Historical Collections of Ohio
(Cincinnati, Henry Howe, 1847, 2nd ed 52)
A COLLECTION OF THE MOST INTERESTING FACTS, TRADITIONS,
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES, ANECDOTES, ETC.
RELATING TO ITS
GENERAL AND LOCAL HISTORY:
DESCRIPTIONS OF ITS COUNTIES, PRINCIPAL TOWNS AND
1 8 0 E N G R A V I N G S.
VIEWS OF THE CHIEF TOWNS, -- PUBLIC BUILDINGS, -- RELICS OF ANTIQUITY,
HISTORIC LOCALITIES, -- NATURAL SCENERY, ETC.
BY HENRY HOWE.
PUBLISHED FOR THE AUTHOR BY BRADLEY & ANTHONY.
Price three Dollars.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847,
BY J. W. BARBER & H. HOWE,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Conn.
Morgan & Overend, Printers.
[ 3 ]
INTRODUCTORY to this work, we state some facts of private history.
In the year 1831, Mr. John W. Barber of New Haven, Ct., prepared a work upon that our native city, which combined history, biography and description, and was illustrated by engravings connected with its rise, progress and present condition. Its success suggested to him the preparation of one, on a similar plan, relative to the State. For this object he travelled through it, from town to town, collecting the materials and taking sketches. After two years of industrious application in this, and in writing the volume, the Historical Collections of Connecticut was issued, a work which, like its successors, was derived from a thousand different sources, oral and published.
As in the ordinary mode, the circulation of books through "the trade," is so slow in progress and limited in sale, that no merely local work, however meritorious, involving such an unusually heavy outlay of time and expense as that, will pay even the mechanical labor, it, as well as its successors, was circulated by travelling agents solely, who thoroughly canvassed the state, until it found its way into thousands of families in all ranks and conditions, -- in the retired farm-house equally with the more accessible city mansion.
That book, so novel in its character, was received with great favor, and highly commended by the public press and the leading minds of the state. It is true, it did not aspire to high literary merit: -- the dignified style, -- the generalization of facts, -- the philosophical deductions of regular history were not there. On the contrary, not the least of its merits was its simplicity of style, its fullness of detail, introducing minor, but interesting incidents, the other, in "its stately march," could not step aside to notice, and in avoiding that philosophy which only the scholastic can comprehend. It seemed, in its variety, to have something adapted to all ages, classes and tastes, and the unlearned reader, if he did not stop to peruse the volume, at least, in many instances could derive gratification from the pictorial representation of his native village, -- of perhaps the very dwelling in which he first drew breath, and around which entwined early and cherished associations. The book, therefore, reached MORE MINDS, and has been more extensively read, than any regular state history ever issued; thus adding another to the many examples often seen, of the productions of industry and tact, proving of a more extended utility than those emanating from profound scholastic requirements.
This publication became the pioneer of others: a complete list of all, with the dates of their issue, follows:
1836. THE HIST. COLL. OF CONNECTICUT; by John W. Barber.
1839. THE HIST. COLL. OF MASSACHUSETTS; by John W. Barber.
1841. THE HIST. COLL. OF NEW YORK; by J. W. Barber and H. Howe.
1843. THE HIST. COLL. OF PENNSYLVANIA; by Sherman Day.
1844. THE HIST. COLL. OF NEW JERSEY; by J. W. Barber and H. Howe.
1845. THE HIST. COLL. OF VIRGINIA; by Henry Howe.
1847. THE HIST. COLL. OF OHIO; by Henry Howe.
4 P R E F A C E.
From this list it will be perceived that OHIO makes the SEVENTH state work published on the original plan of Mr. Barber, all of which thus far circulated, were alike favorably received in the states to which each respectively related.
Early in January, 1846, we, with some previous time spent in preparation, commenced our tour over Ohio, being the FOURTH state through which we have travelled for such an object. We thus passed more than a year, in the course of which we were in seventy-nine of its eighty-three counties, took sketches of objects of interest, and every where obtained information by conversation with early settlers and men of intelligence. Beside this, we have availed ourselves of all published sources of information, and have received about four hundred manuscript pages in communications from gentlemen in all parts of the state.
In this way, we are enabled to present a larger and more varied amount of materials respecting Ohio, than was ever before embodied; the whole giving a view of its present condition and prospects, with a history of its settlement, and incidents illustrating the customs, the fortitude, the bravery, and the privations of its early settlers. That such a work, depicting the rise and unexampled progress of a powerful state, destined to a controlling influence over the well-being of the whole nation, will be looked upon with interest, we believe: and furthermore expect, that it will be received in the generous spirit which is gratified with honest endeavors to please, rather than in the captious one, that is dissatisfied short of an unattainable perfection.
Whoever expects to find the volume entirely free from defects, has but little acquaintance with the difficulties ever attendant upon procuring such materials. In all of the many historical and descriptive works whose fidelity we have had occasion to test, some misstatements were found. Although we have taken the best available means to insure accuracy, yet from a variety of causes unnecessary here to specify, some errors may have occurred. If any thing materially wrong is discovered, any one will confer a favor by addressing a letter to the publishers, and it shall be corrected.
Our task has been a pleasant one. As we successively entered the various counties, we were greeted with the frank welcome, characteristic of the west. And an evidence of interest in the enterprize has been variously shown, not the least of which, has been by the reception of a mass of valuable communications, unprecedented by us in the course of the seven years we have been engaged in these pursuits. To all who have aided us, -- to our correspondents especially, some of whom have spent much time and research, we feel under lasting obligations, and are enabled by their assistance to present to the public a far better work, than could otherwise have been produced. H. H.
[ 5 ]
THE territory now comprised within the limits of Ohio was formerly a part of that vast region claimed by France, between the Alleghany and the Rocky Mountains, first known by the general name of Louisiana. In 1673, Marquette, a zealous French Missionary, accompanied with Monsieur Joliet, from Quebec, with five boatmen, set out on a mission from Mackinac to the unexplored regions lying south of that station. They passed down the lake to Green Bay, thence from Fox River crossed over to the Wisconsin, which they followed down to its junction with the Mississippi. They descended this mighty stream a thousand miles to its confluence with the Arkansas. On their return to Canada, they did not fail to urge, in strong terms, the immediate occupation of the vast and fertile regions watered by the Mississippi and its branches.
On the 7th of August, 1679, M. de la Salle, the French commandant of Fort Frontenac, on Lake Ontario, launched, upon Lake Erie, the Griffin, a bark of about 60 tons, with which he proceeded through the Lakes to the Straits of Michillimackinac. Leaving his bark at this place, he proceeded up Lake Michigan, and from thence to the south west, till he arrived at Peoria Lake, in Illinois. At this place he erected a fort, and after having sent Father Lewis Hennepin on an exploring expedition, La Salle returned to Canada. In 1683, La Salle went to France, and, by the representations which he made, induced the French Government to fit out ail expedition for the purpose of planting a colony at the mouth of the Mississippi. This expedition failed, La Salle being murdered by his own men.
This disaster did not abate the ardor of the French in their great plan of obtaining possession of the vast region westward of the English colonies. A second expedition sailed from France, under the command of M. D'Iberville. This officer entered the mouth of the Mississippi, and explored the river for several hundred miles
* The principal sources from which this outline is derived, are the MSS. of Hon. Thomas Scott, of Chillicothe, Secretary of the Convention which framed the constitution of Ohio;the historical sketch prefixed to Chase's Statutes, and Perkins' Annals of the West.
6 OUTLINE HISTORY
Permanent establishments were made at different points; and from this time the French colony west of the Alleghanies steadily in creased in numbers and strength. Previous to the year 1725, the colony had been divided into quarters, each having its local governor, or commandant, and judge, but all subject to the superior authority of the council general of Louisiana. One of these quarters was established north west of the Ohio.
At this period, the French had erected forts on the Mississippi, on the Illinois, on the Maumee, and on the lakes. Still, however, the communication with Canada was through Lake Michigan. Before 1750, a French post had been fortified at the mouth of the Wabash and a communication was established through that river and the Maumee with Canada. About the same time, and for the purpose of checking the progress of the French, the Ohio Company was formed, and made some attempts to establish trading houses among the Indians. The French, however, established a chain of fortifications back of the English settlements, and thus, in a measure, had the entire control of the great Mississippi valley. The English government became alarmed at the encroachments of the French, and attempted to settle boundaries by negotiations. These availed nothing, and both parties were determined to settle their differences by the force of arms.
The claims of the different European monarchs to large portions of the western continent were based upon the first discoveries made by their subjects. In 1609, the English monarch granted to the London Company, all the territories extending along the coast for two hundred miles north and south from Point Comfort, and "up into the land, throughout, from sea to sea, west and north-west." In 1662, Charles II. granted to certain settlers upon the Connecticut all the territory between the parallels of latitude which include the present State of Connecticut, from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean. The claims which Massachusetts advanced, during the revolution, to an interest in the western lands, were founded upon a similar charter, granted thirty years afterwards.
When the king of France had dominions in North America, the whole of the late territory of the United States, north-west of the river Ohio, was included in the province of Louisiana, the north boundary of which, by the treaty of Utrecht, concluded between France and England in 1713, was fixed at the 49th parallel of latitude north of the Equator. After the conquest of the French possessions in North America by Great Britain, this tract was ceded by France to Great Britain, by the treaty of Paris, in 1763.
The principal ground whereon the English claimed dominion beyond the Alleghanies was, that the Six Nations owned the Ohio valley, and had placed it with their other lands under the protection of England. Some of the western lands were also claimed by the British as having been actually purchased, at Lancaster, Penn., in 1744, at a treaty between the colonists and the Six Nations at that place. In 1748, the "Ohio Company," for the purpose of securing
OUTLINE HISTORY 7
the Indian trade, was formed. In 1749, it appears that the English built a trading house upon the Great Miami, at a spot since called Loramie's Store. In 1751, Christopher Gist, an agent of the Ohio Company, who was appointed to examine the western lands, made a visit to the Twigtwees, who lived upon the Miami river, about one hundred miles from its mouth.
Early in 1752, the French having heard of the trading house of the Miami, sent a party of soldiers to the Twigtwees and demanded the traders as intruders upon French lands. The Twigtwees refused to deliver up their friends. The French, assisted by the Ottawas and Chippewas, then attacked the trading house, which was probably a block house, and after a severe battle, in which fourteen of the natives were killed and others wounded, took and destroyed it, carrying away the traders to Canada. This fort, or trading house, was called, by the English, Pickawillany. Such was the first British settlement in the Ohio valley, of which we have any record.
After Braddock's defeat, in 1755, the Indians pushed their excursions as far east as the Blue Ridge. In order to repel them, Major Lewis, in Jan., 1756, was sent with a party of troops on an expedition against the Indian towns on the Ohio. The point apparently aimed at was the upper Shawanese town, situated on the Ohio, three miles above the mouth of the Great Kanawha. The attempt proved a failure, in consequence, it is said, of the swollen state of the streams, and the treachery of the guides. In 1764, Gen. Bradstreet, having dispersed the Indian forces besieging Detroit, passed into the Wyandot country by way of Sandusky Bay. He ascended the bay and river as far as it was navigable for boats, and there made a camp. A treaty of peace was signed by the Chiefs and head men. The Shawnees of the Scioto river, and the Delawares of the Muskingum, however, still continued hostile. Col. Boquet, in 1764, with a body of troops, marched from Fort Pitt into the heart of the Ohio country on the Muskingum river. This expedition was con ducted with great prudence and skill, and without scarcely any loss of life, as treaty of peace was effected with the Indians, who re stored the prisoners they had captured frown the white settlements. The next war with the Indians was in 1774, generally known as Lord Dunmore's. In the summer of that year, an expedition, under Col. M'Donald, was assembled at Wheeling, marched into the Muskin gum country and destroyed the Indian town of Wapatomica, a few miles above the site of Zanesville. In the fall, the Indians were de feated after a hard fought battle at Point Pleasant, on the Virginia side of the Ohio.. Shortly after this event, Lord Dunmore made peace with the Indians at Camp Charlotte, in what is now Pickaway country.
During the revolutionary war, most of the western Indians were more or less united against the Americans. In the fall of 1778, an expedition against Detroit was projected. As a preliminary step, it was resolved that the forces in the west, under Gen. M'Intosh, should move up and attack the Sandusky Indians. Preliminary to this.
8 OUTLINE HISTORY
Fort Laurens, so called in honor of the President of Congress, was built upon the Tuscarawas, a short distance below the site of Bolivar, Tuscarawas county. The expedition to Detroit was abandoned and the garrison of Fort Laurens, after suffering much from the Indians and from famine, were recalled in August, 1779. A month or two previous to the evacuation of this fort, Col. Bowman headed an expedition against the Shawanees. Their village, Chillicothe, three miles north of the site of Xenia, on the Little Miami, was burnt. The warriors showed an undaunted front, and the whites were forced to retreat. In the summer of 1780, an expedition directed against the Indian towns, in the forks of the Muskingum, moved from Wheeling, under Gen. Broadhead. This expedition, known as "the Coshocton campaign," was unimportant in its results. In the same summer, Gen. Clark led a body of Kentuckians against the Shawnees. Chillicothe, on the Little Miami, was burnt on their approach, but at Piqua, their town on the Mad River, six miles below the site of Springfield, they gave battle to the whites and were defeated. In September, 1782, this officer led a second expedition against the Shawanese. Their towns, Upper and Lower Piqua, on the Miami, within what is now Miami county, were destroyed, together with the store of a trader.
There were other expeditions into the Indian country from Kentucky, which, although of later date, we mention in this connection. In 1786, Col. Logan conducted a successful expedition against the Mackachack towns, on the head waters of Mad River, in what is now Logan county. Edwards, in 1787, led an expedition to the head waters of the Big Miami, and, in 1788, Todd led one into the Scioto valley. There were also several minor expeditions, at various times, into the present limits of Ohio.
The Moravian missionaries, prior to the war of the revolution, had a number of missionary stations within the limits of Ohio. The missionaries, Heckewelder and Post, were on the Muskingum as early as 1762. In March, 1782, a party of Americans, under Col. Williamson, murdered, in cold blood, ninety-four of the defenceless Moravian Indians, within the present limits of Tuscarawas county. In the June following, Col. Crawford, at the head of about 500 men, was defeated by the Indians, three miles north of the site of Upper Sandusky, in Wyandot county. Col. Crawford was taken prisoner in the retreat, and burnt at the stake with horrible tortures.
By an act of the Parliament of Great Britain, passed in 1774, the whole of the late north-western Territory was annexed to, and made a part of, the province of Quebec, as created and established by the royal proclamation of the 7th of October, 1763. But nothing therein contained, relative to the boundary of the said province of Quebec, was in any wise to affect the boundaries of any other colony.
