Ohio History Journal


Editorialana.                        123


"that ordinance and especially the non-slavery clause, was not the work

of Nathan Dane of Massachusetts, but of Thomas Jefferson of Virginia."

It is not our purpose to enter into this discussion which has been

the theme of many a writer. Our impression is that Mr. Jefferson has

not been duly accredited with the share due his ordinance as a basis for

the one of 1787. Jefferson must, says Curtis M. Geer, in his volume on

the Louisiana Purchase, be "credited with the effort of trying to abolish

slavery but his anti-slavery clause would have been of doubtful value,

for the Ordinance of 1787 prohibited slavery at once instead of waiting

sixteen years before abolishing it."  Mr. Benton was of course spe-

cifically in error, but on the other hand partially correct, for the Ordi-

nance of 1787 was based in large measure on the provisions of Jefferson's

ordinance of 1784. The latter, however, as has been noted, was sug-

gested in the main features by the Bland ordinance of 1783, so that

who "thought first" is still an open question. Mr. Jefferson is to be

credited in no small way with the many features of the final famous

ordinance, but many of its chief and characteristic articles were the

products of other hands--the hands of Nathan Dane, Rufus King and

Manasseh Cutler; while to the latter, above all others, was due the

final touches and diplomatic efforts that brought about the passage of

the great Magna Charta of the Northwest Territory.






The Rufus Putnam Memorial Association, the headquarters of

which are at Worcester, Mass., and which society now has the title and

possession of the Rufus Putnam Homestead at Rutland, Mass., held its

tenth annual meeting in the Rufus Putnam House at Rutland on Septem-

ber 27, 1910. G. Stanley Hall, President, presided. At this meeting the

following resolutions were unamiously adopted:

"WHEREAS, General Rufus Putnam, in whose honor this Asso-

ciation was formed, in his home at Rutland, Mass., with General

Benjamin Tupper planned the Ohio Company of Associates and

within its walls wrote the call for election of delegates to form

that Company, an event of great national importance, and

"WHEREAS, General Putnam led the first colony of pioneers

from Massachusetts and Connecticut to Marietta, Ohio, making

there the first legal settlements in the Territory Northwest of the

River Ohio, where he labored for thirty-six years for the cause

of City and State, promoting and organizing Muskingum Academy

in 1797, the percursor of Marietta College, and

"WHEREAS, Marietta College represents the high ideals of

patriotism and morality carried into the Northwest by Massa-

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124       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


chusetts pioneers one hundred and twenty-five years ago, now owns

and preserves with pride the Journals, Diaries, and all other papers

of General Rufus Putnam, and all the Journals, records, accounts,

surveys and other manuscripts of the original Ohio Company of

Associates, owns the Stimson Collection of Americana, and the

Slack Collection of Historical Documents and Prints, and its His-

torical Museum preserves hundreds of priceless memorials of those

historic Massachusetts Founders of Ohio, has already been made

custodian of the archives of the Ohio Company of Associates of

New York, and further, is with fidelity and patriotic enthusiasm

keeping alive the memory of this great historic movement; There-

fore be it

"Resolved, That we, the Rufus Putnam Memorial Association,

in order to perpetuate through the centuries the reverence for the

unselfish devotion of the pioneers who first settled in the great

State of Ohio, do appoint through its President, a Committee of

Ten to formulate and carry out a plan to secure what shall be

known as the General Rufus Putnam Memorial Fund of One

Hundred Thousand Dollars;

"That the income of this Fund be expended;

"For the maintenance of the Rufus Putnam home in Rutland,

Mass., in its present state of preservation;

"For the support of the departments of History and Political

Science and the Historical Museum of Marietta College;

"For such other purposes as shall promote the general aim of

this enterprise;

"That the Trustees of Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio, be

made the custodians and trustees of this Fund who shall make

annual report to this Association of its condition and the dis-

position of its income;

"That the Ohio Company of Associates of New York, the

Trustees of Marietta College, and the patriotic and historical

societies of Massachusetts and Ohio be asked to participate in this



In accordance with the above resolutions, a Committee was ap-

pointed to take charge of raising the Memorial Fund, as follows: G.

