Ohio History Journal

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SALEM, September 9. Extract of a letter from a gentleman at the

new settlement on the Muskingum, to a person in this town, dated July 20th.

We had a beautiful passage down the Ohio from Pittsburg, in com-

pany with 3 Kentucke boats. Without sails or oars, we glided down the

fair* river, and in 48 hours arrived at the enchanting spot. It is really a

delightful situation. The first thing which presented itself, when we

ascended the bank by a grand and easy pair of stairs, was a fine level

spot covered with huts and tents. Ranging the Muskingum, was a fine

bowery, where our people celebrated the fourth of July; An oration was

delivered by general VARNUM; and a fine dinner was provided; among

other things, there were on the table pearch that weighed 24 pounds--

pickerel of 22 pounds--roast pig, venison, &c. While dining, there was

a discharge of cannon from the garrison, which is so near, that, with the

settlement on the Virginia shore, it makes this point very lively. The

day after we arrived was the time appointed for governor St. Clair to

make his first public appearance. At 5 o'clock, P.M. there was a general

muster in the bowery. His excellency came over from the garrison to

this place, escorted by the corps of officers, the secretary, &c. The secre-

tary then read the ordinance of congress, the governor's commission, the

judges', and his own. The governor was then congratulated on his

arrival at the seat of government; and three cheers closed the ceremony.

The Rev. Mr. BRECK is here, and this day preached the first sermon

that ever was delivered on the banks of the Muskingum, from Exodus

xix. 5,6; "Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed and keep my

covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me, above all people;

for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests,

and an holy nation."

Now for the land. There is not a single person that has ever been

upon the ground, but what is pleased with its situation and fertility.

Vegetation is equal to any thing you ever heard of it, except the pigs

tails. Col. B. tells me, it is a fact, that they drove a stake into a cornhill,

and measured the corn, and that in 24 hours it grew 9 1/2 inches. There

are many very fine gardens here; and the city ground is clearing as fast

as possible: But the situation of affairs is such, at present, respecting

the Indians, that people cannot with safety go to their lands.

Concerning the treaty, there is no probability of a general one at

this time. The place that was designed for the treaty is about 80 miles

up the Muskingum, and the stores were deposited there; and a few days

before we arrived, the place was attacked by about a dozen poltroons, of

the Chippawas; who killed two centinels, and a mulatto; but they lost 3

or 4 of their own party. Information was brought of this affair to the

garrison by some friendly Indians, and a boat was dispatched to bring off

the stores. Captains Tunis and White Eyes, chiefs of the Delawares, who

are friendly disposed, went up with our people. By the stratagem of the

chiefs some of the scoundrels were taken. They came in with the

* Meaning of the word Ohio.

1 Reprinted from Hudson (New York) Weekly Gazette, September 28, 1788.