THE COUNTY OF CUYAHOGA
It had become recognized, even before this time, by those holding titles to lands in the Reserve west of the Cuyahoga, that a time had come for the formal and final extinguishment of the remaining Indian claims. The holdings of the Connecticut Land Company and of those owning the Fire Lands were alike in this respect. Negotiations looking to the desired end were opened, and an agreement made that a council should be held in Cleveland. The Indians to the west of the river were not only asked to be present, but also those in New York, who still claimed rights under old agreements.
These latter sent a deputation of some thirty braves, who duly reached Cleveland in June, 1805, accompanied by Jasper Parish, their interpreter. The negotiations were to be conducted under the friendly supervision of the general Government, which was represented by Col. Charles Jewet, while Gen. Henry Champion looked after the interests of the Connecticut Land Company, and I. Mills those of the Fire Lands Company. All hands wee prompt in their attendance, except the western Indians, who failed to put in an appearance. This action is said to have been due to the influence of certain parties at Detroit and elsewhere, who had been endeavoring to obtain rights to the lands in question.89
As in the case of Mahomet and the mountain, the commissioners decided to forego any question of dignity, and go to the Indians who would not come to them. After a day or so of waiting in Cleveland, all parties took up their march to the westward. The council was formally opened, some say at the Ogontz place, near Sandusky, others at Fort Industry on the Maumee. Among the tribes represented wre the Wyandots, Ottawas, Chippewas, Munsees, Delawares, Shawnees, and Pottawattomies. After some negotiation, the Indians, on July 4th surrendered all title to lands on the Reserve. A writer of that day says: "It is said by those who attended this treaty, that the Indians in parting with and making sale of the above lands to the whites did so with much reluctance, and after the treaty was signed, many of them wept. On the day that the treaty was brought to a close, the specie, in payment of the purchase money, arrived on the treaty ground. The specie came from Pittsburg, and was conveyed by the way of Warren, Cleveland and the lake shore to the place where wanted. The treasure was entrusted to the care of Lyman Potter, Esq., of Warren, who was attended by the following persons as an escort: Josiah W. Brown, John Lane, James Staunton, Jonathan Church, Lorenzo Carter, and another person by the name of Clark, all resolute men and well armed. The money, and other property, as presents to the Indians, was distributed to them the next day after the signing of the treaty. The evening of the last day of the treaty, a barrel of whisky was dealt out to the Indians. The consequent results of such a proceeding were all experienced at that time." 90
This attempt at holding the council in Cleveland gave occasion for yet another prophecy concerning the city that has been fulfilled. Prof. Kirtland, in a lecture delivered at the opening of a term in the Cleveland Medical College some years since, related the following incident,
which occurred before the movement towards the actual council grounds was commenced: "While waiting their tardy movements, the company collected one afternoon on the bank of the lake, near the present location of the lighthouse, and were observing the descent of the sun, into the broad expanse of waters at the west. The gorgeous displays of light and shade, heightened by the brilliant reflections from the lake, unsurpassed y the brightest scenes ever exhibited by Italy’s boasted skies, served, in connection with the concurring circumstances, to add interest to the occasion. One of the company, the Hon. Gideon Granger [postmaster-general of the United States], distinguished for talents, enterprise and forethought, uttered, to his astonished associates, this bold and what was then deemed extraordinary prediction: ‘Within fifty years, an extensive city will occupy these grounds, and vessels will said directly from this port into the Atlantic Ocean.91 A prophecy so specific and decided, coming from such a source, though received with a share of skepticism on the part of some, made a deep impression on the great body of his hearers."
A letter dated "On board the sloop ‘Contractor,’ near Black River, July 7, 1805," directed to "The Hon’l. Sam’l. Huntington, at the mills near Cleaveland," and signed by Wm. Dean, throws some light on the treaty, as follows: "On the 4th instant, we closed a treaty with the Indians, for the unextinguished part of the Connecticut Reserve, and on account of the United States: for all the lands sout of it, to the west line. Mr. Phelps and myself pay about $7,00j0 in cash, and about $12,000 in six yearly payments. of $2,000 each. The government pays $13,760, that is the annual interest, to the Wyandots, Delawares, Mun-
sees, and to those Senecas on the land forever. The expense of the treaty will be about $5,000, including rum, tobacco, bread, meat, presents, expenses of the seraglio, the commissioners, agents and contractors."
A proposition was made in the month following by Abraham Tappen and A. Sessions (one account says Amos, one Anson, and one Aaron) to survey this land, and lay it off into townships. The same was accepted and work commenced and pushed forward with vigor. Five hundred thousand acres were to be measured off on the western end of the Reserve for the Fire Lands Company, and the balance to the Cuyahoga came under the contract made by Tappen and Sessions. They met at Cleveland on May 15th, 1806, with their men, chain-carriers, and pack-horses and soon entered upon the work, which was successfully pushed to completion.
