Ohio History Journal


Editorialana.                        101


self-deluded. It became his monomania. He was more Simplician than

Charlatan, though a curious mixture of both.

The Ohio legislature in 1850 enacted the Homestead Exemption

Law-granting homestead of certain value or a certain amount of prop-

erty exempt from the reach of creditors. Allen it was claimed was instru-

mental in securing the passage of this law, but that is only another of the

Allen myths. There is no evidence that he had anything to do with it.

Indeed he is not the sort of a character to have accomplished the things

attributed to him. He lived an aimless and largely useless life, eking

out a mere subsistence and displaying abilities and ambitions far too

mediocre to be influential. His auction rooms in Columbus, which were

located on High street, near Town, were the reputed scenes of "a good

deal of buffoonery, for our hero was not a dignified personage. In fact

he was the butt of the wits and practical jokers of the town. His auctions

were often very farcical performances, for articles would be run up by the

eager bidders to the most astounding price, but the man who made the

last bid could never be identified. But the auctioneer was always good-

natured. He never lost his temper. He joined in the laugh which was

raised at his expense and went on with the sale as best he could. Many

stories are told illustrating his simplicity, his lack of ordinary shrewdness.

the easiness with which he could be imposed upon, and the uniform

belief is, that nothing could provoke him to resentment or malice, that

his heart was full of kindness and his speech always friendly and gracious."

Such was "Land Bill' Allen. He died friendless and alone, the

ward of his county. At his death no relatives near or remote could be

found. His wife had died many years before at New Albany, Franklin

county. He doubtless innocently enjoyed the attainment and contem-

plation of his pseudo fame. Many men have had credit for more and

deserved less.




Mr. George Moore, of Washington, D. C., is the author of an histor-

ical work, recently published by Harper Brothers, entitled "The North-

west under three flags" (1635-1798.)  It is a most admirable, accurate

and complete resume of the history of the occupation and development

of the great Ohio Valley from the earliest French settlements to the

establishment of the Northwest Territory, under the famous ordinance

of 1787. Mr. Moore recounts a delightful and thrilling story of the con-

flicts between the aboriginal inhabitants and the Latin race (French)

usurpers; then between the French and English and finally between the

two divisions of the Anglo-Saxon race, the English and the Americans.

We know of no one book that covers the movements of these import-

ant events so compactly and clearly as does the volume of Mr. Moore.

He is a close and careful student. He has examined in great measure

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102        Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


the original documents, and sources of information as well as consulted

the leading authors upon the periods of which he treats. So much does

this work contain that is pertinent to Ohio that we give space to a brief

digest of his chapters, frequently quoting his language.



Mr. Moore begins with the entrance of the "Unknown waters of the

broad St. Lawrence," by Jacques Cartier in 1534, under the patronage

of Francis I, who "viewed with alarm" as the politicians say, the dis-

coveries the English and Spanish were making in the new world. Sub-

sequent French voyages and discoveries are passed over till that of Samuel

Champlain (1603) "the Father of New France" who was the first white

man to look off across the waters of Lake Huron. He planted the col-

ony of Quebec (1608), discovered Lake Champlain, and in 1620 was

appointed by the King (Louis XIII) Governor of Canada. Then follow

rapidly the western water discoveries (1618-42) and navigations of

Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior by Champlain's

associates or successors, as Brule, Nicolet and Joliet. These were the

early days of the Jesuit Missions and the straggling and struggling settle-

ments of New France along the great water ways from the St. Lawrence

to the straits of Mackinac and beyond. The Indian contested the encroach-

ment of the French, but the intrepid fur trader and the zealous mis-

sionary were not to be dislodged, though the war of the savage and the

civilized races was to continue for a century and a half. "In the year

1643 the entire population of New France numbered not to exceed three

hundred souls, whereas the four colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth,

Connecticut and New Haven banded together could count a popula-

tion of 24,000."  But the adventurous French merchant, like Radisson

and dauntless missionary like Marquette, pushed on West while the New

England colonies were growing apace on the Atlantic coast and the Eng-

lish peltry purchasers were getting their hold on the region of Hud-

son's Bay. The Hudson Bay Company took corporate form about 1670

under Charles II, whose cousin Prince Rupert and associates instituted

the monopoly. New France therefore occupied the St. Lawrence and

great Lakes territory. But farther west the pious priest and peltry trader

ventured; across lakes and by portage to the head waters of the Wiscon-

sin river, down which they floated "till caught and whirled along by

the on-rushing Mississippi, then accomplishing a discovery that in the

words of Bancroft 'changed the destinies of the nations.'"  The Mis-

sissippi discovery was by Louis Joliet in 1673; De Soto, the Spanish

adventurer, had penetrated the southern interior from Florida, and dis-

covered the mouth of the Mississippi in 1541. Louis Frontenac was ap-

pointed governor general of Canada in 1678. In 1679 La Salle, in the

Griffin, sailed the waters of Lake Erie, bearing "the royal commission

to establish a line of forts along the great lakes whereby to hold for trance


Editorialana.                       103


all that rich far country." He looked forward to a chain of forts and

trading posts stretching from Quebec along the Great Lakes and thence

down the Mississippi to its mouth. In pursuance of this ambitious aim

La Salle passed through Lake Huron and Michigan, descended the

Illinois river and the Mississippi to its mouth, which he reached in 1681;