The colonies having, in 1776, renounced their allegiance to the British king, and assumed rank as free, sovereign and independent States, each State claimed the right of soil and jurisdiction over the district of country embraced within its charter. The charters of
OUTLINE HISTORY 9
several of the States embraced large portions of western unappropriated lands. Those States which had no such charters, insisted that these lands ought to be appropriated for the benefit of all the States, according to their population, as the title to them, if secured at all, would be by the blood and treasure of all the States. Congress repeatedly urged upon those States owning western unappropriated lands, to make liberal cessions of them for the common benefit of all.
The claim of the English monarch to the late north-western Territory was ceded to the United States, by the treaty of peace, signed at Paris, September 3d, 1783. The provisional articles which formed the basis of that treaty, more especially as related to the boundary, were signed at Paris, November 30th, 1782. During the pendency of the negotiation relative to these preliminary articles, Mr. Oswald, the British commissioner, proposed the river Ohio as the western boundary of the United States, and but for the indomitable perseverance of the revolutionary patriot, John Adams, one of the American commissioners, who opposed the proposition, and insisted upon the Mississippi as the boundary, the probability is, that the proposition of Mr. Oswald would have been acceded to by the United States commissioners.
The States who owned western unappropriated lands, with a single exception, redeemed their respective pledges by ceding them to the United States. The State of Virginia, in March, 1784, ceded the right of soil and jurisdiction to the district of country embraced in her charter, situated to the north-west of the river Ohio. In September, 1786, the State of Connecticut also ceded her claim of soil and jurisdiction to the district of country within the limits of her charter, situated west of a line beginning at the completion of the forty-first point degree of north latitude, one hundred and twenty miles west of the western boundary of Pennsylvania; and from thence by a line drawn north parallel to, and one hundred and twenty miles west of said line of Pennsylvania, and to continue north until it came to forty-two degrees and two minutes north latitude. The State of Connecticut, on the 30th of May, 1801, also ceded her jurisdictional claims to all that territory called the "Western Reserve of Connecticut." The States of New York and Massachusetts also ceded all their claims.
The above were not the only claims which had to be made prior to the commencement of settlements within the limits of Ohio. Numerous tribes of Indian savages, by virtue of prior possession, asserted their respective claims, which also had to be extinguished. A treaty for this purpose was accordingly made at Fort Stanwix, October 27th, 1784, with the Sachems and warriors of the Mohawks, Onondagas, Senecas, Cayugas, Oneidas, and Tuscaroras; by the third article of which treaty, the said Six Nations ceded to the United States all claims to the country west of a line extending along the west boundary of Pennsylvania, firom the mouth of the Oyounayea to the river Ohio.
10 OUTLINE HISTORY
A treaty was also concluded at Fort McIntosh, January 21st, 1785, with the Wyandot, Delaware, Chippewa, and Ottawa nations, by which the boundary line between the United States and the Wyandot and Delaware nations was declared to begin "at the mouth of the river Cuyahoga, and to extend up said river to the Portage, between that and the Tuscaroras branch of the Muskingum, thence down that branch to the crossing place above Fort Laurens, then westerly to the Portage of the Big Miami, which runs into the Ohio, at the mouth of which branch the fort stood which was taken by the French, in 1752; then along said Portage to the Great Miami, or Omee river, and down the south side of the same to its mouth; then along the south shore of Lake Erie to the mouth of the Cuyahoga river, where it began." The United States allotted all the lands contained within said lines to the Wyandot and Delaware nations, to live and hunt on, and to such of the Ottawa nation as lived thereon; saving and reserving for the establishment of trading posts, six miles square at the mouth of the Miami, or Omee river, and the same at the Portage, on that branch of the Big Miami which runs into the Ohio, and the same on the Lake of Sandusky where the fort formerly stood, and also two miles square on each side of the Lower Rapids of Sandusky river.
The Indian title to a large part of the territory within the limits of Ohio having been extinguished, legislative action on the part of Congress became necessary before settlements were commenced as in the treaties made with the Indians, and in the acts of Congress, all citizens of the United States were prohibited settling on the lands of the Indians, as well as on those of the United States. Ordinances were accordingly made by Congress for the government of the North-western Territory, and for the survey and sale of portions of lands to which the Indian title had been extinguished.
In May, 1785, Congress passed an ordinance for ascertaining the mode of disposing of these lands. Under that ordinance, the first seven ranges, bounded on the east by Pennsylvania, and on the south by the Ohio river, were surveyed. Sales of parts of these were made at New York, in 1787, the avails of which amounted to $72,974, and sales of other parts of said range were made at Pittsburg and Philadelphia, in 1796. The avails of sales made at the former place amounted to $43,446, and at the latter, $5,120. A portion of these lands were located under United States military land warrants. No further sales were made in that district until the Land Office was opened at Steubenville, July 1st, 1801.
On the 27th of October, 1787, a contract in writing was entered into between the Board of Treasury for the United States of America, of the one part, and Manassah Cutler and Winthrop Sargeant, as agents for the directors of the New England Ohio Company of associates, of the other part, for the purchase of the tract of land bounded by the Ohio, from the mouth of the Scioto to the intersection of the western boundary of the seventh range of townships then surveying; thence by said boundary to the northern boundary of
OUTLINE HISTORY 11
the tenth township from the Ohio; thence by a due west line to Scioto; thence by the Scioto to the beginning. The bounds of that contract were afterwards altered in 1792. The settlement of this purchase commenced at Marietta, at the mouth of the Muskingum river, in the spring of 1788, and was the first settlement formed within the limits of Ohio. An attempt at settlement within the bounds of Ohio had been made in April, 1785, at the mouth of the Scioto, on the site of Portsmouth, by four families from Redstone, Pa.; but difficulties with the Indians compelled its abandonment.
The same year in which Marietta was first settled, Congress appointed Gen. Arthur St. Clair, an officer of the revolution, Governor; Winthrop Sargeant, Secretary; and the Hon. Samuel Holden Parsons, James Mitchell Varnum, and John Cleves Symmes, Judges; in, and over the Territory. The territorial government was organized, and sundry laws were made, or adopted, by the Governor and Judges Parsons and Varnum. The county of Washington, having its limits extended westward to the Scioto, and northward to Lake Erie, embracing about half the territory within the present limits of the State, was established by the proclamation of the Governor.
On the 15th of October, 1788, John Cleves Symmes, in behalf of' himself and his associates, contracted with the Board of Treasury for the purchase of a large tract of land situated between the Great and Little Miami river, and the first settlement within the limits of that purchase, and second in Ohio, was commenced in November of that year, at Columbia, at the mouth of the Little Miami, five miles above the site of Cincinnati. "A short time after the settlement at Marietta had commenced, an association was formed under the name of the "Scioto Land Company." A contract was made for the purchase of a part of the lands included in the Ohio Company's purchases. Plats and descriptions of the land contracted for, were, however, made out, and Joel Barlow was sent as an agent to Europe to make sales of the lands for the benefit of the company; and sales were effected of parts thereof to companies and individuals in France. On February 19th, 1791. two hundred and eighteen of these purchasers left Havre de Grace, in France, and arrived in Alexandria, D. C., on the 3d of May following. During their passage, two were added to their number. On their arrival, they were told that the Scioto Company owned no land. The agent insisted that they did, and promised to secure to them good titles thereto, which he did, at Winchester, Brownsville, and Charleston (now Wellsburg). When they arrived at Marietta, about fifty of them landed. The rest of the company proceeded to Gallipolis, which was laid out about that time, and were assured by the agent that the place lay within their purchase. Every effort to secure titles to the lands they had purchased having failed, an application was made to Congress, and in June, 1798, a grant was made to them of a tract of land on the Ohio, above the mouth of the Scioto river, which is called the "French Grant."
12 OUTLINE HISTORY
The Legislature of Connecticut, in May, 1795, appointed a committee to receive proposals and make sale of the lands she had reserved in Ohio. This committee sold the lands to sundry citizens of Connecticut and other States, and, in September of the same year, executed to several purchasers deeds of conveyance therefor. The purchasers proceeded to survey into townships of five miles square the whole of said tract lying east of the Cuyahoga; they made divisions thereof according to their respective proportions, and commenced settlements in many of the townships, and there were actually settled therein, by the 21st of March, 1800, about one thousand inhabitants. A number of mills had been built, and roads cut in various directions to the extent of about 700 miles.
The location of the lands appropriate for satisfying military land bounty warrants in the district appropriated for that purpose, granted for services in the revolutionary war, commenced on March 13th, 1800; and the location of the lands granted to the Canadian and Nova Scotia refugees commenced February 13th, 1802. The lands east of the Scioto, south of the military bounty lands, and west of the fifteenth range of townships, were first brought into market, and offered for sale by the United States on the first Monday of May, 1801.
The State of Virginia, at an early period of the revolutionary war, raised two description of troops, State and Continental, to each of which bounties in land were promised. The lands within the limits of her charter, situate to the north-west of Ohio river, were withdrawn from appropriation on treasury warrants, and the lands on Cumberland river, and between the Green and Tennessee rivers on the south-easterly side of the Ohio, were appropriated for these military bounties. Upon the recommendation of Congress, Virginia ceded her lands north of the Ohio, upon certain conditions; one of which was, that in case the lands south of Ohio should be insufficient for their legal bounties to their troops, the deficiency should be made up from lands north of the Ohio, between the rivers Scioto and Little Miami.
In 1783, the Legislature of Virginia authorized the officers of their respective lines to appoint superintendents to regulate the survey of the bounty lands promised. Richard C. Anderson was appointed principal surveyor of the lands of the troops of the continental establishment. An office for the reception of locations and surveys was opened at Louisville, Kentucky, August 1st, 1784, and on the 1st of August, 1787, the said office was open for the reception of surveys and locations on the north side of the Ohio.
In the year 1789, January 9th, a treaty was made at Fort Harmer, between Gov. St. Clair and the Sachems and warriors of the Wyandot, Chippewa., Potawatomie, and Sac nations, in which the treaty at Fort McIntosh was renewed and confirmed. It did not, however, produce the favorable results anticipated. The Indians, the same year, assuming a hostile appearance, were seen hovering round the infant settlements near the mouth of the Muskingum and between
OUTLINE HISTORY 13
the Miamies, and nine persons were killed within the bounds of Symmes' purchase. The new settlers became alarmed and erected block-houses in each of the new settlements. In June, 1789, Major Doughty, with 140 men, from Fort Harmar, commenced the building of Fort Washington, on a spot now within the present limits of Cincinnati. A few months afterwards, Gen. Harmar arrived, with 300 men, and took command of the fort.
Negotiations with the Indians proving unavailing, Gen. Harmar was directed to attack their towns. In pursuance of his instructions, he marched from Cincinnati, in September, 1790, with 1,300 men, of whom less than one-fourth were regulars. When near the Indian villages, on the Miami of the lake in the vicinity of what is now Fort Wayne, an advanced detachment of 210, consisting chiefly of militia, fell into an ambush and was defeated with severe loss. Gen. Harma;r, however, succeeded in burning the Indian villages, and in destroying their standing corn, and having effected this service, the army commenced its march homeward. They had not proceeded far when Harmar received intelligence that the Indians had returned to their ruined towns. He immediately detached about one-third of his remaining force, under the command of Col. Hardin, with orders to bring them to an engagement. He succeeded in this early the next morning; the Indians fought with great fury, and the militia and the regulars alike behaved with gallantry. More than one hundred of the militia, and all the regulars except nine, were killed, and the rest were driven back to the main body. Dispirited by this severe misfortune, Harmar immediately marched to Cincinnati, and the object of the expedition in intimidating the Indians was entirely unsuccessful.
As the Indians continued hostile, a new army, superior to the former, was assembled at Cincinnati, under the command of Gov. St. Clair. The regular force amounted to 2,300 men; the militia numbered about 600. With this army, St. Clair commenced his march towards the Indian towns on the Maumee. Two forts, Hamilton and Jefferson, were established and garrisoned on the route, about forty miles from each other. Misfortune attended the expedition almost from its commencement. Soon after leaving Fort Jefferson, a considerable party of the militia deserted in a body. The first regiment, under Major Hamtramck, was ordered to pursue them and to secure the advancing convoys of provisions, which it was feared they designed to plunder. Thus weakened by desertion and division, St. Clair approached the Indian villages. On the third of November, 1791, when at what is now the line of Darke and Mercer counties, he halted, intending to throw up some slight fortification for the protection of baggage, and to await the return of the absent regiment. On the following morning, however, about half an hour before sun rise, the American army was attacked with great fury, as there is good reason to believe, by the whole disposable force of the north-west tribes. The Americans were totally defeated. Gen. Butler and upwards of six hundred men were killed.
14 OUTLINE HISTORY
Indian outrages of every kind were now multiplied, and emigration was almost entirely suspended.
President Washington now urged forward the vigorous prosecution of the war for the protection of the North-west Territory; but various obstacles retarded the enlistment and organization of a new army. In the spring of 1794, the American army assembled at Greenville, in Darke county, under the command of Gen. Anthony Wayne, a bold, energetic and experienced officer of the revolution. His force consisted of about two thousand regular troops, and fifteen hundred mounted volunteers from Kentucky. The Indians had collected their whole force, amounting to about two thousand men, near a British fort, erected since the treaty of 1783, in violation of its obligations, at the foot of the rapids of the Maumee. On the 20th of August, 1794, Gen. Wayne encountered the enemy, and after a short and deadly conflict, the Indians fled in the greatest confusion, and were pursued under the guns of the British fort. After destroying all the houses and corn fields above and below the British fort, on the Maumee, the victorious army returned to the mouth of Au Glaize, where Wayne erected Fort Defiance. Previous to this action, various fruitless attempts had been made to bring the Indians to peace. Some of the messengers sent among the Indians for that object were murdered.
The victory of Wayne did not at first reduce the savages to submission. Their country was laid waste, and forts were erected in the heart of their territory before they could be entirely subdued. At length, however, they became thoroughly convinced of their inability to resist the American arms and sued for peace. A grand council was held at Greenville, where eleven of the most powerful north-western tribes were represented, to whom Gen. Wayne dictated the terms of pacification. The boundary established by the treaty at Fort McIntosh was confirmed and extended westward from Loramie's to Fort Recovery, and thence south-west to the mouth of Kentucky river. The Indians agreed to acknowledge the United States as their sole protector, and never to sell their lands to any other power. Upon these and other conditions, the United States received the Indian nations into their protection. A large quantity of goods was delivered to them on the spot, and perpetual annuities, payable in merchandise, & were promised to each tribe who became a party to the treaty.
While the war with the Indians continued, of course, but little progress was made in the settlement in the west. The next county that was established after that of Washington, in 1788, was Hamilton, erected in 1790. Its bounds included the country between the Miamies, extending northward from the Ohio river, to a line drawn due east from the standing stone forks of the Great Miami. The name of the settlement opposite the Licking was, at this time, called Cincinnati.
