of Governor St. Clair, the Territorial Judges, and principal men of Ohio. He returned to Norwich, Conn., in the fall, having concluded to become a citizen of New Connecticut.
The ridge, of which so many of the first corners speak, is a natural terrace or bluff, the edge of the upland country, fronting towards and parallel with the lake, from which side it has the appearance of an elevated range. It extends easterly from Newburg to and beyond Painesville, the crest rising from one hundred and sixty to two hundred feet above lake level, broken only by steep and deep gullies where the streams pass through it.
"Timothy Doan arrived at Cleveland in the spring, and in the fall removed to Euclid. He died in the fall of 1828, at the age of seventy. Samuel Hamilton and family settled at Newburg. About five years after he was drowned in Buffalo creek, on his return from a visit to the east. At Cleveland the people were unusually healthy. This year became notorious, on account of a Fourth of July celebration and ball. It was held in one end of Major Carter's double log house, on the hill near the corner of Union and Superior lanes. John Wood, Ben Wood and R.H. Blinn were managers. Major Samuel Jones was chief musician and master of ceremonies.
About a dozen ladies and twenty gentlemen constituted the company. Notwithstanding the floors were of rough puncheons, and their best beverages was made of maple sugar, hot water and whisky, probably no celebration of American independence in this city was ever more joyous than this.
Elisha Norton opened a store in Carter's house, under the hill, and David Bryant built a log distillery, on the ground afterwards occupied by Matthew Williamson as a tannery. [The distillery stood where M.B. Scott's warehouse is now.]
Previous to this year, the people had no laws but those of God and their own consciences, yet they lived in great harmony. A bond of union existed in their common pleasures, as well as in their misfortunes. During the days of club law, very few disputes occurred, such was the universal good feeling that prevailed. Not a single case of Lynch law occurred from 1796 to the organization of the State government, and only one of "club law." This happened between Major Carter and the Indians, and was caused by alcohol.
Both old Leatherstocking and the red men, were very good and generous friends in the absence of this demon." (Judge Barr.)
The Rev. Joseph Badger, a soldier of the Revolution, came to the Reserve in 1800, as a missionary from the Connecticut Missionary Society. He was
at Cleveland on the 18th of August, 1801, when he lodged at Lorenzo Carter's. On the 6th of September, he says: "We swam our horses across the Cuyahoga by means of a canoe, and took an Indian path up the lake; came to Rocky River, the banks of which were very high, on the west side almost perpendicular. While cutting the brush to open a way for our horses, we were saluted by the song of a large yellow rattlesnake, which we removed out of our way."
Spafford's re-survey of the streets and lanes of city took place in November. He planted fifty-four posts of oak, about one foot square, at the principal corners, which he charged fifty cents each, and fifty cents, for grubbing out a tree at the north-east corner of the Square.
Samuel Huntington, who was an attorney, removed with his family to Youngstown early in the summer of 1801. He soon determined to establish himself at Cleveland, and contracted with Amos Spafford to superintend the erection of a well built block house, of considerable pretensions near the bluff south of Superior street, in rear of the site of the American House. Huntington was then about thirty-five years of age. He was the protege and adopted heir of his uncle and name-sake, Governor Samuel Huntington, of Connecticut. His education was very complete for those times. It would appear from his correspondence with Frenchmen,
his knowledge of the French language, and the polish of his manners. that he had spent some time in France. His family consisted of his wife, Miss Margaret Cobb, a companion and governess; and two sons, Julius C. and Colbert, who still survive. Huntington belonged to the more moderate republicans, and does not appear to have lost the confidence of the Federalists. Governor St. Clair soon appointed him Lieutenant Colonel of the Trumbull county regiment, and in January, 1802, one of the Justices of the Quorum. The only time when the Governor is known to have visited the Reserve, was at the trial of McMahon, at Youngstown, charged with the murder of an Indian named Spotted George, at the Salt Springs. Mr. Huntington acted as counsel in the case, but on which side, I am not informed.
The extreme Jeffersonian Republicans, like John S. Edwards and Judge Tod, looked favorably upon Huntington, who was ambitious and popular; and who entered at once upon the career of a public man. He took by common consent, priority on the bench of Quarter Sessions. In November, 1802, he was elected a delegate to the convention to form a State constitution, which appears to have been well received by St. Clair. After its adoption, he was elected Senator from Trumbull county, and on the meeting of the first Legislature at Chillicothe, was made Speaker. On the 2d of April, 1803, he was
appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court, his commission, which was signed by Governor Tiffin, being the first issued under the authority of the State of Ohio. A character so prominent and successful, no doubt, had a favorable influence upon the place of his residence, which, in 1801, was nearly depopulated. In person he was small, but exceedingly active. His manners were affable, though somewhat after the French style, in business his habits were correct and efficient.