naming the valley of this river Louisiana, and claiming it for his sov-

ereign, Louis XIV.

An interesting chapter is devoted to the founding of the settlement

and fort on the Detroit river by Cadillac in 1701. This was regarded

by the King of France and governor-general of Canada, as the strategic

point of the west. It commanded the water traffic between the lakes, and

was the best point defensive and offensive for war operations with or

against the Indians. For more than a century Detroit was the historic

storm center of the northwest.

"The daring enterprise of the French trader and the devoted heroism

of the French missionary in their discovery of the Northwest have been

related. Up the rapids of the St. Lawrence, through the chain of the

vast inland seas, and down the rushing waters of the Mississippi swept

the tide of French discovery. With the exception of a strip of land

lying along the Atlantic and extending scarcely a hundred miles back

into the wilderness, the continent of North America at the middle of

the eighteenth century belonged to his most Christian majesty by the well

recognized right of discovery and occupation. In the court of nations

it mattered nothing that the soil was in the actual possession not of

Frenchmen but of Indians, and that the foot of white men had never

trod more than the smallest fraction of the country over which France

claimed domain. While recognizing the policy of conciliating the Indians,

France nevertheless, claimed the exclusive right to acquire from them,

and to dispose of, the land which they occupied, and to make laws for

the government of the country."




In the year 1498, more than a third of a century before Jacques Car-

tier's little vessel ploughed her way up the broad St. Lawrence, the

Cabots (John and Sebastian, under Henry VII) discovered the continent

of North America and sailed as far as Virginia.

"Acting under their charter to discover countries then unknown to

Christian people, and to take possession of them in the name of the King

of England, these bold adventurers laid the foundation of the English

title to the Atlantic coast. It was not until the beginning of the seven-

teenth century, however, that France and England followed up their dis-

coveries, and began to perfect their respective titles by actual occupa-

tion of the regions discovered by their venturesome navigators."

In 1585 the picturesque Sir Walter Raleigh got permission from

Queen Elizabeth for his Captain Richard Grenville to found an English

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Editorialana.                       105


colony on Roanoke Island, in the present state of North Carolina, "the

first English settlement established on the continent of North America."

This colony was abortive. In 1607 the Jamestown (Va.) colony became

the first permanent English settlement in America. Under its charter

of 1609 this company "became possessed in absolute property of the

lands extending along the sea coast two hundred miles north and the

same distance south from Old Point Comfort, and into the land through-

out from sea to sea." Again in 1620 came the time honored Pilgrims

under the charter of the Plymouth Company, to which had been con-

veyed "all the lands between the fortieth and forty-eighth degrees of

North latitude." In course of time the special charters of these colonies

were either annuled or surrendered, and the title to the lands reverted

to the crown, to be disposed of from time to time as his majesty might

see fit, in creating colonies along the Atlantic.

"These early grants of land, stretching from the known Atlantic

back through unknown regions to the illusive South Sea dreamed of by

adventurers through the ages, comprised within their infinite parallels

all the Northwest save only the upper two-thirds of the present states of

Michigan and Wisconsin. The lines of Virginia included the lower half

of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois; Connecticut, by virtue of her charter,

claimed the upper half of that territory; and Massachusetts likewise ob-

tained the shadow of a title to the southern half of Wisconsin and of

the lower peninsula of Michigan. However, it was not until the treaty

of 1763 brought these regions within the actual possession of the British

crown that the claims of Connecticut and Massachusetts could be made

even upon paper. New York, too, had unsubstantial claims to the Ohio

country, based on the conquests of its allies, the Iroquois."

