The Founders of Ohio
Brief Sketches of the Forty-Eight Pioneers Who, Under Command of General Rufus Putnam Landed at the Mouth of the Muskingum River on the Seventh of April, 1788 and Commenced the First White Settlement in the North-West Territory
Cincinnati, Robert Clarke & Co., 1888, By Julia Perkins Cutler
Transcribed by C. Anthony
In the preparation of these sketches the author has freely used the excellent historical works of Dr. S. P. Hildreth, "Pioneer History" and " Lives of the Early Settlers of Ohio." Some facts were obtained from the "H istory of Washington County, Ohio," some from the "History of Danvers, Massach usetts,'' and many from unpublished manuscripts.
[The Founders of Ohio landed from their boat, the Mayflower, at Marietta, April 7, 1788 (and established the first English settlement in the North-western Territory. Oyo was the Indian name of the Ohio.]
The footsteps of a hundred years
Have echoed, since o'er Braddock's Road,
Bold Putnam and the Pioneers
Led History the way they strode.
On wild Monongahela's stream
They launched the Mayflower of the West,
A perfect State their civic dream,
A new New World their pilgrim quest.
When April robed the Buckeye trees
Muskingum's bosky shore they trod;
They pitched their tent, and to the breeze
Flung freedom's star-flag, thanking God.
As glides the Oyo's solemn flood
Their generation fleeted on;
Our veins are thrilling with their blood,
But they, the Pioneers, are gone.
Though storied tombs may not enshrine
The dust of our illustrious sires,
Behold, where monumental shine
Proud Marietta's votive spires.
Ohio carves and consecrates
In her own heart their every name;
The Founders of majestic States—
Their epitaph—immortal fame.
—W. H. Venable.
Barlow, Jabez 17
Bushnell, Daniel 27
Coburn, Phineas 19
Cooper, Ezekiel 8
Corey, Ebenezer 17
Cushing, Sameul 21
Cutler, Jervis 12
Danton, Israel 27
Davis, Daniel 21
Davis, Jonas 15
Devol, Allen 25
Devol, Gilbert, Jr. 25
Devol, Jonathan 23
Dodge, Isaac 13
Dodge, Oliver 23
Felshaw, Samuel 19
Flint, Hezekiah 18
Flint, Hezekiah, Jr. 18
Foster, Peregrine 17
Gardner, John 11
Gray, William 10
Griswold, Benjamin 27
Kirtland, Elizur 27
Learned, Theophilus 19
Lincoln, Joseph 22
Martin, Simeon 13
Mason, William 22
Mathews, John 26
Maxon, Henry 14
Meigs, Return Jonathan 27
Miller, William 27
Moulton, Edmund 14
Moulton, William 14
Munro, Josiah 20
Porter, Amos 9
Putnam, Allen 9
Putnam, Jethro 9
Putnam, Rufus 7
Shaw, Benjamin 21
Sproat, Earl 18
Sproat, Ebenezer 15
Tupper, Anselm 26
Wallis, David 18
Wells, Joseph 8
White, Haffield 8
White, Josiah 27
White, Peletiah 8
Whitridge, Josiah 9
A Tribute To The Memory Of The Founders Of Ohio
A Fleet of boats arrived at the month of the Muskingum April 7, 1788, "consisting of the Union Galley, of forty-five tons burden, designed to pass and repass between this (Muskingum) and Buffalo, or Short Creek, to bring down settlers; the Adelphi Terry boat, burden three tons, for the use of the settlers at the Post; and three log canoes of different sizes."* The fleet was under the command of General Rufus Putnam, and conveyed to this point the brave and energetic band of pioneers, forty-eight in number, whose mission it was to plant a Christian civilization in the midst of a savage wilderness, where they expected to make their homes. The directors of the Ohio Company, under whose auspices they came out, had purchased of Congress a million and a-half acres of land, and proposed to begin the occupancy of their territory by planting a city at the mouth of the Muskingum. To effect this purpose a body of picked men was engaged. The first detachment of these left Danvers, Massachusetts, December 3, 1787; the second went from Hartford, Connecticut, January 1, 1788. They were to meet at Sumrel's ferry, on the Youghiogheny river, and then proceed by water to their destination.
Many of these first adventurers were share-holders in the Ohio Company, and wisely desired to see the country before removing with their families into a region so far in advance of population, and where danger might well be apprehended. Great care was taken to admit none but respectable characters, who would make valuable members
*Letter of Gen. Putnam to Dr. Cutler.
of the communitv about to be established. In a memorandum book of Dr. Manasseh Cutler, one of the directors of the Ohio Company, is a list of thirty-seven men engaged "to go into the Ohio Country, if wanted." Twenty of those who came were selected from this list; among them, three carpenters and two blacksmiths, a class of men best calculated to build up the projected city, and without whom no civilized community could long exist. Dr. Cutler writes to Major Sargent, on September 29, 1787"
"More than one hundred and fifty have applied to me to go this autum n on the terms we agreed on at the last meeting. They have almost refused to take a denial. The men I have engaged are equal to any I would have chosen."
The winter of 1787-8 was one of uncommon severity, and the snow on the mountains they were obliged to traverse was of such unusual depth that the men who left Danvers in charge of Major Haffield White had to abandon their wagons and construct sledges to transport their tools and baggage over the Alleghanies, and it was near the last of January, after a most fatiguing march, that they arrived at Sumrell's ferry. The party from Hartford, conducted by Colonel Ebenezer Sproat, found the mountain roads incumbered by a recent heavy fall of snow, three feet deep. They also left their wagons, and with their horses in single file, attached to stout sleds, preceded by the men on foot to break a track for the teams, passed the mountain ranges after two weeks of incessant labor and a march which for hardy endurance and heroic fortitude has not been often equaled. They reached the Youghiogheny on the 14th of February. General Putnam found of the first party a number ill with small-pox, and the sawmills frozen up. It was six weeks before the flotilla was completed that was to carry them to the Muskingum.