Carter built a frame house on the hill west of Water street and north of Superior Lane, which was burned almost as soon as finished. Amos Spafford put up the second frame house, near the west end of Superior street, on the south side. In the latter part of July Mr. Badger again took Cleveland in his circuit. He does not give a very favorable report of the morals of the place.
"Mr. Burke's family in Euclid, had been in this lone situation over three years. The woman had been obliged to spin and weave cattle's hair, to make covering for her children's bed. From thence I went to Cleveland, visited the only two families, and went on to Newburg, where I preached on the Sabbath. There were five families here, but no apparent piety. They seemed to glory in their infidelity. On the way
from Cleveland here, I fell in company with a man from Hudson, who wanted to know if I was going to form a church there. I replied, if I found suitable characters I should. 'Well.' said he, 'if you admit old Deacon Thompson, (and some others,) it shall not stand, I will break it down and have an Episcopal church.'"
In 1802 the Territorial Legislature had so far prevailed over the old system, that citizens of the townships were allowed to elect trustees, appraisers, supervisors of highways, fence viewers, overseers of the poor, and constables, viva voce. They had not yet attained to the election of justices of the peace and militia officers. At the February term of the Quarter Sessions, it was ordered that the house of James Kingsbury be the place for holding the first town meeting in Cleveland. Here is the result of the first election held in "Cleveland, Trumbull county, Ohio."
"Agreeably to order of the Court of Genera Quarter Sessions, the inhabitants of the town of Cleaveland met at the house of James Kingsbury, Esq., the 5th day of April, AD 1802, for a town meeting, and chose
Chairman, Town Clerk,
Rodolphus Edwards. Nathaniel Doan.
Amos Spafford, Esq., Timothy Doan, Wm. W. Williams.
Appraisers of Houses,
Samuel Hamilton, Elijah Gun.
Supervisors of Highways,
Sam'l Huntington, Esq., Nath'l Doan, Sam'l Hamilton.
Overseers of the Poor,
William W. Williams, Samuel Huntington, Esq.
Lorenzo Carter, Nathan Chapman.
Ezekiel Hawley, Richard Craw.
A true copy of the proceedings of the inhabitants of Cleaveland at their town meeting, examined per me,
Nathaniel Doan, Town Clerk."
According to a widely circulated tradition, Mr. Huntington, about this time, came near being devoured by wolves, not far from the Euclid street station. He was coming in from Painesville, on horseback, alone, and after dark, floundering through a swamp, which occupied what is now the corner of Willson avenue and Euclid street. A gang of hungry wolves had taken up their nights lodging in this swamp, who made a combined attack upon the judge and his horse. His only defensive weapon was an umbrella, with which he charged them right and left. The horse, in a terrible fright, performed his part nobly, by a rapid movement along the trail towards town, outstripping the ferocious animals, and brought up, with his rider, at the door of the double log house south of Superior street.
At the August term of the Quarter Sessions, Lorenzo Carter and Amos Spafford were each licensed to keep a tavern at Cleveland on paying four dollars. George Tod, (afterwards of Judge Tod) of Youngstown, was appointed appraiser of taxable property.
The sale of the six reserved townships, and of the city lots in Cleveland, did not come up to the expectations of the Company. City lots had receded from fifty dollars cash in hand, to twenty-five dollars on time. The treasury of the associations, instead of being filled by the proceeds of sales, had to be replenished by the disagreeable process of assessments. By individual exertion, the private owners under the previous drafts, had disposed of limited amounts of lands, on terms which did not create very brilliant expectations of the speculation. In truth, the most fortunate of the adventures realized a very meagre profit, and more of them were losers than gainers.
Those who were able to make their payments and keep the property for their children, made a fair and safe investment. It was not until the next generation came to maturity, that lands on the Reserve began to command good prices. Taxes, trouble and interest, had been long accumulating. Such of the proprietors as became settlers, secured an excellent home at a cheap rate, and left as a legacy to their heirs, a cheerful future.
At this time, however, it was considered better
for the property to be wholly in private hands, and on the 28th of December, 1802, another draft was made of the six townships, which had been divided into ninety parcels. This included all of the lands east of the Cuyahoga, except a few city lots in Cleveland. Some had been sold, but most of them were assorted to the stockholders as part of the draft.
The names of the original owners are here given.
ORIGINAL OWNERS OF LOTS IN CLEVELAND
BY DRAFT, OR FIRST PURCHASE.
NUMBER OF CITY LOTS, 220
"A healthy year, marked by increased emigration and the organization of the state of Ohio. The first indictment found on the Reserve was against Mr. Carter, the pioneer, for an assault upon James Hamilton, of Newburg. A second frame house was erected by Major Spafford on the brow of the hill, between Superior and Vineyard Lanes, at the end of Superior street. Postmaster Daniel Worley once occupied the same building as a residence."-(Barr.)
