Annual Meeting Ohio Valley Historical Association. 183
Records of the Synod of Pittsburgh. (1802-1832).
Centenary Memorial Volume of Presbyterianism in Western Pennsyl-
vania. (Papers by Darlington and Veech.)
History of Pittsburgh, by N. B. Craig. (1851).
History of Pittsburgh, by Sarah H. Killikelly. (1906).
History of Pittsburgh, by Erasmus Wilson. (1898).
EARLY RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS IN THE MUSKINGUM
BY C. L. MARTZOLFF, OHIO UNIVERSITY.
The dominant note in the settlement of the majority of the
colonies was, as we know, religious freedom. The spirit of
modern history which has as its slogan, "All men are free,"
found in those days expression in terms of religion, with the
result that the most of men's acts were determined by a religious
While the settlement of the Muskingum Valley, which in-
cludes practically all of southeastern and eastern Ohio, was
not prompted by the same reasons which urged the fathers to
come across the Atlantic and establish colonies in the name of
religious freedom, yet the fact that these men were their fathers,
leads us confidently to expect that the founding of the church
was contemporaneous with the founding of a settlement.
"Like father, like son." So, noble sons of noble sires had
learned the experiences of the elders and had received a thor-
ough training in the traditions, growing out of the acts which
had made history. We have only to recall, therefore, that this
section of Ohio was settled in a great measure by Puritans from
Massachusetts, Scotch-Irish from Pennsylvania and New Jer-
sey, and Quakers and Germans, also from our eastern neighbor,
to at once conclude that the statement made in the previous
paragraph is a correct one.
While, figuratively speaking, the Lilies of France once
floated over this section of Ohio, and we might with some degree
of assurance look for the presence of the Jesuit missionary in
these parts, yet we have no record of any of these black cowled
messengers of the Cross ever being in this region. Yet, we are
quite certain that their influence was felt upon the Indians who
184 Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.
made these hills their hunting grounds as a subsequent statement
To Christopher Gist, the Man with Compass and Pen, be-
longs the recorded honor of being the first to expound the Gospel
in the Muskingum Valley. On his celebrated journey, to spy out
the land for the benefit of the First Ohio Company in the win-
ter of 1751, he finds himself with a motley company of trappers,
traders and Indians at the junction of the Walhonding and the
Tuscarawas Rivers. It is Christmas Day, and while he is not
an ordained minister and never studied theology, he proceeds to
hold services in accordance with the Episcopalian Book of Prayer,
which he had brought all the way from the Yadkin in his knap-
sack. He also sought to explain, according to his own words,
the "doctrine of salvation, faith and good works," seemingly
much to the satisfaction if not to the edification of his miscel-
laneous congregation. At least, we are led to the belief that
Christopher Gist would have made quite as much of a success
as a missionary as he did a traveler, writer and diplomat. For
the Indians were immensely pleased. They wanted Gist to live
with them and to baptize them. They promised never again to
asten to the French priests, and the lay-preacher had a hard
time explaining that he was not a minister.
This same Tuscarawas branch of the Muskingum Valley
likewise calls to mind the activities of the noble and consecrated
Moravian Brethren. The events connected with their attempts
here in Ohio are so well known that only for the exalted type
of their labors and the intense devotion to their cause, a passing
notice would be sufficient.
It is around the labors of David Zeisberger, missionary,
preacher and teacher, that the Moravian history of Ohio assem-
bles. At the age of fifty, in 1771, we find him an invited guest
in the wigwam of the chief of the Delaware Indians in Oxford
Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio. The next year, with the
assistance of John Heckewelder, he establishes his community at
Schoen-Brunn near New Philadelphia. In the course of a few
years this had grown into a cluster of Christian communities.
Here dwelt in peace and prosperity many scores of Indian
families under the leadership of the devoted missionary and his
Annual Meeting Ohio Valley Historical Association. 185
self-sacrificing assistants. The church erected at Schoen-Brunn
held five hundred, and often its capacity proved too small for the
congregation. Here on Easter Day 1774 the Easter morning
litany of the Moravian Church was rendered in the Delaware
language. The Indian Brethren were taught to work as well as
to worship; to love peace; to hate fire-water.
Such success was not permitted to continue. The Revolu-
tion brought on its troubles. Verily a neutral hath a hard time
of it--loved by none and suspicioned by all. The crisis was
reached in 1781, when by order of the British commandant at
Detroit, Zeisberger and his co-workers were arrested and carried
from the scenes of their labors. Then followed, the next year,
the awful massacre of ninety of the Brown Brethren at Gnadden-
hutten by an American militia and the ship-wreck of his efforts
seemed complete. Then for nigh two-score years, David Zeis-
berger was a veritable Moses, leading the remnant of his de-
voted followers from place to place in the American wilderness.
In 1798 he returned to the Tuscarawas valley, now an old man,
and at Goshen helped to re-build out of the ashes new "Tents
of Grace." Here, yet, in this vicinity in several prosperous
church homes. Moravian Brethren gather Sunday after Sunday
and worship as did Zeisberger and his Brown Brethren more
than a century ago.
