Ohio History Journal








The Great State to Which I Refer Is Ohio.

Standing the fourth of all the American states in

wealth and population and third in manufactures, the

contribution Ohio has made to the nation in great men,

great movements, great progress, and leadership, justi-

fies the claim that she is a great state.

It will be interesting briefly to touch some points

along her pathway.

In the beginning Ohio and the entire American con-

tinent was "without form, and void; and darkness was

upon the face of the deep." The earth gradually cooled

and the waters descended upon the solid portion. This

solid portion became the primordial bed-rock. It formed

the bottom of the ocean and the barren land which at

some places rose above it. In that far-away time what

is now the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys was a vast shal-

low salt sea. Upon the foundations of bed-rock was

formed through millions of years by the action of water

the series of sedimentary strata that form the super-

structure of the earth's crust in what is now Ohio.

Through the period of geological formation there were

elevations and subsidences. What was at times above

the sea was again submerged and later elevated until the

entire State became permanent dry land.

At a remote age an island emerged from the face of


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the deep. It lay partly in the present states of Indiana

and Kentucky and embraced about one-eighth of the

State of Ohio, forming the first dry land within the

state. This formation belongs to the Ordovician period.

During the Devonian period, the eastern half of Ohio

was still covered by a vast sea teeming with sharks and

other fishes, some of immense size. Fossil remains of a

portion of one of these were found near Delaware.

At the close of the Devonian period, rock formations

had built up regularly. The epicontinental sea had grad-

ually been growing more shallow. The dense vegetation

of the Carboniferous period now appeared in all its

grandeur. Immense ferns and heavy mosses were in

evidence almost everywhere and dense thickets of cala-

mite rose from the fog-covered marshes to great heights.

These Carboniferous forests swarmed with enormous

dragon-flies. Through the thousands of years that these

later changes were in progress, vegetable growth accu-

mulated in enormous masses in the swampy regions of

southeastern Ohio where it was preserved as it accu-

mulated under the water. After periods of temporary

subsidences it was covered with silt and sand and gravel

and ultimately compressed into veins of coal.

During the Permian period, the remaining portions

of the State rose out of the marshy remnant of the inland

sea and Ohio's land formation was complete. Human

history was still thousands of years away.

Long after Ohio had become permanently dry land,

a great glacier slowly descended from the North, extend-

ing to the Ohio River, followed later by several ice-

sheets, the last epoch of geology. Great physical changes

of contour now occurred. The vast field of ice was

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Along the Pathway of a Great State  625

slowly but powerfully grinding off the hill tops, wiping

out old river valleys and forming new ones.

Professor Orton called attention to the numerous

buried channels near Springfield, one of which is the

Mad River Valley. The buried channel at St. Paris is

more than 500 feet deep and illustrates what a network

of pre-glacial gorges has been closed up by the ice move-

ments. The glacier swept with a regular course through

the Maumee and Miami Valleys coming to an end at the

Ohio River. From its margin around Cincinnati and

southward, the hills remained undisturbed, furnishing

a picture of what the contour of Ohio would have been

but for the glacier. The ice and glacial periods finally

passed. The extreme frigid and possibly torrid ages

had been followed by an equable temperate climate, the

virgin soils "were bringing forth grass, the herb . . . and

fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind." The seasons

with days and years as we now know them followed in


Man's first occupancy of Ohio was perhaps before

the close of the glacial period. There is some evidence

that a primitive race inhabited this region at that time,

so we are able to speak with a certain confidence of the

pre-glacial man in Ohio.

How long it was after the glacial period until Ohio

was certainly occupied by man is a matter of conjec-

ture. The first people to occupy the State, who left

records, were called by archaeologists Mound Builders.

Every evidence shows that Ohio was their paradise. The

greater part of southern and south-western Ohio is

thickly dotted with the remains of their habitations and

memorials. The banks of the majestic Ohio, and the

Vol. XL--40.

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picturesque and fertile valleys of the Miamis, the Scioto,

the Muskingum, and lesser tributary streams, were the

scenes of this people's most numerous, extensive and con-

tinuous mound building.

In the vicinity of Cincinnati, along the Ohio River

as far as Portsmouth and Marietta, and near Athens,

Chillicothe, Circleville, Newark, Springfield, Dayton,

Miamisburg, Middletown, Hamilton, Oxford and Eaton,

mounds and other archaeological remains are particu-

larly numerous. Over 12,000 of these testimonials, ex-

clusively of earthen material, have so far been definitely

located. These are in the form of enclosures on hilltops,

probably forts, walled-in areas in the valleys and stream

bottoms, sacred enclosures, religious temples, village

sites, and single mounds of various sizes and heights.