Virginia seemed to be the center that attracted the most enterpris-

ing English colonists, and to have sent forth the ventursome settlers into

the northwest. Virginia was on the frontier lines of westward pioneer






The year 1748 found George Washington making surveys in the

Shenandoah Valley, and obtaining his first experience of border life and

border people. "In this year 1748, while the rich lands of the garden of

Virginia were being laid off and populated, the enterprising men of the

colony put their heads together to secure the territory beyond the Alle-

ghanies, but still within the chartered limits of the province. The prime

mover in the scheme was Thomas Lee, the president of his majesty's

Virginia council, and with him were associated, among others, Lawrence

and Augustine Washington, half brothers of George. The London part-

ner was Thomas Hanbury, a merchant of wealth and influence. Taking

the name of the

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the associates presented to the king a petition for half a million

acres of land on the south side of the Ohio river, between

the Monongahela and the Kanawha rivers, with the privilege of

selecting a portion of the lands on north     side.  Two hundred

thousand acres were to be taken up at once; one hundred families

were to be seated within seven years, and a fort was to be built as a

protection against hostile Indians. The king readily assented to a pro-

position which promised an effective and inexpensive means of occupy-

ing the Ohio Valley, which was claimed by the French by right of dis-

covery and occupation. These claims France was just then in a mood

to make good." "Before the company's agent could take the field, France

had decided upon her course of action. While the French government,

either at home or in Canada, could do little to prevent individual Eng-

lish traders from wandering at will through the forest towns, the forma-

tion of the Ohio Company under royal sanction, proposing as it did to

carve a half million acres out of what the French regarded as their

domain, was not a matter to be tossed to and fro like a shuttlecock between

the Cabinet at Versailles and the Cabinet at St. James."





The French proceeded to take the only course open to them. They

occupied the Ohio Valley in force. Preliminary to more active military

operations, the Chevalier Celoron de Bienville, at the command of Galis-

soniere, commander in chief of New France, was sent to take personal

possession of the Ohio. Celoron with a band of more than two hundred

French officers and Canadian soldiers and boatmen, proceeded "along the

shores of the fitful Lake Erie, and the flotilla of twenty-three birch bark

canoes skimmed its rapid way during the summer of 1749. Striking across

the country to Lake Chautauqua, the barks were launched on that water

and thence a path was found to the headwaters of the Allegheny river.

Floating down the Ohio the fleet stopped now to treat with the Indians,

and to tack upon some tree or again to bury at the mouth of some trib-

utary a head plate inscribed with the flower-de-luce, and bearing a legend

to the effect that thus the French renewed their possession of the Ohio

river, and of all those rivers that flow into it, as far as their sources, the

same as was enjoyed or ought to have been enjoyed by the preceding

kings of France," etc. Dropping into slang, this tin plate posting was the

"lead pipe cinch" of the Gauls.

From the Ohio the party of occupation made its way up the Miami

to Lake Erie and thence to Quebec. In many Indian villages Celoron

found English traders. These he sent back to the colonies with warnings

not to again trespass upon French territory.


Editorialana.                 107

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108        Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.






Nothing daunted by the theatrical expedition of Celeron, the Ohio

Company, in September, 1750, called from his home on the Yadkin that

shrewd and hardy pioneer, Christopher Gist. No better selection could

have been made. Gist's instructions directed him "to go out as soon as

possible to the westward of the great mountains, in order to search out

and discover the lands upon the Ohio River and other adjoining branches

of the Mississippi down as low as the Great Falls thereof." He was to

observe the ways and passes from the mountains, the width and depth of

the rivers, what nations of Indians inhabited the lands, whom they

traded with and of what they dealt. In particular he was to mark all the

good level lands so that they might be easily found, for it was the pur-

pose of the Ohio Company to go all the way down to the Mississippi, if

need be, in order not to take mean broken land. Gist set out from

Colonel Cresap's on the Potomac in Maryland and followed the old Indian

path up the Juniata. He was twenty-one days reaching the Seneca Village

of Logstown on the Ohio, eighteen miles below Pittsburgh. At Beaver

Creek Gist fell in with Barney Curran, an Ohio Company trader, and

together they crossed the country to the Muskingum, where they found an

Indian town of a hundred families over which was flying the English flag

raised there by George Croghan, who welcomed Gist. Gist then pro-

ceeded to the Scioto Creek, where they came to a Delaware Village, and

at the mouth of which they found the Shawnees. Gist, accompanied by

Croghan, then turned north and after a journey of one hundred and fifty

miles, came to the town of Tawightwi, afterwards known as Piqua on the

Miami, in the present Ohio county of Miami. It was then the capital

of the powerful western confederacy, the strongest Indian town in that

part of the continent. Gist proceeded down the Scioto and then down the

Ohio nearly to the present site of Louisville, whence he returned home

through the valley of Cuttawa, or Kentucky. In June, 1752, the Indians

met Gist and the Virginian Commissioners at Logstown, and in spite of

the French intrigues made a treaty whereby the Ohio Company was

allowed to make settlements south of the Ohio and to build a fort at the

forks of that river. Thus far the project of the Ohio Company had fair

prospects. The Indians were well disposed to the English, and colonial

traders overrun the entire country from the very gates of Montreal to the

Mississippi, but the French were not idle, and Celoron, now command-

ant at Detroit, in 1752, was ordered to drive the English traders from

the Miami Villages and thus to realize his occupation of the Ohio country

in 1749. Meanwhile Duquesne, one of the most distinguished French

generals in the war then waging in the colonies between the French and

the English, prepared to cut off the English from the Ohio country, and

early in the spring of 1753, with a mixed force of English troops, Cana-

dians and Indians, numbering not far from 1500, set out from Montreal


Editorialana.                       109


and in due time reached the harbor of Lake Erie, then known as Presqu

Isle, now known as Erie. There he built a post, then advancing they

built another at La Bouef Creek and a third at Venango on the Allegheny.




Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia, who had become a member of the

Ohio Company, was not slow to see that the plans of the corporation would

come to nothing if once the French were allowed to reach the Ohio.

He resolved to send a messenger to ascertain the force of the French and

to deliver to their commanding officer the demand of Virginia that all

French troops be withdrawn from the country included within the char-

tered limits of that colony. The messenger selected for this delicate and

arduous task was Major George Washington, then a sedate youth of

twenty-one, who had held the position of Adjutant General in the Vir-

ginia malitia since he was nineteen. Washington left Mt. Vernon, secured

the services of Christopher Gist and proceeded to Logstown, where they

met the Half King of the Six Nations, who had previously told the

French that they had no business in that country. As between the

French and the English, the Indians might well side with the former,

(says Mr. Moore); because the French never contemplated the posses-

sion and cultivation of the lands, but merely the establishment of trading

stations. The French proposed to trade with the Indians, the English

colonies proposed to dispossess them. Eventually the English policy

came to be but a continuation of the French, while the policy of the

colonists was either to acquire by purchase or by force and to bring under

cultivation of the lands that formed the hunting grounds of the Indians.

It may be admitted that the French policy was more just to the Indian;

but the Scotch-Irish, the Germans, the Swiss and the other people of

Europe, escaping the intolerable conditions of the Old World, could not

be stopped in their rush to make homes for themselves in the fertile

wilderness of America. Moreover, there was much truth in the reply

of the French commander to the Half King, that the land did not belong

to the Indians, for the French had taken possession of the Ohio while

the present tribes were dwelling elsewhere. The Indians (then inhab-

itating that section) had come there since the French discoveries and

claims. The tribes were at war with one another. "To maintain the

richest lands on earth as a game preserve for a few savages, when

hundreds of thousands of civilized beings were seeking homes and

liberty might be theoretical justice, but certainly was not consistent

with the strongest impulse of human nature." On December 4th, (1753),

Washington and his party, attended by the Half King and other chiefs,

reached Venango, an old Indian town near the junction of French Creek

and the Allegheny. Here were more parleyings between the Virginians,

the French and the Indians. Washington's journal of this expedition to

the Ohio being sent to the Lords of Trade and by them published in

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England, aroused the nation to a sense of the peril in which English terri-

tory was placed by the advance of the French. The immediate result was

an order from the Lords of Trade addressed to the governors of the colo--

nies to meet and consult and take united action against the encroachments

of the French and to renew their covenant with the Six Nations. Governor

Dinwiddie at the same time put Virginia under war footing, and shortly

the war was well on, the details of which we cannot follow, though

interesting. This order of the London Lords of Trade to the colonies to

unite was an unwitting suggestion of their power in union, and Benjamin

Franklin, at the convention in Albany, presented a well worked out plan

for the definite union of the colonies under a governor to be appointed

by the crown. And now (February, 1755) General Edward Braddock

appeared on the Potomac, as the commander in chief of His Majesty's

forces in America, and marched with his army towards Fort Duquesne,

which he arrogantly asserted he would easily take and drive the French

back to Montreal.




The result is school boy history; how the French, Canadians and

Indians, a motely mixture under the command of De Beaujeu, met and

ignominiously defeated Braddock, who, happily for his fame, found a

brave death amid disgraceful defeat. Braddock's failure was the begin-

ning of the fame of Washington, who fought by his side in that memor-

able encounter. The defeat of Braddock brought down upon the defen-

sive settlers the stealthy raids of the relentless savages who with fire and

scalping knife would drive the frontier back to the Atlantic. Throughout

the Indian towns of the Ohio were distributed the captive wives and

children of the murdered backwoodsmen.





Then followed the expeditions of Johnson and Shirley which were

scarcely more fortunate than that of Braddock. Desperate was now

becoming the situation for the English power in America, and in Europe

matters were still worse. But the tide finally turned; the Anglo-Saxon

was to win. Wolfe's brave victory at Quebec, followed by the capitula-

tion of Montreal (September, 1760) gave with it the dominion of the

Northwest from the St. Lawrence to the Mississippi; the transfer of power

in the Northwest from the French to the English flag. But far away

from the scene of hostilities, the little French colony at Detroit stolidly

continued on its accustomed way regardless of coming changes. In the

recesses of the Northwest the French, aided by the Indians, still disputed

the territory with the invading English.


