Athens County Ohio
BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL MEMOIRS
OF THE EARLY
PIONEER SETTLERS OF OHIO,
WITH NARRATIVES OF
INCIDENTS AND OCCURRENCES IN 1775.
BY S. P. HILDRETH, M. D.
BY COLONEL R. J. MEIGS.
H. W. DERBY & CO., PUBLISHERS, 1852
Transcribed by Sandra Cummins
THE FIRST SETTLEMENT OF ATHENS COUNTY.
WITH BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES OF SOME OF THE EARLY SETTLERS.
BY EPHRAIM CUTTER, ESQ.
THE Indian war, which was brought to a close by the treaty of Greenville, in August, 1795, had caused an almost entire stop to the wave of population, which, by the settlement of Marietta and Cincinnati, had begun to swell and move. It was not until 1797 and 1798, that the symptoms of what has astonished the whole civilized world, began again to appear in the west. In those years, that kind of boats to which the pioneers gave the cognomen of broadhorns, were seen continually floating down the Ohio. Many of these contained the families of persons of strong, adventurous minds, and hardy frames, but generally of little or no property. They of course sought for opportunities to locate themselves on lands that they could obtain on easy terms.
In the early part of 1797, Marietta was crowded with this kind of population, seeking for some place to make a home. It is well known that in the purchase of the Ohio Company's lands, they made it a condition that two townships of land should be conveyed which were to be forever for the use and benefit of a university. These lands were in the trust of the directors of the Ohio Company, and were thus to remain until they should resign that trust to the future Legislature. Gen. Putnam, who was the superintendent of the surveys of the land of the Ohio Company, had these two townships surveyed into sections in 1796.
The trustees were convinced that it would be good policy to early make these lands productive, and thus provide a land to commence an institution, which they foresaw would soon be much needed, and if established, promised most important results. They believed that the public interest would be served by encouraging substantial men to occupy these lands, make improvements, and wait until a more permanent title could be made to them by an act of Legislature, which, it was expected, would soon (as was the case) be acquired as the second step provided for by the ordinance of 1780, providing for the government of the territory northwest of the river Ohio.
These lands, with a large surrounding region, were one of the most favorite portions of the hunting ground which the Indians had surrendered in their several treaties; and the treaty of 1795 seemed to close the last fond hope of ever after enjoying them. Yet the hunters living about Sandusky, and on the different branches of the Muskingum, continued not only to visit there, but until the winter before the last war with Great Britain commenced, they were in large parties during the hunting season, coursing through that extensive range of country, comprising the lands watered by the Raccoon, Monday, Sunday, and the heads of Federal creek. It was here they formerly found the buffalo, the elk, and the bear. The buffalo and elk were not exterminated until the year 1800. The bear continued in considerable abundance until their last great hunt in the winter of 1810-11. That winter was a favorable season for them to effect the object they seemed to have in view, which was to destroy the game, the weather being cold, with several falls of snow. The carcasses of many deer were found in the woods bordering the settlements in Washington and Athens counties, which appeared to be wantonly destroyed by the savages. A young buffalo, believed to be the last seen in this part of the country, was taken a few miles west of Athens, on a branch of Raccoon, in the spring of 1799, brought to the settlement, and reared by a domestic cow.
The summer after it was two years old, it was taken by its owner over the mountains, and for a considerable time exhibited from place to place. At first it was easily managed, but at length became ungovernable, and gored its owner, who died of the wounds, and the animal was then killed.
Gen. Putnam probably would not, at this time, have encouraged the commencement of this settlement, had he not foreseen that these lands would soon be occupied, and that it was important, in order to establish a peaceable and respectable settlement, to select, from the emigrants already at Marietta, men possessing firmness of character, courage, and sound discretion. He accordingly gave every facility in his power, relating to the surveys, &c., to Capt. Silas Bingham, Judge Alvin Bingham, John Wilkins, Esq., Capt. John Chandler, John Harris, Robert Lindsey, Jonathan Watkins, Moses Hewit, Isaac Barker, William Harper, Barak, Edmond and William Dorr, and Dr. Eliphaz Perkins.
Some of these individuals, with their families, and some others, made their way up the Hockhocking, in pirogues, early in the spring of 1797; and were the first in felling the interminable forest, and to erect dwellings. Immediately after the settlement commenced, as was anticipated, large numbers came to take possession of these lands, many of whom seemed disposed to practice the principle that, might makes right; this soon occasioned a state of things which required much courage and prudence to counteract. Alvin Bingham was commissioned a magistrate, and Silas was appointed a deputy-sheriff.
The cases of taking forcible possession of the land and improvements had commenced, and it required no common share of prudence and firmness to keep the peace, and give an effectual check to these outrages. Add to these, a Canadian Frenchman, by the name of Menour, who had resided with the Indians, was in the habit of stealing horses from the savages, and bringing them into the settlement, on the college lands, where he had men ready to take them and convey them away to some settled region, and dispose of them. The Indians found no difficulty in tracing their horses to this point, but could follow them no further. They, of course with great justice, made their complaints. Menour had collected around him quite a number who were well armed, and showed a determination to defend him. Judge Bingham issued a warrant for his apprehension, and entrusted it with Silas, who made an attempt to perform his duty, but found quite a party of desperate characters in arms to protect him. He very adroitly retired; giving out the idea, that he should not venture to arrest him, unless he could obtain assistance from Marietta.
Menour's house was a strong building for those times; the only access to the chamber was a small opening in the gable-end. Menour and his wife, who used it for a lodging room, ascended a ladder, then drew it up after them, and closed the aperture. The lower part of the house was, at this time, occupied by a large party of desperate men, horse-thieves, and outlaws, who slept on their rifles, and were ready at any moment to do their leader's bidding. In the meantime, Bingham, with the utmost secrecy and dispatch, collected the well-disposed citizens of Athens and Ames, and proceeded that night to make the arrest. The night was very dark, and they approached and surrounded the house, without, being discovered by its inmates. K. Cutler burst open the door, and the citizens rushed in upon the desperadoes, and secured them before they were fairly awake. Robert Lindsey and Edmond Dorr broke into the opening that formed the entrance to the chamber, and captured Menour; who was taken to Marietta, where he was convicted of the offense, on the testimony of the Indians, and punished; he, however, afterward went to Sandusky, and it was said, was there killed by an Indian.
Judge Bingham was not lax in punishing breaches of the peace. Some cases of forcible entry and detainer took place, which required a jury and two magistrates to decide them; and at this time there were but two in this portion of the country, Judges Bingham and Cutler. These cases sometimes showed a threatening aspect; a certain number of disorderly persons were always ready to attend such courts.
At one of these trials the leaders of this class came forward, and threatened violence; the magistrates ordered them to leave the room, they retired, but expressed an intention to put a stop to such courts. The magistrates issued warrants, and ordered the sheriff to apprehend them immediately, and take them to Marietta. He was not slow in arresting them. It is not easy to conceive of men more frightened; the idea of being taken to Marietta, to be tried by a court that had established its character for firmness and strict justice, filled them with terror. Silas Bingham, (who, to great shrewdness and dispatch in business, united an unconquerable love of fun,) did nothing to allay their fears, but told them the better way would be to come into court, and, on their knees, ask forgiveness, and promise amendment. The prominent man of the offending party replied, that it was too bad to be compelled to kneel down, and ask forgiveness of two "Buckeye justices;" but he would submit rather than be taken to Marietta. This anecdote was often repeated by the facetious Col. Sproat and Bingham, and might have aided in fixing the cognomen on the state.
The Binghams were natives of Litchfield county, Conn., and although quite young, they were volunteers at the capture of Ticonderoga, by Ethan Allen, in 1775. Silas was with the army which invaded Canada, and both served most of the time during the Revolutionary war. Judge Bingham was a substantial, clear-headed man, sober and dignified in his manners, stern and uncompromising in his sense of right.
Silas was full of anecdote and humor, social and kind in his feelings, a man of excellent sense, and a terror to evil doers. The promptness with which these men acted in enforcing the laws and in protecting the rights of the weak, had the effect to rid the settlement of a large portion of this disorderly population: and Athens, many years ago, established its character as an orderly and respectable community, embracing as much intelligence and refinement as any other town of equal size. For this happy result, it was in no small degree indebted to Dr. Eliphaz Perkins. Few men were better calculated to introduce a mild and refined state of manners and feelings. He was a native of Norwich, Conn., born in 1753, graduated at an eastern college, and removed to Athens in 1800. the time when a disposition to trample on the laws prevailed. The services of a physician were greatly needed in the settlement, and his arrival was hailed with joy. By his attention to the sick, skill in his profession, and by his urbanity and kindness, he at once became popular. The influence thus acquired, he exerted in the most salutary and unostentatious manner, while he frowned upon every breach of law and decorum. His own deportment was a bright and living example of purity and benevolence. He was truly a patron of learning. He did much to establish and sustain common schools in that region. He contributed liberally to the Ohio University, was early appointed a trustee, and for many years was treasurer of the institution. lie died, much lamented, on the 10th of April, 1828, in the lively exercise of that Christian faith of which he had been many years a professor. His descendants are numerous and highly respectable; seven of them have graduated at the Ohio University.
Soon after the settlement of Athens and Ames, the venerable Elder Quinn, then a young man, found his way through the wilderness, with little more than blazed trees to guide his steps, enduring like a true soldier of the cross, extreme toil and privation. He may be regarded as the founder of the Methodist church in that county.
MAJ. JERVIS CUTLER.
MAJ. JERVIS CUTLER was the son of the Rev. Manasseh Cutler, who for fifty-two years was pastor of the Congregational church in Hamilton, Mass. He was also the negotiator with Congress in the year 1787, for the purchase of a million and a half of acres for the Ohio Company, by means of which the settlement of the now great state of Ohio was effected. From the year 1800 to 1804, Dr. Cutler was a representative in Congress from the Lynn district in Massachusetts.
