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Operations of Ludlow —Israel Ludlow was the only one of the orig inal proprietors who remained in the vicinity of Cincinnati. He was formerly from New Jersey, as were so many of the first pioneers here. He was born near Morristown, in 1765. About twenty years later he came to the valley of the Ohio to act as a surveyor and was appointed by the United States Geographer to survey the Miami purchase, as well as the purchase of the Ohio Company. He finished this work by the spring of 1792. In 1790 he established Ludlow's Station, upon a spot within the present limits of Cumminsville, building a block-house as a defense against the Indians. Subsequently, he laid out the town of Hamilton in 1794, and in the spring of 1795, together with Governor St. Clair, Dayton and William McMillan, he planned the town of Dayton. He died after a brief illness, in January, 1804, and was buried with Masonic honors in the First Presbyterian Church graveyard on Fourth and Main in Cincinnati. An oration upon this occasion was delivered by Judge Symmes.
Symmes returned to Limestone most disheartened by the death of Filson, but on the other hand very much impressed with the land that he had seen. He wrote to Dayton that he thought that some of the lands near the Great Miami "positively worth a silver dollar an acre in its present state." At Limestone he received letters from Dayton, which gave him the news of the negotiation with the commissioners of the Treasury Board, and informed him of the terms which had finally been agreed upon.
In a letter of September 12, 1788, written at New York, Dayton said to him :
Since my last letter, your whole contract and project for the purchase and settlement of Western lands, has been on the point of being annihilated. August 18, a motion was made in Congress by Mr. Williamson in the words following:
Resolved, That the several acts of Congress of October 2, 22, and 23, 1787, whereby the Board of Treasury are authorized to contract with individuals or companies for the sale of Western territory, be and the same is hereby repealed, provided that nothing contained in this act is understood to invalidate any contracts which the Board may have already made.
Referred to Mr. Wadsworth, Mr. Williamson, Mr. Tucker, Mr. Irvine, Mr. Hamilton, a Committee to report.
This Committee called upon the Board of Treasury for their information how far they had proceeded in the execution of the several acts of October, and for their opinion relative to the repeal of these acts. The following is an exact extract of so much of the answer to the Commissioners as relates to you, viz.:
With respect to the resolve of Congress of the 2d which relates to Mr. Symmes' grant, the Board beg leave to lay before the Committee copies of sundry correspondence which has passed betwixt that gentleman and the Board on that subject. After a conference with him a minute of which is endorsed on Mr. Symmes' letter of the 14th of July last, the Board expected that he would have closed the contract agreeably to the conditions proposed to him in their letter of June 16th last, so as to entitle him to a right of occupancy. But contrary to our expectation, Mr. Symmes, after depositing with the Treasury upwards of $72,000, left town without concluding any agreement, and, we since learn, has gone to the Western country. The certificates deposited are, we
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presume, a sufficient security to the public for any injury which may at present be sustained by any occupancy of any part of the land in question, should the same be attempted; but we submit it to the consideration of the Committee whether means ought not forthwith be adopted to prevent
such an event till Mr. Symmes has derived a right of occupancy on the terms prescribed by Congress.
And in the concluding part they say:
How far it may be advisable to continue the operation of the foregoing resolves on the principles on which they stand, the Committee, from the above statement, will be best able to determine. Certain it is, that except in the case of the Ohio Company, no regular payment has been made nor any agreement executed.
I called upon the Committee, with Mr. Marsh and Mr. Boudinot, just as they were meeting to draft their report, which would have been if approved in Congress, which I very much apprehended, fatal to your purchase. I stated to them that it was not your intention to settle but upon the limits prescribed by the Board for 1,000,000—that instead of barely depositing $72,000, as the Board in their report had loosely expressed it, you had regularly paid in certificates and military rights to the whole amount of the first payment for that quantity, and that the ignorance of both parties with respect to the course of the rivers bounding your purchase, had been the reason of your declining to agree to any precise limits before that necessary information could be obtained. We acquainted them in short, that we considered and held the United States firmly bound by the contract, and, that their receipt of the first payment on account of it was sufficient evidence. The committee, after consulting with the Board, informed us that even if the first payment had been made for a million, your proposed contract was for two—that although in the course of making your payments you had withdrawn your proposals for two, and given in others for one million, yet the Board, disliking the boundaries prescribed for the smaller quantity had not closed with them, but had proposed in their turn what they thought reasonable limits which you had not signified your acceptance of—that, therefore, in strict or legal construction they considered Congress as absolved from every engagement with you, but they would nevertheless agree if we would come forward and subscribe to the limits offered by the Board in their letter to you of the 16th of June, to waive their report to Congress and stay further proceeding until we had concluded it.
Thus circumstanced, a choice was hardly left us, and we agreed to close with and subscribe to their proposals as soon as the writings could be prepared. Since that time the Board has started another objection, which I believe, neither you nor we had apprehended or foreseen. They say that a late letter of the Geographer to them, states, that there are but about three millions of acres in the New England purchase, if so, that the sum deposited by you is but half the amount of the first payment for a million. Although I referred them to the map and pointed out the New England tract thereon as delineated and painted by Hutchins himself, and proved to them by measurement that it was six times as large as the million bounding upon it, which was reserved for the army, they, notwithstanding, refuse to execute the writings until the sense of Congress shall be had. I know not what will be the event of the business, but I trust the objection is too ill-founded and unreasonable to meet with the approbation of that body. Before the departure of the next Pittsburgh post, I trust, it will be decided, when you shall hear from me again. Your letter of agency arrived at a lucky instant to enable us to prevent measures being taken to declare that no contract existed with you on the part of the Union, which would have been followed by orders to the Governor to prohibit any settlement upon any other than the New England lands. It was by no means my wish to have my name inserted in your letter of agency, but, since it is there. I shall endeavor to conduct the business entrusted, to the best possible advantage of yourself and the others concerned. We have already, in the commencement of its prosecution, met with numerous embarrassments. We hope they will not continue; if they should, we will take the best measures to face and overcome them.
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This morning Mr. Marsh came over, agreeably to my appointment to execute and subscribe to the contract we had drawn up. The Board receded from the objection as to quantity mentioned, but raised a new difficulty as to our power of attorney, which, they said, was very imperfect and insufficient. It recites in its beginning that a contract had been entered into between you and the Board, and refers to that written agreement which the Board says never had existence. They say it is true Congress authorized them to contract with you for two millions on certain terms, but that you never came forward and contracted. They say, also, that you proposed to purchase instead thereof, but one million, with certain boundaries to which they disagreed; that they, in their turn, offered to sell you a million with other boundaries, which you, by letter, declined. From all this, they infer that there is not only no written as you express, but not even a verbal contract between you, and also that there never has been either. They add, that all the powers you have vested us with, refer to and are founded upon this supposed contract which, you suggest, actually exists between you and them, and which they know nothing about and consequently cannot acknowledge. They have gone to the expense of employing and consulting counsel on the occasion, by whom our power is declared to be altogether defective.
They offered to contract with us for the land in our own names and right, which we have refused; and they have at length consented to accept our signatures as agents for you upon our agreeing to annex a proviso that we will procure from you a more ample and sufficient power of attorney, or failing to do that, that we will individually and in our own proper characters, consider and acknowledge ourselves bound to perform the conditions and stipulations. It will be necessary, or at least, desirable, that you make out this power immediately, acknowledge it before one of the other two judges of the Western territory, and forward it by the first opportunity.
Symmes had been elected by Congress, February 19, 1788, one of the judges of the Northwest Territory. This appointment was in accordance with the provision of the celebrated "Ordinance of 1787." Section 4 of this ordinance provided that there should be "appointed a court to consist of three judges, any two of whom to form a court, who shall have a common law jurisdiction and reside in the district, and have therein a free hold estate in five hundred acres of land while in the exercise of their offices ; their commissions shall continue in force during g00d behavior." These judges, with the Governor, were to select from the civil and criminal laws of the original States, such laws as they deemed suitable for the Territory, and were given the power to promulgate such laws and to enforce them until they should be amended or repealed by the General
Assembly. to be later organized according to the provision of the ordinance. The salary provided by a special act of Congress for the judges was the sum of $800 per year. While there was some discontent at the appointment of Judge Symmes and his salary was deemed wonderfully extravagant, yet the history of the Miami purchases compares favorably with that of other settlements of like character in Kentucky and the West. The only real fault to be found with Judge Symmes was his carelessness in the handling of public papers.
However, on October 22, 1788, Dayton was able to write to Symmes from New York, as follows : "After long altercation and many difficulties and disputes with the Board of Treasury, altogether unforseen and unex-
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pected by us we have at length mutually entered into and executed an instrument of writing closing with and binding the contract for your purchase on the Miami. This did not finally take place until the 15th instant."
Symmes own feelings at this time are indicated by his letter, written in reply to the two just quoted, dated Limestone, November 25, 1788:
I had the honour of receiving your favor of September 12th, which embarrassed me much for a few days; but yours of 22d ultimo followed so soon after that my apprehensions of misfortunes raised by the former were dispersed in a great measure by the latter. It is not yet a week since I received the latter, and had not prepared an answer thereto when that of the 22d of October appeared and seems to render any remarks on the extraordinary part acted by the Honorable, the Treasury Board, unavailing and unnecessary, not to add that though I wished to dwell ever so long on that disagreeable subject, I have not the time, not having had the least intimation of this opportunity till Captain Beatty called on me this evening on his way up the Ohio, intending for New York. I shall therefore pass the whole in silence till I come to that paragraph where you intimate that a more full power of attorney is necessary. This I shall certainly do as soon as I meet again with one of the judges you mention, before whom I shall acknowledge it. I thank you for the copy of the one I sent you by General Ogden, and beg leave to observe that I have the highest confidence in your friendship and integrity to serve me, and I am sure it will be with ability. Whatever you do, together with Mr. Marsh, I should confirm and ratify had I any choice left, but in your negotiations with the Treasury Board it seems that I have none.
Contract of October, 1788, was finally entered on the records of Hamilton County, March 17, 1821, and is a contract for a million acres, in which the commissioners adhere to the eastern boundary line of the purchase, dividing the tract between the two Miamis. The grant is described as follows :
All that certain tract or parcel of land situate, lying and being in the Western Country, adjoining to the river Ohio. Beginning on the bank of the same river at a spot exactly twenty miles distant along the several courses of the same from the place where the Great River Miami empties itself into the said river Ohio. From thence extending down the said river Ohio the several courses thereof, to the said Great miami river. Thence up the said River Miami along the several courses thereof, to a place from whence a line drawn due east, will intersect a line drawn from the place of beginning aforesaid parallel with the general course of the Miami river, so as to include one million of acres within those lines and the said rivers, and from that place upon the said great river miami, extending along such lines to the said place of beginning, containing, as aforesaid one million of acres, etc. (Book U-2, page 58.)
The contract provided that the association should have the privilege of selling and locating at the rate of sixty-six and two-thirds cents per acre, payable in silver or securities of the United States in eight installments. The first of these installments had already been advanced, the second was to be paid within a month after the government should have furnished a plat of survey, showing the exterior lines of the entire tract, and the remainder was divided into six semi-annual installments. As fast as payments were made deeds were to be given for proportional parts of
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the tract. The purchasers, however, naturally depended upon their own sales for the means of making payments to the government, and as the sales were not up to their expectations there was delay in the matter of payments. The making of the plat, too, was deferred by the government both by reason of the fact that adequate preparation for the survey had not been made and also because of the dissatisfaction with the boundaries insisted upon by the commissioners, and the feeling at any time the Little Miami would necessarily be selected as the eastern boundary of the tract. It was not long until it became apparent that the eastern line carried out, as provided in the contract, would cross the Little Miami and cut into the Virginia Military Reservation. The subject is discussed
Symmes' Troubles with Congress —The matter of Symmes' troubles with Congress continued to occupy his attention for some years. The situation may as well be briefly outlined here. This act, of course, left out altogether the Stites' property. Symmes naturally felt under obligations, "with regard to Mr. Stites, whose influence in the Redstone settlements and connection with Mr. Gano's family, and they with the Baptists, who are the most numerous sect of Christians in this country, is such that he has been able to embody about sixty men, many with their families, who expect to settle at the mouth of the Little Miami on the sixteen sections which he had located there." (Symmes to Dayton, November 25, 1788.)
He displayed great anxiety that the commissioners "should be prevailed to give up that mere fragment of land at the mouth of the Little Miami and suffer me to extend to the banks of that stream." He realized, too, that efforts would be made to supplant him in his appointment under the new government which would be established when the territory northwest of the Ohio was reorganized. The associates set great hopes however on the change in the land system by which the board was to be supplanted by a single individual.
Dayton, in his letter to Symmes, August 15, 1789, informs him of this change :
The new system for the administration of the finance will soon be established, and as soon as it takes effect and the principal is appointed, I shall do my utmost to have our line extended to the Little Miami. Everything in my power and within the circle of my interest shall be exerted to have Mr. Stites and his settlement included within the boundaries of our deed, and thereby to complete the title of such as have purchased under him there. The East Jersey Company have done nothing more since my last letter in the contract for the strip of land above alluded to, but did, upon my application to many of them some time since, individually agree that Mr. Stites ought to be considered and indemnified if the purchase was made by them. I believe it will rest as it is, or to be entirely dropped as to the company, unless some new and strange company should become bidders for it. I shall not fail, however, to press this matter with the new financier, but I do not expect to succeed until I am prepared to make
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the second payment and take out the deed. The sooner you enable me to do that, the more likely I shall be to attain that object in favor of Stites and his associates on the Little Miami. Continental certificates are now at premium and still rising. If you have received specie for lands which you mean to convert into public securities, the sooner you do it, the more advantageous it will be for you.
In a letter of August 25, 1789, Dayton informs Symmes of the "Appointment of judges for the Western Territory is made—S. H. Parsons, John C. Symmes, and William Barton are the three. I enclose the paragraph taken from the newspapers, and the short law which is passed respecting that country. You will perceive that it is merely a temporary provision. The time assigned for the present session of Congress does not admit of their entering further into that business, but it is expected that the organization of your government will be resumed and completed at their next sitting. I think it proper to acquaint you that when I went to New York, to canvass for you, I found with pleasure that Governor St. Clair was not unfriendly to you."
In this letter, too, Dayton informs Symmes of the many injurious and unpleasant reports which had been circulated in the East about his conduct in the Miamis. The reason for these continued attacks is not plain at this late date and that they were not well founded was made clear by the reports of Colonel Spencer. This matter of annoyance was disposed of very soon.
