RELATING TO THE SURVEYS OF 1797, MADE IN AUGUST, 1850
I was one of the first surveying party of the Connecticut Land Company, in the year 1796, and entered their service again about the middle of April, 1797. I joined the company at Schenectady. The company procured six boats and a sufficient quantity of suitable stores for the expedition. These boats were the common batteaux for the navigation of rivers and lakes, as practiced in those days. They were supplied with four oars, setting posts, paddles and a moveable mast and sail.
We ascended the Mohawk river through the old locks at Little Falls, up to the carrying place at completed. The boats and stores were got across into Wood creek. Down that narrow, crooked stream, we got along somewhat easier than up the Mohawk river, which I may say was a sore job for raw and inexperienced hands like myself. In passing down this stream which had long been known by boatmen, we passed, in a small inlet stream, two large, formidable looking boats, or small vessels, which reminded us of a seaport harbor. We were told that they were the season before conveyed from the Hudson river, partly by water and finally on wheels, and to be conveyed to lake Ontario; that they were built of the lightest materials, and intended for no other use, than to have it published in Europe that vessels of those dimensions had passed those waters, to aid land speculation.
We passed down and across the Oneida lake, and past the Oswego Falls into lake Ontario.
At Oswego falls the boats were unloaded, and were run down a slide into a natural basin, and a pilot employed to steer them to the lower landing. The stream looked dreadful (in my eye) to run a boat. But I considered that as we had a pilot who followed the business at fifty cents a trip, I would risk myself for once. I belonged to the first boat, and took my station in the bow strictly attending to the pilot’s orders. We went quick and safe, and I was cured of all my former fears. I went back to attend my own luggage. I met the pilot on his return from his second trip, who requested me to go down with the other boats, and I accordingly did. We passed down to the lake and stayed some time for fair weather, then went on as far as Gerundigut bay and up to the landing, where the boats took in provisions. This was a slow and tedious way of conveyance, but it was the way which some of the early settlers of this country moved here for want of a better.
I was sent with a party of those men who could be best spared from the boats, to Canandaigua and its vicinity to collect cattle and pack horses for the use of the company. In a few days I was ordered with those men to drive to Buffalo, and take care of them until Maj. Shepard of the exploring and equalizing committee came on. We drove there and across the creek for safe and convenient keeping. In a few days the Indian chiefs came and demanded of me three dollars for pasturing the cattle and horses. I thought it unreasonable as the land all lay open to the common as I considered it, but I went with them up to Capt. Johnson, the Interpreter, and plead my case as well as I could, but I was no match for them in pleas and arguments. I concluded to pay their demand with their consent, that we might stay as long as we pleased. Soon after one of our horses strayed away up to the Indian village, and they sent it back without asking fee or reward.
In a few days Maj. Shepard came on and took the command, and we arrived at Conneaut the 25th of May.
After a short time of preparation, we went to the various stations assigned us. I went with Maj. Shepard to run the north lines of the townships of Monroe and Sheffield in Ashtabula county.
A part I ran under his direction and inspection. This was the first time I undertook to use a surveyor’s compass.
After this I was ordered with a party of men to take horses and cattle to Cleveland. We got along very well until we got to Grand river: we had no boat or other means of conveyance across, except we found and old Indian bark canoe which was very leaky-we had one horse which I knew was a good swimmer. I mounted him, and directed the men to drive the others after me. I had got perhaps half way when I heard the men on shore scream- I looked back and saw two men, with horses in the water but had parted from them-one of them got ashore, and the other, David Eldridge, made poor progress. I turned my horse as quick as I could and guided him up within reach of him, when I very inconsiderately took hold of his hand, as soon as I could. This turned the horse over, and we were both under the water in a instant; but we separated and I again mounted the horse, and looked back and saw him just raise his head above the water, but he sunk to rise no more, -this was June 3d.
We built a raft of flood-wood, lashed together with barks, and placing on it three men who were good swimmers, they with hooks drew up the body, but this took some time-perhaps two hours. We took some pains to restore the body to life, but in vain. Two of our boats came up soon after with a large portion of the men. They took the body to Cleveland and, buried it in the then newly laid out burying ground.
