Ohio History Journal




It is one hundred and fifteen years since the little band of pioneers

were massacred in their fort at Big Bottom on the Muskingum. This

settlement was an off-shoot of the one at Marietta. It was the remotest

outpost of the Ohio Company. Scarcely had Mari-

etta been settled when there pushed out from the

protecting walls of Fort Harmar small bands of

settlers , to build homes and clear the fields in other

favorable locations. Belpre on the Ohio and Water-

ford on the Muskingum were soon begun. In the

fall of 1790 thirty-six men departed from Marietta

and built a blockhouse on the east side of the Mus-

kingum along the line of the Monongahela trail,

about a mile and a half below the present village

of Stockport, Morgan county. The winter that fol-

lowed was a very cold one. Since the Indians were

not so apt to go on their predatory raids in winter

as at other times, the usual severity of the season

disarmed the vigilance of the inmates of the block-

house. In fact the fort had hardly been completed. Already cabins

had been erected and preparations for the spring planting were being

made.  In this apparent security the work of clearing and building


On the second of January, 1791, along the high ridge on the oppo-

site side of the river, unnoticed by the inhabitants of the fort, a band

of Indians saw the settlement. During the day they continued their watch.

They noted the unprotected condition of the blockhouse and the prob-

able number of occupants. Early in the evening they crossed the river

on the ice and fell upon the unguarded frontiersmen. The deadly work

was soon accomplished. Several pioneers escaped and ran through the

woods to the settlement at Wolf's Creek.

No memorial of any kind had heretofore been erected to show the

passer-by that the place was historic. But now, thanks to Mr. Obadiah

Brokaw, who owns the land upon which the blockhouse stood, there is a

suitable and imposing monument that tells the story of that winter day's

massacre. The monument consists of a marble shaft whose apex is

Vol. XIV.- 30.           (465)

466 Ohio

466        Ohio. Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


twelve feet above the ground. The shaft is an octagon, seven and a half

feet high. On one of the faces are inscribed these words: "Erected by

Obadiah Brokaw, 1905."  The shaft stands on a limestone base, which

in turn rests on another base of concrete. On the front of the lime-

stone base is carved, "Site of Big Bottom Massacre, Winter of 1790."

On the two sides are to be found the names of those killed, as follows:

"James Couch, Wm. Jones, Joseph Clark, Isaac Meeks, his wife and two

children, John Stacey, Zebulon Troop, Ezra Putnam, John Camp and

Jonathan Farewell."  On the rear of the base are the names of those

who escaped, "Asa Bullard, Eleazer Bullard and Philip Stacey." The

monument displays excellent workmanship.   It stands in a beautiful

meadow near the public road, and only a few rods from the bank of

the river. It is plainly visible to the passengers on the passing boats.

Mr. Brokaw, the patriotic possessor of the historic site upon which

this monument was erected, desired to make sure that it would be perma-

nently cared for and preserved.

This matter having been brought by Mr. Brokaw to the attention

of Trustee C. L. Martzolff, the latter visited Mr. Brokaw at Stockport

and broached the subject of the transfer of the monument property to

the society.  Subsequently, on August 17th, Professor Martzolff and

Secretary Randall, accompanied by Mr. C. L. Bozman of McConnelsville,

who designed and executed the monument, visited Mr. Brokaw who

finally consented to transfer by deed the monument and two acres of

surrounding land to the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical So-

ciety, upon the condition that the society elect Mr. Brokaw a Life mem-

ber, and further that the society provide for the proper care of the

monument and land transferred as an historic park and monument, keep-

ing said property properly enclosed and protected from destruction and

injury by the public and maintain the same as a free public park. The

negotiations by Messrs. Martzolff and Randall with Mr. Brokaw were

approved and accepted by the Executive Committee at its meeting on

August 28th, 1905.

On Saturday, September 30th, the Society held dedicatory exercises

commemorative of the historic event which the monument marks and

celebrated the donation of the property by Mr. Brokaw. The Executive

Committee of the Trustees of the Society had appointed a Committee on

Arrangements, of which Prof. Martzolff was chairman. This committee

arranged for a most interesting program, which was successfully car-

ried out. The day proved to be one of almost perfect weather condi-

tions and an audience of some four thousand people from the surround-

ing country gathered to participate in the ceremonies. Secretary Randall

acted as chairman and addresses were delivered by President Brinker-

hoff, Trustees Martzolff, Ryan, Andrews, and Hunter, Hon. William B.

Crew of the Ohio Supreme Court, and Hon. Tod B. Galloway, Secretary

to the Governor. The program was most properly closed by an original

poem written and read by Dr. James Ball Naylor, the poet and historical


Editorialana.                                                 467


novelist.  The Stockport Brass Band interspersed the program                          with

musical selections.

