Ohio History Journal

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Archaeological and Historical





MARCH, 1888-



APRIL 2, 1788, a band of forty-eight pioneers left the

mouth of the Voughiogheny in the "Mayflower of the

West."  Floating out into the Monongahela, they emerged

on the broad bosom of the Ohio, and began an easier jour-

ney down that beautiful river to their chosen homes in the

valley below.  Five days after, they landed on the bank

of the Muskingum river, at its confluence with the Ohio,

and the first settlement of the Americans in the North-

west territory began.  On the opposite side of the Mus-

kingum river stood Fort Harmar, erected two years before,

now garrisoned by a detachment of United States soldiers.

The pioneers not only found protection from the Indians

near at hand, but enjoyed the society of frontiersmen some-

what accustomed to backwoods life.

This company of settlers was composed almost entirely

of an excellent class of men, determined upon founding

homes for their families, and in a measure retrieving their

fortunes lost in the war for independence.  They recog-

nized the necessity of some form of government until the

proper officers should arrive, and hence organized them-

selves into a body politic, adopted a code of laws, and

chose Return Jonathan Meigs to administer them.   His-