Maj. Cutler was born at Edgarton, on Martha's Vineyard, in the year 1768. Being educated for the mercantile business, he was placed, at the age of sixteen years, under the care of Capt. David Pearce, of Gloucester, who sent him on a voyage to Havre de Grace, in France. If the father deserves the credit of paving the way for the settlement of this then savage wilderness, the son is entitled to be considered a pioneer of the settlement itself. In the year 1788, when only nineteen years old, he joined the little band of forty-eight, who emigrated from New England, under Gen. Rufus Putnam, and pitched their tents at Marietta, in the center of the Indian country. He had been often heard to say that he was the first to leap on shore at the mouth of the Muskingum, on the seventh of April, and actually cut the first tree to make a clearing for a habitation in the new settlement. Of that little band of hardy pioneers, not more than one or two are now living. The following summer he taught a school about four miles from ? ferry, on the Youghiogheny river, and was there when his father made his visit to Marietta in August, 1788.
In 1780 he returned to Marietta, and aided in forming the settlement of Waterford, being one of the first associates, but did not long remain there.
In the autumn of that year he joined a party of the Ohio Company land surveyors, not as a regular hand, but out of curiosity to see the country, who were running the cast and west township lines of the fourteenth and fifteenth ranges, between the Big Hockhocking and Raccoon creek. It consisted of twelve men, of whom Daniel Mayo, of Boston, was one, and Benoni Hurlburt, afterward killed by the Indians, was the hunter. The following interesting sketch of his being lost in the woods, was taken from his own lips, about three years before his death, and is a specimen of the exposures to which the early settlers were all liable.
Having quite a relish for hunting, and expert with the rifle, he one day went out with Hurlburt in quest of provisions for the party, whose supply was nearly exhausted. He ascended one side of a large creek, and his companion the other, which would give them a chance for mutual assistance in killing the game, as it crossed from bank to bank. Mr. Cutler, not being accustomed to the woods, presently left the main stream, and followed up a large branch. He soon discovered his mistake, and retraced his steps, but could find no signs of his trail. Just at night he met a fine bear, which he shot at and wounded. A small dog, now his only companion, gave it chase, but as the bear declined taking a tree, as they usually do, he soon gave up the pursuit. Finding that he was actually lost, he fired his gun several times, in hopes the party would hear it and answer his signal of distress. Night now rapidly approaching, he prepared to encamp, and selected a dead, dry beech-tree, the top of which was broken off about twenty feet from the ground, against which he kindled the fire. He laid down on some leaves before it, and being excessively tired, dropped into a sound sleep. The flame soon ran to the top of the dry beech, and a large flake of the burning wood, aided by the current of air, dropped on to the breast of his hunting-shirt, burning his skin severely. With some effort he succeeded in extinguishing his burning garment, and slept at intervals during the night. He rose at daylight, directing his course eastvvardly, with the hope of striking the Hockhocking, which he knew lay in that direction. All that day he traveled diligently, with the little dog by his side, without discovering the object of his search. That night he encamped near a small stream of water, but without fire, as he dreaded a repetition of the last night's accident; besides, he had nothing to cook for supper, and the weather was not cold. The night was passed quietly, with the little dog coiled up at his feet. The third morning he started early, and saw many signs of buffaloes, but no animals; and traveled all day without seeing any game. Toward evening the little dog, which seemed aware of his masters necessities as well as his own, ranged either to the right or left of the course, in search of game; and toward night, barked vehemently at something he had discovered. Mr. Cutler hastened up to the spot in expectation of at least seeing a fat bear, but only found a little, poor, starved opossum. Thinking this better than no meat, he killed and dressed it, roasting it by his camp fire. A part of it was offered to the dog, but he declined partaking such poor fare, and his master consumed the whole of it.
It was now three days since he left his companions, and this was his only meal. On the fourth morning, after a sound night's sleep by his fire, he felt quite refreshed, and pushed manfully onward, as he thought on an easterly course, but doubtless making many deviations from a right line. Soon after getting under way, his faithful companion started up a flock of turkeys, the sight of which greatly animated his spirits. His gun was soon leveled and discharged at one of the largest, not more than thirty feet distant. In the agitation and eagerness of the moment, he missed his mark, and the bird flew unharmed away, much to the chagrin of the little dog, which looked quite astonished and mortified at his master. His first impression was that his gun had been bent or injured, and would not shoot with any accuracy. Despair now succeeded to his recent joy, as he thought he must inevitably starve before he could escape from the woods. After shedding a few tears over his hopeless condition, and resting awhile on a log, he carefully wiped out his rifle and loaded it with great nicety. In the meantime the turkeys had all disappeared but a solitary one, perched on the top of a high tree. He now rested his gun against the side of a tree, and taking deliberate aim, he fired once more, and to his great joy the turkey came tumbling to the ground. A fire was soon kindled, the feathers pulled, and the bird roasted on the coals. A hearty meal was then made, of which the little dog now readily partook. This food was the sweetest he had ever tasted, and put fresh courage into the wanderers. The remains of the turkey were stowed away in the bosom of his hunting-shirt, and he pursued his solitary way more cheerfully. Soon after, in passing up a ridge, a fine deer came round the point of the hill, which he shot. From the skin of the animal he formed a kind of sack, which he slung to his shoulders, with strips of leatherwood bark, filled with the choicest pieces of the meat. He now traveled on quite cheerily, in which the little dog also participated, knowing he had food for several days, or until he could reach the settlements. That night he camped by the side of a little run, made a cheerful fire, roasted his venison, and ate his supper with a fine relish.
After sleeping soundly, he awoke with renovated strength and spirits. This was now the fifth day of his wandering, and luckily, a little before noon, he came on to the Hockhocking, at a place which he at once recognized as being about a mile and a half below the point from which the surveying party had started out on their work. He felt so much animated at the successful termination of this adventure, that instead of going down stream to the cabin of John Levins, seven miles below, he determined to go up to the line of the surveyors, and follow that until he found them. It was easily distinguished by the blazes, or marks on the trees, and before night reached the camp they had left two weeks before, and found a little fire still smoking in a dry sugar tree, which retains fire longer than any other wood. Feeling weary and low spirited, he proceeded no further that night, but slept on the old camping ground. In the morning, knowing where he was, and freed from the harassing feelings known only to those who have been lost in the woods, he started with fresh vigor on the trace. His little companion seemed to understand their more hopeful condition, and capered along ahead, barking heartily for joy. He now killed as much game as he needed, without leaving the trail, and on the eighth day of his solitary ramble, came tip with the surveyors. There was great joy in the party at meeting their lost companion, but as they supposed he had gone back to the settlement, not being a regular hand, they were not so much alarmed at his long absence.
Soon after this adventure he returned to New England, and resided for some time with his brother Ephraim, at Killingly, Conn., where he married Miss Philadelphia Cargill, the daughter of Benjamin Cargill, who owned, at that time, valuable mills on the Quinebog river, the site of the present Wilkinson factories and village in Pom?. His roving propensities led him to spend some months in Carolina and Virginia, but his brother having removed to Ohio, he came again to Marietta, in the year 1802, with the intention of establishing a tin manufactory; but meeting with little encouragement at that early day, he went to Chillicothe, and finally established himself at Bainbridge, on Paint creek, and engaged in the fur trade.
In the years 1806 and 1807 there was great excitement respecting Louisiana, and Aaron Burr's expedition; the militia were organized, and he was elected a major in Col. McArthur's regiment. His fine personal appearance, and some experience in military affairs in Connecticut, enabled him to fill the post with great credit. When additional troops were raised for the purpose of taking possession of New Orleans, he received the appointment of captain, and soon enlisted a full company of men. He was stationed at Newport, Ky., and for some time had the command of the post at that place. In the spring of 1809 he was ordered, with his company, to New Orleans. A French gentleman, engaged in the fur trade on the Missouri, and toward the Rocky Mountains, was taken on board his boat, as they descended the Mississippi, as a passenger. Being able to speak the French language fluently, he obtained from him much valuable information, which he carefully noted down, respecting these regions. In 1812 he published a work, being a a topographical description of that country, including much of Ohio, with an account of the Indian tribes residing therein.
His two subaltern officers, Jessup and Cutler, have since attained the rank of general officers in the army of the United States. At New Orleans he had a severe attack of yellow fever, which reduced his strength and health so much, that he left the army, and returned to New England, where he remained until 1818, when he removed his family to Warren, near Marietta. Here he lost his wife, in 1822.
Two years after he married Mrs. Eliza Chandler, of Evansville, Indiana, and soon after moved to Nashville, Tenn., where he was engaged in engraving copperplates for bank notes, for the banks of that state, and for Alabama. He possessed great taste for the fine arts; sketched remarkably well, and made some very creditable attempts at sculpture. With much versatility of talent, he lacked that singleness of purpose, and perseverance in one pursuit, necessary to success. He possessed a well cultivated mind, and was an acute observer of men and things. He died at Evansville, the 25th of June, 1844, aged seventy-six years. [back to bios page]
A HISTORY OF THE FIRST SETTLEMENT OF AMESTOWN, IN ATHENS COUNTY, OHIO,
WITH SKETCHES OF THE EARLY INHABITANTS.
BY EPHRAIM CUTLER.
IN the summer of 1797, Ephraim Cutler, the proprietor of several shares in the Ohio Company's purchase, ascertaining that a considerable amount of his lands were situated on the waters of Federal creek, in the sixth township of the thirteenth range, accompanied by Lieut. George Ewing, explored a way through the wilderness, and cut out a pack-horse path, twenty miles in length, from Waterford to Federal creek. They returned, and accompanied by Capt. Benjamin Brown, made a second and more thorough exploration.
They found the lands exceedingly fertile, with rich limestone hills and valleys, and chestnut ridges which afforded a plentiful supply of food for animals of every description, and promised an abundant reward to the labors of the farmer.
The Indians had not yet quite exterminated the buffalo and elk; the bear, deer, wolf, and panther abounded, while the wild turkeys were innumerable. Mr. Cutler proposed to furnish them with land, if they would unite with him in forming a settlement. They accordingly made their selection; and about the 1st of March, 1798, Lieut. Ewing removed his family, and in April, 1799, Cutler and Brown went over to build their cabins, and make preparation for the accommodation of their families. On their way back to Waterford, they found Wolf creek impassable, from recent heavy rains.