Editorialana.                      111






Mr. Moore then devotes an interesting chapter to the Pontiac con-

spiracy and war. Pontiac, a North American Indian chief of the Ottawa

tribe, was the staunchest ally of the French. In 1762, he formed a coal-

ition of many western tribes, which, at his instigation, attacked various

English garrisons and western settlements. He besieged Detroit without

success in 1763, the same year that the treaty of peace was signed at

Paris between the English and the French, which treaty closed the Seven

Years War, or the French and Indian War, as it was known in British

America. The result of this war to England was the cession by France

of her American possessions to the English nation. Canada became

an English possession, the province of Quebec was created, and a

military rule of eleven years followed, when in 1774, the Quebec Act

was passed, extending the Quebec province to the Ohio and Mississippi.

The English home government decided, as one of the results of their new

acquisition, "that within their respective colonies, governors and councils

might dispose of the crown lands to settlers, but no governor or com-

mander in chief should presume, upon any pretense whatever, to grant

warrants of survey or pass patents for lands beyond the bounds of their

respective governments, and until the King's pleasure should be further

known, the lands beyond the heads or sources of any of the rivers which

fall into the Atlantic, were especially reserved to the Indian tribes for

hunting grounds. The valley of the Ohio and the country about the

Great Lakes was not open to settlement or to purchase without special

leave and license, and all other persons who had either wilfully or inad-

vertently seated themselves upon any land within the prohibited zone

between the Allegheny and the southern limits of the Hudson Bay Com-

pany's territory, were warned to remove themselves from such settle-

ments. In order to put a stop to the 'great frauds and abuses that had

been committed in purchasing lands from the Indians to the great preju-

dice of our interests and to the great dissatisfaction of the Indians, and to

convince the Indians of the justice and determined resolution to remove

all reasonable cause of discontent,' no private purchases of Indian lands

within the colonies were to be allowed, but all such Indian lands must

first be purchased by the representatives of the crown from the Indians in

open assembly. Trade with the Indians was to be free and open to all

British subjects, but every trader was to be required to take out a license

and to give security to observe such regulations as might be made for

the regulation of such trade. Fugitives from justice found within the

Indian lands were to be seized and returned to the settlements for trial."

"Such was the first charter of the northwest, if charter is the correct

word to apply to an instrument that created a forest preserve and pro-

vided merely for the apprehension and deportation of rogues and tres-


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112        Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


To the new provinces was held out the hope that in time they might

grow into the status of colonies each with their popular assembly

instead of an appointive council, and within their borders English law

was to prevail, but the northwest was to be treated simply as the roaming

place of savages. While the partition of North America was engaging the

attention of the three great nations of Europe, the people of the colonies

were eager to occupy the new regions won by their valor. The members

of the Ohio Company, whose enterprise had been rudely checked by the

French occupation of lands patented to them, at once set about estab-

lishing their rights. To this end, Colonel Thomas Cresap made over-

tures to the chivalric


the British commander at Fort Pitt. He wished also to enlist Bouquet

in the enterprise of the Ohio Company. Bouquet pointed out that the

British engaged not to settle the lands beyond the Allegheny and that

no settlements on the Ohio could be permitted until the consent of the

Indians could be procured, and Bouquet further issued at Fort Pitt

(October 30, 1761) a proclamation in which, after referring to the

treaty which preserved as an Indian hunting ground country to the

west of the Alleghenies, he forbade either settlements or hunting in the

western country unless by special permission of the commander-in-chief

or by the governor of one of the provinces. As might be expected, Bou-

quet's proclamation gave rising uneasiness in Virginia, as it seemed to

obstruct the resettling of lands which had been taken up by patent under

his majesty and from which the settlers had been driven back by the

late war. Bouquet was bound to keep the "vagabonds and outlaws,"

as he called them, out of the Indian territory, claiming that this was not

only in accordance with the treaty, but for the express purpose of quieting

the Ohio Indians by confirming to them the right to occupy their lands

north of that river, and Bouquet was justified in using all means in his

power to compel the observance of the contract, but the task was beyond

the ability of any commander. Meanwhile, the Indians throughout the

Northwest had become aroused at the encroachments of the whites and

were prepared to defend their country against the invaders. Indeed they

besieged and secured several of the forts occupied by the English, and

an encounter took place between the English troops under Bouquet and

the Indians at Bushy Run, which made Bouquet the hero of the fron-

tiersmen and brought to his standard innumerable volunteers for an

expedition to the Ohio towns. In October, 1764, Bouquet's military

expedition set out from Logstown. Turning to the west, his little army

entered the Indian country, a region of trackless forests, filled with

unknown numbers of the subtlest savages east of the Mississippi. Mr.