We then went on with the cattle and horses, and arrived at Cleveland without any further difficulty.
After a few days of preparation, the two boats, with some of the surveyors, started up the river with the assistants and provisions. I, with one or two other men, was sent by land to get the horses up above the mouth of Tinker’s creek, for the use of the surveyors. Not far above the creek, we found the remnants of some old huts, partly overgrown with thorn and plum trees, one or more fragments of doors were fastened with nails, which to me was a curiosity to see in such a place. I suppose they were the remains of the old Moravian settlement, but of this I may be mistaken. I found the boats, and gave up my charge of the horses to the surveyors, and went on board the boats. We got them along very slow, the river was very low, and in some places trees had fallen into the stream and obstructed the channel, and in others, stones had to be removed, and all hands had to join, lift by the sides, and get one boat up some distance, and then go back and get the other. When we got up to the north line Boston, Mr. Pease wishing to give some directions to Mr., Redfield, who was supposed to be near the north-west corner of Hudson township, I was sent up there with a back load of provisions and some directions for him. I passed the falls of Brandywine mills to the corner of Hudson. Not finding Redfield there, I erected a staging some ten feet high, and deposited the provisions and directions covered with a bark, which I had peeled for that purpose, and returned to the boats. After we got some distance above the Peninsula, we found it some better, but not very good there. The weather was very warm, with frequent showers of rain; I think my clothes were not entirely dry for near a week. We succeeded in getting the boats past the old Portage, and about half a mile above the south branch of Cuyahoga, where we established a camp. I was left there in charge of the provisions and stores, while some of the surveyors run lines to the Pennsylvania line, and others back. I erected a shed covered with barks, to cover the provisions, &c., and a tolerable good bark camp for myself. The surveying parties were frequently coming and going, and once in a while the boats came up, some sick and others well. While there, two or more Indian hunters were camped some distance, near the river, below us; one of them frequently visited us. He was very active, and more talkative than Indians generally, and could talk a little of our lingo. I had learned a little of the Indians, and between us both, by signs and motions, we could convey ideas tolerable well. We felt anxious to gain information respecting Indian paths and some of the streams, and from him we got some valuable information to us.
He showed a scar on his thigh, which looked as though it might be a gun-shot wound. I understood him to tell, how his horse was shot under him at the battle, when Gen. Wayne defeated the Indians some years before; he made the motions how his horse plunged down, and he scrambled off in the bushes. He often repeated, “Capt. Wayne very good man, Capt. Wayne very great man.” Mr. Pease wishing to go to the salt spring and convey some provisions, employed this Indian to go with his horse and convey a load, who was gone but three days when he came back near night. I set before him some victuals I had cooked, when he handed me a few lines from Mr. Pease, stating how he got along, and I must give him a quart of whisky, or more. I went and filled a junk bottle and presented it to him, with more ceremony than I am in the habit of using, as a present from the big Captain, (Mr. Pease). He went off his camp with many praises of us all. Next day he came back and presented a deerskin, for the big Captain, and then the bottle, “A little more whisky.” I put on my most serious countenance, and told him we had but little, and our brethren would come in from the woods, some of them sick, and we should want it for medicine, but drew my finger across the side of the bottle, telling how full I would fill it, but he must not ask for any more; I accordingly did so. The next day came back and brought the bottle, the bottle, but never asked for any more whisky, although he frequently visited the camp.
I think it was the 4th of July, Mr. Warham Shepard and I, were sent to run the 9th meridian, beginning at the north-east corner of Hudson, and running south to the south line of the Reserve. I commenced the line and run between Streetsborough and Hudson the first day, then Shepard took the compass and I the chain, thus we proceeded on, alternately to the south line of the Reserve, then returned to the camp. Next, we were ordered to the fifth meridian. (See General Bierce’s statement). After that was completed we all returned to head-quarters at Cleveland. Then we were directed to run out a few more of the remaining out lots of Cleveland, then to lot out the township of Warrensville, and a part of Bedford. This completed, my work was finished for that season, for I was taken sick with the ague and fever.
