Ohio History Journal



Archaeological and Historical





MARCH, 1888-



APRIL 2, 1788, a band of forty-eight pioneers left the

mouth of the Voughiogheny in the "Mayflower of the

West."  Floating out into the Monongahela, they emerged

on the broad bosom of the Ohio, and began an easier jour-

ney down that beautiful river to their chosen homes in the

valley below.  Five days after, they landed on the bank

of the Muskingum river, at its confluence with the Ohio,

and the first settlement of the Americans in the North-

west territory began.  On the opposite side of the Mus-

kingum river stood Fort Harmar, erected two years before,

now garrisoned by a detachment of United States soldiers.

The pioneers not only found protection from the Indians

near at hand, but enjoyed the society of frontiersmen some-

what accustomed to backwoods life.

This company of settlers was composed almost entirely

of an excellent class of men, determined upon founding

homes for their families, and in a measure retrieving their

fortunes lost in the war for independence.  They recog-

nized the necessity of some form of government until the

proper officers should arrive, and hence organized them-

selves into a body politic, adopted a code of laws, and

chose Return Jonathan Meigs to administer them.   His-


304 Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

304    Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly.


tory is silent as to whose hand wrote these laws, but they

must have been brief and directly to the point. Mr.

Meigs published them by nailing them to a tree where all

could see and read them. As an evidence of the character

of the settlers, it is known that but one difference arose, and

that was satisfactorily settled by a compromise.

Six months before the establishment of the colony-

October 5, 1787-the Congress of the old Federation ap-

pointed Arthur St. Clair Governor, and Winthrop Sargent

Secretary of the "Territory Northwest of the Ohio River."

On the 16th of the same month they appointed Samuel

Holden Parsons, John Armstrong and Mitchell Varnum

judges.  Mr. Armstrong declining the appointment, Jan-

uary 16, 1788, John Cleves Symmes was chosen to the

vacancy. These judges were among the early arrivals, one

of them, Judge Varnum, delivering an excellent oration

on the Fourth of July, on the occasion of the pioneer cel-

ebration of that day in the West.

Governor St. Chair arrived at the colony July 9th, and

at once assumed authority. On the 15th he published the

Compact of 1787-the Constitution of the Territory-and

the commissions of himself and the three judges.   He

also, in a speech of considerable length, explained the

provisions of the ordinance to the people.  Three days

after, he sent a communication to the judges, calling atten-

tion to the defenseless condition of the colony from sudden

attacks of Indians, and to the necessity of the organization

of militia companies.  Instead of attending promptly to

this necessary matter, they entirely ignored his message,

and in turn sent him a "project" for dividing real estate.

The "project" was so loosely drawn that Governor St.

Clair discarded it, and immediately organized "Senior"

and "Junior" grades of militia, and appointed over them

their proper officers.

On the 25th of July, the first law of the territory was

published, and the next day the Governor's proclamation

appeared creating Washington county, which then com-

Legislation in the Northwest Territory

Legislation in the Northwest Territory.    305


prised a large part of what is now the State of Ohio. He

next established Courts of Probate and Quarter Sessions

and appointed civic officers for the same. Common Pleas

Court was established August 30th.     Return Jonathan

Meigs was appointed Clerk of this Court, and Ebenezer

Sproat, (then Colonel of the Militia) Sheriff. Rufus Put-

nam was appointed Judge of Probate Court, and Return

Jonathan  Meigs Jr., Clerk.  Following these selections,

putting the machinery of government in motion, Governor

St. Clair ordered the 25th of December be kept as a day of

thanksgiving. The little colony was now ready for civil

as well as military business. The religious element having

been an important factor in its organization, was also not

suffered to decline. Indeed like the Puritan Fathers, one

of the first acts of the colonists was to offer thanks to God

for their propitious journey, and safe arrival.

The first Court in the Territory was held Sept. 2d. It

was opened in an impressive manner with an imposing

procession before a large number of Indians, who had

gathered to form a treaty with the commander of the Fort,

and who were stoical and silent witnesses to the parade.

During the summer and autumn following the settle-

ment at Marietta, large numbers of emigrants come down

the Ohio, seeking homes in the Western wilds. The com-

mander at the fort estimated that over five thousand passed

the fort, many of whom would have settled with the colony

had the associates been prepared to receive them. As it

was, the new and ever growing quarters at the settlement

were inadequate to accommodate those who did stop, and

all kinds of temporary structures were utilized till more

permanent habitations could be erected.