It will be seen from these increasing references to Cleveland that the settlement upon the Cuyahoga was becoming a place large enough to be recognized by the world at large. Some events of local importance were placed upon its record in this year, 1805. In May occurred the usual military election, when Nathaniel Doan was chosen captain; Samuel Jones "leuftenant;" and Sylvanus Burk, ensign. A son of Major Carter, eleven years of age, was drowned at the mouth of the river; Samuel Dodge, who had wedded a daughter of Timothy Doan, built himself a log-cabin on the Euclid road, and dug what is said to have been the first well in Cleveland –walled up with stones which the Indians had brought into the neighborhood to use as backs to their wigwam fireplaces; at the fall election, twenty-nine votes were cast for State Representative, of which all but two were for James Kingsbury—and the poll-book was rejected because the certificate to the oaths of the clerks and judges was not attached, nor were the signatures of the judges of election We also find the first mention of the appointment of jurymen. At a meeting of the township trustees in Mach, Augustus Gilbert and Eliphas Norton
were named as grand jurymen; and David Dilly, David Clark and Sauel Dodge to serve as "trabes juries" as the record-book expresses it. The youthful John Doan was sent from "the Corners" to school over in Newburg, and afterward confessed plaintively that "the wolves howled around the house where I boarded, and I became very homesick. I believe that a daughter of ‘Squire Spafford was our teacher. There were some twenty-five children attended, and there were not enough books in the whole community to give each of us an outfit. Afterwards a school was started below us, but I never had much chance in it. It held only three months in the winter and three in the summer, but the boys were kept so busy hoeing corn and picking up brush that they did not get much of a chance at the summer term." On the 16th of June occurred a total eclipse of the sun, which the Indians of the neighborhood construed into an expression of displeasure on the part of the Great Spirit, with their having sold the white men the homes and lands of their fathers. The death of David Clark is noted; and it was during this year that the schooner "Washington," which was one of the first clearances from the port of the Cuyahoga, sailed into the lake with crew and cargo, and was never heard of again. Judge Kingsbury put up the frame of a house, and not obtaining the lumber from the mills of Newburg, erected a mill of his own, and in the year following completed the structure, making, also, the brick for his own chimney.92
In Octob4er, the village became the possessor of a post office of its own, and Elisha Norton was appointed postmaster. As early as 1801 the mail was brought to War-
ren, the seat of Trumbull County, once in two weeks, by way of Pittsburg, Canfield and Youngstown, and that was the terminus of the mail route for a couple of years, before it came on to Cleveland. The route from Warren was by way of Deerfield, Ravenna and Hudson, and from Cleveland to Detroit along the old Indian trail to Sandusky, Toledo, and so on to Detroit; from Cleveland it went back to Warren via Painesville and Jefferson. A collection district for the south shore of the lake was also established this year, called the "District of Erie," and John Walworth, of Painesville, was appointed collector.
Postmaster Norton soon relinquished the cares of office and removed to Portage County, and Mr. Walworth became his successor.93 This useful man and prominent pioneer was born in Connecticut, in 1765, and in 1800 came to Ohio, and purchased a farm, at the mouth of Grand River, four miles north of Painesville. Being of education, sound judgment and good address, he soon found himself one of the leading spirits of the community. He held several offices, and upon his appointment as collector, decided to remove to Cleveland. He disposed of his interests on the Grand River, and soon after made a purchase of a farm of three hundred acres, between Huron, Erie and Cross streets, of the later day, and the Cuyahoga River. He brought his family here in 1806, and made the city his home for the remainder of his life, which ended in 1812, in the very darkest days of the war. One of his daughters, afterward the wife of Dr. David Long, and the mother of Mrs. Mary H. Severance, has left a record94 of that trip, in which she says: "My father, John Walworth, moved from Cleveland to Painesville in April, 1806. We came up in an open boat, which was wrecked, and my father came near being drowned.
He was so weak when he came out of the water that he could barely crawl on his hands and knees."
His commission of postmaster, signed by Gideon Granger, postmaster-general, was issued on October 22, 1805. In addition to his offices of postmaster and collector, President Jefferson also appointed him "inspector of revenue fort the port of Cuyahoga;" and in 1806 Governor Tiffin made him associate judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Geauga County, to hold for seven year, "if he shall so long behave well." Col. Whittlesey says: "Judge Walworth at first occupied the upper part of a frame building on the north side of Superior street, near Water street. When his family moved from this building to their house on the Walworth farm, Pittsburg street, a small frame office was erected south of Superior street, where the American House now stands. During Judge Walworth’s life, this office contained the combined authority of the City, the County and the Federal governments. Mr. Kelley states that, in 1810, Mr. Walworth was recorder, clerk of the Common Pleas and Supreme Court, postmaster, and collector of the Cuyahoga district. The same office accommodated Mr. Kelley, the only attorney in the place, and Dr. Long, the only physician. During the first quarter of 1806 the receipts of the post office amounted to two dollars and eighty-three cents. His first clearance (as collector) was issued to the schooner ‘Good Intent,’ which was soon after lost on Long Point, together with cargo and crew."