Who were these men who made their way across the mountains through the pathless snow in midwinter, and found themselves, without a roof to shelter them, that April morning one hundred years ago on the spot where Marietta now stands? Are not their very names forgotten by the present generation? And yet the records of the
past give evidence that many or them are worthy or being held in lasting remembrance. The following items, gleaned from authentic sources, give an epitome of the personal history of the forty-eight as far as a careful investigation of historical records at hand will afford. Doubtless other interesting facts may be added.
General Rufus Putnam, the leader of this band of pioneers, was appointed by the directors of the Ohio Company November 23, 1787, "Superintendent of all the business relating to the settlement of their lands in the Territory North-west of the Ohio." His military record is thus given by the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati, of which he was a member. " Rufus Putnam. Born Sutton, Massachusetts, April 9, 1738; died Marietta, Ohio, May 4, 1824; a mill-wright; a private soldier in the campaigns 1757-60, in Canada; then settled in New Braintree, Massachusetts; Lieutenant-Colonel in Brewer's Regiment May, 1775; employed as an engineer in constructing the siege works around Boston; chief engineer of the defenses of New York in 1776; Colonel August 5, 1776, and commanded the 5th Regiment until commissioned Brigadier-General January 7, 1783; distinguished himself at Saratoga; aide to General Lincoln in quelling Shay's rebellion; one of the founders of Marietta, Ohio, in 1788; appointed a judge in the North-western Territory, 1789; re-appointed Brigadier-General May 4, 1792; United States Surveyor-General 1793-1803; Member of Ohio Constitutional Convention, 1802." His military record, his services as a Judge and Surveyor-General of the United States, his bravery, good judgment, and unquestioned integrity are too well known to require comment. He was a director of the Ohio Company, in which he owned live shares of laud. He laid the foundations at Marietta, where he spent the remainder of his life honored and beloved. In his eighty-seventh year he was called to his reward, and his remains were reverently laid to rest in the Mound Cemetery. He left numerous and worthy descendants. The Life of Rufus Putnam, prepared by Mary Cone was published 1886.
Major Hatfield White was appointed by the directors of the Ohio Company commissary and conductor of the first party of pioneers who left Danvers, December 3,1787, and shared with them the labor and suffering attending the long march over the snow-clad mountains of Pennsylvania. He was a soldier of the revolution, and " served as a Lieutenant in Hutchinson's Regiment; and as Captain in Putnam's (5th) Regiment, and rendered distinguished services at the battle of Lexington, at the crossing of the Delaware, at Trenton, Hubbardton, and at Saratoga," and was made a Major at the close of the war. He was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati. Major White owned three shares in the Ohio Company. He was robust, active, and prompt in the execution of business. During the first year after his arrival at Marietta he continued to act as steward for the company, and also built for himself a house in Campus Martius. The next year, with Colonel Robert Oliver and Captain John Dodge, he erected mills on Wolf Creek, which were the first ever built in Ohio. On the breaking out of the Indian war, these mills being in a very exposed situation, were abandoned, the owners taking refuge at Marietta. On the return of peace he settled on land he owned near the mills. These also eventually became his property. Major White was a useful citizen noted for his industry aud integrity. He died December 13, 1817.
Peletiah White, son of Major Haffield White, came to Marietta April 7, 1788. He married Susan Wells, the sister of Joseph Wells, a fellow-pioneer. During the latter part of the Indian war Mr. White served as a ranger or spy. He inherited his father's estate, was an elder in the Presbyterian church, and a most estimable, christian man. Joseph Wells was one of the forty-eight. His father, James Wells, with a large family, soon joined him at Marietta, where the parents and a sister died of small-pox. The family were in Campus Martius during the war. They all married respectably, and remained in the country.
Captain Ezekiel Cooper, from Danvers, Massachusetts, was a share-holder in the Ohio Company, and came on
in Major White's party. "He was an Ensign in Hutchinson's regimen t at the siege of Boston; Lieutenant in Putnam's (5th) regiment, 1777-82; commissioned Captain in Sproat's (2d) regiment, January 7, 1783; removed to Ohio in 1788; living in Warren town, Ohio, in 1807." Captain Cooper was in command of the galley sent up the Ohio river to bring to Marietta the families who arrived at that place August 10, 1788. lie was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati.
Josiah Whitridge, a carpenter, was also from Danvers. He served under Captain Samuel Flint at the battle of Lexington, and was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. He was one of the forty-eight.
Amos Porter, born in Danvers, February 20, 1769, was one of those who landed at Marietta on the 7th of April, 1788. His name is found on the list of share-holders of the Ohio Company. After two years residence in the Territory, he returned on foot to his eastern home, and in 1795 came back with his father's family. He married Sabra Tolman, and his was the first family that settled in Salem township, where he became a prosperous farmer. Mr. Porter was a man of much energy, benevolence, and integrity, he was for many years an elder in the Presbyterian church. The last survivor of the pioneer band, he died November 28, 1801, aged ninety-two years.
Allen Putnam, from Danvers, Massachusetts, was also one of the pioneer party, and a share-holder in the Ohio Company. He married Anna Porter, the sister of his friend Amos Porter. He owned a farm near Stanleyville, in Fearing township, where he settled about 1797. Mr. Putnam was a ship-carpenter by trade, and met his death by falling through a hatchway, while at work at Marietta.
Captain Jethro Putnam, of Danvers, had performed meritorious services in the Revolutionary army, and endured the hardships and losses incident to the war, and now turned his attention to the new west. He owned a share in the Ohio Company, and came on with the first
party of emigrants. "Captain Putnam and Captain William Gray furnish ed a pair of oxen and two horses for the use of the Company, for which service they were to be paid in lands, if agreeable to the Directors, or the teams to be appraised and purchased." When that party started, Captain Putnam had charge of the wagons and men . He is mentioned as one of the grand jurors at the court held at Marietta, September 9, 1788, after which we have been unable to trace him.