They are of various forms, combinations of circles,

squares and geometrical figures of great variety. Many

of the works give abundant evidence of engineering

skill. The enclosures are sometimes perfect circles and

the rectangular works are at times accurate squares.

Fort Ancient near Lebanon, is the greatest monument

to the Mound Builders still extant. It may have been

their national seat of government. It was surely the

center of a great Mound Builder population.

Whether the Mound Builders continued in Ohio in

small numbers through a long period, or occupied the

State in great numbers for a short period is not definitely


The three hundred miles of these gigantic earth-

works, the result of inconceivable labor, accomplished

without tools, animals or equipment such as we know,

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Along the Pathway of a Great State  627

would indicate either that the laborers were many or the

time long for the completion.

There are many theories advanced as to the origin of

the Mound Builders. Archaeologists now generally

agree they were the ancestors, how remote may not be

known, of the historic or post-Columbian Indians.

There seems no proof that the Mound Builders were

driven away by a powerful enemy, but much evidence

that they moved leisurely down the streams. The earth

structures left by them were found abandoned, yet com-

pleted and in perfect shape, when Europeans first reached

the American shores. Ages had evidently gone by since

the builders had left. Silence and mystery alone re-


What the origin of the Mound Builders, whence they

came, where they went, or when they occupied the land

is the great American riddle. Their temples, fortifica-

tions and works give no answer to these questions.

The limits of this paper will not permit following

the Ohio Mound Builders farther. Their course along

the pathway of Ohio is full of interest. They enriched

the State with a wonderful antiquity that has long

claimed and will continue to claim the consideration of

scholars and archaeologists, not only of America but the


How long Ohio remained without habitation after

the silent, mysterious departure of the Mound Builders

is not known. The Red Men found here by Europeans

had no traditions, much less knowledge, of the builders

of the mounds, that could throw any light upon the ob-

scurity of the subject.

In its historic beginning the territory now known as

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the State of Ohio, belonged to Spain by right of dis-

covery, supplemented by papal decree. Rumors of the

beauty and extent of a river called "Oyo," the Ohio,

early reached the French settlements on the St. Law-

rence. It remained for LaSalle to be its discoverer on

a journey begun in 1669, and to appropriate the Ohio

Valley as the property of the Bourbons.

About 1680 the French established a trading post

near the mouth of the Maumee River, probably the first

permanent evidence of French occupancy of Ohio. The

English claimants were close behind, for as early as 1686

Colonial Governor Dongan of New York, on the

strength of the English-Iroquois treaty, began to issue

licenses to his colonists for trading, hunting, and dis-

covery in the direction of Ohio.

Intimate contact between the Indians of the Ohio

country and the whites very naturally first came with

the advent into their territory of these French and

English traders--and following closely after these, the

missionaries. These traders found many tribes in the


The favorable living conditions of the Ohio country

had made it preeminently the Indian's happy hunting-


The Shawnee Indians came from west Florida the

early part of the sixteenth century. Their territory lay

principally in the valley of the Scioto. They were a

restless, fearless, aggressive tribe, one of the best type

of the aborigines of the State.  Tecumseh and his

brother, the Prophet, became their prominent chiefs and


The Delawares, coming from lower Pennsylvania

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and New Jersey, were located on the Muskingum and

other eastern Ohio streams. This strong and trouble-

some tribe, during the French and Indian War and sub-

sequent campaigns, were the Shawnees' allies, in oppos-

ing the advance of the white settlers into Ohio.

In the same section along the Ohio river were the

Mingo tribes, whose illustrious chief was Logan.

The Miami Indians had their principal town at the

beginning of the eighteenth century at Pickawillany,

styled "the Ohio capital of the western savages," at the

juncture of Loromie Creek and the Great Miami River

near the present city of Piqua.

The Wyandots, coming from near Quebec probably

in the fourteenth century, occupied the greater part of

Northern Ohio--becoming the dominant tribe between

the Ohio River and the Great Lakes. They were a brave

and noble people. Tarhe, called the Crane, one of the

greatest of Ohio chieftains, was of the Wyandot tribe.

This was about the distribution of the tribes in Ohio

as the first whites found them. These various tribes

were resolved to make the Ohio wilderness the scene of

another attempt at centralization of savage power sur-

passing all previous efforts, and by the fall of 1770 they

were busy with plans for an invincible confederation.

The Indians traced out numerous trails in all parts

of the region. Some of these are as old as the human

occupation, often following the high ground through

which they passed and later becoming the "ridge roads

of the present time." Along these aboriginal trails the

native tribes passed from one location to another,

whether engaged in warfare, the chase, trade or migra-

tion. Later, together with the navigable streams, these

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trails served as the means of entrance into Ohio for the

white traders and settlers. Their importance as factors

in the settlement and development of the State can

hardly be over-estimated.

