SURVEY OR THE PARALLELS, AND SOME OF THE TOWNSHIPS.
From Holley's Journal, 1796.
Conneaut, Saturday Morning, Aug. 13th.-Pease's, Spafford's and my own company, left and went to my line, and down it, to our several places, to start lines for the Cuyahoga. Pease, Spafford and myself stayed a little longer at Conneaut, and not meeting soon enough, we were obliged to go without dinner. Before night, they came up with us, and we encamped that night and the next together. Early in the morning of the 15th, which was Monday, I left my forty-five mile post, for the Pennsylvania line.
Ran east to the Pennsylvania line with Parker, Shepard, Hamilton, Hacket, Forbes, and Davenport, Pennsylvania line, at five miles, nineteen chains, fifty links; four chains eighty-eight links north of the twenty-third mile post (from the lake).
Tuesday,-Aug. 16th.-Ran west from forty-fifth mile post, first meridian.
Aug. 23d. -Forty-sixth mile at forty chains, eighty links, a river, supposed to be the Cuyahoga, sun two hours high, Parker and myself set off down the river, to find some marks where Parker had been along; went three miles in the rain; no marks were to be found; I supposed they had not been up the river, but from every circumstance thought it must be the Cuyahoga, and determined to begin the traverse in the morning.
Wednesday, Aug. 24.-Began the traverse of the Cuyahoga, as we supposed. We had completed about five miles, when we were overtaken by Hall and Munson, who had been in search of us, supposing we might mistake the river, who told us that it was not the Cuyahoga, but the Chagrin, and that friend Porter was in the mouth of it, waiting to supply us with provisions.
As soon as I heard this I left the traverse, and traveled about three-quarters of a mile, when we came to the lake, a little east of Porter's encampment. We met with glad hearts. The same night a fair wind sprung up, and Porter, with his party, left us for Cuyahoga, to supply Pease with provisions.
Thursday, Aug. 25th.-Left the mouth of Chagrin river. At twelve o' clock, traveled up to where I hit the river first, then followed my line back to the fortieth mile stake.
Aug. 26th.-Ran north on a magnetic course for the lake.
Aug. 27th.-Seven miles, sixty-two chains, fifty links, came to the lake. Returned to the five mile post.
Sunday, Aug. 28th.-Started a line (east) from a five mile post, between ranges eight and nine, and fifty miles from the south line, variation one degree, fifty-six minutes east.
Aug. 30th.-Thirteenth mile. No musquitoes or gnats to plague us.
Monday, Sept. 5th, 1796-Pennsylvania line at thirty-nine miles sixty chains and eighty-nine links. From thence traveled to Conneaut, and arrived sun abut two hours high. We found that Monsieur Tinker had not returned with the boat from "Gerundicut." and Mr. Stow had taken all provisions and stores of every kind, except some few articles of little consequence, packed them up and carried them to the beach to go on board the boat for Cuyahoga.
He had tried in vain twice to load the boat, in consequence of which I saw him, and found he had left about seventy-five pounds pork, and other provisions in proportion. I learned from him that after more serious consideration, Mr. Porter had determined to alter his first plan of doing the surveying, which was, for me to finish the lines north of the one I had run west, which would continue to grow shorter, the other surveyors to complete the long lines to the south.
But as the season is so far advanced, they could not possibly do this and lot the towns on the Cuyahoga, that was necessary. It was concluded that Pease, Spafford, and Stoddard should run short lines till Porter could complete the traverse of the lake, west of the Cuyahoga, and I bring up my line. Then we are all to begin upon the towns that are to be settled, some upon the city lots, and others upon that for farms to be sold this fall.
Tuesday, Sept. 6th.-The wind is so favorable this morning that Mr. Stow, loaded his boat, and started for Cuyahoga. Just as he was loading Mr. Humphrey, from the New Town settlement, in the Genesee purchase came up with a boat and several men, all proceeding to Cuyahoga, and if proper encouragement was held out, were determined to become settlers. Some persons were with him from Susquehannah, west branch.