Stanley Hall and A. George Bullock, of Worcester, Mass.; Whitelaw

Reid, of London, Eng.; A. F. Estabrook and Ex-Gov. Curtis Guild, Jr.,

of Boston, Homer Lee, of New York; and W. W. Mills, Chas. S. Dana

and A. B. Hulbert, of Marietta, Ohio.

At the annual dinner of the Association, held in Rutland on the

same date (September 27), Honorable Charles S. Dana of Marietta, a

Life Member of the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society,


Editorialana.                      125


as well as a member of the Rufus Putnam Memorial Association, delivered

the following eloquent address on the life and achievements of General

Rufus Putnam:

Permit me to state at the beginning of my remarks, ladies

and gentlemen, that I regard this association and this occasion

of high character. It is a privilege to me to stand by the threshold

of the founder of Ohio and greet you of the East who revere the

life and the deeds of Rufus Putnam. Here among the hills of

Massachusetts the name of Rutland seems the articulation of

the empire of the great Northwest. The mists of a century and

a quarter do not dim the deeds of the Company of Ohio Asso-

ciates, upon whom history spreads all the effulgence of the glorious


So I greet you of the Old Bay State, as ones who love the

story of our national beginning, of our expansion, of our terri-

torial acquisitions and of our public characters whose lives are

a legacy. The plain history of America transcends all the gilded

imaginations of the writer of the historical novel. The pen cannot

add to the life of Washington, of Hamilton, of Adams, of Putnam,

and within our own time it can but fittingly record its tribute to

that great American of your own Commonwealth, George Frisbie


The story of Rufus Putnam is the story of thirteen Colonies,

of the Continental Government, of the Colonial and Indian Wars,

of the American Revolution, of the suppression of Shay's Rebellion

and of Ohio. His days were crowded in an epoch that changed the

course of civilization and hand in hand with the men of 1776 he

took up the inheritance of the Magna Charta, of Plymouth Rock,

of the Virginia Constitution, of the Declaration of Independence

and while the Colonies were framing the Constitution of the United

States he joined in compelling the Ordinance of 1787.

Can the imagination, at this distance, reach the sublimity of

the work of Putnam and his compeers?

From the heights of Abraham in quick succession the Amer-

ican idea paved the way for the heroic, self-sacrificing events that

flashed from Lexington to Yorktown.

From Yorktown "westward the course of Empire took its

way" and stopped over the Ohio country, gave us Marietta, with

the Ohio Company, with Putnam and Tupper, and a state that today

is the "seat and the center of Empire."

If Quebec had not fallen into the hands of the English under

General Wolfe, it is highly probable that the land we now call the

great Northwest would exist under the colors of France. If

Laurence and Augustine Washington had not formed a company,

with Lord Fairfax, in 1748, that they called the Ohio Company,which

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126       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


company controlled the land immediately south of the Ohio

river and north of the Little Kanawha, it is also possible that

Ohio would be a French province today. If. General Lewis had

not led his poorly-armed and clad Virginia mountaineers to the

battle of Point Pleasant in the Ohio Valley and routed the Indians,

(who were fighting under English directions) it is also possible

that there would not have been any reason for this Putnam society

to exist.

The stolid Englishmen had made their homes along the lines

of the Atlantic Coast.

The country beyond the Allegheny mountains did not appeal

to them, while the Frenchmen quickly laid claim to its vast extent.

Here that brilliant race of men, with all their force of fancy,

dreamed the dreams of Empire in a land that Daniel Webster de-

scribed as "vast, untouched, unbounded, magnificent wilderness."

The first Ohio company under the brothers of George Wash-

ington failed.

In 1763 King George issued an order that shut out all the

Virginians from the Ohio lands, leaving the French unmolested,

and here, in my opinion, is where France failed in not following

up her possession with colonies in which women and children

could be found.

During the darkness of Valley Forge George Washington

called his officers about him and told of the beautiful lands of

the Ohio, a country that he had visited more than once in youth

and early manhood, and suggested that in the event of the loss

of the American cause that the soldiers of the Revolution seek a

home in its genial climate.