Captain William Gray was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, March 26, 1761. He entered the army as a private soldier at the age of seventeen years, and was promoted for good conduct. At the storming of Stony Point, he was one of the first to scale the walls of that fortress, He was the nephew of William Gray, one of the richest merchants in Boston, for whom he was named, who always manifested a great interest in his success in life. He married Miss Mary Diamond, of Salem, Massachusetts, and in the autumn of 1787. he joined the Ohio Company and came west with the first pioneer band that left New England, having one of the famous wagons labeled "For Ohio," in his p articular charge. His family did not come to Marietta until 1790, when he established himself at Waterford.
At the beginning of the Indian war, he was chosen commander of Fort Frye, which had been erected for the security of the inhabitants of that place, and into which they were then compelled to take refuge. The situation was peculiarly exposed, as the savage war parties could descend the Muskingum, silently and swiftly, in their light canoes, and thus elude the rangers who daily patrolled the woods to discover signs of their presence. This remote out-post was repeatedly visited by the enemy, horses were stolen, and cattle wantonly slaughtered, and on one occasion, the fort was attacked with great vigor, but the assailants were repulsed, and only one of the inmates, Wilbur Sprague, was wounded, who recovered after a long and painful illness. The members of the garrison had many narrow escapes, and one of their number, Daniel Convers, was taken
prisoner and carried into captivity. It was in a great measure due to the prudence and vigilance of Captain Gray that this post suffered no greater loss during the war. On the return of peace, he settled on a farm near the town of Beverly, where he reared a large and respectable family, and died there in 1812.
Another of Major Haffield While's party, was John Gardner, a young man from Marblehead, who was the son of a sea captain, and had been bred a Sailor. He came west, as did many others, in search of fortune and adventure. In the spring of 1789, he joined the Waterford association and drew his lot on the fertile peninsula, where Major Dean Tyler and Jervis Cutlers lots were located. He and Jervis Cutler agreed to assist each other in clearing their land, and were making good progress when one day, while the latter was absent at Marietta, Gardner was seized by a party of Shawnees. who took his gun, and hurried him into the woods, where at some distance their horses were concealed. They were all mounted but one, who walked and led the prisoner by a rope around his neck; in this they took turns. At the close of the first day they gave him a little jerked meat, and having carefully secured him by making him lie upon a stout sapling which they bent down and fastened to the ground, with his hands tied behind him with leather thongs, while another cord bound him to the trunk, his captors laid down to sleep. He made no attempt that night to escape, but after the next day's weary march, finding themselves beyond the feared pursuit, they encamped early, shot a bear and a deer, built a fire, roasted the flesh with which they regaled themselves, and gave him a plentiful repast. They endeavored to persuade him to remain quietly with them, painted his face and cut off part of his hair, and promised to make him a good Shawnee, hut were not unmindful of the neeessitv of securing him as before. That night the rain fell gently and moistened and made more pliable the thongs with which he was bound, and he determined, if possible, to escape. By cautious and long continued effort, he succeeded in releasing himself, without one of the bells which they had fast-
eiled to the limbs of the sapling, sounding the alarm. Taking his gun from the side of one of the Indians sleeping near him, he stepped out into the dark forests and walked till morning in the direction of home, then taking an easterly course, he came to a branch of Wolf Creek, which he followed down to the mills, where he was joyfully welcomed, as his four days' absence had occasioned serious alarm for his safety. The next morning, he and Cutler, who had returned the same evening from Marietta, renewed their woodland labor with renewed spirits. Mr. Gardner, like most sailors, when land-bound, longed for the sea; he went back to Marblehead, and was soon in his father's ship afloat on the ocean, doubtless preferring to encounter the ills he knew, than those he knew not of.
Jervis Cutler was the son of Dr. Cutler, one of the Directors of the Ohio Company. Dr. Cutler's published journal says, "Monday, December 3, 1787, This morning a part of the men going to Ohio met here (at bis house in Ipswich Hamlet), two hours before day. I went on with them to Danvers. The whole joined at Major White's. Twenty men employed by the Company, and four or five on their own expense, marched at eleven o'clock. This party is commanded by Major White. Captain (Jethro) Putnam took the immediate charge of the men, wagons, etc. Jervis went off in good spirits." The Rev. G. W. Kelly, who for sixteen years filled the pulpit at Hamilton, formerly Ipswich Hamlet, in a recent letter, says: "An esteemed lady, Mrs. P. Roberts, often informed me about the company which left Hamilton a hundred years ago to make a settlement in the wilderness west of the Ohio river. A wagon appeared in the highway in front of Dr. Cutler's house, covered with black canvas, but it had on both sides of it painted in white letters, 'For Ohio.' As the home of Mrs. K. was directly opposite that of Dr. Cutler, she could see all that took place. The wagon was drawn by oxen, a team most likely to he useful when snow fell on the way." Temple Cutler slated his recollect ions thus: "The little band of pioneers assembled at Dr. Cutler's house, and there took an early breakfast. About the
dawn of day, they paraded in front of the house, and after a short address from him, the men being armed, three volleys were fired, and the party went forward cheered heartily by the by-standers. Dr. Cutler accompanied them to Danvers."