The St. Clair Controversy—Dayton, in a letter about this time contradicts the story that had been circulated to the effect that the company was going to endeavor to purchase the land covered by Stites. In the spring of the following year Stites accompanied Dayton to Philadelphia in the hope of attaining some satisfactory settlement. Bills for the sale of Western lands were pending before Congress and it was important that the interests of his settlers should be protected. As little was done Symmes finally made up his mind to go East himself on this matter. Governor St. Clair had begun to take a hand. In a letter to Israel Ludlow of May 19, 1791, he directed him that as the "line of the Miami purchase has been measured along the Ohio, and the place of beginning known, it will be proper that you should mark that place in conspicuous manner to prevent trespasses being ignorantly though innocently committed upon the unalienated lands of the United States, which may involve individuals in disagreeable, and to them, perhaps, ruinous consequences." (St. Clair's Papers, Vol. 2, page 209.)
Governor St. Clair seems to have been ignorant of the terms of Symmes' grant until this time. His attention had been attracted to it by Ludlow's request for an escort of fifteen men or more to accompany him while surveying the Ohio and Miami tracts. Ludlow had been suffering from numerous delays although promised by General Knox and afterwards by Major Doughty, that he should have proper escorts with pack-
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horses, corn, provision and camp equipage. After the coming of the cold season he found upon his arrival at Fort Harmar that no escort could be obtained. Major Ziegler, the commander, thought the troops under his command but little more than sufficient to guard the settlement at Marietta. His application to General Harmar at Fort Washington was answered with a statement that the general did not consider his whole command sufficient for the purpose.
On St. Clair's arrival, upon his return from his western trip in May, Ludlow renewed his application. St. Clair also assured him that he considered the survey a matter of the highest interest and importance to the United States and would make every effort to assist him with sufficient guard, but that it was then impracticable. Ludlow finally, in October following, received a guard of fifteen men with a sergeant, accompanied him by whom he executed the Ohio Company's survey. On returning to Fort Washington, he lost six of his horses as he descended the Ohio on a raft of logs. On his arrival at Fort Washington he asked for protection to go on with the Miami survey, which was again refused by Major Ziegler. He finally obtained assistance of three active woodsmen to assist as spies and give notice of any approaching danger. After extending the western boundary more than one hundred miles at the Miami River, the deep snows and cold weather compelled them to abandon the undertaking and return to Fort Washington. After the cold weather abated, Ludlow extended the east boundary as far as the line intersecting the Miami River where they were driven off by signs of the near approach of Indians. They returned to Fort Washington where he again asked for an escort from General Wilkinson and was refused. His report containing these particulars is contained in a letter to Alexander Hamilton, the Secretary of the Treasury, dated May 5, 1792. As just stated, it was this application from Ludlow to St. Clair which called the latter's attention to the terms of the Symmes' purchase:
To my astonishment I found that the purchase made by Judge Symmes did not extend further up the Ohio than twenty miles from the mouth of the Great Miami River. He had given out and published indeed to the world that he had contracted for all the lands to a certain distance northerly, which were contained between the Little and the Great Miamis as eastern and western boundaries. On my first arrival in this part of the Territory, I found the Judge here and a number of people settled already, co whom he had sold lands far to the eastward of the twenty miles. It never could nave entered into my head that any person, much less one invested with a respectable public character, had published a falsehood, was persisting in it, and availing himself of the pecuniary advantages following from it. The settlement, therefore, met with all the countenance which I could give it, which I conceived to be a duty I then owed to the adventurers and to the United States; but I see I was wrong, and find myself in a very disagreeable predicament, having clothed many persons with civil and military authority whom it was more properly my duty to have removed, and so far sanctioned their intrusions on the lands of the United States. [St. Clair to Hamilton, May 25, 1791 ; St. Clair Papers, Vol. II, p. 209.]
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This unexpected discovery of St. Clair afforded him an excellent opportunity to indulge in a correspondence with Symmes. In view of the fact that the Governor of the Territory could write to the Secretary of the Treasury that "he had been selling the lands of the United States upon the Little Miami, which he had not contracted for, to pay for lands his agents had contracted for in his name upon the Great Miami" (St. Clair Papers, Vol. II, P. 210), Symmes was justified in writing to his associates from Cincinnati May 26, 1791: " It is of vast importance to me to have the second contract vacated and the first established. I, therefore, intend doing myself the justice, next winter, of attending at Philadelphia, in order to solicit this business with the United States.
St. Clair took the matter very seriously. His arbitrary temperament which became so apparent at a later date, is indicated in Symmes' letter of August 15, 1791, in which he says of the Governor : "He starts the subject as though he had lately made a notable discovery of a conspiracy against the United States, and pursues it with all that fervor and zeal which he might do if the lands had been taken possession of by a colony from Detroit, under the auspices of the British Government."
On August 23, 1791, the Governor issued a proclamation which, dated July 19, 1791, he had first submitted to Judge Symmes. Symmes endeavored with great earnestness to induce him to withhold it, but was unsuccessful. As a result St. Clair obtained for himself the bitter hostility of Symmes, which continued until the time of the Governor's overthrow.
This proclamation recited the selling of lands eastward of the twenty-mile line and thereupon gave the boundaries of the Symmes tract in accordance with the act of October 15, 1788. It continued with the statement that the land lying eastward of the parallel line "is as yet the property of the United States, and has not been alienated or sold to any person whosoever ; that the settlements which have been made upon the same are entirely unauthorized, and the persons who now occupy them are liable to be dispossessed as intruders, and to have their habitations destroyed ; and that they are not treated in that manner immediately is owing only to the circumstances that they were made to believe the said proprietors of the Miami purchase had a right to the land, and to give them an opportunity to represent their case to Congress."
The extension of settlements already made or the formation of new settlements to the eastward of the parallel line were forbidden until the pleasure of Congress should be made known and a certain tract adjacent to Fort Washington was set apart for public use and all persons were strictly forbidden to cut down, carry away or otherwise destroy any timber, trees or wood that might be growing, standing or lying within that tract. Persons having houses or lots within the reserved tract were allowed to possess the same until the "present crop is taken off and no longer," unless they should obtain permission from the officer command-
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ing the garrison and should submit themselves to the military law as fcllowers of the army. (St. Clair's Papers, Vol. II, p. 211.)
It is not surprising that this proclamation should have aroused the indignation of Symmes and of the public and should have resulted in a conflict. Symmes, in a letter quoted from elsewhere, speaks as follows : "The Governor's proclamations have convulsed these settlements beyond your conception, sir, not only with regard to the limits of the purchase, but also with respect to his putting part of the town of Cincinnati under military government. Nor do the people find their subordination to martial law a very pleasant situation." Then follows the recital of the treatment of Shaw and a complaint generally against the conduct of the officers. The pleasant feeling existing between St. Clair and Symmes can be inferred from this quotation from the same letter.
"We learn nothing yet when the present army is to be put into motion. They are encamped at Mr. Ludlow's station, five miles from Ft. Washington, on account of better food for the cattle, of which they have near one thousand head from Kentucky. Many and important are the preparations to be made previous to their general movement. Not long since I made General St. Clair a tender of my services on the expedition. He replied : 'I am very willing you should go, but by God, you do not go as a Dutch deputy.' I answered that I did not then know of the anecdote of the Dutch deputation to which he alluded. His Excellency replied : 'The Dutch in some of their wars sent forth an army under the command of a general officer, but appointed a deputation of burghers to attend the general to the war, that they might advise him when to fight and when to decline.' I inferred from this that I should be considered by him rather as a spy upon his conduct than otherwise, and therefore did not intend to go, though I should have been very happy to have seen the country between this and Sandusky."
Among the intruders of the military reservation was Judge Turner. who had been notified by the Governor that Judge Symmes could give no title. He paid no attention to this notice, but continued to make improvements and was told by the Governor that it was his duty as a judge of the United States court to set an example of obedience to the government. Judge Turner was on very friendly terms with Symmes and in fact carried his correspondence eastward at this time, and he took St. Clair's advice and interference in high dudgeon.
September 15th the Governor issued a proclamation to the settlers of the forbidden territory, informing them that the Secretary of the State had asked from Symmes an explanation of his proceedings and further that as settlers appeared to have acted in good faith they would not be disturbed for the time being. (St. Clair's Papers, Vol. II, p. 213.)
That the friction between Symmes and St. Clair continued is shown in the former's letter dated September 17, 1791, in which, after speaking
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of having been indelicately treated by St. Clair and of preparing a retort, he says : "The army has advanced twenty-five miles into the purchase, and, by the best account of their situation, which I have yet got, they are building a fort on Mr. Boudinot's land in the fourth range—if not on that, it is in the third military range. I begin to despair of everything important being done this campaign—the delays are amazing. Yesterday, a boat, with 120 barrels of flour, attempted to ascend the Miami. This is extraordinary to me—at the best times so large a freight is not judicious, but now the Miami is low, 'tis distraction. In June this ought to have been done in perogues or large canoes of one ton or one and one-half ton burden, it would then have succeeded. The Indians took off twenty horses in one night, this week, from the army. I hope the best, but because no man is more interested, but my hopes, I fear, will prove like Noah's raven."
In his subsequent letter after the St. Clair defeat, after commenting on the Governor's treatment of the Dunlap station, he speaks of the Governor's arbitrary conduct towards the settlers as being "more discouraging at the time than even the defeats" and of a number leaving the purchase because of the Governor's conduct.
January the following year he persists in the claim that every person must admit that "the Governor has treated me and the settlers in the most cruel manner" and asks to be heard by the government with relation to the controversy. He insists that the Governor's letters and proclamations were written in "language of reproach and illiberality" and that "he has charged him with many things that are not true and in a very rude manner" and refers his associates for the fact to Judge Turner. "I do not mean nor wish, however, to impeach the Governor in form, but certainly his conduct has been very reprehensible." (Symmes to Boudinot and Dayton, January 25, 1792.)
The Patent of 1794—As a result of the continued efforts of Symmes and his associates, Congress, on April 12, 1792, finally granted the proposed change of boundary, making the Little Miami River the eastern boundary of the purchase. This was reported by Dayton to Symmes as "very satisfactory to Mr. Benjamin Stites, who is now here and will doubtless prove extremely agreeable to the settlers at Cincinnati, Columbia, etc." The same letter conveys the information to Symmes of the passage of an act directing the issue of a patent to him for lands already paid for, which was accordingly issued by the President on September 30, 1794. In these two acts and in the patent there was reserved to the United States a tract of fifteen acres (including Fort Washington) for the accommodation of its garrison. This patent included, together with the reservations, 311,682 acres ; excluding the territory in the reservations, it reduced the amount covered by it to 248,540 acres. It provided a frontage on the Ohio River between the two Miamis extending back to
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the northern boundary of the third range of townships, a line which crossed the district a couple miles north of the present town of Lebanon, in Warren County ; this left of course the residue of the million acres unprovided for. The third range was subsequently called the "Military Range" and was conveyed in trust to General Dayton for the persons who should desire to turn in military warrants in payments for land. (Hamilton County Recorder's Office, Book S, page 203.)
This patent was issued after the trip to Philadelphia taken by the judge for the purpose of determining upon a settlement of the number of acres paid for. He objected, at that time, to the form of the patent because it conveyed the lands not to himself individually, but to him and his associates, but his objections were overruled by the Secretary of the Treasury. Symmes thereupon returned to the Miami country and commenced the issuing of deeds. Before that time the purchasers of the lots had held no other evidence of right than their warrants received at the time of purchase. In his judgment the action of. Congress and of the President was not a definite termination of his rights under his original application. He expected, as he was able to make proper payments, to be permitted to take up the rest of the million acres proposed for and for this reason he continued selling lots beyond the "Military Range" and beyond the territory covered by his patent. As a result of this, many rumors arose in the purchase to the effect that the titles conveyed by him in these sections would not be sustained by the government. The purchasers began to fear for the safety of their property and insisted that Symmes should take some action to protect them, but nothing was done. The farmers threatened to make direct application to Congress for relief. Finding that he could not pacify his vendees any longer he went to Philadelphia in the fall of 1796 to make personal appeal to Congress with regard to the matter. He was accompanied by Judge Burnet, who was interested in the success of the application. The judge was present at the time of the delivery by President Washington of his last official address to the two Houses of Congress and in his "Notes on the Northwestern Territory" he describes the scene. The President "was dressed in a suit of rich black velvet, with black silk stockings and large shoe-buckles and knee buckles. According to the fashion of the day, his hair was combed back from his forehead—powdered—curled at his temples, and gathered behind in a square black silk bag suspended between his shoulders. A neat dress-sword hung at his left side." His address was spoken "with great deliberation and with considerable emphasis. The intonation of his voice was solemn, and all his movements and gestures were dignified, but easy and graceful. The expression of his countenance, together with his manner and general deportment, produced on the feelings of the audience the same deep, indescribable effect that had been so often noticed, and spoken of on former occasions.
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"After the address was closed, the multitude, evidently unwilling to retire, remained in their places, gazing on the object of their veneration and love ; and it was with much difficulty that a passage could be made sufficient to enable the President and his suite to reach their carriages."
That Symmes thought that his efforts were to be crowned with success is shown by the following address :
TO THE PUBLIC.
It being a matter no longer doubtful that Congress will establish their contract with the subscriber in the fullest extent for the 1,000,000 acres of Miami lands, it is hoped that all who wish to become early purchasers will no longer suffer themselves to be amused with idle reports against the contract, but purchase immediately from some persons who have a right to sell; and those gentlemen who have already contracted for Miami lands are desired to make payment as soon as possible to Captain William H. Harrison, at Ft. Washington, as the Secretary of War has agreed to receive $20,000 at Ft. Washington from the subscriber, if the money is paid immediately for the use of the army.
JOHN CLEVES SYMMES.
January 20, 1797.
N. B.—The subscriber begs leave to inform the public that he is authorized by the Hon. John Cleves Symmes to sell a large quantity of land in the fourth, fifth, and sixth ranges of townships in the Miami Purchase, which in point of soil, situation, timber and water, is reckoned equal to any in the Western country. Those who purchase before the first day of April shall not only have the land at reduced price, but the title warranted and the liberty of making the earliest locations of small or large tracts, as may be most convenient. Persons applying to subscriber at Columbia, near the mouth of the Little Miami, shall be furnished with a surveyor to show the land.
