The Pioneers of New Connecticut
There were two ways to enter the New Connecticut, namely, through New York state to Buffalo and along Lake Erie, or through Pennsylvania to Pittsburg, up the rivers. From the state of Pennsylvania came the Pennsylvania Dutch and the Scotch-Irish; some of the most frugal and industrious were the Pennsylvania Dutch. The Yankee considered himself superior to his neighbors, who said "du bish" or had a brogue. His education as a rule was better, his family longer established in these United States, and he believed himself resposible for the development of the country. On the other hand, the early Dutch Pennsylvanian saw faults in his Yankee neighbor, and commented upon the same. The early Dutch housewife would say to her neighbor, when inviting her to stay to a meal, "It's not much we have, but anything is better than the weak tea and crackers of the Yankees." The "Dutchmen" were frugal, near, industrious, but liked good living. Early settlers in Pennsylvania uniformly testify to the excellent cooking of Pennsylania Dutch women. A Trumbull county man, now fifty years old, who was a boy taught school in western Pennsylvania, refers with pleasure to those days when he boarded around. A prominent citizen of Warren, whose grandparents were Pennsylvania Dutch, and whose mother and wife were excellent housekeepers, gives credit to both for being successes as homemakers, but usually ends with "but no one ever quite came up to grandmother's cooking."
It was the Scotch-Irish who made the mrith for the pioneers, particularly at "frolic times," as house-raisings, log-rollings, and the like occasions were called. They cared less for money than did the Yankee or the German, and did not leave land fortunes to their descendants. They did, however, one thing for which they are never given credit. They, and not the men from the state of the Blue Laws, were first in establishing and maintaining churches.
Lest we may be tossing our heads in pride, we who trace back to the Connecticut forefather, let us see what others thought and think of us. W. H. Hunter, of Chillicothe, in an address at Philadelphia, on "Influence of Pennsylvania on Ohio", says:
"The claims made for the Puritan settlement at Marietta give us an example of Puritan audacity; the New England settlements on the Western Reserve give us examples of Yankee ingenuity. In Connecticut he made nutmegs of wood; in Ohio he makes maple molasses of glucose and hickory bark. In New England the Puritan bored the Quaker tongue with red-hot poker; in Ohio he dearly loves to roast Democrats. The Reserve was the home of crankisms. Joseph Smith started the Mormon church in Lake county. And there were others."
Colonized by College Man
It is known that for many years before the organization of the Connecticut Land Company, as early as 1755, people had traveled from Pennsylvania to Salt Springs, between Niles and Warren, for the purpose of making salt. Long vats and kettles showing much wear and little care were early found by travelers and explorers. Men who were identified with the early times have written of seeing travelers with kettles thrown over the back of a horse on their way to the springs. Salt was expensive, costing, according to some authorities, six dollars a bushel; others, sixteen dollars a barrel. The water here was only brackish and cost of making too expensive to be profitable. Some of the Salt Spring kettles were later found in a spot near Braceville, where the Indians used them for making mapel syrup, and within the last few years one of them still existed.
Salt Spring Region
So far as we know, nothing very good ever came out of the Salt Spring region. The first man who owned the tract - Judge
Parsons - was drowned. A man stationed in one of the cabins to watch the goods belonging to a Beaver firm was killed.
The white men who constructed cabins there were in constant fear of the Indians, and were not financially repaid for their
trouble. "The Pennsylvanians who had recourse to it during the Revolution erected cabins there. In 1785 Colonel
Brodhead, commanding the troops at Fort Pitt, had orders to dispossess them, and did so. The Indians soon burned the
cabins they had erected." Here occurred the first murder on the Reserve, and here, time and again, in the latter part of the
nineteenth century, people have had hope of making fortunes from the mineral water, only to give it up in despair later.
In 1906 or 1907 the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad acquired the land, and now, where once men, white and red, boiled
water into walt, while they drank whiskey and fought; where women and children suffered from fear of the red man; where
men invested time and money to no purpose, runs a great trunk line, and men and women sleep and eat as they pass over
the spot where so much unhappiness existed, and never think of Indians or murder or even salt, for the latter served them
in the diner by black men without cost.
