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and Edward Paine, of Connecticut birth and the founder
of Painesville, received thirty-eight votes and was thus
elected as the first representative to the Territorial legis-
lature. By a treaty between the Land Company and the
Indians, all lands in the Reserve west of the Cuyahoga
River belonging to the Indians were ceded to the Com-
pany, thus giving them a full title to their complete pur-
chase. Counties were now organized: Geauga County
was organized in 1805, Portage in 1807, Cuyahoga in 1810,
and Ashtabula in 1812. Many of the Indians remained
on the Reserve till the breaking out of the War of 1812
when a portion of them joined with their Canadian breth-

6 Western Reserve Historical Society Tracts, Vol. I, No. 20.


ren in taking up arms against the United States. At the
close of the War occasional bands wandered back to their
old hunting grounds on the Cuyahoga and Mahoning
rivers, but the settlers soon made them understand that
they were unwelcome visitors after the part they had
taken against them in the War, and they soon disap-
peared. Thus in 1812 the Reserve was practically cleared
of the Indians and the first step in the conquest of the
Western Eeserve was complete.

It is thus to be noted that whatever beginnings ex-
isted on the Reserve up to 1800 were of purely New Eng-
land origin. The original surveys were made by New
Englanders; the Company owning the entire Reserve
was a Connecticut company, and since there was no gen-
eral civil authority over the tract between 1795 and 1800,
the institutions established originated entirely from vol-
untary action on the part of the local inhabitants, prac-
tically all of whom were New Englanders. In 1798 there
were fifteen families on the Reserve. In 1800 the entire
population on the Reserve was 1,302, and at the close of
the year these were grouped into thirty-two settlements,
nearly all being from Connecticut; and, although as yet
no organized government was established, "the pioneers
were a people who had been trained in the principles and
practices of civil order and these were transferred to
their new homes.'"' There was but little lawlessness
which so often characterizes the people of a new country.
After 1800 the population increased rapidly; townships
were organized, ministers appointed, schools established
after the manner of New England, and thus were planted
the beginnings of institutions of New England origin,
centuries old, in the "far west". General Garfield, one
of the most distinguished sons of the Reserve, in an ad-
dress delivered in 1873 said : ' ' There are townships on

6 Address by James A. Garfield in Western Beserve Historical Society
Tracts, Vol. I, No. 20.


this Western Reserve which are more thoroughly New
England in character and spirit than most of the towns of
the New England of to-day. Cut off as they were from
the Metropolitan life that had gradually been molding
and changing the spirit of New England, they preserved
here in the wilderness the characteristics of New England
as it was when they left it at the beginning of the century.
This has given the people of the Western Reserve those
strongly marked qualities which have always distin-
guished them." '^

The township was thus the first political institution
established. It was the primary unit of civil government
and the plan of survey — five miles square — readily lent
itself to the adoption of the New England system of local
government. There were, however, some important dif-
ferences between the settlements here and the first settle-
ments in New England. The townships were not drafted
on the pattern of New England with the highways con-
verging to the center of the town where the meeting house
was located, with one exception — Talmadge Township
in Summit County. Neither did they come here as they
came to New England, because of religious dissatisfac-
tion ; nor was there any need to fortify themselves against
the Indians, because they were generally friendly and
mingled freely with the new settlers ; tillable land being
abundant, there was no common ownership in the New
England sense, and hence the social instinct was less de-
veloped; neither were the settlements always made in
church groups as in early New England. A settlement
often began with a family ; sometimes a single individual
who purchased a whole township, left his family in New
England, visited his purchase, built a cabin, and returned
the following year to bring his family and a few necessary
household utensils such as could be conveyed in a wagon