January 26, 1797
Symmes had been selling lands on the theory that his original tract was still valid, and as a result many of the tracts were outside of the line covered by this patent, and as late as 1796 Symmes and his agents continued to offer lands in the fourth, fifth and sixth, and even the tenth range of townhsips in the Miami purchase. Congress finally held that the arrangement under the law of 1792, was a final adjustment of all the claims of Symmes, and that he had no title to convey to any lands outside of those which were not covered by the patent of 1794. This left his grantees of those lands, which were not covered by the patent, in a most desperate situation. They had paid for their lands in full or in part, and expended considerable sums of money and some years of hard toil in clearing and improving them. Towns had been laid out and farms made and all the arrangements for permanent settlements made. In spite of these facts these unfortunate persons were simply squatters. As a result, Congress, in 1799, passed an act by which all persons having made contracts with Symmes prior to April I, 1799, whose lands were not included in his patent, were given a preference over other purchasers at $2.00 an acre, and in 1801 this right of permission was extended to all persons who had purchased prior to i800. From time to time thereafter, Congress made provisions so liberal that it is thought practically all were able to
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complete their payments from the produce of their farms and at length their titles were made good.
"College Township" Difficulty—Judge Burnet, on page 418 of his notes, reviews many points of interest concerning the College Township trouble. The provisions concerning the improvement of lands by the erection of buildings were not complied with, which led to a number of attempted forfeitures which, however, failed by reason of the prejudice of the courts and juries against forfeitures. The Indian wars made it impossible to make the necessary surveys and the plan adopted for surveying the lands, which was to be done by the purchasers at their own expense, was not successful. Burnet says : "The principal surveyor was directed to run a line east and west, from one Miami river to the other, sufficiently north to avoid the bends of the Ohio, for a base line, on which he was directed to plant a stake at the termination of each mile. The assistant surveyors were then instructed to run meridian lines by the compass, from each of those stakes, and to plant a stake at the termination of each mile, for a section corner. The purchasers were then left to complete the survey, by running east and west lines, at their own expense, to connect these corners. By that defective plan of survey, scarcely two sections could be found in the purchase of the same shape, or of equal contents ; some were too wide, others too narrow, and it may be doubted if there be one in the whole purchase, the corresponding corners of which, either on the north, or the south side, are on the same east and west line. In some instances, the corner on one meridian was found to be ten, twenty, and sometimes thirty rods, either north or south of the corresponding corner on the other meridian." (Burnet's Notes, p. 418).
Symmes afterwards tried to remedy this confusion by ordering a re-survey which would have changed every original corner in the purchase. The Supreme Court of the State, however, confirmed the original survey as having been made under proper authority and therefore as being conclusive.
The burning of Symmes' mansion house about the year 1811, supposed to have been caused by an incendiary, consumed a large number of the papers, the maps and books of entry relating to the surveys and sales of lands. Fortunately others had copies of many of the important documents. The long delay between the taking out of warrants and the issue of deeds resulted in many fraudulent transfers. All these matters served to plague Judge Symmes and render his last years unhappy as is shown by the bitter words of his will.
The matter of the "College Township" can be discussed briefly. The original ordinance for sale of public lands authorized the granting of college lands to the purchasers of two million acres and in Symmes' original pamphlet a "College Township" located as nearly opposite the
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Licking River as a suitable entire township could be found was provided for and was selected in good faith. When the contract was made reducing the quantity one half Symmes necessarily forfeited his claim to a "College Township" and he thereupon offered for sale the lots in the one which he had reserved for that purpose. When the bill of 1792 was passed and the patent in 1794 issued it contained a provision as follows :
"It is hereby declared, that one complete township or tract of land, of six miles square, to be located, with the approbation of the Governor, for the time being, of the Territory northwest of the river Ohio, and in the manner, and within the term of five years aforesaid, as nearly as may be, in the centre of the tract of land herein before granted, hath been, and is granted, and shall be holden, in trust, to and for the sole and exclusive intent and purpose, of erecting and establishing therein, an Academy and other public schools, and seminaries of learning ; and endowing and supporting the same, and to and for no other use, intent or purpose whatever."
At that time there was not an entire township in the purchase undisposed of. When the first Territorial Legislature was appointed in 1799, Symmes attempted a settlement of the matter by offering the Second Township of the Second Fractional Range for this purpose. This is now known as Green Township and part of it, including the village of Westwood, is now in the city of Cincinnati. Upon examination the conveyance to Boudinot of an undivided part of Symmes' reserve townships was discovered as well as the fact that a few other sales had been made. The offer was thereupon rejected upon the advice of Governor St. Clair. It was repeated a number of times and finally in 1802 and 1803 the offer was made to Congress, who also was obliged to reject it. Symmes regarded the sale of Boudinot as vague and conditional ; he claimed that Boudinot had not lived up to the conditions on his own part and claimed further that if this were not true that Boudinot would have recourse against Symmes personally, as his agreement was not sufficient to pass the title to the land. The United States Court of Pennsylvania decided in favor of Boudinot in 1802 and directed Symmes to perform his contract specifically. As to the other purchasers, it is supposed that Symmes expected to refund to them their purchase money, but he was not in a position to do so. In 1802 and 1803 Congress passed a law vesting in the Legislature of Ohio a township of land in lieu of the township already granted for the purpose of establishing a college or academy. In April, 1803, Jacob White, Jeremiah Morrow and William Ludlow were selected by the Legislature as commissioners to locate the college lands, thirty-six sections in number. By reason of the number of sales already made in the Miami purchase, it became necessary to locate these sections west of the Great Miami River without the limits of the purchase, where they are now held by the Miami University. The Miami University was created by the
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Legislature by an act of February, 1809, which provided for the fixing of the permanent seat of the University. The towns of Cincinnati, Dayton and Lebanon were considered and finally Lebanon in Warren County was selected, but at the next session of the Legislature an act was passed establishing the University on the land belonging to it. As a result of these proceedings Miami University was established at Oxford.
More about Symmes and the Indians —From the noted letter from Pioneer Symmes to Dayton, elsewhere described, it is learned that soon after his arrival at Miami, Symmes had an opportunity of cementing the friendly feeling existing toward him, which he describes in his Dayton communication as follows : "I will now, sir, resume the subject of the Indians, who had been so long impatient to see me at Miami. On my arrival at Miami I found no Indians at that place ; they were all out at their camp, about six miles off, and I could not then tarry for an interview. A few days after my arrival at Northbend, I had occasion to send my nephew to Columbia in a keel boat ; with him, George, the interpreter, and an old Shawanese called Captain Fig, came down to me. Two days after, several more Shawanese Indians and some squaws came down by land ; and in a few days following, arrived a Shawanese chief with another man of that nation. The chief communicated to me their wishes to be on friendly terms, signifying that it would be very much to their advantage to have free intercourse with us, and exchange their peltries for the articles which they much wanted. To this you will suppose I readily agreed. The chief (the others sitting around him) wished to be informed how far I was supported by the United States, and whether the thirteen fires had sent me hither. I answered them in the affirmative, and spread before them the thirteen fires, which I had in a flag then in my camp. I pointed to the tr00ps in uniform—then on parade—and informed the chief that these were the warriors which the thirteen fires kept in constant pay to avenge their quarrels, and that though the United States were desirous of peace with them, yet they were able to chastise any aggressor who should dare to offend them ; and to demonstrate this, I showed them the seal of my commission, on which the American arms were impressed, observing, that while the eagle held a branch of the tree, as an emblem of peace, in one claw, she had strong and sharp arrows in the other, which denoted her power to punish her enemies. The chief, who observed the device of the seal, with great attention, replied by the interpreter, that 'he could not see any intimation of peace from the attitude the eagle was in, having her wings spread as in flight, when folding her wings denoted rest and peace. That he could not understand how the branch of a tree could be considered as a pacific emblem, for rods designed for correction were always taken from the boughs of trees. That to him the eagle appeared, from her bearing a large whip in one claw, and such a number of arrows in the other, and in full career of
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flight, to be wholly bent on war and mischief.' I need not repeat to you my arguments to convince him of his mistake ; but I at length succeeded, and he appeared entirely satisfied of the friendship of Congelis to the red people. Captain Blackbird—for so the chief was called—assured me that I need be under no apprehension of mischief from the Shawanese Nation. After the Indians had sold me their furs and skins, which were several hundred, they almost stripped me of all the linen and cloth that I had brought out for the surveyors and my workmen. The Indians also lived with me chiefly at my expense, including free whiskey, for about four weeks. They finally took leave in a most friendly manner."
Although Symmes used every effort within his power to conciliate the Indians, into whose country he had moved, and showed in every means his peaceful intentions, he was hampered by the conduct of other settlers and the tradesmen who used no restraint in dealing with the savages. A number of incidents are given which show the injustice with which the white man treated his red neighbor, which naturally resulted in reprisals. A trader on the way down the river stopped at Columbia in his boat. Here he met a party of Indians, who purchased a barrel of whiskey from him. The whiskey froze in the barrel before they reached their camp. The same trader sold the Indians a rifle for thirty buckskins, or as the Indians told the story, forty buckskins (which were worth one dollar apiece), and a horse worth £ 15. A worthless gunsmith "who undertook to put a new chop—worth one and six pence—for the flint, to the cock of an Indian's rifle, made the Indian leave two bucks for the work, before he would undertake it ; another Indian calling for the gun, was forced to pay two bucks more before the smith would give up the gun." (Symmes to Dayton.)
The Capture of Flinn —The Indians naturally were very bitter about this treatment and as they considered the whites one people, each member of which was responsible for the misdoings of all other members, they began a series of reprisals. The Indians who had met Stites at the time of his landing at Columbia finally moved back into the country and shortly after their departure several of the horses were stolen. This was repeated and finally for a third time the horses were stolen from Columbia. A party under the command of Lieutenant Bailey was sent in pursuit of the thieves ; they followed the trail of the horses about eighty miles and came upon signs that showed that the Indians were very near. A man named Flinn went forward to reconnoiter. He soon came in sight of what he thought was an Indian camp and was creeping along very softly in order to get nearer. He did not perceive, however, that three Indians were creeping along behind him with equal stealth, until one of them clapped him on the shoulder, crying out : "Yo ho ! Yo ho !" Flinn, much dismayed and perfectly helpless, yielded himself without any
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resistance and was taken to their camp, where they tried to converse together, but as there was no interpreter there this was found to be impossible. They placed their guns, together with Flinn's, against a tree, and presently one of them started to get some tugs or straps of rawhide. Flinn, supposing, of course, that they intended to bind him, and being a man of great agility, sprang from them and flew for his life ; the Indians did not fire at him. He reached his party and the whole number taking five horses belonging to the Indians made as quickly as possible for Columbia ; their only loss was Flinn's gun. Shortly after their return to Columbia the same party of Indians, who were Wyandots, came there with their squaws, bringing back Flinn's gun. They assured Mr. Stites that they were innocent of the robbery of the horses in Columbia and demanded the horses which were taken by Bailey's party. Some of the Indians were of the number who had been at Columbia before and the matter was soon settled by a compromise and the horses restored. One of these same Indians, a chief of the Wyandots, although protesting against the responsibility for the horses stolen by other Indians, demanded that Stites should pay him twenty dollars which Colonel Morgan on his way to Mississippi had promised to pay him for carrying letters from the Miamis to Muskingum and Sandusky. Morgan had promised the Indian forty dollars, but a Mr. Magee at Sandusky had paid him twenty and he demanded the other twenty of Stites. Stites took the chief over to see Symmes on the 3oth of April. The judge endeavored to convince him that he was not responsible for the promise of Colonel Morgan. He gave him, however, a new calico shirt, with a statement by the interpreter that as he had worn out his shirt in the service of Colonel Morgan, Symmes would replace it with a new one.
SETTLEMENT AT COLUMBIA.
Landing of Stites —November 16, 1788, the Stites party left Limestone for the unknown land of the Ohio, and for two days they floated on the bosom of the river until just before daybreak on the morning of the 18th, when they approached the mouth of the Little Miami. Three men were sent forward in a canoe as scouts to see if there were any Indians there encamped. Their instructions were that if they found signs of hostility to signal to those in the flat-boat, to keep near the Kentucky shore and pass on without landing. If no Indians were seen there, they were to land their canoe and this would be a signal to the flat-boats to land also. The canoe cautiously approached the shore in the dusky morning light and, after a few moments' reconnaissance, its occupants found there were none to oppose them. The prow of the canoe was turned toward the shore and it struck the land about three-quarters of a mile below the Miami. Hezekiah Stites, a brother of Captain Benjamin Stites, immediately jumped ashore, and by so doing established his claim to be the first settler who landed on the site of Columbia, and as Columbia is now a part of Cincinnati, the first settler of the Queen City of the West. The point of their landing was a little below the mouth of the Miami, at a spot nearly in front of where later was the residence of Athan Stites. The party, according to Rev. Ezra Ferris, "after making fast the boats, ascended the steep bank and cleared away the underbrush in the midst of a paw-paw thicket, where the women and children sat down. They next placed sentinels at a small distance from the thicket, and having first united in a song of praise to Almighty God, upon their bended knees offered thanks for the past, and prayer for future protection." This group included Stites, John S. Gano, Thomas C. Wade, Edmund Buxton and Greenbright Bailey and wife.
As Mr. Venable well says : "This devout and pious scene in the paw-paw thicket near the shore of the Ohio, furnishes a study for some Cincinnati artist to immortalize in a painting."
Stites was not only a courageous man, but a provident one, and he at once proceeded to the erection of two or three blockhouses, which known as Fort Miami together with the adjoining cabins formed the nucleus of Columbia, now the oldest part of Cincinnati, and the oldest white settlement in Hamilton County or in the Miami purchase. The first blockhouse is said to have been erected about at the spot of landing. Its location in Section 29, Township Five, has been fully identified by Robert Ralston Jones, in his valuable monograph on Fort Washington.
Mr. Jones says :
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"It stood on the bank of the Ohio River, at a point about one-half mile below the mouth of the Little Miami. The blockhouse was about eighteen feet wide and twenty-four feet long, built of large round logs. It survived the ravages of time until April 25, 1838, when it was undermined during a time of flood by the swells from passing steamers."
By permission of Mr. Jones, the statement of Thomas Gregory, with reference to this blockhouse, is here copied :
"Near the edge of the high river bank on the Ohio side of the river, at a point about one-half mile below the mouth of the Little Miami River, there stood a blockhouse which in 1832 was occupied by a family named Hart, but owned by Athan Stites, a son of Hezekiah Stites and nephew of Captain Benjamin Stites, who were among the first settlers of Columbia in 1788.