"And although the Connecticut Land Company ran their township and range line regardless of this claim, and although they in their proceedings at the time called it only a 'pretended claim', yet in making partition of their lands, they reserved land enough in the townships No. 2 and 3, in the third and fourth range, to satisfy this claim, which they never aparted and which they ultimately abandoned to the heirs and assigns of General Parsons."
First Land Purchaser
The rules and regulations of the Connecticut Land Company are of great interest. Every possibility of misunderstanding is
provided for, minor details are mentioned, and the document shows the workmanship of the careful, conservative New
Titus V Munson
Olney F Rice
William B Hall
We are told in several original manuscripts that this party consisted of fifty, but as the above numbers only forty-six; Gun, who
was to have charge of the stores in Conneaut; Stiles, who was to have like position in Cleveland; Chapman and Perry,
who were to furnish meat and trade with the Indians, must have made up the number. In some of the original records the
full list of men are given with these words, "and two females." So unused were makers of books and keepers of records
to giving a woman's name, unless she were a queen or a sorceress, that this seemed nothing unusual.
To Moses Cleaveland, Esq., of the County of Windham, and State of Connecticut, one of the Directors of the Connecticut Land Company, Greetings"
We, the Board of Directors, of said Connecticut Land Company, having appointed you to go on to said land, as Superintendent over the agents and men, sent on to survey and make locations on said land, to make, and enter into friendly negotiations with the natives who are on said land, or contiguous thereto, and may have any pretended claim to the same, and secure such friendly intercourse amongst them as will establish peace, quiet, and safety to the survey and settlement of said lands, not ceded by the natives under the authority of the United States. You are hereby, for the foregoing purposes, fully authorized and empowered to act, and transact all the above business, in as full and ample a manner as we ourselves could do, to make contracts in the foregoing matters in our behalf and stead; and make such drafts on our Treasury, as may be necessary to accomplish the foregoing object of your appointment. And all agents and men by us employed, and sent on to survey and settle said land, to be obedient to your orders and directions. And you are to be accountable for all monies by you received, conforming your conduct to such orders and directions as we may, from time to time, give you, and to do and act in all matters, according to your best skill and judgment, which may tend to the best interest, prosperity, and success of said Connecticut Land Company. Having more particularly for your guide the Articles of Association entered into and signed by the individuals of said Company.
Pittsburg and Canandaigua were the outlying posts for travelers to the Western Reserve. The Connecticut Land Company instructed the surveying party to gather at Canandaigua and proceed.
Several of the journals of these young surveyors are in the possession of the Western Reserve Historical Society, and the entries in some of them which have never been published are curious. Mr. Seth Pease says under several dates in close succession: "I began my journey, Monday, May 9, 1796. Fare from Suffield to Hartord, six shillings; expenses four shillings six pence. *** At breakfast, expense two shillings. Fare on my chest from Hartford to Middletown, one shilling, six pence." In telling about his trip to New York, he says: "Passage and liquor 4 dollars and three quarters. When he arrived in New York we find the following entry: "Ticket for play 75c; Liquor 14c; Show of elephants, 50c; shaving and combing, 13c." Apparently Mr. Pease was seeing New York.
Usual Route to the Reserve
It will pay the reader to take a map and follow their route from Connecticut to Schenectady, up the Mohawk river into
Oneida lake, on to the Oswego river, into Ontario lake, along the southern shore of this lake to Canandaigua, and then
to Buffalo, from there touching at least once at Presque Isle (Erie), on past the Pennsylvania line. They rowed, sailed and
walked the shore. Sometimes part of them turned back to help bring up those delayed, or went ahead of the party to
counsel with military officers or to make necessary preparations for the party. It was a tedious trip.
Finally, the council with the red men was had, and a picturesque scene it was. On the shore fo the lake, under the starry June sky, the white men, forerunners of the Western Reserve citizens, with joy in their faces and hopes in their hearts, sat around the blazing fire prepared by the red men. Speeches were made on both sides, diplomatic messages exchanged,and while part of the Indians performed a swinging dance, the rest gruntedan accompaniment from their sitting position on the ground. Negotiations were not completed then - not at all; it was too soon. The Indian was "long on time" and short on whiskey. They must get drunk, of course. What was the good of a treaty without a pow-wow? What was the good of the white man except for his whiskey? So pow-wow and whiskey it was, fortunately with no bad results.