The ordinance of 1787 provided that the governor and

judges of the Territory should constitute its legislative

body during its first stage of government. They were

empowered to adopt such laws from the statute of the orig-

inal States as should be most applicable to the Territory.

Such as they selected were to be submitted to Congress,

306 Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

306   Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly.


whose sanction would make them binding. This seems to

have been well understood by Governor St. Clair and the

judges; but acting on the principle that the present exi-

gencies of the case demanded something more than the

adoption of the old laws, they enacted a number of others,

and in several cases simply used the title of an existing

law and entirely changed the body thereof. Governor St.

Clair knew these could not stand the scrutiny of Congress,

much less that of a more critical tribunal, the bar. Never-

theless, believing the end would justify the deed, the Gov-

ernor and judges proceeded as they had begun. Had any

one attempted to codify the laws passed by this council,

but little of the original form could have been found.

What specific laws were not selected were supplied by an

act adopting the general English law which had been in

force in one of the older colonies from its earliest exist-

ence. When these laws reached Congress they were not

acted upon; that body being engaged with weightier mat-

ters, simply withheld its approval. This was held to be

sufficient pretext for their enforcement, and all acquiesced

in obeying them. At the first session of the Territorial

Assembly the governor pointed out the defects of these


The Indian war came on about the time the territorial

government got under way, and so engrossed affairs that

but little attention was given to legislative matters. Shortly

after the close of this war, discovering their laws had not

been sanctioned by Congress, the Governor and judges

began seriously to doubt their correctness, and at a legis-

lative session, held in Cincinnati in the fall of 1795, they

prepared a code of laws adopted from the original States,

which code superseded the principal part of those they had

previously prepared.  They, however, did not strictly con-

fine themselves to the powers conferred on them by the

compact of 1787, and altered many of the laws; so much

so, that they lost largely their original form.

Prior to the adoption of this code all printing was done

Legislation in the Northwest Territory

Legislation in the Northwest Territory.     307


in Philadelphia, but Mr. William Maxwell, having estab-

lished himself in Cincinnati as a printer, the laws were

given him to print. From this circumstance they took the

name of the "Maxwell Code," by which appellation they

were always known. The Maxwell Code was supposed to

be so complete, that but one short legislative session was

held thereafter by this body, in 1798, when a few addi-

tional laws were adopted, after which they were allowed to

stand, (notwithstanding the doubts thrown about them by

the failure of Congress to approve them), by the bench,

bar and people, and continued in force till acted upon by

the Territorial legislature. This body, which had power

to enact as well as adopt laws, found but little trouble in

getting the Maxwell Code in proper form, and confirmed

all but two of these forms, which two had been before re-


The Governor and Judges received their appointments

under the old Federation. In the fall of 1788, the first

Congress under the new Constitution was chosen, and as-

sembling in April, 1789, elected its officers, installed the

first President of the United States, and proceeded to the

important business before it.

One of its first official acts was to approve the treaty

of Fort Harmar, made the preceding winter, and, recog-

nizing that the commissions of the Territorial officers

expired with their old federation, confirmed the reappoint-

ment of St. Clair as Governor of the Territorry and Win-

throp Sargent as Secretary. On the day that this was

done (August 20, 1789) the appointment of Samuel Holden

Parsons, John Cleves Symmes, and William Barton as

judges was confirmed. Mr. Barton declined, and George

Turner was chosen. Judge Parson's death occurred soon

after, and Rufus Putnam was appointed, who continued in

office till 1796, when he resigned to accept the office of

Surveyor General. Joseph Gilman, of Point Harmar, was

appointed to the vacancy. Judge Turner left the Terri-

tory in 1796, and, not long after resigning, Return Jona-

308 Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

308     Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly.


than Meigs was selected to fill his place. These judges,

and a few others noticed elsewhere in the narrative, whose

appointments were occasioned by changes and divisions

of the Territory, held their commissions till 1799, when

they were superseded by senators elected by the people.

This Court retained the powers of its predecessor. It

made no changes in the existing laws, and Congress, fully

engrossed with more important matters, allowed affairs in

the Territory to go on much in their own way.