It was a unique and interesting event in the history of the society

as this is the first time that the society has come into the possession

of a purely historic site. The proceedings with the speeches in detail will

be published in the January Quarterly of the society.

The society will proceed without delay to protect the site with a

fitting enclosure, making it an attractive place of resort for all who may

care to visit this memorable spot.

Mr. Brokaw has certainly earned the gratitude of all lovers of early

pioneer history by the timely erection of this stone. It will stand as a

constant memorial to one of the gruesome chapters of the early history

of Ohio. It will be a reminder to the coming generations of what it

meant to plant settlements in the forests of the west. It will not only

be a tribute to those who perished on that January day over a century

ago, but it will be an ever present testimonial of the opportune thought-

fulness and the generosity of the man who has erected it.








We have been frequently asked the question whether it be true, as

often reported in the public press, that the American troops were the

first to enter the city of Peking at the time of the invasion by the allied

nations, and that Ohio soldiers were the first within the gates of the

Tartar City.  In response to our inquiry, we received the following

from Colonel Webb. C. Hayes, who at the time was upon the staff of

General Chaffee:

WASHINGTON, February 1, 1905.

MR. E. O. RANDALL, Columbus, Ohio.

DEAR SIR:- The allied troops who marched to the relief

of Peking from Tien Tsin in 1900 consisted approximately

of 2,000 Americans, 2,000 British, 4,000 Russians and 8,000

Japanese. There were no German nor Italians in this column.

The Japanese headed the column all the way and did more

of the fighting than any other one of the allies. Peking con-

sists really of two cities side by side, enclosed by high walls -

The Tartar City and the Chinese City.

468 Ohio

468       Ohio. Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

Under the plan of attack, the Japanese were to take gate

No. 1, the Russians gate No. 2, the Americans gate No. 3,

and the British gate No. 4.

The Americans reached the walls some time before the Brit-

ish, but through a mistake attacked and captured gate No. 4,

and then sent word to the British troops who marched in un-

opposed and then marched through the sluice-way (5) to the

legation, being the first to reach the legation. In the mean-

time the Americans, after opening up with artillery the gate

No. 4 for the British, then made their attack on gate No. 3.

the 14th U. S. Infantry scaled the walls and hoisted their

regimental flag on them - the first flag on the wall,- and at the

same time the Americans forced their way through gate No.

3, being the first troops to get inside the walls of the Chinese

City, and then fought their way to the sluice-way (5) through

which they followed the British, a close second, to the legation.

The Japanese and Russians entered through gates 1 and 2 the

next day. The Commander, Major General Chaffee, his Ad-

jutants General Captain Grote Hutcheson and Col. H. O. S.

Heistand, his Chief of Staff Capt. J. T. Dickman and myself,

all of General Chaffee's staff, besides many other officers are

Buckeyes.                    Respectfully,



Editorialana.                       469




"Did the Mound Builders Have Horses" is the subject of an editorial

in the last issue of the American Sportsman, March 2. The discovery

of the skeleton of a horse, dug up in the state of Nebraska, started a

discussion to which a number of the most eminent archeologists of the

country have contributed their opinions. Dr. Phyle treated the subject

at length in an essay some time ago. The editorial is as follows:

A horseman is curious to know, after reading Dr. Phyle's essay on

the evolution of the horse, whether the "Mound Builders" had horses.

We are not expected to answer this question, as all matters in the pre-

historic age are exclusively in the domain of speculation. A similar

question was asked during a race on the half-mile ring at Newark, Ohio,

the location of several notable memorial mounds.

It is supposed that the Mound Builders preceded the North Ameri-

can Indian, but it is not clear that the Indian is the lineal descendant

of the Mound Builders. When the white man invaded the Western Con-

tinent the Indians had no horses, but it does not follow that the race

that built the memorial mounds had no horses. The Mound Builders

are an extinct race, and their horses may have perished from off the

earth at about the same time.

Scientists and antiquarians who have examined the memorial mounds,

especially the famous ones at Newark and in Adams county, Ohio, as-

sert that they have full proof that the builders enjoyed a high degree of

civilization. The mound at the Newark Fair Grounds forms a perfect

circle, a mile in circumference and some twenty feet high. Upon it

stand very large maple, beech and hickory trees, showing, it is believed,

that the erection of this mound far ante-dated the arrival of Columbus,

over four hundred years ago.

It is thought that the Aztecs, found in Mexico by Cortez, and the

ancient Peruvians, whose empire was destroyed by Pizzaro, may have

been of the same race as the Mound Builders.