The war was ended and the treaty of peace signed in Septem-

ber, 1783.

The colonists were independent, but the lives of many of the

defenders were lost in battle and the remaining ones lived in utter

poverty. The troops were without pay, the Continental government

had neither money nor credit. The hearts that had not faltered

before Hessian guns now faced a situation wherein heroism of

another kind had to obtain. The resources of the government

were exhausted and the only relief in sight of any kind was in the

Western lands that Maryland had compelled the other colonies

to form into a single body by surrendering all of their individual

claims thereto.

May we not pause here a moment and call to mind the sig-

nificance and the final effect of this action on the part of Mary-


Let us keep in mind that the history of our country is an

open book. We do not trace our beginning to a she wolf, nor do


Editorialana.                     127


the gods of mythology enter into our story. Here we have a

nation builded in the bright and broad light of history, and we

can trace the lines and subtle influences in a large and, yes, a

small way in their entirety that created our Constitution.

This action on the part of Maryland created a ward for the

Colonies, and this charge made the opening of the Ohio Company

of Associates. The Ohio Company was the dynamic force whence

came the Ordinance of 1787. The Ordinance of 1787 forced the

ratification of the constitution by the Colonies and was one of the

most effective weapons in the hands of Hamilton in dealing with

the stubborn assembly of New York.

This great Ordinance stands as one of the mothers of human

progress. In the language of Webster, "it fixed the character of

the population in the vast regions northwest of the Ohio by ex-

cluding from them involuntary servitude."

The Ohio Company grew from a call issued from yonder house

by General Putnam and General Tupper -both brave soldiers of

the Revolution, and the friends and companions of Washington.

We have met to commemorate and perpetuate the life and the

deeds of Rufus Putnam in the fragrance of appreciation and

grateful memory.

Putnam, the step-son of a Sutton inn-keeper, became a self-

made man of the highest type. He early developed a fondness

for engineering and had his early training in the old French and

Indian wars. While in the conflict of the Revolution his services

were most distinguished at Dorchester Heights, in the fortifying

of West Point, the creating of coast defenses, taking part in the

capture of the army under Burgoyne and the safe return from

Long Island.

We cannot stop for the narrative of his career in full today,

time forbids; but we of the Ohio country look to this Rutland home

as the pilgrim to his shrine.

Rufus Putnam, the father of Ohio, is my toast! Rutland!

Marietta! Ohio! these are the sequences.

It is mine to be one of you in heart and pride, for I am a son

of the men of 1788, who established government in Ohio, and it has

been my privilege to live in the appreciation of the high ideals,

plans and effective work of Putnam and his associates. "The wise

and brave men," said Senator Hoar, "who settled Marietta would

have left an enduring mark, under whatever circumstances, on

any community to which they had belonged. But their colony was

founded at the precise and only time when they could have secured

the Constitution which has given the Northwest its character and

enabled it, at last, to establish in the whole country, the principles

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128        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


of freedom which inspired alike the company of the first and

second Mayflower."

I question if history records another instance wherein the

government of a state was projected and the laws worked out in

detail in the advance of the coming of a single individual to the

land. Herein the genius of Putnam was recognized and, with his

forceful character, he was placed at the head of the Ohio Com-

pany of Associates.

Our history is dotted with the accounts of land companies

from way down in Maine to Texas and Oregon. Man has felt

here the lure of the land and answered the call of adventure and

of gain since Bradford came to Plymouth. The organization of

such companies has worked upon the speculative side of humanity

and very few of them, indeed, have found a place in history. They

lacked both the opportunity and the character of the Ohio Company.

The work of our fathers is secure. We approach with all the

pride of confidence.

