Ohio History Journal

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The best proof a nation can give that it is growing up is a

lively interest in its history. From the records of what they have

done, a people can form an estimate of what they are, and from

that they may draw an augury of their future. Not only does his-

tory recall the past, it also explains the present. This pilgrimage, to

scenes immortalized in early northwestern history, arranged by the

historical societies in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Ontario, is more

than a pilgrimage of interest. Of course, there is the element of

interest--these scenes are replete with glamorous and thrilling

romance. We are standing on the site of a famous fort named

for a gallant governor of Ohio. Great men have passed this way

--Tecumseh, most masterful of Indian statesmen; William Henry

Harrison, hero of what was then the "Gateway to the West."

General Hull passed this way hopefully north, and came this way

south again to he court-martialed after his woeful disaster. One

hundred and twenty-seven years ago the region hereabouts was

rich in names which still are borne by men in the higher ranks of

the United States Army. Here passed the Kentuckians to their

massacre at Monroe. Around this place were enacted all degrees

of heroism and incompetence, loyalty and treason, privation and

suffering and triumph--for the place where we stand was once the

key to the northwest frontier. If it were only the color and ex-

citement and interest of history we seek, we should find plenty of

it here.

But there is something far more valuable and rewarding

than that. There is here also the lesson our Country is always

being taught and never quite learns, that it is one thing to win

a national or social blessing, and another thing to have and hold

it. Our fathers wrote the Declaration of their Independence, but

it did not make them independent; they had to fight for seven