first legislature, in 1803, and at the first organization of the judiciary he was appointed presiding judge of the first circuit. This place he held fourteen years, and though his circuit embraced ten counties, he never missed 'a court, frequently swimming his horse over the Miamis rather than fail being present. On leaving the bench he practiced at the bar fifteen years and then retired to his books and study.
Benjamin Van Cleve was a typical man, and, as a good representative of the best pioneer character, is worthy of especial notice.
He kept a journal, from which the following facts pertaining to his career have been mainly drawn. He was the eldest son of John and Catherine Benham Van Cleve, and was born in Monmouth county, New Jersey, Feb. 24, 1773. When he was seventeen years old the family removed to Cincinnati, Jan. 3, 1790, and settled on the east bank of the Licking, where Major Leech, in order to form a settlement and have a farm opened for himself, offered 100 acres for clearing each ten-acre field, with the use of the cleared land for three years. John Van Cleve, the father, intended to assist his son in this work, but was killed by the Indians. Benjamin by hard work as a day laborer, paid his father's debts, sold his blacksmith's tools to the quartermaster-general, and tried to the best of his ability, though a mere boy, to fill his father's place. Much of the time, from 1791 till 1794, he was employed in the quartermaster's department, whose headquarters were at Fort Washington, earning his wages of fifteen dollars a month by hard, rough work. He was present at St. Clair's defeat, and gives in his journal a thrilling account of the rout and retreat of the army, and of his own escape and safe return to Cincinnati. In the spring of 1792 he was sent of from Cincinnati at midnight, at a moment's notice, by the quartermaster-general, to carry dispatches to the war department at Philadelphia. In the fall of 1795 he accompanied Capt. Dunlap's party, to make the survey for the Dayton settlement. On April 10, 1796, he arrived in Dayton with the first party of settlers that came. In the fall of that year he went with Israel Ludlow and William G. Schenck to survey the United States military lands between the Scioto and Muskingum rivers. In the winter of 17991800 he taught in the blockhouse the first school opened in Dayton. From the organization of Montgomery county in 1803, till his death in 1821, he was clerk of the court. He was the first postmaster of Dayton and served from 1804 until his death. In 1805 he was one of the incorporators of the Dayton library, and in 1809 he was appointed by the legislature a member of the first board of trustees (page 76) of Miami university. He was an active member of the First Presbyterian church.
Logan county is rich to excess in names of men who have been known to the nation as possessed of rare intellect, wide attainments and great force of character. High on this list unquestionably stands the name of William H. West. Mr. West was born at Millsborough, Washington county, Pennsylvania, and with his parents came to Knox county, Ohio, in 1830. He graduated at Jefferson college, Pennsylvania, in 1846, dividing the honors with Gen. A. B. Sharpe. He taught school in Kentucky until 1848, when he accepted a tutorship in Jefferson college, and a year later was chosen adjunct professor at Hampden-Sidney college, Virginia. In 1850 he entered as a student the law office of judge William Lawrence at Bellefontaine, Ohio, and on his admission to the bar formed a law partnership with his tutor. Judge West was one of the few prominent men who formed the Republican party. It was in 1854 that he joined in an appeal to all parties, after the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, that brought out a convention at Columbus, Ohio, when West was one of the most prominent speakers, and Joseph R. Swan was nominated as a candidate for judge of the supreme court of Ohio, and through the aid of another newly formed political organization called the "Know Nothings" was elected by a majority of more than 75,000. In 1857 and in 1861 Judge West was a member of the state legislature, serving in the House, and in 1863 he was elected to the Senate. Afterward his party in the Logan Congressional district sent him as their delegate to the Chicago convention, when he took part in the nomination of Abraham Lincoln. In 1865 and 1867 he was chosen attorney-general of Ohio, and in 1869 was tendered the position of Consul to Rio Janeiro, but declined. In 1871 he was elected judge of the supreme court of Ohio, and was making his mark as an able jurist, when his failing sight forced him to resign. The marked event of his political life occurred in 1877, when he was nominated by his party, in state convention assembled, its candidate for governor. The great railroad strikes that arrested the wheels of nearly all the locomotives of 150,000 miles of operating railroads was on hand, and the newly named candidate for governor had to meet the issue involved in the strife. It was one judge West had studied and mastered. He knew what capital and labor meant, and he felt keenly all that it signified. He saw then what has developed since, that it was fated to be the great issue of civilization and had to be faced and solved before the wheels of progress could continue to revolve, and in his first utterance after his nomination he took the side of toil against the corporations. He was defeated at the election, and then retired to his home at Bellefontaine, where he continued in the practice of his profession practically until his death.