Congress granted the Ohio lands to the soldiers of the Revo-

lution as compensation for their services and the character of these

men who followed Putnam has marked beyond no doubt or ques-

tion the five great states over which Governor St. Clair once


In the settlement at Belpre, the first off-shooting colony from

Marietta, there was not a man who was not a commissioned officer

of the Revolution. These men did not come by accident, they

were the associates of Putnam and of Tupper. They loved their

country and these Ohio pioneers took with them their flag and

placed it by the cabin door, and to them it meant a new country,

a new home, a new state, one for which they had fought and

suffered. Such men as these could not be driven back by a naked,

lurking foe. Their inspiration was their home and they needed but

to glance over their shoulders into loving eyes and to hear the

prattle of babes around the cabin fire.

General Washington said "I know many of the settlers per-

sonally, and there never were men better calculated to promote

the welfare of such a community."

"I know them all" cried Lafayette with emotion, when he

visited Marietta, in 1824. "I know them all. I saw them at Brandy-

wine, Yorktown and Rhode Island. They were the bravest of

the brave."

Senator Hoar said "Washington and Varnum, as well as

Carrington and Lafayette, dwell chiefly, as was Washington's

fashion, upon the personal quality of the men and not upon their

public offices or titles. Indeed to be named with such commendation,

upon personal knowledge, by the cautious and conscientious Wash-


Editorialana.                      129


ington, was to a veteran soldier better than being knighted on the

field of battle."

The names of the first forty-eight to arrive at Marietta in the

Ohio Mayflower and their immediate successors, with the families

that commenced to come a little later even now proclaim the care

and plans of Putnam with increasing worth, and their simple,

upright, conscientious lives come to us as a benediction.

Rufus Putnam placed great value on religious and educational

opportunities. To Washington he wrote "We will hew down the

forests, and therein erect temples to the living God, raise and edu-

cate our children to serve and love and honor the nation for

which their fathers fought, cultivate farms, build towns and cities,

and make the wilderness the pride and glory of the nations."

I have never been able to picture Putnam as a man given to

making money from his associates. He did not exploit the Ohio

Company. When he left Rutland he had in his heart the love of

God and the love of his fellow man and to him the Ohio Country

offered an opportunity for the advancement of mankind in a land

where human slavery could not exist, and where the church was

to stand beside the school-house. He realized that a people to be

great must be accomplished, and so he took with him the plans of

a university and under the Ohio Company the first institution of

this kind was established in Ohio.

In the wilderness our fathers propagated Greek and Latin

roots from the very beginning and raised a citizenship of con-

spicuous mark. Men of broad lives and views, who knew their

rights and dared maintain them; men who absorbed the ideas of

Putnam's life and placed their own lives behind the guns that

flashed from Sumter and Appomattox.

The Ohio pioneers responded to their country's call and

crushed Burr's attempt to divide the west from the east. Whether

Burr carried such a guilty motive or not, the Federal power relied

upon the men from New England in the Ohio Valley to execute

the government will.

Putnam's idea of a college was carried into effect at Marietta.

The corner stone in Ohio of higher education was laid at Marietta,

in 1797, and at the head of the academy was a graduate of Yale.

And from this beginning Marietta College was charactered and

throughout the years it has always maintained and exalted the

standard of its founders as an institution of high order.

The atmosphere that made it necessary was of Putnam origin

and Putnam's estate passed eventually into its endowment funds.

Rufus Putnam could not have conceived of the creation of a

community without an institution of higher learning, and by the

Vol. XX.-9.

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130        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


fire place here in Rutland he planned for an institution like Marietta

College. Through his seat of learning his influence lives, today,

and Rutland and Marietta are joined by the ties that will endure.

Ohio is now one of the empire states with a population repre-

sentative of the civilization of the globe. Her children have amal-

gamated the blood of New England and of the Virginians, and

in these strains her men and women are virile, they are yet the

exemplars of the Putnam band and must be the source of per-

petuating the good, honest, common sense that has, after all, made

America great.

Do not, ladies and gentlemen, allow your ideals of Putnam's

standard to be replaced by the "Melting Pot." The pure strain of

American blood must not he contaminated in this way for other-

wise we will turn back the hands of time.

Truly this is a time of rapid progress. Ours is the engine

of internal combustion, the wireless message, the subtle power

of electricity, the recording of the human voice, the power of

aerial travel.

