The OHIO HISTORICAL Quarterly
VOLUME 68 * (NUMBER 2 A P R I L 1 9 5 9
The Survey of the Seven Ranges
By WILLIAM D. PATTISON*
THE AMERICAN RECTANGULAR LAND SURVEY SYSTEM estab-
lished in the land ordinance of 1785 was first put into effect
in the Seven Ranges of eastern Ohio. Despite the publication
of important contributions to the history of Ohio which
have dealt with various aspects of the Seven Ranges, inter-
esting and significant parts of the survey story have remained
* William D. Pattison is assistant professor in the department of geography at
the University of California, Los Angeles. His article is based upon Part II of his
doctoral dissertation, which has been published in a limited paperback edition by
photo-offset from the original typewritten copy as Beginnings of the American
Rectangular Land Survey System, 1784-1800 (Department of Geography Research
Paper No. 50; Chicago: University of Chicago, 1957).
1 Serious inquiry into the origin of the Seven Ranges dates from Charles Whit-
tlesey's First United States Land Surveys, 1786 (Western Reserve Historical
Society, Tract No. 71, 1886), a work greatly improved upon by the following three
publications; A. M. Dyer, "First Ownership of Ohio Lands," New England His-
torical and Geneaological Register, LXIV (1910), 167-180, 263-282, 356-369, LXV
(1911), 51-62, 139-150, 220-231; C. E. Sherman, Original Ohio Land Subdivisions
(Columbus, 1925), 38-50; and Benjamin H. Pershing, "A Surveyor in the Seven
Ranges," Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, XLVI (1937),
257-270. Correspondence and other important source material were published for
the first time in Archer B. Hulbert, Ohio in the Time of the Confederation
(Marietta, Ohio, 1918). On the basis of this material, in part, the story of the
Seven Ranges has been placed in the context of early Ohio history by Beverley W.
Bond, Jr., in The Foundations of Ohio (Carl Wittke, ed., The History of the State
of Ohio, I, Columbus, 1941), 252-274. Recently, the survey of the Seven Ranges
has received attention in Walter Havighurst, Wilderness for Sale: The Story of
the First Western Land Rush (New York, 1956), 62-88.
116 THE OHIO HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
The land ordinance passed by the old Continental Congress
in May 1785 was a measure aimed at the raising of revenue
through the sale of large quantities of land.2 Members of
congress were persuaded to adopt, in the hope of increased
income, a system of property location which required sur-
veyors to divide the land, before either sale or settlement,
into squares bounded by "lines running due north and south
and others crossing these at right angles."3 This was the
heart of the system. This novel plan, accepted from a com-
mittee report of the preceding year, apparently owed its
adoption to the successful urging of two beliefs: one, that
it would be relatively inexpensive to put into effect, and two,
that it would afford security of title to purchasers of the land
because of the simple regularity of the property boundaries
deriving from it. To save money congress decided to require
only the lines bounding townships, six miles square, to be
surveyed in the field; on drawings called plats, lines bounding
square-mile sections within the townships were to be added
at the office of the board of treasury. The township bound-
aries were to be run according to true north and marked on
trees, and their location relative to watercourses "and other
remarkable and permanent things" was to be noted, along
with the quality of the lands over which they passed.
Often overlooked is the fact that, just as the newly sur-
veyed land was to be made available at auction in each of
the thirteen states, so thirteen surveyors were to go west,
one from each state, that they might be able "to communicate
information to the states for which they were appointed of
the quality of the lands, and such other circumstances as
2 The land ordinance resembled, in many important respects, a land law largely
attributable to Thomas Jefferson which had failed of passage one year earlier.
The drafting of both laws was prompted by a hope for the removal of a burdensome
public debt through the sale of lands which had begun to accumulate in the hands
of the federal government with the acceptance of Virginia's cession northwest of
the Ohio River in March 1784.
3 The text of the land ordinance of 1785 quoted in this article appears in Clarence
E. Carter, ed., The Territorial Papers of the United States, Vol. II, The Territory
Northwest of the River Ohio, 1787-1803 (Washington, 1934), 12-18.
THE SURVEY OF THE SEVEN RANGES 117
may direct the citizens in making their purchases."4 Over
the surveyors congress set the holder of an office which sur-
vived from the Revolutionary War, that of geographer of
the United States. The incumbent, Thomas Hutchins, was
summoned by congress as the time for passage of the land
The geographer and the surveyors were to proceed to the
country west of Pennsylvania and Virginia of which George
Washington had said, "This is the tract which, from local
position and peculiar advantages, ought to be first settled in
preference to any other whatever."6 He had in mind, perhaps
first of all, its accessibility by way of the Ohio River to
Pittsburgh, which in turn was connected with Philadelphia
by the Pennsylvania Road. Downstream from Pittsburgh,
within a few miles of the point where surveying was scheduled
to begin, was a stockaded outpost built during the Revolu-
tionary War called Fort McIntosh. Farther downstream, on
the Virginia side of the river, were several very small settle-
ments, where aid and comfort, already being dispensed to
emigrants bound for Kentucky, awaited the federal surveyors.
The final favorable circumstances were that the Indians had
largely evacuated this area by 1785, and that the tribes which
might have insisted on their claims to the territory -- the
Delawares and the Wyandots -- had officially yielded those
4 Connecticut Delegates to Governor of Connecticut, May 27, 1785, in Edmund
C. Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress (Washington,
1921-36), VIII, 130-131.
5 During the American Revolution each of two men was styled "Geographer
to the United States of America": Simeon De Witt and Thomas Hutchins. After
the war De Witt resigned to become surveyor general of New York. Notice of
Hutchins' summons to administer surveying under the new land law appears in
Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress,
1774-1789, Edited from the Original Records in the Library of Congress (Wash-
ington, 1904-37), XXVIII, 291.
6 Washington, who had viewed the Ohio country from the Ohio River in 1770,
was particularly concerned about the settlement of veterans of the Revolution when
he ventured this opinion. See Washington to President of Congress, June 17, 1783,
in John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington from the Original
Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799 (Washington, 1931-44), XXVII, 17.