Thomas L. Young was born on the estate of Lord Duferin, in North Ireland, Dec. 14, 1832. He came to this country at fifteen years of age and served ten years as a private in the regular army, entering in the last year of the Mexican War. In 1859 he came to Cincinnati, graduated at its law school, and when the Civil War broke out he was assistant superintendent of the House of Refuge (page 77) reform school. On March 18, 1861, he wrote a letter to Gen. Winfield Scott, whom he personally knew, offering his services for the coming war, thus becoming the first volunteer from Hamilton county. He eventually entered the army, was commissioned colonel, and for extraordinary gallantry at Resaca was brevetted general. In 1866 he was elected to the legislature, in 1872 served as senator, and in 1876 was elected lieutenant-governor, succeeding R. B. Hayes, when the latter became President. He died, July 19, 1888, singularly admired for his thorough manliness. John B. Weller, born in Hamilton county in 1812, had a successful career. When but twenty-six years of age he was elected to Congress and was re-elected for two succeeding terms. He led the second Ohio regiment, as lieutenant-colonel, in the Mexican War, and returning thence led the Democratic party in the bitter gubernatorial fight of 1848, being defeated by Seabury Ford, of Geauga county, the Whig candidate. In 1849 he was commissioned to run the boundary line between California and Mexico. From 1852 to 1857 he was United States senator from California and then was elected governor. In 1860 he was appointed by Buchanan minister to Mexico, and he died in New Orleans, where he was practicing law.
William C. Schenck, father of Gen. R. C. Schenck. and Admiral James F. Schenck, was born near Freehold, N. J., Jan. 11, 1773. He studied both law and medicine, undetermined which to make his life profession, and fnally adopted that of surveyor. He came to Ohio as agent for his uncle, Gen. John N. Cumming, probably also of Messrs. Burnet, Dayton, and Judge Symmes. He became one of the most competent surveyors in the west. In 1796 he surveyed and laid out the town of Franklin, in Warren county, and in 1797 he set out to survey what was known as the Military Tract. In the winter of 1801-02 he surveyed and laid out the town of Newark, and in 1816 surveyed and laid out Port Lawrence, now known as Toledo. In 1799 Gen. Schenck was elected secretary of the first territorial legislature, and he was a member of the first senate of the state of Ohio. In 1803 he removed from Cincinnati to Warren county, locating in the village of Franklin, where he lived until his death, in 1821. During the war of 1812 he held a commission in the militia, but owing to the confused and imperfect condition of the records in the office of the adjutant-general of Ohio, it has seemed to be impossible to determine just what services he performed with the army or what rank he held. Some time previous to the war he had resigned a commission of brigadier-general of militia, which rank he had held for a long time. At the outbreak of the war he was present with his troops in the field at an early date. Gen. Schenck was one of the early and active promoters of the Ohio canal system, and in 1820 he was appointed by Governor Brown one of the commissioners to survey the route of a canal. In further prosecution of the project, Gen. Schenck made a speech before the legislature, to which he had been elected from Warren county, warmly advocating the immediate construction of the canal. At the close of his speech he left the house and went to his lodgings, where he was seized with a sudden attack of illness and died (page 7) with in a few hours. He was highly esteemed throughout the state as a man of a high order of mental ability, unimpeachable integrity and an active, useful citizen.