Jervis Culler had, at the age of sixteen, made a voyage to France, and now, at nineteen, he joined this company of adventurers, and was the first of the forty-eight who leaped on shore at the mouth of the Muskingum, April 7, 1788. He was one of the associates who begun the settlement at Waterford. in the spring of 1789, and remained in the west until 1790, when he returned to New England and married Miss Philadelphia Cargiil; in 1802 he settled at Bainbridge, Ohio, as a fur-trader. He was chosen Major of Colonel McArthur's Ohio regiment in 1806, and enlisted a company for active service, of which he was appointed Captain. This company was ordered to New Orleans in the spring of 1809. Soon after his arrival there, he was prostrated by yellow fever, and the United States Senate having refused to confirm his appointment as Captain, because of a charge that he had made speeches attacking the administration, he returned to New England. In 1812 he published a book entitled "A Topographical Description of the State of Ohio, Indiana Territory, and Louisiana," with a "Concise Accou nt of the Indian Tribes West of the Mississippi." In 1818, he again came west, and settled as an engraver of plates for bank notes, in Nashville, Tennessee. His first wife died in 1822. In 1824, he married Mrs. Elizabeth Chandler, of Evansville, Indiana. He died in Evansville, in 1811. His only son, now living, is Dr. George A. Cutler, of Chicago.
Isaac Dodge was the representative in the pioneer band of the large and respectable Dodge family who have for many generations resided in Essex county, Massachusetts. He came from Wenham, but of his fate, history has made no record. Of Simeon Martin, of Chebacco, Massachusetts, another of the forty-eight, only this is known: he owned a share
in the Ohio Company, and "was to go into the country, if wanted, on his own book."
Henry Maxon came to Marietta April 7, 1788. and went to Waterford at its first settlement. He and his wife occupied a block-house on the west side of the Muskingum, which Major Dean Tyler had erected for the security of the settlers while engaged in cultivating their land. It was on the peninsula, one mile from Wolf Creek Mills. Major Tyler, a brave, intelligent, and worthy man, resided with the Maxons. When the Indian war burst, upon them, so unexpectedly, on the long to be remembered night of January 2, 1791, when the settlement at Big Bottom was destroyed, they retired to Fort Frye, on the east bank of the river. Mr. Maxon eventually settled in Fearing township, and was an active and useful citizen.
William Moulton, of Newburyport, and bis son, Edmund Moulton, were members of Major White's party. Mr. Moulton owned a share in the Ohio Company, and subsequently removed his family to Marietta. During the Indian war they dwelt in the garrison at the Point. When Captain Joseph Rogers, a noted ranger, was killed in 1791
and the blarin-guns were tired, the scene at this garrison is thus described by an eye witness, Col. Joseph Barker: "The first person for admittance into the central block-house was Colonel Sprout with a box of papers, then came some young men with their arms, then a woman with her bed and children, then old Mr. William Moulton, aged seventy, with his apron full of old goldsmith's tools and tobacco, close at his heels came his daughter Anna, with the china tea-pot, 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." Mr. Moulton died during the war, in 1793. His son Edmund died in Marietta, August 26, 1822. Of Mr. Moultun's daughters we learn that Anna married,
late in life, to Dr. Josiah Hart, a graduate of Yale College in 1762. He was a surgeon in the Revolutionary army, and came with his family to Marietta, in 1796. On the formation of the Congregational Church here, he was elected a deacon, and was an intelligent, Christian gentleman. Dr. Hart died in August, 1812, and his wife died a few hours after, and they were buried on the same day. His descendants are numerous and respectable.
Lydia Mouiton married, in I802, Dr. William H. Leonard, born in London, in 1737, and bred a surgeon, in which capacity he served in the British navy. He came to America about 1797, and to Marietta in 1801, where he died in 1806. He was very eccentric in dress and manners.
Jonas Davis, from Massachusetts, was an intelligent and highly esteemed young man. Several of the forty-eight were, at times, in great peril from the savage foe, but Mr. Davis was the only one of the number who actually lost his life. He was an inmate of Stone's garrison in upper Belpre, was engaged to be married to a daughter of Captain Isaac Barker, and had his wedding suit prepared, when one morning in February, 1795, he was killed by the Indians near the mouth of Crooked Creek, three miles from the garrison. His death occasioned the deepest sorrow. Four of his young friends, led by John James, one of the bravest and most skillful of their number, pursued the enemy for more than a hundred miles through the forest, and wounded one of them, whose war-whoop brought out more than a score of warriors encamped near the spot, James and his party finding themselves so far out-numbered, were obliged to retreat. They were pursued by the Indians and their dogs, but favored by the darkness of the night, they eluded their pursuers and reached the garrison in safety to the great relief of their friends.
Colonel Ebenezer Sproat. The Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati, of which he was a member, thus gives his record: "Born at Middleborough, Massachuse tts, 1752; died at Marietta, Ohio, February, 1805; Major in Cotton's regiment May, 1775, at the siege of Boston; in Francis' regiment in 1770; Lieutenant-Colonel of the 12th regi-
merit January 1, 1777; and September 29, 1778, Lieutenant-Colonel commanding in Glover's Brigade at Trenton, Princeton, and Monmouth; Inspector of Brigade under Steuben; emigrated to Ohio in 1788." "When stationed at Providence, in 1778, with Glover's Brigade of four regiments, he was said to be the tallest mau in the Brigade, being six feet and four inches high, with limbs formed in nature's most perfect model. In the duties of his station he excelled as much as in size, being the most complete disciplinarian in the Brigade. His social habits, pleasant, agreeable manners, and cheerful disposition, rendered him a general favorite with the officers, as well as with the private soldiers who always followed with alacrity where he led." He performed many valuable services, and shared largely in the perils of the war. He married Catharine Whipple, daughter of Commodore Abraham Whipple. Congress appointed Colonel Sproat Surveyor for Rhode Island on the seven ranges of townships west of the Ohio river, which were to be placed in the market for sale, and he was engaged in this duty during the autumn of 1786. He was appointed a Surveyor for the Ohio Company, a service for which his hardy frame and great resolution eminently fitted him. He owned three shares in the Company, and conducted those of the forty-eight adventurers who left Hartford, Connecticut, on the 1st of January, 1788, in their winter march across the Alleghanies. General Putnam was obliged to go to New York on business for the Ohio Company, but joined them on the way, and at Sumrell's Ferry took command of both this and Major White's party, who all came down and landed at the mouth of the Muskingum, and pitched their tents in the woods, April 7, 1788.