"This blockhouse was occupied in 1832 as a dwelling house, by a family consisting of two young women, Catherine and Mary Hart, and their brother, Jacob, a lad of about my own age (nine years). The oldest daughter afterward married Athan Stites. One day in the year 1832 one of the young women alluded to (Catherine) crossed the river in a boat and coming to my father's house requested as a favor that I might be allowed to come and live at their house (the blockhouse) so as to be company for their young brother Jacob.
"My father granted the request and I accordingly went to live with the family in the blockhouse, remaining there about three years.
"During those three years, say 1832-1834, inclusive, I lived in the blockhouse and have a clear idea of its size and location, in part from the fact that a brick house of Athan Stites, which is still standing, was built at some time within the three years I mention, and this brick house was constructed facing the river at a point about t00 feet back of the blockhouse and had its western end at about the center of the blockhouse.
"I am led to remember the relative position of the brick house, and the blockhouse in which I lived, from the circumstance that with the other lad, Jacob Hart, I assisted in carrying brick to the mason who was employed to build the house. We each piled up a few bricks on a short board and thus carried them to where he was at work.
"The blockhouse was about eighteen feet wide and twenty-four feet long with the gable end towards the Ohio River and very close to the edge of the bank.
"The building was constructed of round logs about the size of a man's body, unhewed, but notched together at the corners. It contained two rooms divided by a rough partition of split logs, afterwards changed to a board partition, and above the first story was a high garret or attic. The roof was covered with split logs secured by wooden pins, afterwards replaced by clap-boards. There was a puncheon floor, later removed for a more modern substitute. The attice projected over the lower story and
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was provided with port or loop holes for rifles. A large stone chimney st00d in the middle of the gable end farthest from the river. This chimney was built outside of the logwork, but the fireplace opened into the lower room. This fireplace was large enough to take in logs about four feet in length and at night it furnished our light, for lamps of any kind were very scarce.
"The front of the house, facing the Ohio River, had a window and d00r in the lower story and a small window in the attic. There was a window opening on each side of the house in the back room and another small window in the attic facing away from the river. The door was a heavy one secured by a bar, and the windows were protected by solid plank shutters.
"Early in the spring of 1838 during a high stage of the river, two steamboats were passing the blockhouse at about the same time, and the swells from these boats caused the bank to cave away and the old blockhouse to fall into the river.
"The day on which this accident occurred was the same as that on which the boilers of the steamer 'Moselle' exploded, at Fulton, April 25, 1838.
"The above is a true statement, as I remember the events of the old blockhouse, which was said to have been built soon after the landing of Benjamin Stites and his brother Hezekiah, with other settlers, just below the Little Miami River, on November 18, 1788."
A part of the men stood guard over the settlement while others worked on the blockhouse. On November 24th, the first blockhouse was completed and the women and children with their goods were moved into it.
The First Settlers —In the Directory of 1819, the statement is made that the original article of agreement for commencing the undertaking with Stites "was signed by about thirty persons, some of whom retracted their engagement on account of a rumor which was circulated by the Kentuckians, that a large body of Indians had encamped at the place of their destination. Most of them, however, adhered to their resolution ; and on the 16th of November, twenty-six persons descended the river to the mouth of the Little Miami, where they arrived on the 18th. After some precaution taken to avoid a sudden attack from the Indians, the party landed and immediately commenced the erection of a blockhouse at the place now called Columbia. A part of the number stood guard, while the rest worked upon the building, which in a few days was sufficiently prepared for their reception. Three other blockhouses were soon after erected near the first, forming a square stockade fort. This was the second settlement on the Ohio, and the first between the Miamis. In a few weeks several of the party were dispatched to inform Mr. Symmes of the success of their adventure. He immediately sent on six soldiers,
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under the command of a sergeant, who built a small blockhouse a little below the one erected by
In a note, the twenty-six persons referred to are given as follows : "Major Benjamin Stites, Hez. Stites, Elijah Stites, John S. Gano, James H. Bailey, Dan. Shoemaker, Owen Davis, three women, and a number of small children and several other persons, whose names are not known."
In a work published by Robert Clarke, in 187o, the following appear as the names of the early settlers of Columbia : "James H. Bailey, Zephu Ball, Jonas Bowman, Edmund Buxton, W. Coleman, Benjamin Davis, David Davis, Owen Davis, Samuel Davis, Francis Dunlevy, Hugh Dunn, Isaac Ferris, John Ferris, James Flinn, Gabriel Foster, Luke Foster, John S. Gano, William Goforth, Daniel Griffin, Joseph Grose, John Hardin, Cornelius Hurley, David Jennings, Henry Jennings, Levi Jennings, Ezekiel Larned, John McCulloch, John Manning, James Matthews, Aaron Mercer, Elijah Mills, Ichabod B. Miller, Patrick Moore, William Moore, John Morris, Newell, John Phillips, Jonathan Pitman, Benjamin F. Randolph, James Seward, Benjamin Stites, Thomas C. Wade, John Webb, Wickersham."
On July 4, 1889, the landing at Columbia was celebrated by the dedication of the monument erected to the memory of the first boat load of pioneers, who landed there a little over a hundred years before. On one side of the freestone pedestal is engraved, "To the Pioneers Landing Near this Spot, November 18, 1788." On the obverse side of this monument is the following inscription : "To the first boat load of pioneers landing near this spot—Major Benjamin Stites, Mrs. Benjamin Stites, Ben Stites, Jr., Rachel Stites, Ann W. Stites, Greenbright Bailey, Mrs. Greenbright Bailey, Jas. F. Bailey, Reasom Bailey, Abel Cook, Jacob Mills, Jonathan Stites, Ephraim Kibby, John S. Gano, Mrs. Mary S. Gano, Thomas C. Wade, Hezekiah Stites, Elijah Stites, Edmund Buxton, Daniel Shoemaker, ______ Hempstead, Evan Shelby, Allen Woodruff, Hampton Woodruff, Joseph Cox, Benjamin Cox."
Another list adds the name of Ignatius Ross to the early settlers.
Judge Burnet, commenting upon this settlement, mentions the names of Colonel Spencer, Major Gano, Judge Goforth, Francis Dunlevy, Major Kibby, Rev. John Smith, Judge Foster, Colonel Brown, Mr. Hubbell, Captain Flinn, Jacob White and John Reily, and says :
"They were all men of energy and enterprise, and were more numerous than either of the parties who commenced their settlements below them on the Ohio. Their village was also more flourishing, and for two or three years contained a larger number of inhabitants than any other in
the Miami purchase. This superiority, however, did not continue, as will appear from the sequel." (Notes on the Northwestern Territory, p. 46.)
As already stated, a sergeant and eighteen men were presently sent down by Symmes to Stites and afterwards a sergeant and twelve men
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started from Limestone with a party of settlers for the Old Fort, at the mouth of the Great Miami, but these were turned back at Columbia by ice in the river which gorged it completely and damaged their boats. They returned discouraged but in safety to Limestone.
Stites' village was intended to occupy the plain between Crawfish Creek and the mouth of the Little Miami, a distance fronting on the Ohio almost three miles. It was expected to go up the Miami about the same distance. It was in fact laid out for over a mile on the Ohio stretching back for over three-fourths of a mile half way up the high hill at the northeast. It was platted in eighty blocks of lots, each of half an acre and the rest in lots of four and five acres each. Nine hundred and forty-five in-lots are supposed to have been staked off by the surveyors. These lay on streets intersecting each other at right angles. The village at Columbia as was afterwards built( does not conform in any way to the Stites plan. The modern Columbia lies below the original site which, strictly speaking, is not within the limits of Cincinnati.
An Interesting Memoir —A little more than eight years after the settlement of Columbia, it entertained a distinguished visitor in the person of a young Englishman named Francis Baily, afterwards an "F. R. S." and president of the Royal Astronomical Society. The following extracts are from his journal of a tour, which was not published until 1856, and then appeared as an appendix to a memoir of Baily, by the late Sir John Herschel :
Tuesday, February 28, 1797.
This morning we dropped down the river about half a mile to a convenient landing, and here we had a much better view of the town than we had where we lay last night. The houses lie very scattered along the bottom of a hill which is about one-eighth of a mile from the river. The town is laid out on a regular plan, but was never in a very flourishing state. The neighboring and well-settled country round and at Cincinnati prevents it from being a place of any great importance; besides, it lies very low, and is often overflowed from the river, which prevents any houses being built immediately on the banks, as is customary in these new settlements. One-quarter of the land on which the town was intended to be laid out is now under water.
After breakfast we went ashore to view the town, and H. introduced me to Mr. [Rev. John] Smith and Dr. Bean. The former gentleman is a man of very good property, which he has acquired in several different ways in this place: he is a farmer, a merchant, and a parson; all these occupations, though seemingly so different, he carries on with the greatest regularity and without confusion. The latter is a man of good education and practices physic here, somewhat in the same manner as our country apothecaries in England do, for which he is dubbed doctor. As those gentlemen rank with the first in the place, a description of their habitations, manners, and society will serve, without any great variation, for that of the bulk of emigrants in a similar state of life.
As Dr. Bean would insist upon our sleeping at his house, and in fact stopping with him during our residence here we accompanied him home. His house was built of logs, as all the houses in these new settlements are, and consisted of a ground floor containing two rooms, one of which was appropriated to lumber. the other served all the
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purposes of parlor, bedroom, shop, and everything else (though there was a little outhouse where they occasionally cooked their victuals and also washed), and it did not appear as if it had been cleaned out this half-year. There were two windows to throw light into the room, but there had been so many of the panes of glass broken, whose places were supplied by old hats and pieces of paper, that it was very little benefited by the kind intention of the architect. I saw a few phials and gallipots on a shelf in one corner of the room, and near them a few books of different descriptions. . . . Such is the force of example that very few of the emigrants who come into this kind of half-savage, half-civilized, state of life, however neat and cleanly they might have been before, can have resolution to prevent themselves from falling into that slovenly practice which everywhere surrounds them ; and it is not till the first class of settlers are moved off, that any of these new countries are at all desirable to a person brought up in different habits of life.
At dinner-table I observed a table prepared in the middle of the room, with some knives and folks and pewter plates placed on it, but without any table-cloth; and when the dinner was ready, two of his servants who were working out in the field were called in, and sat down at the same table and partook of the same provisions as ourselves.
. . . . Our provisions consisted of some stewed pork and some beef, together with some wild sort of vegetable which had been gathered out in the woods, as it must be observed that in all these new settlements fresh provisions, both in meat and vegetables, are at some seasons very scarce, particularly at the time we were there. The inhabitants live a great deal upon deer and turkeys, which they shoot wild in the woods, and upon bacon, which they keep by them in case of need, and as to vegetables, they are seldom to be procured, except in summer. The bread which is made here is chiefly of Indian meal; it is a coarse kind of fare, but after a little use becomes not all unpleasant.
When the time drew nigh for us to retire to rest, we were shown to one corner of the room where there was a ladder, up which we mounted into a dismal kind of a place without a window, but instead of these there were a number of crevices between the logs, which had never been filled up, and in the room there were three beds, or rather three bedsteads, with a few blankets thrown over them.
I went to breakfast with Mr. Smith, and here I found things a little more in order, though far from that degree of refinement and comfort to be met with in the more civilized parts of this country. This house bore the marks of industry and cleanliness, and we were regaled with tea and coffee and boiled chicken for our breakfast, attended with buckwheat cakes, which are common in this part of the country.
. . . . The farm of this gentleman consists of several acres of land adjoining his house, which he keeps in high cultivation—chiefly meadow ground—and from which he has realized a great deal of money. His warehouse was near the water side. It consisted of but one room, where he brings down the river such articles of European manufacture as are most in demand. There are but two or three other stores of the same kind in Columbia. The profits of this trade are generally one hundred per cent., and sufficiently compensate the trade for the trouble of a journey once or twice a year to Philadelphia.
LOSANTIVILLE AND NORTH BEND SETTLEMENTS.
The following is gleaned from former historical sketches of this vicinity, as well as from public records found in the county seat and public library archives.
The Directory of 1819 gives these paragraphs : "Landing at Yeatman's Cove—About the last of December, Israel Ludlow, who after the death of Filson had become a joint proprietor with Denman and Patterson of the site of Cincinnati, left Limestone with about twenty persons to commence a settlement on their purchase.
"Immediately upon their arrival, Mr. Ludlow and his party erected three or four log cabins, the first of which was built on Front Street, near the corner of Front and Main streets. During the winter Mr. Ludlow surveyed and laid out the town, then covered with a dense forest, marking the course of the streets on the trees. In addition to the small quantity of provisions that the settlers brought with them, they found ample and easy means of subsistence from wild game and fish. The Indians, though unfriendly, committed no depredations for two or three months."
The names of the party are given in the Directory of 1819 as follows :
"James Carpenter, William McMillan, John Vance, Robert Caldwell, Sylvester White, Sam. Mooney, Henry Lindsay, Joseph Thornton, Noah Badgely, Thaddeus Bruen, Daniel Shoemaker, Ephraim Kerby, Thomas Gizzle, William Connell, Joel Williams, Samuel Blackburn, Scott Traverse, John Porter, Fran. Hardisty, Matthew Fowler, and Evan Shelby."
This list, strangely enough, does not include the names of Ludlow and Patterson, who were unquestionably with the party. The other names usually included in the roll of founders, are those of Matthew Campbell, Captain Henry, Luther Kitchel, Elijah Martin and Isaac Tuttle. It is conjectured that Ephraim Kirby is Ephraim Kibby, subsequently of Columbia, and also that the name of Daniel Shoemaker included here is that of the Columbia settler, well known.
Kibby and Shoemaker drew lots at Losantiville, but were with Stites' party at Columbia, and subsequently moved there. Tuttle, Henry and some of the others joined Symmes' number in February. Hardesty and others drifted away without effecting a permanent settlement here.
The exact date of the departure from Maysville, in Symmes' letter to Dayton, written from North Bend, May 18, 1789:
"On December 24, Colonel Patterson, of Lexington, who is concerned with Mr. Denman in the section at the mouth of Licking River, sailed from Limestone, in company with Mr. Tuttle, Captain Henry, Mr. Ludlow and about twelve others, in order to form a station and lay out a town
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opposite Licking. They suffered much from bad weather and floating ice, which filled the Ohio from shore to shore. Perseverance, however, triumphed over difficulties, and they finally landed safely on a most delightful bank of the Ohio, where they founded the town of Losantiville, which populates considerably, but would have been more important by this time, if Colonel Patterson or Mr. Denman had resided in the town. Colonel Patterson tarried about one month at Losantiville and returned to Lexington." The above-described locality is the Cincinnati of today.
