Native fruit

From the time the Mayflower landed at Fort Harmar (Marietta) in 1788
until 1795, emigration had not materially increased the population of
the North-west, owing to the unstable and dissatisfied condition of the

All this time, the soldier, who had served his time in the cause
of independence and been honorably discharged without pay:–the
poverty-stricken patriot, unable to procure subsistence for himself and
family in the bankrupt colonies, had been listening to accounts of a
land “flowing with milk and honey,” and was anxious to get there. It
was described as a country “fertile as heart could wish:”–“fair to
look upon, and fragrant with the thousand fresh odors of the woods in
early spring.” The long cool aisles leading away into mazes of vernal
green where the swift deer bounded by unmolested and as yet unscared
by the sound of the woodman’s ax or the sharp ring of the rifle. “He
could imagine the wooded slopes and the tall grass of the plain jeweled
with strange and brilliant flowers;” but there the redman had his field
of corn, and would defend his rights.

The success of General Wayne in procuring terms of peace with the
warlike tribes of Indians in the spring of 1795, caused such an influx
of emigration into the Ohio division of the North-west Territory, that
in 1798 the population enabled the election of an Assembly which met
the following year, and sent William Henry Harrison as a delegate to
Congress. So rapidly did the country fill up with new settlements that
the prospective state at the beginning of the nineteenth century was
knocking at the door for admission, with all the pathways crowded by
pedestrians–men, women, and children–dogs and guns; crossing the
perilous mountains to reach a country where a home was a matter of
choice, and subsistence furnished without money or price.

Where all these lovers of freedom and free soil came from, and how they
got here, will ever remain a mystery next in obscurity to that of the
Ancient Mound Builders. They brought with them the peculiarities of
every civilized nation, and continued to come until Ohio became the
beaten road to western homes beyond. They were God’s homeless poor–the
file of a successful revolution–the founders of a republic. As such
they accepted pay and bounty in wild lands–established homes of
civilization, cultivated the arts and sciences, and soon increased in
numbers, until they became a people powerful in war and influential in

Men and women, the chosen best, of the entire world, by causes
foreordained, were made the exponents of the axioms contained in the
charter founding the great empire of freedom. They were strangers to
luxury–unknown to the corroding influences of avarice, and unfamiliar
with national vices. Their lives were surrounded with happiness, and
they lived to a good old age, enjoying the pleasures of large families
of children in a land of peace and plenty. These and their descendants
are the “Squirrel Hunters” of history.

Kentucky had received her baptism into the Union in 1791, but
afterward felt slighted and dissatisfied, looking toward secession,
if the five proposed states, outlined by the act of 1787 as the
North-west Territory, should constitute an independent confederacy.
The opinion seemed to exist to no small extent, that the North-west
was by necessity bound to become separated from the Atlantic States;
and Kentucky was lending her influence to this end. Josiah Espy, in
his “Tour in Ohio and Indiana in 1805,” says: “In traveling through
this immense and beautiful country, one idea, mingled with melancholy
emotions, almost continually presented itself to my mind, which was
this: that before many years the people of that great tract of country
would separate themselves from the Atlantic States, and establish an
independent empire. The peculiar situation of the country, and the
nature of the men, will gradually lead to this crisis; but what will
be the proximate cause producing this great effect is yet in the womb
of time. Perhaps some of us may live to see it. When the inhabitants
of that immense territory will themselves independent, force from the
Atlantic States to restrain them would be madness and folly. It can not
be prevented.”

But the inhabitants of this immense territory had a better and clearer
vision of the mission of this “vast empire;” it was to be the heart
and controlling center of a great nation of freemen. And when Ohio, in
1803, entered the Union under the enabling act, binding the Government
to construct a national highway from Cumberland to the Ohio river, and
through the State of Ohio, as a bond of union between the East and
West, no more was heard of secession until the rebellion of the sixties.

In 1821, a member of the Virginia legislature (Mr. Blackburn), in
discussing the question of secession, claimed there ought to be an
eleventh commandment, and taking a political view of it, said it should
be in these words: “Thou shalt not, nor shall thy wife, thy son or
thy daughter, thy man-servant or thy maid-servant, the stranger or
sojourner within thy gates, dare in any wise to mention or hint at
dissolution of the Union.” Mr. Blackburn did not live to see it, but
the words of the commandment came sealed in blood and “were graven with
an iron pen and lead in the rock forever.”

Many persons at the very dawn of independence felt the weakness of a
union of such conflicting sentiments and interests as those of freedom
and slavery, and were free in the expression that either slavery or
freedom must rule and control the destinies of the nation–that the two
could not, nor would not, co-operate peaceably in the same field.

Francis A. Walker, in “Making of the Nation,” says: “No one can
rightly read the history of the United States who does not recognize
the prodigious influence exerted in the direction of unreserving
nationality by the growth of great communities beyond the mountains
and their successive admission as states of the Union.” And the author
apprehends “_great danger_” from the aversion of Western people to
“measures proposed in the interests of financial integrity, commercial
credit and national honor. ‘Having a predilection for loose laws
regarding bankruptcies and cheap money has been a constant menace and a
frequent cause of mischief.’ This, however, we may regard as due to the
stage of settlement and civilization reached.”

No one, if he reads at all, can read otherwise than the “prodigious
influence” of the Western States. To these the nation owes its
freedom. Through this prodigious influence, slaves and slavery have
been wiped out, national finance established with enlarged commercial
credit, integrity and national honor. And if the history of the United
States is correctly read, the country need fear no _danger_ from any
_stage_ in the settlement and civilization of the North-west. The
early pioneers of this lovely country brought with them from the
South and East large stocks of patriotism perfumed with the firearms
of a successful revolution; and it was prized more highly as it was
chiefly all they had in a home where poverty was no disgrace, and
a “poor-house” unknown in nature’s great empire. Their descendants
inherited much, and increased their talents, and have under all
circumstances been ready to render a favorable account and go up higher.

The residence of the immigrant was exceedingly primitive; still, it
could not be said the log cabin of the pioneer made a cheerless home,
by any means. Man retains too much of the unevolutionized not to find
and enjoy the most pleasure in things nearest the heart of nature.
Many pointers and pen pictures originating in these humble domiciles
exist in evidence of the pleasure and satisfaction enjoyed by the early
inhabitants, regardless of apparent privations, previous conditions or
existing numbers.

Late in the fall of 1798 a revolutionary soldier wrote on the fly-leaf
of his Bible that the “North-west Territory” made a delightful home,
saying: “My footsteps always gladly hasten homeward; and when I pull
the string and open the door, the delicious odor of roasting game and
cornbread meets with smiles of hungry approbation. And with kisses for
the children and blessings for a good wife, who could ask for more or a
better home.”

[Illustration: Home of the Pioneer.]

Another in 1799–“We often talk of fathers and mothers, brothers and
sisters and friends left behind, and wish them _here_. And as the
holidays draw near we send them our wishes and prayers, for it is all
we can do. There is no mail or carrier pigeon to cross the wilderness
that takes any thing else.”

The pioneer believed in the declaration of the Ordinance of 1787,
that “_Religion_, _Morality_, and _Knowledge_” were necessary to good
government and happiness of mankind. Thanksgiving and Christmas were
days of universal observation. The Star of Bethlehem was the Star of
Empire, and rested as brightly over the North-west Territory as when
shining on the little town in Judea.

During the first few years of pioneer life, new and interesting as it
must have been, few persons, comparatively, kept a diary of social life
and times; and of such accounts fewer still remain to the present. Yet
the number is sufficient to show corroborating testimony or agreement
with the following in substance taken from a family history of a father
and mother who, with three small children, a dog and gun, and all their
worldly goods, crossed the mountains on foot, by following the Indian
trail–reaching the Ohio river, floated to the mouth of the Scioto on
a temporary raft, and from the confluence pushed up its winding course
over fifty miles in a “_dugout_” to the “High Bank Prairie,” near where
Chillicothe now stands–making the trip from Eastern Pennsylvania
in sixty-three days; arriving at the place of destination April 25,
1798–a day of thanksgiving ever after.

The first Christmas seen or enjoyed in the new home of this family
would in the present era be considered out of date, but doubtless at
the time was the duplicate of hundreds of others. The day, before
the event, was set aside for procuring extra supplies from nature’s
store-house, regardless of any signal service. A coon-skin cap and
gloves–deer-skin breeches and leggins, and a wolf-skin “_hunting
shirt_” made the weather right at all times with the hunter.


“Ay, this is freedom!–these pure skies
Were never stained with village smoke:
The fragrant wind that through them flies,
As breathed from wastes by plough unbroke.

“Here with myrtle and my steed,
And her who left the world for me,
I plant me where the red deer feed
In the green desert–and am free.”

Early in the morning on the 24th of December, 1798, this pioneer
started out with dog and gun in pursuit of Christmas supplies. It was
no small game day–a deer, moose, bear, or wild turkey must adorn the
bill of fare for the Christmas dinner.

Before the sun had reached the meridian mark in the door-way, he
returned loaded down with three turkeys and two grouse. The country
made such a favorable impression, as soon as time and chance offered an
opportunity, the husband sent a letter to a friend at Redstone, Penn.,
who had never seen Ohio, in which he recalls this hunt and the first
Christmas he enjoyed in this lovely country, and which is here given in
his own language:

“After dressing the game and making a present of a turkey and two
grouse to a widow and two children across the river, I told Grace (my
wife) that the man who got injured by the falling tree must have a
turkey, and with her approbation I shouldered a dressed gobbler and
delivered the kind remembrances of my wife to the unfortunate.

“When I returned, it was quite dark, but my mind was ill at ease,
and I told Grace I thought we had better take the other turkey down
to Rev. Dixon as he hunted but seldom, and a bird of the kind would
appear quite becoming, in the presence of a large family of small
children at a Christmas dinner. These suggestions met with hearty
approval, and I started off to walk a half mile or more with a great
dressed gobbler in one hand, a gun in the other, and dog in front.

“On arrival I found the latch-string drawn in, but a knock on the
door soon caused an opening large enough to admit the procession. The
presentation was made with an Irish speech, dilating and describing
the virtues of the deceased; and wishing the minister, his Quaker
Mission and his family a merry Christmas, I turned my steps homewards.

“On my return, Grace wished to know what I expected for our own
dinner;–reminding me of the guests,–Samuel Wilkins and Benjamin
James, who were looked for by invitation, I told her I had been
thinking while on the way home from Mr. Dixon’s, that Dr. Hamberger
and wife up at the ferry were nice folks, and the Dr. had been pretty
busy in his ‘clearing’ lately, and that Jack and I would go, early in
the morning, up to the beech bottom, and get a turkey for the Doctor,
and one for us–I said ‘_Won’t we Jack_’–and Jack’s assent was at
once made known by the wag of his tail.

“Christmas morning, before the breakfast hour, Jack and I returned
with two gobblers, and throwing them down at the cabin door I
exclaimed ‘they are heavy.’ As I did so ‘_a merry Christmas_’ from
Grace rang out on the bare and frosty forest for the first time ever
heard in that vicinity. ‘Oh! the poor birds’ (said Grace), ‘how
nicely bronzed they are–who is it that paints those iridescent
colors? I never saw a happier pair than you and Jack make.’ I
replied, ‘they are beautiful birds, but if I’d had my wits about me,
I could have shown the best woman west of the Alleghanies the nicest
fat fawn she ever looked at. But I was hunting for turkeys, and did
not see it quite soon enough, and let it go without a shot. Never
mind,’ I said, ‘I’ll be there in a day or two’–and I was.”


The hunter states that he dressed the game, left a turkey in the
doctor’s cabin, and then assisted Grace in placing a twenty pound bird
on a wooden spit to roast for dinner.

Before noon the invited guests came and after pleasantly reviewing
army scenes and political, social and literary prospects of the
people coming to the unbroken wilderness of the North-west, dinner
was announced from the kitchen dining-room and parlor; and a more
intellectual and jolly company has probably not assembled at a
Christmas dinner since 1798. The guests had filled important positions
in the general government, and were both natives of New York; while the
host was from Dublin, and hostess an English lady, a former resident of
London–all educated people, and knew how to entertain and partake of
social and mental enjoyments.

The good pioneer became schooled to a quiet, but heroic submission
to the unavoidable; and in this virtue Grace was recognized a model
throughout the settlement. Still she manifested the greatest sorrow one
could well express in the loss of the souvenir she had so carefully
preserved and protected from damage during the long and perilous
journey to Ohio. A large English Bible, printed in the infancy of
the art, containing the family coat of arms and record for over four
hundred years, with a chart of unbroken line of descent for near one
thousand years. All was lost in the burning of their cabin in 1812.

The pioneer and his good wife lived to enjoy with these three children
and grandchildren, forty-six returns of the Star of Bethlehem, near
where the first Christmas day was seen in Ohio; and the writer has
often heard the aged couple recite with feelings of delightful
remembrance the first Christmas in Ohio as the dearest and most
enchanting of all others.