At this period, there was no fixed seat of government. The laws were passed whenever they seemed to be needed, and promulgated
OUTLINE HISTORY 15
at any place where the territorial legislators happened to be assembled. In 1789, the first Congress passed an act recognizing the binding force of the ordinance of 1787, and adapting its provisions to the federal constitution. At this period, the judges appointed by the national executive constituted the supreme court of the territory. Inferior to this court, were the county court, courts of common pleas, and the general quarter sessions of the peace. Single judges of the common pleas, and single justices of the quarter sessions, were also clothed with certain civil and criminal powers to be exercised out of court.
In 1795, the governor and judges undertook to revise the territorial laws, and to establish a system of statutory jurisprudence, by adoptions from the laws of the original States, in conformity to the ordinance. For this purpose they assembled in Cincinnati, in June, and continued in session until the latter part of August. The general court was fixed at Cincinnati and Marietta; other courts were established, and laws and regulations were adopted for various purposes.
The population of the territory now continued to increase and extend. From Marietta, settlers spread into the adjoining country. The Virginia military reservation drew a considerable number of revolutionary veterans, and others, from that State. The region between the Miamies, from the Ohio far up toward the sources of Mad river, became chequered with farms, and abounded in indications of the presence of an active and prosperous population. The neighborhood of Detroit became populous, and Connecticut, by grants of land within the tract, reserved in her deed of cession, induced many of her hardy citizens to seek a home on the borders of Lake Erie. In 1796, Wayne county was established, including all the north-western part of Ohio, a large tract in the north-eastern part of Indiana, and the whole territory of Michigan. In July, 1797, Adams county was erected, comprehending a large tract lying on both sides of Scioto, and extending northward to Wayne. Other counties were afterwards formed out of those already established. Before the end of the year 1798, the North-west Territory contained a population of five thousand free male inhabitants, of full age, and eight organized counties.
The people were now entitled, under the ordinance of 1787, to a change in their form of government. That instrument provided that whenever there were five thousand free males, of full age, in the territory, the people should be authorized to elect representatives to a territorial legislature. These, when chosen, were to nominate ten freeholders of 500 acres, of whom the president was to appoint five, who were to constitute the legislative council. Representatives were to serve two, and councilmen five years. The first meeting of the territorial legislature was appointed on the 16th of September, 1799, but it was not till the 24th of. the same month that the two houses were organized for business; at which time they were addressed by Gov. St. Clair. An act was passed to confirm and give
16 OUTLINE HISTORY
force to those laws enacted by the governor and judges, whose validity had been doubted. This act, as well as every other which originated in the council, was prepared and brought forward by Jacob Burnet, afterwards a distinguished judge and senator, to whose labors, at this session, the territory was indebted for some of its most beneficial laws. The whole number of acts passed and approved by the governor was thirty-seven. William H. Harrison, then secretary of the territory, was elected as delegate to Congress, having eleven of twenty-one votes.
"Within a few months after the close of this session, Connecticut ceded to the United States her claim of jurisdiction over the northeastern part of the territory; upon which the president conveyed, by patent, the fee of the soil to the governor of the State, for the use of grantees and purchasers claiming under her. This tract, in the summer of the same year, was erected into a new county by the name of Trumbull. The same congress which made a final arrangement with Connecticut, passed an act dividing the North-western Territory into two governments, by a line drawn from the mouth of the Kentucky to Fort Recovery, and thence northward to the territorial line. East of this line, the government, already established, was continued; while west of it another, substantially similar, was established. This act fixed the seat of the eastern government at Chillicothe; subject, however, to be removed at the pleasure of the legislature."
On the 30th of April, 1802, Congress passed an act authorizing the call of a convention to form a State constitution. This convention assembled at Chillicothe, November 1st, and, on the 29th of the same month, a constitution of State government was ratified and signed by the members of the convention. It was never referred to the people for their approbation, but became the fundamental law of the State by the act of the convention alone; and, by this act, Ohio became one of the States of the Federal Union.
"Besides framing the constitution, the convention had another duty to perform. The act of congress, providing for the admission of the new State into the Union, offered certain propositions to the people. These were, first, that section sixteen in each township, or, where that section had been disposed of, other contiguous and equivalent lands, should be granted to the inhabitants for the use of schools; second, that thirty-eight sections of land, where salt-springs had been found, of which one township was situated on the Scioto, one section on the Muskingum, and one section in the United States military tract, should be granted to the State, never, however, to be sold or leased for a longer term than ten years; and third, that one-twentieth of the proceeds of public lands sold within the State, should be applied to the construction of roads from the Atlantic, to and through the same. These propositions were offered on the condition that the convention should provide, by ordinance, that all lands sold by the United States after the thirtieth day of June, 1802; should be exempt from taxation, by the State, for five years after sale.
OUTLINE HISTORY 17
"The ordinance of 1785, had already provided for the appropriation of section sixteen to the support of schools in every township sold by the United States; and this appropriation thus became a condition of the sale and settlement of the western country. It was a consideration offered to induce purchases of public lands, at a time when the treasury was well-nigh empty, and this source of revenue was much relied upon. It extended to every township of land within the territory, except those in the Virginia military reservation and wherever the reserved section had been disposed of, after the passage of the ordinance, Congress was bound to make other equivalent provision for the same object. The reservation of section sixteen, therefore, could not, in 1802, be properly made the object of a new bargain between the United States and the State: and many thought that the salt reservations and the twentieth of the proceeds of the public lands were very inadequate equivalents for the proposed surrender of the right to tax. The convention, however, determined to accept the propositions of Congress, on their being so far enlarged and modified as to vest in the State, for the use of schools, section sixteen in each township sold by the United States, and three other tracts of land, equal in quantity, respectively, to one thirty-sixth of the Virginia reservation, of the United States military tract, and of the Connecticut reserve, and to give three per centum of the proceeds of the public lands sold within the State, to be applied under the direction of the legislature, to roads in Ohio. Congress assented to the proposed modifications, and thus completed the compact."
The first General Assembly under the State constitution met at Chilicothe, March 1st, 1803. The legislature enacted such laws as were deemed necessary for the new order of things, and created eight new counties, namely: Gallia, Scioto, Franklin, Columbiana, Butler, Warren, Green, and Montgomery. The first State officers elected by the assembly were as follows, viz.: Michael Baldwin, Speaker of the House of Representatives; Nathaniel Massie, Speaker of the Senate; William Creighton, Jr., Secretary of State; Col. Thomas Gibson, Auditor; William A. McFarIand, Treasurer; Return J. Meigs, Jr., Samuel Huntington, and William Sprigg, Judges of the Supreme Court; Francis Dunlavy, Wyllys Silliman, and Calvin Pease, Judges of the District Courts.
The second General Assembly convened in December, 1803. At this session, the militia law was thoroughly revised and a law was passed to enable aliens to enjoy the same proprietary rights in Ohio as native citizens. At this session, also, the revenue system of the State was simplified and improved. Acts were passed providing for the incorporation of townships, and for the establishment of boards of commissioners of counties.
In 1805, by a treaty with the Indians at Fort Industry, the United States acquired, for the use of the grantees of Connecticut, all that part of the western reserve which lies west of the Cuyahoga. By subsequent treaties, all the country watered by the Maumee and the
18 OUTLINE HISTORY
Sandusky have been acquired, and the Indian title to lands in Ohio is now extinct.
In the course of the year 1805, the conspiracy of Aaron Burr began to agitate the western country. The precise scope of the conspiracy does not distinctly appear. "The immediate object, probably, was to seize on New Orleans and invade Mexico. The ulterior purpose may have been to detach the west from the American Union. In December, 1806, in consequence of a confidential message from the governor, founded on the representations of an agent of the general government deputed to watch the motions of Burr, the legislature passed an act authorizing the arrest of persons engaged in an unlawful enterprise, and the seizure of their goods. Under this act, ten boats, with a considerable quantity of arms, ammunition, and provisions, belonging to Burr's expedition, were seized. This was a fatal blow to the project."
The Indians, who since the treaty at Greenville had been at peace, about the year 1810, began to commit aggressions upon the inhabitants of the west. The celebrated Tecumseh was conspicuously active in his efforts to unite the native tribes against the Americans, and to arrest the farther extension of the settlements. His proceedings, and those of his brother, 'the Prophet,' soon made it evident that the west was about to suffer the calamities of another Indian war, and it was resolved to anticipate their movements. In 1811, Gen. Harrison, then governor of Indiana Territory, marched against the town of the 'Prophet,' upon the Wabash. The battle of Tippecanoe ensued, in what is now Cass county, Indiana, in which the Indians were totally defeated. This year was also distinguished by an occurrence of immense importance to the whole west. This was the voyage, from Pittsburg to New Orleans, of the first steamboat ever launched upon the western waters.
"In June, 1812, the United States declared war against Great Britain. Of this war the west was a principal theatre. Defeat, disaster, and disgrace marked its opening scenes; but the latter events of the contest were a series of splendid achievements. Croghan's gallant defence of Fort Stephenson; Perry's victory upon Lake Erie; the total defeat, by Harrison, of the allied British and savages, under Proctor and Tecumseh, on the Thames; and the great closing triumph of Jackson at New Orleans, reflected the most brilliant lustre upon the American arms. In every vicissitude of this contest, the conduct of Ohio was eminently patriotic and honorable. When the necessities of the national government compelled congress to resort to a direct tax, Ohio, for successive years, cheerfully assumed, and promptly paid her quota out of her State treasury. Her sons volunteered with alacrity their services in the field; and no troops more patiently endured hardship or performed better service. Hardly a battle was fought in the north-west, in which some of these brave citizen soldiers did not seal their devotion to their country with their blood.
"In 1816, the seat of the State government was removed to Columbus,
OUTLINE HISTORY 19
the proprietors of the town having, pursuant to an agreement entered into, in good faith, erected the State-house and other public buildings, for the accommodation of the legislature and the officers of state.
"In January, 1817, the first resolution relating to a canal, connecting the Ohio river with Lake Erie, was introduced into the legislature. In 1819, the subject was again agitated. In 1820, on the recommendation of Gov. Brown, an act was passed, providing for the appointment of three canal commissioners, who were to employ a competent engineer and assistants, for the purpose of surveying the route of the canal. The action of the commissioners, however, was made to depend on the acceptance by congress of a proposition on behalf of the State, for a donation and sale of the public lands, lying upon and near the route of the proposed canal. In consequence of this restriction, nothing was accomplished for two years. In 1822, the subject was referred to a committee of the house of representatives. This committee recommended the employment of an engineer, and submitted various estimates and observations to illustrate the importance and feasibility of the work. Under this act, James Geddes, of New York, an experienced and skillful engineer, was employed to make the necessary examinations and surveys. Finally, after all the routes had been surveyed, and estimates made of the expense had been laid before the legislature at several sessions, an act was passed in Feb., 1825, "To provide for the internal improvement of the State by navigable canals," and thereupon the State embarked in good earnest in the prosecution of the great works of internal improvement."
The construction of these and other works of internal improvement, has been of immense advantage in developing the resources of Ohio, which, in little more than haltf, century, has changed from a wilderness to one of the most powerful States of the Union.
[ 20 ]
[ 21 ]
(pages 21-36 not yet transcrobed)
[ 37 ]
ASHTABULA was formed June 7, 1807, from Trumbull and Geauga and organized January 22, 1811. The name of the county was derived from Ashtabula river, which signifies, in the Indian language, Fish river. For a few miles parallel with the lake shore it is level, the remainder of the surface slightly undulating, and the soil generally clay. Butter and cheese are the principal articles of export. Generally, not sufficient wheat is raised for home consumption, but the soil is quite productive in corn and oats.
The following is a list of its townships, in 1840, with their population.
The population of the county, in 1820, was 7,369; in 1830, 14,584; in 1840, 23,724, or 34 inhabitants to a square mile.
This county is memorable from being not only the first settled on the Western Reserve, but the earliest in the whole of northern Ohio. The incidents connected with its early history, although unmarked by scenes of military adventure, are of an interesting nature. They have been well collected and preserved by the Ashtabula Historical Society. This association, with a praiseworthy industry, have collected nearly a thousand folio pages of manuscript, relating principally to this county. Some of the articles are finely written, and as a whole, give a better idea of the toils, privations, customs and mode of pioneer life than any work that has ever met our notice. From this collection we have extracted nearly all the historical materials embodied under the head of this county.
On the 4th of July, 1796, the first surveying party of the Western Reserve landed at the mouth of Conneaut creek. Of this event, John Barr, Esq., in his sketch of the Western Reserve, in the National Magazine for December, 1845, has given a narration.
The sons of revolutionary sires, some of them sharers of themselves in the great baptism of the republic, they made the anniversary of their country's freedom a day of ceremonial and rejoicing. They felt that they had arrived at the place of their labors, the-to many of them-sites of home, as little alluring, almost as crowded with dangers, as were the levels of Jamestown, or the rocks of Plymouth to the ancestors who had preceded them in the conquest of the seacoast wilderness of this continent. From old homes and friendly and social associations, they were almost as completely exiled as were the cavaliers who debarked upon the shores of Virginia, or the Puritans who sought the strand of Massachusetts. Far away as they were from the villages of their birth and boyhood; before them the trackless forest, or the untraversed lake, yet did they resolve to cast fatigue and privation and
38 ASHTABULA COUNTY
peril from their thoughts for the time being, and give to the day its due, to patriotism its awards. Mustering their numbers, they sat them down on the eastward shore of the stream now known as Conneaut, and, dipping from the lake the liquor in which they pledged their country -- their goblets some tin cups of no rare workmanship, yet every way answerable, with the ordnance accompaniment of two or three fowling pieces discharging. the required national salute -- the first settlers of the Reserve spent their landing-day as became the sons of the Pilgrim Fathers -- as the advance pioneers of a population that has
The whole party numbered, on this occasion, fifty-two persons, of whom two were females, (Mrs. Stiles and Mrs. Gunn, and a child.) As these individuals were the advance of after millions of population, their names become worthy of record, and are therefore given, viz.: Moses Cleveland, agent of the company; Augustus Porter, principal surveyor; Seth Pease, Moses Warren, Amos Spafford, Milton Hawley, Richard M. Stoddard, surveyors; Joshua Stowe, commissary; Theodore Shepard, physician; Joseph Tinker, principal boatman; Joseph Mcintyre, George Proudfoot, Francis Gay, Samuel Forbes, Elijah Gunn, wife and child, Amos Sawtell, Stephen Benton, Amos Barber, Samuel Hungerford, William B. Hall, Samuel Davenport, Asa Mason, Amzi Atwater, Michael Coffin, Elisha Ayres, Thomas Harris, Norman Wilcox, Timothy Dunham, George Goodwin, Shadrach Benham, Samuel Agnew, Warham Shepard, David Beard, John Briant? Titus V. Munson, Joseph Landon, Job V. Stiles and wife, Charles Parker, Ezekiel Hawley, Nathaniel Doan, Luke Hanchet, James Hasket, James Hamilton, Olney F. Rice, John Lock, and four others whose names are not mentioned.