Judge Walworth was public-spirited in many ways, and willingly engaged in any measure that had in view the advancement of the interests of his chosen home. When the scheme was originated, in 1807, for the improvement of the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas rivers, so as to give better connection between Lake Erie and the Ohio River, he was one of the leaders therein, and made agent and a member of the board of commissioners that had it in charge. Although he held several offices at once, the amount of business in each was so small that he was not
compelled to neglect any of them. His report to the government for the season running from April to October, 1809, shows that the total value of goods, wares and merchandise exported from this country to Canada was but fifty dollars. On the organization of Cuyahoga County he was made clerk of the court, and also recorder; he was one of the founders of the first Masonic lodge in Northern Ohio, organized in Warren, in 1803, and one of its officers; and also one of the founders of the institution out of which grew the Western Reserve College. As if these labors were not enough, we hear him enumerating still others, in a letter under date of August 27, 1809, where he says: "The revenue and post-office afford a considerable business, and in addition to that I store and sell salt on commission and have the agency of considerable land, which causes me short journeys frequently."
The appearance of Cleveland proper, as seen by Judge Walworth on his arrival, has not been described, but another visitor95 in that year has left his impressions: "I first visited Cleveland, that part now called Newburg, in August, 1806, a boy of sixteen and a half years, and spent some ten days in the family of W. W. Williams. . . . We attended meetings in a log barn at Doan’s Corners once or twice, to hear the announcement of a new sect, by one Daniel Parker, who preached what he called Halcyonism—since, I believe, it has become extinct. We bathed together under the fall of Mill Creek, gathered cranberries in the marshes westward of the Edwards’s place, and danced to the music of Major Samuel Jones’ violin at his house, afterward the residence of my old friend, Captain Allen Gaylord. Judge Huntington, afterwards governor, lived then, I believe, at the place afterwards occupied by Dexter or Erastus Miles. Newburg street was open previously, from the mill north to Doan’s Corners, and was then lined with cultivated fields on both sides, nearly the whole distance from Judge
Kingsbury’s to the mill. But much dead timber remained on the fields. There were some orchards of apple trees on some of the farms, and Judge Kingsbury’s orchard bore a few apples that season, which was probably the first season of bearing. The Judge had a small nursery of apple trees, and there was a larger nursery of smaller trees on Mr. Williams’ place."
Among the arrivals in Cleveland this year can be counted the family of Nathan Perry. He was born in Connecticut in 1760, but removed to western New York, where he built several mills and cultivated a large farm. He came to Ohio as early as 1796, but did not bring his family until 1806. He bought one thousand acres of land, in what is now known as Lake County, at fifty cents per acre. He also became the owner of five acres in Cleveland, between Superior and St. Clair and Water and Bank streets, and also the tract of land near the intersection of Broadway and Perry street, afterward known as the Horace Perry farm. A further investment was made by him at Black River. On the organization of Cuyahoga County, in 1809, he was appointed one of the court judges, and in 1813 his life labors ended.
On the removal of Judge Perry to the west, his son Nathan, then a mere boy, was placed for a time in the camp of the great chief, Red Jacket, where he learned the Indian language, and much else that gave him great influence with the red men in later years. In 1804, he commenced life on his own responsibility, establishing a trading station at Black River, thirty miles west of Cleveland. He purchased furs, and other products of the chase, selling to the Indians in exchange such goods as they needed, or, as approaching civilization had taught them to want. In 1808, he decided to make Cleveland his headquarters, and in a short time assumed a leading position as one of her pioneer merchants. He erected a combined store and dwelling, after the manner of the day, on the corner of Superior and Water streets, where the National Bank building now stands. In a few years a brick
store and dwelling replaced the old structure, and was long one of the landmarks of early Cleveland. He gave his life to business, and had neither time nor inclination for the duties of public life. In the early days of the village charter he was made trustee, but returned to private life as soon as possible, and would accept no office thereafter. His later years were passed in ease and comfort, and he died on June 24th, 1865, leaving one daughter, the wife of Hon. Henry B. Payne.
A story somewhat illustrative of the characteristics of Lorenzo Carter, hunter, militiaman, tavern-keeper and all-around pioneer, is told96 as happening in the year 1806, and as possessing one element that did not enter into all the anecdotes told in early days of the redoubtable Major—that of truth. In the spring, a canoe in which were a white man, his wife and several children and one colored man, was coming down the lake, and was upset. All were drowned except the black man, who held to a tree upon the bank until rescued in a half-frozen condition. He was taken to Carter’s, and cared for during the summer, although so used-up from the exposure as to be of little service to anybody. In the fall two Kentuckians rode into Cleveland and claimed the colored man, Ben, as a slave, who had been enticed away. All they asked was an interview, agreeing that he should not be taken away unless he consented to go willingly.