7 Address by James A Garfield in Western Reserve Historical Society
Tracts, Vol. I, No. 20.


drawn by a team of horses or oxen. The journey from
New England — about 600 miles from Connecticut — was
beset with hardships and dangers and was, therefore,
often made by the early settlers in groups numbering
from ten to forty. Many of the letters of these early set-
tlers have been preserved and from them we may review
the life and institutions of these sturdy pioneers.^ I give
extracts from one which is typical : "I was born at Mid-
dlefield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, September 1,
1800. ... In the Spring of 1807 my father, Samuel
Taylor, determined to remove to Ohio, and on the eighth
of May our family, with those of Jeremiah Root, Benja-
min Eggleston and Joseph Eggleston, numbering in all
thirty-six persons, took leave of our relatives and neigh-
bors and started on our journey .... we were four
days on the road from Warren to Aurora, a distance of
less than thirty miles, where our journey of forty-five
days terminated June 22, 1807. When we built our first
log cabin the nearest neighbor on the north was 30 miles
away ; on the west, 60 miles ; on the east about 8 miles and
on the south of Aurora, about ten to eleven miles to a
house in Franklin township.

*'At that time Ohio was a vast wilderness with but
few inhabitants, except the Indians, who outnumbered the
whites, 2 or 3 to 1 ; but the forests were filled with deer,
bear, wolves, elks, raccoon, wildcats, turkeys, and various
other Mn^ds of wild animals. . . . During the night-time
we had serenades from the hooting owls, the growling of
bears or the more enlivening howl of the wolf, the recol-
lection of which enables me to appreciate a certain kind of
operatic music which we now hear in some of our public
assemblies. ... A few days after our arrival I was sent
to a school kept in a log school house, by Miss Polly Can-
non, who received her education in Massachusetts. . . .

*See Annals of the Early Settlers' Association of Cuyahoga County;
also Western Beserve Historical Society Tracts, Vols. I, II, III.


Our teachers of that day were men and women who had
been educated at the East and were generally of a high
order of talent." ^

From another letter describing events from 1803 to
1806, I quote:

"I attended a celebration on the fourth at Joel
Paines ; they fired guns, gave toasts and drank whiskey,
made for the occasion over at Thompson's still, at the
mouth of the Tiber. He also had a grist mill for grind-
ing corn ; he could put in a bushel of corn at night and in
the morning it was corn meal. The mill stones came
from near Willoughby (then called Chagrin) ; two men
brought them on their shoulders with a hand spike
through the eye — one at a time. The still was brought
from Pittsburg on a one horse dray. The dray was made
by fastening two long poles to the harness — one each side
of the horse — the other ends dragged on the ground;
pins fastened the poles together a little behind the horse,
and the load is fastened to the pins. . . . The Indians
were all about us . . . they were perfectly friendly.
.... In the fall of 1803 my father and Capt. Skinner
laid out a town and called it 'New Market'. . . . It was
situated between Skinner's and Gen. Paine 's farms along
the river. ' ' "

The above extracts suggest, and a careful perusal of
the numerous letters, published recollections, and annals
confirm the opinion, that though the early settlers of the
Reserve were of Puritan stock, there were strong influ-
ences that tended to degrade the moral and religious ele-
ments of Puritanism; at least such is the opinion of
Joseph Badger, the first missionary sent to the Reserve
by the Connecticut Missionary Society. In 1802 he re-
cords in his Memoirs that "Infidelity and profaning the

^Annals of the Early Settlers' Associatio7i of Cuyahoga County, Vol.
II, pp. 148 ff.

^0 j^nnals of the Early Settlers' Association of Cuyahoga County, Vol.
II, pp. 132 f£.


Sabbath are general in this new place (Newburg) and bid
fair to grow into a hardened, corrupt society." ^^ A
Fourth of July celebration at Hudson in 1801, where about
thirty had assembled, is noted as follows : "After an ap-
propriate prayer, the oration was delivered, interlarded
with many grossly illiberal remarks against Christians
and Christianity."^- It would thus appear that if the
Bible was the chief work of literature read by the early
settlers on the Reserve, as is so often stated by the histor-
ian, it was by no means the only literature. In this scatter-
ed population of wide areas, of small communities and
families, isolated by forests, freedom of thought accom-
panied freedom of action, and there is reason to believe
that it often preceded it and that many left their New Eng-
land homes who were not dominated by the Westminster
standards and who were out of sympathy with the New
England creed. Volney and many other ' ' infidel ' ' writers
were read, according to Badger, and no small part of that
noble missionary's work was directed against the irre-
ligious ideas current among the earlier settlers. He fre-
quently appealed to the Connecticut Missionary Society
for literature to counteract these influences. Mr. Bad-
ger's work, however, seems to have been very successful,
and there were periods of great religious fervor. On one
occasion, in 1803, he '^preached to about 3,000 people col-
lected for a sacramental sermon. ' ' ^^ As to the character
of the preaching, he says: "There was nothing in the
preaching calculated to move the passions otherwise than
what is contained in the doctrine of total depravity, re-
pentance, and faith as preached by all Calvinistic men. ' ' ^*