William McMillan, a very intelligent lawyer and a prominent man of Cincinnati many years, in court testified, "That he was one of those who formed the settlement of Cincinnati on the 28th day of December, 1788."
Mr. Cist (historian) records that Judge Burnet assured him that he never had any doubt that this was the correct date. Denman, who was not with the party, in another case in court, testified that they came "late in December," although he never fixed the real date. The date named by McMillan is, without doubt, the correct one. Tradition recites that "the party occupied in completing the preparations did not get away from Limestone until somewhat late in the day, and made but nine miles before tying up for the night ; that the third day they sighted Columbia, but were unable to reach it or stop on account of the ice ; that the same cause prevented their landing here upon arrival opposite the spot on the evening of the same day, but that after remaining in or near the mouth of the Licking through the night of the 27th, they effected a crossing with their boats the next morning and triumphantly entered the little inlet at the foot of Sycamore street, afterwards styled Yeatman's Cove. Fastening their frail barks to the roots and shrubs along the bank, they stepped ashore, collected drift-wood and bark and other dry substances and aided by their steel and flint obtained fire for their comfort and cooking purposes. Dr. Daniel Drake, three-score years later, drew this picture of the scene : "Setting their watchmen around, they lay down with their feet to the blazing fires, and fell asleep under the frozen limbs through which whistled the music of the northern winds. The great sycamore trees and water maples overhung the water's edge." Judge Burnet once wrote of this occasion : "It was no time for prolonged rest or sleep, however. The depth of winter is not the season for open-air bivouacs, when shelters are at hand. The readiest expedient for the supply of material for dwellings—one already suggested by the practice of the boatmen of the age in breaking up their vessels and selling their constituent parts when the destination was reached—naturally occurred to the newly arrived, and their first cabin was constructed of boat-planks and other breakage from the craft in which they came."
This house was built on the present Front Street, a little to the east of Main, and a trifle northwest of the Cove or place of landing. The Cove, being the inlet opposite Sycamore Street, was later named from Griffin
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Yeatman, who for many years resided and kept tavern, where that street intersects the public landing, "Yeatman's Cove."
Another statement is to the same effect that the settlers first built a shelter of boards on the beach, under the bluff bank, felled trees, and began the erection of a small cabin, on the south side of Front Street, just east of Main, for the use of Colonel Ludlow and his assistant surveyors. This is claimed to have been the first house built in Cincinnati as a dwelling, and stood for a great many years afterward. There was a board nailed on a stick chimney marked "1788," and Dr. Jones, in his "Early Days of Cincinnati," records that several old pioneers still living remember the house, or more properly the old cabin, very distinctly, although there is no means of ascertaining in what way or just when it was torn down. (P. 28 and sketch on p. 29.) Cabins were said to have been built here by Clark's soldiers in 1782, but they had disappeared.
The Survey of the Town —Ludlow immediately proceeded to make a survey of the town. In this he was assisted by Badgley, who was one of Symmes' surveyors, and others, and the work was substantially completed on the 7th of January, 1789, when the drawing took place for the donation lots.
According to the testimony of Patterson, given December 27, 1803 in a deposition which was taken in connection with the controversy about the public landing, Ludlow at this time did not attempt to make the survey of the whole town, but simply "laid out the front of said town as far as westwardly in Main Street The ground in front of Front Street was declared at that time a public common for the use of the citizens of said town, except and reserving only for the benefit of the proprietors the privilege of establishing a Ferry on the banks of the Ohio on said Common." (Hamilton County Recorder's Office ; Book D-1, page 74.)
This common, as is explained hereafter, became a subject of controversy. Melyn Baker testified on the same date that Patterson's testimony was taken, that he arrived in Cincinnati in October, 1790, and occupied for a time a small enclosure on the common, which was afterwards removed.
The Donation of Lots —The article of agreement for the settlement which had been entered into for the proprietors in December, before leaving Limestone, reads as follows :
"Articles of Agreement—The conditions for settling the town of Losantiburg are as follows, viz.: That the thirty in and out lots of said town to as many of the most early adventurers shall be given by the proprietors, Messrs. Ludlow, Denman and Patterson, who, for their part, do agree to make a deed in fee simple, clear of all charge and incumbrances, except the expense of surveying and deeding the same, as soon as Judge Symmes can obtain a deed from Congress
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"The lot-holders, for their part, do agree to become actual settlers on the premises. They shall plant and attend two crops successively, and not less than an acre shall be cultivated for each crop ; and within two years of the date hereof, each person who receives a donation lot or lots, shall build a house equal to twenty-five feet square, one and one-half stories high, with brick, stone or clay chimneys ; which house shall stand on the front parts of their respective lots, and shall be put in tenable repair, all within a term of two years. These requirements shall be minutely complied with on penalty of forfeiture, unless it be found impracticable on account of savage depredations."
This agreement was not signed at Limestone, but seems to have been tacitly assented to by all parties. (See, however, the statement in Denman's deposition of August, 1833.)
When the survey had been completed on January 7, 1789, Colonel Ludlow promulgated the following statement :
CONDITIONS ON WHICH THE DONATION LOTS IN THE TOWN OF LOSANTIVILLE ARE HELD & SETTLED.
The first Thirty town & out lots to so many of the most early adventurers shall be given by the proprietors Messrs. Denman, Patterson & Ludlow, who for their part do agree to make a deed free & clear of all charges and incumbrances excepting that of surveying & deeding the same so soon as a deed is procured from Congress by Judge Symmes.
The lot-holders for their part do agree to become actual settlers on the premises; plant & attend two crops successively & not less than One Acre shall be cultivated for each crop & that within the term of two years—each person receiving a donation lot or lots shall build an house equal to Twenty feet square One Storey & half high with a brick stone or clay Chimney which shall stand in front of their respective in lots and shall be put in tenantable repair within the term of two years from the date hereof.
The above requisitions shall be minutely complied with under penalty of forfeiture unless Indian depredations render it impracticable. Done this seventh day of January One thousand seven hundred & Eighty-Nine.
This proclamation, it will be seen upon comparison, differs from the December contract in but two particulars—the name is given Losantiville in place of Losantiburg, and the size of the houses is reduced from twenty-five to twenty feet square. These papers, dating long after Filson's death, completely dispose of Judge Burnet's contention that the name Losantiville died with him.
The survey extended from the river to Seventh Street, then called Northern Row, and then from Broadway (Eastern Row) to Central Avenue (Western Row) and thence to the river ; the out-lots of four acres each (eighty-one in number) extended beyond Northern Row to the north limits of the Losantiville purchase, at Liberty Street. This survey was not recorded by Israel Ludlow for himself and Denman until April 29, 1802, and then only because of the passage of a law requiring it. The entry may be found in Book E-2, pages 62-63, and is preceded by the following documents :
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"References to the plan of the Town of Cincinnati, in page No. 62, exhibited by Colonel Israel Ludlow (as one of the proprietors), on the foren00n of the twenty-ninth day of April, 18o2, and recorded agreeably thereto.
"N. B.—The following certificate is attached to the original :
"This may certify that I consider myself as having been one of the original proprietors of the Town of Cincinnati, and hereby authorize Israel Ludlow to make or copy a plan according to the original plan or intention of the firm, and cause to be recorded as such, agreeably to the Laws of the Territory in that case made and provided.
"November 20th, 1801.
"P. P. STEWART.,
"D. C. COOPER."
"The lots in the regular squares of the town contain 72 square perches, are 12 poles in length and six poles wide. The out-lots, which are entire, contain each four acres, and in length, east and west, six and a half chains. The six long squares between Front and Water streets contain lots ten poles long and six poles wide. All the streets in the town are four poles wide, excepting Seventh Street and Eastern and Western Rows, which are but two poles wide.
The Rival Plats —On the Ludlow plat the streets are named as they are at present, excepting Broadway was marked as Eastern Row and Central Avenue as Western Row. Plum Street was spelled Plumb. The space from Broadway, or Eastern Row, to Main Street, and from Front Street to the river, was made a common or public landing forever, reserving the privilege to the proprietors of establishing a ferry at this point. The cove was shown as extending to the south line of Front Street, just east of the foot of Sycamore, and a little wider at its junction with the river than it was long. The lots in the south half of the squares between Second and Front streets, and all below them are laid out lengthwise north and south ; all others in an east and west direction. Lots 114 to 117 and 139 to 142 (the town plat) are indicated in Ludlow's appended notes as given to the public uses. They constitute the block bounded by Fourth and Fifth streets, and Walnut and Main streets. The south half of these was afterwards divided between the First Presbyterian Church, the Cincinnati College, the county of Hamilton, and the old Lancaster Seminary.
East of Broadway, between Third and Fifth streets, were sixteen in-lots, and north of these the first range of out-lots, numbered from one to eight. The northwestern range of out-lots began also north of Fifth Street.
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On the same day another plat was exhibited to the recorder by Joel Williams, at six o'clock, p. m., which purported to be a plat "of the town of Cincinnati (formerly called Losanterville)," agreeable to the original plan thereof, and was recorded at the instance of Samuel Freeman and Joel Williams, assignees of Matthias Denman and Robert Patterson. The principal differences between the two plats are the names of streets, and on the (public landing) common. The east and west streets are designated as follows, beginning with the river :
Water, Front, Columbia (Second), Hill (Third), High (Fourth), Byrd (Fifth), Gano (Sixth), and Northern Row (Seventh). The north and south streets, beginning with Eastern Row (Broadway), running westward, were Sycamore, Main, Cider (Walnut), Jefferson (Vine), Beech, Race, Elm, Filson (Plum), and Western Row. The public landing space is filled with in-lots, numbering 461 to 468.
The records disclose the fact that town lots were very cheap the first few years. For example, Lot No. 76, drawn by Mr. Lindsay, was sold to A. and J. Huntin, September, 1796, for $4.00, and in 1859, had it been stripped of all its improvements, it would readily have sold at more than $100 per front foot, or $50,000 for the half lot.
North Bend Settlement —The Miami Purchase had for its third settlement what is now known as North Bend, and although it is not yet a portion of the city of Cincinnati, it was settled by Symmes himself and the early history of the two places were closely interwoven ; hence should here be mentioned briefly, but clearly. After a few "Indian Scares" Symmes and the Indians became quite friendly. Cist's Miscellany, Vol. II, page 61, shows a copy of the letter of friendship sent to the Indians, before Symmes started from Limestone to effect settlement at North Bend, which reads as follows :
Brothers of the Wyandots and Shawanese! Hearken to your brother, who is coming to live at the Great Miami. He was on the Great Miami last summer, while the Deer was yet red, and met with one of your camps; he did no harm to anything which you had in your camp; he held back his young men from hurting you or your horses, and would not let them take your skins or meat, though your brothers were very hungry. All this he did, because he was your brother, and would live in peace with the Red people. If the Red people will live in friendship with him, and his young men who came from the great Salt ocean, to plant corn and built Cabins on the land between the Great and Little Miami, then the White and Red people shall all be brothers and live together, and we will buy your Furs and skins and sell you blankets and rifles, and Powder and Lead and Rum, and everything that our Red Brothers may want in hunting and in their towns. Brothers! A treaty is holding at Muskingum, Great Men from the thirteen fires are there, to meet the chiefs and head men of all the nations of the Red People. May the Great Spirit direct all their councils for peace. But the great men and the wise men of the Red and White people cannot keep peace and friendship long, unless we, who are their sons and warriors, will also bury the hatchet and live in peace.
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Brothers, I send you greetings—I send you a string of white beads, and write to you with my own hand, that you may believe what I say. I am your brother, and will be kind to you while you remain in peace. Farewell! JNO. C. SYMMES.
January the 3rd, 1789.
It will be seen that there was at least one distinction between the letter written by William Penn, in which he told the Pennsylvania Indians that "I will never allow any of my people to sell rumme to make your people drunk," whereas Symmes wrote the Indians of this section that he would sell them rum as well as rifles, powder and lead.
First Landing at North Bend —The latter part of January brought a great rise in the river, which swept out the ice and cleared the river for his boats, and he concluded to make a start. On the 29th of January, 1789, after collecting with much difficulty a small supply of flour and salt, he embarked with his family and furniture, taking with them Captain Kearsey and the remainder of his soldiers. The river was higher at the time by several feet than had been known since the white men had come to Kentucky, and Symmes embarked with the bow of his boat even with the high bank on which his house was built. The landing at North Bend was about three o'clock in the afternoon. The men that belonged to Captain Kearsey's company, and who had been previously sent down to Columbia, had rejoined him, so that his company was once more full. They immediately raised what was known as a camp, by setting two forks of saplings in the ground, a ridge-pole across, and leaning boat-boards, which had been brought from Limestone, one end on the ground and the other against the ridge-pole ; enclosing one end of the camp, and leaving the other open to the weather for a door, where a fire was made to fence against the cold, which was now very intense.
Captain Kearsey was much displeased, because Symmes had insisted upon landing at this point, as he had expected to go on to the Old Fort. When he set out on the expedition, he had expected to find a fort ready built for him and had not provided implements necessary to construct one. As a result of his disappointment, he finally concluded that he would not begin the building of the new fortification, but would leave Symmes' party and join the garrison at Louisville, which he did in March.
After having explored the region round about other points, Symmes abandoned several localities and decided to commence at once to lay out a number of house lots on the spot where they were in order to form a village. Forty-eight lots of one acre each were surveyed out and every other one of these lots were given away upon the condition that the ones to whom they were donated should build thereon at once. Further applications followed and the village extended up and down the river until it formed a front one mile and a half long on the stream, including more than one hundred lots. In May, 1789, Symmes wrote there were comfortable log cabins, covered with shingles, or clap-boards, to the number
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of forty. This village was called by Symmes North Bend, "from its being situated in the most northerly bend of the Ohio that there is between the Muskingum and the Mississippi."
Encouraged by his success at North Bend, and by the fact that fresh applications were pouring in for house-lots, Symmes concluded to lay off another village, seven miles up the Ohio from North Bend, and fronting about a mile along the river. This village he called South Bend, "from its being contiguous to the most southerly point of land in the purchase."
