Ohio History Journal

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Editorialana.                        101


self-deluded. It became his monomania. He was more Simplician than

Charlatan, though a curious mixture of both.

The Ohio legislature in 1850 enacted the Homestead Exemption

Law-granting homestead of certain value or a certain amount of prop-

erty exempt from the reach of creditors. Allen it was claimed was instru-

mental in securing the passage of this law, but that is only another of the

Allen myths. There is no evidence that he had anything to do with it.

Indeed he is not the sort of a character to have accomplished the things

attributed to him. He lived an aimless and largely useless life, eking

out a mere subsistence and displaying abilities and ambitions far too

mediocre to be influential. His auction rooms in Columbus, which were

located on High street, near Town, were the reputed scenes of "a good

deal of buffoonery, for our hero was not a dignified personage. In fact

he was the butt of the wits and practical jokers of the town. His auctions

were often very farcical performances, for articles would be run up by the

eager bidders to the most astounding price, but the man who made the

last bid could never be identified. But the auctioneer was always good-

natured. He never lost his temper. He joined in the laugh which was

raised at his expense and went on with the sale as best he could. Many

stories are told illustrating his simplicity, his lack of ordinary shrewdness.

the easiness with which he could be imposed upon, and the uniform

belief is, that nothing could provoke him to resentment or malice, that

his heart was full of kindness and his speech always friendly and gracious."

Such was "Land Bill' Allen. He died friendless and alone, the

ward of his county. At his death no relatives near or remote could be

found. His wife had died many years before at New Albany, Franklin

county. He doubtless innocently enjoyed the attainment and contem-

plation of his pseudo fame. Many men have had credit for more and

deserved less.




Mr. George Moore, of Washington, D. C., is the author of an histor-

ical work, recently published by Harper Brothers, entitled "The North-

west under three flags" (1635-1798.)  It is a most admirable, accurate

and complete resume of the history of the occupation and development

of the great Ohio Valley from the earliest French settlements to the

establishment of the Northwest Territory, under the famous ordinance

of 1787. Mr. Moore recounts a delightful and thrilling story of the con-

flicts between the aboriginal inhabitants and the Latin race (French)

usurpers; then between the French and English and finally between the

two divisions of the Anglo-Saxon race, the English and the Americans.

We know of no one book that covers the movements of these import-

ant events so compactly and clearly as does the volume of Mr. Moore.

He is a close and careful student. He has examined in great measure