Whether the Mound Builders had horses we can only guess, but that

a race preceding the North American Indians had horses we know to

a certainty. The evidence of the skeleton horses recently discovered is


Prof. Starr, of the Chicago University holds, with many others of

the more advanced scientists, that the Mound Builders were Indians

and coarse barbarians. Prof. Starr also holds that some of these mounds

were built by Indian tribes not yet extinct. The French scientists. Lucien

Biart (who has written a very elaborate book on the ancient Aztecs of

Mexico), holds that they were a true type of Indians. Prof. John D.

Baldwin, author of the "Prehistoric Nations," in his notes on American

archaeology, holds that the Mound Builders were American aborigines

of the Indian type and not immigrants from another continent. Prof.

470 Ohio

470        Ohio. Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


Baldwin holds that more than two thousand years have elapsed since the

Mound Builders lived in the Ohio Valley.

In conclusion we are not in a position to state whether the Mound

Builders were the race that exploited the pre-historic horse on this con-

tinent or whether they degenerated into Indians. All we know for a

certainty is that the pre-historic man had a pre-historic horse, and that

he both rode and ate him, and that the horse in improved form still sur-

vives, while the Mound Builders are extinct, and the Red Man is where

he can see his finish-Akron Democrat.






Under the editorship of Mr. Howard D. Manington, a tasty little

volume, amply illustrated, has been issued, giving a detailed account of

the Centennial Celebration of Champaign County, held at Urbana on

the days of July 4th, 5th, and 6th. Under the energetic and patriotic

management of the good people of Urbana, the Centennial proved to be

an event of great interest, and well worthy the conclusion of one hun-

dred years of the historic county. The inauguarting day of the cen-

tennial being also the anniversary day of the nation's natal day, drew

an immense crowd of citizens representing all parts of the state to the

handsome little county seat. Vice President Fairbanks was the orator

of the day and made a patriotic address appropriate to the occasion.

One of the features of the day was a grand parade and "a more mag-

nificent spectacle was never witnessed in this state."  The procession

consisted of platoons of soldiers from the United States Regular Army,

State Militia and a great number of novel features as "floats," decorated

vehicles, masqueraders in fantastic costume, etc. The day was closed

in the evening by a splendid pyrotechnic display in the City Park and

followed by a "smoker" under the auspices of the local press committee,

in honor of Vice President Fairbanks. This was presided over by Hon.

Howard D. Manington, and speeches were made by the Hon. Ralph D.

Cole and Messrs. John H. James, Henry C. McCracken, J. A. Howells

and L. D. Johnson.

July fifth was celebrated as "Pioneer and Home-coming Day," the

exercises being held in the county fair grounds, where several thousand

people, bringing their lunch-baskets, gathered from all sections of the

county and renewed their early memories of Champaign county life and

greeted long absent friends. The formal exercises of the day consisted

of an address by Secretary Randall of the Ohio State Archaeological and

Historical Society, the rendering of musical selections by the Urbana

Band and a mixed chorus of some two hundred voices. Judge E. P.

Middleton presided.


Editorialana.                       471


July sixth was known as "Military Day." A large section of the

state militia under the command of Brigadier General William V. Mc-

Maken paraded the streets of the city, headed by the Eighth Regiment

Band and the Marietta Guards. Governor Herrick and his military staff

reviewed the movements of the troops. This was followed by a gather-

ing at the fair grounds, where speeches were made by Col. W. R. War-

nock, Governor Myron T. Herrick and Senator C. W. Dick. In the

evening there was held a fitting closing feature which was really the

literary event of the week. The exercises were held in Clifford's Theatre,

which was filled to its utmost capacity by an interested audience who

listened to addresss by Governor Herrick, Senator Dick, Secretary of

State Laylin, Lieutenant Governor Harding and Mr. Howard D. Man-

ington, who presided.

The volume mentioned at the beginning of this item contains the

proceedings of these various days in full, with reports of the speeches

and much additional matter pertaining to the history of Urbana and

Champaign county.   Particularly valuable is the historical matter by

Mr. John W. Ogden, Rev. Charles S. Wood, Mr. J. T. Woodward and

Mr. I. N. Keyser, Superintendent of the Public Schools of Urbana.






