Ohio History Journal

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10 Ohio Arch

10         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


paternalistic policy by the national government. These potent matters,

extending to the very foundation of our national fabric, are closely

connected with the history of the navigation of the Ohio River, and

are to form topics for discussion during these sessions.

One hundred years have brought vast changes to this City. It

is doubtful to-day whether French workmen would have to be imported

for shipyard laborers in this vicinity, or whether it would be necessary

to send to Philadelphia for a steam engine and transport it in pieces

over the mountains, to be assembled here, in order to propel a vessel,

as was done one hundred years ago; nor would the appellation of "the

steamboat" be sufficient to designate a particular craft at present. A

century ago, "the steamboat" started for New Orleans; today scores

of steamboats depart for various parts.  But in the midst of this

prosperity let us take time to cast the mind back to primitive days,

and to do honor to those brave hearts who had the prophetic vision

and the lofty courage to bring things to pass.

I will not dwell upon the specific part played by the Ohio River

and by Pittsburg; these will be brought out in succeeding papers. Mine

only is the part to give a comprehensive glance at the situation; to

indicate, if possible, the significance of this celebration and its relation

to the whole of the nation's history. In this sense I must congratulate

the local historical societies upon their initiative, energy and foresight

in calling attention to the true significance of this occasion, to remind

the public that immaterial as well as material factors are important

in life, and to call our attention to the fact that a people which does

not reverence its past fails in its higher aspects of life no matter how

prosperous it may be in its financial interests. I must also congratu-

late the energy and foresight of the public spirited men of Pittsburgh-

the former and the present "Gateway to the West"-for supporting the

historical aspects of this celebration and recalling to our minds the

glorious past and the stimulating deeds of those unspectacular, unsung,

and sometimes unhonored heroes of the past-the frontier pioneers

of America.

President Sparks was followed by Prof. Dyess of the

University of Pittsburgh.







Washington, Pittsburgh and Inland Navigation! Such is my sub-

ject, made up, you may think of diverse parts, with scarcely any re-

lation, the one with the other. It is not so. Washington in a very