Election of 1803-Statement of Warren Young, Esq.,
of Warren, March 27th, 1848.
"I am unable to find he canvass sheet of this year. The year election was held in Cleveland, Oct. 11th, and there were twenty-two votes given. For two representatives, David Abbott had twenty-two votes; Ephram Quinby, nineteen; Amos Spafford, one; and David Hudson, one. Timothy Doan, Nathaniel Doan and James Kingsbury, Judges of
election. Rodolphus Edwards and Stephen Gilbert, Clerks. Sworn in by Timothy Doan, Justice of the Peace.
Bryant's log distillery, of course, attracted the attention of such Senecas, Hurons, Chippeways, and Delawares, as had a weakness for fire-water. Alexander Campbell, who was doubtless a Scotchman, saw that here was a good place to traffic with the stoic of the woods. He built a rude store a little further up the hill, near the spring, but more towards the junction of Union and Mandrake Lanes. St. Clair street was an improvement of much later times. The same spring, afterwards, supplied the tannery of Samuel and Matthew Williamson's establishment, on lot 202, the vats of which were directly across River street.
In this cluster of log shanties, the principal traffic of Cleveland was transacted. Here the red man became supremely happy over a very small quantity of raw whisky, for which he paid the proceeds of many a hunt. If anything remained of his stock of skins after paying for his whisky, the beads, ribbons, and trinkets, of Mr. Campbell's store absorbed the entire stock. Here the squaws bartered and coquetted with the trader, who in their eyes was the most important personage in the country. Here the wild hunter, in his dirty blanket, made the woods ring with his savage howls, when exhilarated with drink. He shone forth a moment in his native barbarity, ferocious alike against friend or foe.
THE MURDER OF MENOMPSY.
The first murder committed within the limits of this city, occurred at the cabins under the hill. The parties were Indians. There are three persons now living who were in Cleveland at the time, and saw the combatants. They are Allen Gaylord and Alonzo Carter, of Newburg, and Julius C. Huntington, of Painesville. As to the precise time when it was committed, they do not agree, but place it in 1802 or 1803.
Nobsy, Menobsy, or Menompsy, was a medicine man, either a Chippewa or an Ottawa. Among Indians, a medicine man is a conjuror, priest, prophet and warrior, as well as a doctor. Menompsy had prescribed officially for the wife of Big Son, who was of the tribe of the Senecas, and she had died.
Big Son was brother to Seneca, a noted Indian and friend to the whites, sometimes called Stigonish or Stigwanish.
At the time of the murder, David Bryant had in operation his still for making whisky, under the hill.
Alexander Campbell, was also at his trading house; that must have stood in River street.
In the dusk of the evening, Big Son and Menompsy, somewhat elevated by the fire-water of Bryant's still, had an altercation respecting the case of mal-practice, by which Big Son claimed that his wife had been killed. Retaliation is the Indian law of justice.
He had threatened to kill the Indian doctor, but Menompsy claimed that he was a charmed man and no bullet could hurt him. "Me no fraid," said Menompsy, as they walked out of the store and took the trail that wound up the bluff, along Union lane.
The Senecas were encamped on the east side of the river below Carter's, and the Chippewas and Ottawas on the west side, partly up the hill.
As they went along the path, Big Son put out his hand as though he intended a friendly shake, after the manner of white men. At the same time he drew his knife and stabbed Menompsy in the side. The blood spirited from his body, which Carter tried to stop with his hand, as the Indian fell. "Nobsy broke now, yes, Nobsy broke," were his last words. In a few minutes he was dead. The Chippewas took up the corpse and carried it to their camp on the west side.
Major Carter knew full well what would happen, unless the friends of Menompsy were appeased. During the night the valley of the Cuyahoga echoed with their savage voices, infuriated by liquor and revenge.
The Chippewas and Ottawas were more numerous than the Senecas. In the morning the warriors of the first named nation, were seen with their faces painted black, a certain symbol of war. Governor Huntington resided here at that time, and Amos
Spafford, who, with Major Carter, constituted the principal men of the place. The murder of Menompsy was compromised for a gallon of whisky, which Bryant was to make that day, being the next after the killing. One of the stipulations was that the body should be taken to Rocky river before it was "covered," or mourned for, with the help of the whisky. Bryant was busy and did not make the promised gallon of spirits. The Chippewas waited all day, and went over the river decidedly out of humor. They were followed and promised two gallons on the coming day, which reduced their camp halloo, to the tone of a mere sullen murmur. But Carter and his party well knew, that in this surpressed anger, there was as much vengeance as in the howlings of the previous night. They fulfilled their promise, and upon receiving two gallons, the Chippewas and Ottawas took up the corpse, according to agreement, went to Rocky river and held their pow wow there. Carter did not sleep for two nights, and a few of the residents enjoyed their beds very much, until the funeral procession was out of sight.