Colonel Sproat was tlic first sheriff of Washington County, which at that time extended from the Ohio river to Lake Erie, and westward to the Scioto. He tilled this office with great dignity and propriety for fourteen years, until the state government was formed. During the Indian war he had control of the military affairs in the county for the United States, He appointed the rangers,
or Indian spies, and enrolled a company of soldiers for the defense of the colony, he was a liberal and active citizen, and his memory was held in grateful remembrance by all who knew him. His daughter married the Hon. Solomon Sibley, of Detroit, Michigan.
Jabez Barlow, one of the forty-eight who came with Putnam, and one of the associates that began the settlement at Waterford, in 1780, was a brother of Joel Barlow, the poet and diplomatist, who owned several shares in the Ohio Company. "The Barlows were what is known in Connecticut as 'good stock;' that is, they were respectable land-holders, paid their tithes promptly, and gave no one occasion to speak ill of them." Jabez Barlow was unmarried, ami lived alone in a cabin on his clearing, a mile below Fort Frye, where ho declined to take refuge after the Big Bottom massacre, because, he said, "as he had never harmed the Indians, they would not injure him ." A narrow escape, on the 11th of March, 1791, when an assault was made upon the F ort, led him to change his mind and resort to it for safety during the war, after which he returned to New England.
Peregrine Foster, Esq., from Brookfield, Massachusetts, one of the forty-eight, was born in 1740. He owned a share in the Ohio Company, and was employed by them as a surveyor. Previous to the Indian war he went East for his family, but while on his way to Marietta he heard of the outbreak, and took refuge with them in Morgantown, Virginia, until 1796, when he removed to Belpre, Ohio, and established the first tavern and the first ferry across the Ohio at that place. He was a judge of the Court of Common Pleas prior to 1802, and died in 1804. A man of eminent worth, and a great loss to the community.
Ebenezer Corey came with the first company. He was a man of much enterprise and industry. It is recorded the first season that, "a piece of bottom lan d on the bank of the Ohio, belonging to Mr. Corey, had been harvested, and measured one hundred and four bushels of corn to the acre." He was the architect of the bridgo over Tyber Creek, which was "twenty-five feet high, ninety feet long,
and twenty-four feet wide, covered with hewn planks four inches thick." Colonel May writes, " It is called 'Corey's bridge,' in honor of the master work man. There is not so good a bridge, or any thing like it, betwixt it and Baltimore." Mr. Corey and his wife were in Campus Martius during the war, but afterward went to Waterford.
Hezekiah Flint, of Reading, Massachusetts, was employed by the Ohio Company as the chief carpenter. His son, Hezekiah Flint, Jr., was "to go if room coul d be made for him." They both came in that pioneer company, but it is uncertain if both remained. The name of one Hezekiah Flint is given as being in Fort Harmar during the war. He went to Cincinnati.
Earl Sproat, one of the first pioneer band, was a relative of Colonel Ebenezer Sproat. He was a share-holder in the Ohio Company and remained in the country as a settler. He was one of the petitioners to the Territorial Legislature for an act of incorporation for the town of Marietta, which was granted, and approved by Governor St. Clair December 2, 1800, and Marietta was the first incorporated town in the North-west Territory. He was a director of the Marietta Bank, chartered February 10, 1808, of which Gen. Rufus Putnam was President. He was a subscriber to the fund for erecting the Muskingum Academy, and held the position of major in the Ohio militia.
David Wallis one of the original pioneers, was from Ipswich, Massachusetts, and was a man of a respectable family and character. A letter writer says of him: "David Wallis told me that on reaching Marietta he was attacked by small-pox, and he removed at once from the camp, and made his bed beside a log in the woods where food was brought to him until he was cured. He then continued to return to Massachusetts, and he and another man crossed over the Ohio river and walked up to Pittsburg through a wilderness, where hostile Indians used often to hunt. Mr. Wallis then worked at a smelting furnace until he earned money to buy food, while he made the journey on foot to his old home." Another writer states that he did not long remain there, as the charm s of a sister of one of his late
comrades, who in the meantime had emigrated westward, had made an impression upon his mind that he could not forget; and so he again shouldered his rifle and a second time visited Marietta, but only to be rejected; and he returned the way he came, a wiser, if a sadder man. He settled in Ipswich hamlet, and with his family about him, would often, in his old age, tell of his long pedestrian tour to Ohio in search of a wife.
Samuel Felshaw and Theophilus Learned were young men from Killingly, Connecticut, who joined the company from a roving disposition and a desire to see the world. These were doubtless the "two men from Muskingum, belonging to Killingly," that Dr. Cutler met in the street of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, July 31, 1788, when on his way to Ohio, as mentioned in his published journal. They were not share-holders, but were engaged to the Company for six months from the 1st of January, 1788; and the time being out, and their curiosity satisfied, they returned home. Mr. Learned belonged to one of the best families in Killingly. Mr. Felshaw was the son of Captain John Felshaw, "who kept a noted tavern in Killingly, and was long prominent in town and public affairs," and "died leaving a large landed estate to be divided among his children. The tavern became the property of his son, Samuel Felshaw."
Phineas Coburn, one of the first company of emigrants to Ohio, was the eldest son of Major Asa Coburn, a gallant officer of the Massachusetts line, who, with two brothers, entered the army at the opening of the revolutionary war. He retired from the conflict at its close with the rank of major; his brothers both died on the battle-field. Major Coburn owned three shares in the Ohio Company, and removed with his family to Marietta August 19, 1788, and was a valuable acquisition to the settlement. Phineas, his father, and family, joined the Waterford association, and on the commencement of Indian hostilities were domiciled in Fort Frye, where Major Coburn died during the war.
Early in 1795 the Coburns, with a few others, built a blockhouse, and began to clear their farms on the fertile alluvial bottoms which border the Muskingum in Adams township.
