Ohio History Journal

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In the spring of 1802 two travelers met in the wilderness

between Zanesville and Marietta, Ohio. Though they rode to-

gether by day and camped together by night, each refrained

from disclosing to the other the object of his journey. That ob-

ject was to purchase the section of land upon which, later on,

grew up the village of Putnam, now the Ninth Ward of the city

of Zanesville. The travelers were John McIntyre, the founder of

Zanesville, and Dr. Increase Mathews, a nephew of Gen. Rufus

Putnam, who was at that time in charge of the U. S. land office

at Marietta. Each of these men had set out at the same time to

seek the same prize.

At the land office, a few days later, the travelers did some

spirited bidding but Dr. Mathews got the land. His cousin,

Levi Whipple, joined in the purchase and later on Gen. Putnam

became a joint proprietor.

On this land, on the western bank of the Muskingum river,

was founded, two years before Ohio became a state, the village

of Springfield; so called from a fine spring of water which

gushed from the rocky face of the western hillside, and to which

a pioneer romance gave the name of "The Lovers' Fountain."

Subsequently the name of the village was changed to "Putnam"

in honor of its most distinguished proprietor.

The early settlers of Putnam, while they valued the spring

and the water power of the beautiful river, set a higher value

on education, morality and religion. Being of New England

stock they were ardent advocates of human freedom, and in the

fullest accord with the great Ordinance which had forever dedi-

cated to freedom the land on which they had established their


This anti-slavery sentiment led to the establishment, as early

as 1833, of a monthly meeting to pray for the abolition of Afri-

can slavery. For many years this prayer meeting was held in