Such is the substance of the statements of Captain Gaylord, Mr. Carter, and Mr. Huntington, all of whom remember the event.
Big Son was a half brother of Stigonish, Stigwanish or Seneca, and previous to the murder had been regarded as a coward. Seneca refused to
acknowledge him on this ground, until his heroism had been demonstrated in this way. By the Indian code of honor, a successful trick against an enemy, takes rank with high personal bravery.
STATEMENT OF ALONZO CARTER.
Newburg, June 14, 1858.
My father came here on 2d of May, 1797. He was from Rutland, Vermont, but stayed the winter previous in Canada. I was seven years old then. going on eight. We built a log cabin under the hill, five or six rods from the river, and about twenty rods north of St. Clair street. There was an old trading house on the west side of the river, which stood nor far from the corner of Main and Center streets.
It was a double log house, quite old and rotten, which the traders used only during the trading season. James Kingsbury and his family came here two or three weeks after we did, and stayed a while in that house.
In July, 1797, our hired girl was married to a Mr. Clement, from Canada. They were married by Mr. Seth Hart, who was a minister, and the agent of the company.
I remember seeing the cabin where the crew of the British vessel wintered, after it was wrecked. It was about two miles down the river, on the bank
of the lake. The vessel had two brass guns on board, which were buried on the shore. My father used to go to the wreck, and get bolts, spikes and other pieces of iron. Some of this iron is in the gate at my house now.
In the year 1798 my father brought on some goods to trade with the Indians. I remember when Menompsy, the Chippewa medicine man was killed ; it was towards evening. Menompsy had doctored Big Son's wife, who said he had killed her with his medicine. They were in Campbell's store, under the hill, which stood between the surveyor's cabin and store house. Big Son threatened to kill the doctor in the store, but Menompsy said, "me no 'fraid." They went out and walked along the road up Union Lane. It was getting pretty dark. Big Son pretended to make friends, and put out one hand, as though he would shake hands. With the other he drew his knife and stabbed Menompsy who fell down and died. The Chippewas were encamped on the west side of the river, and the Senecas and Ottawas on the east side. Every body expected there would be an Indian fight. The west side Indians painted themselves black, and threatened the Senecas very severely. My father did not sleep for two days and nights.
My father built a new frame house in 1803, near the junction of Superior lane and Union lane. Just as it was finished the shavings took fire, and it was burnt.
He then built a block house on the same spot in the same year.
I knew Amos Spafford ten years; he was a surveyor and came here to live in 1799. He and my father set the big posts at the corners of the streets in 1801, 1802. I and my brother were boys with his boys, and in 1799 we went about the streets a good deal, and sawed the corner stakes. Spafford took up the stakes, and put down the posts which he cut in the woods near by. The stakes had been there three or four years. Superior lane was a sharp ridge where we could not get up or down. Traveled up and down to the river, on Union lane. In 1800, or 1801, a vessel landed one hundred barrels of salt on the beach, which was carried off on horses, or carried up the beach. My father built his warehouse there in 1809 and '10. General Tupper, an army contractor, used it in 1812 to store provisions, and also Murray's warehouse. In 1813 they moved everything two miles up the river, to Walworth's Point, to keep the stores from the British.
My father's warehouse was washed down in 1816 or '17. The remains were there in 1823 and '24. It was a double log house, and was undermined by the lake.
Persons were buried in the old burying ground in 1797. A Mr. Eldridge was drowned at Grand river, and his body was brought here. We got some boards and made a strong box for a coffin.
We put him in, and strung it on a pole with cords, to carry him up to the burying ground. Built a fence around the grave.
The water rose in 1813-overflowed all the low ground. Bank begun to slide in 1818. Ontario street was cut out at the time of the war.
The Connecticut Land Company built two buildings between Superior and Union lanes.
The general landing was near foot of Superior lane. Vessels could seldom get into the river. They anchored off and had lighters. When they came in they landed at the foot of Superior lane.
My father died in 1814. They began to work Superior lane very early-soon after I came here.
The Indians had been camping on the beach at the Point, and left a cat there which my mother wanted. It was in 1798, I went with her to catch the cat, who ran under the logs back of the beach, and as I jumped over after her I went plump into the water on this side where the swamp was.
In 1806, the channel was three rods wide, and ten inches deep. My brother went in there to bathe, and got on the bar. I was across the river in the field topping corn. I saw his hands out of the water and ran there as fast as I could. He was never seen any more. The river has never been so far east as it was then.
In 1803 and '04, the hill road was traveled to Painesville. It crossed the Cuyahoga at the foot of
For further reading: Encyclopedia of Cleveland History