118 THE OHIO HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
claims in a treaty signed at Fort McIntosh in January 1785.7
Not everything was promising about the country contem-
plated for survey. The land itself, representing an extension
beyond the Ohio River of the Allegheny Plateau, was un-
usually rugged. The military strength concentrated at Fort
McIntosh was slight. Troops stationed there fell below one
hundred in number during the summer following passage
of the land ordinance, as expected reinforcements of militia
failed to arrive and as many of the men, "for want of con-
fidence in the public treasury respecting pay," declined to
re-enlist.8 Settlers downstream from the fort, furthermore,
had not all obediently stayed on the Virginia side of the Ohio;
those who had made their homes on the federal side were
under congressional ban and subject to forcible ejectment.
They, of course, had no reason for friendly feeling toward
the surveyors.9 Further afield, the friendship of the Dela-
wares and Wyandots, upon which reliance was placed after
the treaty of Fort McIntosh, should have been very little
depended upon. As Hutchins and his men were soon to
discover, these two tribes could withstand neither the pressure
of the hostile Miamis and Shawnees, nor the influence of
the British at Detroit.
Congress, with an appreciation of some of the difficulties
in store, none the less anticipated a rapid advancement of
survey work at the time the land ordinance was passed.
A specific beginning point was designated in the ordinance,
and, though Hutchins and his men were going to be obliged
to wait for others to establish it on the ground, no delay
7 This treaty, a well-known early landmark in the federal policy of piecemeal
acquisition of territory from the Indians, confined the Wyandots and Delawares to
a broad zone along Lake Erie, from the Cuyahoga to the Maumee. Its signing
cleared the way for passage of the land ordinance of 1785 by freeing a specific
area for survey and sale.
8 See correspondence of Colonel Josiah Harmar, commandant at Fort McIntosh,
August 1784-June 1785, in Consul W. Butterfield, ed., Journal of Captain Jonathan
Heart . . . to Which Is Added the Dickinson-Harmar Correspondence of 1784-5
(Albany, N. Y., 1885), 46-74.
9 On these Ohio pioneers who lived in defiance of federal authority, see Randolph
C. Downes, "Ohio's Squatter Governor: William Hogland of Hoglandstown,"
Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, XLIII (1934), 274-275.
THE SURVEY OF THE SEVEN RANGES 119
was anticipated as a result. But it was in this connection
that the first of many delays developed. The federal sur-
veyors were to start off westward from the north, or right,
bank of the Ohio River at the point where Pennsylvania's
western boundary intersected it--just as soon as that bound-
ary had been run. The southwestern corner of Pennsylvania
had been established in 1784, and the boundary commis-
sioners of Virginia and Pennsylvania had agreed to meet
there in the middle of May 1785 to run a line due north to
the Ohio River; but they were unable to convene until early
in June, and it was not until August 20 that they reached the
Ohio River.10 On that same day field hands were sent across
to "set a stake on the flat, the North Side of the River."11
Many miles of the Pennsylvania boundary remained to be
run northward, but public land survey by the United States
could now begin.
The summer of 1785 was nearly gone when the geographer,
Thomas Hutchins, arrived in Pittsburgh from New York.
Receiving an assurance from Colonel Josiah Harmar, com-
mandant at Fort McIntosh, that surveying could be safely
undertaken, Hutchins joined several surveyors who had been
in the village for a week or more in "engaging Chain Car-
riers, purchasing provisions, and Buying Horses etc." This
was on September 4. Within two weeks a general movement
down the Ohio River to an encampment at the mouth of
Little Beaver Creek was under way.12
Thomas Hutchins was distinguished from the surveyors
who accompanied him down the Ohio by more than the fact
that he was head of an executive agency of the national
10 For a first-hand account of the surveying expedition which brought Pennsyl-
vania's western boundary up to the Ohio River in the summer of 1785, see the
journal and letters of Andrew Ellicott in Catherine V. C. Mathews, Andrew
Ellicott, His Life and Letters (New York, 1908), 40-46.
11 Entry for August 20, 1785, in the journal of one of the boundary surveyors,
Andrew Porter, in William A. Porter, "A Sketch of the Life of General Andrew
Porter," Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, IV (1880), 268.
12 Hutchins to President of Congress, September 15, November 24, 1785. Papers
of the Continental Congress, No. 60, pp. 189-191, 193-200, Record Group 11,
120 THE OHIO HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
government known as the "Geographer's Department."
Earlier in his life, as a British officer, he had served at Fort
Pitt, and had undertaken exploratory expeditions from that
point northward to Lake Erie, overland to Lake Michigan
and the upper Wabash Valley, and down the Ohio River
to the Mississippi.13 A general map of the West which he
compiled largely on the basis of these expeditions had estab-
lished Hutchins as an authority on the area. It served in
the present instance as the surveyors' guide to the country
they were about to enter.14
Thirteen surveyors accepted appointments to serve under
the geographer in response to invitations sent out by congress
during the summer. But of these representatives of the
several states, one fell ill, one stayed at home--due probably
to a doubt that his services would be needed that year--and
three failed to appear for reasons unknown.15 The eight
surveyors who reported for duty in the West were Edward
Dowse for New Hampshire, Benjamin Tupper for Massa-
chusetts, Isaac Sherman for Connecticut, Absalom Martin
for New Jersey, William W. Morris for New York, Alex-
13 Hutchins, born in Monmouth County, New Jersey, in 1730, was an officer
in the British colonial service beginning in 1756. After serving at Fort Pitt, Fort
Chartres, and Pensacola, Florida, he sailed for England in 1777. In 1778 he deserted
the British service, departing secretly from London and finding his way at length
back to America, where his services were welcomed by the Continental Congress.
Anna M. Quattrocchi, "Thomas Hutchins, 1730-1789" (unpublished doctoral
dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, 1944), 1-208.
14 Hutchins' map, A New Map of the Western Part of Virginia, Pennsylvania,
Maryland and North Carolina, may be found in Thomas Hutchins, A Topographi-
cal Description of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina, edited
by Frederick C. Hicks (Cleveland, 1904). The extended biographical note in this
work has been superseded by the dissertation of Miss Quattrocchi, cited above.