They cut a large bitter-nut hickory tree, that stood on the bank, peeled thirty feet of bark from the trunk, sewed up the ends with leatherwood, and launched it upon the stream; when themselves, with two young men, who accompanied them, embarked in this frail vessel. They had proceeded but a short distance down stream, when they discovered a large bear on the bank of the creek, which was shot, and taken on board. This Indian canoe, with its passengers and freight, performed the voyage of fifteen miles, to Waterford, in safety. The goods and furniture of the two families were put on board pirogues, and sent down the Muskingum and Ohio rivers, to the mouth of the Big Hockhocking and up that stream to Federal creek, a distance of eighty miles; while the women and children were taken on horseback, through the wilderness, and over the rough hills, to their woodland abodes. The creeks were much swollen, and difficult to pass. One large stream was crossed on a raft of drift-wood, at great peril. They reached the place of destination on the 6th of May. About the year 1800, Deacon Joshua Wyatt and family, with Sylvanus Ames and his accomplished and intelligent wife, joined them, making a very pleasant addition to the little colony. Other settlers also came, but the increase was small until 1804.
After the arrival of Deacon Wyatt, public worship on the Sabbath was established, by reading a sermon, and prayer. The settlers very early entered into an agreement, not to use ardent spirits on any public occasion, such as raisings, 4th of July, &c., which was strictly adhered to for several years.
Schools of an elevated character were soon established. Two gentlemen, graduates of Harvard University, Moses Everett, son of the Rev. Moses Everett, of Dorchester, Mass., and Charles Cutler, taught successively for several years. During a number of years, the youth enjoyed no other means of acquiring knowledge. But one newspaper was taken, the United States Gazette, and that, except by accident, did not arrive much oftener than once in three months.
In the autumn of 1801, the settlers of Dover, Sunday creek, and Ames were convened in public meeting, to devise means to improve the roads. At this meeting the intellectual wants of the settlement became a subject of remark. In their isolated position, the means of acquiring information were extremely limited. It was suggested that a library would supply the deficiency. But the difficulty of obtaining money, to make the purchase of the books, presented an insuperable obstacle. Josiah True, Esq., of Dover, proposed that they should collect furs, and send on to Boston, to effect the object. This project was acceded to by acclamation.
The young men of the colony had become expert hunters. Surrounded by a vast wilderness, with a boundless ocean of woods and prairies, inhabited by savages, who still regarded it as their favorite hunting grounds, their fatherland ; amidst dangers and privations, unknown in more cultivated regions, a hardy and adventurous character was early developed. John Jacob Astor employed agents in this country, to purchase furs, especially bear skins. At the commencement of winter, the bear seeks a hollow tree, or a cavern amongst the rocks, for his winter's sleep. The entrance of those cavities in which this animal takes refuge, is generally small. These were often entered by the hunters, and the bear dispatched, by shooting, or stabbing with the knife. In one instance the bear being wounded, determined to surrender his fortress, and retreat. The young man who had entered the narrow aperture, had no other resource than to lie flat upon his face, and let the animal squeeze his passage over him. At the outlet of the den, another hunter stood with his rifle, and shot him through the head; young Brown soon crawled out, covered with blood from the wounded bear, saying, that " Bruin had given him a harder squeeze than he ever had before."
In order to obtain the proposed library, the settlers, during the ensuing winter, procured a sufficient quantity of raccoon and other skins to make the desired purchase.
Samuel Brown, Esq., who was returning to New England that spring in a wagon, took charge of the skins. He was furnished with letters to the Rev. Thaddeus M. Harris, and the Rev. Dr. Cutler, who accompanied Mr. Brown to Boston, and selected a valuable collection of books. It is worthy of note, that this was the first public library in Ohio, and perhaps the first west of the mountains, and certainly was the first incorporated in the state. It has since been divided, after accumulating several hundred volumes, and part taken to Dover. Both branches are still in a flourishing condition.
About sixty youth have been reared under these influences, and gone forth to the world with fully developed physical powers, uncorrupted morals, and well cultivated minds ; but as most of them are now in active life, it would appear invidious to mention them. It may perhaps be proper to say that ten of them have graduated at the Ohio University. Many others have received more or less instruction at that institution. Two have been professors in colleges, three ministers of the gospel, and five lawyers, of established reputation. All of them occupy respectable, and many of them responsible stations in society.
The Hon. Ambrose Rice, son of Mr. Jason Rice, of Ames, attended the institution at Athens in its earlier stages. He manifested great aptness in mathematical science, solving the most difficult problems, almost by intuition. He settled in the northwest part of this state, where he occupied stations of trust and profit. His reputation as a man of probity and talent was high. He died leaving a large fortune.
The first physician in Ames was Dr. Ezra Walker, a native of Killingly, Conn. He still lives, at an advanced age.
Mrs. Cutler was a woman of uncommon fortitude and great excellence of character. Though in feeble health, and reared amidst the quiet and peaceful scenes of a New England village, she never shrunk from the dangers and hardships of frontier life. In the early days of the settlement the Indians were in the habit of encamping within a mile of her house. Her husband was obliged to be absent four times in a year, to attend the courts at Marietta. On one of these occasions several Indians came to her house.
Two hired men, or striplings, being alarmed, caught up their guns and ran over to Capt. Brown's, leaving her and the children unprotected. One of the Indians approached Mrs. Cutler with threatening gestures, brandishing his tomahawk, and pointed to a decanter of brandy upon the cupboard. She knew if they tasted the liquor her life was in danger. With the spirit of a veteran, she seized the fire-shovel and ordered him to set down the bottle and leave the house. The Indian told her, "She was brave squaw; he would give her some meat." They left the house and returned to their camp. She was much relieved by the speedy arrival of Capt. Brown, who came immediately on hearing of the unwelcome visit of the Indians. This incident is mentioned to show the trials and dangers to which the females of this settlement were exposed. She was a member of the Congregational church in Marietta, and an exemplary Christian. She died of consumption, in 1809.
Mrs. Wyatt was an intelligent, pious woman. Her maiden name was Shaw. She died some years after Mrs. Cutler.
Mrs. Ames was the daughter of an England clergyman. She still lives, honored and cherished by her numerous and respectable family.
It may be proper to give some sketch of the lives of Lieut. Ewing and Capt. Brown, men whose history belongs to that of their country. It was the efforts of such men, under the blessing of God on their labors and daring, that brought our country into existence as a distinct nation of the earth.
They have already been mentioned as the individuals who first commenced the settlement at Ames, a movement which, considering the attendant difficulties and perils, required no little courage and perseverance. It seemed like plucking an inheritance from the mouth of the lion, situated as it was, in the heart of the Indian hunting grounds, much valued and often visited by them in large parties until 1812, literally a frontier settlement, isolated and unsupported.
Lieut. George Ewing was a native of Salem county, N. J., and though but a youth at the commencement of the Revolutionary war, when his native state was invaded, and the sound of battle heard, he took his stand to defend it to the last. He was soon noticed for his bravery and good conduct, and received the commission of a first lieutenant in the Jersey line of the army, a proud mark of distinction thus to be placed in that noted corps, the Jersey Blues. He continued in the army until the return of peace, when it
was disbanded. He soon, with his wife and young family, left New Jersey for the west, and resided a few years near Wheeling, Va.. In 1793, with other families of that vicinity, he removed to Waterford, the frontier settlement on the Muskingum, in the midst of the Indian war. They were entitled to lands on the tract donated by Congress to those who, at that period, ventured their lives to defend the frontiers from the savage foe, and made a selection about four miles above Fort Frye, at the mouth of Olive Green creek, on the bank of the Muskingum river. They prepared a stockade garrison, to which they removed, and commenced improving their lands. The Indians watched them closely, and one of their number was killed by them, but with prudence and vigilance they maintained their post without further loss.
As a member of the new settlement of Ames*, Mr. Ewing was ever ready to promote schools, the library, and every measure calculated for the general good. He was fond of reading; was intelligent; possessed a fund of sterling sense, combined with lively wit and good humor. He sometimes indulged in a natural propensity for poetic and sarcastic descriptions: often served on juries at the freehold courts, held to settle the conflicting claims on the college lands at Athens. There were one or two individuals sometimes employed as advocates, demagogues, who frequently made sad havoc with the king's English. He could not help versifying some of these bombastic speeches, which he did in a masterly manner, but always in a vein of good humor. He finally removed to Indiana, and died about the year 1830. He was the father of the Hon. Thomas Ewing, well known for his talents and the public stations he has held.
* The name of the township was suggested by Gen. II. Putnam, in honor of Fisher Ames, of Massachusetts. It is now one of the richest farming townships in the Ohio Company's purchase.
CAPT. BENJAMIN BROWN.
CAPT. BENJAMIN BROWN was born in Leicester, Worcester county, Mass., on the 17th of October, 1745. He was the son of Capt. John Brown, who served with distinction among the colonial troops in the French war, and before and subsequently to the Revolution, for twenty years, represented the town of Leicester in the General Court of the state. His grandfather, William Brown, while a youth, came from England to America, and was the first settler in the town of Hatfield, on the Connecticut, at the mouth of Deerfield river, and was often engaged in the Indian wars of that early period. The maiden name of his mother was Elizabeth Jones, a near relative of John Coffin Jones, a man somewhat distinguished during and after the Revolution. His father's family was large, numbering nineteen children : five by a former wife.
At the age of twenty-seven, he married Jane Thomas, who survived him, and died at Athens, in 1840, aged eighty- six years. Soon after his marriage he settled on a farm in the town of Rowe, then in the northwest corner of Hampshire county, but now in Franklin, Mass.
In February, 1775, he connected himself with a regiment of minute men, as they were then called, commanded by Col. Barnard, filling the post of quaster-master. This regiment, under the command of Lieut. Col. Williams, of Northfield, at the first sound of war at Lexington, marched to Cambridge, on the 21st of April. Here he received a lieutenant's commission in Capt. Maxwell's company, of Col. Prescott's regiment and Massachusetts line, in which he continued until December, 1770. In June, 1775, he was engaged with a party of Americans in a very hazardous service, removing the stock from Noddle's inland, in Boston bay, to prevent their falling into the possession of the British, and also in burning the enemy's packet, Diana, ashore on Maiden beach.
He took an active part in the battle of Bunker hill, on the 17th of June, where his commander, Col. Prescott, highly distinguished himself by his judicious conduct and bravery. In this battle his oldest brother, John Brown, who died in Adams, Washington county, Ohio, in 1821, aged eighty- seven years, was dangerously wounded in two places, by musket shots, one of which ranged the whole length of his foot, shattering the bones in a dreadful manner. He was borne from the field on the shoulders of his brother Pearly to a place of safety, showing the rare spectacle of three brothers engaged in this first of American battles.