A country by nature so lovely exerted no little influence on the
civilization and character of its early, but mixed inhabitants. They
all were, or soon became, genial, warm-hearted, kind, neighborly and
obliging, in a sense unknown to phases of civilization connected with
affluent circumstances. They generally settled at short distances from
each other, to better enable them to render mutual assistance, and also
protection in times of danger. Much of the labor necessary to open up a
new country of this character could not be performed “weak-handed” as
“rolling logs,” building cabins, opening roads, etc.; and when a new
arrival appeared in the settlement and announced his desire to remain,
all the neighborhood would cheerfully turn out, and with shovels, axes
and augurs assemble at some designated spot in the forest, and work
from day to day until a domicile was completed. Although entirely
gratuitous, the construction of these log-houses was a business of
experience. First, trees were cut down sufficiently to make an opening
for sunlight, and site to place the cabin; then logs of determined
diameter and length were cut and placed in position, one above another,
and by notching the corners in a manner calculated to make them lie
closely together, the whole became very substantial and binding.
Cross-logs made sleepers and joists, and similar logs of different
lengths formed the gables, and which were held together by supports for
the roof in a way truly primitive and ingenious. It was covered with
clap-boards four or five feet long, split from oak timber, placing
them in the usual way to turn rain, and securing their position by a
sufficient number of heavy poles or split pieces of timber reaching the
length of the roof at right angles to the boards. The weight pole at
the eaves was made stationary by the projecting ends of the top logs at
the corners of the building, and the others were prevented from rolling
down and off the building by intervening blocks of wood placed parallel
with the clap-boards, one end resting against the pole at the eaves and
the other end acting as a stop to the pole next above; and so on to the
comb of the roof. The floor, if not of earth, was made of puncheons or
long clap-boards. The door was constructed of heavy pieces of split
timber, joined to the cross-sections, or battens with wooden pins.
One end of the lower and upper battens was made to project far enough
beyond the side of the door, and large enough to admit an auger hole of
an inch and a half to form part of the hinge for the door. The battens
and hinges were placed on the inside, also the latch, to which a strong
string was attached, and passed through a small hole a short distance
above, terminating on the outside. By pulling the string the latch was
raised and the door opened by persons without. At night, the string
was pulled in, which made a very secure and convenient fastening, in
connection with the two great wooden pins that projected on the line
of the top of the door to prevent it from being raised off the hinges
when closed. It is quite probable, as has often been suggested, this
primitive latch and lock combination gave rise to the saying “you will
find the latch-string always out.”

There were no windows; but, if one was attempted, it consisted of a
small opening without frame, sash, or glass, and was covered with a
piece of an old garment or greased paper. The chimney formed the most
important, as well as singular, part of the structure. It was built
upon the outside, and joined to the cabin some five or six feet in
height at the base, and then contracted, forming a stem detached from
the building and terminating short of its height. The materials used
in its construction consisted of sticks and mud, and when completed
resembled somewhat in shape an immense bay window, or an overgrown
parasite. The logs of the building were cut away at the chimney so as
to give a great opening into this mud pen for a fireplace, and which
sometimes had a back-wall made of clay, shale, or stone. The crevices
between the logs were filled with small pieces of split wood and clay
mortar, both on the inside and outside. Numerous augur holes were bored
in the logs, and pins driven in to hang articles of apparel and cooking
utensils on. Two pins in particular were always so arranged as to
receive the gun, and perhaps under which might be seen a pair of deer
antlers to honor the powder-horn and bullet pouch.

To erect a rude cabin of this kind would frequently occupy all the
persons in a neighborhood three or four days; and, when finished, made
a very humble appearance in the midst of the natural grandeur of its
surroundings. Even after the occupants were domiciliated, the addition
of their worldly goods added but little to the unostentatious show of
comfort. In the absence of facilities for transportation, the pioneer
was obliged to leave most every thing behind; or, worse perhaps, had
nothing but family, dog, and gun to bring with him; so the furniture
of his new home consisted of a bedstead made of poles–a table from a
split log;–a chair in the shape of a three-legged stool;–a bench,
and a short shelf or two. The utensils for cooking were quite as
limited and simple, and corresponded in usefulness and decoration
most admirably with the furniture; generally consisting of a kettle,
“skillet,” stew-pan, a few pewter dishes, and gourds. These with an
occasional souvenir, or simple article that could be easily carried
from the “Old Home,” made up the invoice of the inside of the cabin of
the pioneer.

Notwithstanding the apparent scanty comforts in the house, they were
more imaginary than real. It required but little exertion to keep the
larder supplied with the choicest beasts, birds, and fish, which with
hominy, or, still better, the corn dodger, shortened with turkey fat or
bear’s oil, and baked in the ashes–or that climax, the “johnny-cake”
well browned and piping hot on the board in front of a grand open
fire–constituted a substantial diet that might be envied by those of
the present day. In addition to these, there was no lack of pumpkins,
potatoes, turnips, beans, berries,[1] honey, and maple sugar, and the
early settler had little reason to sigh for the delicacies of a more
advanced civilization.

Sugar making was an attractive calling and one of the pioneers’
money-making industries, although sugar groves were scattered over
the entire state. The trees, by nature, were gregarious, growing in
clusters from hundreds to thousands so thickly set over the ground that
few if any other varieties could find room to maintain a standing.
There are a few of the older crop of sugar trees still remaining; but
the great “_camps_” that furnished sweets in abundance have, with other
varieties of timber, fallen victims to the woodman’s ax.

It has been suggested that the yearly “_tapping_” might injure the
growth and shorten the longevity of the trees; but both experiment and
observation tend to sustain the opposite opinion. A tree that has been
under the notice of the writer for more than seventy years, and has
been tapped in three to four places every year for the period named, is
still a beautiful, healthy, growing tree.

It may be correct, that “it takes more than one swallow to make a
summer;” but the evidence shown in the wood made into lumber after many
years “_tapping_” for “_sugar water_” (not sap), is not significant of
injury or decay. The cut made by the auger is soon closed over, which,
no doubt, would be different if the sugar was obtained from “_the sap_”
or wood-producing fluid. The fluid which contains the sugar is no
nearer the “_sap_” (or blood of the tree) than is the milk, or other
cellular secretion of a gland, near or identical with the blood or life
sustaining and constructive element of animal existence.

A pioneer who owned a small cluster of sugar trees made his own sugar
and some to spare, while those working camps of several thousand trees
made it a “profitable calling and supplied others at reasonable rates
of exchange,” so no one had occasion to stint or reason to complain.
It required some labor and expense to equip a camp for making sugar;
but once furnished, the material lasted many years. During the time
unoccupied, the furnace and kettles under the shed would be surrounded
with a temporary fence–the sugar-troughs, spiles, sled, water-barrel,
funnel-buckets, etc., at the ending of the sugar season would be
safely housed to remain until the next year. As soon as the icy
earth began giving way to mild sunshining days in the latter part of
winter, it was considered by the “_sugar-maker_” as the announcement
of the near approach of “_sugar weather_.” At such times, on like
indications, the “_sugar-troughs_” would be taken from the place of
deposit and distributed to the trees; the better ones getting the
larger troughs. The water-barrel underwent inspection–the funnel
refitted–sled repaired–the pile of dry wood increased–store-room or
annex renovated–tubs and buckets soaked–shortage of “_spiles_” and
“_sugar-troughs_” made good–furnace and kettles cleaned, and every
thing made ready for the work.

After this, the first clear frosty morning with the prospect of a
thawing day, a man would be seen with an auger passing rapidly from
tree to tree, closely followed by another, with a basket and hatchet,
who “_drove the spiles_” and set the troughs as fast as the one with
the auger made the holes.

It would have astonished a Havemeyer[2] to witness the rapidity
with which the “_tapping_” was accomplished. In a few moments the
surrounding forest seemed sparkling with the beauties of the rainbow,
and echoing the music of falling waters, each tree dripping, dripping
with a rapidity suggestive of a race and wager held by Nature for the
one that first filled the assigned trough with sparkling gems.

A “_run_” of sugar-water was not dependent upon a special act of
Congress, nor was the product a subject for public revenue. It was
limited, however, to frosty nights and warmer days; and when a number
of consecutive days and nights remained above or below freezing, the
“_sugar-water_” would cease to flow, often making it necessary to
remove the “_spiles_” and freshen the auger-hole at the next run to
insure the natural ability of the tree.

Sugar manufactured in those days was made from the black maple or
sugar tree. This tree was very productive–in an ordinary season would
run ten or twelve gallons each in twenty-four hours, and during the
season average enough for ten to fifteen pounds of sugar–the better
trees have been known to produce over fifty pounds each in an ordinary
season. This, however, was before Congress suspected a trust and
combine would be a good thing for the common people or got up the Luxow
investigation and whitewash of the sugar business by New York. The
sugar maker knows quite well the kind of days he could obtain a run of
“sugar-water,” and for that purpose one or more holes were bored into
the tree three to five inches deep, and “spiles” driven in to conduct
the fluid into the sugar-trough.

The “spiles” that conducted the water from the tree to the trough were
made from sections of elder or sumac, eight or ten inches in length,
shaved down to the pith from three inches of one end, which formed
the shoulder, made tapering to close the auger hole of the usual
size, three-fourths of an inch. The pith in the shoulder and body of
the spile was removed so as to form a channel for the sugar-water to
escape. The sugar-trough was a short trough two to four feet long made
of some light wood, as the white walnut, and were carefully charred on
the inside or concavity to prevent the injury of the delicate flavor
of the sugar. Many persons, familiar with higher mathematics and
languages named in the curriculum of Yale or Harvard, as well as words
and phrases used in athletic games, and manly arts of self-defense,
would be turned down if asked to describe or name the uses of many very
simple things to an Ohio “squirrel hunter” of three score and ten years.

No doubt there are many more persons that have seen and felt the great
Congressional Sugar Trust and Combine than are now living who have seen
the headquarters of one of those primitive “_sugar camps_,” with its
row of kettles placed over a furnace–under an open shed–parallel with
and near the kettles under this shed, a reservoir made from a section
of a large tulip tree, to hold the excess of gathered water during the
day for night boiling–the sled and mounted barrel with, a sugar-trough
funnel–the annex near the furnace to obtain light and heat, with other
primitive articles or things connected with and used in the manufacture
of sugar.

The annex or temporary residence of those running the camp was
generally a strong well-built cabin with one door, but no window. The
door occasionally showed a want of confidence by being ornamented
with a heavy padlock and chain. This little building entertained
many a jolly crowd. It was the manufacturer’s office, storeroom,
parlor, bedroom and restaurant. It was always a pleasant place to
spend an evening, and, still more, a delightfully-sweet place on
“_stirring-off_” days–to watch the golden bubbles burst in air and
with noisy efforts rising to escape, driven back by their master with
the enchantment of a fat-meat pill and made to dance to the tune of
Yankee Doodle Dandy; for then was the time to dip and cool the wooden
“_paddle_,” and taste again and again the charming sweetness of maple
sugar in its native purity.

But in less than a century sugar-trees, sugar-troughs, and pioneer
sugar making have been classed with things of the past, scarcely
known by the many, and remembered but by a few; and shows how soon
time makes abandoned words and many simple expressions of facts
obsolete and unknown. When it is said, “In infancy he was rocked in
a sugar-trough,” the language to many is as figurative, hypothetical
or meaningless as the “lullaby upon the tree tops.” The younger
generations never saw the pioneer cradle, and Noah Webster did not get
far enough West to incorporate the word in his “Revised Dictionary.”

The ordinary use of sugar-troughs was to catch and hold the sweet water
as it dripped from the “_spile_” placed in the sugar-tree. But under
certain circumstances good specimens were devoted to other purposes,
and not a few eminent lawyers, doctors, statesmen and divines have
proudly referred to their cradling days as those having been well spent
in the pioneer environment of a “sugar-trough.”

The sugar made from trees was gradually superseded by cane and beet
productions; and the supply has always remained equal to the demand
at moderate prices; and not until 1887 did the country discover
the necessity of a “Sugar Trust” to control and regulate the trade
of the United States. This combine started with a capital of seven
million dollars, capitalized at fifty millions, and again was watered
up to seventy-five millions. This trust controlled four-fifths to
ninety-eight per cent of all the refined sugar in the United States.

The president of this trust has been receiving an annual salary of one
hundred thousand dollars and the secretary seventy-five thousand. The
stockholders have absorbed as dividends nearly four hundred million
dollars in the eleven years of its existence, while thousands of its
employes obtain but six dollars a week, working twelve hours each day
in rooms at a temperature not much below two hundred degrees. The
scales of justice are not often evenly balanced in trust monopolies
that yield a net income of five hundred per cent profit on the capital

The pioneer, however, had no use for “combines” to keep him poor,
for like many facts not admitted or recognized at the time, good
subsistence was so easily obtained from nature that it frequently
contributed much toward creating an indifference for labor, which
remained through life and kept the man of destiny no better off than
when he arrived at his new home. It was no easy task to clear the land
and prepare the soil for agricultural purposes. As a rule the timber
was large and thickly set upon the ground; usually the best soil was
covered with the greatest trees, and the labor required for their
removal was not inviting to those who could subsist well without it.
The white oak, burr oak, black oak, black walnut, sycamore, poplar,
and other varieties, had for centuries been adding size and strength
to their immense proportions. These giants, and the smaller timber
and undergrowth, required great energy, perseverance and protracted
labor to remove and clear the ground ready for a crop. The usual plan
for their removal was by “girdling,” or cutting a circle around the
trunk of each sufficiently deep to kill the tree, and then to burn by
piece-meals as the branches and trunks came down by reason of time and
decay. Consequently the patch of sunshine around these primitive homes,
as a rule, did not enlarge very rapidly, and the pioneer too often
became a man of procrastination and promise; and for all the time he
had (the present) preferred the dog and gun to the maul and wedge as a
means of subsistence. Some, however, opened up small fields and farms
by disposing of the timber in this slow way. In the meantime, while
the process of decay was going on, grain and vegetables were grown in
the openings among the dead timber. The crops were generally divided
pretty equally between the wild animals and the landlord. This loss,
however, was of no great importance as there was no money, market, or
mill; nor domestic animals to take a surplus. At a later day, and after
the introduction of “movable mills,”[3] there still existed no market
for the products of the soil, and to grow enough for food seemed all
that could be required of the most ambitious pioneer; and if at any
time the returns exceeded the estimates and insured a surplus, such
overabundance seldom went to waste, as there were always enough who
yearly came short in this respect, and were ready to share with the
more prosperous neighbor.