15 The five appointees who failed to appear for service in the West were Caleb
Harris of Rhode Island, Adam Hoops of Pennsylvania, Mark McCall of Delaware,
Absalom Tatom of North Carolina, and William Tate of South Carolina. Notices
of their election appear in Journals of the Continental Congress, XXVIII, 398,
XXIX, 539-540. Their letters of acceptance are in Papers of the Continental Con-
gress, No. 78, Vol, 12, p. 403, Vol. 16, p. 459, Vol. 18, p. 561, Vol. 22, pp. 305-306.
It was Harris who fell ill (ibid., No 78, Vol. 12, p. 356), and Hoops who seemed
to believe that no surveying would occur. Hoops to Hutchins, April 30, 1786.
Thomas Hutchins Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
THE SURVEY OF THE SEVEN RANGES 121
ander Parker for Virginia, James Simpson for Maryland,
and Robert Johnston for Georgia.16
Of the first four of these surveyors, in the order named,
Dowse alone was a man of minor importance.17 Tupper was
a general recently retired from the Continental Army and
a close friend of Rufus Putnam,18 Isaac Sherman was the
son of the influential Roger Sherman, to whom credit is
often given for the success of Connecticut's claim to the
Western Reserve,19 and Absalom Martin represented the
interests of prominent men in New Jersey and enjoyed the
recommendation of the governor of the state.20 All three of
these men were, in fact, harbingers of great colonization
movements. Tupper was the first of a series of advance
scouts who acted on behalf of the Ohio Company of Asso-
ciates. The young Sherman, though he may not have gone
west primarily to gather intelligence concerning Western
Reserve lands, addressed a letter on that subject to the
16 Statements of expense submitted by most of the surveyors who came west in
1785 may be found in Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 41, Vol. 4, pp. 305,
307, 309, 315, 317, 319. For other evidence of the presence of the men named, see
Hutchins to President of Congress, September 15, 1785, ibid., No. 60, pp. 189-191;
and "Journal of General Butler," The Olden Time, II (1847), 435.
17 Dowse, an obscure surveyor who had been "lately in the western country,"
was accepted only after Nathaniel Adams and Ebenezer Sullivan, both prominent
citizens of New Hampshire, declined the appointment. Papers of the Continental
Congress, No. 77, Vol. 1, p. 461; New Hampshire Delegates to President of New
Hampshire, May 29, July 24, 1785, in Burnett, Letters of Members, VIII, 130-
18 Putnam, the original congressional appointee (Journals of the Continental
Congress, XVIII, 398), having already accepted the post of surveyor general for
Massachusetts lands in Maine, sent Tupper to the Ohio country as his substitute.
Putnam to Congress, June 11, 1785, Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 56,
p. 161; Rufus King to Henry Knox, June 27, 1785, in Burnett, Letters of Mem-
bers, VIII, 153.
19 The young Sherman, who had retired from the Continental Army with the
rank of lieutenant colonel, followed his father's precedent in practicing surveying.
E. D. Kingman, "Roger Sherman, Colonial Surveyor," Civil Engineering, X
(1940), 514-515. As a federal surveyor he was second-choice to General Samuel
Holden Parsons. Journals of the Continental Congress, XXIX, 542.
20 William Patterson, James Ewing, and others, to Congress, May 19, 1785,
Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 42, Vol. 5, p. 327; Gov. W. L. Livingston
to Thomas Hutchins, May 18, 1785, Hutchins Papers. Martin, who had been a
captain in the Continental Army, was the first and only appointee for New Jersey.
Journals of the Continental Congress, XXVIII, 466.
122 THE OHIO HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
governor of Connecticut before completing his tour of duty
as a federal surveyor.21 In the appointment of Martin we
can recognize an early expression of interest in western lands
on the part of New Jersey speculators which culminated a
few years later in the acquisition by Judge John Cleves
Symmes and associates of that large tract in the southwest
corner of present-day Ohio known as the Miami Purchase.
The remaining four from among the surveyors who went
west in 1785 deserve attention more for their individual
attributes and activities than for their significance as repre-
sentatives of states or special groups. Morris of New York,
a young man apparently seeking employment appropriate to
his technical training, was the single surveyor who could
participate as an equal with Hutchins in what the latter
called "the Astronomical business of the Geographer's De-
partment." And he gained the geographer's special com-
mendation for assistance in the field work of 1785.22 Parker
of Virginia appears to have belonged to that class of woods-
wise men to whose independent surveying activities Virginia
already owed the subdivision of much of its own territory.23
Simpson, though a representative of Maryland, was a sur-
veyor from York County, Pennsylvania.24 It was through
him that the party of federal surveyors made their only
known contact with the men occupied in laying out Penn-
sylvania's boundary north of the Ohio River. He visited
the camp of the Pennsylvania commissioners early in October
21 Sherman to Governor of Connecticut, December 31, 1787, in New York
Journal and Weekly Register, May 1, 1788 (handwritten copy by C. A. Burton in
Miscellaneous Collection, Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio).
22 Hutchins to Congress, December 27, 1785. Papers of the Continental Con-
gress, No. 60, p. 225. For the appointment of Morris, a former lieutenant in the
Continental Army and a subsequent applicant (in 1789) for the post of geographer,
see Journals of the Continental Congress, XXVIII, 398.
23 On the deportment of Parker, formerly a captain in the Continental Army,
see "Journal of General Butler," 435. His appointment is noticed in Journals of
the Continental Congress, XXVIII, 398.
24 For Simpson's appointment, see ibid.; for his place of residence, see the entry
for December 3, 1786, in the Journal of John Mathews, Marietta College Library,
THE SURVEY OF THE SEVEN RANGES 123
1785.25 Johnston, a doctor and resident of Baltimore, who
managed to join in the surveying as a representative of
Georgia, was apparently a man of means looking for land
in which to invest personally. Nearly eighteen square miles
of land in the Seven Ranges were later purchased in his
By September 30, Hutchins, his eight surveyors, and a
retinue of about thirty helpers were all assembled at the
mouth of Little Beaver Creek, within easy walking distance
of the scheduled initial point of survey. A visitor in camp
expected them to progress rapidly with their work, yet he
found cause for misgiving. Hutchins was openly apprehen-
sive of Indian hostility, expressing himself as disposed to
"instantly quit the business" if danger threatened.27
Hutchins made a beginning on September 30 at the post
on the north bank of the Ohio River set up by the state
boundary commissioners somewhat more than a month
earlier. Acting on his instructions in the land ordinance to
attend personally to the running of the first east and west
line, he proceeded westward until October 8, when, having
surveyed less than four miles, he suspended operations due
to the receipt of "disagreeable intelligence" concerning the
Indians.28 Though the fact was not yet apparent, the season's
surveying had come to an end.