John W. VanCleve was born, June 27, 1801, and tradition says he was the first male child born in Dayton. His father was Benjamin VanCleve, heretofore mentioned as one of the band of settlers who arrived in Dayton, April 1, 1796. John W. VanCleve from his earliest years gave evidence of a vigorous intellect and of a retentive memory. At the age of sixteen he entered the Ohio university at Athens, and so distinguished himself for proficiency in Latin that he was employed to teach that language in the college before his graduation. In after life he mastered both the French and German languages and made several translations of important German works. He studied law in the office of judge Joseph McCrane, and was admitted to the bar in 1828. Not finding the practice of the law congenial, he purchased an interest in the Dayton journal and edited that paper until 1834. After being engaged in other business for a few years, in 1851 he retired and gave the remainder of his life to his studies and to- whatever could beneft and adorn his native city., He was elected and served as mayor of the city in 1831-32. He also served at various times as city civil engineer, and in 1839 compiled and lithographed a map of the city. He was an ardent Whig and entered enthusiastically into the celebrated political campaign of 1840, writing many of the songs and furnishing the engravings for a campaign paper, called the Log Cabin, which attained great notoriety throughout the United States. He was the founder of Dayton Library association, afterward merged in the public library, and the invaluable volumes of early Dayton newspapers, from 1808 to 1847, was his gift to the library. It was his suggestion to plant the levees with shade trees, and the first trees were selected by him and planted under his direction. But the chief work for which the city is indebted to him is the foresight which secured the admirable site for the Woodland cemetery, before it was appropriated to other uses. In 1840, when the cemetery association was organized, public attention had not been generally called to the importance and desirability of rural cemeteries, and the suggestion at that time of a rural cemetery for Dayton was in advance of the times. Woodland cemetery is the third rural cemetery in order of time in the United States, preceding Spring Grove at Cincinnati three years. To Mr. VanCleve the honor is due of suggesting the cemetery and persistently carrying it through to completion. Mr. VanCleve died, Sept. 6, 1858, at the comparatively early age of fifty-seven years.
Edward Henry Knight was born in London, England, June 1, 1824, and died in Bellefontaine, Jan. 22, 1883, at which place he had had legal residence the last twenty-five years of his life, although absent a large part of the time, in Washington, Paris, and England. He was educated in England, where he learned the art of steel-engraving and took a course in surgery. In 1846 he settled in Cincinnati as a patent attorney. In 1864 he was employed in the patent office at Washington, where he originated the system of classification. In 1873 he issued his most important work, the (page 79) American Mechanical Dictionary. He was a member of the international juries at the World's Fair in Philadelphia, in 1876, and Paris, in 1878; and he was United States commissioner at the last named exposition, receiving the appointment of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor from the French government, in recognition of his services. He was a member of many scientific societies, both American and European, and in 1876 he received the degree of LLD. from Iowa Wesleyan university.' He compiled what is known as Bryant's Library of Poetry and Song, was the author of a number of valuable scientific and other works, and one of the most useful men in research and literature that America has produced. After death his brain was found to weigh sixty-four ounces, being the heaviest on record, excepting that of Cuvier.
William Henry Harrison was born at Berkley, on the James river, twenty-five miles from Richmond, Va., in 1773. He entered Hampden-Sydney college, which he left at seventeen years of age.