On June 23rd, "after much talking on the part of the Indians, Cleaveland offered Capt. Brant 500 pounds New York currency, which equals $1,000, provided he would peacefully relinguish his title to the western land. This sum was not large enough to please the captain, but after much parley he finally agreed to it, provided Cleaveland would use his influence with the United States and obtain from the government the sum of $500 annually for his trible. In case he could not accomplish this he was to promise that the Land Company would pay an additional $1,500 in cash."
Whether this agreement was kept, and whether the government or company paid this sum is not know to the author, but as white men were treating with Indians, we presume this money is the last they saw.
Title Bought of the Red Man
Cleaveland then gave two beef cattle and 100 gallons of whiskey to satisfy the eastern Indians, and a feast followed.
The western Indians were also given provisions to help them home and all had been entertained during the coucil.
It is greatly to the credit of the Connecticut Land Company, and a source of much satisfaction to the residents of the
Western Reserve today that the title to the land was not stolen, but was bought and paid for, even if the price was low;
further, that possession of the new country was given and taken under the best of feeling and without one drop of
bloodshed. To be sure, our forefathers must have had a larger supply of whiskey than the sentiment of today would
allow them, when we remember they gave away one hundred gallons and had plenty for all summer. History must be
studied from its own time.
One women of this section, whose husband took to much at stated intervals, when he came home in that condition, obliged him to sit in a straight-back chair till he was sober. If he started to mvoe, she raised a stick of wood as if to strike him, when he immediately resumed his seat. He finally declared there was no use in drinking if one had to sit still until sober, and he reformed. As a rule, however, the stick, in a real and metaphorical sense, was, and is, in the hands of the man.
First Independence Day
At last the surveyors had reached their destination. Even though they were adults, they had said good-bye to their home
friends with thick throats and heavy hearts. They had paddled slowly the New York rivers, had outwitted the British
officers, had suffered shipwreck, had endured the discomforts of long, slow travel, had successfully treated with the Indians,
and now, in the afternoon of a summer day, they had come upon the "promised land." The blue waters of the lake lapped the
shore, the creek sluggishly sought its bay, the great forest trees were heavy with bright green leaves, the grass was thick
and soft, the sky was blue, and the lowering sun bathed the landscape with delicate reds and yellows. It was the Fourth
of July, Independence Day, for which their fathers, twenty years before, had fought, and for which they themselves held
holy reverence. They had double reason to rejoice, and they shouted, sang, fired guns across the water, adding an
additional salute for the new territory. They drank water from the creek and whiskey from the jug; they named the spot
Fort Independence, and drank toasts to the president of the United States, the state of Connecticut, the Connecticut Land
Company, the Fort of Independence, and the "fifty sons and daughters who had entered it this day." When the camp fires
died down, and the stars above were thick and bright, they went to sleep in the new land which was shortly to be broken
up into thirteen counties, or parts of counties (Ashtabula, Geauga, Cuyahoga, Lake, Trumbull, Mahoning, Portage, Summit,
part of Medina, aprt of Ashland, Erie, Huron and Lorain). If anyone had dreamed that night that in one hundred and
fifteen years these thirteen counties would have almost as much influence on the world as the thirteen original colonies had
at one time; that most of the huge forests would be supplanted by cultivated fields and prosperous towns; that Indian paths
would be macadam roads; that over tiny wires one could talk to any part of this New Country as easily as they could talk
to each other that night on the lake shore; that school houses and churches would be thick throughout the region; and that
both would be free; that over the very spot where they lay sleeping passengers at the rate of sixty miles an hour; that
vehicles without horses would spin along the lake front from Buffalo creek to the Cuyahoga in less time than it took them to put
their camp in order; that mountains of ore would lie in the lake ships a few miles from them; that no man wilder than they
would be east of the Mississippi; that the wildest animals would be the youthful bull or the aged house-dog; that in the nearby
valleys would be some of the most wonderful industrial plants in the world, and that hundred of men would have sufficient
money to buy and pay for the whole Western Reserve without inconvenience; that on this territory would stand the sixth
largest city in the United States; that slavery would not exist; that women would have a voice in making school laws, and
that men would float or fly through the air above their heads in machines made for flying, - if any one of the party had dreamed
any or all of these things, and related them in the morning, he would have been declared untruthful or as suffering too
much from that taken from the gurgling jug.