Sickness prevailed the latter part of the season to an alarming degree, and but a few escaped entirely. William Andrews, one of our men, and Peleg Washburn, and apprentice to Mr. Nathaniel Doan, died yesterday at Cleveland, in August or September.
All those that died that season, were of my party who came on with me, with the cattle and horses, in the spring, and were much endeared to me as companions, except Tinker, our principal boatman, who was drowned on his return in the fall. At Cleveland I was confined for several weeks, with several others much in the same situation as myself, with little or no help, except what we could do for ourselves. The inhabitants there, were not much better off than we were, and all our men were required in the woods. My fits came on generally every night, and long nights they appeared to me; in day-time, I made out to get to the spring, and get some water, but it was a hard task to get back again. My fits became lighter, and not so frequent, until the boats went down the lake as far as the township of Perry, which they were then lotting out. The cold night winds, and fatigue to which I was exposed, brought on the fits faster and harder. I considered that I had a long journey before me to get home, and no means but my own exertions, a large portion of the way.
I procured a portion of Peruvian bark and took it, it broke up my fits and gave me an extra appetite, but very fortunately for me we were short of provisions, and on short allowance. My strength gained, and I did not spoil my appetite by over eating, as people are in danger of in such cases. I soon began to recover my health, but soon after Maj. Spafford started with a boat down the lake, with a sufficient number of well hands, and a load of us invalids to the number of fourteen in all. We passed on tolerable well down beyond Erie, opposite the rocky shore; there arose a dreadful looking cloud with a threatening, windy appearance; the wind was rather high, but some in our favor. Maj. Spafford was a good hand to steer and manage a boat, they double manned the oars on the land side to keep off shore, and we went fast, till we got past the rocky shore; few or no words spoken, but immediately the wind came very heavy so that no boat could have stood it. There we staid three days without being able to get away. We got out in the evening, went below Cataraugus, where we were driven ashore again, where we lay about two days, still on short allowance of provision. The next time we had a tolerable calm lake, and safely arrived at Buffalo. By that time I had so recovered as to feel tolerably comfortable, and pursued my journey home on foot to Connecticut.
FROM AN ADDRESS BY GENERAL L. V. BIERCE.
On the 5th of July, 1797, Warham Shepard and Atwater were sent to survey the 9th meridian from the 4th parallel south to the south line of the Reserve-one carrying the compass, the other the chain, alternately. Soon after their return to camp, after finishing that work, all the surveyors came in and reported all the lower run, except the 5th, 6th, and 7th meridians.
To complete these, Redfield was ordered to the 7th, Stoddard to the 6th, and Shepard and Atwater to the 5th, which was the west line of Trumbull and Ashtabula.
Stoddard being lame, Atwater took his compass and run his line ten miles, when he met Stoddard with one man, who took the line and finished it. Atwater with one man then left that line, and met Mr. Shepard at the north-east corner of Palmyra. Here he found Shepard sick with the dysentery, and Minor Bicknell, the man who accompanied Atwater, was taken with a violent fever. Atwater took the compass and run seven miles, between Braceville and Windham, when Bicknell became too unwell to ride on a horse. In the language of Judge Atwater, in a letter before me, “here was a difficult case to know what to do. We were at a great distance from any comfortable place for the sick. Medicine we had none, and ignorant of its use if we had it. No guide but our compass, or township lines. To get him to Cleveland seemed most desirable if it were practicable. We were in hopes some of our boats were at our late camp, but how to get him there was the question. Necessity was the mother of invention.” They took two poles and fastened them together with bark, so as to go by the sides of the horses like thills of a wagon, one horse following the other, so far apart as to admit a man to lie lengthwise between them.