The time and labor expended upon clearing the ground and raising grain
met with little or no reward. The products could not be sold nor
exchanged for necessaries of life. Consequently the forests remained
quite undisturbed for many years and agriculture neglected, excepting
for the necessary consumption of the family. The early settler,
however, was not all the time free from discouragements. His domestic
animals frequently became lost, or destroyed by ravenous beasts; and
diseases of the country occasionally were protracted; and to the wife
and children, he sometimes felt, it was not so much a paradise. But
he came to stay, and this, for better or for worse, was his home, and
submitted philosophically to circumstances and events he could not

The wife and mother endured with patience and heroism all privations
and afflictions equally with the husband and father, and performed
the arduous household duties; and, like the model woman of old,
“sought wool and flax and worked willingly with her hands,” and the
whirring spinning-wheel and thudding loom were heard in most every
household. The welfare of the family depended upon the success of home
industries, and consequently the wife had much less leisure than the
husband. She superintended the manufacture of all the fabrics for the
house and for the clothing of the family, and cut and made up the same
without protection, tariff, rebate, or combine. And it is singular so
little has been recorded of the good women who unlocked the resources
of the new territory and gave their aid in founding a civilization that
has surpassed all precedents in the history of nations.

Natives of every country and of every grade of intelligence in
the new environment became alike distinguished for liberality and
hospitality–ever desirous to forget the past, willing to admit the
future, and ready to enjoy the present, the life of the pioneer was
seldom darkened or overburdened with toil or care, and had times of
good cheer, and was not without his social amusements. The violin and
Monongahela whisky found way to the settlements and were accepted by
many, young and old; and the dance after a quilting, shooting-match,
fox-chase, bear-hunt, log-rolling, or house-raising gave all the
pleasure and excitement desired.

As the population became more numerous, leisure and the desire for
amusements increased; and among the many ways devised to entertain
and interest, no one, perhaps, ever received more attention, higher
cultivation, and obtained more general favor than the chase. Most
descendants of Virginia, however destitute in other respect, had their
packs of “hounds,” and the good people and the better, the poor and the
poorer, some on horse and some on foot, mingled alike in the exciting

The pedigrees, qualities, and performances of “lead dogs” of different
owners were known over the country, and their comparative merits were
frequently subjects that called forth the warmest discussions, the
disputants generally ending the controversy with knock-down arguments
on both sides. The owners of the dogs always manifested great pride and
satisfaction in public praises and good will toward their animals, and
no offense received a greater condemnation than the theft or injury of
one of these “noblemen’s pets.”

Whenever a “pack” failed in having a good “leader” and “poked,” they
lost their reputation at once and forever. And many trips were made on
horseback through the wilderness over the mountains to South Branch,
or other points in Virginia, on pretext of other business, when the
real purpose proved to be “fresh blood,” or perhaps a pack of dogs
that could take the front. They were brought through on foot, chained
one behind another in double file, with a chain between, and horse
in front, resembling the transportation of surplus of the “divine”
institution in the days of John Brown. New importations, however,
did not often give satisfaction. As a rule, the dogs of the finest
scent and greatest endurance and speed were bred in Ohio. Such were
McNeal’s “Nick,” Jordan’s “Sam,” Anderson’s “Magnet,” Renick’s “Pluto
the Swift,” McDowell’s “Yelp,” Colonel Vause’s “Clynch,” and a host
of others that never saw a “bench-show,” but were awarded the highest
praises by men who filled their places as well in the chase, as many of
them did, important public positions in after life. And in the written
history of these notable contests for superiority is the circumstance,
if not the day, when Colonel Vause’s little blue hound, his lead dog,
“Clynch,” outwinded and distanced all the other “packs” as well as his
own companions, and pursued the deer alone so inveterately, the poor
animal, confused or to confuse, ran to the town of Chillicothe and into
the open, empty jail, and was there captured.

[Illustration: Stray Pup.]

But of all the dogs known to have taken part in amusing the people of
destiny; or aided the advancing strides of civilization, none ever
attracted such universal attention, and enjoyed that wide-spread fame
as that given to “_Gibbs’ Stray Pup_.”

Quite early in the fall, when as yet the frosts had but slightly tinted
the woodland foliage, some hunters while after turkeys, saw a dog in
hot pursuit of a deer, and so close was the chase that the fatigued
animal leaped from a high bank into deep water in Paint Creek and
expired immediately. This dog proved to be a little half-starved,
lemon, black and white pup, not more than seven months old, and having
around his neck a section of dilapidated bed cord. Such a performance
by a strange pup so very young and alone, attracted no little attention
and talk, especially among the sporting gentlemen, who kept first-class
dogs, and doted more upon their hounds than upon their lands and
houses. Mr. James Gibbs was one of these, and by right of discovery,
took the pup in charge and named him “Gamer.” The dog proved a stray in
the settlement, and no owner could be found, and mere supposition gave
a satisfactory explanation. “The pup had broken away from an emigrant
wagon to get after the deer.”

At maturity, true to instinct, Gamer refused to follow deer, but became
the embodiment of all the virtues and qualifications of a thoroughbred
fox-hound. His fleetness, his extraordinary “_cold nose_,” or ability
to carry a “cold trail;” his industry, perseverance, and sagacity, made
him the model and marvel of all who knew him. He always led the pack
far in advance, and so exact was he to hound nature, that in case the
fox doubled short and came back near enough to be seen and turned upon
by all the other dogs, he would continue around the course and unravel
every winding step. His voice was quite as marked and remarkable as any
of his other qualities: so much so, that for many years it lingered in
the ears of surviving friends like the far-off echo of an Alpine horn.
He could be distinctly heard across the great valley, bounded east by
the Rattlesnake and west by Patton and Stone Monument Hills, a distance
of more than five miles in an air line. His cry was musical, prolonged
and varied, opening with a deep loud bass, and closing with a high,
clear note, it would come to the listener sharp and distinct, solitary
and alone, when the united cry of all the pack would be dead in the

An accurate likeness with minute description of this dog has been
preserved–height, above the average fox-hound; length, medium;
head, long and narrow and well elevated when running; under jaw,
three-fourths of an inch short, which gave a pointed appearance to
the face; eye, intellectual and gamy, but of a most singular yellow
color; ears, long and thin, but not wide; neck, slim and clean;
shoulders, firm; chest, deep, the breast-bone projecting so as to make
a perpendicular offset of two inches; back, quite straight; loins, not
wide; hind legs, unusually straight; hams, thin, flat and tapering;
tail, slim, medium length, little curved, and hair short towards the
tip; color, white, excepting a large black spot on each side of the
chest, tipped with lemon; a small black spot joined to a lemon spot on
each hip or root of the tail, lemon head and ears, with small black
spot behind each ear. Altogether a fine appearing dog, especially when
engaged in the chase: and before two years old, was held in high
esteem by the owner.

[Illustration: Gamer.]

The popularity of Gamer was now fast gaining ground, as his
performances were casting shadows over dogs of high repute, and many
things were attempted to silence the repeated huzzahs that came in at
the end of every chase for “Gibb’s Stray Pup.” Years rolled on, pack
after pack, pick after pick were pitted against the “pup” to no purpose
excepting to widen the difference by comparison.

A single incident taken from many that might be given, will
sufficiently illustrate the superior qualities of this remarkable dog,
as well as the usual success attendant upon the efforts to detract
from his merited superiority by running picked hounds with him in the
chase. A number of persons in every neighborhood kept hounds, and each
owner considered himself the possessor of a small fortune, consisting
at least of one animal that was considered faster and truer than any
one belonging to a neighbor; and it was an easy matter at any time to
summon on short notice fifteen to thirty of these favorites surrounded
by a conflict of good opinions. On the 11th of November, 18–, twenty
gentlemen, some of whom afterwards rose to high political and judicial
eminence in the history of the state and nation, met by agreement and
entered the forest at four o’clock in the morning with twelve dogs,
the pick of the best packs known in the state. The atmosphere was
still, white frost hung on the trees all day; the ground was but little
frozen, and other things perhaps conspired to make it favorable, as
hunters say, “for scent to lay.”

The dogs soon struck a cold trail, perhaps where the fox had been
the previous evening, and which could be followed but slowly. Before
midday, it became too cold for all the dogs excepting Gamer and two old
hounds, one of which was famous for his “cold nose.” The latter dogs,
however, were unable to get scent excepting in favorable places; and,
by three o’clock in the afternoon, they too were out, and no longer
able to render assistance. Gamer still kept at work trailing Reynard’s
footsteps so closely, that on his way he entered an old vacant cabin,
declaring most emphatically that Reynard had been there, showing that
even on the dry ground and probably more than ten hours after the
presence of the animal, there was enough found to call forth a most
vigorous cry.

When more than half a mile from this cabin, the trail was lost, and
half an hour was consumed, with all the dogs in circuits, to no
purpose. While engaged in these efforts to strike the track, the
wonderful “pup” raised his voice most significantly at the very spot
where he had ceased his cry. He had discovered the track and commenced
a rapid backward march in the precise line over the same ground he had
passed but a short time before. When within fifteen or twenty rods
of the old vacant cabin, he turned off through a “deadening” in the
direction of Mount Logan, showing that, notwithstanding the fox had
retraced his steps for a long distance, the sagacious hound detected
the fact after going over the ground, and that, too, when the trail was
so very cold that no other dog in the chase could take the scent.

From Mount Logan the trail was leading through thicker timber, and
Reynard had been zig-zagging here and there, in search, perhaps, of
birds and rodents for his supper the night before, walking on logs and
limbs of trees whenever near his intended line of march. Here, the dog
quite knowingly changed his tactics, and for two hours ran at more than
half speed from log to log, right to left, with nose close to the bark
and decayed wood, as he rapidly passed, would let out his encouraging

In this way he followed the crooked course until the close of the day,
carrying a trail for thirteen hours, which the fox had passed at no
point less than ten hours before, following it, too, more than three
hours after the best and most renowned dogs ever in Ohio were silent.
It was now dusk, the timber sparse and logs few, making the chances
seemingly more unfavorable. So, the hunters who had been on the go for
fifteen hours, and without the substantials of life for twenty-four
hours, concluded to quit, and, calling the dogs to follow, turned in
the direction of the by-path leading toward home. All the dogs were
very ready to obey, excepting Gamer, who only stopped for a moment to
gaze at his retreating masters, and then resumed his work, in which he
became more and more interested as the day passed on. It was thought,
however, he would soon quit and overtake his companions but, before the
hunters had gone a mile, Gamer’s starting cry was heard; he had winded
Reynard where he had stopped to spend the day high up the mountain
side. Every hound knew it was no cry on a cold trail, and turned and
went off at the top of their speed. Soon Gamer could be heard over
ridges and hills far away; and the hunters, thinking the run would be
made in the broken mountains, went home. A squirrel hunter in that
vicinity, who obtained Reynard’s “brush,” reported the fox so closely
pressed, that he soon doubled, came back, and entered a hollow log near
his cabin, and was captured. The time given showed the run was finished
in less than an hour after the hunters left.

[Illustration: Our Cabin, 1821.]

The sense called “power of scent” is exceedingly delicate in the dog,
enabling him to follow the course of one animal amid a multitude
of “tracks” made by others of the same species. This power of
discrimination is frequently manifest even in the common house-dog as
he traces the footsteps of his master or those of his master’s horse
through crowded thoroughfares and winding ways, although hundreds of
similar feet have passed over the ground after the walk of the one
he seeks was made. But, to tell any one but an old foxhunter that it
was possible to find perfection in a dog sufficiently, under the most
favorable circumstances, to run all day on a trail ten hours’ _cold_,
would be deemed purely chimerical.–Gamer is no more.–James Gibbs has
long been numbered with the dead.–And of those who participated in
and enjoyed the pleasures of that day’s chase but one remains a living
witness of the facts herein stated–the old Roman–the Hon. Allen G.
Thurman.–It is a notable fact, that in after years, when those Ohio
boys no longer resembled the festive _hunter_, they always gave a smile
of pleasure at the mention of those merry times; and, even in old age,
when oppressed with the heavy hand of time, nothing awakened the flush
of youthful pride and satisfaction like the rehearsal of the deeds of
the hound that had no equal in the history of the country–“_Gibbs’
Stray Pup_.”

The exterior beauties of an animal are always attractive. But more than
these do we admire those qualities termed intelligence, instinct, and
reason in their beneficent relations to man and the external world. The
dog possesses a most wonderful harmony in form and faculties. He is the
type and embodiment of beauty, strength, and freedom of motion combined
with endurance, courage, zeal, fidelity, constancy, and uncompromising
affection. For these reasons he is of all man’s friends, the most
valuable, the truest, and the best. So devoted and unchangeable is his
love, that he is ever ready to sacrifice his life to save his master
from threatened injury. He long remembers a kindness, and soon forgives
ill usage. At an early age he obtains a knowledge of the meaning
of words in the language of his master, and understands and obeys
commands; and with that retentive memory which animals possess, he
never falters or forgets. The story of Ulysses and his favorite is but
the citation of the tenacity of memory which belongs to the species.
After twenty years–

“Near to the gates, conferring as they drew
Argus, the dog his ancient master knew,
And not unconscious of the voice and tread,
He knew his lord, he knew, and strove to meet;
In vain he strove to crawl and kiss his feet;
Yet, all he could, his tail, his ears, his eyes
Salute his master and confess his joys.”

From prince to beggar, all the same–the only friend neither misfortune
nor poverty can drive away. He is watchful and bold, and with delight
guards his master’s house and herds from thieves and rapacious animals,
and by his various services has accomplished for man’s happiness and
advancement in civilization _more than all other agencies combined_.
Without this aid, man would scarcely have maintained his existence on
earth. “When he had ‘evolved’ to the ape,”[4] and “for safety lived in
tree-tops with monkeys and squirrels,” his security and advancement
was not so probably due to the suggestive “club” as to _training_ of
dogs, which is given by the great naturalist, Buffon, as the first art
invented by man.

By means of dogs, the rapacious animals common to new or uninhabited
countries are captured or driven to the rear of advancing population.
Almost every emigrant in the earlier settlements of Ohio, from
necessity, became more or less a hunter with dogs, not only to provide
for the family, but as a profit in ridding the locality of thieving
varments with which the forests were overrun. The pelts of fur animals
were a legal tender, and were received as contributions and payment of
debts. And the bark of the industrious dog was in this way transformed
into literary and religious institutions of the country. And if not for
his dogship, the “North-west” would be a wilderness still, inhabited by
wild animals. The great naturalist says: “To determine the importance
of the species in the order of nature, let us suppose it never had
existed.” Without the assistance of the dog, how could man be able to
tame and reduce other animals into slavery? How could he discover,
hunt, and destroy noxious and savage beasts? To preserve his own
safety, and to render himself master of the animated world, it was
necessary to make friends among those animals whom he found capable of
attachment to oppose them to others; therefore, the training of dogs
seems to have been the first art invented by man, and the first fruit
of that art was the conquest and peaceable possession of the earth.