After the evacuation of Boston, in March, 1770, he marched with his regiment to New York, and was present in several engagements during the retreat from Long Island. At the battle of White Plains, where he took an active part, his brother Pearly was killed; and his brother William died in the hospital at New York. On the 1st of January, 1777, he received a captain's commission in the eighth regiment of the Massachusetts line, of which Michael Jackson was colonel, and John Brooks, afterward governor of Massachusetts, lieutenant- colonel, and William Hall, subsequently governor of Michigan, major. He remained in this regiment until the close of the year 1771). In December, 1770, he assisted at the capture of Hackensack, by Gen. Parsons.
In the summer of 1777, his regiment was ordered to Albany to check the progress of the enemy under Gen. Burgoyne.
About the middle of August, Col. Jackson, with his regiment, was detached with a body of troops under Gen. Arnold, to raise the siege of Fort Schuyler, and to check the advance of St. Leger's men down the Mohawk toward Albany, of which there was great apprehension, after the defeat of Gen. Herkimer at Oriskany, on the 7th of August. On his arrival at the German flats, he received information that at the stone house of Maj. Tenbreck, near where he was encamped, Maj. Walter Butler, a notorious Tory leader, had hoisted the British flag, and that the house and buildings contained a large amount of military stores and provisions. Tenbreck held unlimited sway over the Tory inhabitants of that region, and all the disaffected were flocking to him for arms and provisions. It was known to be a place of great strength, and in addition to the other difficulties, it was said that Maj. Butler had with him a detachment of British troops, besides his Tory allies. But as it was of great importance to get possession of these two men, it was decided to make an immediate attack, before they were aware of the approach of their enemies. The colonel selected Capt. Brown, with a chosen corps, to proceed in advance a little before the break of day. He marched with the utmost caution, until they came near the house, when, halting his men, he silently approached the sentinel, who, on his duty, advanced a few rods from the door, and then turning, marched back toward the house. Brown was a man of great strength and activity, and as he turned round he sprang upon him, securing his arms, and ordered his men to surround the house. He then with several of his trusty lads, tore some heavy rails from the fence, and using them as battering-rams, stove- in the stout door and entered the building. He there met the two majors, who surrendered the post without resistance, and when the regiment came up they had nothing to do but take possession, and thus, by this happy device, much bloodshed was prevented, and the troops proceeded without delay to the relief of Fort Schuyler, then in the most imminent danger from the army of Indians and Tories that surrounded the brave Gansevort and his gallant companions. On the approach of Arnold, the siege was raised, and the garrison saved.
Soon after this event, his regiment returned to the vicinity of Saratoga, and was engaged in nearly all the battles which preceded the surrender of the army under Gen. Burgoyne. At the storming of the German redoubts, on the 7th of October, Capt. Brown was eminently distinguished.
The events of this day sealed the fate of the British troops. The eighth regiment, under Col. Jackson, led the attacking column. Brown, being the senior captain, commanded the front division; on approaching the redoubt, he found an abates in front of the works, formed of fallen tree-tops.
Being a man of uncommon muscular strength, as was also his armor-bearer, or covering-sergeant, they together almost instantly cleared a sufficient opening for his men, and were the first to enter the redoubt. In doing this they received the full fire of the Germans, which killed his brave sergeant, his lieutenant, and several privates; but he, with the remainder, and a free use of the bayonet, soon drove the enemy from the works, and closed this important day in triumph. Col. Breyman, the commander of the Germans, was killed in this redoubt, and from concurrent circumstances, and his own confession, it is quite certain that he lost his life in a personal contest with Capt. Brown, as he entered the works.
After the surrender of Burgoyne, he was not present in any important battles, but was with the army until his resignation. The station of aid-de-camp to Baron Steuben, was offered to him a short time before the battle of Camden; but he declined the honor, from a sense of his deficient education to fill the post with credit, being that of all the New England farmers of that period.
During his absence in the army, his family, in common with many others, suffered severe privations, incident to the condition of the country.
At the time of his resignation, in 1779, the continental currency had so greatly depreciated, that his month's pay would not purchase a bushel of wheat for his family, and he was thus forced to leave the service, and return home, to provide for their wants, by his personal efforts. About the year 1789, he removed from Rome, to Hartford, Washington county, N. Y., then a new settlement, where he remained until September, 1796; when, with several families, he left there, to seek a new home in the territory northwest of the Ohio river; the fertility and beauty of the country having spread, by the voice of fame, through the middle and eastern states. He reached Marietta in the spring of 1797, and in 1799 moved, with Judge Cutler, to Ames township, and assisted in the first settlement of that place. In 1817, his health being much impaired, he went to live with his son, Gen. John Brown, in Athens. In 1818 he applied for, and received a pension.
He was a professor of religion, and died, much lamented, in October, 1821, aged seventy-six years.
The descendants of John and Benjamin Brown have multiplied in the west to hundreds. Some of them have occupied highly respectable public offices, with ability. Among the number is our late worthy member of Congress. P. B. Johnson, M. D., whose mother was the daughter of John Brown. Those two old pioneers may well be compared to the oaks of our forest, which nothing but the terrible tornado that levels all before it, can overthrow.
The following is a copy of the certificate of Gov. Brooks, given to Capt. Brown on applying for a pension :
"MEDFORD, Mass., August 24th, 1818.
This is to certify that Benjamin Brown was a captain in the late eighth Massachusetts regiment, commanded by Col. Michael Jackson that he (Brown) ranked as such from January 1st, 1777 that he was with me in the capture of Majs. Tenbreck and Butler, near German flats in raising the seige of Fort Stanwix, and in the several battles which immediately preceded the capture of Gen. Burgoyne and his army, all in the year 1777, and that he always acted as a spirited and brave officer. The time of Capt. Brown's resigning is not within my knowledge, but he continued in
service until after the 11th of September, 1778, at which time I left the eighth, being promoted to the command of the seventh regiment. I have no doubt of his having continued in service until the time he has mentioned in his declaration.
J. BROOKS, late lieutenant-colonel
Eighth Massachusetts regiment."
COL. JOSEPH BARKER.
COL. JOSEPH BARKER was a native of New Market, Rockingham county, N. H., and was born on the 9th day of September, A. D. 1765. His father was Ephraim Barker. The maiden name of his mother was Mary Manning, of Ipswich, Essex county, Mass. At the age of six years, he lost his mother, who left six children. A few years after her death, Joseph was sent to Exeter Academy, one of the earliest classical seminaries in New England, and ranking with the best in reputation, for sound scholarship and correct discipline.
He remained in the academy for a considerable time, and laid the foundation of a good English education, which, in afterlife, by reading, a clear, discriminating mind, and close observation of mankind, enabled him to appear in the several posts he occupied, of a public nature, with honor to himself, and the credit of his patrons.
His father having married again, in the year 1774, moved his family to Amherst, N. H., where he followed the occupation of a house-carpenter, to which he was bred; few of the New England men of that day being without some industrial pursuit. His oldest son, Jeremiah, was educated as a physician, and settled in Portland, Me., where he became one of the most eminent practitioners of his time; furnishing numerous articles on the diseases of that region, for the Medical Repository, from its first establishment by Drs. Mitchell and Miller, of New York city. This work was continued for many years, and was not only the first medical periodical published in America, but is said to have been the first in the world; opening the way to the vast amount of medical literature which is now sent forth to the public.
Joseph was continued at Exeter until sometime during the war, probably until he was about fourteen or fifteen years old, when he returned to his father, and commenced the acquirement of the art of a house-joiner and carpenter, under the guidance of his parent. He was a youth of great spirit, courage, and activity; and many stories are related, of his pugilistic feats and wrestling, not only with the boys of his own age, but with those much his superiors in years and size. His father lived near the court-house and jail, and Joseph became a great favorite of the sheriff of the county, who was fond of such sports as were common during the period of the Revolution, and encouraged him in the practice. These athletic exercises invigorated and strengthened his muscular frame, and gave him that manly bearing and contempt of danger, which characterized his after-life. When a boy he possessed a rare fund of wit and humor, with a taste for the ludicrous, which was very amusing to his companions. One of his boyish feats was related, a few years since, by an old man of Amherst, to Mr. G. Dana, his brother-in-law, while there on a visit.
In the spring of the year, it was common for the nice housekeepers in New England, to have their rooms and door-yards fresh whitewashed annually. Joseph had been set at this work, and when he had about completed the job, an old red mare, that belonged to a crabbed, ill-natured neighbor, came up to the gate, as she had been in the habit of doing for some time, giving him considerable trouble in driving her away. The conceit immediately came into his head, that it would be a good joke to metamorphose the old mare, by giving her a coat of the whitewash. She was accordingly tied up to the fence, and the operation commenced, of giving her a white masquerading dress over her red one. When finished, she was turned loose, and went directly home. The owner, seeing a strange horse at the stable door, threw stones at her, and drove her away, not once suspecting that this white horse could be his. The next morning, finding the strange animal still about his premises, he set his dog on her, in great anger, following her with many curses and brickbats, determined to break up her unwelcome visits. Several curious disquisitions were held, by the old man and his wife, on the pertinacity of the animal, while the mare was in the greatest wonder at the strange conduct of her master. One or two of the neighbors, who were in the secret, as the man was no favorite among them, enjoyed the joke exceedingly, especially when he began to make inquiries after his own horse, which had somehow strangely disappeared. It was not until after two or three days, when the coat of white was rubbed off in patches, showing the natural red, that he could be convinced of her identity, and that he had been harassing and starving his own beast during all that time. This piece of fun was long remembered in the village, and gave Joseph no little eclat in the estimation of the real lovers of a little harmless mischief.
After working a year or two with his father, he went to live with a relative of his mother in New Ipswich, where he perfected his knowledge of the carpenter's business, becoming a skillful architect. He followed his occupation for several years. In 1788 he worked as a journeyman carpenter in the erection of a meeting-house in New Boston, where he remained until 1789.
