Ohio History Journal

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The historic rural church of the Northwest Territory, of

which Tallmadge is a distinguished example, has passed through

three phases and is now entering a fourth. This is especially true

of Ohio. These phases are: First, that of rapid, energetic and

often heroic pioneering. This, in Ohio, ended about 1830. Sec-

ond, that of tension and conflict, ending with the Civil War. Third,

that of prosperity and slow decline, through the Civil War to

the first World War. Fourth, that of new pioneering on new

frontiers, the present-day stage or perhaps that of the immediate


It all begins with the Ordinance of 1787, and its versatile

creator, the Rev. Manasseh Cutler, Congregational minister,

teacher, "dispenser of physic," real estate expert, "Prince of diplo-

mats and first of lobbyists."

The opening up of the Northwest Territory, thus created,

at once followed and immediately it seemed as if all America was

on the march. Within ten years a million settlers poured into

the Ohio Valley. From southern New England alone eight hun-

dred thousand people went west or south before 1820. John C.

Calhoun once stated that so great was their political activity that

there was a time in the lower house of Congress when it was

within five votes of being controlled by a bloc of representatives

who were either natives of Connecticut or Yale graduates or both.

These pioneers had a strong religious bent. Not less than

six definitely religious and denominational invasions can be listed.

Count them: First, the famous caravan assembled by Manasseh

Cutler that left Massachusetts in December, 1787, crossed the

Alleghenies, built the new Mayflower, and in it descended the

Ohio to found Marietta April 7, 1788, and almost immediately

1 Address at the Tallmadge Service of the Mid-West Regional Meeting of the

Missions Council of Congregational Christian Churches, October 23, 1940.