Ohio History Journal

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9






There were many forces which bound the Miami country to

the South--the political dominance of men of southern birth,

family ties, ecclesiastical relations, the attitude towards the negro,

and above all commercial relations. The last influenced all the

other forces and brought with economic dependence on the South

a common way of thinking with it, especially in matters of

economics and politics. This relationship began with the first

years of development. After Anthony Wayne's victory and the

Treaty of Greenville, settlement was no longer forced to cling

to the bank of the Ohio River at Cincinnati, Columbia, and North

Bend, but speedily spread over the rich lands of the two Miamis.

A number of foodstuffs could be produced in abundance, but for

other things, especially manufactured articles, the region depended

on Philadelphia or other eastern markets. However, it was im-

practical to transport to the East the products given in exchange

for these imports, and the only market available was one to which

approach was furnished by a natural water route, New Orleans.

About ten years after the opening of the hinterland the Cincin-

nati wholesale trade began, and this, with the later rise of indus-

tries, made the section less dependent on the East, whereas the

volume of exports to the South steadily increased. With these

exports went a feeling of good-will towards, and common interest

with, those persons who received them. Nevertheless, for the first

score of years, until the industries developed sufficiently to meet

local needs, the manufactured articles came from the East, and

this dependence on East and South alike necessitated almost an-

nually a triangular journey for the merchant.

The early Miami merchant then played a much more im-

portant part in determining the interest and destinies of his region

than he could ever have imagined. He was usually, in those early