In the latter year he married Miss Elizabeth Dana, the eldest daughter of Capt. William Dana, of Amherst, with whom he had long been acquainted. His father-in-law having visited the Ohio country in 1788, and determined on moving his family there, Mr. Barker concluded to join his fortune to theirs, and embark with them in the enterprise of seeking a home in the far west. They left Amherst in September, 1789. The mode of travel was in wagons drawn by oxen. One favorite cow was brought with them, which furnished milk for the children on the way; and on their arrival at Belpre, their future home was named Old Amherst, in remembrance of their former place of residence. The fatigues of a journey of seven hundred miles, and across the mountains, at that day, cannot be estimated by those born amongst the facilities of steamboats and railroads. Such were the difficulties in passing these lofty ranges, that sometimes the wagons were actually taken in pieces, and the separate parts carried by hand over the impassable barrier of rocks and ledges. On the route one of their oxen became lame, and had to be exchanged for a sound one, and as is usually the case in such events, they were sadly cheated, the new ox being nearly valueless for the draught. But the resolution of Capt. Dana and Mr. Barker was equal to any emergency, and surmounted every obstacle. The rugged mountains were finally passed, and in November the party arrived at Simrel's ferry, the grand embarking port of the New England emigrants in their descent of the Ohio river.
As was usual at this early period, they were detained several days for a boat to be made ready for their use. No facilities of passenger boats of any kind were then known on the western waters, but every traveler furnished his own conveyance, or united with others, his companions, in procuring one. While waiting at this place, Isaac Barker, with his family, from Rhode Island, arrived, and they all lived under the hospitable roof of Thomas Stanley, a citizen of Connecticut then living at that place, and who subsequently became a respectable and valuable citizen of Marietta, and after the Indian war in 1797, erected mills on Duck creek, in the present township of Fearing.
As soon as the boat was prepared, the three families embarked in their unwieldy craft, built after the fashion of a large oblong box, covered half its length with a roof to shelter the people and their goods from the weather, while the open space contained their teams and wagons. The water on the Youghiogheny and Monongahela, as it usually is at this season of the year, was low, and every mile or two the boat grounded on the sand-bars and rocks, requiring the voyagers to leap over the side into the cold water, and pry her off into the current, rendering the passage both slow and painful. When they reached Pittsburg, a favorable rise in the river accelerated their progress and rendered the rest of the voyage more comfortable. On their arrival at Marietta, where they proposed to pass the winter, they found the few houses then built so crowded with inhabitants, that they concluded to pass on to Belpre, a settlement just commenced, where Capt. Dana's land was located.
The appearance of Marietta at that time, is thus described by one of the party now living. " On ascending the bank of the river to look at the town we had been nearly three months, toiling to see, a very cheerless prospect was presented to our view. A few log-huts were scattered here and there, raised only a few feet above the tall stumps of the sturdy trees that had been cut away to make room for them. Narrow foot-paths meandered through the mud and water from cabin to cabin; while an occasional log across the water-courses afforded the pedestrian a passage without "wetting his feet".
The people were very kind and hospitable to the new comers, to the extent of their ability ; but after waiting a day or two, Capt. Dana proceeded on with his boat to his future home, where he arrived late in November. Much to his disappointment, he found that the log-house -he had built the spring preceding, by accident was burned up, and the family had to remain in the boat until another was erected.
Mr. Barker, who depended on the proceeds of his mechanical labor for the support of his family, concluded to stay for the present in Marietta, where carpenters were in demand, and immediately began putting up a cabin on the corner of the square where the postoffice building now stands. Early in January, 1790, the small-pox was introduced amongst the inhabitants by a moving family, and it was thought prudent for Mrs. Barker to go to Belpre and live in her father's family, until the danger was passed.
Mr. Barker not having had the disease, was inoculated about the middle of January, as were a large portion of the inhabitants of Marietta. For pest-houses, several small log buildings were put up on the border of the plain. On the 30th of that month he wrote to his wife. " I am living in a little, clean log-cabin that is six feet wide, seven feet long, and four and a half high. We make out to sit up, but cannot stand straight. We lodge very well." This shows the narrow accommodations to which some of the inhabitants had to submit. Those in Campus Martins had larger rooms, but were also very much crowded. He passed through the disease favorably, but was not allowed to visit his wife at Belpre. on account of the danger to the inhabit-
ants, until the forepart of March.
On the 28th of February, Mrs. Barker gave birth to a son, the present honorable Joseph Barker, of Newport. He was the first child born in that township, and has several times represented Washington county in the state Legislature. Some time in the spring of the year 1790, he moved his wife and little son to Marietta, where he remained until the autumn of 1793.
The Indian war began in January, 1791, yet, notwithstanding the danger, he lived in his own house during a part of the time, retiring to the stockade at the Point when the rangers reported signs of Indians in the vicinity, and returning to his own domicil when the danger was at a distance. Soon after the war broke out, he was appointed an orderly-sergeant, in the pay of the United States by Col. Sproat, who was the military agent, with the rank of a lieutenant-colonel.
The condition of the Ohio Company's settlements at the time of his arrival, and for a year or two after, cannot be better described than in his own words.
In November, 1789, at the time of my arrival, ninety families had landed, and associations embracing two hun- dred and fifty settlers had been formed, and improvements had commenced in several of them. By May, 1790, there were very few lots in Belpre and Newbury without a settler.
On a return of all the men enrolled for militia duty in the county, made to the secretary of war in March, 1791, their number amounted to one hundred and ninety-five. But after that I think the number increased, and the one hundred thousand acres granted by Congress for donation purposes, induced many to remain, and many more to come in, to avail themselves of the terms of the donation.
In January, 1790, a new arrangement was made in the militia, a company of artillery was formed, commanded by Capt. William Mills, of Marietta, Lieut. George Ingersol, of Belpre, and the late Gen. Joseph Buck, orderly-sergeant. The infantry company was commanded by Maj. Nathan Goodale, of Belpre. and Anselm Tupper, of Marietta, lieutenant.
Early in the spring, some alterations were made, by which I was transferred from the artillery, and made orderly-sergeant of the company of infantry, and it became my duty to keep a roll of every person amenable to military service; to attend at the place of public worship, with my roll; call every man's name, examine his arms and ammunition, and see that he was equipped according to law. I had also to note down and report all delinquencies. The territorial militia law made it the duty of the troops, to assemble on Sunday morning, at ten o'clock, for inspection ; those who attended public worship, and there were few who did not, after the inspection, marched from the parade ground to the room where service was held, preceded by the clergyman and Col. Sproat, the commandant at the Point garrison, with his Revolutionary sword drawn, and the drum and fife, and by Gen. Putnam and Gen. Tupper, at Campus Martius. The citizens generally fell into the ranks, and the procession moved, in military array, to wait on divine service ; the fife and drum supplying the place of the church-going bell, in the eastern states. In case of an alarm on the Sabbath, that portion of the congregation who were armed, rushed out of the meeting, to face the danger, or pursue, the Indians, which several times happened. After the war commenced, the troops under pay, were the special guard for the garrisons, in the daytime, but were not connected with the citizens in their military duties. The latter were held in preparation, to be called on for scouts and pursuing parties; while the guard was not allowed to leave the garrison, or the sentinel his post, but they were both inspected at the same hour by their respective ollicers, to see if they were prepared for action at all times.
Before the arrival of the Rev. Daniel Story, who was the stated pastor, Thomas Lord, Esq., of Connecticut, who had been educated at Yale college, and studied theology preparatory to the ministry, officiated as clergyman for the settlement. Previous to the commencement of hostilities by this weekly inspection on the Sabbath, when the most of the people were at home, but absent on other days, the commandant was informed what proportion of them were armed and equipped to defend the settlement; emigrants frequently arrived without arms, so that the number of guns fell short of the number of men, and the deficiency could not be made up in the settlement, and those persons only who were known to have arms, were proceeded against as delinquents. A short time previous to hostilities, Col. Sproat had been authorized by the secretary of war to enlist a company of men into the service of the United States, out of the settlers, to be employed in guarding and defending the settlements, and also to superintend and distribute them at the posts which most needed their aid. He was directed to appoint a commissary to furnish provisions to these troops, and employed Paul Fearing, Esq., Col. Sproat being Commander-in-chief, his aid was solicited in procuring arms for the citizens, who were deficient. He immediately wrote to the commanding officer at. Fort Pitt, who sent down about thirty old muskets which had been laid aside as unfit for use ; they were put into the hands of the blacksmiths, who repaired them as well as they could, and distributed where most needed. Powder and lead were furnished, and cartridges made to suit each caliber, and deposited in the block-houses ready to be distributed in case of an attack.
In June, 1792, Col. Sproat received two boxes, containing twenty-five stands each of United States muskets with bayonets fresh from the factory. These were distributed to the soldiers and citizens on their signing a receipt to return them when called for, to Col. Sproat. The arms were never called for, and are still in the county. The inhabitants were now thought to be well armed ; many rifles were procured and brought into the country. The northern men, previous to their coming here, were unacquainted with the rifle and the woods, but by practicing on the example of those who had been educated among the Indians and the forests, they soon became good hunters and expert woodsmen. Those who were well armed and good marksmen, were commonly selected as sentries for the working parties in the fields, and were always ready to start on any discovery of the enemy, or pursue an Indian trail. Thus, by being familiar with danger, and inured to the hazard of a rencounter with their enemies, they gained that confidence in themselves which promised, in case of meeting an Indian, the odds in their own favor. Several followed hunting continually : others were out with the rangers, or small parties, so that it was difficult for an Indian to make a track within five miles of a garrison without being detected. Thus a large portion of the inhabitants became fearless of danger from the Indians, and preferred some employment or enterprise abroad, to being confined in the garrisons, which is evident from the fact that nearly all the one hundred thousand acres of donation land had been taken up, surveyed and deeded away, with improvements made on many of the lots, previous to Wayne's treaty. Where the lots bordered on large streams, many had made considerable improvements during the war, and others were ready to do so on the news of peace. All the lots settled along the Ohio river below the Muskingum, belonged to the Ohio Company's purchase, It is an axiom with military men that rangers arc the eyes of an army. It proved true with respect to our settlements. The measure of employing rangers was adopted previous to the commencement of hostilities, and they were stationed at Marietta and Waterford three months before the massacre at Big Bottom ; and as the safety of the lives and property of the inhabitants depended much on the vigilance and honesty of these men, none were selected but such as possessed these qualities. Their pay, under the Ohio Company, was one dollar a day ; but under the United States, it was eighty-four cents, or twenty-five dollars a month.