Had the Indians remained quiet, the change from the

first to the second form of government would have oc-

curred much earlier. Emigrants were pouring into the

West, and the natives, seeing their choicest lands rapidly

occupied by the whites, began to resent these inroads by

their only way of action. Troubles soon arose, and in

1791 President Washington laid before Congress a full

report of the affairs in the Territory. That body, acting on

his advice, authorized the enlistment of militia, chiefly in

Kentucky and western Pennsylvania, and appointed over

them Governor St. Clair as commanding general. The

enlisted men came rapidly to the Territory, and not wait-

ing to become properly drilled nor completely armed,

marched to subdue the foe. General Harmar, who went

out as field commander, suffered defeat.   The brilliant

exploits of Captains Williamson, Scott and others were

not sufficient, and St. Clair took the lead in person. He

was unwilling to go out with men so poorly prepared,

but acceded to the popular demand, only to meet with a

crushing defeat, from which he never fully recovered. It

was conclusively shown that he was not in any way to

blame, but he was defeated, and that was enough for the

popular mind. He returned with the broken fragments

of his army, resumed his duties as governor, and left

others to the difficult task now presented. The Indians,

flushed with victory, were more agressive than ever, and

Congress, realizing the difficult problem before it, took

effective measures to meet it.

Legislation in the Northwest Territory

Legislation in the Northwest Territory.  309


General Anthony Wayne was appointed military com-

mander, with full powers to act. His decisive and vigor-

ous campaign, ending in 1794, completely subjugated the

Indians, forever putting an end to their aggressiveness in

this part of the Northwest. They made many efforts, often

aided by British arms and munitions of war, but their

power was broken and their prestige gone.

The end of the campaign insured peace, and the tide of

emigration, broken since 1791, began again to enter the

valleys of the Territory. Symmes' Purchase, the Virginia

Military Lands, the Western Reserve, and other designated

portions began to be filled with homes of pioneers.

Governor St. Clair and the judges left Marietta in 1790,

and at Cincinnati established Hamilton county.    They

proceeded to Vincennes, where Knox county was created,

and crossing the prairies of Illinois they established St.

Clair county. After their return, trouble with the Indians

prevented the extension of civil growth, and not till 1796

was another county, Wayne, created. This was followed

by the formation of Adams and Jefferson in 1797, and Ross

in 1798. These counties comprised the Territory when

the second grade of government was established.

The ordinance of 1787 required that whenever there

should be five thousand free white electors in the Terri-

tory they should meet at their several voting places, and,

choosing their Representatives -not exceeding twenty-

five-should pass to the second grade of government. A

census was made in 1798, and more than the required

number found. The governor's proclamation, issued Octo-

ber 29th, made known the fact, and also ordered the elec-

tion to be held on the third Monday of December follow-

ing. The proclamation also required the Representatives

to meet in Cincinnati February 4, 1799, and nominate, as

required by the ordinance, ten free-holders, whose names

should be sent to the President of the United States.

From these he was required to choose five, and, with the

consent of the Senate, constitute them as a Legislative

310 Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

310   Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly.


Council. This Council, or Upper House, occupied to a

certain extent the position of the State Senate of the

present day.

The men chosen to the first Territorial Legislature were,

almost without exception, the strongest men in their coun-

ties. (Party influence was hardly felt, and it may be safely

asserted, that this body of men has not been excelled since

by any chosen to the same places. Though unskilled in

parliamentary logic, they were men of strong common

sense, and were fully aware of the needs of the country

they represented.

The largest delegation came from Hamilton county, which

sent William McMillan, John Smith, Robert Benham,

Aaron Cadwell, William Goforth, John Ludlow and Isaac

Martin. Ross county came next, with Thomas Worthing-

ton, Samuel Findley, Elias Langham, and Edward Tiffin.

Wayne county sent Solomon Sibley, Jacob Visgar and

Charles F. Chobart de Joncaire; Washington county, Re-

turn Jonathan Meigs and Paul Fearing; Adams, Joseph

Darlington and Nathaniel Massie; Jefferson, James Pritch-

ard; St. Clair, Shadrach Bond; Randolph, John Edgar;

Knox, John Small. Many of these men, in after years,

came forward prominently in the affairs of their respective

States. Of the counties represented, it will be noticed

that Wayne county is now Michigan; Knox, Indiana, and

St. Clair, Illinois and Wisconsin.

The Representatives assembled February 4, as directed,

and selected ten names, which the Governor sent to the

Secretary of State, and in due time the President ap-

pointed "Jacob Burnet and James Findley, of Cincinnati;

Henry Vanderburgh, of Vincennes; Robert Oliver, of

Marietta, and David Vance, of Vanceville, to be the mem-

bers of the Legislative Council of the Territory of the

United States Northwest of the River Ohio." The names

were sent to Governor St. Clair, whose proclamation an-

nounced them to be inhabitants of the Territory.