Phineas made his permanent home in Morgan County, Ohio. The gallant General Dumont, of Indiana. an officer in the Union Army, claimed descent through his mother from Major Coburn.
The ancestors of Captain Josiah Munro, with several other emigrants, came from Scotland at a very early date and bought a large tract of land in Lexington, Massachusetts, and settled there in company. They were from the highlands of Scotland. At the breaking out of the revolution Captain Munro, then recently married, was living on a farm in Peterborough, New Hampshire. The battle of Lexington was fought on the common in front of his fathers door. Immediately after this battle he left his farm and joined the forces of the Colonies, and continued in the New Hampshire line during the war. He was at the capture of Burgoyne, and the surrender of Cornwallis. He was in 1783one of the signers of the officer's petition to Congress for an appropriation of western lands in payment for their services. On the formation of the Ohio Company he became a share-holder, and leaving his family at Amherst, New Hampshire, be was one of the forty-eight who first came to Marietta. Before the Indian war his family came west, and during that calamitous period lived in the garrison at the Point. Captain Munro was a talented and useful man. He was the second post-master in Marietta, succeeding Hon. K. J. Meigs in that office, and holding it from 1795 to 1801. He was also appointed a Judge of the Court of the Quarter Sessions of the Peace in 1796. His family settled in Muskingum County. His daughter married Colonel Daniel Convers, of Zanesville, Ohio. Captain Munro's monument in Mound Cemetery, at Marietta, bears this inscription: "Captain Josiah Munro: born at Lexington, Massachusetts. February 12, 1745; died at Marietta, August, 1801. He was an officer in the Revolutionary Army, and became the friend of Lafayette, who recognized his services in the war by the gift of a sword. He was one of the original Ohio Company who landed at Marietta, April 7, 1788, and was appointed post-master at
Marietta, 1794, which office he held at the time of his death."
Benjamin Shaw was another of the first party. He served in a Danvers company of minute men, under Captain Israel Hutchinson, at the battle of Lexington, and atterward as a regular soldier in the Revolutionary Army. He came from Hampton, New Hampshire, and at a later date removed his family to the west. They were in Fort Frye during the war, and afterward settled on the rich Round Bottom. This farm next came into the possession of Boylston Shaw, his son, who was one of the most successful and enterprising farmers in this region. Sally Shaw, a daughter of the pioneer, married Benjamin Dana, whose highly cultivated farm of fourteen hundred acres was perhaps the finest in the county. The lamented General Benjamin D. Fearing, of the Union Army, and the Hon. James W. Dawes, late governor of Nebraska, are among their descendants.
Samuel Cushing, one of the forty-eight, came from New Bedford, Massachusetts. He was the brother of Mrs. Benjamin Shaw, and was related to the well known Sumner
and Cushing families of Massachusetts. He was a member of the Waterford Association, and one of the young men who remained during the war to aid in the defense of the settlers, he afterward married a daughter of Judge Gilbert Devol, and settled on a farm on Round Bottom, where he died October 9, 1828. "His was the first death in the Mount Moriah Masonic Lodge; and the members, as a token of regard, wore a blue ribbon about the left arm from the time of his death to the next regular communication."
Captain Daniel Davis, from Killingly, Connecticut, came on with General Putnam. He was a man in middle life, and was of a very respectable family. He had rendered useful and patriotic services during the Revolutionary War, and had suffered severe losses. He owned a share in the Ohio Company, and came to make a home for his family, who after their arrival lived at Fort Frye until the savage warfare ended, when his sons opened farms on the rich
soil of Adams township. "Captain Davis was a man of wisdom atid experience, add his counsels were held in high esteem."
Major Joseph Lincoln came to Marietta, April 7, 1788. He was born in Massachusetts in 1700, and had served in the Revolutionary army. While in garrison at Farmer's Castle, Belpre, he married Fanny, daughter of Capt. John Leavens, from Killingly, Connecticut. After the war he removed to Marietta, where he established himself in business. "He at one time owned all the land on Ohio street, between Post and Front, and several lots on Front. In 1807 he erected, on the corner of Front and Ohio streets, what was then the finest building in town. It was originally a large, square brick house, with ornamental mantels and stuccoed ceilings. The building was arranged both for a dwelling and business house, but Major Lincoln died about the time it was finished." He was always known as Major Lincoln, but we have not the date of his commission. In 1797, he subscribed twenty dollars toward building the Muskingum Academy. He soon became one of the most successful merchants in Marietta. " He was a most excellent man." Tradition says that his daughter, Susan Lincoln, educated at the celebrated Moravian school at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was one of the most attractive and accomplished girls of her time.
Captain William Mason was a native of Massachusetts; be belonged to the Forty-eight, and was one of the first to land at the mouth of the Muskingum, April 7, 1788. He married, March 14, 1790, Susanna, daughter of Major Asa Coburn, and they were in Campus Martius during the war. In the first organized militia at Marietta under Colonel Sproat, Mr. Mason was an orderly sergeant; in 1707, Winthrop Sargent, acting governor, commissioned him lieutenant, and under a reorganization, Governor Arthur St. Clair appointed William Mason, gentleman, a lieutenant in the First regiment, 1801. When the new state government went into operation, he received a Captain's commission from Governor Edward Tiffin. He settled about 1797, in Adams township, and was prominent in the early commu-
nity. His fine farm was on the bottom and plain nearly opposite Upper Lowell, on the Muskingum. Here he lived with his family of twelve children, and died there September, 26, 1813; Among his descendants was the late Colonel William B. Mason, of Marietta, who entered the Union army, as private, in 1861, and returned in 1864, Colonel of the 77th Ohio regiment.