Many species of animals have greater agility, swiftness, and strength,
as well as greater courage than man. Nature has furnished them better.
And the dog not only excels in these, but also in the senses–hearing,
seeing, and smelling; and to have gained possession over a tractable
and courageous species like the dog, was acquiring new or additional
agility, swiftness, strength, and courage with a mysterious increase
of power and usefulness of the more important senses. And by the
friendship and superior faculties of the dog, man became permanently
sovereign and master of all.

“The dog is the only animal whose talents are evident, and whose
education is always successful.”[5]

No better picture, portraying the noble qualities of the dog could be
given than that by Buffon. And why this close observer of nature should
say–“Without having like man _the faculty of thought_,” has always
seemed strange. It sounds like a misprint, or an error in translation.
Thought is the exercise of the mind–reflection, meditation,
consideration, conception, conclusion, judgment, design, purpose,
intention, solicitude, anxious care, concern, etc.

Who is there, even with ordinary acquaintance with the animal, that has
not witnessed some if not all these attributes of “_thought_?” Most
writers on the subject have shown a desire to give the human animal
some distinguishing quality or faculty above all others, but their line
of demarcation between man and the rest of animal creation has not
been altogether successful, as man can not claim by the high authority
that he is the only species that has the something called “_spirit_,”
which is necessary in order “_to think_;” for the sacred book teaches
that man and beast are alike in this, but the _spirit_ of man goeth
upward, while the _spirit_ of the beast goeth downward to the earth,
and which in anti-bellum days constituted a knotty text for Southern
theologians who taught that “_niggers and dogs_” have no souls.

An eminent Scotch clergyman, who has made a study of natural history
believes that dogs are possessed of the same faculties as man,
differing only in degrees. He asserts that conscience in man and
conscience in the dog are essentially the same things. And Charles
Dickens declares that dogs have a moral nature–an unmistakable ability
to distinguish between right and wrong, which led him to believe the
difference in the dog nature and the so-called spiritual nature in man
was imperceptible, and that future existence rested upon like natural

It would be holding conclusions in opposition to all rules of
observation to say that dogs and other animals are destitute of the
faculty of “_thought_.” When the awful torrents came sweeping down upon
Johnstown the terrible waves and debris dashed over housetops and Mrs.
Kress was carried away by the wild current in an instant beyond human
help, her faithful dog, unmindful of himself, jumped after her, and
when he saw her dress come to the surface, seized and carried her to
another housetop. Soon this house was demolished, but Romeo kept the
head of Mrs. Kress out of water and battled with the raging current and
floating timber for more than half an hour before he reached the roof
of another house, where she was taken up unconscious with fright and
exhaustion. When the dog saw the motionless condition of his mistress
he barked and howled and made pitiful demonstrations of grief, for he
“_thought_” she was dead; but when she breathed he became delighted and
manifested his joy in a way that could not be mistaken.

For eight summers a little cocker spaniel (Archos) was daily with
the writer in field and forest, and to his industry and sagacity is
due no small part of the success in obtaining fresh specimens for
the life size, hand-colored work by Mrs. N. E. Jones, entitled, “The
Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio.” Many of the rare
small birds build on or near the ground in thick cover, and among those
he was credited with finding may be mentioned the obscure nest and eggs
of the Helminthophaga pinus–Blue-winged yellow warbler, and the nest
of the Geothlypistrichas–Maryland yellow-throat. He knew the object of
pursuit as well as his master, and delighted in finding these little
homes, and would stand firmly on a point, as it was understood between
us that the bird must be shot when flushed for positive identification.
He knew what his master was doing, for he understood the meaning of
almost all words used in ordinary conversation, and could transact
business on orders with admirable accuracy.

While out with a friend quail shooting, the sun was warm and we sat
down on the cool grass in a fence corner shaded by the dead leaves
on an oak bush. The little cocker was panting with heat and enjoyed
the shade quite as much as his master. Soon a voice was heard from my
friend, on the opposite border of a large field, calling: “Send Archos
over here. I have a dead bird my dog can’t find.” The cocker paid no
attention to the call, and no reply was made by the writer. And to show
how much a dog may acquire of the meaning of words in a few years, I
said to Archos in a conversational tone, as he ceased panting and fixed
his great dark eyes on the speaker: “Ed has lost a dead bird–he can
not find it; you go over and get it.” No sooner said than the little
fellow started off in the tall ragweed which covered the field, and
unknown to my friend scented the dead bird and brought it and laid it
at my feet, all the time smiling and wagging the tail, as much as to
say, “I would like to tell you how nicely that was done, but I can’t
talk–dare not.”

Bab says: “Away back in some old book there is a story how dogs used to
talk, and were men’s advisers. One day a great prince met a beautiful
woman, and despite of the advice of the dog who was his counselor, he
married her, and he made her cousin, a beggar, his prime minister. Amid
the festivities, the dog warned the prince to watch the woman, told the
prince that she was unfaithful, that her cousin was her lover, and that
between them they would rob the kingdom and drive him from the throne.
He turned on the dog and cursed him–cursed him so that this good
friend, looking at the prince, said: ‘Until men are grateful and women
are faithful, I and my kind will never speak again.’”

The world has grown older and better, but for the peace of society
and quiet of social relations, it’s well he still holds his tongue.
Professor Garner, who has devoted much time to the study of animals
in this country and in Africa, has confirmed the general observation
of those familiar with rural life to be true: that cattle–as horses,
sheep, hogs and other animals–talk among their kind. What there is to
be detected in the manner of delivery of the same sound, giving out
entirely different sensations, is yet to be discovered. The squeal of
the hungry pig, repeated by the phonograph, only increases the hunger
and squeal of the pig that hears it; while to repeat the similar squeal
of a pig in pain, at once causes manifest fear, anger and distress in
all the pigs that hear it. And it must be so–all domestic animals do
think and reason, and not unoften are enabled to make their thoughts
known by signs and sounds to those to whom they look for help and
comfort other than their kind.

Dogs are utilized extensively in Germany and other parts of Europe as
draft animals. The United States consul says, in the large, wealthy and
industrial city of Leige, and throughout Belgium, dogs are used for
delivery of goods by all the trades of the city. While they are used as
hewers of wood and drawers of water, the species is the most versatile
in talents of the animal creation–and the dog makes the most accurate
critic, the most successful detective, most reliable witness, best
sentinel and most trustworthy friend.

Persons do not stop to think there is a world of intelligence, love and
affection outside the human head and heart, and innocently ask, “What
makes the dog heed every word when his master says ‘you can not go with
me this time?’ What makes him place himself at the most observing point
and look wistfully after his departing friends until they disappear
in the distance? Why does he stay, perchance all day, at a favorable
point to hear or see a returning approach, anxiously waiting and
watching, and at the well-known and accurately distinguished sounds of
the footsteps of his master’s horse from all others, runs to meet his
master, and barks and laughs and cries with joy and gladness?” The
beneficence of creation gives the answer in a world of unselfish love.

Dogs know nothing of hypocrisy–are always sincere–never lie–dislike
ridicule–and never accept nor offer a joke.

The dog has been recognized as valuable property by his owner in
every age, nation and people on the face of the earth; but with no
staple market price any more than there is for that of the horse. The
consideration is determined by amount of education, usefulness or
purposes which he is capable of fulfilling.

Colonel D. D. Harris, of Mendon, Michigan, refused more than once ten
thousand dollars for his famous sable Scotch Collie. He was a dog of
such note, with the refined people of the world, that he was privileged
to walk through the Vatican, and was entertained by the President of
France–the Czar of the Russias–the King of Norway and Sweden, and
other nobility of the old world. President Cleveland stroked his glossy
coat, and he received the most grateful attention among all the courts
visited in this and in other countries.

This Collie was never on public exhibition, but was the traveling
companion of his owner. He could select any card called for in the
deck–if not there, would say so by giving a whine–could distinguish
colors as well as any human being; and could count money and make
change with the rapidity and accuracy of an expert bank accountant.
If told to make change of $31.31, or any other amounts from coins of
various denominations, he could do so rapidly and without mistake. This
intelligent dog lived out his allotted brief existence, dying at the
age of fourteen years; but was better known than thousands of men who
have lived much longer, thinking themselves quite eminent.

If dogs are not valuable property why are they exchanged at high rates
in dollars and cents? Why did Mr. E. R. Sears, of Melrose, Mass., part
with his twelve thousand five hundred dollars in “greenbacks” for the
dog Bedivere? It may be _said_ the one who purchased a dog at that
price was “_green_”–if said, it would be a mistake, for _Green_ was
the gentleman who sold him.

The greater part of the early population of Ohio associated with dogs
much of their time, and with good results. But the law-makers of the
state, or a majority, had a penchant for self-elevation by legislating
against those they feared as rivals–“dogs and niggers.” Consequently,
“Black laws” and dog laws engrossed the time and talents of law-makers,
who felt measurably unsafe unless the former were excluded as property
and the latter deprived of citizenship.

The sensitive, if not infallible, Supreme Court has recently given
the property rights and protection of the dog a bad set-back in the
decision that “dogs are not property,” and outside of property it
would seem there can be no ownership. But as decisions of the learned
court are not required to be accepted in silence by the canine species,
_this one_ affecting their rights is enough to make every dog of high
and low degree, from Maine to California, rise up with a prodigious
howl of contempt.

The logic by which the high court was enabled to enunciate its decision
is quite as remarkable as the decision itself. It would seem the
learned court divided the animal creation into two parts–“useful and
useless,” and subdivided these into “wild and domestic beasts;” and
then states: “Dogs belong to the non-useful, wild animal division.”
_Ergo_: “Wild animals, as dogs which have been domesticated, are
therefore property _only while in actual custody_”–which means in
arms, cages, or confinement. An able critic, and a very well-informed
lawyer, says: “Any respectable court would laugh at the proposition
that it is not theft to appropriate a diamond which has escaped from
the owner’s custody.” But that is another kind of cow–_the poor have
dogs_, not _diamonds_. Still the learned man is to be admired who said:

“I like dogs because I know so many men and women.

“I like dogs because they always see my virtues and ignore my vices.

“I like dogs because they are friends through good report and evil
report–through poverty and through riches.

“I like dogs because they are faithful and generous.

“I like dogs because they are full of simplicity and find pleasure in
very little things.”

The population of the early settlements of Ohio bought and sold dogs,
and considered them as much property as horses, cattle, or other
personalty. They were not purchased by the pound; neither were hogs nor
cattle. Among traders of the rural districts, every thing weighing over
five hundred pounds was bought and sold upon appearance and opinion, by
the piece.

Where the price caused a disagreement between buyer and seller, some
mutual friend, who had obtained a good reputation as guesser, would
be called as an arbiter. Fattened cattle to go east, purchased by
“drovers,” were never weighed, but were taken, like horses, at a
given sum per head. Fattened hogs, however, were generally weighed,
by request of the purchaser. Each hog would be suspended, and weight
determined by the “steelyard,” and then branded with a redhot iron on
the left ham. This done, the squealing prisoner would surrender his
place and attentions of the audience to the next, and so on, until
the whole drove became duly registered. But farmers trading among
themselves, buying and selling stock, depended entirely upon their
sight and judgment as to the valuation.

Ohio is the first of the contemplated states under the Ordinance of
1787, and is the most important if not the largest state in the Union.
Although geographers say there are some twenty-five states larger, yet
no one has ventured to determine beyond dispute or contradiction just
how large Ohio is. When the lights of education were limited to the
“three R’s,” the boundary was supposed to contain about thirty-nine
thousand square miles. In a short time after, the size increased to
forty thousand. The area is described as the space between Lake Erie
and the Ohio river; and is usually estimated to contain twenty-five
million six hundred thousand acres. But some advanced information has
changed these figures to forty-one thousand square miles, and has shown
by the state auditor’s reports that nearly twenty-seven million acres
of farm lands were returned for taxation in 1833, and the question
still remains undetermined how large the state is.

The state is greatly favored in regard to water navigation, having Lake
Erie on the north for two hundred and thirty miles, and the Ohio river
on the eastern and southern border for four hundred and thirty-five
miles, giving a natural water-way around three sides of its boundary
amounting to six hundred and sixty-five miles, which is more navigable
water than is possessed by any other state in the Union, except
California and Michigan.

The vast territory east of the Mississippi river, of which Ohio formed
a part, was claimed and controlled by France, and was known as the
“North-western Territory,” or “Louisiana”, by French traders and
missionaries as early as 1658. In 1679, La Salle established a sailing
vessel on Lake Erie, and trading posts were designated at favorable
points, and missionary work found its way among the resident Indian
tribes that occupied the portion of territory now called Ohio.

France was made aware of the beauty of the meager possession on
this continent, and endeavored by means of the natives and their
missionaries to keep the pre-emption warm until a title could be better
recognized. In 1794, Major De Celoran, an officer of the French army,
with a force of several hundred men (French and Indian) landed at a
favorable point on Lake Erie, and carried their boats overland to
Chautauqua Lake; from thence into the Alleghany and Ohio rivers. And on
the way down the Ohio river, it is said this officer buried at numerous
favorable points lead plates bearing the proclamation of Louis XIV,
asserting the dominion of France over the territory on both sides of
the Ohio river. The titles of France were but little better than the
favorite grants and charters of James I, and the American colonies soon
began the establishment of claims, which, in conflict, were settled
only by the defeat of the French by the British at Quebec, and the
treaty of Paris in 1763, by which this territory was all ceded to Great
Britain; and the present good state was annexed to Canada, and by
proclamation amenable to the government located at Quebec.