Major Carter expressed his opinion briefly and to the point. He did not care much for colored men, and had even less liking for the institution of slavery.
One thing was certain, however. If Ben did not wish to meet the gentlemen from Kentucky, meet them he should not.
"Finally," says Mr. Walworth, "it was agreed that the owner and Ben should see each other, near enough to converse. Ben was to stand on the west side of the river, the owner to be on the east side, near the end of Huron
Street. Many inquiries and answers passed, but the conversation was marked by good feeling on both sides." Ben agreed to go back to Kentucky. "It would seem that the Major showed no dissatisfaction to Ben’s going with his master; but two white men, one called John Thompson and the other Jas. Geer, hangers-on at the Major’s tavern, proceeded, or followed and passed the Kentuckians; for when they had got about three miles from Newburg Mills (then called Cleveland Mills), on the old ‘Carter road,’ they appeared, one on each side of the road, each with a rifle; and as the Kentuckians and Ben were passing, Ben still mounted, one of the men says, ‘Ben, you d—d fool, jump off of the horse and take to the woods.’ Ben obeyed, the hunters also ran, and it may be supposed, though not known, that the Kentuckians were somewhat astonished. However, they never returned to tell of their bad luck." The escaped slave camped out in the woods for awhile, and then disappeared, probably across to Canada.
Another incident, which occurred near the same time, and caused widespread excitement during a portion of 1807, came near to causing a more serious collision between the whites and the Indians than any yet occurring in that section. Daniel Diver, of Hudson, was killed in the early winter by an Indian, named John Mohawk. Two white men named Williams and Darrow set out upon a mission of revenge, and not finding Mohawk, killed another Indian named Nicksau or Nickshaw. When this wanton murder of an innocent man became known to the Senecas, to whose tribe he belonged, there was great excitement. The whites demanded Mohawk for punishment; the red men quite naturally asked that Darrow and Williams should also be punished. The great chief Seneca or Stigwanish (Standing Stone) very aptly stated the case when he declared "that the same measure of justice should be dealt out to Indians and white men." In this case both sides were treated alike. No one was arrested, and both crimes went unpunished.
The fifth and last division of the Reserve lands was made on January 5th, 1807, the drawing occurring at Hartford, Conn. The survey of Brooklyn, across the river from Cleveland, was also made, the lots being placed upon the market for sale.
A grand scheme of internal improvement came into being in the same year, and made some headway, although its object was in no sense accomplished. It was a season when improved methods of travel were being quite earnestly discussed in the east, and as railroads in their present methods of locomotion were undreamed of, the canal and the natural water course consequently received great attention. A proposition had been made in the New York Legislature for the survey of a canal route between Lake Erie and the Hudson River, and this was followed by a movement in Ohio for the improvement of the Cuyahoga ad Tuscarawas rivers, as natural channels of communication between Lake Erie and the Ohio. The plan proposed was the clearing of both streams of all obstructions, and the deepening of the channels where necessary. The portage path, connecting the two at their nearest points, was to be made passable for loaded wagons. Goods were to be carried up the Cuyahoga, sent across from Old Portage to New Portage on the Tuscarawas, and then on down to the Ohio by way of the Muskingum.
It was thought that the whole plan could be carried out at an expense of twelve thousand dollars. The State Legislature was appealed to, and readily gave its sanction to the scheme; not by taking the money from the State Treasury or raising it by taxation, but by granting permission for a lottery, by which questionable method the needed funds were to be raised.
The plan, however, was a good one as viewed by the public opinion of the times. The best men of Cleveland were interested in its success, as shown by the board of commissioners having it in charge, who were: Samuel Huntington, Amos Spafford, John Walworth, Lorenzo
Carter, James Kingsbury, Turhand Kirtland, Timothy Doan, Bezaleel Wells, Jonathan Cass, Seth Adams, Zaccheus A. Beatty and John Shorb. It was known as the "Cuyahoga and Muskingum Navigation Lottery," for "improving the navigation between Lake Erie and the river Ohio through the Cuyahoga and Muskingum." The scheme was set forth by the commissioners as follows:
12,800 tickets at $5 each $64,000.
"Prizes subject to a deduction of twelve and a half per cent. The drawing of the First Class will commence at Cleveland on the first Monday of January, 1808, or as soon as three-fourths of the Tickets shall be sold; and the Prizes will be paid in sixty days after the drawing is completed."
This was to be no local affair. It was announced that payment of prizes would be made in Boston, Hartford, New York and Albany; and also in Zanesville and Steubenville, Ohio. John Walworth was appointed agent for the signing of the tickets. "The subscribers," say the commissioners, "have taken the Oath and given the Bonds required by Law, for the faithful discharge of their trust, and they flatter themselves that an object of such extensive importance will not fail to attract the attention and patronage of many, who are not allured by the advantageous prospects held out in the Scheme."
