Ohio History Journal


Editorialana.                         415


1838 President Van Buren appointed Mr. Lucas governor of the Territory

of Iowa. In this position he exhibited great capabilities in the organiza-

tion of the territory into the state. The election of William H. Harri-

son as Whig President in 1840 caused Mr. Lucas' removal from the office

of (Iowa) governor, when he returned to Ohio and was nominated by the

people of his home district for membership in United States Congress.

In the election he was unsuccessful.  He then sold his farm and home

at Friendly Grove and returning to Iowa made Iowa City his home.

He again took a prominent part in the politics of the territory of his

adoption. He was elected a member of the convention which was to

create a constitution for the forthcoming state of Iowa; served at the

head of several important committees, one of them being the Committee

on State Boundaries, which was to consider the dispute over the line

separating Iowa from Missouri; Mr. Lucas, therefore, appears to have

been peculiarly the hero of state boundary disputes. About this time

he was charged with being a confirmed office seeker for he looked "with

longing eyes to the governorship of the state whose early destinies

he had watched and guarded as the pioneer Territorial Governor. But

younger men were pushing to the front and now his declining years

came upon him and the fate of a superannuated statesman brought him

that fretful idleness that is so hard for men of action to endure."  In

1852 he deserted the party he had so long and zealously served and

joined the Whig forces. Death ended his career on December 8, 1853.

He died at his home, Plum Grove, and the following day was buried in

the cemetery at Iowa City.

Such are the brief and concise facts of his phenomenal life. That

such a career must have had for its foundation and results a strong

character and unusual ability, goes without saying.  Mr. Parish, his

biographer, has followed his life in a most faithful and in not ungraphic

portrayal.  He has in a most successful degree pictured the back-

ground events in which Mr. Lucas was so prominent a figure.      Mr.

Parish has an easy flowing style and the historic instinct to properly

emphasize the larger incidents, while leaving nothing to be desired in

detail. The little volume is tastefully produced as to typographical and

mechanical composition. It has the double value of historic interest in

the development of two states, Ohio and Iowa.




Various historical and patriotic societies located in the southern

part of Ohio have issued a call for a conference of the different historical

societies of the Central Ohio Valley to be held in Cincinnati on Novem-

ber 29 and 30 next. The committee appointed for that purpose consists

of Charles T. Greve, Chairman, Isaac J. Cox and Frank P. Goodwin,

Secretary. In the circular sent forth by the committee, they state:

416 Ohio Arch

416         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


"The observance of national holidays and of centennial celebrations

may be said to be a fixed American habit, but as yet too little attention

has been paid to the details of local history and its connection with sec-

tional and national development. In view of this fact, various organi-

zations of the city of Cincinnati have combined for the purpose of hold-

ing a history conference that should embrace as its field a considerable

portion of the Ohio Valley.

"In furtherance of this plan some twelve organizations of Cin-

cinnati, representing the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio.

the Cincinnati Branch of the Archaeological Institute of America, and

the various hereditary patriotic societies, in connection with the teach-

ers of the city and vicinity, have determined to hold a series of meet-

ings on Friday and Saturday, November 29 and 30, 1907. This move-

ment to represent all classes of workers in the local historical field

has been endorsed by the authorities of the University of Cincinnati,

and they have offered the use of the University buildings for the holding

of such meetings as should seem desirable. The above mentioned organi-

zations of the city are to act as hosts on this occasion, and they invite

the attendance and hearty co-operation of similar bodies in the central

portion of the Ohio Valley. The undersigned committee desires to get

into communication, as quickly as possible, with all such organizations

of this section, and will appreciate any suggestions that will further this


"One of the proposed meetings will be devoted to the work of local

history societies, of which there are a number of national reputation

within this district. We plan to give these societies an opportunity to

explain their work, the value of their collections, and to discuss possible

methods of co-operation in our particular field. The meeting will also

be addressed by a speaker of national reputation, and there will be an

exhibit of the valuable collections of the Historical and Philosophical

Society of Ohio, under whose auspices the meeting will be held.

"By means of this conference we hope to accomplish definitely

the following object:


"(1) To arouse a greater interest in the subject of local his-

tory throughout the whole Ohio Valley, to stimulate the work of

gathering and preserving historical records, and to secure more

efficient co-operation among the local societies.

"(2) To bring in closer touch the various classes of historical

workers, and to excite a permanent interest in all phases of active

historical work.

"(3) To assist the history teacher in the definite problems

connected with his work, and particularly to bring to his service

the wealth of illustrative material afforded by the details of our

local history. In this connection it may seem advisable to extend

the field of work of the Cincinnati History teachers Association so

as to include the Central Ohio Valley.

"(4) To bring the individual teachers and workers into inti-

mate personal contact with certain leaders in the historical field.

"(5) Should the success of this meeting warrant it, and if it

should seem advisable to other communities participating in this

conference, to adopt some general plan for holding similar future

meetings, at such times and places as may seem advisable.

"In view of our purpose we invite the hearty co-operation of all


Editorialana.                        417


who are interested in this work. The undersigned committee will be

glad to receive suggestions concerning speakers, lists of names and ad-

dresses of history workers, details concerning local history organizations

and patriotic societies, and any other sources of information that will

assist in rendering the conference a success. Address communications

to Frank P. Goodwin, 3435 Observatory Place, Cincinnati, Ohio."




Where did the parents of Return Jonathan Meigs get the name?

This question has been asked innumerable times by Ohioans, in looking

over the list of names of Ohio governors in early days. Possibly there

is no accurate information on the subject, but General Zeigler, visitors'

attendant at the state house, tells, a story of the matter which he says

he secured from relatives of the dead governor.

According to this story the elder Jonathan Meigs, father of Return

Jonathan, was very much in love with a charming girl down in Con-

necticut. He asked her hand in marriage one evening. The lass looked

calmly into the big open fire place, and measured in her mind the worth

of the young man. Jonathan Meigs is a young lawyer, of good family,

as well off in this world's goods as any of the other men of the com-

munity, but he lacks something. What was it? Vinegar? That's it.

He lacked spirit. So, pressed for an answer, she told Jonathan that she

would think of him as a very dear brother. Flushing, Jonathan Meigs

arose, picked up his hat and cane and started out without a word. Why

be in such a hurry?" the maiden called. But the slam of the door was

the only answer. "Why, he has a temper after all," she said aloud, and

rushed to the door just in time to see the old gate slammed shut so

violently that the wooden hinges split apart. "Return Jonathan Meigs,"

she cried. Jonathan returned, a wedding followed and the first child

born was named Return Jonathan Meigs, and later he became the

fourth governor of Ohio.

Meigs was one of the war governors of the state, serving during

the war of 1812. He resigned his office as governor to become postmaster

general of the United States. Othniel Looker, of Hamilton county, com-

pleted his term.



On June 11th, the Pioneer Association of Wyandot county held

its anniversary of the CRAWFORD massacre.   Several hundred people

gathered in the picturesque grove, on the banks of the historic Tymoch-

tee, but a few hundred feet from the monument erected to the memory

of the martyr Colonel William CRAWFORD, who gave up his life in the

cause of the advancement of white civilization on June 11, 1782. The

*Vol. XVI.-27.