In time, the trader became a very well defined insti-

tution with fixed posts where the trinkets and commodi-

ties of the white man were exchanged with the Indians

for furs and other products. The year 1745 found these

traders, both English and French, persistently pushing

their way into the Ohio wilderness.

The Governor-General of Canada, in order to estab-

lish the French claims of ownership, sent Captain Bien-

ville de Celeron in 1749 on a historic mission through

the Ohio country for the purpose of preempting that ter-

ritory to themselves. Celeron's mission was most spec-

tacular and dramatic, an ambitious move to develop

French interests in America. A chain of forts was

planned and built along the Great Lakes and down the

valley of the Mississippi. The settlement of the Ohio

country by 10,000 French peasants was recommended by

the Governor General.

With a small party of Canadians and Indians, Cele-

ron took possession of the Ohio Valley in the name of

the French sovereign and buried leaden plates bearing

appropriate legends of preemption at Warren, Pennsyl-

vania, at the juncture of French Creek with the Ohio,

near the mouth of Wheeling Creek, and at the mouths of

the Muskingum, the Great Kanawha, the Scioto and the

Great Miami Rivers.

Companies began to be formed for taking up land in

Ohio. The Ohio Company, organized by a number of

Virginia colonists in 1748, was headed by Thomas Lee

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and two brothers of George Washington. The Missis-

sippi Company was another land development company

projected by Washington and his two brothers, four

members of the Lee family and others. The original

articles setting forth its purposes in the handwriting of

George Washington, are in the Congressional Library.

The Ohio Company received a royal grant of one-

half million acres within the limits of the Virginia colony

on both sides of the Ohio River between the Mononga-

hela and Kanawha Rivers. The services of Christopher

Gist, a surveyor and trader, were secured to examine

and report on the Ohio country and its inhabitants. He

visited the Indian towns on the Muskingum and Miami,

carrying valuable presents to the chieftains. This visit

materially strengthened the cause of the Colonists and

of the Ohio Company with the Western Indians. Gist

and his party were the first Englishmen to travel ex-

tensively through Ohio.

The contest for possession was on, between the

French and the English. Following actions and strate-

gies that have become familiar in the history of the

country in the early contest between the two nations, the

French, after months of active preparation to meet the

attack of the English at Fort Duquesne, finding them-

selves deserted by the Indians, and knowing themselves

unable to meet the English advance, suddenly abandoned

the Fort, set it on fire and departed, leaving the Ohio

Valley in the hands of the English and bringing an end

to the French sovereignty in the Ohio country.

A proclamation issued in 1763 by the King of Eng-

land, setting apart the Northwest Territory as an Indian

reservation, specified that no white settlement was to be

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made therein; that all settlers already located therein

should at once take their departure, and that no land

should be purchased from the Indians. While this proc-

lamation was apparently most generous to the Indian in

preserving his "happy hunting ground," the King, read-

ing the handwriting on the wall, had a deeper design,

namely, to restrict "the growing power and territory of

the Colonists" and "to placate the Red men and retain

their friendly alliance with him in case warfare should

make their cooperation desirable." This act of the King

was pleasing to Pennsylvania, which was anxious to keep

the extensive and lucrative fur trade undisturbed; not so

to Virginia, which claimed the southern half of Ohio,

insisted on the rights of settlement, and showed signs of

the spirit of the Revolution which was so soon to follow.

So, notwithstanding the Quebec Act, as the King's

proclamation was called, plans for settlement of the Ohio

country went forward. The Ohio Company pushed its

program. All this aroused the Indians and brought on

hostilities between the whites and the savages.

The battle of Point Pleasant, 1774, on the Ohio

River, between Chief Cornstalk leading the Indians who

crossed the Ohio in canoes, and the Virginians, was the

most extensive, the most bitterly contested in Indian

warfare and fraught with greatest potential results. At

the time it occurred, it aroused world-wide interest. Not

only English papers in the mother country, but French

and German newspapers on the continent published ex-

tended articles descriptive of the battle. It was purely a

frontier encounter. The whites were Virginia volun-

teers; the savages, the picked fighters of their tribes, led

by their greatest chieftains. The significance of the

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Along the Pathway of a Great State  633

battle, however, was manifold and far-reaching. It was

the last battle fought by the Colonists while under Brit-

ish rule. It is also authoritatively maintained that it

was the first battle of the American Revolution. The

Virginians were fighting against the Indians, not merely

from retaliatory motives, but in defiance of the Quebec

Act, as they were planning to invade the British royal

domain--the Ohio country--then part of the province of

Quebec, and attack the Ohio Indians who were the pro-

tected wards of England, and consequently allies of par-

liamentary power. Their plan was to settle Ohio, a ter-

ritory they claimed as part of their colony. Virginia

was contending for colonial rights in Ohio against the

mother country.