With barks and blankets they made his bed as comfortable as possible, and by twisting bark ropes, lashed it to the pack-saddles. Atwater left Shepard with one man to run the lines as best he could, and started with the sick man for Cleveland. They went south to the corner of Palmyra, then west on the third parallel. The next morning after they started, Atwater sent a man ahead to have a boat ready at the Upper Head Quarters, to carry the sick man down the river. Atwater proceeded west to the corner of Stow and Hudson, on the ninth meridian, then south to the old Indian trail from Fort McIntosh to Sandusky, where he met his messenger with the disagreeable intelligence, that the camp broken up and the boats gone. Atwater then directed him to go to Cleveland, and get a boat to come up and meet him at the south line of Independence. Atwater then proceeded on the west line of Stow to the north line of Summit county, then west to the place for meeting the boats. In this litter they had thus conveyed Bicknell, about five days and a distance of fifty miles. He had a high fever all the time, and had his reason but a little part of it. They arrived at the river early in the forenoon of July 25th, and Bicknell died about two hours after. Tinker, with the boat and Dr. Shepard, arrived a little after noon. Atwater urged to have the corpse carried to Cleveland, but the boatmen would not consent, and he was buried near the river, on the south line of Independence, on land since cleared by Esquire Frazer.
This, says Judge Atwater, in the letter I have before referred to, “was the most affecting scene of my life. My feelings I cannot attempt to describe. My fatigue was great during the whole distance. My anxiety stimulated every power I possessed of body or mind.
I was in perfect health, and in the most active part of life, but when I had got through and the man was dead, and my extreme fatigue was at an end, it seemed as if every nerve was unstrung; and in ordinary circumstances, I should have thought myself entitled to a few days rest. But we were obliged immediately to leave there, to return and find Mr. Shepherd.”
Atwater and his company followed the marked line east to the north-east corner of Portage County, where they found he had got the line up there, and he had his party were in good health.
The whole company then proceeded to run the line to the lake, which completed the township lines. Thus was completed the survey of the Western Reserve, east of the Cuyahoga.
Towards the latter part of the season sickness prevailed to an alarming extent. Boat loads of sick were sent off early in the fall. Says Judge Atwater in the letter referred to, “I was at Cleveland in a sad situation-and all others were about as bad as I was.
When the fit was off, I with a great deal of exertion could go the spring and get a little water, and set it by the side of my old bear skin and blanket, where I lay through the long nights of ague fever, and all around were much in the same situation. Oh! these were days and nights of sorrow and affliction.”
Tinker, the principal boatman, was discharged in the fall, and in going down the lake, with three others, the boat was capsized near the mouth of Chatauque creek, and Tinker and two of the other men were drowned.
It appears in the field notes, that some of the meridians were run from the north southerly, and some of the parallels from the west easterly, as was most convenient. The parallels in the first hour Ranges south of Town 6, were not run in 1796, which thus formed a part of this years work. In running the first five miles from the State line, they generally began at the 1st meridian, and ran east to the Pennsylvania line; fixing the town corners wherever the intersection took place.
Thus the several parties pursued their work during the summer and fall. The equalizing committee, was very busy exploring and surveying, comparing notes and arranging the parcels for a draft; fully determined that the work should be closed that season. Cleveland was the central point of all operations, and particularly as a general hospital. “On the 6th of August, at half past one, P.M., Peleg Washburn, the apprentice to Doan, died of dysentery, and was buried the same evening. (Pease’s Journal.)
Tuesday, Aug. 8th-Sick list: Major Spafford, Sol. Giddings, Canfield, Barse, Hanchett, Linsley, Clark. On the 10th Samuel Spafford and Lot Sanford started to do my settling duties in Euclid, and the same for Dr. Shepard. 14th, Solomon Shepard came in sick. 16th, Esquire Warren and party, came in from running the four southern tiers, all well 18th, went out to explore a road to the southward.
Sunday 18th-Mr. Hart started for town 5, in the 11th Range, where Redfield is at work. Warren is running out the ten acre lots.
Wednesday, 23d-Reynolds taken sick. The committee is busy comparing notes. 26th, I took the oversight of the new house, (south of Superior street,) and shingled it this day.