11 Rev. Joseph Badger's Memoirs (edited by Henry N. Day, 1851),
p. 46.

p. 27.

p. 50.
p. 52.

i^Kev. Joseph Badger's Memoirs (edited by Henry N. Day, 1851),

13 E«v. Joseph Badger's Memoirs (edited by Henry N. Day, 1851),

14 Rev. Joseph Badger's Memoirs (edited by Henry N. Day, 1851),


Watt 's psalms and hymns which had not been used in any-
church, excepting one, west of the Alleghenies prior to
1801, were now for the first time introduced. The old
Scotch version had everywhere been used with strong
prejudices in its favor, and Mr. Badger seemed very much
surprised that reading the "Hartford Hymns created no
disturbance." In passing it should be said that Mr. Bad-
ger was more than a mere preacher of sectarianism. He
preached the Gospel in the broadest sense, but his work
was also that of an instructor in other educational lines.
A graduate of Yale, endowed with intellectual powers
that would have won fame at home, he set out, with his
family of six children, for the mlderness of the West at a
salary of seven dollars a week. His work took him away
from his family for months at a time, while he was visit-
ing the sick, making friends of the Indians, supplying
books, establishing schools, social libraries, and in every
way aiding the cause of humanity. When the War of
1812 broke out he worked among the Indians, persuading
them to fight for the United States against England.
General Harrison appointed him Chaplain and Postmas-
ter of the army which was sent to guard the frontier, and in
this position he also rendered valuable aid as scout and
guide. He was, in fact, a heroic character who did much
— perhaps as much as any single individual — to carry
Puritan ideas into Western Reserve. Perhaps in no other
field did New England exert a greater influence in West-
ern Reserve than in the religious activities of the pioneer
missionaries sent out by the missionary societies of the
East. The work of such men as Joseph Badger, Thomas
Robbins, David Bacon, John Seward, Harvey Coe, Simeon
Woodruff, William Hanford and Caleb Pitkin has left a
permanent impress. These men labored under the aus-
pices of the Connecticut Missionary Society, and fifteen
churches were organized as early as 1823 ; ^^ and since

15 Ohio Church History Society Papers, Vol. VIII, pp. 62 ff.


Congregationalism in Ohio is essentially a New England
contribution, we may form a general estimate of its influ-
ence in the Eeserve compared with other parts of Ohio by
the distribution of the church members of that denomina-
tion in the State. The Congregational Year Book of 1856,
the earliest one giving adequate statistics, gives the total
number of members in Ohio as 12,822, and of these 9,330
were on the Reserve.

The early missionaries of the Western Reserve were
also the pioneers in the educational system of the new
West. In October, 1786, the General Assembly of Con-
necticut passed an act for a survey of the Reserve with
the proviso that 500 acres in every township should be
reserved for the support of the ministry and the same
amount for the support of the public schools within the
township, but only 24,000 acres were sold when the act
was repealed. When the land was finally sold, the funds
accruing from these sales were applied to the schools of
the State ; thus the State at first proposed to make a gen-
erous endowment for education in the Reserve, but aban-
doned the idea * ' at the same time that her children were
going by thousands into 'New Connecticut' where they
were left to provide themselves with schools as best they
could. ' ' '^ The enabling act of 1802 for the admission of
the State to the Union gave Section No. 36 to the inhab-
itants of every congressional township in Ohio for educa-
tional purposes ; another act vested the title of the lands
in the State legislature ; but these acts did not apply to the
Western Reserve, the Virginia Military District, or the
United States Military Bounty Lands, amounting in all
to about one-third of the whole area of the State. Con-
necticut appropriated to her own use the whole of the
reservation ; so did Virginia, leaving the people of these
sections at a disadvantage. But Congress came to their