Both the Continental Congress and the Virginia Leg-

islature realized that great danger threatened the

western settlements. The Indians in the Ohio country,

being armed by orders from London and encouraged by

the British, who hoped through their aid to hold their

territory and southern boundary line down to the Ohio

River, were bringing terror to all the western country.

Thus trans-Alleghany supplies and men were pre-

vented from aiding the Revolutionists in the East. With

life on the western border in constant jeopardy, it was

difficult to induce the pioneer to enlist in the regular

army to fight a distant king when the enemy at his

door was threatening his own fireside and family.

Events fully as potent if not so spectacular as those

in the East were being and to be enacted in this western

territory. To check this strategy, destroy the British

power in the Northwest Territory and preserve it for the

Colonial Confederacy became the aim of an heroic young

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Virginian, who now began to loom large in the Revolu-

tionary picture.

The stage was the Ohio country with its outraged

frontier homes; the actors, the enraged frontiersmen

fighting against savages armed with tomahawks and

scalping knives, aroused and encouraged by the British

--General Hamilton at Detroit, the Canadian Governor-

General, and the cabinet in London marshalling com-

bined English and Indian forces, in the Ohio forests.

The situation demanded a supreme effort, vision and

strong far-sighted leadership.

As another has well said, "It was given to George

Rogers Clark, the 'Washington of the West' then a

young man of twenty-six, to rescue this domain, so cov-

eted by England, from the latter's possession."

Clark's campaigns were well planned and from the

start showed conspicuous foresight. His first strategy

was to descend the Ohio and attack the British fort and

forces at Kaskaskia and then proceed to Detroit.

The threatened Ohio territory was part of Virginia.

Governor Patrick Henry and his counselors approved

Clark's plan, but Virginia was unable to furnish him

either men or money because all resources were engaged

in the eastern campaigns. They did give Clark a com-

mission as colonel, with authority to raise companies

of fifty men each, to be enrolled from the frontier coun-

try west of the Blue Ridge "so as not to weaken the

people of the seacoast region in their struggle against the


These Virginia backwoodsmen, being joined by

Simon Kenton, under Clark, carried on successful cam-

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Along the Pathway of a Great State  635

paigns against Kaskaskia and Vincennes, the strong

posts of the British.

The year after these victories, Clark undertook the

historic campaign against the Shawnee Indians and

their confederates at the village of Piqua near Spring-

field. Clark had learned that the British forces from

Detroit planned joining the Indians at this point to at-

tack the Americans, and that British agents in prepara-

tion for the attack were at Piqua sharpening the In-

dians' tomahawks and getting into shape other war

equipment. He also learned that to supply food the In-

dians along Mad River were growing hundreds of acres

of corn.

On August 8, 1780, with an army of 100 Regulars

and 1,000 Kentucky frontiersmen, Clark made an attack

on Piqua, completely routing the Indians and burning

their village after a hard fought battle lasting many

hours. This battle freed the Ohio River territory and

Kentucky frontier, from the Indian menace.

This victory was as important in the outcome of the

American Revolution as was Yorktown in the East. It

was the final determining factor with the American com-

missioners in Paris, in insisting that the boundary line

between the British and Americans should be along the

Lakes instead of the Ohio River.

On the George Rogers Clark monument overlooking

the site of the Battle of Piqua, appears the following ap-

propriate inscription:

"Here General George Rogers Clark with his Ken-

tucky soldiers defeated and drove from this region the

Shawnee Indians August 8, 1780, and aided to make the

Northwest Territory a part of the United States."

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Stirring indeed were the events and encounters all

over the State in the bitterly contested war between the

British-Indian allies and the Colonists, and so intimately

interwoven were they with Revolutionary history, as to

leave no doubt of the great part Ohio was playing in

making America a free and independent nation.

Finally the famous Peace Treaty of 1783 was signed

in Paris, making the Lakes the boundary line between

Canada and the United States instead of the Ohio River,

as England insisted it should be. In New England and

the East, the war ended in fact, but in the trans-Alle-

ghany country it was to continue in a desultory and san-

guinary way for some thirteen years to come.