Sunday, Aug. 27th-Jotham Atwater, from Shepards and Atwater’s party, came in sick with fever and ague. Green set out to take his place, but returned at night, sick. What men were well, worked on the house. Sick list this day: Sol. Giddings, Hine, Canfield, Green, Sol. Shepard, Doctor Shepard, Mr. Hart, Reynolds, Hamilton, Clark and Linsley. The Committee concluded to have Esquire Warren go up to the Portage, and explore there and some towns on the river.
Monday, Aug. 28th-Esq. Warren set out with Mr. Abbott and Mr.-, of Pennsylvania, whom the Committee hired ; also, Chester Allen and James G. Stoddard, who had liberty to change berths with Allen; and take provisions to Stoddard’s party. This morning I was very unwell, but attended to business part of the day; had chills, head-ache, backache and fever. Took a sweat and felt somewhat relieved, slept comfortably. 29th, more comfortable; preparing a place for the Committee to transact business; in the afternoon fever and chills again. 31st, Tinker arrives with the boat, Choat and Coe left on account of sickness. Weather very rainy.
Saturday, Sept. 2d-Majors Spafford and Shepard are to survey and explore some towns east of the Chagrin river. Escaped the fit last night; twelve persons sick.
Monday, 4th-Doctor Shepard went to see Mrs. Parker, (probably the wife of Charles Parker in Mentor.) Andrews very sick of dysentery. 5th, I have another fit, which lasted till 10 o’clock, at night. 7th, I had a violent fever. Andrews died about 8 o’clock, at night.
Friday, 8th-Andrews interred. I am weak, but better than yesterday. Cannot furnish hands for Shepard’s and Atwater’s party, till more arrive. Warren and party return from the Portage. Abbot sick of fever and ague.
(Here Warren takes up the journal.)
Saturday, 9th-Mr. Pease had a hard fit of fever and ague. Shepard and Atwater surveying the ten acre lots.
Monday, 11th-Pease took four large doses of bark, (Peruvian.) At 10, he had a paroxysm and slow fever. Alex. Allen comes in from Redfield unwell. Their horse strayed away.
Tuesday, 12th-Our invalids are Sol. Gidings, Eli Canfield, Josiah Barse, Thos. Green, Luke Hanchet, Sol. Shepard, John Hine, Sol. Sanford, and Jotham Atwater, who took their discharges, and started for home on a boat, to be taken as far as Gerundigut. Spafford arrives this afternoon.
Wednesday, 13th-The committee sat. Redfield came in at night.
Thursday, 14th-The men cleaning their clothes Redfield’s party made search for their horse to no purpose. They are jealous of the Indians about there, and think they have stolen him.
Friday, 15th-Stoddard and his party came in all went but one, and he able to move about.
Saturday, 16th-Shepard, Atwater and Redfield start to lot No. 6, in the 11th Range,(Warrensville.)
Tuesday, 19th-Stoddard and party could not find their pack-horses.
Wednesday 20th-He started early to help the other surveyors, in No. 6, Range 11.
(Here Pease resumes the Journal.)
Wednesday, 27th-Three parties came into camp in pretty good spirits, having finished No. 6, Range 11, which they find to be a most excellent township. Landon is shoeing the horses.
Friday, 29th-Three parties made up, and are to go with the committee in the boat. The horses assigned by lot. Mr. Redfield has the “Hannah” horse, Mr. Shepard the “Morton” mare, Mr. Stoddard “Mary Esther,” and Mr. Landon the “Stow” horse. Sick Roll: Amzi Atwater, Chester Allen, Alexander Allen and Clark Reynolds. Tupper is not well, but able to cook. Linsley and William Barker sick.
Saturday, 30th-Four parties of surveyors start this afternoon. Expect to be at Grand River in nine days.
Sunday, October 1st-Had a touch of fever and ague; not violent.
Monday, 2d-Paid Samuel Spafford towards four and a half days’ clearing, in Euclid, at 5 shillings, three crowns, $3,30. Gave Mr. Hart a purse containing four dollars, left with me, supposed to be Minor Bicknall’s. Nathan Chapman credit by two bushels of wheat, $4,50.