The Richland County Historical Society has just issued a neat little

pamphlet containing the proceedings of the society, beginning with its

first annual meeting, Saturday, June 10, 1899, and closing with the pro-

ceedings of its last annual meeting held in the G. A. R. rooms of the

Memorial Building, Mansfield, June 7th, 1905. At this latter meeting

a most interesting program was carried out. An address was delivered

by the Rev. Joshua Crawford on the ill-fated and memorable "Expedition

of Col. William Crawford" in the summer of 1782 against the Sandusky

Indians. Rev. Crawford is a collateral descendant of the famous subject

of his address. We regret that space does not permit of our publishing

this address, but the subject has been treated in a scholarly manner by

Judge J. H. Anderson in a previous number of the Quarterly. Other

addresses were delivered by the Hon. W. G. Geer, representing the Rich-

land County delegation; Mrs. James R. Hopley, Bucyrus, by special request

delivered the address given by her at the Ohio Centennial Celebration at

Chillicothe on "The Part Taken by Women in the History and Develop-

ment of Ohio;" Prof. Sample, of Perrysville, Mr. Hiram R. Smith and

Mr. Peter Bissman, of Mansfield, rendered short talks.  Prof. Sample

has one of the largest collections of archaeological and historical relics in

Ohio. Mr. Hiram Smith has reached the honorable age of ninety-three

years, and when called for remarks responded by reciting,

472 Ohio

472        Ohio. Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


"You may scarce expect one of my age,

To speak in public upon the stage."


Mr. Peter Bissman made a most interesting off-hand speech which

held the undivided attention of the audience. Prof. C. W. Williamson

of Wapakoneta read a very carefully prepared paper on "The Allied

Indian Tribes of Western Ohio."  Prof. Williamson's address dealt in

detail with the early invasion of Ohio by the English traders and the

war for extermination which was waged against them by the French

from Quebec, who by the aid of the Indians were able to drive back

the first of the traders. He also graphically pictured the conspiracy of

Pontiac and the plan and efforts of that distinguished Indian chief

to regain the Ohio valley from the encroachments of the white men. The

Secretary of the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society de-

livered an address entilted "Some Phases of Early Ohio History." Hu-

morous recitations were rendered by Miss Lenora R. Shaw of Ashland

College and Mr. M. A. Ricksecker of Galion.

This meeting of the Richland County Historical Society, both in

interest and attendance, proved to be the most successful of any in its

history. The society under the administration of Gen. R. Brinkerhoff,

President, and Mr. A. J. Baughman, Secretary, is doing splendid work

and gathering much historical material concerning the county and the

state which would otherwise be lost to future readers.


*      *     *      *     *

On August 3, 1905, by invitation from Mr. A. J. Baughman, Secre-

tary Randall paid a visit to the far-famed watershed barn, situated near

Five Corners, in Springfield township, seven miles west of Mansfield,

Richland county, on what is known as the Leesville road. The party

from Mansfield consisted of Gen. Brinkerhoff, Mr. A. J. Baughman, Mr.

Martin B. Bushnell, Mr. Peter Bissman and Mr. M. D. Frazier, Editor

of the Daily Shield and the writer. The party proceeded by trolley from

Mansfield to the farm, upon which the barn is located, said farm now

being the property of Mr. C. Craig. The barn, a large structure, stands

upon the roadside, facing the east and west, and not, as is generally sup-

posed, north and south. The barn rests upon a slight elevation, midway

between what are known respectively as the Palmer Spring and Little

Lake. Each of these water sources is about a quarter of a mile from

the barn. Palmer Spring is the head source of the Sandusky River,

which empties into Lake Erie, and the Little Lake is the head source of

Clear Creek, which finds its way to the Mohican, thence into the Tus-

carawas, the Muskingum, the Ohio and then into the Mississippi. The

geographical location at this point is, of course, upon the "divide," hav-

ing an elevation of 832 feet above Lake Erie, 965 feet above the Ohio

River, and 1,265 feet above sea level. Photographs were taken of the

barn and the two river sources. The visit proved to be one of special in-


Editorialana.                       473


terest, which was greatly heightened by the information gained of the

geological and historical features of the section as related by Mr. A. J.

Baughman, than whom few in the state are better qualified to speak

upon matters pertaining to its geology and history.








The following communication is self explanatory. It is from the

pen of Prof. R. W. McFarland, Oxford, Ohio, who has contributed many

articles of value to the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society



Mr. E. O. Randall:

In reading your highly commendatory notice of Dr. Slocum's Histori-

cal work, I was pleased to see your remark about his use of the word

Aborigine instead of Indian. Allow me to say that the term has never

been recognized by Webster, or Worcester, by their co-adjutors, or their

successors, as belonging to the English language. It is found in the

Century and the Standard, -and we are entitled to suppose that its

presence there is because some writer had used it. The plural, Aborigines,

is applied to the first inhabitants of a country; it does not apply to

subsequent races. Unless the Dr. can show that the Indians were the

first inhabitants of America, the term cannot be applied to them at all.

