Ohio History Journal

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By the Treaty of Paris of 1783 American ownership of the

region later known as the Old Northwest was acknowledged by

Great Britain. Much, however, remained to be done before the

land could be occupied by actual settlers. The British flag con-

tinued to wave over the posts at Detroit and Michilimackinac while

scowling Indian tribes announced that the white man should not

pass across the Ohio River. The settlement of the southern part

of the region was not to be delayed until the surrender by the

British of the northern posts. It was, however, necessary to secure

the consent of the Ohio Indians before the Americans could estab-

lish homes at Marietta, Cincinnati, and other points along the Ohio

River. This was accomplished by a series of treaties at Fort Stan-

wix in 1784, at Fort McIntosh in 1785, and at Fort Finney in

1786.1 By these treaties the greater part of eastern and southern

Ohio was opened to settlement. In no case, however, was there a

full representation of the tribes affected by these cessions. Those

who did not take part denied the authority of the chiefs present to

negotiate the treaties. They prepared, consequently, to resist the

advance of the white man. This meant that the bloody wars that

had so long devastated the border would continue to rage. This

Indian menace was to affect the work of the surveyors on the

Seven Ranges.

While the American commissioners were meeting the Indians

in these councils, the Congress at New York was busy with the

enactment of the Land Ordinance of May 20, 1785.2 This monu-


1 American State Papers: Indian Affairs (Washington, 1832), I, 10, 11. Of

these treaties that at Fort McIntosh was the most important. The boundary there

established passed up the Cuyahoga River, across the portage to the Tuscarawas,

down that stream to the site of Fort Laurens, then west to Loramie's Fort, north to

the Maumee River, and down the Maumee to Lake Erie.

2 Journals of the Continental Congress (Washington, D. C.), XXVIII (1933),

375-81. For an extended treatment of the development of this land policy see Pay-

son Jackson Treat, The National Land System (New York, 1910), 15-40.