Ohio History Journal

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Editorialana.                        297


Section 2. That the care and control of the site of Fort Laurens,

located in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, and being the first fort established

west of the Ohio river, shall be vested in the board of trustees of the

Ohio archaeological and historical society, who shall hold the lands and

property thereon subject to such use as the general assembly may by law


Section 3. That for the purpose of carrying out the provisions

of this act, and defraying the expenses of the committee, there is hereby

appropriated out of any moneys in the state treasury, to the credit of

the general revenue fund and not otherwise appropriated, a sum not to

exceed five thousand five hundred dollars.

Passed April 27, 1915.





It was on April 7, 1788, that the immortal forty-eight New Eng-

land pilgrims led by Rufus Putnam, disembarked from the "Adventure

Galley," afterwards named and better known as the "Mayflower," at the

mouth of the Muskingum, opposite Fort Harmer, and laid out and in-

augurated the first settlement in the newly created North West Terri-

tory. It was to be called Marietta, and was the first official capital of

the trans-Allegheny empire. The first clearing was at the "point," on

the east side of the Muskingum, and there the first houses were erected.

As Mr. Summers states in his "History of Marietta," there was need

of some protection against possible attacks of the neighboring hostile

Indians. A fortification known as "Campus Martius," field of Mars, was

erected for the defensive purpose. "The location of Campus Martius is

best described by stating that it was built upon the ground with 'Wash-

ington street as the southern boundary, and Second street the eastern

boundary, and fronting the Muskingum river.' The defense was three-

fourths of a mile from the 'point' and connected with it by the narrow

path which had been cleared. Here was built the stockade which was

for five years to be the dwelling place and refuge of a large part of the

colony. The sides were formed by a continuous line of dwelling houses

two stories in height. They were made of timber four inches thick

sawed by hand, and fitted at the corners in the same manner as those

of a log house. At the corners were block-houses, a trifle higher than

the houses, and projected out six feet beyond the sides of the stockades."

This Campus Martius was not only the "fortification" of the new settle-

ment, but the official building of the new western government. Besides

being the residence of many families including the offices of the ter-

ritorial governor and commissioners. Governor Arthur St. Clair and

his secretary, Winthrop Sargent, here resided. The site of these build-