After the close of the War of Revolution, the United States found the
rights to the territory of the great North-west in dispute between the
Indians and the colonies; and congress attempted to settle the disputes
by having the colonies abandon all claims by ceding the same to the
United States as the common property of all. New York set the patriotic
example, and gave up all her rights to a common cause and general
good, and was soon followed by other colonies until the entire domain
became vested in the United States, excepting an unsurrendered claim
of Connecticut, in the northern part of the state known as the Western
Reserve, about fifty miles wide and one hundred and twenty miles long.

The great North-west Territory, under the supervision of the
government, was divided up and known under the following heads:

1. The Seven Ranges and Congress Lands.

2. United States Military Lands.

3. The Ohio Company’s Purchase.

4. The Connecticut Reserve and Fire Lands.

5. The Military Bounty Lands.

6. The Virginia Military Bounty Lands.

7. Symmes’s Purchase.

8. Special Grants, Donation Tract, Refugees’ Tract, French Grant,
Dorhman’s Grant, Moravian and Lane’s Grants, Improvement Grants.

9. Canal, Turnpike, and Road Lands.

10. School, College and Ministerial Grants.

The Congress lands are those sold by officers of the Government. The
Connecticut Reserve, consisting of about 3,800,000 acres, was a claim
or grant made to the colony by Charles II in 1662. The “Fire Lands”
were part of the grant, and were donated by the colony to reimburse
losses sustained in property by the raids of Benedict Arnold during the
Revolutionary War. The Fire Lands consisted of 500,000 acres, and were
located chiefly in Erie county.

Connecticut sold her Ohio lands to a “land company for $1,200,000,” and
placed it securely as an endowment fund for common schools; and the
income from this source is still educating the children of that highly
intelligent state.

The United States Military Lands, made such by act of Congress in
1796 to satisfy claims of officers and soldiers of the War of the
Revolution. This tract embraced an area of 4,000 square miles in the
counties of Morgan, Noble, Guernsey, Pickaway, Coshocton, Muskingum,
Perry, Fairfield and Franklin. Donation Tract is 100,000 acres in
the north part of Washington county, granted to the Ohio Company by
Congress. The Symmes Tract of 311,682 acres was granted to John Cleves
Symmes, of New Jersey, in 1794, for sixty-seven cents an acre. The
land lies between the two Miami rivers. Mr. Symmes’s daughter married
General Wm. Henry Harrison, and was the grandmother of ex-President
Harrison the II.

The Refugee Lands is a grant of 100,000 acres. It lies along the Scioto
river, and the city of Columbus stands upon this land, granted by
Congress to be given to persons driven out of the British provinces
during the Revolutionary War.

The French Grant consists of 24,000 acres in Scioto county, and given
by Congress after the fashion of hush money.

The Dorhman Grant is a tract of 23,000 acres in Tuscarawas county,
given by Congress to a Portuguese merchant.

The Virginia Military Lands were located on the west of the Scioto
river. The amount of the grant in acres has never been known. There are
fifteen counties in the tract and much of it has never been surveyed.
This body of land was reserved by Virginia to pay her soldiers who were
in the Revolution without compensation or pay. When it was determined
by Congress to pay the soldiers in land, each original settler marked
his own boundaries with a hatchet, and made a good liberal guess that
the area within his lines would cover the acres given in his warrant.

The Moravian Grant was 4,000 acres in Tuscarawas county. Besides,
many other donations were made for roads and other purposes, making a
total of over eight million acres, the greater part of which went to
creditors of the Government. Land was the only thing the United States
had available to cancel the war obligations, and soldiers and others
gladly accepted land certificates in lieu of those of silver or gold.

Land in body was more desirable than town lots. When Chillicothe was
made capital of the territory it had about twenty cabins promiscuously
located among the timber, which had not yet been cut down to designate
the streets. The State House was constructed in 1800 by an old
revolutionary soldier, Wm. Rutledge, and remained the Capitol until
1816, when it was permanently located at Columbus, Franklin county.
The removal of the capital injured greatly the prospects and business
of Chillicothe for many years, and secured leisure to its citizens,
who engaged in various innocent amusements for killing time–in fact,
lingered with scarcely a symptom of lysis until after the “Literary,
Astronomical and Natural History Society” commenced the publication
and distribution of that illustrated periodical (yearly), known and
remembered to the last days of the older citizens, entitled “_The
Ground Hog Almanac_.” Since then the town has grown in population,
wealth and beauty, and is now the center jewel of the cities in the
rich Scioto valley.

Provisions for the education of the generations that were to inhabit
the North-west were made and ratified by Congress, in 1787, giving
one-thirty-sixth part of the entire public domain to be reserved from
sale for the maintenance of schools, declaring “That schools and means
of education shall forever be encouraged.”

When Ohio was set off and became a state, the reserve school lands
were placed under the management of the legislature, the constitution
of 1802 making it the duty of that body to carry out the educational
clause of the ordinance, and that the schools supported by the land
grants should be open for the reception of pupils. But it turned out
like many public trusts; with this splendid endowment of near a million
acres of good land, the children of Ohio received no benefit from that
source, nor from any legislative equivalent, for near half a century
after settlement. The majority of the people, it must be confessed,
were indifferent to the subject of education, and were used to keep
in power enough imbecile legislators, who in defiance of Ephraim
Cutler, the wording of the constitution and acts of Congress, spent the
sessions for more than twenty years in perverse legislation of the
public school lands.




Certificate of Membership.

The ground hog goes into his hole in the ground early in the fall,
and stays there until the 2d day of February, when, regardless of the
weather, he comes out; but, if he sees his shadow, winter is not over,
and he goes back to stay six weeks.]

It was stated by a member of the senate, at the time, that every year
things were made worse–“That members of the legislature got acts
passed, under pretexts of granting leases to themselves, relatives and
political partisans, giving the lands away until there was little or
nothing left.” One senator got acts passed giving him and his children
seven entire sections. And legislation through ignorance, inability
and design subverted the intention in regard to the school-land
grant–squandered the proceeds, and then pledged the state to pay the
interest. And for this pledge the citizen is annually taxed on a fund
of over four million dollars, which exists nowhere excepting in name on
the musty books of the state.

But the young Buckeye Squirrel Hunter could not be repressed; and
fathers and mothers labored hard and economized to help sustain
subscription schools to the full extent of their financial ability;
while the State of Connecticut was supporting an expensive system of
common school education from a fund arising from the sale of her lands
in Ohio.[6]

The teachers of Ohio subscription schools were not examined, nor did
their patrons require a very high standard of qualification. Still some
were highly educated wanderers over the earth, as the literary works of
H. D. Flood, John Robinson and James Kelsey show; and who were teachers
in Southern Ohio from 1810 to 1825. The greater number of instructors
were well-informed citizens, who accepted the opportunity in order to
pursue studies that would qualify them for a more lucrative calling.

It was not customary to close the school on holidays; nor even on
Saturdays. They were all hired by the month and were required to
perform the duties of teaching the full number of working days in each
calendar month–neither Christmas, New Year nor Fourth of July could
close the _door_. The patrons were the sole managers of these schools,
and were solicitous to obtain full consideration for the amount paid.
But young America was alive, and the incentive a holiday by nature
gave, could not, under the most staid rules of conduct and economy,
be entirely suppressed; and it became more contagious than measles or
whooping-cough, and every school in the country was soon broken out
with the idea of a holiday–in parts of two days–Christmas and New

There seemed to be no way to treat it other than to let it have its
regular course. It always came with a specific demand upon the teacher,
of which the following well-preserved pattern specimen embraces the
material points of others, varying only in quantity and quality, with
locality and circumstances:

“_December 23, 1817._


“_Sir_:–We the undersigned committee, in behalf of the unanimous
voice of the scholars of your school, demand that you treat,
according to custom, to the following articles in amount herein
named, to wit:

200 ginger cakes,
2 bushels of hickory nuts,
1 peck hazel nuts,
10 pounds of candy,
10 pounds raisins,

delivered at the school house, noon hour, December 25, for the
enjoyment and pleasant remembrance of this school. If this meets your
approbation you will please sign and return the paper to John Kelley
to-morrow, December 24, at noon, saying, over your signature, ‘I
agree to the above,’

JAMES BROWN, } _Committee_.”

Occasionally a teacher not fond of fun or fearful of exposure, would
at once sign these modest demands, and would join in with the children
at noon on Christmas, and again on New Year’s day, and have a long to
be remembered pleasant jollification. But by far the greater number of
teachers preferred a little preliminary skirmishing before acceding
to the peremptory demand. When the above bill of fare was handed the
teacher just before dismissal on the evening of the 23d, he glanced
over the contents and commenced tearing the paper into small fragments.
And it was said this meant defiance.

The next morning was cold, with deep fall of snow during the night; but
all the larger boys were inside of the school house with a hot fire
and armed with ropes and strings, and plenty of wood and provisions
to withstand a siege, before it was yet light. All the openings were
barricaded with the benches, which consisted of heavy “puncheons,” with
wooden pins driven in on the convex side for legs. One after another
of the children came and were admitted, and when the teacher arrived,
he found the house (cabin) full of jolly boys and girls, but could not
himself enter.

After many ineffectual efforts to obtain admission, he started
homeward. This was the signal for the boys, and the yelping, whooping
crowd of all sizes and ages of minors, broke camp and gave chase.
Robinson is described as an athletic specimen of vigorous manhood,
and delighted in sport, and concluded to give the boys a fox chase
through the forest and unbroken snow. He led the gang quite easily for
a short time, but after several miles’ running the boys captured and
overpowered the fleeing despot. Finding resistance useless he submitted
to be tied and roped down securely to pieces of timber on either side
with face in the direction of the clouds. The burial ceremony was
performed by asking compliance, and marching around his body, singing
funeral dirges, and piling snow upon his person.

A monument of snow was soon erected with an opening for breathing and
conversation. He did not hold out long, and by pledging his honor
the bill of fare should be on hand, and no punishment or ill-will
entertained for the usage received, the prisoner was released, and all
returned to the school-house, spelled for head, and were regularly
dismissed for home.

The next day at noon a cart-load of good things arrived with those
specified; and children and parents enjoyed the feast, after which
there was an old-fashioned spelling-match, and all went home to
remember with pleasure the Christmas of 1817. And at this writing
(1895) only one of that jolly crowd is known to be living, and from
whom the above reminiscences have been obtained.

The country was so thinly settled it was often difficult to make up a
school (fifteen), owing to distance from the school cabin, and it was
the common practice for those most interested, usually two or three
neighbors, to “sign” for their own children and enough more out of the
range to make up the required number. And often, in order to secure
them, agreeing to pay the tuition and to board them during attendance.
And so far as the advantages of these schools were to be obtained, the
boys and girls shared alike. But if unable to afford the expense for
both, the boys generally got the schooling.

[Illustration: Ohio School-house from 1796 to 1840.]

The school-house was usually located in the woods. The building was
of round logs, and presented the appearance of very little comfort,
either without or within. The floor was of mother earth; the ceiling
above, the underside of the roof; a number of rude benches; a few
puncheon shelves, and a huge fire-place, constituted the necessary
arrangement of the interior. It was known as the school-house, although
used as a place to hold elections, lectures, debating societies, and

But notwithstanding the loss of an endowment much needed in primitive
times, and the restriction of subscription schools from existing
poverty, and that the log-cabin school-houses stood empty for long
periods, there was no effeminacy in the desire for knowledge, for
where there is a will there is a way, and volumes might be filled with
learned and illustrious names who were once rocked in a “sugar-trough,”
and took their first lessons in “_Brush College_.”

It was in this environment the scientist, statesman, and divine
obtained that self-confidence and industry which leads to high and
honored stations and has made the North-west a perpetual eclipsing
shadow upon all other parts of the United States.

In every department, the chosen citizen of this magnificent empire
has shown himself master of the situation. In art, literature, and
sciences; in war and times of peace, he has given strength to the Union
and credit to a central power that will surround itself with national
influences the most impregnable of any government in the world. And
under all the disadvantages–the absence of public schools, and the
opening up of a new world isolated from civilization, he came forth
like a vision of beauty and glory from a chrysalis on which was
written the destiny of future greatness.

A short time before execution, John Brown said–“I know the very
errors by which my scheme was marred were decreed before the world
was made. And I had no more to do with the course I pursued than a
shot leaving a cannon has to do with the spot where it shall fall.”
That hunger and thirst for knowledge which prevailed in the North-west
seemed to contradict all theories of man’s proneness under favorable
circumstances to degenerate, and favors the theory advanced by the
hero of Ossawatomie in regard to power and purpose. Some of the first
generation of boys of Ohio (those that lived in the territory) previous
to 1796 were born elsewhere to disappoint the Indians, but were all
the same shareholders of the great estate. And at the early dawn of
the present century many of these young men found their way to Eastern
institutions of learning, taking the front in physical and mental
culture, as they did afterward in positions of national honor.

As boys, squirrel hunters, men, scholars, lawyers, soldiers, civilians,
and statesmen, history shows they filled their places well as American
models of superior manhood. Poor as the isolated inhabitants were
in regard to worldly goods, they had an abundance of that which
gave vitality, energy, and power of will to do. It was no uncommon
thing for boys in this vast forest to obtain by their own efforts
full preparation to enter college, and with a knapsack of luncheon,
_tinder-box_, and scantily-filled purse, walk hundreds of miles to a
seat of learning, and there remain four years without seeing home or
friends until they obtained the high honors of the institution.

Ex-Governor Seaberry Ford is but the sample of many. When it came time
to go to college, the family of the young squirrel hunter was living
in a log cabin in the backwoods of Ohio. His ambition, however, was
for Yale, and so expressed it. His father replied, “How are you to
get there!” The answer was, “I can walk,” and did walk–reached Yale,
where he remained the “boss” young man of the town and institution
for four years, and returned to Ohio with the first diploma issued by
that college to an Ohio boy. Many years without public schools papers
or libraries did not dampen the ardor of the young for knowledge. The
inhabitants were destitute of a circulating medium, but managed to keep
apace with all the world in that synonym for power. The means employed,
as given in the autobiography of one of the first two college graduates
in the North-west, illustrates well the thousands of that and later
dates who managed to obtain books, and worked their way to the highest
standard of education.