This is a country just passing the portals of real human prog-

ress and we are a part of the same. Ours is the inspiration of all

that has made our nation great, and it is ours to help keep perpetual

the integrity of Rufus Putnam, his honest purpose and his devotion

to "religion, education and morality."

Concerning the further proceedings of the Rufus Putnam Memorial

Association, in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the organization

of the "Ohio Company of Associates" for the purpose of making the

first permanent settlement in the Northwest Territory, the Boston

Transcript of January 11, 1911, has this to say:

A unique anniversary meeting was held yesterday at the

Rufus Putnam House in this town to celebrate the first step

that was taken by Massachusetts soldiers toward making a

settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains, in what is now

Ohio. Early on the morning of Jan. 10, 1786-125 years ago-

Generals Rufus Putnam and Benjamin Tupper completed in this

house the final draft of a circular entitled "Information," which was

sent out to the press of Massachusetts in fourteen Massachusetts

counties, calling upon all the soldiers of the Revolution who desired

to exchange their worthless certificates for public land in the West,

and all others who desired to join a company and make a settle-

ment on the Ohio, to meet at certain taverns in certain specified

towns on the fifteenth of the following February, and there elect

delegates to represent them at a meeting in Boston, March 1, 1786.

This circular, with the list of delegates elected in the various coun-

ties, is given below.


Editorialana.                       131


As a result of the meeting at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern

in Boston, March 1, the "Ohio Company" was organized, which

company played a very important part in inducing Congress to enact

the famous Ordinance of 1787, which created our first American

Territory with its exceedingly important slavery prohibition.

It is the hope of the members of the committee from the

Rufus Putnam Memorial Association and the Ohio Company of

Associates of New York that the patriotic societies in Boston,

Salem, Cambridge, Northampton, Plymouth, Barnstable, Worcester

and Lenox will be sufficiently interested in this interesting his-

torical anniversary to hold meetings in their respective towns on

Feb. 15, 1911- the 125th anniversary of local meetings- and elect a

delegate or delegates to an anniversary banquet to be held in Bos-

ton on the night of March 1 to celebrate the 125th anniversary of

the formation of the Ohio Company, which played an all-important

part, through its chief agents, General Putnam and Rev. Manasseh

Cutler, at the critical hour in the expansion of the United States.

An exact copy of the "Information" and the record of the

first meeting of the Ohio Company of Associates, held March 1,

1786, copied from the originals in the library of Marietta College,

Marietta, O., follows:

On the twenty-fifth day of January, one thousand seven

hundred and eighty-six, appeared in the Public Prints a Piece styled

"Information" with the Signature of the Generals Putnam and

Tupper, of the late American Army-and in Substance as follows,

Verbatim, viz:


The subscribers take this method to inform all Officers and

Soldiers who have served in the late War, and who are by an

Ordinance of the Honourable Congress to receive certain tracts

of land in the Ohio Country; and also, all other good Citizens

who wish to become adventurers in that delightful region; that

from personal inspection, together with other incontestible evidences,

they are fully satisfied that the Lands in that quarter, are of a

much better quality than any other known to New England people -

that the Climate, seasons, produce, &c., are in fact equal to the

most flattering accounts which have ever been published of them-

that being determined to become purchasers, and to prosecute a set-

tlement in this Country--and desirous of forming a general asso-

ciation with those who entertain the same ideas-they beg leave to

propose the following plan, viz:

That an association by the name of the OHIO COMPANY,

be formed of all such as wish to become purchasers, &c., in that

Country (who reside in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts only,

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132        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


or to extend to the Inhabitants of other States, as shall be

agreed on).