Moore then gives a detailed account of Bouquet's expedition to the Mus-

kingum and his encounters with the Seneca, Delaware, Shawnee, Ottawa,

Chippewa and Wyandotte Indians and his return to Fort Pitt. Bouquet's

expedition was followed by the voyage of discovery of


Editorialana.                       113





to the Illinois country in the summer of 1765. Croghan's mission to the

Illinois having paved the way for the peaceful occupation of the British,

Captain James Sterling and a hundred Highlanders descended the Ohio;

and five years after the surrender of Detroit, on October 10, 1765, St.

Ange de Bellevive, commander of the French at Fort Chartres, had

the mournful honor and secret relief of hauling down the last French

flag in the Northwest. Then follows the disputes and conflicting claims

of the Six Nations in the east and the other Indian tribes of the west

for the title or right to the lands between the Allegheny and the Ohio.





Finally in September, 1768, a great council was held at Fort Stanwix,

on the present site of Rome, New York. There the representatives of

the English government and the various Indian tribes came to an agree-

ment that for six thousand dollars in money and goods, the Indian title

to Kentucky, West Virginia and the western portion of Pennsylvania

should be transferred to the English crown. Thus the way opened for a

new colony beyond the Alleghenies. But the Indians occupying portions of

the ceded lands were reluctant to yield possession and border conflicts

ensued, particularly along the Virginia and Kentucky frontier.




A considerable number of Virginians had settled along the Ohio

below Fort Pitt, thereby encroaching on the lands of the Delawares and

Shawnees. Dispute also arose between Pennsylvania and Virginia as to

their dividing line. The Indian border war finally burst forth in 1774,

when Governor Dunmore of Virginia placed himself at the head of a body

of troops and with General Andrew Lewis in subordinate command,

proceeded to the banks of the Kanawha near Point Pleasant, where they

with eleven hundred men, met the allied Indians led by the Shawnee

Chief Cornstalk. After a desperate all-day battle, one-fifth of the whites

were either killed or wounded, while the Indians withdrew with a loss

of about forty killed. Eager to follow up his dearly bought victory,

General Lewis crossed the Ohio and marched his army to the Pickaway

Plains whither he had been summoned by Lord Dunmore. Lewis de-

manded a peace treaty. The great Mingo chief, Logan, refused to enter

the council and when Lord Dunmore summoned him, he sent as a reply

that famous speech which has been the model for each subsequent gen-

eration of school boys. Cornstalk's counsel prevailed and the Indians

submitted to peace.

Vol. X-8

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The British policy of maintaining the Northwest as an Indian hunt-

ing ground was a failure, moreover, even such law abiding citizens as

Washington never took seriously the proclamation of 1763, as prohibit-

ing settlements beyond the mountains, but steadfastly maintained that the

Ohio country was within the chartered limits of Virginia. In the treaty

of 1763 Great Britain acknowledged a limit to the western extension of

her sea board colonies, by accepting the Mississippi river as the boun-

dary of her American possessions. The Atlantic colonies acceded to this

curtailment of their western limits; but when by the King's proclamation

which followed, the colonies found themselves confined to the seaward

slope of the Appalachians, their western extension made crown territory

to be given over to the uses of the Indians, there were signs of discon-

tent. To keep the opposition within bounds and once more to apply a

territorial check, the Quebec Bill in 1774 was passed by Parliament, by

which the Northwest territory was partially taken from the colonies and

placed under the jurisdiction of the crown with certain obnoxious features

of control. Under the provision of the act Detroit was made the capital

of the territory northwest of the Ohio, and civil officers were selected

according to the spoils system then at its height in England. This Que-

bec Act was one of the factors that caused the Revolution. In spite of

petitions to repeal it, it continued in operation until 1791, when a new

government was given to Quebec and Canada was divided into Upper

and Lower Canada. Then follows the American Revolution, which it is

not the province of Mr. Moore to follow in detail. He confines himself

to the events in and effecting the Northwest, and the part played by the

Indians and the frontiersmen who were prominent, like the Girtys,

(Simon, James and George), and McKee and others. In the Revolu-

tion Virginia took the lead, which she had always taken in the western

region and her expedition under





rendered it easier for the American Commissioners, who negotiated the

treaty of 1782, to include this ample domain within its American Union.