The Hon. Thomas Ewing says–“About this time” (1803) “the neighbors in
our and the surrounding settlements met and agreed to purchase books
and make a common library. They were all poor and subscriptions small,
but they raised in all about one hundred dollars.

“All my accumulated wealth, ten coon-skins, went into the fund, and
Squire Sam Brown, of Sunday Creek, who was going to Boston, was charged
with the purchase. After the absence of many weeks he brought the books
to Captain Ben Brown’s in a sack on a pack-horse. I was present at the
untying of the sack and pouring out the treasure. There were about
sixty volumes, I think, and well selected; the library of the Vatican
was nothing to it, and there never was a library better read. This with
occasional additions furnished me with reading while I remained at home.

“Dec. 17, 1804, the library was fully established and christened, ‘The
Coon-skin Library,’ and a librarian duly elected by shareholders.”

Five years later, at the age of nineteen, with consent of his father,
young Ewing left home to procure means to obtain a collegiate
education. He set out on foot and found his way through the woods from
his home in Athens county to the Ohio river, and from thence to the
Kanawha Salt Works, where he engaged as a day laborer, and in three
months saved enough money to pay his way at school through the winter
at Athens College. He became well satisfied with the success so far,
and in the spring returned to the Salt Works and made money enough to
pay off some indebtedness that was troubling his father, devoting
the winter to the study of some new books obtained by the “Coon-skin

The third year he returned with enough to induce him to enter college
as a regular student, where he remained until 1815; and, after taking
the degree of A. M., returned to the Salt Works, and earned enough to
aid in the study of law. Thus, ten years were spent as a necessary
apprenticeship–performing the arduous and monotonous labors of boiling
salt, that he might be enabled to cultivate the various talents nature
had so bounteously bestowed upon him, and at the same time avoid
financial embarrassments.

Many thousands of squirrel hunters since have imitated the example
of this great man, and have arisen to high eminence, but none–not
one–to the height of “The Ohio Salt-boiler”–the greatest man America
ever produced. In stature Mr. Ewing was six feet two inches tall–well
proportioned, with remarkable physical ability. It is related–that
many years after athletical exercises had been lain aside for law, on
passing near the old court-house in Lancaster, Ohio, he found a crowd
of able-bodied men who had been trying to throw an ax, handle and all,
over the building, but it could not be done. Mr. Ewing halted, and took
the ax by the handle and sent it sailing five feet or more above the
building and passed on.

Mr. Ewing was great from the fact he was familiar with the little
things of life, as well as the greater matters in the supreme court,
where he chiefly practiced. Daniel Webster acknowledged Mr. Ewing’s
superior abilities in seeking his aid in his difficult and weighty

In the Senate of the United States, he introduced many important
bills–and opposed Clay’s Compromise–the amendatory fugitive slave
law of 1850–and advocated the abolition of slavery in the District of
Columbia. As a statesman and educated in a free state, he had none of
that diffidence, timidity, and submission to slave-holding dictation so
commonly witnessed among northern legislators in Congress, and before
their constituents.

The influence of slavery was felt in the education and lives of the
people of the North-west. As race hatred was transplanted into Ohio in
the early settlements, it soon became a political element that caused
many odious and unchristian laws to be placed on the statute books, and
enforced as vigorously against color as if made in the interests of
slavery and bonded ignorance of the state.

The first State Constitution of Ohio, adopted in 1802, in article 8,
“That the general, great, and essential principles of liberty and free
government may be recognized, and forever unalterably established, we

Sec. 1. “That all men are born equally free and independent, and have
certain natural, inherent, and unalienable rights, among which are
the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing,
and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and

Sec. 2. “There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in
this state, otherwise than for the punishment of crimes, whereof the
party shall have been duly convicted.”

Sec. 3. … “That schools, and the means of instruction, shall
forever be encouraged by legislative provision, not inconsistent with
the rights of conscience.”

Sec. 25. “That no law shall be passed to prevent the poor in the
several counties and townships within this state from an equal
participation in the schools, academies, colleges, and universities
within this state, which are endowed, in whole or in part, from
the revenue arising from the donations made by the United States
for the support of schools and colleges; and the doors of the said
schools, academies, and universities shall be open for the reception
of scholars, students, and teachers of every grade, _without any
distinction_ or preference whatever contrary to the intent for which
the said donations were made.”

Still the colored man, under no circumstances, excepting taxation,
was recognized as a citizen. He was by Article IV of the Constitution
of Ohio disfranchised by the word “white”–no other color could enjoy
the rights of an elector. He was by law deprived of schools and means
of instruction contrary to the spirit of the endowment as well as
expressions of the constitution; and for more than forty years the
colored population sojourned in a wilderness of freedom before it was
discovered that manhood has rights all are bound to respect–one of
which is the right of suffrage.

The greater portion of the population forming the new state were
favorable to freedom, and many were known to have emancipated their
slaves and settled in Ohio that they might wipe out the stains of an
institution which had so truthfully been denominated the “sum of all
villainies.” There were, however, others, in almost every neighborhood,
who by nature were the patrons of the slave-hunter and looked upon a
colored man as unworthy of an existence on earth, and delighted in
tormenting, killing, or driving him from his home and neighborhood.

This race hatred in some parts of the state received so much attention
and cultivation, that many well-meaning people encouraged the
prejudice, in view of the peace of the neighborhood.

Cincinnati did more than all the rest of the border towns in keeping
up and disseminating a _violent_ race hatred. Free respectable colored
people were looked upon, denounced, and treated as a nuisance, “having
no rights a white man was bound to respect.” The city harbored if not
encouraged a lot of miscreants, who made it a business to hunt and
capture runaway slaves for the reward; and also to carry on the money
making business of kidnaping free blacks, carrying them across the
river, and selling them into slavery. Any and every unlawful treatment
they received was winked at by citizens and city authorities.

The courts were open, but until S. P. Chase went to Cincinnati in 1830
the black man could procure no counsel, as a white man could easily
ruin his character and standing by manifesting the least sympathy for
the persecuted. When the Hon. Salmon P. Chase defended one of these
down-trodden creatures in the courts of Cincinnati, after the hearing
of the case, a prominent man of the city said, pointing to Mr. Chase,
“There goes a promising young lawyer who has ruined himself.”

But the state outside of Cincinnati had enough of the right element to
enforce, if necessary, at all times, the fifth paragraph of the eighth
article of the state constitution, which affirmed, “That the _people_
shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions, from
all unwarrantable searches and seizures; and that the general warrants
whereby an officer may be commanded to search suspected places, without
probable evidence of the fact committed, or to seize any person or
persons not named whose offenses are not particularly described, and
without oath or affirmation, are dangerous to liberty, and _shall_
_not be granted_.” Still in matters of legislation Cincinnati managed
to secure her influence against the negro.

Notwithstanding the plain wording of the Constitution of the State,
laws were enacted to keep the black and mulatto people out of Ohio.
These were the much discussed “black laws”–

_First._ A black or mulatto person was prohibited settlement
unless he could show a certificate of freedom and the names of two
freeholders as security for his good behavior and maintenance, in
the event of becoming a public charge; and unless the certificate of
freedom was duly recorded and produced, it was a _penal offense to
give employment to a black or mulatto_.

_Second._ Colored and mulattoes were excluded from the schools; and,

_Third._ No black or mulatto could testify in court in any case where
a white person was concerned.

In 1848, Dr. N. S. Townshend, of Lorain county, and Dr. John F.
Morse, of Lake county, were elected members of the legislature as
“abolitionists.” To these two members, fortunately, holding the balance
of power between the Whigs and Democrats, are due the repeal of the
odious “black laws,” and the election of an “abolition” United States
Senator–S. P. Chase.

To these men, in combination with the Democrats, is not only due the
repeal of existing laws, but, also, provisions for schools for black
and mulatto children. And Ohio became reclaimed in favor of freedom,
and all was bright and lovely and prosperous–but not all happy; for
there still remained a black, disgraceful, disfiguring spot on the face
of the Goddess of Liberty–a spot that was causing millions to mourn.

Early in the Union of the States, slavery caste began to isolate itself
from every thing denominated “Yankee North,” and, at the same time,
disseminated a race hatred against the “nigger” among the ignorant
white and poor people of the South. And, in the line of emigration,
Ohio received a larger share of immigrants who had been taught to
despise the “nigger,” and honestly believed a colored man was an
inferior animal, “destitute of a soul;” and lecturers were often
traveling over the state entertaining large audiences with such crude
material as that–“A nigger is not human–the bones in the hands and
feet are entirely different; and he is nothing more or less than an
improved Orang-outang, and made to be a slave to the human race as
much as a horse or cow.” By lowering the natural status of the colored
man, such audiences became elevated and the space between man and the
monkey widened by comparison making room for increased hatred. At all
times, but most especially so, previous to the odious amendments of the
“Fugitive Slave Law,” in 1850, it was no uncommon thing to see calls
signed by numerous citizens inserted in popular newspapers, asking
all persons in favor of “law and order” to assemble at the time and
place specified to put down abolitionism, and to let their “_southern
brethren_” know the people of Ohio were in favor of the constitution
and preservation of the Union of the States.

A call for a meeting of this kind in a central county of the state, and
announced in the official political paper of the time, dated October 3,
1835, is headed in large type–

“_Anti-Abolition Meeting._

“A meeting of those opposed to the wild projects of abolitionists is
proposed to be held at the court-house in Circleville, on Saturday,
the 10th day of October next, at 1 o’clock P. M.

“All those who love their country and are willing to maintain her

“All who are friends to order and would avert the horrors of a
servile war–

“All who know slavery to be an evil, but believe a dissolution of our
National Union a greater evil–

“All who deprecate ecclesiastical influence in political affairs, are
respectfully and earnestly invited to attend the proposed meeting,
when a number of addresses will be delivered.”

This call is signed by four hundred and seventy-three names, citizens
of a town having less than two thousand inhabitants. The next issue of
the paper publishing the call, and previous to the time of meeting,
contained an anonymous, but scathing criticism of such movements, in
which the author of the article says: “It has been shown what is the
real state of the anti-slavery question, and the unreasonableness and
utter groundlessness of the outcry against Abolitionists.” “Further we
would state for the serious consideration of our opponents that we are
persuaded that the ‘Union will be dissolved,’ not if this subject be
discussed, but if it be not. If it be true that the social compact was
formed on the condition of slavery being tolerated by the free states,
then it is such an Union as must sooner or later be dissolved.”…
“Admitting the existence of a God, and that God is a being of perfect
equity, can it be believed that He will suffer such a combination
against the happiness of man to exist forever? And has it not already
existed too long for that unity of counsel in this great republic which
should ever mark the doings of a nation? And can we calculate on a
much longer forbearance?” The editors of the paper, after offering an
apology for publishing the article, of which the above quotations are
but a small part, say: “Will some Abolitionist be so kind as to refer
us to the passage in our Constitution or Declaration of Independence
which asserts that all men are created free and equally; we have not
seen it.”

The meeting came off as advertised, and the chairman said: “Deeply
sympathizing with our ‘_Southern brethren_,’ we have assembled
to express our most unqualified opposition to emancipation and
disapprobation of the course pursued by its advocates; and to assure
our fellow-citizens in the Southern States that we regard their
constitutional rights as our own, and that we will to the utmost aid
them in the defense of those rights.” “Therefore, Resolved,” was
followed by ten long resolutions in praise of fidelity to the South and
opposition to emancipation, winding up with the following:

“Resolved, That were the slave-holders now willing to abolish slavery,
in our opinion the immediate and unconditional emancipation of all the
slaves in the United States, without providing for their colonization,
would render the condition of both the whites and blacks infinitely
worse than it now is, and would be an act of palpable and unpardonable
inhumanity to the _slaves_.”

Signed: Valentine Kieffer, President; Nathan Perrill, John Entrekin,
Wm. Renick, Sr., Vice-Presidents; Elias Bentley, W. N. Foresman, A.
Huston, Secretaries.

All the officers were well-known and prominent people, and it is not
strange that persons of such note and intelligence should have given
their approbation and signatures of approval to such a meeting, when we
reflect that most pro-slavery men in the free states had been taught to
believe or say: If the slaves were liberated, they would come north
in swarms and “_steal our chickens_,” and destroy the peace of society
“_by marrying every good-looking white woman in the country_.”

But there existed no occasion for alarm; the slave-holding states South
never had an inclination to emancipate their slaves. _They_ were the
wealth of that country, and its growing greatness fostered the desire
to found an aristocratic empire on slave labor. The number in bondage
was rapidly increasing and their labor was becoming more and more
remunerative. They had but to see the increase of this wealth and its
products in fifty years, to stimulate the desire to found a government
on the aristocracy of the institution.

In 1810, there were in all the states but 1,191,360 slaves; and
notwithstanding New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania
had in the meantime liberated theirs–and the African slave trade had
previously been abolished–the underground railroad had been doing a
lively business–and the manumissions and colonizations that were going
on in the “breeding states”–in 1860 the number had increased to within
a small fraction less than four millions.

Slave labor was exceedingly profitable in the cotton states, as the
increase of the cotton product shows. In 1801, these states only
produced 48,000,000 pounds, while 1860 returned 2,054,698,800 pounds.
There were, however, two things inserted in the government plat that
were unsatisfactory: “That all men are created equal” in natural
rights, and the Missouri Compromise–the thirty-six degrees thirty
minutes north latitude, Mason and Dixon’s line. It was not so clear
as they wished it might be, that “unalienable rights,” “life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness,” belonged only to masters; and when the
failure to rescind the “Compromise” in 1853 occurred through democratic
influence, of such men as Albert P. Edgerton, the possibility of
peacefully enlarging the area of slavery became as hopeless as it was
manifestly evident that bondage and freedom could not much longer
remain peaceably in the same government. And with amendments to the
fugitive slave law the Southern political bosses, who had usurped the
control of the national government, knew the constitution found slavery
in the states, and as a state institution left its local existence
to the chances of state laws. They knew full well it was not made a
national institution and that the time was close at hand when they
must go to the rear or abandon their northern allies and set up a
slavocracy for themselves. They had obtained sufficient to know Lloyd
Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Arthur Tappan and the Boston Liberator were
actual facts; and the large meetings of the “dough faces” and their
expressions of sympathy was not the kind of “Soothing Syrup” the South
desired, although giving great encouragement to secession.