The intelligence which reached Hutchins told of an Indian
depredation at "Tuscarawas," a Delaware village located
about fifty miles west of the beginning point. At a trading
post near the village, according to the report, two traders
had been set upon by a band of Indians, who left behind
25 Hutchins to President of Congress, November 24, 1785, Enclosure No. 1.
Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 66, pp. 201-204.
26 On Johnston's appointment and place of residence, see Journals of the Conti-
nental Congress, XXVIII, 466; Johnston to Congress, October 27, 1785, Papers of
the Continental Congress, No. 41, Vol. 4, p. 319. Record of purchase by a "Doctr.
Robt. Johnston" appears in Schedule of Sales of Lands in the Western Territory
of the United States, Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 59, Vol. 3, p. 137.
27 "Journal of General Butler," 435.
28 Hutchins to President of Congress, November 24, 1785. Papers of the Conti-
nental Congress, No. 60, pp. 193-200.
124 THE OHIO HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
them all the signs of war.29 Hearing this, Hutchins super-
vised the shifting of the surveyors' camp to a safer site on
the south side of the Ohio; yet hope remained that chiefs of
the Delawares and Wyandots would consent to come and
attend the surveyors at their work, thereby guaranteeing
their safety. Hutchins had dispatched a messenger to these
two tribes in the second week of September, but it was not
until October 15 that a letter of response, "spoken by Captain
Pipe," was received.30 More apologetic than threatening in
tone, it simply declined the invitation. Hutchins, who had
placed the greatest reliance upon the chiefs, prepared almost
at once to decamp, and within a few days the entire survey
company had returned to Pittsburgh, where field hands,
recruited earlier in that village, were paid off and discharged.
It might seem strange that the troops at Fort McIntosh,
who had been expected by congress to protect the surveyors,
were of no help on this occasion. This lack of support was
due in part to the reduced strength of the garrison. Unfor-
tunately, the few remaining troops were needed at the site
of a prospective treaty conference with the Shawnees farther
down the Ohio River. On the day before surveying began,
all of the infantry based at Fort McIntosh had floated past
the surveyors' camp on their way downstream to the treaty
Having returned to Pittsburgh about one month after set-
ting forth for the field of survey, the frustrated surveyors
started home, traveling once more the Pennsylvania Road,
with nothing but debts to show for their time and trouble.
Last to depart was Thomas Hutchins, who, upon arriving in
New York, submitted a map to congress showing the country
along the few miles of line surveyed. Perhaps in an attempt
to give congress a sense of value received for money expended,
29 Ibid., Enclosure No. 1, pp. 201-204.
30 Ibid., Enclosure No. 2, pp. 209-212.
31 The treaty grounds were at the mouth of the Great Miami River, where
the treaty of Fort Finney was signed four months after this date. The passing-by
of the troops is noted in "Journal of General Butler," 434.
THE SURVEY OF THE SEVEN RANGES 125
he tendered with the map an unusually copious verbal descrip-
Despite the inconsequential nature of this first attempt
at surveying under the land ordinance, congress had not yet
lost faith in the enterprise. Hutchins was given, in effect,
a vote of confidence when in May 1786 congress passed a
resolution authorizing the geographer to try again.33
By the time of the geographer's return to Pittsburgh in
June 1786, a new military outpost, Fort Harmar, had been
constructed at the mouth of the Muskingum River, the treaty
conference with the Shawnees had been brought to a seem-
ingly successful conclusion, and the Wyandots and Dela-
wares, who had attended the conference, appeared to be
resigned to the survey of their ceded lands. Prospects for
surveying were further brightened by Hutchins' success in
dispatching an invitation to chiefs of the Delawares and
Wyandots nearly three months in advance of the schedule
of the preceding year.
Thirteen ranges of townships, Hutchins now expected,
would be surveyed by the end of the season. He seemed
justified in this hope for at least three reasons. First, the
potential extent of each range had been greatly curtailed by
congress. The resolution which had authorized the resump-
tion of field work ordered that surveying be confined to the
area south of the east-west line which Hutchins had begun
to lay out in 1785.34 Second, the prospective work involved
in surveying had been greatly simplified by the repeal of the
requirement that township boundaries be run "by the true
meridian," that is, according to true north.35 Third, Hutchins
had been led to expect that thirteen surveyors, one for each
32 Hutchins to President of Congress, December 27, 1785. Papers of the Conti-
nental Congress, No. 60, pp. 225-236. Nearly all of Hutchins' description is re-
produced in Hulbert, Ohio in the Time of the Confederation, 130-137.
33 Resolution of May 9, 1786, in Journals of the Continental Congress, XXX, 248.
35 Resolution of May 12, 1786, ibid., 252.
126 THE OHIO HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
range of townships, would come west in this year of renewed
As the surveyors arrived in Pittsburgh, they once more
undertook purchasing provisions and hiring field parties.
When preparations were complete, each of the states but
Delaware was represented by a surveyor equipped and ready
to take the field.37 Four states--Rhode Island, Pennsylvania,
North Carolina, and South Carolina--were represented for
the first time. Two states--New Hampshire and Virginia--
were now served by new men. Of the six men thus added to
the roster of pioneer federal surveyors, four deserve special
note,38 beginning with Winthrop Sargent, surveyor for New
Hampshire and replacement for Edward Dowse. Major
Sargent, whose application for a surveyorship was sponsored
by the secretary of war, was a Massachusetts man soon to
be elected secretary of the newly organized Ohio Company
of Associates.39 A second noteworthy newcomer was Colonel
Ebenezer Sproat, surveyor for Rhode Island, who later be-
came an important stockholder and surveyor of the Ohio
Company. He was among the men who landed at the mouth
of the Muskingum River to found Marietta in 1788.40 Thirdly,
there was Colonel Adam Hoops, representing Pennsylvania,
a professional surveyor and land speculator from Philadel-
phia and a friend of Hutchins, who probably owed his ap-
36 Hutchins to President of Congress, August 13, 1786. Papers of the Continental
Congress, No. 60, p. 249.