The Government of the United States went into ef-

fect under the constitution in 1789. While the new re-

public was busily engaged in adjusting its domestic af-

fairs, an Indian confederation was formed in the region

of the Maumee River, that seriously challenged the

sovereign power of the new nation in the Northwest


The issue assumed an international aspect when it

became known that the British were aiding the Indians,

supplying them with munitions of war, and the contest

became one between England on the one hand and the

United States on the other.   The Government at

Washington knew that an Indian victory would expose

the settlements west of the Alleghanies to the firebrand

and the tomahawk, and afford Great Britain the oppor-

tunity to recover the territory without conquest and to

annex it to her Canadian dominion.

Consequently a number of campaigns against the

Indians were undertaken, several of which were disas-

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Along the Pathway of a Great State  637

trous. Finally one under General Anthony Wayne was

organized by the Government, under orders from Presi-

dent Washington. General Wayne marched north from

Fort Washington, Cincinnati, in 1793, and completely

defeated the Indians in their last grand stand at the

Battle of Fallen Timbers on the banks of the Maumee.

This march convinced the Indians that the United

States was determined to exercise the powers of sover-

eignty over her own territory. It demonstrated to the

British that a growing national consciousness would no

longer countenance the occupation of American terri-

tory by a foreign power. The treaty of Greenville, 1795,

followed, and the sovereign power of the United States

over this territory was never again seriously challenged.

Commodore Perry's memorable victory over the

English on Lake Erie in 1813 closed this period of

Ohio's history. This defeat of the British was the first

that proud nation ever suffered on the sea. Perry's la-

conic report of this victory, "We have met the enemy

and they are ours," has become historic.

The various marches and campaigns of this period

through western Ohio are now to become Ohio's Revo-

lutionary Memorial Trails.

A growing consciousness of the importance of these

movements and a desire to preserve the historic spots de-

cided the last Ohio Legislature to pass the bill creating

The Ohio Revolutionary Memorial Commission, which

for the past two years has been busily engaged in locating

the trails of the twenty or more marches, and preparing

to set up historic markers at the many places of im-

portance. The plans of the Commission also contem-

plate, as part of the Ohio Legislative Act, an appropriate

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celebration of the Sesqui-Centennial of the Piqua battle

next fall, to be participated in by Ohio and the National

Government. This celebration promises to be one of

the most outstanding of its kind ever held in the State,

as its importance suggests it should be.

In 1787 the Continental Congress perfected the sys-

tem of government for the Northwest Territory known

as the Ordinance of 1787. General Arthur St. Clair was

appointed by Congress as the first governor. With him

were associated three judges, viz.: Rufus Putnam, John

Cleves Symmes and George Turner. These four for ten

years exercised executive, legislative and judicial powers.

These ten years of the Territory's history were eco-

nomic and industrial rather than political. It was a

decade of Indian wars, of migration, of settlement and

development, of home-seeking and home-building.

Of the immigrants who came into Ohio at this time

there were two distinct classes politically,--those who

came from the East and those who came from the South.

The pioneers from the Federalist states, Massachusetts,

Connecticut and others, settled in eastern Ohio, making

the towns of Marietta and Cleveland the centers of the

Federalist party; while the Cavaliers or Republicans

from Virginia and Kentucky settled in central and

western Ohio, making Chillicothe the center of Repub-


The character of Governor St. Clair's government

was autocratic. Culprits were punished by fines, the pil-

lory or the stocks, and people were put into prison or sold

into slavery for debt. Everywhere and in every case the

will of the Governor was absolute. The immigrants

from the East were accustomed to the rigorous regula-

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Along the Pathway of a Great State  639

tion of lives by law. On the other hand, the adventure-

some frontiersmen of western Virginia and Kentucky,

unaccustomed to administrative control, chafed under

its restrictions. These two types were to develop two

factions which dominated the political thought of the

Territory for many years.

The Territory grew rapidly in population. By 1798

it contained 5,000 free male inhabitants of full age,

which was the number, according to the Ordinance of

1787, required for the establishment of a Territorial

Legislature. Accordingly the first General Assembly of

the Northwest Territory was called and met in Cincin-

nati in September, 1799, to inaugurate representative


It is worth reviewing, and should be a matter of

pride to every Ohioan, that this first General Assembly,

that had the responsibility of shaping the organization

of Ohio, was composed of men of high character, who

wrought into the fabric of our Commonwealth advanced

principles of representative government.

All the organized counties sent their representatives.

From Washington County came Return Jonathan Meigs,

later chief justice of Ohio, United States senator, and

governor; and Paul Fearing, a man of high standing and


Hamilton County sent among its representatives

Judge Burnet and William McMillan, college graduates

and distinguished lawyers; John Smith, a Baptist pastor,

and James Findlay, both influential leaders of their day.