Tuesday, 3d-Started from Cuyahoga with one boat, Major Spafford taking the helm; also Esquire Warren, Col. Wait, Samuel Spafford, Phineas Barker, David Clark, Wm. Barker; passengers, Doan, Reynolds and Forbes. Stores: Three lbs. pork, five lbs. flour, four or five lbs. sugar, a trifle of whisky and rum. We had chests and baggage enough with our stores and men, who were mostly sick, to load the boat. Left the mouth of the river about 10 o’clock, A.M., wind fair. In the afternoon run ashore and spoke with some strangers, from Harpersfield, in New York. Col. Moss, who appeared to be the principal man, rode on to Cleveland; with him was Capt. Harper and another gentleman. Capt. Harper took passage in our boat to Chagrin river. Passed Major Spafford and his party, who started from Cleveland, by land, about the same time we did, and were going to Grand river. Entered the Chagrin about dusk, with some difficulty on account of shoal water, pitched our sail for a tent, ate our supper and stretched ourselves before a good fire for sleep.
Wednesday, 4th-Violent storm during the night and all this day. Upset our camp and disturbed the river so the boats were moved to a safer part of the harbor. Major Spafford came on with his party, Tupper and Culver, and four horses. Concluded to go with him by land; rode to Mr. Parker’s and lodged there. Light frost.
Thursday, 5th-Wind fair. Before our horses were saddled, our boat passed the house under fine headway. We rode to Grand river, and Captain Harper accompanied us on foot. Found the boat safe in the river; took dinner and moved up stream above the Indian settlement and encamped on the west side.
Friday, 6th-The three gentlemen we saw the other day going to Cleaveland, hailed us. As they contemplated becoming settlers, we furnished them with a loaf of bread. Capt. Harper went with them, and all bid us good bye. Shepard took Tupper and went to explore No. 11 in Range 6, and No. 11, Range 5, to return in two or three days. Spafford and Warren returned from exploring No. 11, in the 8th Range.
Saturday 7th-Shepard and Kellogg came in sick. Appropriated Grand river township.
Sunday, 8th-Opened the second barrel of pork and found it very poor, like the first, consisting almost entirely of heads and legs, with one old sow belly, teats two inches long, meat one inch thick.
Monday, 9th-Determined to lot N. 11, Range 7, and to appropriate gore No. 12, Range 6. Shepard came in.
Tuesday, 10th, Grand river.-Stoddard returned a little before sunset. Had finished his work except a line in No. 11, Range 8, on which, through mistake, he started wrong.
Wednesday, 11th-Stoddard went back to finish his line. Mr. Redfield’s pack-horse man came in with news that Redfield would be here before night.
Tuesday, 12th-Spafford and Shepard start on an exploring expedition, to meet us at Conneaut.
In the afternoon I started for Conneaut in the boat. Encamped at the mouth of Grand river.
Friday, 15th-Warham Shepard and Reynolds we left at the middle of No. 11, Range 7, to guard stores, which we landed. Camped at the burning springs, about three miles further. I tried one of them with a candle; the bubbles would flash like spirits, which I repeated three times, and the candle was put out by water.
(The party impeded by head winds.)
Conneaut, 22d-Mr. John Youngs called on us, and says that Joseph Tinker,-Peirce and Capt. Edwards were drowned on the 3d inst., in the night, near Shaddauque, (Chatauque,) in a violent gale, upsetting the boat. Joel Hawley escaped, but gave only an imperfect account how it happened. The boat belonged to Mr. Abbott, who was not on board. There was some loss of property, of which three hundred dollars, in bank bills, belonged to Mr. Abbott, and the boat was injured. The bodies of Tinker and Peirce were found, near the shore, on the 16th, and interred at Sixteen-mile creek. We learn further, that a man by the name of George Clark, was murdered on the 25th of September, on the Big Beaver; supposed by the Indians, who were seen with him the evening before the body was found. He was wounded in the head with a rifle, and stabbed in the left side, with a knife. One of the Indians had a rifle, and the other a knife.