37 Entries for July 5-July 21, in the Journal of Thomas Hutchins. Hutchins
38 The other two were Charles Smith, who took the place of Alexander Parker
of Virginia, and Samuel Montgomery, a man already on hand in the West, who
was engaged as a substitute for the again-absent Absalom Tatom of North
Carolina. Tupper, Sherman, Martin, Morris, Simpson, and Johnston returned.
39 The recommendation of Sargent to Hutchins by Henry Knox, secretary of
war, June 4, 1786, may be found in Society Miscellaneous Collection, Historical
Society of Pennsylvania. On Sargent's election to the secretaryship of the Ohio
Company, March 1787, see Archer B. Hulbert, ed., The Records of the Original
Proceedings of the Ohio Company (Marietta, Ohio, 1917), I, 4.
40 Sproat served as substitute for Caleb Harris, whom illness had prevented
for a second time from coming west. For notice of Sproat's subsequent appoint-
ment as surveyor for the Ohio Company, see ibid., 26.
THE SURVEY OF THE SEVEN RANGES 127
pointment to Hutchins' influence.41 Lastly, there was Israel
Ludlow, appointed to fill the vacant surveyorship for South
Carolina. A young man from New Jersey who came west in
1786 to make his fortune on the frontier, Ludlow later became
actively interested in the Miami Purchase.42 By the time of
his death in the early 1800's he had surveyed more land in
the Ohio country than any other federal surveyor.
After a considerable delay, due to the failure of the Indians
to send an answer to Hutchins' invitation, and due as well
to Colonel Harmar's reluctance to provide an armed escort,
surveying began again on August 9, 1786. From that date
to September 18, Hutchins pushed steadily westward, mark-
ing a course which approximated a parallel of latitude. He
reached a point six miles from the Pennsylvania boundary
on the second day, and here Absalom Martin of New Jersey
directed a line southward, setting out independently to com-
plete the first range of townships. He was followed by other
surveyors, in launching off southward from Hutchins' base
line, at intervals of six miles in an order determined by lot.
An entire range of townships, according to plan, was to be
the responsibility of each of these surveyors.43
By the end of August, Hoops, Sherman, and Sproat had
followed Martin's example. Then Sargent and Simpson
took their turns, and Morris was about to set off on his
assigned strip of country--the Seventh Range--when the
first sign of trouble appeared. On September 13 a message
41 Hutchins had earlier made an employment request on behalf of Hoops.
Hutchins to John Montgomery, May 26, 1784. John Montgomery Papers, Chicago
Historical Society. Hoops-Hutchins correspondence may be found in the Hutchins
42 Ludlow replaced William Tate, who had for a second time failed to come
west. Much light is thrown on Ludlow by two letters written a decade later in
support of his application for the office of surveyor general of the United States:
Robert Morris to Timothy Pickering, July 18, 1796, and Jonathan Dayton to
Pickering, July 18, 1796, both in Applications for Office Under President Wash-
ington, Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress.
43 Entry for July 14, 1786, in typewritten copy of Diary of Winthrop Sargent,
Sargent Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston; entry for August 5,
1786, Journal of Thomas Hutchins; and Hutchins to President of Congress, Au-
gust 13, 1786, Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 60, pp. 249-252.
128 THE OHIO HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
reached Hutchins in which the chiefs of the Delawares and
Wyandots declined, for the second and last time, to come
forward and guarantee the safety of the surveyors. Hutch-
ins pressed westward none the less, dispatching Morris to
work on his appointed range and advancing into the Eighth
Range himself. Transfer of his headquarters camp ahead
to a convenient creek not only brought Hutchins' party into
the immediate neighborhood of "Tuscarawas" but separated
them by about forty-five miles from their principal military
support. Despite the fact that three companies of infantry
had been assigned to Hutchins, all but thirty soldiers, under
the command of a lieutenant, were confined to a camp on the
Ohio River for want of supplies.44
The geographer and his followers were now in a danger-
ously exposed position. On the morning of September 18
they awoke to find that a pole marking the conclusion of the
previous day's surveying had been broken during the night,
apparently as a warning from hostile natives. Then that
afternoon intelligence reached the camp that warriors were
gathering at the Shawnee towns, about one hundred and fifty
miles to the southwest, intending "to cut off Hutchins and
all his men."45 Thoroughly alarmed, Hutchins abandoned
the field and sent messengers to the surveyors on their several
ranges asking them to lose no time in following his example.
The retreat which followed was almost comic in its confusion.
Sargent, on the Fifth Range, hearing that "the Geographer
had run away and all the surveyors after him," viewed the
proceedings with scorn, and was persuaded only with diffi-
culty to leave his work. At length, however, the surveyors
were collected together at the house of one of the pioneers on
the Virginia shore, William McMahon, and all of the troops
44 Entries for July 14, September 9, Diary of Winthrop Sargent; entries for
September 2, 6, 11, Journal of Thomas Hutchins; and Hutchins to President of
Congress, October 12, 1786, Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 60, pp.
45 Depositions of George Brickell and Thomas Girty. Papers of the Continental
Congress, No. 60, pp. 277-278.
130 THE OHIO HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
were concentrated at a fortified position on the federal side
of the Ohio downstream from the point of beginning.46
By the beginning of October, when Hutchins was ready to
recross the Ohio, the objective for the season had become a
modest four ranges of townships. The troops at Hutchins'
disposal were now, for the first time, sufficiently provisioned
to take the field, and he assigned about seventy of them to
the protection of the surveyors who were to accomplish this
objective. The First Range had been completed by Martin
before the retreat. Into the next three ranges Hutchins
sent six surveyors and as a concession to the headstrong
Sargent he allowed that surveyor to venture into the Fifth
Range once more. A handful of soldiers went with Sargent,
and the remainder were held in reserve in a central position
behind hastily erected earthworks.47 Meantime, in the distant
Shawnee country, an expedition of Kentucky militia under
the command of Colonel Benjamin Logan was spreading
terror and destruction thus preventing the threatened Shawnee
attack upon Hutchins and his men. The Kentuckians, in
executing an act of local vengeance, apparently made possible
the first effective season of national surveying.