Clark saw that so long as the British held Detroit, Kaskaskia, Vincennes

and the commanding forts, so long would England be able to keep up

an effective warfare along the rear of the colonies. Under instructions

of Governor Patrick Henry, of Virginia, George Rogers Clark raised an

armament of some two hundred volunteers and woodsmen, and in May,

1778, started on his famous campaign, which took his party amid many

perils and adventures through the northwest. He took from the English

Kaskaskia and Vincennes, relieved Cahokia and invaded the country of

the Shawnees and defeated the Miamis. It was the conquest of Illinois


Editorialana.                        115


for the colonists. To his wise valor and military genius was due more

than to any other the securing of the Northwest to the new republic.

Clark's capture of Vincennes and the Illinois posts paralyzed the Eng-

lish efforts to carry on an offensive campaign on the frontier of the United

States and confined their efforts to petty warfare in the shape of Indian

raids against the Ohio and Kentucky settlements.






Spain takes a hand in the affairs of this period. In 1779 she declared

war against England and seized the English posts of Natchez, Baton

Rouge and Mobile; and these stations, together with St. Louis, gave

Spain practically the control of the Mississippi Valley. The records of

the Americans during these events are not free from stain, as must be

acknowledged in the massacre of the Moravian Indians at Gnadenhutten

by the soldiers of Colonel David Williamson in 1782. The warlike torture

and death of Colonel William Crawford by the Indians, near Upper

Sandusky, in the same year, was one of the savage retaliations, not with-

out some justification.

The end of the American Revolution (1783) did not settle all the

difficulties of the situation in the northwest. England had neglected to

provide for her Indian allies, who had devoted themselves to her cause.

England refused to surrender the northwestern posts according to the

terms of peace. She insisted on holding the posts to protect her fur trade

with the Indians, and as a guarantee to secure the claims of the Loyalists

who were to be indemnified for their losses. By the retention of these

frontier posts, England forced the United States into Indian wars that

continued even to the close of the war of 1812. Moreover, the Indians

regarded the country between the Ohio and the Great Lakes as their own

territory, within which no European power had rights. Neither France

nor England, they claimed, had ever acquired title, hence they could

pass none.




No one appreciated this situation better than President Washington,

who was himself a large owner of Ohio lands, but whose concern for the

expansion and strengthening of the nation was of such a character as

to make his personal interests not a bias, but simply a means of knowl-

edge. More closely than any other man then living he had been identified

with the beginnings of western conquests. As a young man he had played

a large part in wresting the northwest from France; and now in his

maturer years he was to direct those forces which were forever to bind

that territory to the United States.

116 Ohio Arch

116        Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.




The result of the American Revolution gave the great northwest to

the United States, but at once opened many conflicting claims between the

states as to respective rights to the newly acquired territory. For be it

remembered the original states had charters for the land as far west as

it might go. It was now proposed that the various states yield to the new

national government these western claims; which the government might

sell for the common good and out of which new states might be created.

This cession on the part of the various states followed, and the great

territory of the northwest was government domain subject to later dis-




"How the French discovered and possessed the Northwest; how

England wrested New France from her ancient enemy; how George

Rogers Clark made partial conquest of the territory for Virginia; how

the treaty-makers won extensive boundaries for the new  nation; and

how at the instance of Maryland, the claimant state, and especially Vir-

ginia, by the most marked instance of a large and generous self-denial,'

made cession of their lands to the general government-all these things

have been told. It now remains to discover how this vast empire larger

than any country in Europe save Russia, was to be governed and peopled.

For the most part this immense region was an unbroken wilderness;

but tales of the richness of its alluvial soil, and its accessibility by means

of noble streams and great inland seas, had caught the ear of people

made restless by the possibilities opened up by a magnificent peace at-

tained after a prolonged and wasting war."

On July 13, 1787, Congress passed the famous ordinance establish-

ing the Northwest Territory and its government.

"On the very day that Virginia made cession of her claims, Thomas

Jefferson came forward in Congress with a plan for the government of the

ceded territory. There were still three obstacles in the way of exercising

jurisdiction: First, there were controversies with Spain as to the west-

ern boundary and the navigation of the Mississippi. Second, England

still held military possession of the frontiers; and third, the ceded ter-

ritory was occupied by numerous hostile tribes of Indians. With the

exception of the reservations made as to territory by Virginia, and as to

both territory and jurisdiction by Connecticut, the United States suc-

ceeded alike to the jurisdiction and to the title to unoccupied lands. That

is to say, the power to grant vacant lands within the ceded territory, a

power that had formerly resided in the crown, or the proprietary gov-

ernments created by the crown, now passed, by reason of the state ces-

sion, into the possession of the government of the United States; and to

the general government belonged the exclusive right to extinguish, either


Editorialana.                       117


by purchase or by conquest, the Indian title of occupancy. It is import-

ant to remember this fact, as it is the key to the otherwise perplexing

subject of Northwestern affairs."