On the 5th of July, the workmen of the expedition were employed in the erection of a large, awkwardly constructed log building; locating it on the sandy beach on the east shore of the stream, and naming it " Stow Castle," after one of the party. This became the storehouse of the provisions, &c., and the dwelling-place of the families.
The spot where the above described scene took place, has much altered in the lapse of half a century. One of the party, Amzi Atwater, Esq., now living in Portage county, in a communication before us, says:
* The view was constructed from a sketch as the place is now, altered to represent its ancient appearance. The word Conneaut, in the Seneca language, signifies "many fish;" and was applied originally to the river.
ASHTABULA COUNTY 39
It was then a mere sand beach overgrown with timber, some of it of considerable size, which we cut to build the house and for other purposes. The mouth of the creek, like others of the lake streams in those days, was frequently choked up with a sand bar so that no visible harbor appeared for several days. This would only happen when the streams were low and after a high wind either down the lake or directly on shore for several days. I have passed over all the lake streams of this state east of the Cuyahoga and most of those in New York on hard, dry sand bars, and I have been told that the Cuyahoga has been so. They would not long continue, for as soon as the wind had subsided and the water in the streams had sufficiently risen, they would often cut their way through the bar in a different place and form new channels. Thus the mouths of the streams were continually shifting until the artificial harbors were built. Those blessed improvements have in a great measure remedied those evils and made the mouths of the streams far more healthy.
Judge James Kingsbury, who arrived at Conneaut shortly after the surveying party, wintered with his family at this place in a cabin which stood on a spot now covered by the waters of the lake. This was about the first family that wintered on the Reserve. The story of the sufferings of this family has often been told, but in the midst of plenty, where want is unknown, can with difficulty be appreciated. The surveyors, in the prosecution of their labors westwardly, had principally removed their stores to Cleveland, while the family of Judge Kingsbury remained at Conneaut. Being compelled by business to leave in the fall for the state of New York, with the hope of a speedy return to his family, the Judge was attacked by a severe fit of sickness confining him to his bed until the setting in of winter. As soon as able he proceeded on his return as far as Buffalo, where he hired an Indian to guide him through the wilderness. At Presque Isle, anticipating the wants of his family, he purchased twenty pounds of flour. In crossing Elk Creek on the ice, he disabled his horse, left him in the snow, and mounting his flour on his own back, pursued his way filled with gloomy forebodings in relation to the fate of his family. On his arrival late one evening, his worst apprehensions were more than realized in a scene agonizing to the husband and father. Stretched on her cot lay the partner of his cares, who had followed him through all the dangers and hardships of the wilderness without repining, pale and emaciated, reduced by meagre famine to the last stages in which life can be supported, and near the mother, on a little pallet, were the remains of his youngest child, born in his absence, who had just expired for the want of that nourishment which the mother, deprived of sustenance, was unable to give. Shut up by a gloomy wilderness, she was far distant alike from the aid or sympathy of friends, filled with anxiety for an absent husband, suffering with want and destitute of necessary assistance, and her children expiring around her with hunger.
Such is the picture presented, by which the wives and daughters of the present day may form some estimate of the hardships endured by the pioneers of this beautiful country. It appears that Judge Kingsbury, in order to supply the wants of his family, was under the necessity of transporting his provisions from Cleveland on a hand sled, and that himself and hired man drew a barrel of beef the whole distance at a single load.
Mr. Kingsbury has since held several important judicial and legislative trusts, and is yet living in Newberg, about four miles distant from Cleveland. He was the first who thrust a sickle into the first wheat field planted on the soil of the Reserve. His wife was interred at Cleveland, about the year 1843. The fate of her child -- the first white child born on the Reserve, starved to death for want of nourishment -- will not soon be forgotten.
The harbor of Conneaut is now an important point of transshipment. It has a pier, with a lighthouse upon it, 2 forwarding houses, and 11 dwellings. Several vessels ply from here, and it is a frequent stopping place for steamers. Two miles south of the harbor, 22 from Jefferson, 28 from Erie, Pa., is the borough of Conneaut, [situated] on the west bank of Conneaut creek. It contains 1 Baptist, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Methodist, and 1 Christian church, 11 mercantile
40 ASHTABULA COUNTY
stores, 1 newspaper printing office, a fine classical academy, Mr. L. W. Savage and Miss Mary Booth, Principals, and about 1000 inhabitants. East and West Conneaut and South Ridge are small places in this, the township of Conneaut, which once bore the name of Salem.
The first permanent settlement in Conneaut was in 1799. Thomas Montgomery and Aron Wright settled here in the spring of 1798. Robert Montgomery and family, Levi and John Montgomery, Nathan and John King, and Samuel Bemus and family came the same season.
When the settlers arrived, some twenty or thirty Indian cabins were still standing, which were said to present an appearance of neatness and comfort not usual with this race. The Massauga tribe, which inhabited the spot, were obliged to leave in consequence of the murder of a white mall named Williams.
Two young men taken at the defeat of St. Clair, were said to have been prisoners for a considerable time among the Indians of this village. On their arrival at Conneaut they were made to run the gauntlet, and received the orthodox number of blows and kicks usual on such occasions. In solemn council it was resolved that the life of Fitz Gibbon should be saved, but the other, whose name is not recollected, was condemned to be burned. He was bound to a tree, a large quantity of hickory barks tied into faggots and piled around him. But from the horrors of the most painful of deaths he was saved by the interposition of a young squaw belonging to the tribe. Touched by sympathy she interceded in his behalf; and by her expostulations, backed by several packages of fur and a small sum of money, succeeded in effecting his deliverance: an act in the lowly Indian maid which entitles her name to be honorably recorded with that of Pocahontas, among the good and virtuous of every age.
There were mounds situated in the eastern part of the village of Conneaut and an extensive burying ground near the Presbyterian church, which appear to have had no connection with the burying places of the Indians. Among the human bones found in the mounds were some belonging to men of gigantic structure. Some of the skulls * were of sufficient capacity to admit the head of an ordinary man, and jaw bones that might have been fitted on over the face with equal facility: the other bones were proportionably large. The burying ground referred to contained about four acres, and with the exception of a slight angle in conformity with the natural contour of the ground, was in the form of an oblong square. It appeared to have been accurately surveyed into lots running from north to south, and exhibited all the order and propriety of arrangement deemed necessary to constitute Christian burial. On the first examination of the ground by the settlers, they found it covered with the ordinary forest trees, with an opening near the centre containing a single butternut. The graves were distinguished by slight depressions disposed in straight rows, and were estimated to number from two to three thousand. On examination in 1800, they were found to contain human bones, invariably blackened by time, which on exposure to the air, soon crumbled to dust. Traces of ancient cultivation observed by the first settlers on the lands of the vicinity, although covered with forest, exhibited signs of having once been thrown up into squares and terraces, and laid out into gardens.
There is a fragment or chip of a tree in the possession of the Historical Society, which is a curiosity. The tree of which that was a chip, was chopped down and butted off for a saw log, about three feet from the ground, some thirty rods SE. of Fort Hill, in Conneaut, in 1829, by Silas A. Davis, on land owned by B. H. King. Some marks were found upon it near the heart of the tree. The Hon. Nehemiah King, with a magnifying glass, counted 350 annualer rings in that part of the stump, outside of these marks. Deducting
* In the spring of 1815, a mound on Harbor street, Conneaut, was cut through for a road. One morning succeeding a heavy rain, a Mr. Walker, who was up very early, picked up a jaw bone together with an artificial tooth which lay near. He brought them forthwith to Mr. P. R. Spencer, at present the Secretary of the Ashtabula Historical Society, who fitted the tooth in a cavity from which it had evidently fallen. The tooth was metallic, probably silver, but little was then thought of the circumstance.
ASHTABULA COUNTY 41
350 firom 1829, leaves 1479, which must have been the year when these cuts were made. This was 13 years before the discovery of America, by Columbus. It perhaps was done by the race of the mounds, with an axe of copper, as that people had the art of hardening that metal so as to cut like steel.
The adventure of Mr. Salmon Sweatland, of Conneaut, who crossed Lake Erie in an open canoe, in September, 1817, is one of unusual interest. He had been accustomed, with the aid of a neighbor, Mr. Cozzens, and a few hounds, to drive the deer into the lake, where, pursuing them in a canoe, he shot them with but little difficulty. The circumstances which took place at this time, are vividly given in the annexed extract from the records of the Historical Society.
It was a lovely morning in early autumn, and Sweatland, in anticipation of his favorite sport, had risen at the first dawn of light, and without putting on his coat or waistcoat left his cabin, listening in the mean time in expectation of the approach of the dogs. His patience was not put to a severe trial ere his ears were saluted by the deep baying of the hounds, and on arriving at the beach he perceived that the deer had already taken to the lake, and was moving at some distance from the shore. In the enthusiasm of the moment he threw his hat upon the beach, his canoe was put in requisition, and shoving fronm the shore he was soon engaged in a rapid and animated pursait. The wind, which had been fiesh from the south during the night and gradually increasing, was now blowing nearly a gale, but intent on securing his prize, Sweatland was not in a situation to yield to the dictates of prudence. The deer, which was a vigorous animal of its kind, hoisted its flag of defiance, and breasting the waves stoutly showed that ini a race with a log canoe and a single paddle, he was not easily outdone.
Sweatland had attained a considerable distance firom the shore and encountered a heavy sea before overtaking the animral, but was not apprized of the enliinent peril of his situation until shooting past him the deer turned towards the shore. He was however brought to a full appreciation of his danger when, on tacking his flail vessel and heading towards the land, he found that with his utmost exertions he could make no progress in the desired direction, but was continually drifting farther to sea. He had been observed in his outward progress by Mr. Cousins, who had arrived immediately alter the hounds, and by his own family, and as he disappeared firom sight, considerable apprehensions were entertained for his safety.
The alarm was soon given in the neighborhood, and it was decided by those competent to judge that his return would be impossible, and that unless help could be afforded hlie was doomed to perish at sea. Actuated by those generous irrmpulses that often induce men to peril their own lives to preserve those of others, Messrs. Gilbert, Cousins and Belden took a light boat at the mouth of the creek and proceeded in search of the wanderer, with the determination to make every effort for his relief. They met the deer returning towards the shore nearly exhausted, but the man who was the object of their solicitude was no where to be seen. They made stretches off shore within probable range of the fugitive for some hours, until they had gained a distance of five or six miles fiom land, when meeting with a sea. in which they judged it impossible for a canoe to live, they abandoned the search, returned with difficulty to the shore, and Sweatland was given up for lost.
The canoe in which he was embarked was dug fiom a large whitewood log, by Major James Brookes, for a fishing boat: it was about fourteen feet in length and rather wide in proportion, and was considered a superior one of the kind. Sweatland still continued to lie off, still heading towards the land, with the faint hope that the wind might abate, or that aid might reach him fiom the shore. One or two schooners were in sight in course of the day, and he made every signal in his power to attract their attention, but without success. The shore continued in sight, and in tracing its distant outline he could distinguish the spot where his cabin stood, within whose holy precincts were contained the cherished objects of his affections, now doubly endeared f,om the prospect of losing them forever. As these familiar objects receded from view, and the shores appeared to sink beneath the troubled waters, the last tie which united him in companionship to his fellow-men seemed dissolved, and the busy world, with all its interests, forever hidden from his sight.
Fortunately Sweatland possessed a cool head and a stout heart, which, united with a
42 ASHTABULA COUNTY
tolerable share of physical strength and power of endurance, eminently qualified him for the part he was to act in this emergency. He was a good sailor, and as such would not yield to despondency until the last expedient had been exhausted. One only expedient remained, that of putting before the wind and endeavoring to reach the Canada shore, a distance of about fifty miles. This he resolved to embrace as his forlorn hope.
It was now blowing a gale, and the sea was evidently increasing as he proceeded from the shore, and yet he was borne onwards over the dizzy waters by a power that no human agency could control. He was obliged to stand erect, moving cautiously from one extremity to the other, in order to trim his vessel to the waves, well aware that a single lost stroke of the paddle, or a tottering movement, would swamp his frail bark and bring his adventure to a final close. Much of his attention was likewise required in bailing his canoe from the water, an operation which he was obliged to perform by making use of his shoes, a substantial, pair of stoggies, that happened fortunately to be upon his feet.
Hitherto he had been blessed with the cheerful light of heaven, and amidst all his perils could say, "The light is sweet, and it is a pleasant thing for the eyes to behold the sun," but to add to his distress, the shades of night were now gathering around him, and lie was soon enveloped in darkness. The sky was overcast, and the light of a few stars that twinkled through the haze alone remained to guide his path over the dark and troubled waters. In this fearful condition, destitute of food and the necessary clothing, his log canoe was rocked upon the billows during that long and terrible night. When morning appeared he was in sight of land, and found he had made Long Point, on the Canada shore. Here he was met by an adverse wind and a cross sea, but the same providential aid which had guided him thus far still sustained and protected him; and after being buffeted by the winds and waves for nearly thirty hours, he succeeded in reaching the land in safety.
What were the emotions he experienced on treading once more "the green and solid earth," we shall not attempt to inquire, but his trials were not yet ended. lie found himself faint with hunger and exhausted with fatigue, at the distance of forty miles from any human habitation, whilst the country that intervened was a desert filled with marshes and tangled thickets, from which nothing could be obtained to supply his wants. These difficulties, together with the reduced state of his strength, rendered his progress towards the settlements slow and toilsome. On his way he found a quantity of goods, supposed to have been driven on shore from the wreck of some vessel, which, although they afforded him no immediate relief, were afterwards of material service.
He ultimately arrived at the settlement, and was received and treated with great kindness and hospitality by the people. After his strength was sufficiently recruited, he returned with a boat, accompanied by some of the inhabitants, and brought off the goods. From this place he proceeded by land to Buffalo, where, with the avails of his treasure, he furnished himself in the garb of a gentleman, and finding the Traveler, Capt. Chas. Brown, from Conneaut, in the harbor, he shipped on board and was soon on his way to rejoin his family. When the packet arrived off his dwelling, they fired guns from the deck and the crew gave three loud cheers. On landing, he found his funeral sermon had been preached, and had the rare privilege of seeing his own widow clothed in the habiliments of mourning.
The first regular settlement made within the present limits of the county was at Harpersfield, on the 7th of March, 1798. Alexander Harper, Wm. M'Farland and Ezra Gregory, with their families, started from Harpersfield, Delaware county, New York, and after a long and fatiguing journey arrived on the last of June, at their new homes in the wilderness. This little colony of about twenty persons, endured much privation in the first few months of their residence. The whole population of the Reserve amounted to less than 150 souls, viz: ten families at Youngstown, three at Cleveland, and two at Mentor. In the same summer three families came to Burton, and Judge Hudson settled at Hudson.