By the middle of November four ranges of townships had
been successfully surveyed, without Indian incident, though
on the Fifth Range Sargent's work was cut short by a small
band of Indian marauders who stole nearly all of his party's
horses. Hutchins now seriously considered rounding out
all of the seven ranges upon which work had been begun,
but the surveyors were generally averse to the idea, nighttime
temperatures having dropped to the freezing point. The troops,
many of them "barefoot and miserably off for clothing," were
in no condition to continue in the field.48 In consequence, the
46 Entries for September 20-October 3, Diary of Winthrop Sargent.
47 Entries for October 5-11, Diary of Winthrop Sargent; entries for October
1-16, Journal of Thomas Hutchins.
48 Entries for October 23-November 6, Diary of Winthrop Sargent; Hutchins
to President of Congress, December 2, 1786, Papers of the Continental Congress,
No. 60, pp. 281-283; Colonel Harmar to Secretary of War, November 15, 1786,
in William Henry Smith, The Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair
(Cincinnati, 1882), II, 19-20.
THE SURVEY OF THE SEVEN RANGES 131
soldiers were allowed to embark for winter quarters at Fort
Harmar, and the surveyors retired to the comfort and security
of McMahon's house on the Virginia shore.49
At McMahon's, Hutchins soon set about marshaling the
documentary evidence of the surveys. Under his direction
the notes which the surveyors had taken for the first four
ranges were transcribed and rearranged in a form suitable
for submission to the board of treasury. Martin, Sherman,
and Sproat, to whom had fallen the official responsibility
for the first four ranges, stayed at McMahon's house until
their signatures could be affixed to the completed transcrip-
tions. By the first week in December most of the surveyors
had departed for their homes in the East, and the final stage
of operations had begun--the preparation of plats, or draw-
ings of boundaries, of each township, as required by the land
ordinance. Isaac Sherman, who withdrew to the house of
Charles Wells, about ten miles down the Ohio from Mc-
Mahon's, is believed to have prepared the plats for the Third
Range. The remaining plats were very possibly drawn by
Late in January 1787, seven months after his arrival in
the West for a second attempt at surveying, Hutchins de-
parted from his quarters on the Ohio River. Traveling by
way of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Road, he reached
New York on February 21 with "the Plats and descriptions
of four Ranges completely surveyed into Townships."51
Hutchins later declared, in a locution characteristic of the
49 Entry for November 25, 1786, Journal of Joseph Buell, in Samuel P. Hildreth,
Pioneer History (Cincinnati, 1848), 148; entries for November 8-December 3,
1786, Journal of John Mathews.
50 Entries for November 8-December 3, 1786, Journal of John Mathews; entry
for November 21, 1786, Journal of Thomas Hutchins; Hutchins to President of
Congress, December 2, 1786, Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 60, pp.
281-283. The survey plats and notes produced by Hutchins and his men are in
Record Group 49, Cartographic Records Division, National Archives.
51 Hutchins to President of Congress, February 22, 1787. Papers of the Conti-
nental Congress, No. 60, p. 293.
132 THE OHIO HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
period, that he "flattered himself that he had performed his
duties to the entire satisfaction of Congress."52
Hutchins may have vindicated himself to the satisfaction
of congress, but that body had understandably lost faith
in the rectangular land survey system by the spring of 1787.
With only four ranges of townships ready to be advertised
for sale after a lapse of nearly two years, congress was pre-
pared to consider the sale of large tracts without survey as
a means of realizing an immediate income from the national
domain. Finding that congressional delegates had no inten-
tion of supporting surveying beyond the Seven Ranges,
Hutchins applied for leave to fulfill an engagement else-
where.53 His request was granted, and the task of complet-
ing the Seven Ranges was left to such of the surveyors of the
preceding year as might be willing to assume the risks in-
volved in the venture.
First in the field in 1787 were two men who had wintered
on the Ohio River--Absalom Martin and Israel Ludlow.
They went into the woods early in April, and were followed
within two weeks by James Simpson, who had returned to
the West from his home in York County, Pennsylvania.54
Two other surveyors later appeared on the scene, but these
three men had preempted the surveying which remained to
be done. Throwing caution to the winds, they at first led
their survey parties into the interior without an armed escort,
but by the middle of May they had pulled back and were
applying for the protection of the army.55
The surveyors expected aid from a new army post which
seemed ideal to their purposes. This was Fort Steuben, which
52 Hutchins to President of Congress, March 19, 1787. Papers of the Continental
Congress, No. 60, p. 297.
53 Hutchins to President of Congress, June 25, 1787. Papers of the Continental
Congress, No. 60, p. 185. The assignment to which Hutchins turned was the
survey of a boundary within New York State, a meridian, westward of which
New York retained jurisdiction while Massachusetts held land-title.
54 Entries for April 10, 21, 1787, Journal of John Mathews, in Hildreth,
Pioneer History, 178.
55 Colonel Harmar to Secretary of War, May 14, 1787 (photostat). Papers of
General Josiah Harmar, William L. Clements Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
THE SURVEY OF THE SEVEN RANGES 133
had been built on the Ohio River within the First Range and
garrisoned by ninety men during the previous winter. Colonel
Harmar, however, was holding this detachment in readiness
for removal to Vincennes. As a sign of the times, Harmar
was more interested in extending American influence farther
down the Ohio than in accommodating federal land sur-
veyors, but he responded to their request by sending up sixty
men from Fort Harmar. After making rendezvous at a
point opposite Wheeling, these troops set off with the sur-
veyors to cover them in the completion of their work.56
Within two weeks after resuming operations Israel Ludlow
finished the Seventh Range, striking the Ohio River about
seven miles above the mouth of the Muskingum. Simpson
and Martin brought the Sixth and Fifth ranges, respectively,
to completion soon after, and the escorting troops were able
to rejoin their companies at Fort Harmar before July 10.
Although incidents of scalping and horse-thieving occurred
in their vicinity both during and after this period, the survey-
ors were untroubled in their final efforts by Indian maraud-
Records of survey, once again, were prepared at William
McMahon's house on the Virginia shore. Ludlow, Martin,
and Simpson stayed there until the end of August, by which
time Ludlow may have been able to complete all of his paper
work--both plats and notes--for the Seventh Range. Martin
and Simpson were prevented from finishing even their notes
for the Fifth and Sixth ranges by the lack of records on
hand for surveying done in 1786. After their sojourn at
McMahon's the three surveyors made their way to New
56 Major Hamtramck to Harmar, May 22, 1787, Surveyors to Harmar, May
25, 1787, Harmar to Surveyors, June 2, 1787 (photostats), Harmar Papers; entries
for June 6, 8, 1787, Journal of John Mathews, in Hildreth, Pioneer History, 181.