After naming and describing the persons of a number of the rangers, he says, "Two men, Benjamin Patterson and John Shepherd, from the state of New York, were employed as rangers three of the first years of the war, and then moved down the river. At the time of the controversy between Pennsylvania and Connecticut relative to their conflicting land claims on the Susquehanna river, the state of Pennsylvania appointed Timothy Pickering, of Salem, Mass., the honest old Federalist, to go upon the ground and meet others to adjust the difference. While there, this same Benjamin Patterson was one of two or three men who took Pickering from his bed at night, and conveyed him three miles into the woods, and bound him fast to a white-oak sapling and left him there to starve to death; but after two or three days Patterson returned, and went and unbound him, setting him at liberty, for which outrage he fled from Wyoming to the state of New York, and from thence to Marietta. It was not uncommon for such characters to call at our settlement, but finding neither plunder nor speculation, and their characters soon pursuing them, they floated down the river.
To the plan early adopted of employing rangers, may be attributed the general safety and success of the settlement of Washington county. It was first proposed by Gen. Putnam, and afterward adopted by Congress. The Indians finding themselves so closely watched by men who were their compeers in their own arts of warfare, as well as more vigilant and untiring soldiers, became indifferent to enterprises where they were likely to meet with more loss than profit. The hope of reward is the great spring of human action. Men who fire not paid, nor fed nor clothed, may make good partizans for a short emergency, but never make good soldiers. Their patriotism soon cools. The hope of plunder is the main stimulus with the Indians. Therefore they crossed the Ohio river below and above passing by us, went a hundred miles beyond, on to the waters of the Monongahela, where there was more plunder and less watchfulness. Revenge is sweet, but must not be bought too dear. Parties of fifty or a hundred, who came on to attack us, seldom remained about the settlements more than a week; and larger bodies of a thousand or more, such as attacked Gen. St. Clair and Fort Recovery, could not keep together more than four or five days, as they had no means to provide food for the soldier or his family, when fighting the battles of his tribe. It is estimated, that in the seven years previous to the war of 1791, the Indians, along the frontiers south of the Ohio river, killed and took prisoners, fifteen hundred persons, stole two thousand horses, and other property to the amount of fifty thousand dollars. This was the declared object of the party who killed Mr. Carpenter and the family of Armstrong.
The first physician who came to settle in Marietta, was Dr. Jabob Farley, a son of Gen. Farley, of Old Ipswich, Mass. He had been educated for a physician, and studied medicine with old Dr. Holyoke, walking with him, as his friends said, three years in the streets of Salem. He was a modest, amiable, young man; always ready to obey the calls of humanity, and had the good-will and confidence of all who knew him. But as there were but few people, and those young and healthy, (except the disease of an empty purse,) his practice was very limited. As he was not fitted for any other business, in the autumn of 1790, his medicine being exhausted, he returned to Ipswich, and did not come out again.
In the first settlement of the country, intermittent fever, or fever and ague, was the prevailing disease, among all classes, along the water-courses. It commenced about the 1st of August, and continued at intervals, until sugar-making in February or March. Maple sugar was a valuable article of diet, in families who had little or no salt meat, as this food was scarce and dear. Sugar was a substitute for mans things, and where they could get it, as most people could, who took the pains of making it, was used freely, and some-times exhausted their store, before the sickly season, in August, arrived; when they were almost certain to be sick; while those who had more substantial and solid food, escaped. Remitting or bilious fevers were not so common, until long after the war. Industry and temperance were preventives of most disorders, and a remedy for many more.
Gen. Putnam used to relate an anecdote of his own experience in the fever and ague. After concluding a treaty of peace with the Wabash and Illinois Indians, in September, 1792, he was attacked with the fever and ague, and suffered severely with this disorder, on his voyage up, performed in a superb, twelve-oared barge, rowed by United States soldiers, he had a surgeon on board, who prescribed for him, but debarred him from the use of stimulating food and drink. His disease continued unabated, under this course, until he reached this side of Gallipolis, when the boat landed at night-fall, at a camp of hunters on the bank of the Ohio. They had a profusion of bear meat, venison, and turkey. They feasted themselves, and made every person welcome; but the general was interdicted the savory contents of the camp-kettle, by his surgeon, the very fumes of which were quite a feast to a hungry stomach. He lay down on his blanket, before the camp-fire, and tried to sleep, but the thoughts of the rich contents of the camp-kettle, only a few feet from him, prevented. As soon as all around him were lost in slumber, he crept up to the side of the kettle, and feasted his craving appetite on the well-seasoned bear meat and venison, as long as he dared to indulge it. He had not a single return of the ague after this night; showing that all he needed, was more stimulating food than he had been allowed to use for several weeks preceding.
As the Indians came into the treaty at Fort Harmer in the fall of 1788, they employed themselves in hunting and destroying the game, for which they had no use, (as they were supplied with rations from the garrison,) except for the skins of the deer. So great was their industry and perseverance, that in the fall and winter they brought in deer and turkeys, piling them up on the bank of the Muskingum, at the Point, like a stack of hay, until the inhabitants were obliged to assemble and throw them into the river, to abate the nuisance. They left the carcasses about the woods, which brought in the wolves and panthers, but destroyed all the deer. A man by the name of Bagley, who was a fiddler, and lived at Wolf creek mills, on his way to Marietta one cold, snow-stormy day in March, was attacked by a gang of wolves, who drove him up a tree, where he had to sit and play the fiddle for them all night, until they left him in the morning. When the Indians wore asked why they destroyed and wasted the game in such a manner, they answered they meant to destroy and starve out every white man north of the Ohio. They frequently alluded to the prospect of repossessing their lands, and recovering their good hunting grounds. One old Indian, drew his blanket at the treaty, threw it over his shoulders, saying he had got his cornfield on his back, but he would have it to walk on next year. It was said there were four hundred Indians, men, women, and children; and,so thoroughly did they destroy the game within ten miles of Marietta, that scarcely a deer could be seen; where, before, a good hunter could kill from fifteen to twenty in a day. I have heard Hamilton Kerr say, that the hills between Duck creek and Little Muskingum, were the best hunting ground he had ever seen; that he could easily kill fifteen deer in a day, and frequently in a morning. The Indians, by burning the woods every year, kept down the undergrowth, and made good pasture for the game and good hunting for themselves. The famine of 1790 was much aggravated by this destruction of the wild animals.
Early in March, 1791, Capt. Joseph Rogers, one of the rangers, was killed by the Indians, he was a native of Pennsylvania, and about fifty years old; a gentlemanly, brave, humane soldier, and had been an officer in Col. Morgan's rifle corps at the capture of Burgoyne. Having served honorably through the Revolution, he, with many an old soldier, marched toward the setting sun, on the formation of the Ohio Company, in the hope of finding a new home in the west. lie was in company with Edward Henderson, another of the rangers, on their return from a tour of duty, and was shot by a party of four Indians, on the side of a hill a mile north of Campus Martius. Henderson had several balls shot through his clothes, but made his escape after being chased several miles, and reached the garrison at the Point about twelve o'clock at night, where he was recognized by the sentinel on duty, and admitted at the gate on Ohio street. The commander was roused, the cannon fired, and answered at Campus Martius and Fort Harmer. The alarm ran through the garrison that Rogers was killed, and Henderson chased into the post by a large body of Indians, who were now at the gate making an attack. All was consternation in the darkness of night, but every one hastened to his alarm post.
Some incidents occurred which marked the propensities of different individuals. The first person for admittance into the central block-house was Col. Sproat, with a box of papers. Then came some young men with their arms. Then a woman with her bed and children. Next old Mr. William Moulton, from
Newburyport, aged seventy, with his leather apron fall of old goldsmith tools and tobacco. Close at his heels came his daughter Anna, with the China teapot, cups and saucers: Lydia brought the great Bible; but when all were in, their mother was missing. Where was mother? She must be killed! No, says Lydia, mother said she would not leave the house looking so; she would put things a little more to rights, and then she would come. Directly mother came, bringing the looking-glass, knives and forks, &c.
Messengers were soon exchanged with Campus Martius, and no appearance of hostilities was discovered. All returned to their homes in the morning, and peace was restored to the little anxious community. A strong party of men went out that forenoon, brought in the dead body of Rogers, and buried him in second street, near the brink of the plain."
Mr. Barker, as orderly-sergeant, had charge of the block-house at the Point, where the inhabitants assembled at the alarm of Indians, and was an eye-witness of the scene described.
During the continuance of the war, he was exposed to many dangers and trials, which he met with the fortitude of a brave man, and was ready at all times to lead or to follow wherever duty called him. Soon after the massacre at Big Bottom, he was on the ground with a party of volunteers from Marietta, and assisted in burying the burnt and mutilated bodies of his countrymen. Also in the autumn of 1791, when Capt. Carpenter and four others were killed by the Indians seven miles above Marietta, in Virginia, he was early at the spot, and assisted in committing to the earth their mangled bodies, which was a dangerous service, as the savages might still be lurking in the vicinity of the place, watching for their approach.
In August, 1793, the small-pox again visited Marietta, and to avoid the infection in his family, he moved to Stone's garrison, in the upper settlement of Belpre, built in the spring of that year. But this enemy of the human race, more subtle than the savage, could not be eluded, and Mrs. Barker took the disease in the natural way. It proved to be of the malignant, confluent kind, ahd she barely escaped with her life, bearing about her person the marks of its violence the rest of her days. All the inhabitants of Belpre who had not previously had the small-pox, were now inoculated, turning their garrisons into so many hospitals. Between the Indians without their walls, and disease and want within, they suffered extremely.
In the spring of 1794, a family by the name of Armstrong, on the Virginia shore of the Ohio, in sight of Stone's garrison, was attacked by the Indians, four killed and three taken prisoners. On this occasion he was one of the volunteers who, on the first alarm, turned out from the garrison to pursue the Indians, bury the dead, and give succor to such of the family as escaped by not being in the house at the time.
These melancholy scenes were common during the war, and tried the courage and the hearts of the bravest of the settlers.
In the winter of 1793-4, he taught a school in the garrison. This post was about one hundred yards in length by fifty yards in breadth, and contained five block-houses, and six log dwelling-houses, with a school-house. The whole were inclosed with stout palisades. The inmates consisted of twelve families, and being generally prolific in children, averaging from three or four to eight or ten in a family, they
could furnish a school of forty between the ages of four years and twenty years. The heads of families in this garrison were Capt. Jonathan Stone, Capt. William Dana, Capt. Elias Gates, Col. Silas Bent, Stephen Guthrie, Israel Stone, Simeon Wright, Isaac Barker, Joseph Barker, Wanton Cosey, Benjamin Patterson, and Stephen Smith. The school was an interesting one, and he spent the winter very pleasantly in teaching the young idea how to shoot.