Despite the success of these settlements, as well as of the third one, a little below North Bend, known as the Sugar Camp settlement, Symmes felt as yet uncertain as to the place where he was to locate his city. This city, of course, was to be the great emporium of trade for the purchasers and its location was a matter of serious consequence in his mind. His letters from North Bend are full of discussions with relation to the proper site for such a city. They also give an insight into the many discouragements under which he labored, and the dangers to which he was exposed.
The final conclusion reached in this matter was that the great city of Miami was laid out at the point of his landing, running from the Ohio River at North Bend to the Great Miami at the present city of Cleves.
As has already been stated, one of the first undertakings was to establish another settlement at South Bend for which Symmes seemed to have great hopes. In almost every letter he speaks of the desirability of encouraging this settlement by giving away donation lots and in other ways. As South Bend was near the center of the purchase he had hopes, as is apparent in a letter quoted elsewhere, of its being made the county town, but these hopes soon disappeared. For a time, however, the settlement seemed to improve.
The history of North Bend from this time is not eventful. Judge Symmes remained here for years and he received visitors from all over the world who happened to be traveling in this neighborhood. Here it was that in 1795 William Henry Harrison married his daughter Annie. and here for many years he resided. The original log cabin of the presidential campaign of 184o, which was, in fact, to a large extent a myth, was supposed to be located here. The old Harrison mansion was in part built of logs, but a large frame structure was added and the whole clap-boarded and painted white, making for a time a commodious house. Henry Howe, in his "Ohio," gives us a plan of this house and also a drawing showing its exterior appearance.
Judge Symmes died in Cincinnati, in 1814, and was buried at North Bend in the cemetery about a mile southeast of his former residence. On his grave is the following inscription :
"Here rest the remains of John Cleves Symmes, who, at the foot of these hills, made the first settlement between the Miami rivers. Born on
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Long Island, in the State of New York, July 21, A. D. 1742. Died at Cincinnati, February 26, A. D. 1814."
Not very far from this grave on the height back of North Bend rests the body of his son-in-law, President William Henry Harrison.
The Sugar Camp settlement, about three miles below North Bend, founded about the same time, had at one time about thirty houses, but afterwards became extinct. The blockhouse, which was built in the early days for the protection of the settlers, was said to be standing in 1847, but being in a very dilapidated condition it soon disappeared altogether.
South Bend, of which so much was expected, was reported on September 17, 1791, to have included eighteen or twenty families. A garrison of twenty soldiers was also stationed there. The settlement gradually dwindled, its population departed and its buildings were abandoned and its very site became almost unknown. As a matter of fact the southeastern part of it is within the present limits of the city of Cincinnati.
CINCINNATI TOWNSHIP AND VILLAGE HISTORY.
Hamilton County's first civil townships included Cincinnati, Miami and Columbia—the first three civil sub-divisions in the county. The act of February 19, 181o, gave the county commissioners sole jurisdiction. These first three townships represented the pioneer settlements of the county and included the whole purchase on the river extending to the military range, a point six miles north of the present village of Springdale. Really, the Court of Quarter Sessions in 1791 erected the three original townships of the county. Cincinnati was described as "beginning at a point where the second meridian east of the town intersects the Ohio ; thence down that stream about eleven miles to the first meridian east of Rapid Run ; thence north to the Big Miami ; thence up that stream to the south line of the military range ; thence south to the place of beginning."
Miami Township was described as "beginning at a point on the Ohio at the first meridian east of the mouth of Rapid Run ; thence due north to the Great Miami ; thence down that stream to the Ohio ; thence up the Ohio to the place of beginning." No part of this township is within the limits of Cincinnati proper.
The erection of Butler and other counties in 1803, made necessary a rearrangement of the townships, which left Columbia Township the territory now included in that township and that part of the city now east of the second meridian east of the old city of Cincinnati.
The new boundaries of Cincinnati Township commenced "at the southeast corner of Miami Township on the Ohio River ; thence north to the northwest corner of section 17 in fractional range 2, township 2 ; thence east nine miles ; thence south to the Ohio ; thence westward along the Ohio to the place of beginning." These lines included more than one-half of what was later Delhi Township, the eastern part of Green, except the three north sections, the whole of Mill Creek, except the northern section, and the city of Cincinnati to the range line on the east.
Springfield Township had been carved out of Cincinnati Township in 1795 as a result of the great movement of settlers to the country after security from the Indians was assured by the Wayne victory.
South Bend Township, created in 1795, included Delhi and part of Green. Delhi was not created until more than fifteen years later and Green about 1809. Although the name Sycamore appears in 1800, the township does not appear to have been erected until 1803, at the time of the general organization following the admission of Ohio into the Statehood of the Union.
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Mill Creek was set off from Cincinnati and Springfield townships. Its southern line was at the old corporation line at Liberty Street and it occupied the third township of the Second Fractional Range.
The first township officers—those serving for 1791-92--were : Levi Woodward, clerk ; Samuel Martin, constable ; John Thompson and James Wallace, overseers of the poor ; James Gowdy, overseer of the roads ; Isaac Martin, Jacob Reeder, and James Cunningham, street commissioners.
The history of the township and village of Cincinnati extended over the period of time from 1790 to 1802. For the first few years of its existence the fear of the Indians necessarily kept the inhabitants together and the out-lots were used only for farming purposes, but even at that there was an atmosphere of prosperity. In 1789 the population consisted of eleven families and twenty-four unmarried men inhabiting twenty small log cabins built on the lower bank, increased by as many as forty families and an equal number of new cabins. The first two frame houses were built during this year and among the population were two blacksmiths, two carpenters, a shoemaker, a tailor and a mason. During the first year of the settlement between fifteen and twenty of the inhabitants were killed by the Indians.
Early-day Village —At the time of the landing of Benjamin Van Cleve, January 3, 179o, he tells, us that two small hewed log houses had been erected and several cabins. Fort Washington was not completed, for he mentions the fact of General Harmar's men being employed in building it. But soon matters changed, for we find in a letter written by Symmes, November 4, 179o, that "the advantages are great which this town is gaining over North Bend ; upwards of forty framed and hewed two-story houses have been and are being now built. One builder sets an example for another, and the place already assumes the appearance of a town of some respectability. The inhabitants have doubled here within nine months past."
Spencer's Narrative, page 27, says : "All the ground from the foot of the second bank to the river between Lawrence Street and Broadway, and appropriated to the fort, was an open space on which, although no trees were standing, most of their large trunks were still lying."
Mrs. Wallace, in her recollections, states that in 1791 there was but one frame dwelling in Cincinnati, and that belonged to Israel Ludlow and stood at the lower end of Main Street. The front part of the building was used for a general store.
Matthew Winton kept tavern on Front Street. A German named Bicket had a dramshop opposite Plum Street, between Front and the river bank. Mrs. Wallace and her husband resided on Front Street below Race. Joel Williams' celebrated tavern was at what was later known as Latham's Corner.
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The year of 179r was not a very prosperous season here. Almost one-half of the able-bodied men had gone into the army and many had been killed, and many more were frightened away on account of the campaign failure and had gone over into the interior of Kentucky. No mills or factories were built that year, except a horse mill below Fourth Street. It was used at that period for holding services in by the Presbyterians, as their church had not yet been erected.
What is generally determined to be the first regular store in Cincinnati was opened by John Bartle in his hipped-frame building at the corner of Front Street and Broadway. This pioneer merchant was born in La Marne, France, 1743, served in the army of his own country and afterwards came to America with Lafayette. At the end of the Revolution he retired with the rank of colonel. He was in the great military campaigns with St. Clair, Harmar and Wayne against the Indians. In later years he became a wanderer among the Indians of the far Northwest and finally settled with his daughter, Mrs. Elijah Pierce. He died in December, 1839, at the City Hospital. Dr. W. E. De Courcy, of Cincinnati, was his great-grandson.
Early Growth of the Village —The first reliable account of the early growth and population of Cincinnati was published in the "Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography," Vol. XII, pp. 34 and 165. This account was given from the writings of John Heckewelder in 1792 and translated in 1796. It reads, in part, as follows :
"On the first day of July the party reached Columbia and stopped with Major Stites. Heckewelder found here a ship mill and many well-built houses. The inhabitants numbered eleven hundred, including two Baptist preachers, Smith and Clark. The town was well situated, except that part of the land was inundated by high water. A large portion of the ground was covered by walnut and locust trees. On the 2nd of July, after breakfast, they left Columbia and reached Cincinnati at nine o'clock, where they were greeted with a salute of nine cannon shots in honor of General Putnam, who was on a mission to conclude a treaty with the Indians. Heckewelder was assigned quarters with General Putnam at Fort Washington, but he preferred going to a landlord in the town by the name of Martin (Isaac) formerly from Sussex County, New Jersey. There were at that time fifty-six Indian women and children confined as prisoners in the stockade. These had been brought here about a year before by the Scott and Wilkinson expedition. Putnam told them that that would soon be released. In the afternoon Commandant Wilkinson arrived on his return from a visit to the Western forts and on the 3rd five Indian men and one woman were brought in, who came to seek and take away their captive friends. "This fact was made known to the prisoners before night, the guard within the stockade was called away, and the gate opened, but for the safety of the prisoners, a guard was
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placed outside. It was touching to witness the loud outbursts of weeping when relatives met." This party brought the tidings of the murder of Trueman, Freeman and Hardin. Heckewelder witnessed the celebration of the Fourth, at which time fifteen cannon shots were fired from a six-pounder in the morning, at noon and in the evening. Judge Symmes came up from North Bend to attend this celebration. The two days following were spent with Colonel Menzies, the inspector of the troops, and Lawyer Smith in viewing the town. "The ground upon which the town stands is a plain along the Ohio about two miles long, and extending northward seven miles along the road. The town is in a manner divided into two parts, as one or a second shore of the Ohio is 14o perches from the real bank of the Ohio. Each of these banks is 4o ft. high, and on account of its situation or straight line, very pleasant to the eye. What lies below this second bank is called the lower town ; the upper town is, however, connected with the lower one.
"At present there are 344 surveyed lots purchased and used for building purposes. Four acres outside of the town belonged to every lot within the town. The price of the lots at first was from four to eight dollars per lot, and twenty dollars an acre for the lots outside of the town. The rush is, however, so great at present, that lots are being sold from thirty to sixty dollars cash, from the second purchases. More than two hundred houses have been built, many of which are two stories high, well built and painted red. They command a rent of from fifty to sixty dollars per year. In the center of the upper town there are two large squares, the one intended for a courthouse, and the other for a church. On the latter a fine church is being built and under roof. The streets of the town are everywhere four perches wide. All the lots which have been surveyed are enclosed with good posts and Indian corn, wheat, oats, barley, millet, potatoes and turnips are cultivated in them. There are eight open roads leading from east to west and six from south to north, pleasant for walking, there being no obstacles in the way on the one road for three-fourths of a mile, and on the other for one-half mile. At the east end of the town, and on the second height, lies Fort Washington, built similar to Campus Martius in Marietta ; the roof and palisades on the front are painted red. Near the fort there are some very fine, large gardens, in which vegetables and fine flowers are cultivated. Tasty summer-houses have been built in them ; the most prominent of these belong to General Wilkinson and Dr. (Richard) Allison. Just below Fort Washington there are long low buildings forming a square, where the mechanics in the service of the United States Army work ; it is also a storehouse for provisions. The inhabitants of this city number more than 900, not counting the garrison and its belongings. This does not contain any positive number, but at present consists of about 200 men. The city has its judges and holds regular courts. The city consists principally of bad
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inhabitants, yet a clergyman resides there. The present one belongs to the Presbyterian Church. I was really astonished to find so many and partly attentive listeners in the Sunday services. What adds to the beauty of the city of Cincinnati, and contributes to its advantages, is the fact that just opposite, on the south side of the Ohio, the beautiful Licking River (about three-fourths as broad as the Lehigh) empties into it. A city has also been located and begun there, which is called Newport. From the mouth of this river, which flows from a rich inhabited country, a main road leads to Lexington, the capital of Kentucky. They expect that in future a lively traffic from there to this place, and from here down the Mississippi, may be carried on. At present two ferries are maintained here ; one of them belongs to a German named Pickel.
"On the 12th William Wells, who had been taken prisoner by the Indians when a boy of twelve years of age some eight years before, came in from Louisville. He was pressed into service by General Putnam as an interpreter. He found among the prisoners his adopted mother and sisters and their meeting evoked many tears. Wells, it will be remembered, afterwards became one of the most valuable of Wayne's scouts. Two days later two soldiers who had been among the Indians were brought in and described the death of the peace messengers, Trueman and Freeman. On the same evening the news came of an attack of thirty Indians upon Columbia, where three men had been taken captive. A company of cavalry was sent in pursuit and followed the trail for thirty miles, but were unable to take the redskins. On the 16th the head chief, one of those who had come in a few days before, died at Fort Washington. 'The funeral march was beaten on the drum draped in mourning. They granted him a resting place in the cemetery, believing that this might be of advantage to them, among the relatives as well as among the Nation in general. Malicious people dug up the body again at night, tore down the flag and post, threw them into a mud-hole and dragged the body down along the street and stood it up there. The generals had the body buried again immediately in the morning and a flag raised. Governor St. Clair's secretary issued a proclamation offering $100 reward for the discovery of the perpetrators. On the following night, however, the flag and proclamation were torn down, but the body remained unmolested. For a second time a new flag was raised, a guard placed nearby, and nothing further happened.'
"An incident of the 22nd was the punishment of a soldier who had attempted a revolt. 'He was obliged to run the gauntlet, have his head shaved, a collar put around his neck and in this manner be drummed out of the fort and city. He had formerly been tied to the wheelbarrow in Philadelphia.'
"In the autumn of 1792 an Indian prince died and at his funeral all
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the officers and gentlemen of the city were present. Three salutes were fired over his grave, each answered by a cannon shot from the fort. After the coffin was lowered the Indians and the others present each threw a handful of earth upon it. In the coffin were placed the gun of the deceased, his tomahawk, powder-horn and balls, tobacco and pipe, several pairs of shoes and leather wherewith to mend them, a tin flask, knives and such like provisions and a bottle of brandy to be used on the journey in the new country. A long pole stripped of its bark was put up at the head of the grave and a white flag suspended from it. The party left the fort on the evening of the 1st of November.