Cut short of their expected supplies of provision for the winter, by the loss of a vessel they had chartered for that purpose, the little colony came near perishing by famine, having at one time been reduced to six kernels of parched corn to each person; but they were saved by the intrepidity of the sons of Col. Harper, James and William. These young men made frequent journeys to Elk Creek, Pa., from which they packed on their backs bags of corn, which was about all the provision the settlers had to sustain life during a long and tedious winter. Some few of their journeys were performed on the ice of Lake Erie, whenever it
ASHTABULA COUNTY 43
was sufficiently strong to bear them. which was seldom. On the first occasion of this kind they were progressing finely on the ice, when their sled broke through into the water. A third person who happened to be with them at this time exclaimed, "What shall we do?" "Let it go," James replied. "No" exclaimed William, who was of a different temperament, "you go into the woods and strike a fire while I get the grain." He then with great difficulty secured the grain, by which operation he got completely wet through, and a cutting wind soon converted his clothing into a sheet of ice. He then went in search of his companions and was disappointed in finding they had not built a fire. The truth was, they had grown so sleepily with the intense cold as to be unable to strike fire. He soon had a cheerful blaze, and then converted himself into a nurse for the other two, who on getting warm were deadly sick...
Jefferson, the county seat, is 56 miles from Cleveland and 204 NE. of Columbus. It is an incorporated borough, laid out regularly on a level plat of around, and contains 3 stores, 1 Pres., 1 Bap., 1 Episcopal, and 1 Methodist Church, and 73 dwellings. The township of the same name in which it is situated, was originally owned by Gideon Granger of Conn. In the spring of 1804 he sent out Mr. Eldad Smith from Suffield in that state, who first opened a bridle path to Austinburg, and sowed and fenced ten acres of wheat. In the summer of the next year, Michael Webster, Jr., and family, and Jonathan Warner, made a permanent settlement. In the fall following, the family of James Wilson built a cabin on the site of the tavern shown in the view. The court house was finished in 1810 or '11, and the first court held in 1811; Timothy R. Hawley, Clerk, Quintus F. Atkins, Sheriff.
Ashtabula is on Ashtabula river, on the Buffalo and Cleveland road, 8 miles from Jefferson. It is a pleasant village, adorned with neat dwellings and shrubbery. The borough contains 1 Presbyterian, 1 Episcopal, 1 Methodist, and 1 Baptist church, 10 mercantile stores, and a population estimated at 1200. The harbor of Ashtabula is 21 miles from the village at the mouth of the river. It has several forwarding establishments, 20 or 30 houses, the lake steamers stop there, and considerable business is carried on; about a dozen vessels are owned at this port. The commercial
44 ASHTABULA COUNTY
business of this and Lake county has been much injured by the internal improvement svstem of the state, which has diverted the back country trade into other channels. When the Erie canal
was finished, Northern Ohio felt its invigorating effects, for from the depression of the times after the late war, until the opening of that canal and the commencement of steami navigation on the lake, business languished and made but little progress. The invigorating effects of that work prompted a spirit in Ohio for similar enterprises. The representatives of this vicinity in the legislature drank deeply of the general enthusiasm, although aware that in any event their constituents would receive but a general benefit.
The prosperity of Ashtabula received a severe shock in the loss of the steamer Washington, destroyed by fire on Lake Erie, off Silver Creek, in June, 1838, by which nmisfortune about 40 lives were lost. This boat was built at Ashtabula harbor, and most of her stock was owned by persons of moderate circumstances in this place. She was commanded by Capt. N. W. Brown. A passenger who was on board published, a few days after, the following account of this disastrous event.
The W. left Cleveland on her passage down from Detroit, June 14th, at 8 A. M., proceeded on her way until Saturday 2 o'clock, A. M., when she arrived in the vicinity of Silver Creek, about 33 miles from Buffalo. The boat was discovered to be on fire, which proceeded from beneath the boilers. The passengers were alarmed, and aroused from their slumbers; such a scene of confusion and distress ensued as those only of my readers can imagine who have been in similar circumstances. Despair did not however completely possess the mass, until it became evident that the progress of the flames could not be arrested. From that moment the scene beggars all description. Suffice it to say, that numbers precipitated themselves from the burning mass into the water; some of them with a shriek of despair, and others silently sunk beneath the waves; others momentarily more fortunate swam a short distance and drowned; others still, on pieces of boards and wood, arrived on the beach; yet some even of them, sank into a watery grave. The small boat had by this time put off loaded with about 25 souls for the shore. Those arrived safe, picking up one or two by the way.
The writer of this article was one of the number. Other small boats came to our assistance, which, together with the Washington's boat, saved perhaps a majority of the passengers on board. There is reason to believe that as many as 40 perished. It is impossible to compulete the precise number. Many remained on the boat till it was wrapped in one sheet of flame. Of those there is reason to believe that numbers perished in the conflagration; while others, half burned, precipitated themselves into the watery element, thus
ASHTABULA COUNTY 45
suffering the double agency of death by fire and water. Most of the crew were saved, the Captain among the number, who, during the awful calamity, acted with the utmost decision and intrepidity. Indeed, no blame, so far as the writer has been informed, has been attached to any officer or hand on the boat. The utmost exertion was used to move her on the shore, until it became necessary to stop the engine in order to let down the small boat, which having been done, the fire had progressed so far as to render it impossible to again start the machinery. I give a few particulars of the losses of the passengers. Mr. Shudds is the only survivor of his family of seven. A lady passenger lost three children, a sister and mother. Mr. Michael Parker lost his wife and parents, sister and her child. But I will not further continue the cases of individual bereavement
Kingsville, 14 miles NF,. of Jefferson, contains 1 Baptist, 1 Presbyterian, and 1 Methodist church; 3 stores, a woolen factory, and about 400 people. It is a pleasant village and his a public square on which stand the churches. It is surrounded by a fine and intelligent agricultural community. At this place is the Kingsville Academy, a thriving institution, in good repute, with about 13, pupils, under the charge of Mr. Z. Graves, and supported by the public spirit of the vicinity. The water privileges are good at Kingsville: Conneaut creek runs near the village, on which are several mills and factories, and a branch runs through it, on which, within half a mile, are 5 improved water privileges.
Six miles westerly from Jefferson is Austinburg, a village similar in character to the above. It contains 1 Presbyterian, 1 Congregational, and 1 Free Will Baptist church, and about 300 people. West of the town, on a commanding site, is the Grand River Institute, Rev. Thomas Tenney, Principal. The buildings are spacious and comfortable and the institution flourishing, having a large fund for its support and about 150 pupils of both sexes.
The original proprietors of this township were Win. Battell, of Torringford, Solomon Rockwell & Co., of Winchester, and Eliphalet Austin, of New Hartford, Ct. By the instrumentality of Judge Austin, from whom the town was named, two families moved to this place from Connecticut in 1799. The Judge preceded them a short time driving, in company with a hired man, some cattle 150 miles through the woods on an Indian trail, while the rest came in a boat across the lake. There was at this time a few families at Harpersfield; at Windsor, southwest, about 20 miles, a family or two; also at Elk creek, 40 miles northeast, and at Vernon, 40 miles southeast, were several families, all of whom were in a destitute condition for provisions. In the year 1800, another family moved from Norfolk, Conn. In the spring of 1801, there was an accession of ten families to the settlement, principally from Norfolk, Conn. Part of these came from Buffalo by water, and part by land through the wilderness. During that season wheat was carried to mill at Elk creek, a distance of 40 miles, and in some instances one half was given for carrying it to mill and returning it in flour.
On Wednesday, October 24th, 1801, a church was constituted at Austinburg with sixteen members. This was the first church on the Western Reserve, and was founded by the Rev. Joseph Badger, the first missionary on the Reserve, a sketch of whom is in another part of this volume. It is a fact worthy of note, that in 1802, Mr.
46 ASHTABULA COUNTY
Badger moved his family from Buffalo to this town, in the first wag on that ever came from that place to the Reserve. In 1803,. Austinburg, Morgan and Harpersfield experienced a revival of religion by which about 35 from those places united with the church at Austinburg. This revival was attended with the phenomena of "bodily exercises," then common in the west. They have been classified by a clerical writer as 1st, the Falling exercise; 2d, the Jerking exercise; 3d, the Rolling exercise; 4th, the Running exercise; 5th, the Dancing exercise; 6th, the Barking exercise; 7th, Visions and Trances. We make room for an extract from his account of the 2d of the series, which sufficiently characterizes the remainder.
It was familiarly called The Jerks, and the first recorded instance of its occurrence was at a sacrament in East Tennessee, when several hundred of both sexes were seized with this strange and involuntary contortion. The subject was instantaneously seized with spasms or convulsions in every muscle, nerve and tendon. His head was thrown or jerked from side to side with such rapidity that it was impossible to distinguish his visage, and the most lively fears were awakened lest he should dislocate his neck or dash out his brains. His body partook of the same impulse and was hurried on by like jerks over every obstacle, fallen trunks of trees, or in a church, over pews and benches, apparently to the most imminent danger of being bruised and mangled. It was useless to attempt to hold or restrain him, and the paroxysm was permitted gradually to exhaust itself. An additional motive for leaving him to himself was the superstitious notion that all attempt at restraint was resisting the spirit of God.
The first form in which these spasmodic contortions made their appearance was that of a simple jerking of the arms from the elbows downwards. The jerk was very quick and sudden, and followed with short intervals. This was the simplest and most common form, but the convulsive motion was not confined to the arms; it extended in many instances to other parts of the body. When the joint of the neck was affected, the head was thrown backward and forward with a celerity frightful to behold, and which was impossible to be imitated by persons who were not under the same stimulus. The bosom heaved, the countenance was disgustingly distorted, and the spectators were alarmed lest the neck should be broken. When the hair was long, it was shaken with such quickness, backward and forward, as to crack and snap like the lash of a whip. Sometimes the muscles of the back were affected, and the patient was thrown down on the ground, when his contortions for some time resembled those of a live fish cast from its native element on the land.
The most graphic description we have is from one who was not only an eye witness, but an apologist. He says, "Nothing in nature could better represent this strange and unaccountable operation, than for one to goad another, alternately on every side, with a piece of red hot iron. The exercise commonly began in the head, which would fly backward and forward, and from side to side, with a quick jolt, which the person would naturally labor to suppress, but in vain; and the more any one labored to stay himself and be sober, the more he staggered, and the more his twitches increased. He must necessarily go as he was inclined, whether with a violent dash on the ground, and bounce from place to place like a foot-ball, or hop round, with head, limbs and trunk twitching, and jolting in every direction, as if they must inevitably fly asunder. And how such could escape without injury, was no small wonder among spectators. By this strange operation the human frame was commonly so transformed and disfigured, as to lose every trace of its natural appearance. Sometimes the head would be twitched right and left, to a half round, with such velocity, that not a feature could be discovered, but the face appeared as much behind as before; and in the quick progressive jerk, it would seem as if the person was transmuted into some other species of creature. Head dresses were of little account among the female jerkers. Even handkerchiefs bound tight round the head would be flirted off almost with the first twitch, and the hair put into the utmost confusion; this was a very great inconvenience, to redress which the generality were shorn, though directly contrary to their confession of faith. Such as were seized with the jerks, were wrested at once, not only from under their own government, but that of every one else, so that it was dangerous to attempt confining them or touching them in any manner, to whatever danger they were exposed, yet few were hurt, except it were such as rebelled against the operation, through willful and deliberate enmity, and refused to comply with the injunctions which it came to enforce."
Front the universal testimony of those who have described these spasms, they appear to
ASHTABULA COUNTY 47
have been wholly involuntary. This remark is applicable also to all the other bodily exercises. What demonstrates satisfactorily their involuntary nature is, not only that, as above stated, the twitches prevailed in spite of resistance, and even more for attempts to suppress them; but that wicked men would be seized with them while sedulously guarding against an attack, and cursing every jerk when made. Travellers on their journey, and laborers at their daily work, were also liable to them.
We conclude our sketch of the county with some amusing incidents, related in the Mss. of the Society; although trivial in themselves, they are important in illustration.
There is a stream in Geneva, called "Morse's Slough," and it took its cognomen in this wise. For a time after the Spencers, Austin, Hale, and Morse commenced operations on the lake shore, in the NE. corner of Geneva, they plied their labors there only a week at the time, or as long as a back load of provisions, that each carried, might happen to last. Whatever time of the week they went out, those having families returned on Saturday night to the settlements, and those without, returned whenever out of provisions. The main portion of provisions by them thus transported, consisted of Indian or corn bread: and whoever has been used to the labors of the woods, swinging the axe, for instance, from sun to sun, and limited to that kind of diet almost solely, will know that it requires a johnny-cake of no slight dimensions and weight to last an axeman a whole week. It must, in short, be a mammoth of its species! Such a loaf, baked in a huge Dutch oven, was snugly and firmly pinioned to the back of James M. Morse, as he, with others, wended his way to the lake shore, intent upon the labors of the week.
The stream was then nameless, but nevertheless had to be crossed, and Morse must cross it to reach the scene of his labors. Although a light man, he had become ponderous by the addition of this tremendous johnny-cake. The ice lay upon the streams, and men passed and re-passed unloaded without harm. Not so those borne down with such encumbrance as distinguished the back of Morse, who was foremost among the gang of pioneers, all marching in Indian file and similarly encumbered. They came to the stream. Morse rushed upon the ice -- it trembled -- cracked-broke -- and in a moment he was initiated into the mysteries beneath, with the johnny-cake holding him firmly to the bottom.
The water and mud, though deep, were not over his head. The company, by aid of poles, approached him, removed the Gloucester hump of deformity from his shoulders, relieved him from his uncouth and unenvied attitude, and while he stood dripping and quivering on the margin of the turbid element-amid a shout of laughter they named this stream "Morse's Slough."
A young man by the name of Elijah Thompson, of Geneva, was out hunting in the forest with his favorite dog. While thus engaged, his dog left him as if he scented game, and soon was engaged with a pack of seven wolves. Young Thompson, more anxious for the dog than his own safety, rushed to the rescue, firing his rifle as he approached, and then clubbing it, made a fierce onset upon the enemy. His dog, being badly wounded and nearly exhausted, could give him no assistance, and the contest seemed doubtful. The wolves fought with desperation; but the young man laid about him with so much energy and agility, that his blows told well, and he soon had the satisfaction of seeing wolf after wolf skulk away under the blows which he dealt them, until he remained master of the field, when, with the remains of his rifle -- the barrel -- on his shoulder, and his bleeding and helpless dog under his arm, he left the scene panting and weary, though not materially injured in the conflict.