Further; four hundred years ago when this continent was discov-

ered, it was supposed to be what is now called the East Indies; in dis-

covering the error, the term West Indies was given to the islands be-

tween North and South America, and they have borne the name ever

since. The inhabitants of these islands were naturally and properly

called Indians, the name subsequently being applied to all the race,

whether on continent or island. And from that day to this, the word

has been used alike by writers of fiction as well as of history, -by

Cooper, Irving, Bancroft, Prescott, McMaster, Wilson, - indeed, by all

standard authors. It has been used by the authorities of the country,

both state and national, in regard to civil cases as well as to military;

and such has been the practice ever since the English occupied this

country. The Spaniard, the Portugese, the French also used the like

word. This term has been too long in vogue, and has covered too wide

a territory to be called in question at this late day.

It seems to me that the careful and judicious reader of the work

in question may be led to suspect that such a lapse may not be an iso-

lated one, but may be accompanied by others no less bad. The tendency

474 Ohio

474        Ohio. Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


would be to detract from the estimate in which the work might be held.

The Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society cannot, of course, agree

to sanction such vagaries.








On August 18th, Secretary Randall made a trip to Chillicothe and

procuring conveyance drove out some seven miles to the location of

the "Harness Mounds," where Prof. W. C. Mills, Curator of the So-

ciety's Museum, was conducting his explorations. The Secretary spent

the day at the mounds, and while there was fortunate to see the discov-

ery of a grave and its opening by the explorers under the direction of

Prof. Mills and his assistant, Mr. A. B. Coover. Portions of a human

skeleton were exhumed and some fine copper ear-rings and other orna-

ments were taken from the gave. Prof. Mills was unusually successful

in his finds during the summer explorations. He explored completely

the largest of the Harness Mounds which had been opened at previous

periods, respectively, by Squier and Davis, Prof. F. W. Putnam and

Prof. Warren K. Moorehead. Prof. Mills had under his direction an

excellent force of eight or ten men. Prof. Mills will prepare and publish

in due time in the Quarterly a detailed statement of his explorations for

the past summer.

*     *      *

On Friday, August 25th, the Secretary journeyed to Piqua, where

he was met by Judge E. L. Hoskins of the Probate Court of Shelby county,

Mr. H. R. McVey, Superintendent of the Shelby schools, and Mr. A. J.

Hess, President of the Sidney Board of Education. In company with

these gentlemen a trolly car was taken to the historic residence of John

Johnson, who for many years was the government agent for the Ohio

Indians during their residence on the Ohio Reservation. Near this John-

son residence was the old stockade fort known as "Pickawillany," pic-

turesquely located on the banks of the Great Miami River. The party

also visited the monument close by, erected by the Daughters of the

American Revolution, to commemorate the spot of the last battle of

"The French and Indian War." It is a splendid granite rock, upon which

is this inscription:


"Erected 1898 by the Piqua Chapter of the Daughters of

the American Revolution in Memory of the Last Battle of the

French and Indian War, Fought near This Spot 1763."


Editorialana.                       475


From this point the party took the trolley to Sidney and thence by

carriage conveyance drove to the site of old Fort Laramie on the banks

or Loramie Creek. This town is now named "Loramie." The site of

the old fort is on the farm of Mr. F. C. Arkenberg. While at the site of

the old fort the party met Mr. F. J. Uhrich, Superintendent of Schools

of Loramie, who imparted to the party much information of historical


*     *      *


Col. John W. Harper of Cincinnati represented the Ohio State Ar-

chaeological and Historical Society at the "White Water Valley Associa-

tion" meeting, held September 9th, at White Water, Hamilton county,

on which occasion he delivered an address setting forth the history and

purposes of the society.

*      *     *


Mr. W. H. Hunter, Trustee of the Ohio State Archaeological and

Historical Society, delivered an address to the students of Marietta Col-

lege and the members of the "Ohio Valley Historical Association" upon

the evening of Friday, September 29th, in the college chapel at Marietta,

his subject being "General Arthur St. Clair, Territorial Governor of


*      *     *

On Saturday, September 9th, Trustee B. F. Prince made a visit of

inspection to Fort Ancient, and on Saturday of the following week, Sep-

tember 16th, Secretary Randall was the guest of Mr. Warren Cowen,

Custodian of the Fort. The Secretary remained several days, during

which time he made extended examination of the archaeological con-

struction of the Fort and noted also the result of the custodianship of

Mr. Cowen. The Fort never was in such excellent condition, and in its

state of transition from summer to winter-in its all coloring-pre-

sented a most attractive and picturesque appearance.