One of them who was rather unwell, stayed at Conneaut, and informed me that about two weeks before, he saw James Campbell, and that he was hearty, and in profitable business, surveying about the head waters of the west branch of Susquehannah, and on the Allgheny mountains. Also West and Schofield.
Thursday, Sept. 8th.-Left "Conneaut," to run a line to the lake, and then through to Cuyahoga.
Sept. 9th.-Traveled south to the fifty-fifth mile post and ran east to the Pennsylvania line, five miles, twenty-nine chains, and fifty links.
Sept. 10th.-Ran west from my fifty-fifth mile post.
Sept. 11th.-Thirteenth mile (from Pennsylvania line) variation one degree, thirty minutes.
Sept. 12.-Came to Warren's line, twenty chains and thirty-eight links south of his fifty-fifth mile post.
Sept. 14th.-Thirtieth mile complete, range six and seven, ran north to lake, (magnetic) two miles, fourteen chains, eighty-three links.
Sept. 16th.-Traveled on the beach towards Cuyahoga. Ate dinner at Grand River. Encamped a little east of the Chagrin river; Hamilton, the cook, was very cross and lazy-was on the point of not cooking any supper because the bark would not peal, and he knew of nothing to make bread upon, Davenport wet some in the bag.
Encamped Sept. 16. 16th, about three miles east of Cuyahoga-rained and blew very hard towards day.
Saturday, Sept. 17th.-Traveled to the mouth of the river, and after searching considerable time found our friends encamped a little way up the river. Stormy in the afternoon and evening. Variations, Porter's compass varied one degree, thirty-seven minutes, seven miles up on the fourth meridian, one degree, forty-two minutes at commencement of the
thirty-ninth mile, some meridian at the nineteenth mile. Down the Pennsylvania line Mr. Porter's compass and mine varied alike fifty-three minutes east, Spafford's ten minutes less.
Wednesday, Sept. 21st.-At twelve o'clock, M., we packed up everything, and embarked on board the boat for Conneaut, in consequence of not having provisions to stay any longer. We had not a mouthful of meat when we went away, part of a barrel, of flour, a bag of flour and two cheeses, and some chocolate, constituted our provisions, (about 30 in number). The two boats and the bark canoe carries us. We had a fair wind, and had sailed about eight miles, when we discovered Hall & Co., on the beach with the cattle.
We then went ashore, and found by them.
that Tinker had arrived at Conneaut with provisions. Esquire Warren also was there. He sent on two of his men with two horses loaded with flour. Himself and other hands waited to come with Tinker, when the wind should be favorable. This news cheered us up exceedingly, and we returned to Cuyahoga with much lighter hearts than we left it. It was dark when we came to the mouth of the river, and we discovered a fire lighted on the opposite shore.
Just as we entered, Parker fired a gun. As we passed we saluted the people, and found that they were Indians, from Grand River, who had been west, hunting. We eat a mouthful of supper, and went to bed.
Began to lot the east part of Cuyahoga town, at two and a half miles from the east line, at a corner, on the line that Stoddard ran west into said town.
Thursday, Sept. 22nd.-Left Cuyahoga, to lot the east part of the township with Shepherd and Spafford. The day before we started from Cuyahoga, we discovered a bear swimming across the river. Porter and myself jumped into a canoe, and paddled after him, while another man went with a gun up the shore. But there was such a noise and hallooing, that the bear swam back and escaped. Munson caught a rattle snake, which we broiled and ate.
Sunday, Sept. 25th.-This day have been troubled with a dysentery, on account of living upon fresh beef.
Sept. 26th.-Lots 492, 443, 450, 451. Davenport went in after provisions, and came back just as I was seated to copy my minutes, and to my great satisfaction brought me a letter from my father, and one from Myron. This I put down as circumstance affording me as much pleasure as anything that has taken place since I began surveying.