In February, 1795, the inhabitants of this little garrison were doomed to lose one of their own number by the Indians. Jonas Davis, an intelligent young man from New England, and at the time living in Mr. Barker's family, incautiously left the station one morning alone, and went about three miles up the bank of the Ohio, for the purpose of getting the boards and nails from a small boat he had discovered wrecked in the ice on the shore, as he came down from Marietta the day before. Not returning that night, fears were felt for his safety. The following morning all the inhabitants of the garrison fit to bear arms, excepting Capt. Dana and Col. Bent, who were rather infirm, were mustered to go out in search of Davis. After cautiously reconnoitering their way, he was found killed and scalped near the mouth of Crooked creek, stripped of all his clothing but a shirt. Preparations were soon made, for bringing the dead body to the garrison, by lashing it with hickory withes to a pole.
In the meantime, one of the party, unused to such scenes, became much alarmed at the sight of the dead and mangled body, together with the surmises of Patterson, the ranger, that the Indians were still lurking in the vicinity, watching their motions, suffered his fears to get the better of his reason, and started, full speed, for home. So much alarmed was the man, that he fancied an Indian in every bush, and thought he could see their dusky forms stalking from tree to tree, ready to intercept him. In the meantime, the inmates of the garrison were waiting, in anxious suspense, the return of the party, and to hear the result of their search. At length the person in the watch-tower gave notice of the approach of a messenger, at his utmost speed. A general rush of the women and children, was made to the gate, to learn the tidings. The man, out of breath, and pale with affright, had hardly strength enough to relate that he had been chased by the Indians, who filled the woods, and barely escaped with his life, and he had no doubt the whole party were either killed or taken prisoners. The gates were immediately closed and barred, while every preparation in their power, was made for defense, by the two old veterans, Dana and Bent, who had both seen service in the American Revolution. Grief, anguish, and confusion, for a short time pervaded this wretched group of mothers, wives, and children, at the false intelligence of the fate of their clearest friends.
On more closely questioning the alarmed fugitive, as to the particulars of the fight with the Indians, from his incoherent account, they were led to hope the matter was not so disastrous as represented, and quiet began to be restored, while they waited, in great anxiety, the return of the party.
It was a slow and laborious task, to bring the dead body on their shoulders, and not regarding the flight of the run-away as of any importance, or that he might cause needless alarm to their friends at home, they returned cautiously along, keeping a good look-out for their wily foes, if any were near. They, at length, to the great relief of the inmates of the garrison, made their appearance with the dead body ; and as it was naked, they halted a few rods from the gate, and called for a blanket to cover it. The article required, was carried out to them by Mr. Barker's little son, Joseph, then only four years old, who, to this day, remembers that distressing scene, with the anguish and alarm of the occasion, with all the vividness of a recent event. This was the last trial they had with the savages, as in August following, the peace of Greenville was completed with the western tribes.
From the time of his first coming to Marietta, Mr. Barker's intention was, to become the owner of a farm, but had thus far been prevented by the hostilities of the Indians. The donation lands of one hundred acres, had previously been distributed to actual settlers, and his lot fell in Wiseman's bottom, seven miles above Marietta; to this he subsequently added three other lots, making a fertile and valuable farm, of four hundred acres, the seat of his future home.
In April, 1795, he left the garrison, in a canoe, with two of his wife's brothers, William and Edmond Bancroft Dana, to assist him in making the first opening on his wilderness farm, taking with him , in addition to his cooking utensils, farming tools, and provisions fifty young apple, and twelve cherry trees : it being one of the first acts of the thrifty New Englanders, to provide their families with fruit, as well as bread. The name of Witeman's bottom originated from a backwoodsman, who, while Virginia claimed the right to all the lands northwest of the Ohio river, had made an entry at this spot, of four hundred acres, called a settlement right.
It was upon this little improvement, that Mr. Barker began his first clearing. There was yet considerable danger from the Indians, as peace was not yet concluded, and a man was killed by them about ten miles distant, on Wolf creek, in a short time after. Nevertheless, the adventurers proceeded up the Muskingum and commenced their labor. About the time of their arrival a block-house had been built at Rainbow creek, on the opposite side of the river, by Gen. Putnam, where he proposed to erect a mill, distant about a mile. In this building, during the time of their stay, the party took shelter every night, returning to their work in the morning with a gun on each one's shoulder, and an axe in the hand. While at their work chopping down the trees, one of the party was constantly kept on the lookout for danger. In addition to their own watchfulness, they had the aid of a faithful old dog, called Pedro, who accompanied them from New Hampshire, and had been with them during the war in Belpre. He would instinctively post himself on some elevation, such as a big log, or the stump of a tree, on the watch for the approach of an enemy, ready to give the alarm on the least sign of its appearance, whether from wild beast or savage.
They were thus occupied for three weeks, and made the first permanent improvement in the Wiseman's bottom settlement, a tract embracing two or three thousand acres, and which subsequently became one of the most beautiful, well cultivated tracts, and intellectual community on the Muskingum river. During this time they had cleared about two acres of ground in the rich bottom, which was thickly covered with immense trees of black-walnut and sugar-maple, the labor of removing and burning which no one can
tell, but him who has actually tried it. Holes were dug in the fresh virgin soil, and apple trees planted out amidst the gigantic sons of the forest, whose loftv heads were made to bow at the presence of civilized man.
The cherry trees were not yet set, as they intended to remain a day or two longer; but old Pedro notified them one afternoon that danger was near. With the hair erect on his back, he would rush into the thick woods on the side of the clearing, threatening instant attack on some unseen enemy, but which his
acute olfactories enabled him to detect; then returning to his master, seemed to say, " It is time to be off." This was repeated at intervals for several hours, until near night, when the party thought it would be more prudent to go. In the meantime, as the apple-trees were not all set, when the dog began his warning, two of the party stood on the watch with their guns ready, while the third one finished the work by setting the remaining trees near the bank of the river, further from the edge of the woods, and from the concealed danger, whatever it might be. They now stepped on board the canoe with their faithful watch-dog, just at evening, and by the aid of a rapid current and the vigorous application of their paddles, they reached Stone's garrison, a distance of nineteen miles, before ten o'clock that night.
In May, Mr. Barker returned to his farm and cleared an additional piece of woodland, making in all about three acres, which was planted in corn. He visited the little field two or three times during the summer, to dress the corn and witness its progress. Once he came alone, and staid three nights, lodging as before in the block-house. These early fields were planted without plowing. The seed-corn being committed to the rich, loose, vegetable soil, grew with astonishing vigor ; and where it received plenty of sunshine, yielded fine crops. His little field produced about one hundred and twenty-five bushels, which very fortunately escaped the ravages of the squirrels and raccoons, there being an abundant supply of food for them that year in the forest.
The final articles of peace were signed in August, 1795. As soon as the intelligence reached the garrisons on the Ohio and Muskingum, their inmates prepared to leave their rude fortresses, where they had suffered much from the three greatest scourges of the human race, war, famine, and pestilence.
In December following, Mr. Barker, with his wife and three children, left the garrison and landed at his new home on the 18th of the month. The first thing that attracted the notice of little Joseph on their going ashore at the new farm, now- the old homestead, was the fresh cut stumps of the small willow trees that lined the water's, edge, the work of the half-reasoning beaver. These sagacious animals had a lodge behind an island about a mile below, and another a short distance above, at the mouth of Rainbow creek. They were the last families of the race seen in this part of the country, and were in a year or two after caught by that venerable old trapper, Isaac Williams. The new dwelling-house of the Barkers was a log-cabin sixteen feet square. One side of this was occupied by a corn-crib four or five feet in width, made of poles, containing the crop of the little clearing. On entering the future home of the family, in a cold December night, it may be safely said that no future visitors of the dwelling of Mr. Barker, ever met so cold a reception as they themselves did, on that long-remembered evening. The nearest neighbor was at Marietta, seven miles below: the next at Waterford, fifteen miles above. The fortitude and perseverance requisite to meet the hardships and privations of a settlement in the wilderness, were found centered in this family. Mrs. Barker possessed patience, resolution, industry, and good sense ; all needed, in no small degree, in trials of this kind. During that winter the clearing was considerably enlarged, and two hundred peach-trees were added to the orchard in the spring. Mills for grinding were scarce and remote ; and the hand-mill at the block-house across the river, was their only dependence for meal; but with a good crib of corn, and this resource, famine was kept at a respectful distance.
In the following year, or 1796, the families of Capt. J. Devol, John Russel, and Israel Putnam, moved into Wiseman's bottom, and lessened by their vicinity the sense of loneliness, as they were all social and well informed persons. During the year, he put up a convenient hewed log-house, with a brick chimney, a degree of refinement to which but few new settlers arrive short of several years.
In January, a serious accident befell him, which was sensibly felt for a long time. The little cabin which they had recently left, accidently took fire, and was destroyed. It was occupied as a work-shop, store-house, &c., and contained a large stock of carpenter's tools, while in the loft was stored away the crop of well rotted flax, ready for dressing, and on which, before the introduction of cotton, the inhabitants
depended for their domestic cloth, and was a very important article in every family. On one side of the building was the pen containing the fat hogs, and were saved from the flames with difficulty. In their fright they fled across the river on the ice, into the woods, and were not found until they were much lessened in value. All his bread-stuff for the ensuing year was destroyed, as well as his tools brought from New England. The intrinsic value of the articles was not great, but to him was a serious affair, as it took away his whole stay of bread and meat, with his main dependence for clothing, and was a more afflicting loss than the burning of a whole block of buildings, filled with goods, would be to a rich Wall-street merchant.
To repair this disaster, Mr. Barker set to work at his trade, like a sensible, resolute man, and followed the business of a house-carpenter for several years in Marietta, erecting dwelling-houses for the Hon. Paul Fearing, William Skinner,
Rev. Daniel Story, and many others, with the Muskingum academy. In 17?? and 1800, he built the splendid mansion of Mr. Blennerhassett, on the island since called by his name.