16 Hinsdale's The History of Popular Education on the Western Re-
serve, in the Ohio Archeological and Historical "Publications, Vol. VI, p. 37.


aid and put them on the same footing as the rest of the

Neither did the framers of the State Constitution of
1802 contemplate a school system supported by the State.
Article VIII of that act merely provides that "schools
and the means of instruction shall for ever be encouraged
by legislative provisions" and that "no law shall be
passed to prevent the poor in the several counties and
townships within the state" from equal privileges in ed-
ucational institutions supported in whole or in part from
donations made by the United States. Section 27 of the
same article gives associations the right to apply for
charters of incorporation and the right to hold real and
personal property for school purposes. In other words,
there was no more contemplated by the framers of the
first Constitution in regard to schools than the granting
of corporate powers and protecting the rights of person
and property. All laws relative to schools down to 1821
dealt only with school lands and all education prior to that
time was purely voluntary.^^ It was the early mission-
aries who first called attention to the educational needs.
Mr. Badger writes on April 8, 1810: "By preaching in
different settlements and visiting small schools, now be-
ginning to be set up, I learned the great want of school
books; and by family visits, I also learned the want of
suitable books in families." ^^ He himself undertook the
business of suppljdng the books and wrote to "several
gentlemen dealing largely in books both in Boston and
Hartford", but he did not succeed very well financially,
' ' although the schools were supplied with books, and some
social libraries furnished. Book dealers forwarded many
unsalable books. The War coming on increased the ex-
pense of transportation and books soon fell below their

17 Hinsdale's The History of Popular Education on the Western Be-
serve, in the Ohio Archeological and Historical Publications, Vol. VI, p. 39.

18 Rev. Joseph Badger's Memoirs (edited by Henry N. Day, 1851),
p. 126.


former price. ' ' ^® He therefore sold out all he could and
gave the rest to poor people. As early as 1801 Mr. Bad-
ger suggested the idea of obtaining a charter from the
legislature authorizing the establishment of a college.
In 1803 a charter was granted incorporating the ''Erie
Literary Society", Joseph Hudson being named the first
incorporator and Rev. Joseph Badger the last. Private
donations of land furnished the means of putting up a
building in 1806 two stories high, the first story being
used for common school purposes and the second for an
academy and for religious worship on Sunday. This was
the beginning of Burton Academy, in which Seabury
Ford, afterwards elected Governor of Ohio, was fitted for
Yale College where he graduated in 1825. Peter Hitch-
cock, the first teacher, was afterward elevated to the Su-
preme Bench of the State, and David Tod, the eminent
War Governor of Ohio, was also educated here. A the-
ological department was later added under the influence
of the Presbyterian and Congregational churches. But
the introduction of sectarianism reduced its patronage to
such a hopeless extent that the institution was removed
to Hudson, where it was called "Western Reserve Col-
lege" and where it achieved a wide reputation. In 1882
it was removed to Cleveland, where it was called ''Adel-
bert College of Western Reserve University".^" Thus
the first institution of higher education began with the
primitive settlers who brought with them little else than
their Puritan faith — a faith in themselves, in schools and
churches, and a belief in the efficacy of moral virtues.

In the history of the development of the common
school system of Ohio, New England influence was like-
wise strong. In the Constitutional Convention of 1851
the members from the Reserve, many of them of New
England birth, wielded a dominating influence. The

