Ohio History Journal

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7






It has been stated by some authorities that Columbus was

born a capital,1 that Lucas Sullivant, an early surveyor who laid

out Franklinton in 1797, foresaw       the future political possibilities

of the district.2 At the same time, it is claimed by another au-

thority that this was hardly possible, since state lines had not

yet been drawn at that early date.3 In any   case, the seat of

government was moved to Columbus in October, 1816,4 and the

legislature convened there on December 2, 1816.5

The towns of Columbus and Franklinton were now con-

nected by an "elegant bridge" thrown across the Scioto River.6

Furthermore, by the next year, local papers contained accounts

of the pleasing development of the capital, these claiming that

in 1817 there were nearly 200 houses--"elegant mansions" re-

placing log cabins.7 The embryo city also supported two news-

papers, and an "academy for young ladies in which are instructed

most of the branches of polite literature of that class of schools,

in the seaports and principal towns."8 The same source claimed

that Columbus was a place where one could enjoy good health

and cheap living. One could find refreshment and relaxation

in the tavern owned and operated by J. B. Gardiner, this estab-


* This article is based upon a revised chapter taken from a Master's thesis

written in 1940 at the Ohio State University and entitled, "The Selection of a Site

for the Permanent Location of Ohio's Capital."  The content of the chapter has

been left intact, but the form and expression have been altered slightly. The writer

has felt it advisable to omit a number of footnote references in his revision.

1 Alfred E. Lee, History of the City of Columbus, Capital of Ohio (New York,

1892), I, 201. Hereafter this work will be cited as Lee, Hist. of Col.

2 Joseph Sullivant, A Genealogy and Family Memorial (Columbus, 1874), 115; Lee,

Hist. of Col., I, 135.

3 General John Beatty, "Franklinton-An Historical Address," Ohio State Ar-

chaeological and Historical Quarterly, VI, 61.

4 Ohio Laws, XIV, 245.

5 Item in Chillicothe, Ohio, Supporter, Dec. 6, 1816.

6 Ibid.; Lee, Hist. of Col., I, 218, for a discussion of bridge and tolls, etc.

7 Zanesville, Ohio, Muskingum  Messenger, June 26, 1817, quoting item  from

Columbus Ohio Monitor.

8 For this material the writer has referred to an item from Ohio Monitor, quoted

by Muskingum Messenger, June 26, 1817.