Ohio History Journal

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To-day we look upon education as a process by means of

which the individual acquires experiences that tend to modify

conduct and that aid in meeting new situations in life. These

experiences are acquired through tradition and the school.

Often the most effective part of an individual's education comes

as the result or incidental experiences in an effort to subjugate

his environment. These experiences frequently crystallize into

tradition and are passed on to further generations, thus forming

a vital element in the education of the new generation. It is

this wider meaning of education that I wish to hold in mind

while outlining some of the European influences on early western


In the Ohio Valley we find several settlements made by peo-

ple direct from Europe. They brought with them their tradi-

tions and conceptions of life, their enterprise and skill, which

did not perish with the fathers and mothers but have been

treasured in the lives of the people with whom they came in

contact. One such settlement was made at Gallipolis, Ohio.

In February 1790, a company of six hundred French left their

native land for a home on the western continent. These people

had been forced to leave their homes by the unsettled state of

affairs in France. They believed that a far happier life would

greet them on the banks of the Ohio in the American wilder-

ness. Many disappointments and hardships awaited them be-

fore reaching their destination. But once in their new location

they set to work conquering their environment and preparing

new homes. Twenty years passed before they felt free to es-

tablish the time-honored and much appreciated Gallia Academy.

It was on February 8, 181O, that a meeting was called to con-

sider the expediency of erecting in Gallipolis an institution for