The only business accomplished by the Representatives,

Legislation in the Northwest Territory

Legislation in the Northwest Territory.  311

February 4, was the selection of the ten names before re-

ferred to, after which they adjourned, to meet in Cincin-

nati, Monday, September 16. That day the first General

Assembly of the new Territory met according to adjourn-

ment. The Council elected Henry Vanderburgh, Pres-

ident; William  C. Schenk, Secretary; George Howard,

Doorkeeper, and Abraham Casey, Sergeant-at-Arms. The

House elected Edward Tiffin, Speaker; John Reilly, Clerk;

Joshua Rowland, Doorkeeper, and Abraham Casey, Ser-

geant-at-Arms.  The next day the two Houses, in joint

assembly, listened to a speech from the Governor, who not

only congratulated them, and, through them, the people,

on the change in the form of government, now essentially

their own; but laid before them a full and faithful view

of the condition of the Territory.  He also pointed out

the defectiveness of the laws adopted and enacted by the

Council, and urged their legalization by the only body

now able to do so.

The Assembly found an enormous amount of work be-

fore it. The compact, or constitution of the Territory con-

tained only general laws, and such specific ones as had

been passed by the Council were considered of doubtful

validity, if not illegal. Many were loosely framed and re-

quired a complete revision. The most important laws en-

acted by this Assembly-including those passed upon

heretofore adopted-related to the partition of real estate;

assignment by dower; relief of insolvent debtors; regulat-

ing intercourse with the Indians; confirming the French

Inhabitants in their grants, and insuring them protection;

appointing general officers for, and regulating the militia;

relieving the poor; defining privileges; establishing courts

for the trial of minor cases; execution of real contracts,

etc. Laws regarding arbitration, divorce, and punish-

ments for crime were also passed.1 In short this session


1A law was passed at this session by the Council authorizing a lottery.

When it reached the House it met with determined resistance and failed of

passage by a considerable vote. The effectual opposition seems to have

312 Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

312    Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly.

was an exceedingly busy one. The Territory was yet in a

chaotic state, as it were, and needed many acts to properly

define the civil duties of its people. Owing to the inexperi-

ence of many of the Representatives, the labor of drafting

the laws fell to the lot of a few accustomed to detail work.

The Representatives generally knew what they wanted,

but were unaccustomed to literary work, and beyond the

power of expressing, in their own way, what they deemed

best, could do little.

Among the most conspicuous and most influential mem-

bers of the Council was Jacob Burnett, from Cincinnati.

He was an early settler there, and from the start a promi-

nent lawyer and useful citizen. He was probably the best

prepared man in the Assembly, and certainly no man did

more than he. Not only did he draft a majority of all laws

passed, but he also compiled a code of rules for both houses,

prepared an address to Governor St. Clair, also one to Pres

ident Adams, and acted in many other useful places. When

the troubles concerning the jurisdictions of Kentucky over

the Ohio River arose, his careful investigation induced a

settlement between the two commonwealths satisfactory

to all.

During the session certain officers of the Virginia line

presented a petition, asking to be allowed to remove with

their slaves to their military bounty lands between the

Scioto and Little Miami rivers. Not only did the Assem-

bly reject the request on the ground of liberty to all, but

fortified themselves with that provision in the compact

which insured freedom to all in the Territory. The sub-

ject came up but once again at a subsequent session, only

to receive a decisive refusal, forever precluding any hopes

of changing the will of the people on this subject. This

first session of the Territorial Assembly passed thirty laws.

many of them the most important now on the statute

books. Governor St. Clair, always arbitrary and tenacious

borne good fruit, as the measure was not brought forward again in the Ter-

ritorial Assembly.

Legislation in the Northwest Territory

Legislation in the Northwest Territory.  313

regarding his own powers, vetoed eleven, relating mostly

to the creation of new counties. This disposition of the

governor finally caused a breach between himself and the

Assembly, and as he would not concede his views, it arose

again at each session, eventually ending in his defeat

Among the duties devolving on the Assembly was the

election of a Delegate in Congress. William Henry Har-

rison and Arthur St. Clair, jr., were the candidates. By a

majority of two, in a vote of twenty-two, Mr. Harrison was

chosen. He immediately resigned his place as secretary

of the Territory, and proceeded to Philadelphia to occupy

his seat, where he was instrumental in securing the passage

of many advantageous laws for the Territory. During this

session of Congress, Indiana Territory was formed, and Mr.