The waterway to the Ohio was compelled to remain in its unimproved condition, despite the pleasant expectations of the worthy gentlemen having the lottery in charge. The public did not purchase tickets as readily as had been expected, and in all probability not more than one-fourth of those offered for sale were taken. The day
of drawing was postponed from time to time, and finally declared off altogether; the money returned to those who had paid it in, and the "scheme" abandoned.
Two personal views we have of Cleveland in this year 1807, one of them quite brief. The Rev. Dr. S. A. Bronson, of Mansfield, told the early settlers on the Cuyahoga, some years ago, a little story97 of emigration to the west. "At length," said he, "we reached the Cuyahoga. This was then the western boundary of civilization. No team; no white woman but Canadian French, had as yet crossed this river. Our destination was Columbia. The township had been surveyed the previous summer, and some logs had been rolled up, but your speaker was the first baby, his mother the first American woman, and ours the first team, that crossed the Cuyahoga at Cleveland." The other view is furnished by Thomas D. Webb, of Warren, who said: "I first saw Cleveland in October, 1807. I put up for a day or two with Major Amos Spafford, who kept a tavern. Governor Huntington then lived in a log-house, standing a little south of Superior street, not far from the site of the American House. He had a frame barn, in size thirty feet by forty, near by. All the families on the city or ten-acre lots, or the lands adjoining, at that time, that I recollect, and I think that I recollect all, were, Amos Spafford, ------- Gilbert, Nathan Perry, Lorenzo Carter, Samuel Huntington, John Walworth, and an Irish family I have forgotten. Samuel Dodge had lived on a ten-acre lit, but had at that time taken up his residence at Euclid; other families had resided there also, but at the time I arrived, had removed. There were the remains of some two or three buildings along the bank of the river, one of which I was told had been occupied as a store by a Scotchman, by the name of Alex. Campbell."
The little village had been without a blacksmith since Nathaniel Doan had moved out to the east, and the want was supplied in the person of Abram Hickox, whose
Arrival is set down as in 1808,98 and who soon became a local celebrity in his way. He located on the north side of Superior street, where the Johnson House was afterwards erected; is d=said to have had a shop at one time south of Superior, near Seneca street; and afterwards built a small smithy at the corner of Euclid avenue and Hickox street, which was named in his honor.
Over his door for years was the terse notification: "Uncle Abram works here," and beneath it—for good luck, perhaps—the print of a horseshoe burned into the wood. "Uncle Abram," writes one99 who knew him well, "was as honest as the day is long, and a patriot tried and true. He it was who on each Fourth of July, at early dawn, would arouse the sleeping inhabitants with the loud and booming report of his anvil which was then the only battery of artillery of which Cleveland could boast. And all day long he would keep up the fire along the line. The old man on one occasion met with quite a mishap, caused by the blowing-up of his powder magazine, which burned him quite severely; but, nothing daunted, he obtained a fresh supply, and continued his fusillade. Although is has been many long years since ‘Uncle Abram’ was laid to rest, me-thinks I see him still as he used to appear in his home-spun gray suit, wide-rimmed wool hat, steel-bowed specs, and stout hickory staff. He died in 1845, at a very advanced age, and his remains now repose in Erie Street Cemetery, by the side of his wife, who died several years previous." This well-remembered old man was not only the village blacksmith, but its sexton as well, and for year super-
vised all arrangements for the burial of the dead.
A tragedy, that stirred the little community to unwonted sadness, occurred in April, 1808, when a boat-load of people was wrecked between Rocky River and Black River, and a number of lives lost. There have been several accounts thereof placed upon record, and probably the most correct, as it is certainly the most circumstantial, was written by Q. F. Atkins, an eye-witness to much of that which he relates.101 Briefly stated, the story runs as follows: The people of Cleveland and Newburg had learned that there was an abundance of "yellow catfish" in the deep waters of Black River, and fitted out a Schenectady boat or bateau, for a fishing expedition. Captain Joseph Plumb was placed in command, and in the party were Stephen Gilbert, Adolphus Spafford, a son of the Major, William Gilmore, a young man named White, two sons of Mr. Plumb, and a woman named Mary Billinger, who had been a domestic in the family of Nathan Perry, Sr., and was going to Black River, where the younger Nathan was then established.
"All hands went on board at Cleveland," to quote direct from the narrative, "and rowed the first afternoon, as far as Rocky River, where they stopped for the night. While there, in overhauling their fishing tackle, they found that a portion of the rope belonging to their seine, and something else belonging to it, had been left at Cleveland. Young White and the two sons of Captain Plumb were sent back to Cleveland for the missing articles, confidently expecting to get back in time to get on the boat before it left Rocky River. For this purpose they made the utmost expedition, not sparing themselves at all, lest a long walk from one river to the other, with nothing by an Indian trail along the lake shore for their guide, should pay for their remissness."