About this time, ship-building commenced at Marietta and on the Muskingum river, where many a tall oak which had flourished for ages on its banks, two thousand miles from the ocean, was destined to toss upon its waves, and to visit far distant lands. In this new business, Mr. Barker took an active part, and in 1802, built two vessels at his farm. One was the Brig Dominic, for Messrs. Blennerhassctt and Woodbridge, and named for Mr. B's. oldest son. The other was a schooner for E. W. Tupper, called the Indiana. In 1803, he built a brig called the Louisa, for the same man.
During the autumn of 180?, he was employed by Mr. Blennerhassett to build fifteen large batteaux, to be used in the famous Burr expedition. After having been so extensively employed, by the former gentleman, as an architect, and to his entire satisfaction, it was very natural for him to select Mr. Barker for this purpose, of constructing boats so necessary to the enterprise. They were calculated for the ascent of water-courses, and were doubtless intended to transport troops and munitions of war up lied river, to Natchitochcs, from which point a short land journey would reach New Mexico, then a province of old Spain. To revolutionize the Mexicans, was, beyond controversy, the object of that ardent, bold, and restless man, Aaron Burr. The result is well known to history.
As early as 1799, Mr. Barker was commissioned, by Gov. St. Clair, as a justice of the peace, for Washington county, at that time embracing a large portion of the southern territory of Ohio. He also received a captain's commission from the same source, and was advanced, from time to time, through the various grades of promotion, to that of colonel of the regiment. These were offices of distinction and honor in those days, when every citizen deemed it his duty to appear on parade, armed and equipped according to law. It was during this period in our history, that the present senator, in Congress, from Michigan, Hon. Lewis Cass was orderly-sergeant in Capt. Burlingame's company of militia at Marietta.
In the year 1800 the House of Representatives in the territorial Legislature, issued an address to the citizens, requesting them to assemble in county conventions, and instruct their representatives on the question of forming a state government. It was a subject on which there was great division of sentiment. At a meeting of the citizens of Adams township, Col. Barker was chairman of a committee to report on this measure, at a subsequent assembly. He wrote a very full and able report in opposition to the
question, which received the approbation of the committee. On the 17th of June, 1801, the delegates met at Marietta, as follows : for Marietta, Paul Fearing, and Elijah Backus; Belpre, Isaac Pearce, and Silas Bent; Waterford, Robert Oliver, and Gilbert Devol; Adams, Joseph Barker; Newport, Philip Witten, and Samuel Williamson; Middletown, (or Athens.) Alvin Bingham; Gallipolis, Robert SafFord.
Gilbert Devol was chairman, and Joseph Barker, clerk. Col. Barker presented his views in a well written argument, in opposition to the policy of entering into a state government; especially setting forth the injurious effects, of the measure, to the settlers in the Ohio Company's purchase. They had been struggling with the hardships of first opening the wilderness, since the year 1788; and for a large part of the time, pressed by the merciless savage to the extremes of want, danger, and even death. The population was sparse, and generally poor. The expenses of government would be heavy in proportion to the inhabitants, while the advantages of a state government, over the territorial, would be few, perhaps none, in their present situation. The taxes to support it, would fall on the actual settlers and landholders, as the Ohio Company lands would all be brought on the tax list, while Congress lands, daily becoming more valuable by the improvements of the settlers, were to be free from taxation. These, with various other reasons, were used in support of the position taken, and were so satisfactory to the convention, that the report was unanimously adopted, and the following resolution passed :
"Resolved, That in our opinion, it would be highly impolitic, and very injurious to the inhabitants of this territory, to enter into a state government, at this time. Therefore, we, in behalf of our constituents, do request that you would use your best endeavors to prevent, and steadily oppose the adoption of any measures that may be taken for the purpose."
This, with the usual preamble, was signed by the chairman, and sent to their representatives.
In the Legislature as well as among the people, there was a great division on this important question. Those who were fond of office and expected promotion, with a share of the loaves and fishes of the new dynasty, were the leaders in favor of the measure, and clamorous for its adoption, while the sober, judicious, and thinking men, were opposed to it. The advocates of the proposition, however, succeeded in rallying sufficient force in the Legislature, to cany the measure, and the eastern portion of the territory became the state of Ohio. So anxious were the ambitious men of the territory for the change, that they relinquished the right of taxing the lands owned by Congress until five years after they had been sold and in the possession of the purchaser; when, in equity, they should have been liable to taxation as soon as they were in his occupancy. The apprehensions of the evil results to the Ohio Company settlers, were soon realized, as the taxes for the support of the new government fell very heavily on them, and were very oppressive on the inhabitants of this district, as well as Symmes' purchase and the Connecticut reserve. This inequality remained until the year 1825, when the ad valorem system took place, and removed this long continued injustice.
Although an unaspiring man, yet Col. Barker was called by his fellow citizens to hold many stations of trust and honor during his life. In 1818, he was elected a representative for Washington county, in the state Legislature. He served for a number of years as a county commissioner, and planned the model for the new court-house, built in 1822, which is considered both a convenient and beautiful edifice.
He was often called on to deliver Fourth of July orations and agricultural addresses, in all which he acquitted himself with much credit. He possessed a good share of poetic genius, as well as imagination, and wrote a number of pieces quite well adapted to the occasion. One of these, for the Fourth of July, 1815, abounds in humor, and is well worth preserving as coming from the backwoods. It appears much better when sung than in simply reading.
THE BIRTHDAY OF UNCLE SAM.
TUNE OF GOOD QUEEN BESS.
Will you hear me, my friends, if I jingle in rhyme?
On the day Uncle Sam was first out of his prime, sir,
If I sing of the times, and the deeds he has done,
How he dress'd, how he fought, how the tattle was won, sir!
Hail to the memory of old Uncle Sam,
Merry be the birthday of old Uncle Sam!
The family was young, and the farm rather new;
They had their odd notions like us, not a few, sir,
Had full faith in witches, gave conjurors devotion,
Aud to the oldest boy they gave a double portion, sir.
Proud be the birthday of old Uncle Sam,
Long live the memory of old Uncle Sam.
Our grandsires wore buckles on their shoes for to please;
Their jackets and their breeches both came to their knees, sir,
With a wig on the head and a cue tail so trim,
Nine inches on a hat was a fashionable brim, sir.
These were the boyish days of old Uncle Sam,
Long live the memory of old Uncle Sam.
Our grandmothers, too, were the patterns of good taste,
Three-quarters of a yard was the length of a waist, sir;
A cushion on the head, and a cork on the heel,
With a hoop in the gown quite as broad as a wheel, sir.
Such were the minor days of old Uncle Sam,
Long live the memory of old Uncle Sam.
They were tenants at will of the famous Johny Bull,
Who demanded high rents and collected them in full, sir;
He tax'd them direct for each article they wore,
While his army and his stamp act vex'd them very sore, sir.
These were the sorry days of old Uncle Sam,
Merry be the birthday of old Uncle Sam.
"He'd a right to tax the colonies," so Johnny Bull declared,
"In any case whatever." Uncle Sammy thought it hard, sir,
But when he tried to make them pay a tax on their tea,
'Twas steep'd in Boston harbor, for the fishes in the sea, sir.
These were the spunky days of old Uncle Sam,
Long live the memory of old Uncle Sam.
Then Johnny Bull was wrath, and to give his passion vent,
He fell on Uncle Sam, and at fisticuffs they went, sir.
The squabble lasted long, and it proved very sore,
For Johnny Bull was pelted both behind and before, sir.
These were the fighting days of old Uncle Sam,
Long live the memory of old Uncle Sam.
Every farmer owned a short gun, and if he had good luck,
Could bring down a redcoat as easy as a buck, sir.
And when they fell in with Burgoyne and his men,
They took them as easy as turkeys in a pen, sir.
Proud be the birthday of old Uncle Sam,
Long live the memory of old Uncle Sam.
Every boat was a ship, every ship was a fleet;
Every boy was a sailor, every fisherman a mate, sir;
And then if the British but peep'd from their holes,
They hook'd them as easy as cod from the shoals, sir.
Proud be the memory of old Uncle Sam,
Long live the memory of old Uncle Sam.
Uncle Sam now obtained some allies and a fleet,
Some bayonets and men, with some rations to eat, sir;
Then in taking Cornwallis, so light was the job,
That they shelled him as farmers do corn from the cob, sir.
These were the proud days of old Uncle Sam,
Long live the memory of old Uncle Sam.
At length, Johuny Bull thought 'twas best to make a peace;
For in fighting for the feathers, he had lost all the geese, sir.
Then each made a promise they would do no more harm,
So he left Uncle Sam and his boys with the farm, sir-
Proud be the birthday of old U'ncle Sam,
Long live the memory of old Uncle Sam .
In the year 1830, Col. Barker was elected an associate judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and at the expiration of the term in 1837, was again re-elected, which post he held until his declining health led him to resign in 1842. The duties of this office were discharged with great dignity and propriety, while his intimate knowledge of the principles of law enabled him to give correct and satisfactory decisions when his opinion was required.
His acquaintance through the state of Ohio was extensive, and his friends numerous. In hospitality, he was unsurpassed; fond of social intercourse, gifted with a ready flow of language, and a mind well stored with historical facts, his conversation was both instructive and interesting. This rendered hjs society very pleasing to both young and old. From the time of his settlement on the Muskingum, in 17?5, to the period of his death, in 1813, nearly half a century, his house was open to receive the weary and destitute emigrant, the transient traveler, or the familiar friend; ever delighting in the opportunity of rendering a kindness to his fellow-man.
He was the father of ten children, four sons and six daughters, who, all but one, were living at his death, and most of them have large families of children, making numerous descendants to bear onward the family name. Mrs. Barker died in 1835.
Nearly all those with whom he had " stood shoulder to shoulder" during the Indian war, and the trials incident to a new country, had been called away before him, and he felt that he was somewhat alone in the world, but he still retained the vigor of mind incident to younger days. He died in September, 1843, aged seventy-eight years.
In person, Col. Barker was tall and commanding, with a stout, muscular frame ; finely formed features, of rather a Roman cast, indicating manly firmness and intellectual vigor. His manners were easy, naturally graceful and gentlemanly, with the appearance and bearing of a man of superior mind and talents; born to lead in the councils, and to command the respect of the community in which he dwelt.
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