Of but one other movement belonging to the period preced-
ing that of actual organized settlement do we find any record.
In 1785 General Butler, who was sent to drive the "squatters"
from the land in the Seven Ranges in what is now on Short Creek
in Harrison county, notes in his Journal "the people of this coun-
try appear to be much imposed upon by a sect called Methodists
and are become great fanatics." This means that the Methodist
circuit-rider had made his appearance with the first sporadic set-
tlement. We have the record that two years later (1787) Rev.
George Callahan, of the Virginia District, preached to these same
people at Carpenter's Fort, on Short Creek.
The reference to fanatical Methodists leads us to remark
that the intolerance of the various sects for each other was simply
appalling compared with our views on such matters today.
Something similar to the above is found in the records of a Lu-
186 Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.
theran missionary, who inquired once of a Methodist brother if
there were any German Lutherans in the vicinity. The reply was
that there were none, that all they had was a "pack of corrupted
At this place it is quite appropriate to parenthetically call
attention to the oft-repeated, "education, religion, and morality"
clause of the famous Ordinance of 1787, under whose organic
control the settlements of Ohio were now to be established. This
is ever regarded as a fundamental guarantee for the encourage-
ment and protection of religious development in the Northwest
In this connection, it is likewise well to be reminded of the
bargain struck by Manasseh Cutler with the dying Congress of
the Confederation, viz., the giving as a perpetual endowment of
one thirty-sixth of all lands in the Ohio Company's Purchase
for the support of the churches which might be established. This
"section twenty-nine" is quite interesting enough and there is suf-
ficient material connected with its history alone to warrant the
consideration of a paper longer than this is going to be. Suffice
it to say these expressions of interest in religious matters mani-
festly indicated the character of the men whom we regard as
the fathers of the Commonwealth. It is therefore easy to see why
so many of the original settlements were made in connection with
the church, the minister usually coming with his people.
But it is not easy to explain why the Marietta settlers, al-
though they held services from the beginning, did not organize
a congregation for eight years after their settlement was made.
The first sermon seems to have been preached by the Rev.
Daniel Breck on Sunday, July 20, 1788. The services were con-
ducted in the same bower where a few weeks before they had
held their Fourth of July exercises. There were about 300
present. The reverend gentleman remained at Marietta about
a month and preached for them each Sunday during his stay.
The day after he left, Dr. Manasseh Cutler arrived and for three
successive Sundays he preached at the block-house. From
now till a regular pastor, Daniel Story, of Boston, arrived in
the spring of 1789, it seems that different laymen acted in the
preacher's capacity. The Rev. Mr. Story's salary was the
Annual Meeting Ohio Valley Historical Association. 187
equivalent of about five dollars a week and his board, a part
of his salary being paid out of the Treasury of the Ohio Com-
pany. Soon preaching stations were established at Waterford
and Belpre, Mr. Story attending there also.
In December, 1796, steps were taken for the organization
of a congregation. A comprehensive confession of faith and a
covenant was drawn which might be easily subscribed to by both
Congregationalists and Presbyterians. Rev. Mr. Story, who had
in the meantime returned to the East, was called as the regular
pastor. His ordination occurred in Massachusetts at the hands
of Dr. Cutler, and in 1799 he returned to take charge of the
congregation, which he served till within a few months of his
death in 1804. This congregation is still in existence and wor-
ships in what is known as the "Two-Horn Church" in Marietta.
In these days of wonderful Sunday School activity, it is
interesting to be reminded of the first one in Ohio. During the
Indian Wars, which lasted from 1791 till 1795, the officers at
Marietta ordered the families to retire within the fortifications.
About thirty families took refuge within the stockade at Campus
Martius. Among them was the wife of a settler, Mrs. Mary
Bird Lake, a woman of philanthropic spirit. She conceived the
idea of assembling the children, who were wont to play, in the
stockade on Sunday afternoons and teaching them Scripture les-
sons and portions of the Catechism. She continued these services
till within a year of her death in 1796. She is said to lie in an
unmarked grave at Rainbow, about eight miles from Marietta.
In point of time the Presbyterians were the next to leave
their impress on the Muskingum Valley, although this denomina-
tion had succeeded in organizing congregations at both Cincin-
nati and Chillicothe previously. These first movements of Pres-
byterianism in the Muskingum country are difficult to separate
from those across the ridge on the many streams that flow into
the Ohio in the counties of Jefferson, Harrison, Belmont and
Monroe. They all belong together. The congregation organized
at Short Creek, Jefferson County, in 1797, embraced the region
on both sides of the divide. Soon it was divided owing to in-
crease of population: then in a few years it was again separated.
By this process of division as the result of addition, the star of
188 Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.
Presbyterianism moved westward. And it was rapid. In 1803,
it had reached Newark, when the Rev. John Wright, a mission-
ary, arrived in that city then consisting of six log cabins and a
tavern. There was just one Presbyterian family in town. The
town was full of people who had come to attend a horse race
the next day, although it was Sunday. Needless to say, the
people were mostly full, too. The minister was importuned to
join in their hilarity and threatened a ducking if he refused.