Wednesday, Sept. 28th.-I carved upon a beech tree in Cuyahoga town, "Myron Holley, Jr.," and on a birch, "Milton Holley, 1796,-Sept. 26th, 1796. Friendship."
Saturday, Oct. 1st.-I left Cuyahoga in the boat, to run out several tracts of land in No. 10 range, nine for Capt. Perry and Mr. Marvin, Mr. Hickock, Mr. Rose, and Phelps & Co. Encamped at Chagrin river. Gen. Cleaveland, Stow, and fifteen others came to us in another boat.
Sunday, Oct. 2d.-Went east to the east line of the township, run south &c. After running out the company lands, Holley took his old line at the Chagrin river and ran it west between towns nine and ten to the lake, at forty-nine thirty-seven chains five links.
Oct. 8th.-Started down the beach to mouth of Chagrin river, and found our boat and provisions. Had a fair wind about half way to the Cuyahoga, and rowed the remainder. Arrived at the river about eight o'clock in the evening; found all well.
Monday, Oct. 10th, 1, P.M.-Left Cleveland at the mouth of the Cuyahoga to finish lotting the eastern part of said township. Shepherd and Atwater, chainmen, Landon, axman, Parker, flagman, and Hanchet, cook.
Thursday. Oct. 13th.-Encamped for the night had root water.
Saturday, Oct. 15th.-Lay still in consequence of rain.
Oct. 16th.-Lots three hundred and eighty-five, three hundred and eighty-seven, three hundred and ninety-four, and three hundred and ninety-five. Came to camp in consequence of hard rain; found no fire; were all wet and cold, but after pushing about the bottle and getting a good fire and supper, we were as merry as grigs.
Monday, Oct. 17th.-Lots three hundred and ninety-one three hundred and ninety-nine. Capt. Perry took about four pounds of beef, and ate with us four days.
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE OF AMZI ATWATER
BY L. V. BIERCE, ESQ., OF AKRON.
"Died, at Mantua, Portage county, on the 22d day of June, 1851, Amzi Atwater, aged seventy-six years and one month."
Such is the brief notice that announces to the world the death of the last survivor of the first exploring expedition on the Reserve.
Judge Atwater was born at New Haven, Connecticut, on the 23d of May, 1776. His parents were poor, and unable to give him anything more than an ordinary education. Ushered into life in the early part of the Revolutionary war, and in that part of the colonies most exposed to the incursions of the enemy, his lullaby was the booming of artillery, or the rattling of musketry. On the defeat of the Americans on Long Island, in 1776, when Amzi was but three months old, his father was called out with the militia for the defense of New York,
from which he returned sick, and with a constitution broken. When old enough, young Atwater was sent to school, where he obtained a little knowledge of reading, writing and arithmetic. So straightened were his parents' circumstances, that he was hired out to work by the day, week or month, as opportunities offered, till he was a man. At the age of eighteen his father hired him out to work for an uncle, for sixty dollars a year, who transferred him over to a man by the name of Watson. "At the end of the year," says Judge Atwater in a letter now before me, "my parents gave me my time with their good advice and blessing." He then hired to Watson for seven months, at eight dollars a month, but he died before that term expired. Being out of employment young Atwater went to Westerfield, in Massachusetts, to visit his uncle Rev. Noah Atwater, who was in the habit of teaching mathematics to a class of young men. He invited young Atwater to come and study with him the ensuing winter, which he did. Here he learned the art of surveying, in company with Warham Shepherd, who was one of the first exploring party on the Reserve. In the minutes of that expedition, Warham Shepherd and Amzi Atwater are called "Explorers Assistants." At this school a friendship was formed between them that lasted till the death of Shepherd.