Upon their return to Rocky River they discovered that
the boat was gone. They decided to push ahead, and when near Dover Point discovered an empty cask, an oar, and some other articles afloat in the water. A little further on, they came "to an inward curve of the high, rocky bank, where they beheld the wreck of the boat, driven in upon a small strip of rock and sand beach, with a frowning rock overhanging it, some sixty or seventy feet high, and no living person save Captain Plumb, to tell how the disaster came upon them.; All his associates, four in number, were drowned."
Young White and Captain Plumb’s oldest son hastened on to Black River for help. The younger son, with a courage beyond his years, climbed a sapling upon the bank, bent it over the cliff by his weight, and when it was as low as it could go, dropped safely down upon the sand beside his exhausted father. When the expected help arrived, at night, the two were, with no little difficulty, drawn to the bank in safety. The story of the wreck was soon told—a sudden squall had upset the boat, about a half mile from the shore, and Captain Plumb was the only one permitted to reach a place of safety. The bodies of the four were afterwards discovered, where the waves had cast them upon the beach.
It was in 1808 that Major Carter inaugurated the ship building industry of Cleveland, by constructing the "Zephyr, of thirty tons burthen." Designed for the lake trade. This was followed in 1809 by the launching of the "Sally," a schooner of five or six tons, constructed by Joel Thorp; and the "Dove," of about the same size, built by Alex. Simpson; while in 1810, Murray & Bixby built the "Ohio," of sixty tons. Other lake vessels noted in connection with the early lake marine were the "Cuyahoga Packet," built at the mouth of the Chagrin River, and "Washington," the "Harlequin," the "Good Intent," the "Tracy," the "Wilkinson," the "Contractor," the "Adams," and also several of Canadian construction.
The year 1809 was in some respects an important one
to Cleveland, not because of any great event which occurred, but in an incident here and there showing that it was gradually losing its pioneer newness, and approaching the ways of modern villagehood. Thus we see Collector Walworth forwarding his formal report from the port of Cuyahoga to the Treasury Department, and although the entire value of goods exported to Canada reached but fifty dollars from April to October, there was enough to show that a beginning had been made. A framed building, to be used as an office by the collector=postmaster, was erected on Superior street, and was regarded as a novelty with metropolitan suggestions.
The projection of a road to the westward from the Cuyahoga, was yet another event pointing in the same direction. The State Legislature granted an appropriation for the opening of such road from Cleveland to the mouth of the Huron River. The work was committed to the hands of Lorenzo Carter and Nathaniel Doan, of Cleveland, and Ebenezer Murray, of Mentor. The ridge near the bank of the lake was naturally selected, and the highway thus laid out was known as the Cleveland and Huron, and afterwards as the Milan State road; which was later changed to the Detroit road, and then to Detroit street.
A mail route was laid out between Cleveland and Detroit. "The mail was carried," says John D. Taylor,102 "in a leather satchel by a man on foot; I remember him and his name--Edward McCartney—as my father had bought land and lived on the lake shore in Dover, where he kept a hotel during the war of 1812, and where the mail-carrier was accustomed to stop. After the commencement of the war, the United States mail was carried on horseback till about 1820, when stage coaches carried it until superseded by railroad coaches. In 1809, the whole contents of the mail between Cleveland and Detroit weighed from five to seven pounds, going at the rate of about thirty miles a day." At about the same time
Joseph Burke, of Euclid, held the mail-carrying contract to the eastward, the route running from Cleveland to Hudson, Ravenna, Deerfield, Warren, Mesopotamia, Windsor, Jefferson, Austinburg, Harpersfield, Painesville, and thence back to Cleveland. The two sons of the contractor alternated with each other in covering the route, going on horseback in summer when the roads permitted, and on foot the rest of the time.
In this connection we may be permitted to glance ahead at the experiences of another mail agent, Asael Adams, of Warren (whose school in early Cleveland has been already referred to, who carried the mail on horseback during the war of 1812 and 1813, two years, from Cleveland to Pittsburg. He left Pittsburg every Friday at 6:00 a. m.’ arrived at Greersburg by 5:00 p. m.; left at 5:30 p m.; arrived at Canfield on Saturday by 6:00 p. m.; left at 7:00 p. m.; and arrived at Cleveland on Monday by 10:00 a. m. Then returning, he left Cleveland every Monday at 2:00 p. m.; arrived at Canfield on Wednesday by 6:00 a. m.; left at 7:00 a. m.; arrived at Greersburg the same day by 6:00 p. m.; left at 7:00 p. m.; arrived at Pittsburg on Thursday by 6:00 p. m.