Upon learning that he was a member of the cloth, they desisted
and offered to attend his services the next day if he would post-
pone it till after the races. Not complying with this generous
offer, he preached twice, the second time on Sabbath desecration.
Whether the crowd was penitent or not, we do not know, but
one of the horse racers acted as deacon by taking up a collection.
He collected seven dollars. Three years later a congregation
The first Presbyterian church in what is now Guernsey
County was established at Cumberland in 1812. As intimated be-
fore, numerous Quakers from Pennsylvania and North Carolina
were among the settlers of Eastern Ohio. Like the Presbyterians,
they soon spilled across the ridge into the Muskingum head-
waters. It was in 1800 that the first Friends' meeting west of
the Ohio River was held. Unlike the Presbyterians perhaps be-
cause they were fewer in number they did not spread very far
westward into the Muskingum Valley. The church on Stillwater
in the western part of Belmont county was organized in 1804
and the first sermon preached was by a woman named Ruth Bos-
well. The congregation is still in a flourishing state.
The Lutheran movement was not so extended, since the
German element was not so plentiful at an early date. The
upper courses of the Tuscarawas, however, saw quite a few of
this denomination seek the rich valleys. As early as 1805, Rev.
William Foster was sent as a missionary to Ohio, looking up the
scattered German settlements. At New Reading in Perry
County, in 1805, he organized the first congregation of the Lu-
theran faith. This congregation is still active as is another one
organized the next year a few miles away. Rev. Foster also
Annual Meeting Ohio Valley Historical Association. 189
established the church at Somerset in 1812. The building boasted
of a genuine pipe organ, built by one of the members. Here six
years later the Ohio Synod was organized.
Mention has already been made of the coming of the itiner-
ant Methodist preacher. In 1795-96 Revs. Samuel Hill and John
Reynolds rode a circuit extending from the Muskingum river
to Pittsburgh and Washington County, Pennsylvania, on the east.
In the records of Bishop Asbury we find that renowned
traveling preacher passing through the Muskingum country on
various occasions. This can also be said of the Reverend J. B.
Finley, surveyor, Indian scout, and divine, one of the first travel-
ing evangelists in the state. He had come from North Carolina
and he preached all over Ohio when it was entirely a wilderness.
The Catholic church naturally did not have many advocates
among the early Ohioans when we recall their respective nation-
alities. So we can not look for much activity except in isolated
cases. Such a one is the St. Michael settlement on Duck Creek
in Noble county. Here in 1803, one James Archer brought his
numerous family from Virginia and originated what is still
known as the Archer settlement. Being a devout Catholic, he
at once began religious services, which have been maintained
ever since three church buildings have been erected in the cen-
tury of its history and the congregation is still a strong and pros-
Only a few years subsequent, Bishop Fenwick, the mission-
ary priest of Ohio, in traveling over the famous Zane's Trace,
reached the tavern of John Fink at Somerset. Upon discovering
that his host was a Catholic, he celebrated mass within the rude
home of the pioneer. Bishop Fenwick was a priest of the
Dominican Order which had established a convent at St. Rose,
The Ditto and Fink families had entered at the land office
three hundred and twenty-nine acres located two miles south
of Somerset. This they donated to Father Fenwick for the pur-
pose of establishing a church and convent of the Dominican
Order. At the beginning, the congregation consisted of but six
families. The church and convent is still in existence and from
190 Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.
the beginning to within a few years it was the headquarters of
that Order in America. From its halls its preachers went into
all parts of the country.
We now find our time gone and we are only getting into
out subject. Other events are quite as interesting and valuable
but we have restricted ourselves to the very first as closely as
possible, and the half has not been told.
Some one ought to write a history of the first forty years
of religious development in Ohio. With its account of God-
fearing men and women, who hungered for the Manna of Life
in their wilderness home, with its story of the splendid band of
consecrated men of God, who had but one passion, namely, to
win souls, with its narrative of struggle and sacrifice to build
these first temples. Nothing in our state history has such ab-
sorbing interest, such vital realities and such permanent results
in the establishment of our Commonwealth.
EARLY NEWSPAPERS IN THE VIRGINIAS.
DR. HENRY S. GREEN.
Sir William Berkeley, twice governor of Virginia, made
answer to the inquiries of the Lords of the Committee for the
Colonies in 1671, during his second term of office, and one of
his replies to their questionings was as follows:
"I thank God that we have not free schools nor printing, and I
hope we shall not have these hundred years; for learning has brought
disobedience and heresy and sects into the world, and printing has
divulged them and libels against the government. God keep us from
This pious protest of Governor Berkeley was uttered more
than thirty years after the importation of a press into the colony
of Massachusetts and nearly forty years after the founding of
Harvard, and it has been held to indicate that the cavalier civil-
ization which grew up about the Jamestown settlement was more
conservative in its attitude toward learning and literature than
the puritan civilization of New England. However, the printer's
devil began to get in his work in Virginia long before the expira-
tion of the hundred years' respite for which Governor Berkeley