It is not necessary to recite the well known history and nature of the

1787 ordinance.


The first Ohio Company organized in 1749, as we have seen, never

came to fruition in its plans. Its schemes and efforts were lost in the

current of events with which it unsuccessfully struggled.

The war of the Revolution ended, Rufus Putnam returned to the little

Rutland, Massachusetts, farm-house, that today stands as a memorial of

him, there to scheme and plan the building, not of fortifications, but of

a state-"A new state west of the Ohio," as Timothy Pickering puts it.

In 1783 Putnam sent to Washington a petition to Congress signed by

228 officers, who prayed for the location and survey of the Western lands;

and the next year Washington writes his old friend that he has tried in

vain to have Congress take action. Appointed one of the surveyors of

the Northwestern lands, Putnam sent General Tupper in his stead; and

on the return of the latter from Pittsburg, the two spent a long Jan-

uary night in framing a call to officers and soldiers of the war, and all

other good citizens of Massachusetts who desired to find new homes on

the Ohio. On March 4, 1786, the Ohio Company was formed at the

"Bunch of Grapes" tavern in Boston; and Putnam, Reverend Manassah

Cutler, and General Samuel H. Parsons were made the directors. The

winter was spent in perfecting the plan; then Parsons was sent to New

York to secure a grant of lands and the passage of an act for a govern-

ment. He failed. Putnam now turned to his fellow-director, Cutler.

On July 27 Cutler found himself the possessor of a grant of five million

acres of land, one-half for the Ohio Company, and one-half for a private

speculation which became known as the Scioto Purchase.

While the officers of the new territory were virtually settled upon at

this time, it was not until October 5 that Congress elected Arthur St.

Clair governor; James M. Varnum, Samuel Holden Parsons, and John

Armstrong, judges; and Winthrop Sargent, secretary; subsequently John

Cleves Symmes took the place of Mr. Armstrong, who declined the


On August 29, Dr. Cutler met the directors and agents of the Ohio

Company at the "Bunch of Grapes" tavern to report that he had made

a contract with the Board of Treasury for a million dollars' "worth of

lands at a net price of seventy-five cents an acre; that the lands were to

be located on the Ohio, between the Seven Ranges platted under the

direction of Congress and the Virginia lands, that lands had been re-

served by the government for school and university purposes, according

to the Massachusetts plan; and that bounty lands might be located within

the tract. The next day the plat of a city on the Muskingum was settled

118 Ohio Arch

118        Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


upon, and proposals for saw mill and corn mill sites were invited from

prospective settlers. So it happened that the future State of Ohio was

planned in a Boston tavern.

On April 1, 1788, the Ohio Company embarked at Youghiogheny.

The flotilla consisted of the forty-five ton galley Adventure, afterwards

appropriately rechristened the Mayflower; the Adelphia, a three-ton ferry,

and three log canoes. A week's journey down the river Ohio brought them

to their landing place, known as Marietta, at the mouth of the Muskingum

and on the eastern side of that stream at its junction with the Ohio. First

to greet them was the famous Captain Pipe, a Delaware Indian, and with

him came the garrison from Fort Harmar to give a continental welcome

to the home makers. On the morning of the 9th of July following, the

boom of a boat's gun woke the echoes between the forest lined banks

of the broad Ohio in honor of the arrival at the capital of the Governor

of the Northwest Territory, General Arthur St. Clair. He was accom-

panied by other leading officials of the New Northwestern territorial





The Indians of the Northwest of Ohio and Illinois (to be) disputed

the ingress of the white man. The expedition and failure of General

Josiah Harmar; the brief campaign and defeat of General Arthur St.

Clair are events not glorious in western annals and are soon told. Mr.

Moore's book closes with the campaign of the brave and brilliant General

Anthony Wayne who was chosen by Washington to retrieve the misfor-

tunes of Harmar and St. Clair. The story of Wayne's movements and

achievements has been often told. The result of the victory of Fallen

Timbers (near Toledo) was the treaty of Greenville. There Wayne

was visited by the various chiefs to whom he explained that the United

States had conquered Great Britain, and were entitled to the possession of

the Lake posts; that the new American government was anxious to make

peace with the Indians; to protect them in the possession of abundant

hunting grounds which would be apportioned to them, and to compen-

sate them for the lands needed by the white settlers. The Indians finally

acceded and the Greenville Treaty was accomplished. Though this treaty

yielded to the Americans the territory mainly of the Northwest, portions

of the tribes subsequently sought the aid of the Canadian English to

regain their hunting grounds, or assist them in the desperate but impos-

sible effort to stay the westward tide of American civilization. But these

efforts were futile, and the culmination of the war of 1812 forever sealed

the fate of England in the new territory and took away the last hope of

the Redman that he might again possess the Ohio Valley.