Mrs. John Austin, of the same township, hearing, on one occasion, a bear among her hogs, determined to defeat his purpose. First hurrying her little children up a ladder into her chamber, for safety, in case she was overcome by the animal, she seized a rifle, and rushing to the spot saw the bear only a few rods distant, carrying off a hog into the woods, while the prisoner sent forth deafening squeals, accompanied by the rest of the sty in full chorus. Nothing daunted, she rushed forward to the scene with her rifle ready cocked, on which the monster let go his prize, raised himself upon his haunches and faced her. Dropping upon her knees to obtain a steady aim, and resting her rifle on the fence, within six feet of the bear, the intrepid female pulled the trigger. Perhaps fortunately for her, the rifle missed fire. Again and again she snapped her piece, but with the same result. The bear, after keeping his position some time, dropped down on all fours, ant leaving the hogs behind, retreated to the forest and resigned the field to the woman.
The early settlers experienced great difficulty in preserving their swine from the ravages of wild beasts. Messrs. Morgan and Murrain, who, with their wives, dwelt in the same cabin, had with difficulty procured a sow which, with her progeny, occupied a strong pen
48 ATHENS COUNTY
contiguous to the dwelling. During a dark night, their husbands being necessarily absent, the repose of the ladles was disturbed by a very shrill serenade from the pen: arousing from their slumbers, they discovered a large bear making an assault upon the swine. They attempted, by loud screams and throwing fire brands, to terrify the animal; but not succeeding, they took an unloaded rifle, and having heard their husbands say that it required just two fingers of powder, they poured liberally into the muzzle, one of them in the meanwhile measuring lengthwise of her fingers, until the full amount was obtained, then driving in a ball they sallied out to the attack. One lady held the light, while the other fired the gun. Such another report, from a tube of equal capacity, is seldom heard. The ladies both fell prostrate and insensible, and the gun flew into the bushes. The bear was doubtless alarmed, but not materially injured.
On the night of the 11th of August, 1812, the people of Conneaut were alarmed by a false report that the British were landing from some of their vessels. A sentinel, placed on the shore, descrying boats approaching, mistook them for the enemy. In his panic he threw away his musket, mounted his horse, and dashing through the settlement, cried with a stentorian voice, "turn out! turn out! save your lives, the British and Indians are landing, and will be on you in fifteen minutes!" The people, aroused from their beds, fled in the utmost terror to various places of covert in the forest. Those of East Conneaut had sheltered themselves in a dense grove, which being near the high road, it was deemed that the most perfect silence should be maintained. By that soothing attention mothers know how to bestow, the cries of the children were measurably stilled; but one little dog, from among his companions, kept up a continual unmitigated yelping. Various means having in vain been employed to still him, until the patience of the ladies was exhausted, it was unanimously resolved, that that particular dog should die, and he was therefore sentenced to be hanged, without benefit of clergy. With the elastics supplied by the ladies, for a halter, and a young sapling for a gallows, the young dog passed from the shores of time to yelp no more.
Rock Creek, 8 miles s. of Jefferson, contains 2 churches, 2 stores, 1 saw, 1 grist, 1 oil mill, 2 tanneries, and about 60 dwellings. It is on a creek of the same name, which furnishes considerable water. Eagleville is a somewhat smaller manufacturing village, 4 miles sw. of Jefferson, on Mill creek, a good mill stream. Windsor, 20 miles sw. of Jefferson, contains about 40 dwellings. There are other small villages in the county, generally bearing the names of the townships in which they are situated...
[ 187 ]
GEAUGA was formed from Trumbull, in 1805, since which its original limits have been much reduced. In March, 1840, the county of Lake was mainly formed from its northern part. The name Geauga, or Sheauga, signifies, in the Indian language, raccoon: it was originally applied to Grand river; thus, "Sheauga sepe," i. e. Raccoon river. The surface is rolling and heavily timbered, and the soil generally clay. The principal exports are sheep, cattle, butter and cheese.
The following is a list of its townships, in 1840, with their population.
The population of Geauga, in 1820, was 7791; in 1830, 15,813, and in 1840, 16,299, or 42 inhabitants to a square mile.
This county being at the head waters of Chagrin, Cuyahoga and part of Grand rivers, is high ground, and more subject to deep snows than any other part of the Reserve. It was formerly much subject to very high sweeping winds or tornadoes. In August, 1804, John Miner was killed at Chester. He had lately moved from Burton, with part of his family, into a log house which he had built at that place. A furious storm suddenly arose, and the timber commenced falling on all sides, when he directed his two children to go under the floor, and stepped to the door to see the falling timber: at that instant, three trees fell across the house and killed him instantly. The children remained in the house until the next morning. when
188 GEAUGA COUNTY
the oldest made her way to a neighbor, about two miles distant, and related the sad tidings.*
The first settlement in Geauga, was at Burton, in the year 1798, when three families settled there from Connecticut. This settlement was in the interior of the country, at a considerable distance from any other. The hardships and privations of the early settlers of the Reserve, are well described in the annexed article from the pen of one who was familiar with them.
The settlement of the Reserve commenced in a manner somewhat peculiar. Instead of beginning on one side of a county, and progressing gradually into the interior, as had usually been done in similar cases, the proprietors of the Reserve, being governed by different and separate views, began their improvements wherever their individual interests led them. Hence we find many of the first settlers immured in a dense forest, 15 or 20 miles or more from the abode of any white inhabitants. In consequence of their scattered situation, journeys were some times to be performed of 20 or 50 miles, for the sole purpose of having the staple of an ox-yoke mended, or some other mechanical job, in itself trifling, but absolutely essential for the successful prosecution of business. These journeys had to be performed through the wilderness, at a great expense of time, and, in many cases, the only safe guide to direct their course, were the township lines made by the surveyors.
The want of mills to grind the first harvests, was in itself a great evil. Prior to the year 1800, many families used a small hand-mill, properly called a sweat-mill, which took the hard labor of two hours to supply flour enough for one person a single day. About the year 1800, one or two grist-mills, operating by water power, were erected. One of these was at Newburg, now in Cuyahoga county. But the distance of many of the settlements from the mills, and the want of roads, often rendered the expense of grinding a single bushel, equal the value of two or three.
The difficulties of procuring subsistence for a family, in such circumstances, must be obvious. Few, however, can now fully realize circumstances then very common. Often would a man leave his family in the wilderness with a stinted supply of food, and with his team or pack horse go perhaps some 20 or 30 miles for provision. The necessary appendages of his journey would be an axe, a pocket compass, fire works, and blanket and bells. He cut and beat his way through the woods with his axe, and forded almost impassable streams. When the day was spent, he stopped where he was, fastened his bells to his beasts, and set them at liberty to provide for themselves. Then he would strike a fire, not only to dissipate, in some degree, the gloom and damps of night, but to annoy the gnats and musketoes, and prevent the approach of wolves, bears and panthers. Thus the night passed, with the trees for his shelter. At early dawn, or perhaps long before, he is listening to catch the sound of bells, to him sweet music, for often many hours of tedious wanderings were consumed, ere he could find his team and resume his journey. If prospered, on reaching his place of destination, in obtaining his expected supply, he follows his lonely way back to his anxious and secluded family, and perhaps has scarce time to refresh and rest himself, ere the same journey and errand had to be repeated.
CHARDON is 170 miles NE. of Columbus, and 28 from Cleveland. It was laid out about the year 1808, for the county seat, and named from Peter Chardon Brookes, of Boston, then proprietor of the soil. There are but few villages in Ohio, that stand upon such an elevated, commanding ridge as this, and it can be seen in some directions for several miles: although but about 14 miles from Lake Erie, it is computed to be 600 feet above it. The village is scattered and small. In the center is a handsome green, of about eleven acres. on which stands the public buildings, two of which, the court house and Methodist church, are shown in the engraving. The Baptist church and a classical academy, which are on or face the public
* Judge Amzi Atwater.
GEAUGA COUNTY 189
square, are not shown in this view. Chardon has 6 stores, a newspaper printing office, and in 1840, had 446 inhabitants.
Geauga suffered much from the "great drouth," in northern Ohio,
in the summer of 1845, the following brief description of which was communicated to Dr. S. P. Hildreth, by Seabury Ford, Esq., of Geauga, and published in Silliman's Journal.
The district of country which suffered the most, was about one hundred miles in length, and fifty or sixty in width; extending nearly east and west parallel with the lake, and in some places directly bordering on the shore of this great inland sea. There was no rain from the last of March, or the 1st of April, until the 10th of June, when there fell a little rain for one day, but no more until the 2d of July, when there probably fell half an inch, as it made the roads a little muddy. From this time, no more rain fell until early in September. This long-continued drouth reduced the streams of water to mere rills, and many springs and wells heretofore unfailing became dry, or nearly so. The grass crop entirely failed, and through several counties the pasture grounds in places were so dry, that in walking across them the dust would rise under the feet, as in highways. So dry was the grass in meadows, that fires, when accidentally kindled, would run over them as over a stubble-field, and great caution was required to prevent damage from them. The crop of oats and corn was nearly destroyed. Many fields of wheat so perished that no attempt was made to harvest them. Scions set in the nursery, dried up for lack of sap in the stocks, and many of the forest trees withered, and all shed their leaves much earlier than usual. The health of the inhabitants was not materially affected, although much sickness was anticipated. Grasshoppers were multiplied exceedingly in many places, and destroyed every green thing that the drouth had spared, even to the thistles and elder tops by the road side.
The late frosts and cold drying winds of the spring months, cut off nearly all the fruit, and what few apples remained, were defective at the core, and decayed soon after being gathered in the fall. Many of the farmers sowed fields of turnips in August and September, hoping to raise winter food for their cattle, but the seed generally failed to vegetate for lack of moisture. So great was the scarcity of food for the domestic animals, that early in the autumn large droves of cattle were sent into the valley of the Scioto, where the crops were more abundant, to pass the winter, while others were sent eastward into the borders of Pennsylvania. This region of country abounds in grasses, and one of the staple commodities is the produce of the dairy. Many stocks of dairy cows were broken up and dispersed, selling for only four or five dollars a head, as the cost of wintering would be more than their worth in the spring. Such great losses and suffering from the effects of drouth, has not been experienced in Ohio for many years, if at all since the settlement of the country. As the lands become more completely cleared of the forest trees, dry summers will doubtless be more frequent. In a region so near a large body of water, we
190 GREENE COUNTY
should expect more rain than in one at a distance. The sky in that district is, nevertheless, much oftener covered with clouds than in the southern portion of the state, where rains are mnore abundant; but the dividing ridge, or height of land between Lake Erie and the waters of the Ohio, lacks a range of high hills to attract the moisture from the clouds and cause it to descend in showers of rain.
Burton, a pleasant village, 8 miles SE. of Chardon, contains 1 Presbyterian, 1 Methodist and 1 Disciples church, an academy, and about 175 inhabitants. Parkman, on a branch of Grand river, and named from Robert B. Parkman, is 16 miles SE. of Chardon, and contains an academy, 1 Methodist and 1 Univeisalist church, 1 flouring, 1 saw and 1 fulling mill, and about 30 dwellings. Three dams are thrown across the river at this place, having unitedly about 60 feet fall, and furnishing much power. There are other small places in the county, at which are post-offices: they are Auburn, Bundysburg, East Claridon, Fowler's Mill, Hamden, Huntsburg, Newburg, Thompson, Welshfield and Chester Cross Roads. At Chester, is the Geauga seminary, under the patronage of the Western Reserve Free-Will Baptist society. This flourishing institution has about 200 pupils, Elder Daniel Branch, A. M., principal.
[ 278 ]
LAKE was formed March 6th, 1840, from Geauga and Cuyahoga, and so named from its bordering on Lake Erie. The surface is more rolling than level; the soil is good, and generally clayey loam, interspersed with ridges of sand and gravel. The principal crops are wheat, corn, oats, barley, buckwheat, hay and potatoes. Dairy products, beef cattle and wool are also among the staples. This county is peculiar for the quality and quantity of its fruit, as apples, pears, peaches, plums, grapes, &c. Many thousand dollars' worth are annually exported, and many of its inhabitants leave every spring, to engage in the business of grafting at the south and west. The situation of this county is very favorable to the preservation of the fruit from the early frosts, the warm lake winds often preventing its destruction, while that some twenty miles inland, is cut off. Bog iron ore is found in large quantities in Perry and Madison, and there are several furnaces in the county. The following is a list of its townships in 1840, with their population:
Population of Lake, in 1840, 13,717, or 65 inhabitants to the square mile.
Mentor was the first place settled in this county. In the summer of 1799, two families were there. * Among the earliest settlers of Lake, was the Hon. John Walworth, who was born at New London, Ct., in 1765. When a young man, he spent five years at sea and in Demarara, South America. About the year 1792, he removed, with his family, to the then new country east of Cayuga lake, New York. In 1799, he visited Cleveland, and after his return, in the fall of that year, journeyed to Connecticut, purchased over two thousand acres of land in the present township of Painesville, with the design of making a settlement. On the 20th of February, 1800, he commenced the removal of his family and effects. They were brought on as far as Buffalo, in sleighs. At that place, after some little detention, the party being enlarged by the addition of some others, drove in two sleighs on to the ice of the lake, and proceeded until abreast of Cattaraugus creek, at which point they were about ten miles from land. At dusk, leaving their sleighs and horses some 50 or 60 rods from shore, they made their camp under some hemlock trees, where all, men, women and children passed an agreeable night, its earlier hours being enlivened by good cheer and social converse. The next afternoon, they arrived at Presque isle, (now Erie, Pa.,) where, leaving his family, Mr. Walworth went back to Buffalo, for his goods. On his return to Erie, he, with his hired man and two horses and a yoke of oxen, followed the lake shore, and arrived in safety at his new purchase. His nearest neighbors east, were at Harpersfield, 15 miles distant. On the west, a few miles distant, within or near the present limits of Mentor, was what was then called the Marsh settlement, where was then living Judge Jesse Phelps, Jared Wood, Ebenezer Merry, Charles Parker and Moses Parks. Mr. Walworth soon returned to Erie, on foot, and brought out his family and effects in a flat boat, all arriving safe at the new home on the 7th of April. The first fortnight they lived in a tent, during which period the sun was not seen. About the expiration of this time, Gen. Edward Paine-the first delegate to the legislature from the Lake county, in the winter of 1801-2-arrived with seven or eight hired men, and settled about a mile distant. Mutually assisting each other, cabins were soon erected for shelter, and gradually the conveniences of civilization clustered around them.
* Mrs. Tappan, in the MSS. of the Ashtabula Historical Society.