Oliver Dodge, one of the original pioneer party, came from Hampton Falls. New Hampshire. He owned a share in the Ohio Company, and was, during the war, at Campus Martius. He joined the colony in Adams, in the spring of 1706, and in company with the Coburns, Davises, and others, began to level the heavy forests which then covered the land, He lived one year alone in a large, hollow sycamore tree. In 1800 he married Mrs. Nancy (Devo!) Manchester. He left, at his death, a valuable farm to his only son, Richard Hubbard Dodge. Oliver Dodge's only daughter, Mary Manchester, became the wife of the Hon. Perley B. Johnson, M. D., of McConnellsville, who, in 1843-5, represented his district in Congress.
Among that body of sterling men who were bold and hardy enough to make the first settlement in the wilderness where Ohio now stands, there was no more remarkable or useful man than Captain Jonathan Devol. He was born in Tiverton. Rhode Island, in the year 1756. His biographer states that "his whole education was embraced in one year's schooling," but this was supplemented by his father's library of choice books, which he eagerly read. When quite young he learned the trade of a ship carpenter, and became noted for his skill in constructing boats of a beautiful model, and famed for rapid sailing. One of these took a purse of fifty guineas in a race between some gentlemen amateurs of Newport and Providence. When the revolutionary war commenced he entered the army before he was twenty years old, and performed many daring, heroic services, which are on record, and were of great value. On the formation of the Ohio Company he became one of the associates, and came with Colonel Sproat's party to Sumrell's Ferry, where General Putnam expected to find
the boats ready to descend the river. The first party, under Major White, were to build the boats, but the mills were frozen up, and lumber not to he easily procured. In this juncture, Captain Devol's services were of the utmost importance; he surmounted the difficulties, and under his direction the "Union Galley," or as it was later called, the "Mayflower," was built and the adventurers committed themselves to the current of the river and were conveyed safely to their destination. Here his ingenuity, skill, and industry, were invaluable to the new settlement.
Captain Devol was soon actively engaged in the construction of Campus Martius, an imposing structure, designed for a fortress and for dwellings. He erected a house for himself in one of the curtains of the fort. It was forty feet long, eighteen feet wide, and two stories high, and the next winter it sheltered, not only his own family, who had joined him, but, in all, seventy persons, old and young, were under its roof. In February, 1790, he settled on a small farm in Belpre, but in less than a year the Indian irruption drove the settlers into garrison, and Captain Devol was called upon to plan, with the advice of other experienced officers, the necessary defenses. This resulted in the erection of Farmer's Castle in an incredibly short time. In this garrison, which contained thirteen large block houses, thirty or forty families were sheltered during the war. The inhabitants had been obliged to grind their corn on hand-mills, a most fatiguing and slow process; to remedy this inconvenience, be constructed a floating mill, which was anchored in the Ohio near the Castle. He also invented a mill to grind and press out the juice of corn-stalks to make molasses.
In 1792 he built a twelve-oared barge for General Putnam entirely of red cedar, which he procured a few miles up the Little Kanawha, at the hazard of his life, in the midst of the Indian war. This boat, for beauty of form and workmanship, was said to excel any other ever seen on the Ohio.
In 1797 he purchased land in Wiseman's Bottom, on the Muskingum, five miles above Marietta, where he made him-
self a comfortable and pleasant home. Here, again, he erected mills and engaged in ship-building. In 1801 he built for a merchant in Marietta a ship of four hundred tons, all of the wood of the black walnut. The next year he built two brigs, and in 1804 the schooner Nonpareil was built. Always anxious to aid the destitute colonists, Captain Devol purchased and put in operation the machinery for carding wool, and also erected works for dressing and fulling cloth—both operations believed to have been the first in this part of Ohio, if not in the State.
Amid all his enterprise and works of usefulness Captain Devol found time at the age of fifty years to study the French language, and with no aid but Boyer's Dictionary, learned to read and translate with fluency any book in that language, he entered upon the study of mathematics, of which he was very fond; and his knowledge of geography was unusually complete; he also made himself familiar with astronomy, in which he took great delight. He was remarkable for his conversational powers, his kindness, and hospitality. He died in 1824, aged 68 years, greatly lamented.
Allen Devol, from Rhode Island, was a nephew of Captain Jonathan Devol. He came with the first company to Marietta in 1788, and in the following winter he drew a donation lot, and joined the Waterford Association, who began their settlement in April, 1789. He married Ruth Jennings, and lived in the garrison until the close of the war, when be removed to his land on the productive alluvial soil of Round Bottom, and settled on a farm near to those of Samuel Cushing and Benjamin Shaw.
Gilbert Devol, Jr., one of the forty-eight, was the son of Hon. Gilbert Devol, a Judge of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, who soon came out with his family to the colony, and was a person of much influence and prominence in the community, Gilbert Devol, Jr., married Polly, daughter of Major Asa Coburn. There were a number of Devols who came from Rhode Island in the early years of the settlement, and planted families in Washington County, to which they have given many respectable and valuable
citizens; among whom may he mentioned General H. F. Devol, of the Union Army, who was promoted from Captain to Colonel and Brevet Brigadier-General "for gal lant and meritorious services during the war."
Major Anselm Tupper, son ot General Benjamin Tupper, was born at Easton, Massachusetts, October 11, 1763. In 1779, at the age of sixteen, he was appointed Adjutant of Colonel Ebenezer Sproat's regiment, which was engaged at Trenton, Princeton, and Monmouth. He nerved through the war, and was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati. In 1780 he was with his father in the survey of the seven ranges, and when the Ohio Company was formed he became a share-holder, and was engaged by them as a surveyor, and "arrived at Marietta in the company of forty-eight, April 7, 1788. "At the organization of the military companies at Marietta, in 1789, under Colonel Sproat, "Ansel in Tupper was appointed Post Major, and had command of Campus Martius during the war." That winter he taught school in one of the block-houses of the fort. He was secretary of the Union Lodge of Free Masons, before whom he delivered an address on St. John's day, 1790. Major Tupper was a brilliant man and a favorite in society. He died, unmarried, at Marietta, December 25, 1808.