19 R€v. Joseph Badger's Memoirs (edited by Henry N. Day, 1851),
p. 126.

20 Rice's Sketches of Western Life, p. 97.


school laws made in accordance with that Constitution
were largely the work of Harvey Eice, born in Massachu-
setts in 1800, and John W. Willey, one of the early settlers
of Cleveland and a descendant of a Massachusetts family.
Thus far the influence of New England in Western
Reserve has been considered primarily in regard to
church and religious life and education. A word should
also be said of those distinguished political leaders and
jurists who on the Reserve rose to fame and national rep-
utation. Joshua R. Giddings, though born in Pennsyl-
vania, was a product of the Western Reserve. Rufus P.
Ranney, whom Rhodes "^ has called the best lawyer and
soundest judge in Ohio, was born in Massachusetts, as
was also Benjamin Wade. During the first half century
of statehood the Reserve gave six judges to the Supreme
Court of Ohio, four of whom were born in Connecticut,
one in Vermont, and one in Massachusetts; and the de-
cisions of some of these judges were important, since the
earlier decisions upon questions of law incident to a new
country formed precedents which established a system of
Western common law which has since become a standard
authority. One of these judges was Calvin Pease whose
decisions are contained in the first four volumes of "Ham-
mond's Reports" which were the first law reports pub-
lished by the State. The decisions of these judges were
by no means always popular and it is interesting to note
that in 1808 the legislature impeached Judges Tod,
Sprigg, and Huntington of the Supreme Court for de-
claring a law of the legislature unconstitutional. They
escaped by only one vote but in 1809 the legislature passed
an act declaring their offices vacant. The case arose on
appeal from a justice in Western Reserve and the feeling
on this subject is shown in a letter to Judge Tod, also
from the Reserve, written by a member of the legislature
and one of the framers of the Constitution of 1802. The

21 Rhodes 's History of the United States, Vol. I, p. 299.


contents of this letter has such a familiar ring that one
might readily believe it had been inspired by the presi-
dential campaign of 1912. It reads in part as follows :

' ' Hon. George Tod — Sir : If the judges have a right
to set aside laws, because they seem to them unconstitu-
tional, the people have no security, except the infallibility
of the judges.

' * If the judges have a right to set aside laws because
they are unconstitutional, they cannot be removed from
office, because it would be hard indeed to remove a judge
for error in judgment. If the judges have a right to set
laws aside, then the people have no power left them, ex-
cept choosing their representatives, for the representa-
tives may enact laws, the judges set them aside, and thus
Government would be at an end. ... If the people al-
low the judges to set aside laws, does it not make the ju-
diciary a complete aristocratic branch by setting the
judges over the heads of the legislature?

' ' Nothing, I think, could have originated the idea, ex-
cept it is the scripture account of God and the devil —
one to create, the other to destroy." "

But, besides the distinguished leaders, in religious
thought, in education, politics, and law, who achieved na-
tional distinction, one is impressed in tracing out the his-
tory of the local communities on the Reserve, to find so
many names of men and women who rendered service to
their city, county. State, and even nation — names falling
a little below the range of the national historian — yet
representing services upon which great national issues
have turned and have been decided for the right. The ma-
jority of these persons were named in New England for
they were of New England birth.

Briefly summarized, the investigation of our subject
leads to the following conclusions : that the early settlers
of the Reserve were almost wholly of New England stock ;

22 Western Beserve Historical Society Tracts, Vol. I, No. 2, pp. 3 ff.


that the first settlements were made by families or in
small groups scattered throughout the Reserve, and in
each of these groups a local leadership was developed
which shaped the social, religious, and political life of the
community. This leadership remained in the hands of the
New Englanders long after the original Puritan was out-
numbered by the native born and the immigrant who came
from outside of New England ; ^^ moreover, it is evident
that one of the chief elements of Puritanism — reverence
for religion — tended to disappear when the scattered set-
tlements passed from under the influence of an organized
church community but was reestablished or revived by
the work of the missionaries ; that the common school sys-
tem and higher education were of New England origin;
that the two chief lines of New England influence were re-
ligious and educational ; that the connection between New
England and the Reserve was personal, not political ; and
that out of it all developed the Western Puritan. The total
result of these beginnings belongs to a later period, but if
what Ranke says ^* is true in principle, namely that no
community ever rose to important consequences in which
the religious motive was not dominant, it may find its
verification in the history of the Western Reserve.

23 In 1840 only about one-fourth of those living on the Eeserve came
from New England.

24 Ranke 's Deutsche GeschicMe im Zeitalter der Reformation, Vol. I,

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