ASHTABULA COUNTY 279
Shortly after the formation of the state government, Mr. Walworth, Solomon Griswold, of Windsor, and Calvin Austin, of Warren, were appointed associate judges of Trumbull county. In 1805, Judge Walworth was appointed collector of customs for the district of Erie. In August, he opened the collector's office at Cleveland, and in the March ensuing, removed his family thither. He held various offices until his decease, Sept. 10th, 1812, and was an extensive land agent. Judge Walworth was small in stature, and of weakly constitution. Prior to his removal to the west, it was supposed he had the consumption; but to the hardships and fatigue he endured, and change of climate, his physicians attributed the prolongation of his life many years. He was a fearless man, and possessed of that indomitable perseverance and strength of will, especially important in overcoming the obstacles in the path of the pioneer. *
Painesville, the county seat, and the largest village between Cleveland and Erie, Pa., is 31 miles E. of Cleveland, and 170 NE. of Columbus. The Grand river skirts the village on the east, in a deep and picturesque valley. Painesville is one of the most beautiful villages in the west: it is somewhat scattered, leaving ample room for the cultivation of gardens, ornamental trees and shrubbery. A handsome public square of several acres, adorned with young trees, is laid out near the center of the town, on which face some public buildings and private mansions. The view represents the principal public buildings in the place. The first on the left, is the Methodist church; the building next, without a spire, tower or cupola, is the Disciple church; the one beyond, the Presbyterian church, and that most distant, the court house: these two last front the west side of the public square. Painesville is a flourishing town, containing 1 Episcopal, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Disciples and 1 Methodist church, 14 mercantile stores, 1 flouring mill, 1 bank, 1 newspaper printing office, and has increased since 1840, when it had 1014 inhabitants. The Painesville academy is a classical institution for both sexes, and in fine repute: a large brick building is appropriated for its uses. Near the town is the Geauga furnace, which employs a heavy capital.
* From the Barr Mss.
280 ASHTABULA COUNTY
Painesville was laid out about the year 1805, by Henry Champion, and originally named Champion: it was afterwards changed to that of the township which derived its name from Gen. Ed. Paine, a native of Connecticut, an officer of the revolution, and an early settler: he died only a few years since, at an advanced age, leaving the reputation of a warm hearted and excellent man.
Among the aborigines familiarly known to the early settlers at Painesville, was a fine specimen of manhood, called by the whites, Seneca; by the Indians, Stigwanish, which, being rendered in English, signifies the Standing Stone. Says an old pioneer, in the Barr Mss:
Whoever once saw him, and could not at once perceive the dignity of a Roman senator, the honesty of Aristides and the philanthropy of William Penn, must be unacquainted with physiognomy. He was never known to ask a donation, but would accept one exactly as he ought, when offered. But it was not suffered to rest there; an appropriate return was sure to be made, and he would frequently be in advance. He drank cider or Malaga wine moderately, but was so much of a teetotaler, as to have abjured ardent spirits since the time when, in a drunken frenzy, he aimed a blow with his tomahawk at his wife, which split the head of the papoose on her back. He seldom wanted credit in his trading transactions, and when he did, there was no difficulty in obtaining it, as he was sure to make punctual payment in specie. Once, when himself and wife dined with us at Painesville, he took much trouble to instruct her in the use of the knife and fork. Vain attempt! his usual politeness forsook him, and bursts of immoderate laughter succeeded, in which we were all compelled to join. The last time I saw Seneca -- the fine old fellow -- was at Judge Walworth's, in Cleveland, a short time before hostilities commenced with Great Britain. He expressed to me a fear that war was inevitable, and that the Indians, instigated by the British, would overwhelm our weak settlements; but gave the strongest assurances that if it should be possible, he would give us seasonable notice. If he was not prevented by age or infirmities from redeeming his pledge, he was probably killed by his own people, while endeavoring to leave their lines, or by some of ours, through a mistake of his character.
The Hon. Samuel Huntington, who was governor of the state from 1808 to 1810, resided at Painesville, in the latter part of his life, and died there in 1817. Prior to his removal to Painesville, he resided at Cleveland. One evening, while travelling towards Cleveland from the east, he was attacked, about two miles from the town, by a pack of wolves, and such was their ferocity, that he broke his umbrella to pieces in keeping them off, to which, and the fleetness of his horse, he owed the preservation of his life.
Three miles below Painesville, at the mouth of Grand river, is Fairport, laid out in 1812, by Samuel Huntington, Abraham Skinner, Seymour and Calvin Austin, and Simon Perkins. The first warehouse in this region, and perhaps on the lake, was built about 1803, on the river, two miles above, by Abraham Skinner, near which, in the dwelling of Mr. Skinner, the first court in the old county of Geauga, was held. Fairport has one of the best harbors on the lake, and so well defended from winds, and easy of access, that vessels run in when they cannot easily make other ports. The water is deep enough for any lake craft, and about $60,000 has been expended in improving the harbor, by the general government. Lake steamers stop here, and considerable commerce is carried on. Fairport contains 8 forwarding houses, several groceries, from 20
ASHTABULA COUNTY 281
to 40 dwellings, and a light house, and a beacon to guide the mariner on the fresh water sea.
Richmond, one mile above Fairport, on the opposite and west side of the river, was laid out about ten years ago, in the era of speculation. A large village was built, a steamboat was owned there, and great things promised. Not having the natural elements of prosperity, it soon waned, some of its dwellings were removed to Painesville, while many others, deserted and decaying, are left to mark the spot.
The neat and pleasant village of Willoughby, is on Chagrin river, 21 miles from its mouth, 19 miles from Cleveland, and 11 s. w. of Painesville. The village and township were originally called Chagrin, and changed, in 1834, to the present name, in honor of Prof. Willoughby, of Herkimer county, N. Y. It was settled about the year 1799, by David Abbot, (see page 156,) Peter French, Jacob West, Ebenezer Smith, Elisha Graham and others. Abbot built the first grist mill on the site of the Willoughby mills: Smith was the first man who received a regular deed of his land from the Connecticut land company. In 1796, Charles Parker, one of the surveyors, built a house at the mouth of the river, and a number of huts for the use of the land company: the house was the first erected in the township, and probably the first in the county. Parker became a settler in 1802; in 1803 and 1$04, John Miller, Christopher Colson, James Lewis and Jacob West settled in Willoughby. Dr. Henderson, the first regular physician, came in 1813, and the first organized town meeting was held April 3d, 1815. A bloody battle, says tradition, was fought at an early day between the Indians, on the spot where the medical college stands: human bones have been discovered, supposed to be of those who fell in that action.
The village of Willoughby contains 4 stores, 2 churches, 18 mechanic shops, 1 fulling mill, and in 1840, had 390 inhabitants. The engraving shows, on the right, the Presbyterian church, on the left, the Methodist church, and in the centre, on a pleasant green, the Medical University, a spacious brick edifice. This flourishing and well conducted institution, was founded in 1834: its number of pupils has
282 ASHTABULA COUNTY
been gradually increasing, and in 1846, its annual circular showed 174 students in attendance. The moderate expenses of the institute, the low price of board -- from $1.25 to $1.50 per week -- give it advantages to those of moderate means. Its president is Amasa Trowbridge, who, with seven other professors, and an anatomical demonstrator, form an ample corps of instructors. *
Kirtland is 9 miles southwest from Painesville, in a fine country, on an elevation on the southern side of a branch of Chagrin rivers which here runs in a deep and romantic valley, interspersed with dwellings, cultivated farms and woodland. The village, at this time, contains about 250 inhabitants. The Western Reserve Teacher's Seminary, situated here, has 216 pupils of both sexes, is under the charge of Asa D. Lord, with several assistants, and is exerting a beneficial influence upon the cause of education in this region.
This village is widely known, from having formerly been the head quarters of the Mormons. While here, in the height of their prosperity, they numbered nearly 3000 persons. On their abandoning it, most of the dwellings went to decay, and it now has somewhat the appearance of a depopulated and broken down place. The view taken, shows the most prominent buildings in the village. In the center, is seen the Mormon Temple; on the right, the Teacher's Seminary, and on the left, on a line with the front of the temple, the old banking house of the Mormons. The temple, the main point of attraction, is 60 by 80 feet, and measures from its base to the top of the spire, 142 feet. It is of rough stone, plastered over, colored blue, and marked to imitate regular courses of masonry. It cost about $40,000. In front, over the large window, is a tablet, bearing the inscription:" House of the Lord, built by the church of the Latter Day Saints, A. D. 1834." The first and second stories are divided into two "grand rooms" for public worship. The attic is partitioned off into about a dozen small apartments. The lower grand room is fitted up with seats as an ordinary church, with canvas curtains hanging from the ceiling, which, on the occasion of prayer meetings, are let down to the tops of the slips, dividing the room into several different apartments, for the use of the separate collections of worshipers. At each end of the room is a set of pulpits, four in number, rising behind each other. Each pulpit is calculated for three persons, so that when they are full, twelve persons occupy each set, or twenty-four persons the two sets. These pulpits were for the officers of the priesthood. The set at the farther end of the room, are for the Melchisedek priesthood, or those who minister in spiritual concerns. The set opposite, near the entrance to the room, are for the Aaronic priesthood, whose duty it is to simply attend to the temporal affairs of the society. These pulpits all bear initials, signifying the rank of their occupants.
On the Melchisedek side, are the initials P. E., i e. President of the Elders; M. P. H., President of the High Priests; P. M. H., Pres. of the High Council, and M. P. C., Pres. of the Full Church. On the Aaronic pulpits, are the initials P. D., i. e. President of Deacons;
* Removed to Columbus.
ASHTABULA COUNTY 283
P. T. A., President of the Teachers; P. A. P., Pres. of the Aaronic Priesthood, and B. P. A., Bishop of the Aaronic Priesthood. The Aaronic priesthood were rarely allowed to preach, that being the especial duty of the higher order, the Melchisedek.
We have received a communication from a resident of Kirtland, dated in the autumn of 1846. It contains some facts of value, and is of interest as coming from an honest man, who has been a subject of the Mormon delusion, but whose faith, we are of opinion, is of late somewhat shaken.
The Mormons derive their name from their belief in the book of Mormon, which is said to have been translated from gold plates found in a hill, in Palmyra, N. Y. They came to this place in 1832, and commenced building their temple, which they finished in 1835. When they commenced building the temple, they were few in number, but before they had finished it, they had increased to two thousand.
There are in the church two Priesthoods -- the Melchisedek and the Aaronic, including the Levitical, from which they derive their officers. This place, which they hold to be a stake of Zion, was laid off in half acres for a space of one square mile. When it was mostly sold, they bought a number of farms in this vicinity, at a very high price, and were deeply in debt for goods in New York, which were the causes of their eventually leaving for Missouri. They established a bank at Kirtland, from which they issued a number of thousand more dollars than they had specie, which gave their enemies power over them, and those bills became useless.
284 ASHTABULA COUNTY
They adhered to their prophet, Smith, in all things, and left here in 1837, seven hundred in one day. They still hold this place to be a stake of Zion, to be eventually a place of gathering. There is a president with his two counselors, to preside over this stake. The president is the highest officer; next is the high priest, below whom are the elders, all of the Melchisedek priesthood. The lesser priesthood are composed of priests, teachers and deacons. They have twelve apostles, whose duty it is to travel and preach the gospel. There are seventy elders or seventies, a number of whom are travelling preachers: seven of the seventies preside over them. There were two seventies organized in Kirtland. They ordain most of the male members to some office. They have a bishop with two counselors, to conduct the affairs of the church in temporal things, and set in judgment upon difficulties which may arise between members; but there is a higher court to which they can appeal, called the high council, which consists of twelve high priests. The president and his council set as judges over either of these courts. There are, how ever, three presidents who preside over the whole in all the world -- so termed.
The method of conducting worship among the Mormons is similar to other denominations. The first ordinance is baptism for the remission of sins; they lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and to heal the sick; anoint with oil; administer the sacrament; take little children and bless them; they hold to all the gifts of the Apostolic church, believing there is no true church without them, and have the gift of speaking in different tongues; they sometimes interpret for themselves, but commonly there is some one to interpret for them.
A prophet has lately risen among the Mormons, viz.: James J. Strang, of Wisconsin, who claims to be the successor of Joseph Smith. He has been with them only about two years, and was a young lawyer of western New York. He claims to have received communications from Heaven, at the very hour of Smith's death, commissioning him to lead the people. He has established a stake in Walworth county, Wisconsin, called the city of Voree, by interpretation, signifying "Garden of Peace;" to which they are gathering, from Nauvoo and other places. He has lately visited Kirtland and re-established it as a stake of Zion, and organized the church with all its officers. There are now here about 100 members, who are daily increasing, and it is thought the place will be built up.
Strang is said to have found plates of brass or some other metal. He was directed by an angel, who gave him a stone to look through, by which he made the discovery. They were found three feet under ground, beneath an oak of a foot in diameter. These he has translated: they give an account of a race who once inhabited that land, and became a fallen people. Strang preaches pure bible doctrine, and receives only those who walk humbly before their God.
The Mormons still use the temple at Kirtland. This sect is now divided into three factions, viz.: the Rigdonites, the Twelveites, and the Strangites. The Rigdonites are the followers of Sidney Rigdon, and are but a few in number. The Twelveites -- so named after their twelve apostles -- are very fanatical, and hold to the spiritual wife system and the plurality of Gods. The Strangites maintain the original doctrines of Mormonism, and are located at this place and Voree.
We derive, from a published source, a brief historical sketch of Mormonism.
Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, was born in Sharon, Vermont, Dec. 23d, 1805, and removed to Manchester, Ontario county, N. Y., about the year 1815, at an early age, with his parents, who were in quite humble circumstances. He was occasionally employed in Palmyra as a laborer, and bore the reputation of a lazy and ignorant young man. According to the testimony of respectable individuals in that place, Smith and his father were persons of doubtful moral character, addicted to disreputable habits, and moreover, extremely superstitious, believing in the existence of witchcraft. They at one time procured a mineral rod, and dug in various places for money. Smith testified that when digging he had seen the pot or chest containing the treasure, but never was fortunate enough to get it into his hands. He placed a singular looking stone in his hat, and pretended by the light of it to make many wonderful discoveries of gold, silver and other treasures, deposited in the earth. He commenced his career as the founder of the new sect, when about the age of 18 or 19, and appointed a number of meetings in Palmyra, for the purpose of declaring the divine revelations which he said were made to him. He was, however, unable to produce
ASHTABULA COUNTY 285
any excitement in the village; but very few had curiosity sufficient to listen to him. Not having means to print his revelations he applied to Mr. Crane, of the society of Friends, declaring that he was moved by the Spirit to call upon him for assistance. This gentleman bid him go to work, or the state-prison would end his career. Smith had better success with Martin Harris, an industrious and thrifty farmer of Palmyra, who was worth about $10,000, and who became one of his leading disciples. By his assistance, 5,000 copies of the Mormon bible (so called) were published, at an expense of about $3,000. It is possible that Harris might have made the advances with the expectation of a profitable speculation, as a great sale was anticipated. This work is a duodecimo volume containing 590 pages, and is, perhaps, one of the weakest productions ever attempted to be palmed off as a divine revelation. It is mostly a blind mass of words, interwoven with scriptural language and quotations, without much of a leading plan or design.