"The defeat of the Indians at the battle of Fallen Timbers and the treaty of Greenville which followed changed very materially the conditions of the settlement. Prior to this time there was no certainty of continued life, but from 1794 the uncertainty vanished and the settlement's progress, though slow, was sure. Another element which contributed to the advance of the settlement was the final issue of the patent to Judge Symmes, which ended the annoyance about the titles to the section within the town limits. A very important factor as well was the establishment of a line of keel-boat packets by Jacob Myers, which ran between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh."
The historical sketch published in the Cincinnati Directory of 1819, on page 29, give these facts :
"The peace of Greenville was hailed by the infant settlements as the era of peace and security. They now looked forward to an exemption from ravage, danger and distress and all the horrors of savage warfare. The return of peace gave them new ambition and new hopes. They removed from their forts into the adjacent country, selected farms, built cabins and began to subdue the forest. They were soon joined by other emigrants who, upon the news of peace, began to flock across the mountains in great numbers In 1795 the town contained ninety-four cabins, ten frame houses and about five hundred inhabitants. In 1800 the population was estimated as about seven hundred and fifty and five years afterwards, 1805, it amounted to only nine hundred and sixty.
"During the year 1796 Judge Burnet arrived and he found a small village of log cabins, including about fifteen rough, unfinished frame houses with stone chimneys. Not a brick had then been seen in the place. His account of the town with its lower and upper plain and the swamp extending at the base of the upper plain has already been given. The chief hotel of the village, he tells us, was that of Griffin Yeatman, and the most remarkable object in the city was Fort Washington with the artificers' yard on the bank of the river. Among other important structures he mentions Colonel Sargent's residence north of Fourth Street behind the fort and that of Dr. Allison to the east of the fort on what is now Ludlow Street."
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Another arrival of this year who gives us some account of the settlement was Samuel Stitt, who died in 1847 at the advanced age of seventy-eight years. He had been born in Ireland in 1769 and came to America twenty years later. He arrived in Cincinnati in May, 1796, and settled on the river bank. His description of the town at the time of his arrival is published by Mr. Cist :
"Facing the river, at the time I came, was entirely a bluff bank, the surface being cleared excepting a large elm tree, east of what is now Commercial Row (southwest corner of Main and Water streets), from which for several years the martins took their departure. It stood many years, until struck by lightning, when it was cut down to keep it from setting on fire the adjacent houses. There was a large cove opposite Griffin Yeatman's, at the mouth of Sycamore Street. This cove, and at Joel Williams', now Latham's Corner (foot of Main), were the principal landings. There was another cove at Ludlow Street. An old woman, named Wright, who did washing for the garrison, had a cabin at this cove, and was obliged to remove to the upper bank when the river was high. There was a duck and snipe pond, a hundred feet across, where Walker kept store, reaching half way to Sycamore Street. A post and rail fence extended along Main from Columbia (Second) Street, which, in extremely wet weather, was our only means of getting on foot to the hill. There was no horse-path at this period up the hill, on Main Street, which was a bluff, gravel bank ; and it required a pretty active man to climb it ; but there was a cow-path up Broadway, and a very steep wagon road up Sycamore Street. The timber was all cut down on the town plat in 1796, when I first saw it.
"Gibson had a frame house at the corner of Main and Front streets, in which he kept store. D. C. Cooper, who afterward laid out Dayton, had the opposite corner."
Cincinnati in 1800 —Dr. Daniel Drake, who came here when a lad of fifteen summers, arrived December 18, 1800, and in his splendid address delivered before the Cincinnati Medical Association, January, 1852, gave the most graphic description of Cincinnati in those days, when youth and young manhood was just before him. This address, among other interesting paragraphs, had the following :
"In the first year of the century the cleared lands at this place did not equal the surface which is now completely built over. North of the canal and west of the Western Row there was forest, with here and there a cabin and small clearings, connected with the village by a narrow, winding road. Curved lines, you know, symbolized the country, straight lines the city. South of where the old Commercial Hospital now administers relief annually to three times as many people as then composed the population of the town, there were half-cleared fields, with broad margins of blackberry vines ; and I, with other young persons, frequently gathered
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that delicious fruit at risk of being snake bitten, where a Roman Catholic Cathedral now sends its spire into the lower clouds. Further south towards Fifth Street was the ancient mound on which General Wayne planted his sentinels seven years before, which was overshadowed with trees which, together with itself, should have been preserved ; but its dust, like those who then delighted to play on its beautiful slopes, has mingled with the remains of the unknown race by whom it was erected. The very spot on which we are now assembled, but a few years before the time of which I speak, was part of a wheat field of sixteen acres owned by Mr. James Ferguson and fenced in without reference to the paved streets which now cut through it. The stubble of that field is still decaying in the soil around the foundations of the noble edifice in which we are now assembled. Seventh Street, then called Northern Row, was almost the northern limit of population. Sixth Street had a few scattering houses ; Fifth not many more. Between that and Fourth there was a public square, now built over. In one corner, the northeast, stood the courthouse, with a small market place in front, which nobody attended. In the northwest corner was the jail, in the southwest the village schoolhouse ; in the southeast, where a glittering spire tells the stranger that he is approaching our city, stood the humble church of the pioneers, whose bones lie mouldering in the center of the square, then the village cemetery. Walnut, called Cider Street, which bounds that square on the west, presented a few cabins or small frames ; but Vine Street was not yet opened to the river. Fourth Street, after passing Vine, branched into roads and paths. Third Street, running near the brow of the upper plain, was on as high a level as Fifth Street is now. The gravelly slope of that plain stretched from east to west almost to Pearl Street. On this slope, between Main and Walnut, a French political exile, whom I shall name hereafter, planted, in the latter part of the last century, a small vineyard. This was the beginning of that cultivation for which the environs of our city have at length become distinguished. I suppose this was the first cultivation of the foreign grape in the valley of the Ohio. Where Congress, Market, and Pearl streets, since opened, send up the smoke of their great iron foundries, or display in magnificent warehouses the products of different and distant lands, there was a belt of low, wet ground which, up to the settlement of the town twelve years before, had been a series of beaver ponds, filled by the annual overflows of the river and the rains from the upper plains. Second, then known as Columbia Street, presented some scattered cabins, dirty within and rude without ; but Front Street exhibited an aspect of considerable pretension. It was nearly built up with log and frame houses, from Walnut Street to Eastern Row, now called Broadway. The people of wealth and the men of business, with the Hotel de Ville, kept by Griffin Yeatman, were chiefly on this street, which even had a few patches of sidewalk pavement. In
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front of the mouth of Sycamore Street, near the hotel, there was a small wooden market house built over a cove, into which pirogues and other craft, when the river was high, were poled or paddled, to be tied to the rude columns.
"The common then stretched out to where the land and water now meet, when the river is at its mean height. It terminated in a high, steep, crumbling bank, beneath which lay the flat-boats of immigrants or of traders in flour, whiskey, and apples, from Wheeling, Fort Pitt, or Redstone Old Fort. Their winter fires, burning in iron kettles, sent up lazy columns of smoke, where steamers now darken the air with hurried clouds of steam and soot. One of these vessels has cost more than the village would then have brought at auction. From this common the future Covington, in Kentucky, appeared as a cornfield, cultivated by the Kennedy family, which also kept the ferry. Newport, chiefly owned by two Virginia gentlemen, James Taylor and Richard Southgate, but embracing the Mayos, Fowlers, Berrys, Stubbs, and several other respectable families, was a drowsy village set in the side of a deep wood, and the mouth of Licking River was overarched with trees, giving it the appearance of a great tunnel.
"After Front Street, Sycamore and Main were the most important of the town. A number of houses were built upon the former up to Fourth, beyond which it was opened three or four squares. The buildings and business of Main Street extended up to Fifth, where, on the northwest corner, there was a brick house, owned by Elmore Williams, the only one in town. Beyond Seventh, Main Street was a mere road, nearly impassable in muddy weather, which at the foot of the hill divided into two, called the Hamilton Road and the Mad River Road. The former, now a crooked and closely built street, took the course of the Brighton House ; the latter made a steep ascent over Mount Auburn, where there was not a single habitation. Broadway, or Eastern Row, was then but thirty-three feet wide. The few buildings which it had were on the west side, where it joins Front Street ; on the site of the Cincinnati Hotel there was a low frame house, with whiskey and a billiard table. It was said that the owner paid seven hundred dollars for the house and lot in nine pences ; that is, in small pieces of "cut money" received for drams. North of this, towards Second Street, there were several small houses, inhabited by disorderly persons who had been in the army. The sidewalk in front was called Battle Row. Between Second and Third streets, near where we now have the eastern end of the market house, there was a single frame tenement, in which I lived with my preceptor (Dr. Goforth) in 1805. In a pond, directly in front, the frogs gave us regular serenades. Much of the square to which this house belonged was fenced in, and served as a pasture ground for a pony which I kept for country practice
"Between Third and Fourth streets, on the west side of Broadway,
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there was, in 1800, a cornfield with a rude cornfield fence, since replaced by mansions of such magnificence that a Russian traveler, several years ago, took away drawings of one as a model for the people of St. Petersburg. Above Fourth Street, Broadway had but three or four houses, and terminated at the edge of a thick wood, before reaching the foot of Mount Auburn.
"East of Broadway and north of Fourth Street, the entire square had been enclosed and a respectable frame house erected by the Hon. Winthrop Sargent, Secretary of the Northwest Territory. He had removed to Mississippi Territory, of which he was afterwards Governor; and his house and grounds, the best improved in the village, were occupied by the Hon. Charles Wylling Byrd, his successor in office. Governor Sargent merits a notice among the physicians of the town, as he was the first who made scientific observations on our climate.
"Immediately south of his residence, from Fourth Street to the river east of Broadway, there was a military reserve. That portion of it which laid on the upper plain was covered by Fort Washington, with its bastions, port-holes, stockades, tall flag-staff, evening tattoo, and morning reveille. Here were the quarters of the military members of our profession, and for a time for one of its civil members also; for, after its evacuation in 1803, my preceptor moved into the rooms which had been occupied by the commander of the post. In front of the fort, where Congress Street now runs, there was a pond, in which ducks and snipes were often shot ; and from this pond to the river, the tract through which Second and East Front streets now run, was overspread with the long, low sheds of the commissaries, quartermasters, and artificers of the army.
"Over the mouth of Deer Creek there was a crazy wooden bridge, and where the depot of the railroad which connects us with the sea has been erected, there was but a small log cabin. From this cabin a narrow, rocky, and stumpy road made its way, as best it could, up the river, where the railway now stretches. At the distance of two miles there was another cabin—that from which we expelled the witch. Beyond this all was forest for miles further, when we reached the residence of John Smith, who was afterward mixed up in Burr's conspiracy, and died in exile in Pensacola. The new village of Pendleton now covers that spot. Then came the early, but now extinct, village of Columbia, of which our first physicians were the only medical attendants."
Of the pioneer churches, lodges and schools, other sections of this volume will treat separately. It might be said in passing, however, that the first church organized in Hamilton County was that of the Baptist denomination at Columbia. The first at Cincinnati was the First Presbyterian, under Rev. James Kemper. The earliest school was opened by John Reily, at Columbia, June 21, 179o.
Singing and dancing schools were established early, for be it remem-
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bered that the pioneer in his rugged, rigorous life, needed some sort of amusement and entertainment. At Fort Washington there was a band and its effectiveness was added to in a way to remind one of Berlioz's "Requiem." for on the Fourth of July, 1799, we are informed that "Captain Miller furnished a piece of artillery which, with Captain Smith's company of militia, accompanied by martial music, made the woods resound to the toasts that were made." A couple of years later a band on Independence Day played "The President's March, French Grenadiers' March, George Washington's March, Yankee Doodle, Guardian Angels, Rural Felicity, Soldiers' Joy, Reveille, Anacreon in Heaven, Madam You Know My Trade is War, Fair American, Love in a Village, Goodnight be wi' you a', Flowers of Edinburgh."
There were other sources of amusement as well. We know that at the artificers' yard there were a number of theatrical entertainments given by amateurs and the advertisement of the Cincinnati races is quoted elsewhere.
The very day of the town meeting to consider the propriety of its incorporation, September 30, 1801, there appears in the "Spy" a reference to the Cincinnati Theatre as follows : "Subscribers will receive their tickets of admission by applying to Mr. Kilgore."
Early Bridges —In 1798 an attempt was made to connect the banks of Mill Creek with a bridge. Four hundred and thirty-four dollars was subscribed for this enterprise, but this being not nearly sufficient, the bridge was never erected. However, a floating bridge was maintained with a ferry alongside, which was used when high water made the bridge useless. These were in charge of a man named White and he is said to have carried on a large business. There was a bridge across Deer Creek, where the ravine in 1800 was not more than twelve feet across and overhung with evergreen and water willows, built of a single string-piece from bank to bank, with a descent at both ends. This was protected at each end from freshets by piling loads of stone on the edges for thirty feet or more each way from the banks.
Early Holiday Celebrations —The "Cincinnati Pioneer," No. IV, page 6, gave this account of celebrations participated in by the early citizens of Cincinnati and surrounding vicinity : It was to attend one of these celebrations on the Fourth of July in 1792 that Oliver M. Spencer came from Columbia to Cincinnati at the time he was captured by the Indians. Two years later the day was celebrated by a salute from Fort Washington, at that time in command of Captain Pierce, and a dinner at Maj. George Gordon's tavern in the frame house of Ludlow. In the following year there was another dinner at the same place at which thirteen regular toasts were drunk by the participants ; in Columbia the celebration was equally elaborate and the number of toasts were fifteen. Two years later
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the dinner was at Yeatman's Tavern at the sign of the "Square and Compass." In 1798, in addition to the other regular exercises, there was a militia muster in charge of Lieut.-Col. Daniel Symmes. The following year there was a procession in which the military in the fort took part. Afterwards there was a dinner at Yeatman's and an address by Governor St. Clair. By i800 the celebrations became more partisan in their character and the Republicans dined at Major Ziegler's, next door to Yeatman's. There was also a dinner at Frazier's in Columbia, where there were sixteen toasts. In the following year the celebrations were more numerous. Governor St. Clair took part in a dinner at Yeatman's Tavern. Sixteen rounds were fired by the Cincinnati Light Infantry. Another party, presided over by Judge Symmes, picnicked on the Rock at Republican Springs in the East End. Major Goforth presided over the celebration in Columbia.
THE TOWN OF CINCINNATI.