John Mathews was a nephew of General Rufus Putnam, He was employed in the survey of the seven ranges in 1786. He was appointed a surveyor for the Ohio Company, and joined the expedition that landed al Marietta, April 7, 1788, and was himself a share-bolder in the Company. While engaged surveying in the lower part of the purchase, in Lawrence county, his camp was attacked by a party of hostile Shawnees, early in ihe morning of August 7, 1789. He had with him a guard of seven soldiers, all of whom were killed, except the corporal. Mr. Mathews' assistant was shot dead at his side, and he escaped almost naked, and succeeded, with three or four of his party, who were unhurt, in reaching Colonel R. J. Meigs, who was in a boat with a party surveying the Ohio river. This was the most serious disaster experienced by any ot the surveying parties. Besides the loss of life, all
the clothing, guns, surveying instruments, and camp equipage were lost. In 1792, Mr. Mathews was appointed superintendent of affairs at Gallipolis. In 1796, he married a daughter of Judge Dudley Woodbridge, of Marietta, and settled in Muskingum County, and became a successful farmer on a large scale. "He was one of the most use ful, active, and clear headed men Ohio ever claimed for a citizen."
Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs was one of the surveyors employed by the Ohio Company, He was a "Colonel in the Revolutionary army, born at Middletown, Connecticut, December, 1740, died at the Cherokee Agency, Georgia, January 28, 1823; distinguished for exploit at Sag Harbor, and at the storming of Stony Point; served to the end of the war. He was one of the first settlers at Marietta, Ohio, in 1788. He was commissioner of clothing under General Wayne, in 1788. In 1802, Jefferson appointed him agent for Indian Affairs. The Indians called him the "White Path." He was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati. On his removal to Georgia, "the inhabitants of Marietta parted with him very reluctantly, holding his person and virtues in the highest estimation. His upright, manly conduct, dignified manners, and kind heart, had enlisted all in his favor. During a long life ot activity and usefulness, no man ever sustained a character more irreproachable than Colonel Meigs. He was a pattern of excellence as a patriot, a philanthropist, and a Christian. "His eldest son, R . J. Meigs, Jr., remained a citizen of Marietta; he became a supreme judge; United States Senator; Governor of Ohio, and Postmaster General of the United States.
Six more names are found on General Putnam's list, these are Benjamin Griswald, Elizur Kirtland, William Miller, Daniel Bushnell, Israel Danton, and Josiah White, which names probably belonged to men as good and true as the Others, but which we have been unable to trace, and, therefore, leave them to some more fortunate investigator. As to the actual number of men in the first party, Joseph
Buell, orderly sergeant in Captain Strong's Company, at Fort Harmar, writes: "April 7 (1788). General Putnam arrived at this place with fifty men, to begin a settlement on tlie east side of "the Muskingum." John Mathews, a surveyor, who had been with the party but a short time, writes on the same date: "Our whole party consists of forty-two men, surveyors and all. "But General Putnam, who was the superintendent and responsible business manager of the Company, states: "The whole number of men, including myself, who arrived at Marietta, April 7, 1788, was forty-eight, among whom were four surveyors, viz: Colonel Sproat, Colonel Meigs, Major Tupper, and Mr. John Mathews. His list of names, forty-eight in all, is found in Dr. Hildreth's Pioneer History, and General Putnam's statement has been accepted for an hundred years.
Each share in the Ohio Company entitled the owner to eleven hundred and seventy-three acres of land, and a town lot. Members of the party of forty-eight pioneers, held in their own right, twenty-six shares, or about 30,000 acres of land, while some other men in the Company represented families, who, in the aggregate, had 20,000 acres more. They had, therefore, personal interests in the settlement, and came to look after their own property. One-fourth of these men held commissions in the Revolutionary
Army, and had distinguished themselves in the service, and were now equally at home in
civil life, as judges, or in other public offices, others were skilled artisans,
successful merchants, and intelligent farmers. Their descendants may well be proud of
List of the First Party of Pioneers
Autograph List of Gen. Rufus Putnam, Which is in Marietta College
Source: History of Marietta & Washington County, 1902, Transcribed by C. Anthony
Names of the Men hired By the Ohio Company to Commence the Settlement of there lands in the Territory North West of the Ohio River & arrived at Marietta 7th of April 1788.
|Genl. R. Putnam||
|Col. Eben. Sproat||
|Mj. R. J. Meigs||
|Lt. Anselm Tupper||
|Mj. John Mathews||
|Lincoln, Joseph||30 *|
|Cutler, Jervis||Miller, Wm.|
|Capt. Ezekiel Cooper||Maxon, Henry||* Family 1789|
|Cushing, Saml.||*||Mason, Wm.||*|
|Dodge, Oliver||*||Moulton, Wm.||*Family 1789|
|Dodge, Isaac||10||Moulton, Edmund||35*|
|Barlow, Jabez||Martin, Simeon|
|Bushnell, Daniel||Capt. Munro, Josiah||*|
|Corey, Eben.||* Family 1790||Ar. Putnam, Jethro|
|Coburn, Phinehas||Putnam, Allen||*Family 1789|
|Capt. Devol, Jonath.||15* Family 1789||Porter, Jr. Amos||40 *|
|Devol, Jr. Gilbert||*||Sproat, Earl||*|
|Devol, Allen||Shaw, Benjamin||*Family 1789|
|Capt. Davis, Daniel||*Family 1789||Maj. White, Haffield||*|
|Danton, Israel||Wells, Joseph||*Family 1789|
|Davis, Jonas||25*Killed in 94 or 5||Wallis, David||45|
|Foster, Peregrine||*||Whitrage, Josiah|
|Felshaw, Saml.||White, Josiah|
|Flint, Hezekiah||White, Pellatiah||40*|
|Flint, Jr. Hezekiah||*|
|Lt. Gray, Wm.||25*Family 1790|
|29 *those with this mark either continued in the purchase or returned after a short absence & continued through the war until they died or were killed in the war.|
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