Harrison appointed Governor and Superintendent of Indian

Affairs. The erection of this Territory vacated the seat of

Mr. Vanderburgh, of Knox county, and of Representatives

Shadrach Bond, of St. Clair county; John Edgar, of Ran-

dolph, and John Small, of Knox. The division left the

eastern part of the Territory to include what is now Ohio

and Michigan, and still retaining the name, "Territory

Northwest of the River Ohio."

After the close of this session Congress passed a law re-

moving the seat of government to Chillicothe. This was

considered by all the best location, but the action of Con-

gress being independent of any expressed desire of the

inhabitants, was much criticised. The people thought

their representatives alone possessed the legislative control

of the Territory. The Assembly had adjourned to meet

in Cincinnati again the first Monday in November, 1800,

but, accepting the order of Congress, met in Chillicothe.

Governor St. Clair again met them, and having stated the

measures in his opinion requiring legislative action, re-

ferred to the near approach of his retirement from office

and to the calumny to which he had been subjected. He

intimated his desire that the session close with the end of

his term. A respectful reply was returned by each house,

314 Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

314   Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly.

the Council voting unanimously, while the Representatives

were divided, the vote being ten in favor to seven against

the reply. The Council, like the governor, were appointed

to office, and were responsible only to Congress and the

president. The Representatives were elected by the peo-

ple, and were accountable to them. This, and the course

of St. Clair in his official acts, resulted in the opposition

manifested towards him thus early in the session.

Mr. Harrison's appointment as Governor of the Indiana

Territory necessitated the election of a Delegate in his

place. Mr. McMillan, of Hamilton county, was chosen

for the unexpired term, and Paul Fearing, of Marietta,

for the succeeding tern of two years.

During this second season upwards of twenty laws were

passed. Those most important related chiefly to the re-

cording of town plats; seals to instruments of writing; the

maintenance of illegitimate children; establishing Circuit

Courts and defining their duties; special Courts of "Oyer

and Terminer," and to enforce existing statues regarding

the Indians.

The same difficulties arose in this session that had ap-

peared before. The governor contended that to him alone

belonged the organization of all counties and appointment

of their civil officers until elections could be held. The

Assembly contended that after once dividing the Territory

into counties, as he had done prior to its first meeting, and

the appointment of civil officers therein his powers ended;

also that the duty of dividing these and making new coun-

ties devolved upon the Legislature. The Assembly con-

tended that the power to lay out new counties where none

before existed, did not carry with it the power to divide

them into new counties. The Governor insisted on the

prerogative being entirely his own, and at both sessions

persistently refused to consider bills passed by the Assem-

bly in any way encroaching on his prerogative. The

members were anxious to remove the difficulty, and re-

spectfully presented their reasons, asking him to reconsider

Legislation in the Northwest Territory

Legislation in the Northwest Territory.  315

his decisions. To this he returned an elaborate reply, giv-

ing reasons more plausible than argumentative, and hardly

complimentary to the intelligence of the Assembly. As

nothing could be done with him, the matter was allowed

to rest. It is worthy of remark, that when his report

reached Congress, that body decidedly refused to consider

the Governor's position correct, and determined that the

legislative body alone possessed the powers claimed by St.


The Governor's refusal to sign the bills creating new

counties very seriously interfered with the advancement of

these districts whose inhabitants in the temporary absence

of the Governor, petitioned Charles Wylling Byrd, the

Secretary for relief. He replied that he had no authority

to act, but promised his influence to aid them, and advised

them to carry their case to the territorial Legislature.

Before this could be done, however, the question of a State

government became the prevailing theme of the day, ab-

sorbing this and all other topics of like import.

During the last session of the Assembly, Governor St.

Clair called the attention of the members to the question

of voting by ballot, giving his reasons why it would be

preferable to the common method of voting viva voce.