Soon after the publication of the Mormon bible, one Parley P. Pratt, a resident of Lorain county, Ohio, happening to pass through Palmyra, on the canal, and hearing of the new religion, called on the prophet, and was soon converted. Pratt was intimate with Sidney Rigdon, a very popular preacher of the denomination called "Reformers," or "Disciples." About the time of the arrival of Pratt at Manchester, the Smiths were fitting out an expedition for the western country, under the command of Cowdery, in order to convert the Indians, or Lamanites, as they termed them. In October, 1830, this mission, consisting of Cowdery, Pratt, Peterson and Whitmer, arrived at Mentor, Ohio, the residence of Rigdon, well supplied with the new bibles. Near this place, in Kirtland, there were a few families belonging to Rigdon's congregation, who, having become extremely fanatical, were daily looking for some wonderful event to take place in the world: 17 of these persons readily believed in Mormonism, and were all re-immersed in one night by Cowdery. By the conversion of Rigdon soon after, Mormonism received a powerful impetus, and more than 100 converts were speedily added. Rigdon visited Smith at Palmyra, where he tarried about two months, receiving revelations, preaching, &c. He then returned to Kirtland, Ohio, and was followed a few days after by the prophet, Smith, and his connexions. Thus, from a state of almost beggary, the family of Smith were furnished with the "fat of the land" by their disciples, many of whom were wealthy.
A Mormon temple was erected at Kirtland, at an expense of about $40,000. In this building there was a sacred apartment, a kind of holy of holies, in which none but the priests were allowed to enter. An unsuccessful application was made to the legislature for the charter of a bank. Upon the refusal, they established an unchartered institution, commenced their banking operations, issued their notes, and made extensive loans. The society now rapidly increased in wealth and numbers, of whom many were doubtless drawn thither by mercenary motives. But the bubble at last burst. The bank being an unchartered institution, the debts due were not legally collectable. With the failure of this institution, the society rapidly declined, and Smith was obliged to leave the state to avoid the sheriff. Most of the sect, with their leader, removed to Missouri, where many outrages were perpetrated against them. The Mormons raised an armed force to "drive off the infidels," but were finally obliged to leave the state.
The last stand taken by the Mormons was at Nauvoo, Ill., a beautiful location on the Mississippi river. Here they erected a splendid temple, 120 feet in length by 80 in width, around which they built their city, which at one time contained about 10,000 inhabitants. Being determined to have their own laws and regulations, the difficulties which attended their sojourn in other places followed them here, and there was constant collision between them and the surrounding inhabitants. By some process of law, Joseph Smith (the prophet) and his brother Hyram were confined in the debtor's apartment in the jail at Carthage, in the vicinity of Nauvoo, and a guard of 8 or 10 men were stationed at the jail for their protection. While here, it appears a mob of about 60 men, in disguise, broke through the guard, and firing into the prison, killed both Joseph Smith and brother, Hyram, June 27th, 1844. Their difficulties still continued, and they determined to remove once more.
In 1840, a work was published at Painesville, by E. D. Howe, called a "History of Mormonism," which gives almost conclusive evidence that the historical part of the book of Mormons was written by one Solomon Spalding. From this work we derive the following facts.
Mr. Spalding was born in Connecticut, in 1761, graduated at Dartmouth, and having failed in mercantile business, removed in 1809 to Conneaut, in the adjoining county of Ashtabula. About the year
286 ASHTABULA COUNTY
1812, his brother, John, visited him at that place. He gives the following testimony:
He then told me he had been writing a book, which he intended to have printed, the avails of which he thought would enable him to pay all his debts. The book was entitled the " Manuscript Found," of which he read to me many passages. It was an historical romance of the first settlers of America, endeavoring to show that the American Indians are the descendants of the Jews, or the lost tribes. It gave a detailed account of their journey from Jerusalem, by land and sea, till they arrived in America, under the command of NEPHI and LEHI. They afterwards had quarrels and contentions, and separated into two distinct nations, one of which he denominated Nephites, and the other Lamanites. Cruel and bloody wars ensued, in which great multitudes were slain. They buried their dead in large heaps, which caused the mounds so common in this country. Their arts, sciences and civilization were brought into view, in order to account for all the curious antiquities found in various parts of North and South America. I have recently read the Book of Mormon, and to my great surprise, I find nearly the same historical matter, names, &c., as they were in my brother's writings. I well remember that he wrote in the old style, and commenced about every sentence with "and it came to pass," or "now it came to pass," the same as in the Book of Mormon, and according to the best of my recollection and belief, it is the same as my brother Solomon wrote, with the exception of the religious matter. By what means it has fallen into the hands of Joseph Smith, jr., I am unable to determine.
Mr. Henry Lake, of Conneaut, also states:
I left the state of New York, late in the year, 1810, and arrived at this place the 1st of January following. Soon after my arrival, I formed a co-partnership with Solomon Spalding, for the purpose of rebuilding a forge which he had commenced a year or two before. He very frequently read to me from a manuscript which he was writing, which he entitled the "Manuscript Found," and which he represented as being found in this town. I spent many hours in hearing him read said writings, and became well acquainted with its contents. He wished me to assist him in getting his production printed, alleging that a book of that kind would meet with a rapid sale. I designed doing so, but the forge not meeting our anticipations, we failed in business, when I declined having any thing to do with the publication of the book. This book represented the American Indians as the descendants of the lost tribes, gave an account of their leaving Jerusalem, their contentions and wars, which were many and great. One time, when he was reading to me the tragic account of Laban, I pointed out to him what I considered an inconsistency, which he promised to correct; but by referring to the Book of Mormon, I find to my surprise that it stands there just as he read it to me then. Some months ago I borrowed the Golden Bible, put it into my pocket, carried it home, and thought no more of it. About a week after, my wife found the book in my coat pocket, as it hung up, and commenced reading it aloud as I lay upon the bed. She had not read twenty minutes till I was astonished to find the same passages in it that Spalding had read to me more than twenty years before, from his" Manuscript Found." Since that, I have more fully examined the said Golden Bible, and have no hesitation in saying that the historical part of it is principally, if not wholly taken from the "Manuscript Found." I well recollect telling Mr. Spalding, that the so frequent use of the words "And it came to pass," " Now it came to pass," rendered it ridiculous. Spalding left here in 1812, and I furnished him means to carry him to Pittsburgh, where he said he would get the book printed, and pay me. But I never heard any more from him or his writings, till I saw them in the Book of Mormon.
The testimony of six other witnesses is produced in the work of Mr. Howe, all confirming the main facts as above given. As Mr. Spalding was vain of his writings, and was constantly showing them to his neighbors, reliable testimony to the same general facts might have been greatly multiplied.
The disposition Spalding made of his manuscripts is not known. From Conneaut, Spalding removed to Pittsburgh, about the year 1813, remained there a year or two, and from thence went to Amity, in the same state, where he died in 1816. His widow stated that while they resided at Pittsburgh; she thinks that the "Manuscript
ASHTABULA COUNTY 287
Found" was once taken to the printing office of Patterson & Lambdin, but did not know whether it was ever returned. We again quote verbatim from the work of Mr. Howe.
Having established the fact, therefore, that most of the names and leading incidents contained in the Mormon bible, originated with Solomon Spalding, it is not very material, as we conceive, to show the way and manner by which they fell into the hands of the Smith family. To do this, however, we have made some inquiries.
It was inferred at once that some light might be shed upon the subject, and the mystery revealed, by applying to Patterson & Lambdin, in Pittsburgh. But here again death had interposed a barrier. That establishment was dissolved and broken up many years since, and Lambdin died about eight years ago. Mr. Patterson says he has no recollection of any such manuscript being brought there for publication, neither would he have been likely to have seen it, as the business of printing was conducted wholly by Lambdin at that time. He says, however, that many MS. books and pamphlets were brought to the office about that time, which remained upon their shelves for years, without being printed or even examined. Now, as Spalding's book can no where be found, or any thing heard of it after being carried to this establishment, there is the strongest presumption that it remained there in seclusion, till about the year 1823 or'24, at which time Sidney Rigdon located himself in that city. We have been credibly informed that he was on terms of intimacy with Lambdin, being seen frequently in his shop. Rigdon resided in Pittsburgh about three years, and during the whole of that time, as he has since frequently asserted, abandoned preaching and all other employment, for the purpose of studying the bible. He left there, and came into the county where he now resides, about the time Lambdin died, and commenced preaching some new points of doctrine, which were afterwards found to be inculcated in the Mormon bible. He resided in this vicinity about four years previous to the appearance of the book, during which time he made several long visits to Pittsburgh, and perhaps to the Susquehannah, where Smith was then digging for money, or pretending to be translating plates. It may be observed, also, that about the time Rigdon left Pittsburgh, the Smith family began to tell about finding a book that would contain a history of the first inhabitants of America, and that two years elapsed before they finally got possession of it.
We are, then, irresistibly led to this conclusion: -- that Lambdin, after having failed in business, had recourse to the old manuscripts then in his possession, in order to raise the wind, by a book speculation, and placed the "Manuscript Found" of Solomon Spalding, in the hands of Rigdon, to be embellished, altered, and added to, as he might think expedient; and three years' study of the bible we should deem little time enough to garble it, as it is transferred to the Mormon book. The former dying, left the latter the sole proprietor, who was obliged to resort to his wits, and in a miraculous way to bring it before the world; for in no other manner could such a book be published without great sacrifice. And where could a more suitable character be found than Jo Smith, whose necromantic fame of arts and of deception, had already extended to a considerable distance? That Lambdin was a person every way qualified and fitted for such an enterprise, we have the testimony of his partner in business, and others of his acquaintance. Add to all these circumstances, the facts, that Rigdon had prepared the minds in a great measure, of nearly a hundred of those who had attended his ministration, to be in readiness to embrace the first mysterious ism that should be presented-the appearance of Cowdery at his residence as soon as the book was printed -- his sudden conversion, after many pretensions to disbelieve it -- his immediately repairing to the residence of Smith, 300 miles distant, where he was forthwith appointed an elder, high priest, and a scribe to the prophet -- the pretended vision that his residence in Ohio was the "promised land," -- the immediate removal of the whole Smith family thither, where they were soon raised from a state of poverty to comparative affluence. We, therefore, must hold out Sidney Rigdon to the world, as being the original "author and proprietor" of the whole Mormon conspiracy, until further light is elicited upon the lost writings of Solomon Spalding.
Seven miles southerly from Painesville, is a small and abrupt eminence, of about 200 feet in height, called "Little Mountain." A hotel is kept on the summit, and it commands a beautiful prospect of the adjacent country and Lake Erie, distant 10 miles. It is much visited, and is a favorite resort from the heats of summer. A cool breeze generally blows from the lake, to brace the nerves of the visitor, while around and below, the earth is clothed in beauty. Centerville,
288 LAWRENCE COUNTY
12 miles east of the county seat, has 3 stores, 2 churches, and about 80 dwellings, scattered along the road for about a mile. Two and a half miles E. of the above, on the line of Ashtabula, is Unionville, which contains 4 stores, 2 churches, and about 100 dwellings, scattered along the road.
Henry Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio set a benchmark for the study of Mormon history in the Buckeye State, as well as for the Solomon Spalding authorship claims for the Book of Mormon. Howe began researching the content for this, the seventh title in the Barber-Howe series of state histories as early as 1846 and probably a little before that date. As recent "news" in his section on Lake County Howe notes (on page 282) that the Willoughby Medical University has moved its campus to Columbus and includes (on the following page) an excerpt from a letter written during "the autumn of 1846" from "a subject of the Mormon delusion." Howe's was the first history of the State of Ohio to include such details -- and the first to print an illustration of the Mormon Temple at Kirtland, recently claimed by James J. Strang, who "has lately visited Kirtland and re-established it as a stake of Zion..."
Although not an eminent work of historical reporting by today's standards, Henry Howe's book set the standard for writings in Ohio history for several decades. It remained in print through several editions, as late as the 1870s and was expanded and re-issued near the end of the century, providing useful material for a whole new generation of readers. It seems that Howe and Barber at least tried to be honest and evenhanded in their reporting, even where they relied heavily upon quotations from disputable sources. Among the latter was Eber D. Howe's 1834 Mormonism Unvailed, which Henry Howe knew from its then recent (1840) second edition as History of Mormonism. Henery Howe's reliance upon the source material from this volume may have been questioned by some readers (especially the Mormons), but by reprinting lengthy quotations regarding the Spalding-Rigdon claims for Mormon origins, he gave those assertions both a wide audience and a new repute for probity.
Henry Howe saw no place for the backsliding "Reverend" Solomon Spalding in his section on Ashtabula County and Conneaut township -- Spalding's name is missing entierly from those pages. Where the historian makes mention of Spaldimg's old associates (like Aaron Wright and Nehemiah King) in that section, he says nothing of those persons' allegations that Spalding wrote much of the Book of Mormon. It is only in his pages on Lake County that Henry Howe takes up the subject of Solomon Spalding, as a sort of appendix to his discussion of Mormon Kirtland and Joseph Smith, Jr.
Where he does quote from the earlier Howe's book, Henry (no known relation to Eber) reproduces extensive excerpts from the 1833 statements of John Spalding and Henry Lake. The former was a temporary resident of Ohio prior to 1812; the latter was an adopted son of "New Connecticut," who raised a family on her soil before finally moving to Illinois and ending his days there -- just after Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio was first offered for sale. Mr. Lake's old friend, Aaron Wright, survived him by a few years, but by the middle of the nineteenth century most of the "Conneaut Witnesses," whose names Eber D. Howe had first popularized in 1834, were dead and buried. They did not live to see their old allegations spread far and wide by Historical Collections of Ohio.
Future historians and encyclopedia writers would follow in Henry Howe's footsteps, granting the "Conneaut Witnesses" and their collective testimony a respected legitimacy well into the first decades of the twentieth century. And, as a matter of fact, those same residents of the Conneaut area were never impeached in their testimony by neighbors and later reporters -- at least not until President James H. Fairchild of Oberlin College began casting aspersion on their character for veracity. Fairchild, who did most of his reporting in 1885 and 1886, lived close enough to the Conneaut area to have conducted interviews with living relatives and old associates of the witnesses, but he never took the trouble to do so. In the decades which followed, when the students of Mormon history compared the declarations of Henry Howe and James H. Fairchild, they increasing chose to believe the latter writer at the expense of the former.
Even so, the modern student of the subject should not lose sight of the fact that the collective testimony of the Conneaut witnesses was never controverted by informed persons, either during their lifetimes or for many years thereafter. With popular books like that of Henry Howe spreading their attestation, the public (both Mormon and non-Mormon) had ample opportunity to show and say at least something censorious about these witnesses. Except for the usual Mormon "party line," branding all who challenged Joseph Smith's story as "liars" and "tools of Satan," no such hostile professions were ever recorded against the "Conneaut Witnesses." Among their associates and neighbors, they seem to have sustained their good reputations well after their lives were ended. As a later writer of Ohio history would report, in 1878, they were "all gentlemen of probity."