Ross County was represented by three distinguished

Virginians who became outstanding leaders, Edward

Tiffin, Thomas Worthington and Samuel Findlay.

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Adams County sent Joseph Darlinton and Nathaniel

Massie, both able men.

Jefferson County aided in shaping the course of leg-

islation through David Vance and James Pritchard. To

these and a comparatively few other men was committed

the future of the great State of Ohio.

The intellect and leadership of this group in this

creative period early made an impress on the State and

the young Nation. Of this remarkable group, special

mention should be made of Edward Tiffin and Thomas

Worthington. The work of Tiffin in the development

of Ohio has not been excelled in her history. As speaker

of the House of the first General Assembly, Tiffin aided

in administering the first rebuke to slavery in the Terri-

tory, and later assisted as United States Senator in giv-

ing it its death blow. Worthington, as United States

senator from Ohio, introduced into American politics the

policy of internal improvements being jointly federal

and state projects. He was the first to advocate East and

West highways, and transportation by canals where

practical. These progressive ideas of Worthington en-

tered into and became important elements of our national

and state policy.

During the summer of 1801, agitation over the ques-

tion of statehood began. After days of dissension in

Congress, the Ohio Enabling Act was passed on April 9,

1802, and on November 1 of the same year the Con-

stitutional Convention met at Chillicothe, and selected

Edward Tiffin as president. Under the Constitution

adopted by this Assembly, slavery was prohibited; no

hereditary privileges were allowed; electors were to be

white; state boundaries were fixed; schools for equal

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participation of poor children, and incorporation of lit-

erary societies, were provided.

An act providing for the extension of the authority

of the United States to the State of Ohio was passed by

Congress and approved by the President February 19,

1803, but federal officers for the judicial district of Ohio

were not appointed until March 1, 1803, and state offi-

cers were not inaugurated until two days later. Edward

Tiffin, Anti-Federalist, was elected Ohio's first governor.

Ohio was now an organized state, the first carved

out of the Northwest Territory. Into the new state

strong vigorous men, many of them leading citizens in

their native sections, were coming from the East and

South to seek homes--often to restore fortunes lost dur-

ing the Revolution--the New Englanders settling at

Marietta and on the lands of the Ohio Company; Vir-

ginians between the Little Miami and Scioto Rivers;

New Jersey groups locating on the Symmes tract be-

tween the Big and Little Miami rivers; Pennsylvanians

selecting the Seven Ranges tract; Connecticut and New

York colonists, the Western Reserve.

Among these settlers many educated men came from

New England's noted colleges with the Bible in one hand

and a school-book in the other. They built their log

cabins and erected schoolhouses and churches. Fre-

quently the schoolhouse became an academy and later a

college. Thus the first generation of Ohio state pioneers,

possessing a wonderful capacity for development and

self government, planted their ideals; and in this new

Ohio, the early proclaimed land of free schools, free wor-

ship, and free discussion, the ideas and blood of the

Puritan intermingled with the ideas and blood of the

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Cavalier. No better blood was ever given to found a


Ryan calls this the heroic age of Ohio; the period of

felling the forests; tilling the soil; subduing the Indians;

repelling a foreign invader; establishing popular gov-

ernment; creating many centers of common interest and

building a fine, resolute, independent citizenship, capable

of thinking, acting and originating, who rapidly laid

deep and strong the foundation of the State.

It was the far-seeing General Assembly of 1820 that

inaugurated by law the Ohio plan of internal improve-

ments, also the state educational system.

Building of canals was inaugurated and in less than

fifty years after Ohio became a State, she had approxi-

mately 1023 miles of state and private canals.  For

thirty years these water-ways were the great controlling

factors in increasing commerce, manufacturing and pop-

ulation. Through their influence villages became cities,

farming was made profitable and the trade and resources

of the world were opened to Ohio, converting her into a

state of great wealth and prosperity.

Alfred Kelley, the first canal commissioner of Ohio,

now scarcely remembered, accomplished as much for the

material prosperity of the State as any other man in her


The Ohio Common School law, as finally perfected

and passed in February 1826, was the greatest educa-

tional work in the history of the State. The policy and

system commenced by Ephraim Cutler in 1819, revised

and agitated in 1821 by Caleb Atwater, was made a fact

by Nathaniel Guilford in 1825. To these three men and

to Samuel Lewis, Ohio's first state school superinten-

Along the Pathway of a Great State 643

Along the Pathway of a Great State  643

dent, who supplemented their work, Ohio owes the be-

ginning of her wonderful school system, which chal-

lenges the admiration of the nation. Besides her public

schools she has more universities and colleges than any

other state in America, making her an educational


I have suggested along Ohio's pathway some points

of interest both in the historic and pre-historic periods.

