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Ohio and the Ordinance of 1787


Cleveland city
Cleveland city

Under the Ordinance of 1787, the Congress organized the region stretching from Ohio to Minnesota as the Northwest Territory. The ordinance prohibited slavery and guaranteed eventual self-government and full citizenship rights for settlers in the region after certain population levels were reached. Before that time, only a few squatters had settled in the Ohio country, but the ordinance encouraged substantial settlement. In 1788 the Ohio Company of Associates, which had been organized two years earlier by a group of American army officers in Boston, established the first permanent settlement at Marietta, at the mouth of the Muskingum River. By the end of the next year several other settlements had been founded along the Ohio River and the southern parts of its tributaries, including Losantiville, opposite the mouth of Kentucky’s Licking River. In 1790 General Arthur St. Clair, who had been appointed the first governor of the Northwest Territory, made his headquarters at Losantiville and changed the settlement’s name to Cincinnati.

The influx of settlers into southern Ohio aroused the hostility of the Native Americans, who considered the land theirs. They raided outlying settlements, killing pioneers and driving others back to the larger settlements along the Ohio. In the early 1790s two military expeditions sent from Fort Washington at Cincinnati were defeated by the native peoples, which were led by the Miami chief Little Turtle. In 1792 General Anthony Wayne, a Revolutionary War veteran, was put in command of the frontier forces. Wayne created an efficient army and built headquarters at Fort Greenville, about halfway between Cincinnati and the major native settlements on the Maumee River. In August 1794 Wayne defeated the Native Americans at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, near present-day Maumee, then burned native villages and cornfields in the area. The next year he dictated peace terms to Little Turtle and other chiefs. Under the Treaty of Greenville, the chiefs ceded to the federal government extensive areas of the Northwest Territory, including all of southern and eastern Ohio. "Ohio" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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