That in Order to bring such a Company into existence, the

Subscribers propose that all persons who wish to promote the

scheme should meet within their respective Counties (except in

two instances hereafter mentioned) at ten o'clock A. M., on Wed-

nesday, the 15th day of February next-and that each County,

or meeting, there assembled, chuse a delegate or delegates, to

meet at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston, on Wednesday

the first day of March next at ten o'clock A. M., then and there to

Consider and determine upon a General Plan of Association for

said Company-which plan, covenant, or agreement being published,

every person (under condition therein to be provided) may by

subscribing his name, become a member of the Company. -

To carry these proposals into effect, the subscribers request,

that all persons disposed as aforesaid, will meet on the said 15th

day of February, for the purpose of chusing delegates as aforesaid,

at the places hereinafter mentioned, viz: -

Those of Suffolk County at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern, in

Boston - Essex at Capt. Webbs in Salem - Hampshire, at Pome-

roys in North Hampton - Plymouth at Bartlets in Plymo - Barn-

stable Dukes & Nantuckett Counties, at Houland's in Barnstable--

Bristol at Crockers in Taunton- York at Woodbridge's, in York-

Worster at Patch's in Worster - Cumberland and Lincoln, at

Shattuck's in Falmouth - Berkshire, at Dibble's in Lenox -



Rutland, Jany. 10th, 1786.

In Consequence of the foregoing-On the first Day of

March, One thousand seven hundred and Eighty-six, Convened at

the Bunch of Grapes Tavern, in Boston, as Delegates from several

of the Counties of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to consider

of the Expediency of forming an Association or Company to pur-

chase Lands and make a settlement in the Western Country, the

Gentlemen whose names are underwritten-

County of Suffolk--Winthrop Sargent, John Mills

County of Essex-Manasseh Cutler

County of Middlesex-John Brooks, Thomas Cushing

County of Hampshire -Benja Tupper

County of Plymouth -Crocker Sampson

County of Worcester -Rufus Putnam

County of Berkshire-John Patterson, Jahlaliel Woodbridge

County of Barnstable-Abraham    Williams

Elected General Rufus Putnam Chairman of the Convention

and Maj. Winthrop Sargent Clerk-From the very pleasing De-


Editorialana.                       133


scription of the Western Country given by Generals Putnam and

Tupper & others, it appearing expedient to form a settlement there,

a Motion was made for chusing a Committee to prepare the Draught

or Plan of an Association into a Company for the said Purpose,

for the Inspection and Appropriation of this Convention - Resolved

in the Affirmative.--Also Resolved that this Committee shall con-

sist of five.-General Putnam, Mr. Cutler-Col. Brooks, Major

Sargent & Capt. Cushing were elected.-

Adjourned to half after 3 o'clock, Thursday.--

The officers of the societies interested in these anniversary

meetings include President G. Stanley Hall, Clark University,

Worcester, president of the Rufus Putnam Memorial Association;

Hon. Whitelaw Reid, president of the Ohio Company of Associates

of New York, and Professor Archer Butler Hulbert of Marietta

College. Professor Hulbert will be a guest at the annual banquet

of the Massachusetts Society of the Sons of the Revolution, Jan. 17,

when he will speak on "Rufus Putnam."





William Henry Rice, for many years a Life Member of the Ohio

State Archaeological and Historical Society, and for seven years pre-

vious to last May, a Trustee of the Society, died in South Bethlehem,

Pa., January 10, 1911. For the main facts of his

active and resultful life we are indebted to Pro-

fessor W. N. Schwarze of the Moravian College,

Bethlehem, Pa.

William Henry Rice sprang from heroic, pio-

neer Moravian stock. He was a direct descendant

of the noble missionary among the Indians, the

Rev. John Heckewelder. He was the son of the

late James Alexander and Josephine Charlotte Sei-

bert Rice and was born in Bethlehem, Pa., on Sep-

tember 8, 1840. After receiving his early education

in the Moravian Parochial School of Bethlehem, he

entered Yale College as a member of the class of 1859.

From this institution he was graduated with distinction, and after spend-

ing a short time teaching, he entered Yale Theological Seminary. In

his middle year at this institution he joined the Union Army and was

chosen Chaplain of the 129th Pennsylvania Infantry, in which were

many of his friends from Bethlehem. Dr. Rice never tired of relating

his army experiences and on every possible occasion used what elo-

quence he could command to fire the enthusiasm and patriotism of his

fellow countrymen.