Ohio History Journal

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21






Professor of History and Political Science, Wittenberg College,

Springfield, Ohio.


The men who made Ohio for its first fifty years were per-

sons of remarkable character and quality. Four or five states

gave choice selections for the settlement of that region. They

proved themselves good and true for the work they had to do

and brought honor and success to the interests committed to their

care. Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia were

the states from which the greater part came. Among them were

some who had been active participants in the Revolution. They

were trained in patriotic devotion to their country and were

likely to plant colonies in which their own patriotic spirit would

be fostered and perpetuated. Many of the younger men who

came were surveyors who soon began to thread the forests with

chain and compass, though beset with dangers from wild beasts

and hostile Indians, and brought face to face with many danger-

ous exposures and privations. Others became teamsters among

the settlements, bringing to the people the few desirable and

needed supplies. The production and transportation of salt oc-

cupied the time of a number. There being no prepared roads

and no bridges over streams, the lot of these serving men was

beset with many hardships, but they shrank not from the heavy

tasks that lay before them.

All these experiences were developing a sturdy and self-

reliant manhood. The young men engaged in felling forests,

building cabins, carrying on trade and marking out the lands

were largely thrown upon their own resources and were learn-

ing to think and act for themselves. The affairs of state were

also pressing upon them. Political life was taking form, and

every serious and ambitious young man was caught in the whirl

of politics. Any one showing more than ordinary qualities was

( 228 )