Ohio History Journal

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THE first settlement in this State, at Marietta, and

organization of the Northwest Territory, under the

Ordinance of 1787, were the most notable events in the

history of our country, and deserve to rank among the

greatest of the civilized world. The Territory having

been wrested from the domination of foreign nations by

the combined strength of the American Colonies after the

eight years' struggle of the Revolutionary war, it became

at once a subject of intense interest as to what disposition

should be made of it. The soldiers of the Revolution,

who had periled their all in defense of the country,

claimed it as the common inheritance of all the Colonies,

and to be disposed of by a central government. Virginia,

New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts also made

claims of different kinds to it, and it was not until 1786

that these conflicting contentions were settled, and it was

agreed by their relinquishment that the land should be the

property of the United States, then existing under the

"Articles of Confederation," to be formed into States, and

to be admitted into the Union when so formed, upon equal

footing in all respects with the original States, and the land

disposed of for the common benefit of all the States, the

manner and conditions of sale to be regulated exclusively

by Congress.

Consider the vastness of the territory thus to be con-

trolled, embracing nearly 240,000 square miles, or 150,-

ooo,ooo acres! A land not then fully explored by white

men, but so far as known, considered to be one of

boundless forests, immense swamps, extensive prairies,

impassable rivers, rough and barren hills, yet rich in all

the possible resources for future habitations, but filled

with wild beasts alert in pursuit of their prey  roving