57 Major Doughty to Harmar, June 24, July 10, 1787, Harmar Papers; entries
for June 23, August 4, 1787, Journal of John Mathews, in Hildreth, Pioneer His-
134 THE OHIO HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
York,58 where Hutchins apparently assisted in incorporating
the needed earlier data into the records for 1787.
Yet many months still were to pass before final returns
would be filed. Martin delayed his work, piqued by the
board of treasury's refusal to permit him an extra allowance
for "protracting the townships."59 Hutchins seems to have
been diverted by the preparation of a report on the personal
surveying assignment which had occupied him during the
summer of 1787. After all of the records for the final three
ranges were in his hands, Hutchins took additional time to
draw up a general plan covering all of the Seven Ranges. At
last, on July 26, 1788, Hutchins submitted the general plan
and the concluding notes and plats to the board of treasury,
and the first phase of United States public land surveying
came to an end.60
* * *
The foundation, so to speak, upon which the Seven Ranges
were constructed was the line which Hutchins initiated in
1785, and ran westward in 1786 until caused to flee the field.
Called simply the East and West Line at the time of survey,
it has come to be known as the Geographer's Line, in honor
of Hutchins. In laying it out Hutchins was required by
law to determine the latitude of the point of beginning and
then to make the line conform to a parallel of latitude.
In meeting the first problem Hutchins took "a great num-
ber" of observations on the sun and the North Star, and as
a result determined his latitude to be 40?? 38' 02" North.61
58 Entries for July 31, September 3, 1787, Journal of John Mathews, in Hildreth,
Pioneer History, 182, 186; Memorial of Surveyors to Congress, September 22,
1787, Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 41, Vol. 9, p. 461.
59 Martin to Hutchins, October 3, 1787. Hutchins Papers.
60 Hutchins to Commissioners of the Board of Treasury, July 26, 1788. Record
Group 49, Natural Resources Records Division, National Archives. The notes and
plats for Ranges Five, Six, and Seven may be found with the records for the
first four ranges of the Seven Ranges in Record Group 49, Cartographic Records
Division, National Archives.
61 Hutchins to President of Congress, November 24, 1785. Papers of the Con-
tinental Congress, No. 60, p. 194.
THE SURVEY OF THE SEVEN RANGES 135
He mislocated his position by about 25" of arc, or as measured
on the ground, by somewhat less than one-half mile, a magni-
tude of error which suggests that he employed a sextant, an
instrument in common use at that time. The second prob-
lem, that of laying down a parallel of latitude, was familiar
to Hutchins we can be sure, if only because it is known that
he had engaged in extending westward the Mason and Dixon
line--a parallel of latitude--in 1784.62 Whether he attempted
to repeat the relatively accurate technique employed in that
earlier work or not--and there is strong evidence that to save
time he did not--his results were much less satisfactory. The
Geographer's Line failed to conform to the proper curve of a
parallel of latitude, and it ended fully fifteen hundred feet
south of its beginning point.
In laying out township boundaries south of the Geograph-
er's Line the surveyors directed their lines of sight with an
instrument called a circumferentor. It was a simple compass,
measuring about six inches in diameter, graduated to give
readings in degrees, fitted with sight vanes, and mounted by
means of a ball and socket upon either a staff ("Jacob's staff")
or a tripod.63 By the time surveying began in earnest, it will
be recalled, congress had relieved the surveyors of the neces-
sity of adjusting their lines to "the true meridian." Given
this license, the surveyors used the circumferentor's magnetic
needle to establish initial direction, and in extending a line
they appear to have simply taken a new compass reading at
each advance of the instrument. In setting off a right angle
at each township corner they almost certainly read directly
from the needle instead of turning the angle on the instrument.
This was free-style surveying.64
62 Hutchins to President of Congress, April 21, 1785. Papers of the Continental
Congress, No. 60, p. 181.
63 A few places in Ohio where circumferentors may be seen are Campus Martius
Museum, Marietta; Wooster Museum, Wooster; and Ohio Historical Society,
64 These remarks are based upon an extended examination of the survey notes
for the Seven Ranges.
136 THE OHIO HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
In the measurement of distances, approximation again was
the rule. The means employed, normal for the period, was
a surveyor's chain made of iron wire formed into one hundred
straight segments, each segment joined to its neighbor by
two rings.65 The chains were checked for length by Hutchins
at the outset of surveying, but their results were far from
consistent. While it is well known that such chains were
subject to alteration in length through use, a more important
source of error was the roughness of the terrain, or, more
exactly, the lack of care taken by the surveyors in safeguard-
ing against errors arising therefrom. What with an almost
casual determination of distance as well as direction, the
surveyed lines generally failed to join satisfactorily at the
corners of the townships, as would be expected. The sur-
veyors failed to meet this problem of poor closure, in turn,
in any agreed-upon way; they did not regularly complete their
townships in one specified corner; and they did not retrace
their lines in search of error when a faulty closure occurred.66
Inaccuracies in the survey of the Seven Ranges should not
be thought of as wholly or even mainly the consequence of
an inadequate technology. When the federal rectangular
survey system was revived and extended, only about a decade
later, distinctly improved results were obtained; and among
the sharpest critics of the original surveyors were men who
followed after them, with no better instruments, to further
subdivide the townships of the Seven Ranges.67 The work
of the original surveyors suffered principally from a lack of
regular operating procedures and clearly stated standards of
* * *
65 Chains of the kind described may be found in county surveyors' offices; at
the Ross County Historical Society, Chillicothe; and at the Ohio Historical
66 These statements are based upon the surveyors' notes, letters, diaries, a map
of the survey lines compiled by the author, and United States Geological Survey
67 See Rufus Putnam to Zaccheus Biggs, April 22, 1801, in Carter, Territorial
Papers, Vol. III, The Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, 1787-1803, Conti-
nued (Washington, 1934), 130-132.