The only post-offices between Pittsburg and Cleveland, at that time, and at which he stopped, were as follows: Beavertown, New Lisbon, Canfield, Deerfield, Hartland, Ravenna, Hudson and Gallatin; thence by Aurora, Mantua, Palmyra, Canfield, New Lisbon, Greersburg and Beavertown to Pittsburg, once a week. He received as salary $186103 per quarter of a year during the continuance
of his contract, to be paid in drafts on postmasters on the route, as above mentioned, or named at the option of the Postmaster-General, Gideon Granger. He was also authorized as contractor to carry newspapers, other than those conveyed in the mail, for his own emolument. Often while riding one horse, he would lead another, loaded with articles for the pioneers from Pittsburg. Dense woods skirted both sides of the bad roads almost the whole of the way from Pittsburg to Cleveland. Wolves, bears and other wild animals roamed through these great forests, and often in the dark nights made the lonesome journey of the belated mail-carrier exceedingly unpleasant. There were no bridges over the rivers and streams, which were often very high. He would fasten the mail bag about his shoulders and swim his horse over the swollen rivers, often wet to the skin, and not a house within several miles distance.
In the matter of population, Cleveland (in 1809) lost one of its older residents, and gained several others who were in every sense desirable additions. Amos Spafford was elected a member of the lower house of the State Legislature, as a representative from Geauga County, to which Cleveland yet belonged. He soon received the appointment of collector of the new port of entry established on the Maumee River, and in the spring of the year following removed to Perrysburg.104
One of the additions referred to, came in the person of Stanley Griswold, who remained about long enough to be called an Ohio man, and made eligible to office, and then passed on to higher duties. A citizen of Connecticut, he had been appointed, in 1805, secretary for the Territory of Michigan, under Governor Hull, and collector of the port of Detroit. Because of political complications, he resigned, and removing to
Cleveland, took up his residence at Doan’s ‘Corners. He was soon drafted into the public service, and the township records for 1809 show his name as clerk, in place of Nathaniel Doan, who had served for some years. A vacancy from Ohio occurring in the United States Senate, Governor Huntington appointed Mr. Griswold to fill out the term, and he soon left for Washington.
It was while en route to the National Capital that Senator Griswold, in correspondence with a friend,105 wrote a letter that suggests some faith in the future of Cleveland, with a thorough understanding of its drawbacks in the present. It is in response to an inquiry as to the chances for a physician in the infant settlement. "I have consulted," he says, "the principal characters, particularly Judge Walworth, who concurs with me, that Cleveland would be an excellent place for a young physician, and cannot long remain unoccupied. This is based more on what the place is expected to be, that what it is. Even now a physician of eminence would command great practice, from being called to ride over a large country, say fifty miles each way. There is now none of eminent or ordinary character in that extent. But settlements are scattered, and roads new and bad, which would make it a painful practice. Within a few weeks Cleveland has been fixed upon by a committee of the Legislature as the seat of justice for Cuyahoga County. Several respectable characters will remove to that town. The country around bids fair to increase
rapidly in population. A young physician of the qualifications described by you will be certain to succeed, but for a short time, if without means, must keep school, for which there is a good chance in winter, till a piece of ground, bring on a few goods (for which it is a good stand), or do something else in connection with his practice."
Another important arrival this year was that of Levi Johnson, a native of Herkimer County, N. Y., who was about twenty-four years of age when he cast in his fortunes with those of Cleveland. His usefulness and skill as a builder were seen all about the city, in both public and private edifices. He constructed for himself a log-cabin on the Euclid road near the Public Square; built the old log court-house and jail combined, on the northwest quarter of the Square; and also the gallows on which the Indian, O’Mic, was hung. In an account of his life, recently published by the association of early settlers, we find this brief tribute to his public usefulness: He built the first frame house in Cleveland, for Judge John Walworth, where the American House now stands. In 1811, he built the Buckeye House for the father of the now venerable Rodolphus Edwards, on Woodland Hills avenue, and soon afterwards several other houses and barns in Newburg township. In 1813 or 1814, he built the schooner "Ladies’ Master," near his residence, which was hauled to the foot of Superior street by ox-teams of the country people, where she was launched. In 1817, he built the schooner "Neptune," on the river, near the foot of Eagle street, which was altogether in the woods. In 1824, he built the first steamboat constructed in
Cleveland, the "Enterprise," just below the foot of St. Clair street. He sailed on the lake till 1830, and then built the old stone lighthouse where the present one now stands, and then the lighthouse at Cedar Point, and set the buoys marking the channel to and in Sandusky Bay; and later he built seventeen hundred feet of the east government pier in this city Cleveland contains may other substantial evidences of his enterprise and good judgment. He died in 1871.
One of the most noted additions in the line of citizenship that early Cleveland ever received was when Alfred Kelley appeared upon the scene in 1810. His mark upon the fortunes of Cleveland, and the financial legislation of Ohio, was broad and deep, and to the benefit of every measure to which he set his hand. He was born in Middletown, Conn., on November 7th, 1789, was educated in Fairfield Academy, New York, and afterward read law in Whitesborough. In the spring of 1810, when several months short of his majority, he decided to try life and fortune for himself, and set off for the far west of Ohio. The journal was made on horseback, and he and Dr. Jared P; Kirtland came in company with Joshua Stow. He reached Cleveland at an opportune time, as Cuyahoga County had just taken its position as a separate organization, and its courts had been for the first time constituted. While Samuel Huntington, who was also a lawyer, had preceded Mr. Kelley by some years, he had never entered upon practice here, so to all real intent, Mr. Kelley was Cleveland’s first lawyer of note. He was certainly the first to put up his sign in Cuyahoga County.