In April, 1796, being then nineteen years of age, young Atwater left Connecticut, on foot and alone, with heavy knapsack on his back, to meet his friend Shepherd at Ontario county, New York, with whom he remained until the agents of the Connecticut land company, were ready to commence their survey, when he left for then unknown west. He joined them at Canandaigua, June 13, 1796.
His business was to collect cattle, and pack horses, with which he went all the way by land.
Having served as chainman, drover, and assistant surveyor faithfully through the year 1796, he returned in the spring of 1797 as one of the assistant surveyors.
The last surveyors left the Reserve the fore part of November, 1797, for the most part a sorry, sickly looking set of beings, the very reverse of what they were in the spring.
In 1798-99, Judge Atwater was in the employ of the Holland Land Company, in the western part of New York, and assisted in running nearly all the township lines. In the fall of 1799 he returned to Connecticut, and spent the winter with his uncle, in study.
In 1800, in company with his brother Jotham, he came to Mantua, and made a permanent settlement on the farm where he died.
In 1808, on the organization of Portage county, he was elected one of the Associate Judges, and subsequently
held many public trusts, such as his neighbors urged upon him, but which he did not covet. He chose retirement, and in the language of his old friend, Abram Tappan, of Ashtabula, "his disposition was mild, and he was honest to a proverb."
In a letter to Mr. Tappan, written March 24th, 1851, Judge Atwater says-
"I need not say much how I have run the line of life. I have run through some of the swamps of adversity, and over many of the plains of prosperity. My assistants have generally been cheerfully, and I may say faithful. My provisions hold out well, and perhaps I have enough to carry me through to the end of my line, which I have good reason to believe will soon be completed."
EXTRACTS FROM THE DIARY OF AMZI ATWATER,
Arrived at Stow Castle at the mouth of Conneaut river September 14th, there we heard that the other companies were a part of them at the Cuyahoga, and that the Cuyahoga river, was fifteen miles west of the one we had followed to the lake, supposing it to be the Cuyahoga. A boat was at Conneaut going to carry provisions to the other companies at Cuyahoga. We prepared to go on the same, but before we could get the boat out of the creek, it was so near night that we concluded to stay until morning. The wind was so high for several days that we could
not go. On the 18th of September four of us were sent to Cuyahoga by land, two leading the pack horses loaded with flour, and the other two driving the cattle. When we were within six or seven miles of Cuyahoga, we saw boats coming from there with the other company in them. They had, spent so much of their provisions that they thought it best not to stay there any longer, but when they met us they returned to Cuyahoga. The next day after we got there, I was sent with Mr. Stoddard to survey the south-east part of the township of Cleveland, No. 7, in the twelfth range, in one hundred acre lots, which will be found to vary very much in size. There were two other parties in the east part of the township about two weeks, and then returned to the house at the mouth of the Cuyahoga river. When we arrived at the house, I was sent with Pease to run out a part of the city plat. We were two or three days in finishing this, when about one-half of the company was dismissed.
MEMORANDA OF ORRIN HARMON'S CONVERSATION WITH AMZI ATWATER.
Amzi Atwater always styled the proprietors of Euclid as mutineers. He has minutely narrated to me the circumstances of the mutiny. They mutinied on their first arrival at Conneaut.
The sale of the township of Euclid, was a part of the compromise made then by Cleaveland and Porter. The organization of the company of surveyors and men was of the military order, and they were enlisted the same as in the army, for two years, providing it took so long.
PROCEEDINGS AT CLEAVELAND, SEPT. 30, 1796.
Substance of a contract made at Cleavland, Sept 30th, 1796, between Moses Cleavland, agent of the Connecticut Land Company, and the employees of the Company, in reference to the sale and settlement of the township of Euclid, No. 8, in the eleventh Range.-(From memoranda of Orrin Harmon, Esq.)