The Indians were arrested by Mr. Youngs, and another gentleman and committed to prison at Pittsburgh.
Monday, Oct. 23d.-Had a fit of ague and fever, which continued until night.
Tuesday, 24th-Sold the roan mare and saddle to Nathaniel Doan, and took his note for thirty-two dollars. Mr. Youngs, Mr. Warren and Mr. Doan set out for Buffalo creek, this morning. Mr. Hart arrived with his boat.
Conneaut, Oct. 25th-We are short of pork, not having more than three-quarters of a barrel, and receiving none by Mr. Hart’s boat, must send one boat over to Chippewa. Accordingly fitted out one under Major Spafford. She took on board all the men, sick and well, except Mr. Hart, Wm. Barker and myself. They were Colonel Ezra Wait, Amzi Atwater, Doctor Shepard, George Giddings, Samuel Spafford, David Clark, Eli Kellogg, Alexander and Chester Allen, H.F. Linsley, James Berry and Asa Mason. Major Spafford to wait at Queenstown for the other boat. Major Shepard started by land, for Buffalo creek, with Warham Shepard and Thomas Tupper. Parker agreed with Mr. Hart, to take the Stow horse to Buffalo creek.
October 31st, 1797-Mr. Hart and myself started from Conneaut, after sunset. Our hands were Landon, Goodsel, Smith, Kenney, (Keeny,) Forbes, Chapman and James and Richard Stoddard, with a land breeze and our oars, got within two miles of Presque Isle. (Redfield’s party left in the woods.)
Nov. 1st-Near Lowrey’s Creek, Richard and James Stoddard took their route by land. Had a slight fit of the ague.
Nov. 2d-At Lowrey’s creek got a quart of milk, which Mr. Hart paid for; and bought two oars.
Nov. 3d-Arrived at Buffalo creek at 4, P.M., found Major Shepard, Esquire Warren, and several of the sick men. Major Spafford came in yesterday.
Sunday, 5th-The two Allens. Eli Kellogg, and Thomas Tupper, started for Genesee. Samuel Forbes, E. Chapman and the two Parkers, accompanied them; the two Parkers having arrived, with the Stow horse, from Cleveland.
Nov. 6th-This day the rear guard came up. Mr. Redfield, the two Nyes, Enoch Eldridge, the two Barkers, Shubal Parks, (or Parker,) Jacob Carlton, Clark Reynolds, and Richard and James Stoddard, with four horses; snowing moderately all day.”
It does not appear, from the field notes, that the latitude of Cleveland was determined, either in 1796 or ’97, or that the instruments were bought here for that purpose. In fact, the position of this place was not fixed, astronomically, until January, 1859, when the late Lieutenant Colonel J.D. Graham, of the United States military engineers, in charge of the light houses on the lakes, determined the latitude of the new court house to be forty-one degrees, thirty minutes, five seconds, north; and the longitude from Greenwich, eighty-one degrees, forty-two minutes, six seconds, west; equal to five hours, twenty-six minutes, forty-eight and one-tenth seconds, time. As the longitude was determined from Cambridge, Mass., by telegraph, and that is the best established point in America, from Greenwich, by chronometer, this may be regarded as correct; unless there shall be a correction for Cambridge; since the Atlantic cable has connected it with the prime meridian in England.
Neither do any of the field notes, letters or reports, connected with the surveys of the Land Company, refer to the existence of iron, ore, or coal, on the Reserve. The south line, as far west as the Tuscarawas, was run over beds of coal, and the east line, for about thirty-miles. All the townships east of the Cuyahoga, were explored in 1796 and ’97; of which about one third were underlaid by strata of ore and coal, without being discovered. The first coal worked, to my knowledge, was taken from the bed of a small run, a mile west of Talmadge center, in 1810, and was used by blacksmiths only. In 1828 it was first brought to Cleveland, in small quantities, for the same purpose. As late as 1838, only a small amount was mined in the Mahoning valley, near Youngstown.