In the November term of court, Peter Hitchcock moved
that Mr. Kelley be admitted to practice, and his name was soon upon the roll. It certainly was an occasion of interest to the young man, as it was the twenty-first anniversary of his birth, saw him become a member of a bar, to which he afterwards should lend such honor and luster, and also gave him his first office, as he was immediately made public prosecutor. He held this office until 1821, when he voluntarily relinquished it; was the first president of the incorporated village of Cleveland; represented Cuyahoga County in the General Assembly, and remained in that position almost continuously from 1814 to 1822, when he became one of Ohio’s canal commissioners, and entered upon the greatest labor of his life. In 1830, Mr. Kelley removed to Columbus; served again in the Legislature, and as State Fund Commissioner saved the Sate—almost entirely through his own practical ability and personal influence—from the stain of repudiation. His useful life was ended on December 2nd, 1859. We shall see him again and again in the course of this narrative in connection with the great canal and railroad interests that did so much for Cleveland.
There was a noted addition to the population of Cleveland in the medical line in 1810, almost equal in importance to that of the law above mentioned. The suggestions of Senator Griswold that there was an opening for an able young physician, and that he would have enough of hard work, was made good in the case of Dr. David Long, who reached here in June of the year above named. He was a native of Washington County, N. Y., and had graduated in medicine in New York City. He was Cleveland’s first resident physician, and when he arrive there were no physicians nearer than Painesville, Hudson, Wooster and Monroe. His practice was extensive, and many illustrative and entertaining incidents in connection therewith might be related: "Dr. Long was a public-spirited man," says his chief biographer,106 "and interested in whatever
Concerned the welfare of the community. He was a successful candidate for the office of county commissioner at a time when the location of the court-house greatly excited the interest of the county. One commissioner favored Newburg and another Cleveland, and the election of Dr. Long determined its location in Cleveland. He was engaged in various business enterprises, but a contract for building as section of the canal proved to be an unfortunate business venture, though it was of great importance to the commercial interests of Cleveland. In 1836, Dr. Long removed from Superior street to a farm on what is now Woodland avenue, but was then called Kinsman street. Here he built first the stone house occupied by the late Erastus Gaylord, and afterward the house still standing on the corner of Woodland and Longwood avenues, in which house he lived till the time of his death, September 1, 1851, at the age of sixty-four years."
The store of Elias and Harvey Murray became one of the local mercantile features of this year (1810); Major Carter built a warehouse on Union lane either in this year of the one preceding, showing that business was growing down in that section of the village; and Elias Cozad built out at Doan’s Corners the first tannery operated in Cleveland, and this was followed by a like structure erected by Samuel and Matthew Williamson, either toward the end of this year or the opening of 1811.
The record of 1810 can be ended well by a summary of the steps by which, in this year, Cuyahoga County became a distinct organization upon its own merits. It will be remembered that such part of the present county as lies east of the river was, in 1788, made a part of Washington County, with the county-seat away down upon the Ohio, at Marietta. Such portion of the county as lies west of the river, was embraced in the county of Wayne, created in 1796, with the seat at Detroit. In July, 1797, the portion of the Reserve east of the river became a part of Jefferson County, with the county-seat
at Steubenville. When Trumbull County was organized, in 1800, it embraced all of the Western Reserve, including the Fire Lands, and the group of Lake Erie islands off Sandusky. In 1806, the county of Geauga was set off from Trumbull, and included the main portion of the present Cuyahoga. Huron County had a legal existence in 1809. By an act of the legislature of February 10th, 1807, Portage, Ashtabula and Cuyahoga were created, and under this act the last named was declared to "embrace so much of the county of Geauga as lay west of the ninth range of townships." The boundaries were fixed as follows: "On the east side of Cuyahoga River, all north of town five, and west of range nine; on the west side of the river, all north of town four, and east of range fifteen; a space between ranges fourteen and twenty on the west; and the County of Huron, being attached to Geauga for judicial purposes."
There was an alteration in the line between Cuyahoga and Huron Counties in 1811, and when Medina County was created in 1812, another change in the western boundary of Cuyahoga was made. When Lorain was organized in 1824, there was still another small disturbance along the same line. The township of Willoughby, on the east, was lost in 1840, when Lake County was created; and in 1841 a portion of Orange township was annexed to Geauga, and a strip of Russell, in Geauga, was transferred to Cuyahoga; but in 1843 the tract taken from Orange was restored.