He then began the study of medicine, but the death of his father checked his professional aspirations, and the note of preparation which was sounding through the country for a campaign against the Indians of the west, decided his destiny and he resolved to enter into the service of his government. Gen. Washington yielded to the importunities of the youth and presented him with an ensign's commission. With characteristic ardor he departed for Fort Washington, now Cincinnati, where, however, he arrived too late to participate in the unfortunate campaign of St. Clair. In the succeeding year, when Wayne assumed the command, Ensign Harrison was selected by him for one of his aides, and distinguished himself in Wayne's victory. After the treaty of Greenville, in 1795, he was given command of Fort Washington, and shortly afterward he married the daughter of judge Symmes, the proprietor of the Miami purchase. He resigned his commission and commenced his civil career at the age of twenty-four years, as secretary of the northwestern territory, and in 1799, he was elected its first delegate in Congress. He was appointed chairman of the committee on lands and though meeting with much opposition from speculators, secured the passage of a law for the subdivision of public lands into smaller tracts. To this measure is to be imputed the rapid settlement of the Miami valley, and in fact the entire country north of the Ohio river. Shortly afterward, when Indiana was erected into a separate territory, Mr. Harrison was appointed by President Adams its first governor. While in Congress, he was present at the discussion of the bill for the settlement of judge Symmes' purchase, and although this gentleman was his father-in-law, he took an active part in favor of those individuals who had purchased from Syrnmes before he had secured his patent. In 1801 Governor Harrison entered upon the duties of his new office at the old military post of Vincennes. Among his duties was that of commissioner to treat with the Indians, and in this capacity he concluded fifteen treaties and purchased their title to upwards of seventy million acres of land. He applied himself with characteristic energy and skill to his duties. He commanded at the battle of Tippecanoe, and from that time until after the declaration of war against England he was (page 80) unremittingly engaged in negotiating with the Indians and preparing to resist a more extended attack from them. In August, 1812, he received the brevet of major-general in the Kentucky militia, to enable him to command the forces marching to relieve Detroit. The surrender of Hull changed the face of affairs and he was appointed a major-general in the army of the United States, his duties embracing a larger-sphere. On Oct. 5, 1813, he brought the British army and their Indian allies, under Proctor and Tecumseh, to action near the river Thames. For this important action Congress presented Gen. Harrison with a gold medal. The northwestern frontier being thus relieved, he left his troops at Sackett's Harbor, under the command of Col. Smith, and departed for Washington by the way of New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore, and on the whole route he was received with enthusiasm. Owing to a misunderstanding with Secretary Armstrong he resigned his commission in the spring of 1814, and retired to his farm at North Bend, in Ohio, from which he was successively called by the people, to represent them in the Congress of the United States and in the legislature of the state. In 1824 he was elected to the Senate of the United States, and in 1828 he was appointed minister to Colombia, which station he held until he was recalled by President Jackson, not for any alleged fault, but in consequence of some difference of views on the Panama question. Gen. Harrison again returned to the pursuits of agriculture at North Bend, and in 1834, on the almost unanimous petition of the citizens of the county, he was appointed prothonotary of the court of Hamilton county. In 1840 he was called by the people of the United States to preside over the country as its chief magistrate, and his death, which took place, April 4, 1841, just a month after his inauguration, caused a deep sensation throughout the country. He was the first President of the United States to die in office. John Woods was born in Pennsylvania, in 1794, of north Irish stock. He came when a mere child with his parents to Warren county, Ohio. He served in Congress from 1825 to 1829, and then edited and published the Hamilton Intelligencer. From 1845 to 1851 he was auditor of the state, in which office he brought order out of confusion and "left indelible marks on the policy and history of Ohio." Later, he was interested in railroad development, and from his habits of industry and restless energy proved a great power. He died in 1855, aged sixty-one years. It seems that from early boyhood he determined to get an education and become a lawyer. The country all around was a wilderness and he contracted to clear a piece of land for a certain compensation. In this clearing he erected a hut, where he studied nights when others slept, and this after having chopped and hauled heavy timber all day. Then regularly every week he went over to Lebanon to recite and receive instructions from Hon. John McLean, later associate justice of the United States supreme court. In this Woods was, however, but a fair sample of Ohio youth of that day, to whom obstacles served as lures to tempt them to fight their way. The history of Ohio is profusely dotted all over with them. On their brows is stamped "invincibility," and over them flies a banner bearing just two words, "will" and "work."
Return to "Memoirs of the Miami Valley - Volume One" Home Page