Mr. Pease, with the other surveyors and committee-men, remained at Canadaigua to finish the partition, and make up their reports; a work which the stockholders expected would have been concluded a year sooner. On the 13th of December, 1797, the committee reported upon the four townships, each of which had been surveyed into one hundred lots, containing one hundred and sixty acres.
The surveyors for these towns were: Nathan Redfield, Richard M. Stoddard, Phineas Barker and Joseph Landon.
The towns selected by the committee, as the most valuable, were Nos. 5, 6, and 7, or Range 11, and No. 11, of Range 7; now Northfield, Bedford, Warrensville and Perry.
At a meeting held at Hartford, January 23, 1798, Farmers Brother and Red Jacket received a douceur of fifteen dollars each for expenses, ten dollars in cash and five dollars in goods.
“Whereas, The Directors have given to Tabitha Cumi Stiles, wife of Job P. Stiles, one city lot, one ten acre lot, and one one hundred acre lot; to Anna Gun, wife of Elijah Gun, one one hundred acre lot; to James Kingsbury and wife, one one hundred acre lot; Nathaniel Doan one city lot, he being obliged to reside thereon as a blacksmith, and all in the city and town of Cleveland. Voted, that these grants be approved.”
Another tax of twenty dollars a share was laid. The Company having given up all ambitious hopes of being one the powers of the Union, now offer their political title to the Congress of the United States, and in case it is accepted, they empower Mr. Swift to desire Governor St. Clair to lay off a new county comprising the Western Reserve.
Donations of land to actual settlers were authorized. The committee on roads, report in favor of constructing a road near the lake, from Erie to Cleveland, with a branch from Township 10, Range 3, (Lenox, Ashtabula county,) to the Salt Spring, on the Meander creek.
As the Six Nations claimed a part of the fifteen hundred dollars promised to the Mohawks, at Buffalo, June 24th, 1796, “it is ordered that this sum be paid to Israel Chapman, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, to be distributed by him.” At the same meeting a committee was appointed, authorized to prosecute or settle with the heirs of Samuel H. Parsons for their claim to the Salt Spring tract.
MEMORANDA OF JUDGE BARR.
Major Lorenzo Carter, who came here in 1797, was a great acquisition to the settlement. He was perfectly fearless, and otherwise peculiarly fitted to meet the perils of the wilderness. He was a expert marksman, and an enthusiastic hunter; the terror of the deer and bear of the neighborhood.
On the west side of the river, at the mouth, was a natural mound, covered with trees, (see Gaylord’s sketch.)
Strange as it may seem, in the early days, and as late as 1820, persons have walked across the mouth on a sand bar, the channel being frequently closed up by the storms. Kingsbury and Gun, came here from Conneaut, early in 1797, remaining that season, when they removed to the ridge, in what was afterwards Newburg. Ezkiel Hawley, came to Cleveland the same year. Kingsbury built a shanty east of the Public Square, and Gun occupied one of the Company’s cabins, until one was built on River Street, north of St. Clair, near the cupola opposite Winslow’s warehouse, (1842, late Hussey & McBride.) Hawley built on the hill, on the northeast corner of Water and Superior, now (1842, owned by Nathan Perry. The Land Company, the same season, put a double log cabin, on the south side of Superior, east of Vineyard lane. Charles Parker and Ebenezer Merry, settled in Mentor the same year, and each sowed a crop of wheat, from seed obtained at Conneaut.
Mr. Eldridge, one of the employees of the Land Company, who was drowned in crossing Grand river, was the first person buried in the city of Cleveland. The first burying ground was on lot 97, between Prospect and Huron streets, east side of Ontario, which was removed to Erie street in 1835. Peleg Washburn, who was an apprentice to Nathaniel Doan, as a blacksmith, died of dysentery in 1797. At this time, a death or two excites little attention; but when we reflect how few there were in this county at that time, their distance from home: destitute of the necessaries and comforts of civilization, a death and a burial, was an occurrence of no small moment.
This was a sickly season. The old settlers have often remarked, in reference to those melancholy times, they could not have got along without the game which Major Carter killed, and the attentions of his generous wife.”