She had a wonderful beginning as a State.

It would require volumes to record even in brief

form all that Ohio now possesses in material resources

and development.

Today Ohio is the third state of the Union in man-

ufactures, iron and steel manufacturing standing first

among the industries.

In appraising Ohio's development, it is only neces-

sary to remember that the State has a greater number

of prosperous industrial communities than any similar

area in America.

Ohio is and will continue to be one of the most im-

portant mineral states in the Union. She has for a cen-

tury held the position as one of the great coal-producing

regions of the world. Her clays and shales make her

the center of the ceramic industry of the United States.

In natural resources the State has, besides coals and

clays, water, wood, iron, oil, natural gas, and thousands

of acres of fertile land, making it possible to feed her

people from her own soil.

Ohio's industrial importance goes hand in hand with

her commanding commerce and agriculture. She was

one of the first states to begin railway construction.

Practically every great transcontinental line of America

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644      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications

passes through the State. A network of trolley, auto-

bus and truck lines covers Ohio. These together with

the rivers and lakes are sources of immense wealth to

the State. Her surface and location are such that the

commercial air-lines of the future must traverse her


But remarkable as is Ohio's position in her natural

resources, her industries and physical aspects, her great-

est asset is her manhood and womanhood.

On the State Capitol grounds in Columbus, stands a

beautiful monument inscribed "Our Jewels." Around

the central shaft appear in striking poses, seven of Ohio's

great men--Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Stanton, Chase,

Garfield, Hayes--all actors in the greatest crisis of our

nation.  This monument in a striking way suggests

Ohio's pride in her distinguished sons. Three of this

group were Presidents of the United States: Grant, our

greatest soldier, who in the Civil War as commander-in-

chief of the Northern Army saved the Union; Garfield,

the teacher, scholar and brilliant orator; Hayes, whose

courageous stand when President, on a policy of pacifi-

cation, sound money and resumption of specie payment,

entitled him to a place in the highest statesmanship of

the Nation; William T. Sherman, leading the great con-

solidated armies of the west from victory to victory,

ending the war; and Philip H. Sheridan, acknowledged

as the first cavalry general of the Continent, foremost in

enforcing the surrender of Lee.

The other two of the "Jewel group" meant as much

to Ohio as did the presidents or the warriors.

Edwin M. Stanton, as President Lincoln's secretary

of war, is classed as the greatest executive of that period.

Along the Pathway of a Great State 645

Along the Pathway of a Great State  645

The great Salmon P. Chase, as secretary of the treasury,

successfully administered the finances of the Govern-

ment during the trying Civil War period,--carrying the

Nation and its armies through financial expenditures

without a parallel, with a security and public confidence

without precedent in the world's military history.

These seven great Ohioans are only representative of

scores and hundreds of Ohio's sons who have won un-

dying fame and made great contributions to their State

and the Nation by their achievements.

Besides the three presidents in the group, Ohio has

given to the Nation five other distinguished presidents

entitling her to share with Virginia the honor of the

"Mother of Presidents."

In the roll of the commanders in the Civil War, Ohio

leads all the States of the Union. All the great military

divisions were at one time or another led by Ohio gen-


Jay Cooke, an eminent Ohio banker, as adviser to

Secretary Chase, was familiarly called the "Robert Mor-

ris of the Rebellion." The war finances were so ably

managed that a Southern leader of the Rebellion asserted

the Treasury Department of the Union and not the War

Department, had defeated the South.

In the later conflicts Ohio also made great contribu-

tions. It is Springfield's pride to recall the great part

played by our distinguished citizen, General J. Warren

Keifer along with others in the Spanish-American War.

As Whitelaw Reid well said, "It seems right that the

history of such services and such devotion of Ohio's

sons, in the whole magnificent offering to the nation's

causes, should be specially preserved." As George

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646      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications

Rogers Clark, on Ohio soil, saved the Northwest Terri-

tory to the nation, so Ohio in a very large sense pre-

served the Union. Whatever the cause, there is no ques-

tion of the inherent capacity and natural and acquired

ability which have enabled Ohio to give to the Nation

many great and useful men during the present century.

It is not only true in the furnishing of presidents of the

nation and great military leaders but in every sphere of

advancing civilization the Ohio man is found the world

over. She has produced a great galaxy of men and

women--national and international leaders--in prac-

tically every field of endeavor.

In invention Ohio holds an unrivaled position. She

points with great pride to Charles F. Brush, who back

in the early 'seventies invented the are electric light, the

first electric light system in the world; to Thomas Alva

Edison's greatest invention, the incandescent electric

lamp, which has brought light into dark places and

turned night into day the world over; to Charles M. Hall,

who discovered and patented the process of obtaining

pure aluminum from clays.

The Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur, our

neighbors, were the first to solve the problem of aviation

and open the highways of the air to navigation.

These great Ohioans have added untold wealth to

the Nation and have made contributions to mankind, out

of their nourishings in Ohio, that have indebted the

world and all future generations to them.

No less of a leader has Ohio been in cultural devel-

opment. As early as 1796 a public library was estab-

lished at Belpre, near Marietta, from its first settlement

the center of an educated, cultured class of people from

Along the Pathway of a Great State 647

Along the Pathway of a Great State  647

New England. Cincinnati's first library opened in 1802

and the famous "Coonskin Library" in Athens County

began circulating its precious volumes in the backwoods

in 1804. The first chartered public library in the State

was the one at Dayton.

It may be said truly that Ohio is a vital member of

the National Republic of letters. In every field of in-

tellectual endeavor, the literary men and women from

every section of the State have furnished a most com-

mendable contribution of noteworthy literary effort.

Among journalists who wielded an influence not only

in Ohio but the nation, should be mentioned Murat

Halstead and Whitelaw Reid.

In the realms of science, Dr. Jared P. Kirtland,

naturalist, honored by Agassiz; William S. Sullivant,

botanist and bryologist of international fame, and

Ormsby M. Mitchel, the astronomer, may be mentioned

among the many who have brought distinction to their


Many outstanding treatises in law and medicine have

been contributed by the learned men of these professions

in Ohio--Judges Timothy Walker, Charles H. Scribner,

Joseph R. Swan and others, among the lawyers; Doctors

Daniel Drake, George Mendenhall, George W. Crile, and

others among the doctors, who have gained national and

international reputations.

Among a great host of preachers and divines who

attained leading positions in the religious thought of

America, are Lyman Beecher,* John Henry Barrows,*

Isaac M. Wise,* Washington Gladden,* Charles F.

Thwing,* David Swing and Frank W. Gunsaulus.

* These and others named on this page were not born in Ohio. [Ed.]

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648     Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications

While great financiers, captains of industry like Mar-

cus A. Hanna, James Gamble and Eliam E. Barney are

not included in the Ohio "Jewel" monument group, who

is there that would not agree that these and thousands

of other great organizers, have been the real forces bind-

ing together the remarkable sheaf of great men during

the State's history? But why try to enumerate all the

great ones ?

Among many important movements for world bet-

terment that originated in Ohio may be named the

Woman's Temperance Crusade, which began in Hills-

boro in 1873. It promptly spread to other cities, includ-

ing Springfield, under the leadership of "Mother"

Stewart. This led late in the following year to the or-

ganization in Cleveland, Ohio, of the National Woman's

Christian Temperance Union, which has grown into the

largest society for women in the world.

The Anti-Saloon League was organized in Oberlin

in 1894. Whatever we may think of its policies we must

recognize that the League has been an active influence

in combating the saloon evil not only in Ohio but

throughout the Nation. The Community Chest idea for

organized charities started in Elyria, as well as the In-

ternational Crippled Children's Movement. Civil Serv-

ice Reform began in Ohio--George H. Pendleton, one of

our leading statesmen was its first eminent advocate.

The Good Roads Movement is also an Ohio idea, Martin

Dodge being the first exponent.

Ohio men and movements, during the entire state-

hood period, have been at the forefront in the Nation's

life. A study of her resources, location and pioneers

makes the reasons not far to seek.

Along the Pathway of a Great State 649

Along the Pathway of a Great State  649

Murat Halstead once said: "In addition to the heroic

qualities of the immigrants who possessed Ohio, there

seemed to be influences of soil and climate, of air and

waters, of the fruitful woods and living streams; and

there was by the mighty magic of creation in the brains

and blood, the tissue and sinew of men, and the grace

and faith of women, that yielded growth in manhood

and womanhood in a race equal to the founding of a

mighty State."

Is it any wonder Ohio has occupied the center of

the stage in the great majority of dramas that have been

enacted in our national history, calling forth from

Chauncey M. Depew the facetious remark: "Some men

are born great, some have greatness thrust upon them,

and some are born in Ohio."

The pathway widens. Marching forward on it are

the future presidents, great generals, inventors, scien-

tists, financiers, educators, executives, literary and pro-

fessional men and women, scores upon scores of Ohio's

jewels. Conscious of her wonderful and varied re-

sources, both in nature and men; proud of her marvel-

ous past and confident of her future greatness, with the

pathway filled with this mighty moving concourse, who

would presume to foretell the progress of our great State

in another century?