The division of sentiment existing in the free states in regard
to the rights of slavery and its extension became more and more
expressive, especially along the border lines of the opposing
institutions. Consequently Ohio felt a full share of the evils
due to political and social disturbances arising from this cause.
But the intercommunications given by railroads and the light
emanating from a free and fearless press–cheap postage and speedy
transportation–infused new life; and mankind began thinking–thinking
differently from that of past times when the postage on a letter was
twenty-five cents and required four days for an individual to travel
one hundred miles and return.

Slave hunting in the land of the free did not prove an agreeable
or profitable occupation. The oppressed fugitive generally found
friends enough in the North to secure the boon he sought. In almost
every community could be found the spirit contained in the lines by
Whittier, expressed for George W. Lattimer, who with his wife escaped
from Norfolk, Va., in 1841, and was found in Boston. He was the first
slave hunted in the North, and was arrested and proceedings began to
have him returned to slavery. His cause was championed by such men as
William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips and Frederick Douglass. The
court ruled against the fugitive and his liberty was purchased by the
good people of Boston. Lattimer gained great notoriety, and after a
long and eventful life died at his home in Lynn, Mass., May 30, 1896,
aged seventy-five years. And it can not well be disputed that much of
the after changes in public sentiment in regard to the status of the
colored man, and his rights in a free state, was brought about by the
object lessons in the enforcement of the odious fugitive slave law.
“All that was necessary to prove the detestable character of this
iniquity and its dangers to liberty was simply to enforce it.”[7] Still
the corrupting influences of trade made the evils of slavery felt in
the social, moral and educational interests of the entire state; and
consequently citizens, who had in their hearts the logical idea that
all men are born free and equal, saw the hand of tyranny quite as much
on either shore of the river, that constituted geographically the
dividing line.

This was more especially true of Cincinnati, where large interests
in trade enabled the sentiments of the few to dominate and regulate
public acts and opinions parallel with steamboat monopoly, and the
creed of the “Divine Institution,” as much as if the city had been
located considerably south of “Mason and Dixon’s line;” and as late as
1836 a free soil newspaper, “The Philanthropist,” was destroyed by a
mob of leading citizens of Cincinnati, and which will ever remain a
historical record of loyalty to the institution on the opposite side of
the river, and as penance for some manifestation in favor of freedom.

The Philanthropist was a newspaper ably edited by James G. Birney.
After being published some three months, at night, July 14, 1836, the
press-room was broken open by well-known citizens of Cincinnati, and
the press materials all destroyed. No attempt was made to punish the
perpetrators. But rather to sanction the act. A call for a meeting of
the citizens was made for July 23d, stating the purpose to be, “_to
decide whether the people of Cincinnati will permit the publication or
distribution of ‘abolition’ papers in the city_.”

The decision of this mass meeting, composed of the business men of the
city, was afterwards published in a leading local paper, and makes
very good reading, although derived from a pro-slavery source, to wit:
“On Saturday night, July 30th, very soon after dark, a concourse of
citizens assembled at the corner of Main and Seventh streets, in this
city, and, upon a short consultation, broke open the printing office of
the Philanthropist, the abolition paper, scattered the type into the
street, tore down the presses, and completely dismantled the office. It
was owned by A. Pugh, a peaceable and orderly printer, who printed the
Philanthropist for the Anti-Slavery Society of Ohio.

“From the printing office the crowd went to the house of A. Pugh, where
they supposed there were other printing materials, but found none,
_nor offered any violence_. Then to Messrs. Donaldsons, where only
ladies were at home. The residence of Mr. Birney, the editor, was then
visited; no person was at home but a youth, upon whose explanations the
house was _left undisturbed_…. And proceeded to the ‘Exchange’ and
took refreshments.”… “An attack was then made upon the residences of
some blacks in Church alley; two guns were fired upon the assailants
and they recoiled…. It was some time before the rally could again
be made, several voices declaring they did not wish to endanger
themselves. A second attack was made, the houses found empty, and their
interior contents destroyed.”

Although all this kind of proceeding looked very much like an unlawful
assemblage, it met with no opposition from the city authorities, and
all that was ever done in a matter of this kind was to call a meeting
of citizens, and “_regret the cause of the recent occurrences_,” and
the next day would drive a Wendell Phillips from Pike’s Opera House,
and seek him with a howling mob that he might be hung to a lamp-post,
“the mayor refusing to allow the police to interfere.”

Cincinnati reaped a rich harvest for the examples given in “citizen”
mobs. Still, at any time previous to the “_salvation_” of the city, it
was impolitic if not dangerous for a minister of the gospel, a public
speaker, press or private citizen, to mention the subject of slavery
in a manner that might be construed unfavorable to its sanctity;
for a black line had been drawn over the twenty-sixth verse of the
seventeenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles; the tenth verse of the
second chapter of Malachi, and the spirit of the gospel dispensation,
as effectually in their practical theology as was ever manifest in
Danville or in any Southern translation of the ten commandments.

So determined were the pro-slavery elements to hold the fort in
Cincinnati and aid the South in making it dangerous for a colored
man in a “free state,” that they continued to supply the South with
stores until the last moment; and only a week before the bombardment of
Sumter, the city permitted cannon to pass through on way from Baltimore

“_For the Southern Confederacy,_
_Jackson, Mississippi._”

And the same day, or the day before, returned a fugitive slave through
the commissioner, and all went well with the city, reaping the fruits
of the war, until General Wallace placed it under martial law, and,
suspending business, demanded the citizens to enroll themselves for
defense. “Some were at once taken very sick, others were hunted
up by detailed soldiers, who turned them out of barns, kitchens,
garrets, cellars, closets, from under beds, and in the disguise of
women’s clothing.” For the seed sown was now ripe and mid air was
resounding–“_The harvest is here._”

At a time, in 1858, when public sentiment was beginning to be felt, and
official prosecutions for the return of fugitive slaves became more or
less unsatisfactory to the owners, James Buchanan, President of the
United States, gave a surprise to every one by appointing Judge Stanley
Matthews–an eminent lawyer, ex-editor of an abolition paper, and
leader in the anti-slavery movements in Ohio, as United States District
Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.

To politicians, this seemed not only a deviation from all known
precedents, but, politically, an unfathomable mystery. But, no more
remarkable was the appointment than that, a lawyer at the summit of
professional ability and large income–a noted abolitionist–opposed
to the fugitive slave acts, should have accepted the position. But
those who knew Judge Matthews and his patriotism best, could discern
in it logical conclusions–the interests of freedom could be subserved
and the public mind attained by a shorter method than by arguing,
speaking, or publishing–“_the enforcement of the iniquitous fugitive
slave law_.” And for three years he prosecuted “offenders” _without_
just fault or favor–giving such lessons in its application, that made
loyalty to freedom, and magnified the blessings of the free.

Judge Matthews resigned the office in 1861, and took the commission
of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Twenty-third–afterward Colonel of the
Fifty-first Ohio, and awaited the “proclamation.”

During Judge Matthews’ entire service as United States District
Attorney, the slave states were secluded as pertaining to things
and persons of the “North”–papers, books, teachers, preachers, and
citizens were effectually ostracized; northern colleges and seminaries
had their southern patronage withdrawn; and, finally, when, by the
aid of the Secretary of War, they secured large quantities of United
States arms and military supplies, and felt thoroughly prepared and
equipped, the states stepped out of the Union with defiance, leaving
poor Kentucky with a governor that threatened to chastise either of the
belligerents if they dared to interfere with her “_neutrality_.” And
it is not known to history that either the cotton states or neutral
Kentucky ever gave Judge Matthews a vote of thanks for his vigorous
enforcement of the fugitive law. But this is not all. In 1876, Judge
Matthews ran for Congress in the Second District of Cincinnati, and his
defeat, says the biographer,[8] was in consequence of an act of his
while United States District Attorney–that while he had the office he
prosecuted W. B. Connelly, a white resident of Cincinnati, and reporter
of the Gazette, for giving to a young runaway slave and his wife “a
glass of water and piece of bread”–a _crime_ under the fugitive slave
law. It was shown that the negroes were captured and were shut up
in Connelly’s room, and while there they were furnished “bread and
water.” It was further shown, that a letter was written by Connelly,
as a Master Mason, to Judge Matthews, as a brother Mason, in which he
confessed that he had “furnished the negroes with food.”

But, with all these influential relations, the offense was
prosecuted–Connelly found guilty and was sentenced to serve time of
imprisonment. “The publication of these facts destroyed Judge Matthews’
chance for Congress,” and that his brother Masons obtained full credit
for his defeat can not well be doubted.

It is not stated that any _promise_ had been made by Judge
Matthews–_none violated_; and differed materially from ordinary cases,
like that of O. A. Gardner, a Master Mason, arrested for robbing the
mails at Minneapolis, who said in court that his confession was made to
Postal Inspector Gould, a brother Mason, on the promise that Gould, as
a fellow Mason, would see that he was acquitted–“that his acquittal
was assured–that the judge, the lawyers on both sides, and most of the
jury were _Masons_.”

Judge Matthews had taken the oath of office as district attorney, which
to him was above all other oaths, and was not the man to play the
Marshal Ney performance. And it would seem the “defeat for congress”
was not “the consequence of an _act of his_” as much as it was his
declining to “act” crooked for the benefit of a brother Mason.

If any one now thinks it impossible that a free people in the North
could be so influenced, cowed, and blinded to the atrocities of slavery
upon the free, let them read the biography of Southern prisons. It
was a day of jubilee for the abolitionists (who had survived the
horrid cruelties that made “Libby” a paradise) when the federal forces
took possession of the South. The Rev. Calvin Fairbanks, after being
kidnapped and serving horrible time for seventeen years and four months
for being an abolitionist, was released from the state prison of
Kentucky, at Frankfort, by a special order of President Lincoln.

During the last two wardens of the prison–Zeb Ward and that of J.
W. South–this man received thirty-five thousand stripes on his bare
body with a strap of half-tanned leather a foot and a half long, often
dipped in water to increase the pain. He was often whipped four times a
day, receiving seventy stripes at each whipping; one time the number of
lashes was increased to one hundred and seven.

All this punishment was pretended to be inflicted on the grounds
of failure to perform the daily task which had been fixed beyond
possibility–requiring the prisoner to weave two hundred and eight
yards of hemp cloth daily.

Early in 1864, Mr. Lincoln learned through Miss Tileston of the
cruelties practiced upon Mr. Fairbanks, and sent General Fry to
Kentucky with orders to make it “Fairbanks Day” at Frankfort prison.

“When released, Mr. Fairbanks says he crossed the river and kissed
the free soil in Ohio,” where he met the girl who, on hearing of his
misfortune in Massachusetts, came to Ohio and engaged as teacher at
Hamilton, and then at Oxford, supplying him with such comforts as was
within her power–worked and petitioned and watched over the border for
many long years with the love of a true woman.

Slavery is no more–the dark blotch to freedom has been wiped out with
the best blood of the nation. It was a contentious, political evil as
well. But slavery of the colored race is not the only evil, the only
danger, that can arise to overthrow a Republican form of government.

The first thirty-five years of the existence of Ohio as a state may
be recognized, in an educational point of view, as the period of
the “_Three R’s_”–“_readin, ’riten, and ’rithmetic_”–for state
legislation made it so. There were no public schools, no academy, but
one higher institution in operation, called an “Ohio University,”
located at Athens, in Athens county. This was opened for students,
in 1809, with the classic course; and the first class, numbering
two, graduated in 1815, receiving the first collegiate degrees ever
conferred under the endowment for education by the act of 1787–John
Hunter, A. M., and Thomas Ewing, A. M.

This university was in financial straits all this time with an
incomplete corps of professors, for the reason the legislature had
manipulated the land endowments (46,000 acres) from time to time until
little or nothing was received, where large incomes should have been
realized. And the good intent of land grants for educational purposes
in Ohio proved a signal failure in common schools, academies, and

After ineffectual efforts of mongrel state universities to supply the
pressing wants of rising generations, sectarian institutions multiplied
rapidly, and the state soon became honored with numerous chartered
seats of learning representing all religions from Roman Catholic (down,
or up, which ever it may seem) to the Free Will Baptist. Of these,
Oberlin has taken the lead. It was chartered, in 1834, under the
direction of the Congregational Church, with a theological seminary
attached as part of the institution. Both sexes and all colors have
been admitted to its classes.

During the struggle in Ohio to establish a satisfactory system of
education, the good people of Kentucky claimed to be greatly in advance
in regard to facilities, and sold large numbers of scholarships
to those who desired to embrace better opportunities to obtain an
education, before it was discovered that young men from a free state,
or states, attending those seats of learning had little or no spare
time for mental culture, after giving the physical enough attention to
keep all its members intact; as free-state students were obliged to
fight or “eat dirt.”

[Illustration: School-house of 1851, in which President Garfield

The writer still holds the larger end of an uncanceled scholarship in
one of the then leading, but now defunct, college institutions.

As late as 1837, there was no public school system operating in Ohio.
But the year following a law was passed for the purpose of adopting a
system on a uniform footing. Still it required that teachers should
be qualified _only_ in reading, writing and arithmetic. Amendments
and improvements, however, went on, and in 1847 the “State Teachers’
Association” was organized, and deserves great credit for the good work
done and still doing in obtaining beneficial legislation and raising
the standard of teachers and the curriculum of “High Schools.” And at
the present time Ohio compares favorably with other states in regard to
her system for general and liberal education, regardless of color or
previous condition.