He also suggested more attention be given the Indian

question. On December 2d he informed the Assembly

that his term of office would expire on the 9th, and that he

would expect an adjournment that day. Considerable op-

position arose at once to this enforced adjournment, as a

large part of the most important business would remain

unfinished. All were well aware, however, of Governor

St. Clair's obstinacy on any point, and of his power to pro-

rogue the Assembly, and, after deliberation, agreed to act

accordingly. There was no time to confer with higher

powers, and when the day came all assembled in the

House of Representatives and were prorogued without


Soon after the Assembly of 1800 closed-in consequence

316 Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

316    Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly.

of the creation of Indiana Territory- Solomon Sibley, of

Detroit, one of the members of the Lower House, was

appointed to the place in the Council made vacant by the

exclusion of Mr. Vanderburgh, while the number of Rep-

resentatives was reduced by the withdrawal of all those

representing that part of the Territory included in the new


Despite the opposition to St. Clair, on account of his

arbitrary rulings and obdurate course in what he thought

to be right, President Adams nominated him for the Gov-

ernor's place, in which he was confirmed by the Senate

without delay.

In pursuance of an act of Congress nominating Chilli-

cothe to be the capital of the Territory as it now existed,

the third session of the Assembly convened in that place

November 24, 1801. Considerable opposition to the re-

moval arose during the preceding session, resulting in an

act passed by the Council early in the session, directing

that the General Assembly should meet in rotation in

Marietta, Cincinnati and Chillicothe. The House con-

curred in the opinions expressed in the bill, that the rep-

resentatives of the people, and not Congress, had the right

to fix the seat of justice, but could not agree on the "rota-

tion plan," nor could they agree on any one place. This

division ultimately disposed of the question.

Governor St. Clair again met both branches of the As-

sembly in joint session, and again addressed them on the

important matters demanding attention. This custom is

still in vogue, but is exercised now through the medium

of the "Governor's Message."

The principal laws passed this session related to the ex-

emption of persons from militia duty whose religious con-

victions prevented them from bearing arms; to the inspec-

tion of certain articles of export from the Territory; author-

izing the Orphans' Court to act in certain chancery cases;

a law to enforce the conditions of mortgages, for the partition

of real estate, and for the distribution of insolvent estates.

Legislation in the Northwest Territory

Legislation in the Northwest Territory.  317

The towns of Cincinnati, Detroit and Chillicothe were

incorporated, and the University at Athens established

during this session.

The organization of a State government was considera-

bly agitated at this session. The arbitrary acts of the

governor had much to do with the movement in advance

of the Constitutional time, and at this session a law was

passed declaring the assent of the people of the Territory

to an alteration in the compact allowing a change in the

boundaries of the three States first to be formed therein.

After its passage a remonstrance, signed by seven mem-

bers of the House, was entered on its journal. The chief

objection of the signers was that the change proposed

would retard the establishment of a State government in

the Eastern division. Mr. Jefferson's party was coming

into power and much desired the numerical strength sure

to be derived from the admitted State. When the act was

submitted to Congress for its sanction, the objections

thereto were able to defeat its passage, and the compact

remained in its original form.

Some of the members of this Assembly had incurred

the displeasure of certain citizens of Chillicothe, owing to

their outspoken objections to the act of Congress making

that town the territorial capital. Governor St. Clair did

not escape, as he also was quite prominent in his denun-

ciation of this assumption of authority, as he termed it.

In fact, the Governor was always sensitive, too much so

oftentimes, on any infringement of his own or of the As-

sembly's rights. The feeling against these expressions

led to two small riots at night, directed especially against

those members most prominent in the expression of their

opinions, one of whom was obliged to defend himself with

a brace of pistols. The citizens of Chillicothe took no

notice of these attacks, and as the members of the Assem-

bly were powerless to punish the offenders, no difficulty

was experienced in securing the passage of an act remov-

ing the seat of government back to Cincinnati. The

318 Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

318   Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly.

session closed January 23, 1802, to meet in Cincinnati on

the fourth Monday of November following.

During the ensuing spring and summer, the promoters

of a State government were able to carry their plans

through Congress. Governor St. Clair incurred the enmity

of the administration by his opposition to the measure,

and was finally removed by President Jefferson. In Feb-

ruary, 1802, a petition was presented in Congress asking

for the admission of the State. Though the compact re-

quired sixty thousand inhabitants, yet the feeling was so

strongly in favor of the move that, though but forty-five

thousand three hundred and sixty-five could be enumer-

ated, the measure prevailed. April 30 an act to admit the

State, under certain conditions, passed, and a convention

to adopt a Constitution was authorized to meet the follow-

ing November. Many of the members elected to this con-

vention were also representatives, and when the time came

for the Assembly to meet no action was taken. The Terri-

torial government was thus quietly merged into the State

government, whose Assembly superseded that of the ter-

ritory, and whose formation and migratory capitals form

interesting chapters in our annals.