On the part of the surveyors forty-one persons signed the agreement. Each party to have an equal share in the township, at the price of one dollar per acre, with interest from Sept. 1st, 1797, to remain in the service of the company faithfully to the end of the year, and to perform certain acts of settlement, as follows:
To settle, in the year 1797, eleven families, build eleven houses, and sow two acres of wheat around each house-to be on different lots. In the year 1798 to settle eighteen more families, build eighteen more houses on different lots, and to clear and sow five acres of wheat on each. There must be also fifty acres in grass in the township.
In the year 1799, there must be twelve more families occupying twelve more lots, (in all forty-one,) with eight acres in wheat. On all the other lots three acres additional in wheat for this year, and in all seventy acres to be in grass.
There must be, in the year 1800, forty-one families resident in the township. In case of failure to perform any of the conditions, whatever had been done or paid was to be forfeited to the company. But the failure of other parties not to affect those who perform. If salt springs are discovered on a lot it is to be excepted from the agreement, and other lands given instead
To this contract are appended as witnesses, the names of Jeffries Marvin, and Nathan Perry, the latter of whom became a resident in 1806, and died at Black river, Oct 28, 1813.
Persons in the employ of the company who were not parties to this agreement:
Amos Sawtel, Daniel Shulay,
Nathan Chapman, Stephen Burbank,
Samuel Barnes, Joshua Stow,
PROCEEDINGS AT A GENERAL MEETING OF THE EMPLOYEES OF THE LAND COMPANY HELD AT CLEAVLAND, SEPTEMBER 30, 1796.
At a meeting of the proprietors of No. 8, in the eleventh range of towns in new Connecticut, held at the city of Cleavland, on the 30th day of September,
1796, being the surveyors and assistants employed in surveying the summer past the country of New Connecticut.
Seth Pease chosen Moderator.
Moses Warren chosen Clerk.
In said meeting it was agreed, that a majority of votes shall govern in any question before the meeting , without contradiction.
Voted that it be determined by a lottery which of the said proprietors shall do the first, second and third years settling duties, as required by our patent this day executed by Moses Cleavland, Esq., director of said New Connecticut Land Company, without contradiction.
The lots being drawn, it is as follows:
The names marked No. 1 are to do said settling duties in the year 1797, and the names marked No. 2 are to do said duties in the year 1798, and the names marked No. 3 are to dos said settling duties in the year 1799, agreeable to said lottery.
A true copy of part of the proceedings of the proprietors meeting.
Examined by Moses Warren, Jr., Clerk.
This copy is in the hand writing of Seth Pease. Mr. Atwater who was one of the parties to this compact, always spoke of the transaction as a mutiny. There is no such mention made of it, so far as I know, in the papers of General Cleavland, or of the Land company. If they had regarded the conduct of Messrs. Pease, Spafford and Warren in that light, the proprietors would not have employed them again in the year 1797. After a trial of three months, wherein they had undergone the hardships of forest life, they were no doubt inclined to obtain some additional advantages for their services. The Company, on their part, required an early settlement of their lands.
MR. PORTERS PLAN OF DISPOSING OF THE LOTS IN CLEVELAND.
"Terms proposed by Augustus Porter, for the sale of the one-fourth part of the township of Cleveland after, making the following reservations, to wit: City lots No. 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, and the point of land west of the town, and also some reservations of flats on the river if it should be advisable, after surveying. The aforesaid quarter to be selected in the following manner, t wit:
to begin with lot No. 1, and to take every fourth number in succession through the town, which should be offered for sale on the following terms; "1st. To sell to each person who would engage to become an actual settler in the year 1797, one town or city lot, one ten or twenty acre lot, and one one hundred acre lot, or two one hundred acre lots, or as much less as they may choose, but in all cases to make settlement as aforesaid.
"2d. The price of town lots, fifty dollars, cash in hand.
"Payable 20 per centum in hand, the remainder in three annual payments, with annual interest from date.
Sept. 28th, 1796.
The above is in the hand writing of Amos Spafford.
For further reading: Encyclopedia of Cleveland History