Information derived from newspapers was measurably lost–the
inefficient postal service prevented the circulation of metropolitan
papers; and those published in Ohio for half a century were under the
ban of slavery. And with the censorship of Kentucky and the cotton
states it is not surprising they were short-lived and unattended with
prosperity. The first paper published in the North-west was printed in
Cincinnati, November 9, 1793, under the name of “The Sentinel of the
North-western Territory.” The journal was owned and edited by William
Maxwell. Newspapers in those days were comparatively small and poorly
executed in presswork; and changed names, ownership or ceased to exist
so frequently that not a few attempts at journalism became lost to

During the territorial days, and while the seat of government tarried
at Chillicothe, Mr. Willis, the father of N. P., the poet, author and
artist, published a literary paper for a short time. After the capital
became permanently located at Columbus, Philo H. Olmstead, from 1813 to
1818, published “The Western Intelligencer”–then changed the name to
“Columbus Gazette” and in due time to “Columbus Journal.”

Small as these and other beginnings were over the settled portions
of the state, the press and its influence became of more and more
importance, and kept pace if not in advance of many other leading
departments connected with an advanced civilization. As ideas beget
ideas, so inventions beget inventions, until time and space are no
more, and the wild elements meekly bow in submission to the will and
works of man. If John Gutenberg, Fust, Mentel or Koster, with their
little inventions, could see the automatic working of one of those
mammoth printing machines, which noiselessly move with such rapidity,
exactness and intelligence–even putting human volition and precision
to shame–any one or all of the once contesting discoverers would stop
disputing in astonished wonderment long enough to set up and strike off
on their own inventions a single line, in quotations, “Large trees from
small acorns grow,” and abandon further contention.

Newspaper educators at an early day, like the schoolmaster, had a
limited showing in a country so financially short. Editors and
publishers could not conduct the business without a given amount of
support. But this needful requirement was too manifestly uncertain to
justify an expensive venture; for there was little or no money in the
country, nor means to procure it by exchanges. Still, the experiment
was occasionally made, but most generally failed even in the hands of
the most economical management and moderate expectations.

The following is a brief of a four-paged paper, ten by fifteen inches
in size–“No. 33, Vol. I.”–dated June 5, 1818. This paper was started
at the county seat of one of the early settled localities, and in
agriculture one of the leading counties in the state. This number
treats of the following subjects:

[Illustration: THE OLIVE BRANCH

VOLUME I.] JUNE 6, 1818. [NUMBER 33.]

1. Light reading. Traits in Washington City Drawing-Room. Mrs.
Monroe. The President. Virginians. The Belles. Foreigners. Etiquette.
Foreign Ministers. The Secretaries of Government Departments.
Western Opposition. American Manufacturers. Essex Junto. Two
Different Descriptions of Men that Inhabit Virginia, Contrasted.

2. Foreign News–Spain. Major-General Jackson’s Letter to Gov.
Rubute, Bowleg Town, Suwanny, April 20, 1818. Late from the
Army–Milledgeville and Indians. Patriots victorious–Marching on
to Carraccas. The President of the United States. More Specks of
War at Detroit. The Belt had passed through the Winnebago, Sack,
Fox and Hickapoo Nations. Mercury at Green Bay through the Winter,
25°. Letter from “Savannaa,” April 30, 1818. Letter from Porto Rico.
Letter from Upper Canada. Extract from a Vermont Paper. Expensiveness
of the Ground purchased for the Bank of the United States at
Philadelphia, being One Thousand Dollars per Front Foot.

3. Obituaries. Advertisements. Court Proceedings. Expulsion of
Masons from the Order. Patent Pumps. Paris Papers. One Hundred and
Forty Vessels perished in the late Tremendous Gale along the English
Coast. Injurious Effects of Flannel. Masonic Notice. Prospects for
continuing the Publication of “The Olive Branch.” Advertisements.

4. Poetry–“Absent Friends. Defense of Putnam. Improvement of the
Loom for Weaving. Sheriff Sale of Accounts.” His own Included.

The deplorable condition of the press of Ohio at the time is so
graphically and candidly set forth by the editors of the Olive
Branch–the only paper published in the county–in their last appeal
for support, is better illustrated by reproducing the article entire:



“The publishers now call upon the citizens of —- county, and the
country adjacent, to determine if they shall continue publishing
_The Olive Branch_. They have fully and firmly determined to
discontinue its publication, unless the number of their subscribers
is considerably increased. They apprehend their present number will
not pay the expense of the establishment; and they do not think
themselves able, nor are they under obligations, to lose more by it
than they have lost already.

“If, therefore, the citizens of the county are desirous that a paper
should be published at this place, and if any think _this_ worthy of
their patronage, let them declare it by adding their names to the
list of our subscribers. By this declaration, yea or nay, when fully
and explicitly made known, we shall positively abide.

“Some persons ask, ‘What is to be the _character_ of our paper?’ And
what _inducements_ we offer them to become subscribers? In a few
words we will tell them: Its character shall be truly American and
Republican. Americans by birth and education, we have no partiality
for European institutions or policy. _Republicans_ in principle, we
will never disseminate aristocratical or monarchical doctrines. We
will ever oppose, with our utmost endeavors, their progress. We do
fearlessly declare perpetual war against them. Believing our forms of
government infinitely superior to any ever before witnessed, we will
rather perish in their defense than sit silent spectators of their

“We will ever respect and inculcate virtue, both public and private,
and deprecate vice in all its dazzling forms. Nothing shall ever
appear in our columns to disturb the present public tranquillity,
unless we see danger lurking therein, which duty requires us to
expose to public view. We hold the Christian religion in sacred
veneration, and shall never, therefore, suffer an aspersion to be
cast upon it through our columns.

“As the happiness of most of mankind lies in their social domestic
circles, we shall hold them sacred. We will never designedly cast
into them the apple of discord; nor will we knowingly cause a pang to
the _honest heart_ or a blush upon ‘the modest cheek.’

“The _inducements_ we offer are:

“_First_–A weekly account of the most important events and
transactions occurring in our own country.

“_Secondly_–An account of such as transpire in other parts of the
globe affecting us; and among these, every thing important relative
to our Mexican and South American neighbors will have a preference.

“_Thirdly_–The most important state papers and documents relating to
or coming from our government.

“_Fourthly_–Well-written essays, either original or extracted,
on political, moral and scientific subjects, and relating to the
topography and geography of our country.

“_Fifthly_–A view of the proceedings of our state and national
legislatures, and a strict examination of the laws passed by them.

“_Sixthly_–Literary articles which convey _instruction_ with
_amusement_ will find a niche in our paper. We shall not, however,
seek to _amuse_ unless we can at the same time _instruct_. To excite
or gratify the public taste for amusement alone we consider dangerous
to our freedom. By such means Pericles destroyed the liberties of
Athens, and Cæsar of Rome. Modern France, too, had her Pericles and
her Cæsar; she followed them, and she is now ruing her folly. Similar
must be our fate when we _follow after_ the siren song of amusement.
We will never be the willing instruments of thus sapping our free
institutions. If our paper can not find a sufficient support without
this, let it go ‘to the tomb of the Capulets.’ For we will sooner
breast the torrent of public feeling on this subject, though we are
swept by it into the deep bosom of destruction, than glide upon its
surface and trim our barques to its course.

“Renick, Doan & Co.”

Although ably edited–containing interesting, well-written and
well-selected articles, the verdict was “_perpetual suspension_.”
The inhabitants of neither town nor country cared to become “readers
of newspapers.” The agrarian element of society had not extended to
business transactions. The contracted condition of the “circulating
medium” was such that it became absolutely necessary to ignore every
luxury that required “spot cash;” while state laws made the credit
system so dangerous, honest people kept as free as possible from
financial obligations. They did not wish to take the risk of seeing
their names posted in public places, stating the time the indebtedness
would be sold by the sheriff at public outcry to the highest bidder.

And the citizen continued on his even way, enjoying the chase–catching
wolves and foxes; and hunting the deer, turkey and squirrel; and in
summer tilling a few acres of corn–a small “patch” of flax–enough
potatoes, beans, pumpkins, and gourds for the use of the family. The
soil produced well, and with but little labor enough corn could be
raised for family meal and to winter the small amount of stock–the
fire-wood was secured from wind-falls in the “deadening,” and with
a horse and cow, a few sheep, and a good dog, the “squirrel hunter”
became wonderfully well satisfied with his environment, and had no
desire for change. The amount he knew of things transpiring in the
outside world was obtained by the word of mouth in the regular line of

The women carded the wool and hackled the flax, and spun and wove
the same; and from year to year there were no changes in household
appearances or landed possessions. The “deadening,” however, was a
little larger in area, in order to keep up the easily-obtained supply
of fire-wood, and to increase the amount of the natural grasses and
green things in summer for the benefit of the stock.

All domestic animals subsisted on what nature furnished in the woods
during spring and summer, and each individual owner had an ear-mark
for hogs and cattle recorded at the county-seat, which gave security
against mistakes, and when animals became lost furnished information of
ownership and acted as a substitute for a square in the “lost” column
of some newspaper. It must be remembered that Ohio was not settled all
over at once. It came into the Union an immense wilderness, and much of
it remained unoccupied for long periods. The first tree cut, in Hardin
county, was cut for bees in 1837–a dead black-walnut, seventy-two
feet to the first limb. And as the counties became organized and
settled the inhabitants all commenced at the same point–the same style
of cabin and like simplicity–benches were used for chairs, earth
for flooring and carpet, forked sticks driven into the ground with
cross poles for bedsteads, clap-boards for bed-cords, and pond-grass
for feathers, a single pot and frying-pan, with a few pewter dishes,
constituted the primitive outfit, sooner or later, for every county in
the state.

The immigrants who pushed forward into the interior counties suffered
most for want of mills and from the high price of freight, and
merchandise, as salt, flour, and other necessaries of life, all came
from Chillicothe or Zanesville. Salt was ten and twelve cents a pound,
calico one dollar a yard, coffee seventy-five cents, and whisky two
dollars a gallon.

High prices ruled in all new settlements long after they had been
reduced in and at the vicinity of Chillicothe and Zanesville;
and which, too, was only partly owing to exorbitant rates for
transportation. So little and so few were articles purchased, that
pioneer merchants did not enter the interior counties of the state for
many years, and orders for flour, and salt, and other necessaries,
accompanied by the silver, would be forwarded generally by the bearer
of the order, as no regular mail or line of transportation was run from
one settlement to another. For want of roads the inconvenience was
tolerated, as it did not detract much from the power of the inhabitants
in every part of the state from living well and living easy. Still
there were a few from isolation or improvidence suffered hardships and
unpleasant conditions, especially in the interior counties.

In the fall of 1803, Henry Berry, a Welshman, came to this country
to establish a home, and leaving his wife and smaller children in
Philadelphia, Pa., took his two boys, one nine and the other eleven
years old, and put up a small cabin in the interior of Delaware
county, fifteen miles from the nearest one of the three families that
constituted the white inhabitants. At this time the country was full
of Indians and wild animals, and was distant from sources of supplies
seventy-five to one hundred miles. The father was so infatuated with
the country, he hurriedly erected a small cabin of such timber as
he and his boys could handle; and when covered, but without floor,
chimney, or fire-place, and without daubing or chinking, he fixed the
children a place to sleep, started back for Philadelphia, hoping to
get the rest of his family West before the cold weather set in. When
he reached Philadelphia he found his wife dangerously sick with a
protracted fever, and before she was able to travel Mr. Berry became
sick, and winter came on, and he was unable to return until the June

The boys had not been heard from; the winter had been unusually
severe, and they had been left with but a short amount of provisions,
without a gun, surrounded by Indians and wild beasts, and were
compelled to live upon such animals as they could capture; and with no
fireplace or chimney they passed a cold winter in that open cabin. And
when the father returned with the family, he found the boys had cleared
enough ground for a large garden and had vegetables growing from
the seeds they had brought with them from Wales. Of course the boys
suffered much, but like the one on the burning deck, they heroically
stood their ground regardless of consequence.

But the man who would refuse cornbread and carry a bushel of wheat
seventy-five miles on his shoulder, to get it ground, is not properly a
subject of pity or sympathy.

Before the state had reached its fortieth anniversary, almost all
parental heads establishing homes in this country, prior to the opening
of the Erie Canal (1825), could, at the sound of a dinner horn, call
in a large family of well-grown children, numbering a “baker’s dozen,”
more or less; and oftener than otherwise, without the loss of a single

The ratio of natural increase of population was satisfactory, and
death rate was small. The climate was healthful; living simple and
easy; house-keeping uncomplicated and destitute of style. Rural homes
were all alike unostentatious, and early marriages were seldom, if
ever, deferred on account of immaturity or financial circumstances;
and large families became fashionable. Seldom less than ten, and only
occasionally more than twenty children, were added to the household.

People may have been poor in accumulated wealth, but it was not
felt or despised. A father with eight or ten robust sons had a sure
foundation for a hope to see the destruction of the surrounding forest,
cultivation of the soil, and the transformation of a portion of the
wilderness into fields of waving grain, fruits and flowers.

It is possible, and has been no uncommon thing for heads of large
families to live to see their great-great-grand-children; for it would
seem true, as in history, longevity and children are very nearly
related. As a rule, large families are healthy, having inherited a full
measure of vital resistance. Records of centenarians show that both
males and females of those who have gone into the second century have
been nearly all parents of large families; and read quite similar to
the following: “Alexander Hockaday has just celebrated his one hundred
and twelfth birthday. His wife, a few years younger, is still living.
They were blessed with twelve children, eleven of whom are living near
the aged couple with their numerous posterity.”

No doubt the existing conditions of a desirable new country, and the
exemption from avarice, penury or speculation, with the enjoyment
of that happy state unknown to wealth, want or war, were favorable
to longevity and natural increase. States of the mind and existing
impressions, like acquired habits, are transmissible as certainly as
that of the resemblance of physical and moral qualities. And with the
pioneer posterity, much of that strong manifestation of character and
mental endowment was due to the multiplicity and salutary combinations
of causes. Blood will tell, but in addition to descent, posterity
had all the winning influences of a quiet, simple and easy mode of
living–pure air, earth and water, filled with inspiration to greatness
and dispensed by nature to those who delight to worship within her
temple and partake wisdom from beasts, birds and flowers.