THE SURVEY OF THE SEVEN RANGES 137
As is well known, the direct contribution of the survey of
the Seven Ranges to the settlement of the Northwest Territory
was very slight indeed. The first and only sale of land in
the Seven Ranges under the land ordinance of 1785 was held
in New York City, September 21-October 9, 1787, after an
impatient congress had voted to wait for the completion of no
more than four ranges of townships, and to offer the parts
of those townships not reserved from sale at a central place
of auction rather than in the several states, as originally
planned.68 At the sale, land immediately bordering the Ohio
River found a fair market, and two townships near the
Ohio were sold as whole units, but buyers could not be tempted
very far inland nor induced to take up all of the land along
the river so long as a minimum price of one dollar per acre,
established by law, prevailed. With less than one-third of the
land spoken for, the auction was closed.69 About half of this
purchased land was soon forfeited for lack of completed pay-
ment, and on the remainder settlement was almost negligible.
The single noteworthy extension of the American frontier
immediately resulting from this sale occurred on the Ohio a
few miles upstream from a point opposite Wheeling late in
1787, when Absalom Martin, official federal surveyor from
New Jersey, founded there the settlement known today as
To appreciate the indirect and highly important influence
of the survey of the Seven Ranges upon the advance of set-
tlement in the Northwest Territory, we must turn our atten-
tion to the Ohio Company of Associates, that celebrated or-
ganization whose representatives contracted to buy a large
tract adjacent to the Seven Ranges a few days after the
public auction in New York was closed. Benefits conferred
on this group began in 1785, when General Benjamin Tupper,
68 In changing its policy, congress followed recommendations in a report of the
board of treasury, for which see Carter, Territorial Papers, II, 24-25.
69 Accounts for this auction appear as "Schedule of Sales of Lands in the Western
Territory," in Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 59, Vol. 3, pp. 135-140.
70 For record of purchase of over three hundred acres of land in Martin's name,
see ibid., p. 135.
138 THE OHIO HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
by adopting the role of surveyor for Massachusetts, found
an opportunity for learning at first hand about the route to
Pittsburgh and the country downstream from that settle-
ment for a distance of about forty miles. The Ohio Company
had not yet been formed, but its prospective organizers, among
them Tupper, were known to be contemplating the founding
of a colony. In the summer of 1786, by which time provi-
sional articles of the Ohio Company had been drawn up at a
meeting in Massachusetts, federal surveying began to look
as though it were specifically meant to serve the exploratory
interests of this association. No less than five Ohio Company
men, including Tupper, appeared among the surveyors in
1786, and one of them, Winthrop Sargent, detached himself
from the rest to reconnoiter the district on the lower Muskin-
gum River which the company was soon to apply for in con-
gress.71 The fact that this tract of land lay immediately
west of the Seven Ranges should not lead one to suppose that
Sargent thought of it as an area beyond the scope of federal
surveying. Rather, he viewed it at this time as land included
within the breadth of the thirteen ranges of townships
scheduled for survey in 1786.72 By 1787, however, the out-
look had changed. With only seven ranges of townships
begun by the national surveyors, the Ohio Company, appar-
ently impelled by a new determination to obtain land in a
single block, threw its influence behind a move in congress
to halt any further extension of surveying to the west.
Deciding to apply to congress for a direct grant of land,
directors of the company declared, "We . . . wish, if possible,
to have our eastern bounds on the seventh range of town-
71 Sargent recorded this side trip, which took him down the Ohio and up the
Muskingum, in his Diary, entries for July 23 to August 1. The Ohio Company men
in addition to Tupper and Sargent, were Ebenezer Sproat, of previous mention,
and two young men who came west as chainmen: Tupper's son Benjamin and
Putnam's nephew John Mathews.
72 Sargent to Samuel Parsons, August 1, 1786. Samuel Parsons Papers, West-
ern Reserve Historical Society.
THE SURVEY OF THE SEVEN RANGES 139
ships."73 The company succeeded in obtaining a grant with
this boundary and went on to conduct township surveying
privately, but otherwise in general conformity to the require-
ments of the land ordinance of 1785.
In a rather elaborate advertisement of its new purchase,
the Ohio Company drew freely upon the opinions and obser-
vations of its representatives who had engaged in the survey
of the Seven Ranges, a procedure justified by the fact that
the Ohio Company lands comprised a continuation of the
Allegheny Plateau country wherein the Seven Ranges lay.
By way of further reliance upon the federal surveys, this
same advertisement exploited the reputation of Thomas
Hutchins by including his testimonial that descriptions ap-
pearing therein were "judicious, just and true," and consistent
with "observations made by me."74
Nor did the services rendered to the Ohio Company by the
federal surveys end here. In the course of the survey of the
Seven Ranges, the army's influence had been brought down
the Ohio to the mouth of the Muskingum River, where the
Ohio Company's first settlement would soon be made; the
Indians had been introduced to the kind of surveying which the
Ohio Company would be continuing; and the squatter popula-
tion of the Ohio country had been confronted by the deter-
mination of congress to deny the right of preempting land by
"tomahawk claim," a legal position which the Ohio Company
was resolved to perpetuate.75
73 Rufus Putnam and Manasseh Cutler to Winthrop Sargent, May 1787, as
quoted in Hulbert, Records of the Ohio Company, liii.
74 The advertisement, titled "An Explanation of the Map Which Delineates That
Part of the Federal Land Comprehended between Pennsylvania West Line, the
Rivers Ohio and Scioto and Lake Erie . . .," may be found in Philip Lee Phillips,
The First Map and Description of Ohio, 1787, by Manasseh Cutler: A Biblio-
graphical Account (Washington, 1918), 25-41.
75 In the very month that the Ohio Company made its first settlement, congress
renewed its denial of the right of roving pioneers to take up land at will on the
public domain. Resolution of April 24, 1787, in Journals of the Continental Con-
press, XXXII, 231.
140 THE OHIO HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
If the founding of Marietta at the mouth of the Muskin-
gum River by the Ohio Company, in April 1788, is to be
accepted as the beginning of organized American settlement
in the Northwest Territory, then the Seven Ranges should
be recognized with appropriate honor as the bridgehead
which made the success of this pioneer venture possible.