As a municipality the town of Cincinnati dated from 1802 to 1819, during which period of time the settlement rejoiced in the fact that it was accounted a "Town" under the laws of Ohio. While the township organization was still continued for the purpose of a certain political subdivision, all other administrative authority over the town was taken from the township officials and from the courts. It was in 1802 when Cincinnati commenced its history as an incorporated town, the exact date being January 1, 1802, at which date all power was vested in a president, recorder and seven trustees who formed the Select Council. By the act itself David Ziegler was appointed the first president and Jacob Burnet the recorder. The president was practically the supreme officer of the town. The presidents of the council while Cincinnati was under an incorporated town government were as follows : David Ziegler, 1802-03 ; Joseph Prince, 1803-04 ; James Findlay, 1805-06; John S. Gano, Martin Baum, 1807 ; Daniel Symmes, 1808-09; James Findlay, 1810-11 ; Martin Baum, 1812 ; William Stanley, 1813 ; Samuel W. Davies, 1814, who was the last presiding officer of the town of Cincinnati.
Biographical —Of the first official the incorporation of Cincinnati had —Maj. David Ziegler, president of the town—the following notice was written a third of a century ago :
Maj. David Ziegler was born at Heidelberg, in 1748. At an early age he began his military career as a subordinate officer under Frederick the Great. He also served in the Russian army during the reign of Catharine the Second in the campaign against the Turks, which ended with the cession of the Crimea to Russia. He came to America in 1775 for the purpose of entering the Revolutionary army. Early in that year he was commissioned third lieutenant in Captain Ross' company at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, which was recruited in that county, and was immediately sent to escort a supply of powder to Washington's army at Cambridge. On the 25th of June, 1775, he was promoted first lieutenant and adjutant of Colonel William Thompson's battalion of riflemen. This regiment was the second in Pennsylvania to enlist for the war. On the 6th of January, 1776, he was promoted first lieutenant of a company of the First Pennsylvania Continental Infantry, and December 8, 1778, he was raised to the rank of captain. From his promotion to the end of the Revolution he served as senior captain in this famous regiment, which Wayne said "always stepped to the front for glory." He distinguished himself in the battles of Long Island, Brandywine, Monmouth, and Bergen Point. The same day he was promoted he was made inspector of the Pennsylvania
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brigade. He was once taken prisoner, but was soon exchanged. He served in the Carolinas in 1783, returning to Philadelphia by water. At the close of the war he became a member of the Society of the Cincinnati. When General Harmar was sent on his western expedition Captain Ziegler accompanied him. He was also with General Lincoln. On the 29th of December, 1791, he was promoted to the rank of major. He saw much hard service during the Indian wars in the Northwest Territory. As an officer he stood high, being noted for his military bearing, promptness to obey orders, and for having one of the best drilled companies in the service. In the spring of 1789 he married Lucy, youngest daughter of Benjamin and Hannah (Coggeshall) Sheffield, of Marietta, while stationed at the fort there. Major Ziegler resigned in 1792, settled in Cincinnati, and engaged in business as a storekeeper. After serving as the first president of the village council in 1802, he was appointed by Jefferson in 1804 the first marshal of the Ohio District, and in 1809-11 he filled the office of surveyor of the port of Cincinnati. Major Ziegler was greatly esteemed by the people for his many noble qualities as a soldier and civilian. He died in 1811, aged sixty-three years, and was buried with military honors. His name and fame have always been held in grateful remembrance by his posterity.
By virtue of the act of 1815 the head of the government was the mayor selected by the trustees from their own body. The first mayor was president of the town of Cincinnati, William Corry, selected by the Town Council, at that time holding their meetings at the tavern of Samuel McHenry. Mr. Corry was the only person to hold the office of mayor and president. During his term, which lasted four years, the trustees held many of their meetings at the old Town House on the landing, and after 1817 at a hall on Fourth Street between Walnut and Main.
Town of Cincinnati in 1804 —The best evidence of how Cincinnati appeared at this date is shown by an address delivered by pioneer A. H. Dunlevy, born in Columbia in 1793, and grew to manhood in this vicinity. This address was on the occasion of the eighty-seventh anniversary of the Marietta settlement, April 7, 1875, which reads as follows :
"Cincinnati was then a very small place. The hotel where I put up was near the northeast corner of Main and Fifth streets and was kept by one James Conn or rather by his wife who was the most efficient of the family. Here for some years, I was accustomed to stop during the sittings of the court, and here I always met, with others, those judges of the Court of Common Pleas not residing in the city. Among these early judges, besides my father, then the presiding judge, were Luke Foster, James Silvers, I think, and Dr. Stephen Wood. Judge Goforth also was on the bench, but lived in the city. Here, too, I frequently met Judge John Cleves Symmes. In the early part of court he was always thronged
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with purchasers of his lands, and I have seen him, while supping his tea, of which he was excessively fond, writing deeds or contracts and talking with his friends and those who had business with him all at the same time.
"From the customers of this hotel, I think it was considered the best then in Cincinnati. But at this time the forest trees stood on the south, east and north of this hotel property. Directly south, across Fifth Street, Tom Dugan, an old bachelor who left a large property in Cincinnati, had a rough-iron store ; and there were very few buildings of any size south along Main Street, until the corner of Main and Fourth, where, on the north side, James Ferguson had the best store, I think, then in Cincinnati. The only access to the Ohio where wagons could descend was at the foot of Main Street ; and this consisted simply of a wide road cut diagonally down the steep bank of the river. In high water there was no other levee than this road. In low water, however, there was a wide beach ; but this could only be reached by this road. It may be there was a similar approach to the river at the foot of Broadway ; but if so, I did not see it. All north of Fifth street, with the exception of one or two houses, was in woods or enclosed lots, without other improvements. In coming to Cincinnati from Lebanon, miles of the route were in the woods, out of sight of any improvements ; and from Cumminsville, then only a tavern, kept by one Cummins (John, I think), there were but two residences on the road until you came near to Conn's hotel. One of these was the residence of Mr. Cary—I think father of General Samuel Cary, of Hamilton County, so well known." (Cincinnati Pioneer, No. IV, p. 30.)
According to another reminiscential account of the town in 1805, the population, which was about 95o at this time, occupied 172 buildings ; four of these were of stone, six were of brick, 109 of frame and 53 were log cabins. The stone buildings were those of Jesse Hunt on Second near Eastern row, Judge Aaron Goforth on Walnut below Fourth, Andrew Lemon on Water Street and Joel Williams, also on Water Street. Those of brick were the Miami Exporting Company's bank building on Front near Main, Judge Burnet's residence on Vine and Third (the site of the present Burnet House), the building of Elmore Williams on Fifth and Main and Nimmo's on Main near Fourth and two others whose names are not preserved. Not long after this the office of "Liberty Hall" and its editor, Rev. John W. Browne, was built at the east end of the lower market house. (John D. Caldwell in Cincinnati Pioneer, No. IV, p. 7.)
In 1807 a German tourist named Schultz made a trip through the Western and Southwestern country. He subsequently published an account of his travels. At Cincinnati he found three hundred houses, several of which were "very genteel buildings ; it has a bank, market-house, printing-office, and a number of stores well stocked with every kind of merchandise in demand in this country. The markets are well
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furnished both as to abundance and variety." Flour was $3.50 to $4.00 a barrel and the country around produced all the necessities of life with but very little labor. He speaks of Fort Washington as still being at the upper end of the town although useless at the time by reason of the increased population of the country. (Travels Through Ohio, Vol. I, p. 181.)
Manners and Habits of Population —Dr. Daniel Drake, in his "Notices Concerning Cincinnati," printed in 1810, one of the best, earliest and today the rarest histories of the place, gives the following on the population, their manners and customs early in the nineteenth century :
The population of Cincinnati and its suburbs is 2,320 souls, of which number 1,227 are males and 1,013 females and eighty negroes. The number of persons over forty-five years is 184. This population have emigrated from every state in the Union, and from most of the countries in the west of Europe, more especially Ireland, England, Germany, and Scotland. The American emigrants have been supplied principally from the states north of Virginia.
A population derived from such distant sources, and so recently brought together, must necessarily exhibit much physical as well as moral diversity. The climate and soil have not yet introduced a uniform constitution of body; nor customs, manner and laws a uniform moral character. The inhabitants are generally laborious. By far the greatest number are mechanics. The rest are chiefly merchants, professional men and teachers. Wealth is distributed more after the manner of the Northern, than Southern States; and few, or none, are so independent as to live without engaging in some kind of business.
A great portion of the inhabitants are temperate. There are not a few, however, who daily, but quietly, become intoxicated, and no very inconsiderable number have been known to fall victims of that habit. Whisky is in universal, but not exclusive, use, among the intemperate; beer and cider are generally drunk by those of more sobriety. Well water is generally drunk in the summer, and used otherwise by a few throughout the year. But the water of the river, drawn up in barrels, is employed for all domestic purposes by far the greatest number, and is drunk throughout half the year by at least half the inhabitants.
The use of tobacco among the male sex is much too general. It is not confined to those who might derive benefit or comfort from it, but extends, with the usual number of exceptions, to all ages, from ten years old, upwards.
The diet of the inhabitants is similar to that of the people of other Middle and Eastern States. Green tea and coffee are in general and extensive use. Fresh meats are eaten in great quantities. Beef, more especially in the summer and autumn, is used to the exclusion of most other meats, in a great many families. The market is well supplied with culinary vegetables. Fermented wheat bread is in very general use. It is commonly eaten fresh, but hot bread is much seldomer served up here, than in the Southern States. Indian corn bread is by no means uncommon. Rye is almost unknown as an article of food. Fish are not a principal article of diet, though the river affords many.
The dress of our inhabitants is similar to that of the other inhabitants of the Middle States. The females injure their health by dressing too thin, and both sexes by not accommodating the quantity of clothing to the changes of the weather. The amusement of balls and other evening parties, so defective to female health in all parts of the United States, are engaged in here, but not to remarkable excess.
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No natural or artificial mineral waters are used here in the summer, nor are there any artificial baths. Bathing in the river is practiced by some, but not near as much as it ought to be.
Drake's Picture of Cincinnati in 1815 —Among all the writings on early-day Cincinnati, none equals Dr. Daniel Drake's "Cincinnati in 1815." It really appeared in 1816 and contains seven chapters replete with valuable information concerning the foundations of the present city. With this publication was also a fine engraved map of the town and embryo city, and this pointed out many buildings and was used for many years.
The steam mill was on the river bank between Broadway and Ludlow just east of the Broadway Ferries. This mill was "erected in the years 1812-13 and 14 under the direction of William Green an ingenious mason and stone cutter, on a plan furnished by George Evans, one of the proprietors. It is built on the river beach upon a bed of horizontal lime stone rocks and in high floods is for its whole length exposed to the current. The foundation is 62 by 87 feet and io feet thick. Its height is 110 feet, and the number of stories nine, including two above the eaves. To the height of 40 feet, the wall is battered, or drawn in ; above, it is perpendicular. The cornice is of brick, and the roof of wood, in the common style. It has 24 doors and 90 windows. The lime stone with which it was built was quarried at various places in the bed of the river, and measure in the wall 6,62o perches. Besides this, it swallowed up 90,000 brick, 14,800 bushels of lime, and 81,200 cubic feet of timber. Its weight is estimated at 15,655 tons. Through the building there is a wall dividing each story into two unequal apartments—the one designed for manufacturing flour ; the other for receiving wool and cotton machinery, a flax seed oil mill, fulling mill, and several other machines.
"It is equally creditable to the prudence of the superintendent and the temperance of the laborers, that during the erection of this house, not one serious accident occurred."
The Directory of 1819 mentions this mill as follows :
This building the most "capacious, elevated and permanent building" is further described in the Directory of 1819 as containing "four pair of six feet millstones and machinery for carding, fulling and dressing cloth —all driven by a steam engine of 7o horsepower. It is capable of manufacturing annually 1,200 barrels of flour, besides carding and dressing cloth to the amount of three or four thousand dollars. It employs in the whole about twenty hands and consumes yearly about 12,000 bushels of mineral coal."
The sad story of this structure is told in the Directory of 1825: "This once noble and sublime piece of architecture is now a pile of ruins, the combustible part of which was consumed by fire on the third day of November, 1823. Arrangements have been made and materials collected, for
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rebuilding it and probably in the course of the present year it will again resume its former appearance."
In 1824 the mill was rebuilt and in successful operation again. The rebuilt structure was eight stories high—111 feet from base to top. This building was finally taken down in 1835 to make way for a steam ferry landing. Two breweries were noted on the map named—one at the corner of Pike and Congress streets, and one on the river front at the foot of Elm Street. These breweries employed twenty workmen and made annually 42,000 barrels of beer and porter, valued at $5o,000. Wood was cheap for fuel purposes, a large part of which was rafted down the Ohio and Licking rivers ; but little coal was used except by the manufacturers. This was brought from Pittsburgh and sold at about fifteen cents a bushel. There were four market-houses between Main and Sycamore streets. Fresh meats could be had except in the midst of winter, on every day of the week but the Sabbath. Poultry was most always excellent. Fish though abundant in the rivers, were not in great demand. The kind most sought for were perch, pike, eel, yellow cat and sword fish. Venison in season was brought in from the woods and bear meat frequently offered. Butter and cheese were scarce and of very inferior grades. Fruits and vegetables were abundant and good. Grapes were brought in from either the vineyard of General Taylor in Newport, or the Swiss plantation of Vevay, Indiana.
First Charter —The act to incorporate the town of Cincinnati was passed at the first session of the Second General Assembly held at Chillicothe and approved by Governor Arthur St. Clair January 1, 1802. One section of the bill provided "that such parts of the township of Cincinnati, in the county of Hamilton as are contained in the following limits and boundaries, that is to say, beginning on the Ohio river, on the southeast corner of the fractional section No. 12 ; thence running north to the northeast corner of the said fractional section thence west with the township line to Mill Creek, with the meanders thereof to its mouth ; thence up the Ohio River, with the meanders thereof, to the place of beginning; shall be, and the same are hereby erected into a town corporate, which shall henceforth be known and distinguished by the name of 'The Town of Cincinnati.' "
Charter of 1815 —The first charter under act of 1802 was repealed by the act of January 10, 1815. By this act, which reincorporated the territory covered by the first act, the officers of the town were a mayor, recorder and trustees. The town was divided into four wards by straight lines crossing each other at right angles. Until the boundaries of the wards should be altered by Council, these lines were to be along Third Street and Main Street and that portion north of Third and East of Main was to go to the First Ward, west of Main to the Second, south of Third