Ohio History Journal

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Abstract of an Address by HON. JOHN W. BRICKER


Governor John W. Bricker, in an excellent address, which

unfortunately had not been reduced to a manuscript, closed the

program of the Convention. It brought out the great historical

significance of the Maumee Valley in relation to the United

States. He said that few events in our American history had more

effect upon the country's welfare than the defense of Fort Meigs,

and that out of events today may come a greater determination to

make a better world.

"Ohio," he said, "is noted in human events. Here traversed

the Indians, the French, and the English. Ohio has been the key

to the development of America. Here, two hundred years before

Fort Meigs was built, came the Algonquin tribes who rose up in

defense of the territory. Champlain and LaSalle saw that those

who controlled the Maumee controlled the Northwest; and this

battlefield was the key to that control and to the expansion on the

Pacific Coast. During the Civil War this territory was a tower

of strength to the Union. Fort Meigs, Fort Stephenson with

'Old Betsy' should be inspirations to us."

Governor Bricker referred to the celebrations of peace which

he had attended. One celebrated the settlement of the "war"

between Michigan and Ohio, which gave the Toledo district to

Ohio and the Upper Peninsula with its iron to Michigan. Another

was in Canada where the "Old Boys Day" was celebrated, with

the Stars and Stripes displayed beside the Union Jack in com-

memoration of peace between the two countries.

"I have wondered why Canada and the United States can live

together in such peace that on our borders are no protecting forts,"

said the Governor. "Is it not our respect for constitutional rights?

Is it not the spirit of friendship and of liberty? Such are the