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tier; in his journal the Doctor mentions that one night he had to sleep in “wet sheets." The average pioneer knew nothing whatever of sheets, wet or dry. Often the voyagers would get out and walk along shore, shooting pigeons or squirrels and plucking bunches of grapes.
On such occasions if they had time they would light a fire and have "a good dish of tea and a French fricassee.” Once they saw some Indians; but the latter were merely chasing a bear, which they killed, giving the travelers some of the meat.
Cutler and his companions caught huge catfish in the river; they killed game of all kinds in the forest; and they lived very well indeed. In the morn ing they got under way early, after a “bitter and a biscuit," and a little later breakfasted on cold meat, pickles, cabbage, and pork. Between eleven and twelve they stopped for dinner; usually of hot venison or wild turkey, with a strong “dish of coffee" and loaf-sugar. At supper they had cold meat and tea. Here and there on the shore they passed settlers' cabins, where they obtained corn and milk, and sometimes eggs, butter, and veal. Cutler landed at his starting-point less than a month after he had left it to go down stream.17
Another Massachusetts man, Col. John May, had made the same trip just previously. His experiences were very like those of Dr. Cutler; but in his journal he told them more entertainingly, being a man of considerable humor and sharp observation.
19 Cutler, p. 420.
He traveled on horseback from Boston. In Philadelphia he put up “at the sign of the Connastago Wagon”—the kind of wagon then used in the up country, and afterward for two generations the wheeled-house with which the pioneers moved westward across plain and prairie. He halted for some days in the log-built town of Pittsburg, and, like many other travelers of the day, took a dislike to the place and to its inhabitants, who were largely Pennsylvania Germans. He mentioned that he had reached it in thirty days from Boston, and had not lost a pound of his baggage, which had accompanied him in a wagon under the care of some of his hired men. At Pittsburg he was much struck by the beauty of the mountains and the river, and also by the numbers of flat-boats, loaded with immigrants, which were constantly drifting and rowing past on their way to Kentucky. From the time of reaching the river his journal is filled with comments on the extraordinary abundance and great size of the various kinds of food fishes.
At last, late in May, he started in a crowded flatboat down the Ohio, and was enchanted with the wild and beautiful scenery. He was equally pleased with the settlement at the mouth of the Muskingum; and he was speedily on good terms with the officers of the fort, who dined and wined him to his heart's content. There were rumors of savage warfare from below; but around Marietta the Indians were friendly. May and his people set to work to clear land and put up buildings; and they lived sumptu
ously, for game swarmed. The hunters supplied them with quantities of deer and wild turkeys, and occasionally elk and buffalo were also killed; while quantities of fish could be caught without effort, and the gardens and fields yielded plenty of vegetables. On July 4th the members of the Ohio Company entertained the officers from Fort Harmar and the ladies of the garrison at an abundant dinner, and drank thirteen toasts,—to the United States, to Congress, to Washington, to the King of France, to the new Constitution, to the Society of the Cincinnati, and various others.
Colonel May built him a fine “mansion house,” thirty-six feet by eighteen, and fifteen feet high, with a good cellar underneath, and in the windows panes of glass he had brought all the way from Boston. He continued to enjoy the life in all its phases, from hunting in the woods to watching the sun rise, and making friends with the robins, which, in the wilderness, always followed the settlements. In August he went up the river, without adventure, and returned to his home.18
Such a trip as either of these was a mere holiday picnic. It offers as striking a contrast as well could be offered to the wild and lonely journeyings of the stark wilderness-hunters and Indian fighters who first went west of the mountains. General Rufus Putnam and his associates did a deed the conse
18 Journal and Letters of Colonel John May; one of the many valuable historical publications of Robert Clarke & Co., of Cincinnati.
quences of which were of vital importance. They showed that they possessed the highest attributes of good citizenship-resolution and sagacity, stern morality, and the capacity to govern others as well as themselves. But they performed no pioneer feat of any note as such, and they were not called upon to display a tithe of the reckless daring and iron endurance of hardship which characterized the conquerors of the Illinois and the founders of Kentucky and Tennessee. This is in no sense a reflection upon them. They did not need to give proof of a courage they had shown time and again in bloody battles against the best troops of Europe. In this particular enterprise, in which they showed so many admirable qualities, they had little chance to show the quality of adventurous bravery. They drifted comfortably down stream, from the log fort whence they started, past many settlers' houses, until they came to the post of a small Federal garrison, where they built their town. Such a trip is not to be mentioned in the same breath with the long wanderings of Clark and Boone and Robertson, when they went forth unassisted to subdue the savage and make tame the shaggy wilderness.
St. Clair, the first Governor, was a Scotchman of good family. He had been a patriotic but unsuccessful general in the Revolutionary army. He was a friend of Washington, and in politics a firm Federalist; he was devoted to the cause of Union and Liberty, and was a conscientious, high-minded man. But he had no aptitude for the incredibly difficult
task of subduing the formidable forest Indians, with their peculiar and dangerous system of warfare; and he possessed no capacity for getting on with the frontiersmen, being without sympathy for their virtues while keenly alive to their very unattractive faults.
In the fall of 1787 another purchase of public lands was negotiated, by the Miami Company. The chief personage in this company was John Cleves Symmes, one of the first judges of the Northwestern Territory.
Rights were acquired to take up one million acres, and under these rights three small settlements were made toward the close of the year 1788. One of them was chosen by St. Clair to be the seat of government. This little town had been called Losantiville in its first infancy, but St. Clair rechristened it Cincinnati, in honor of the Society of the officers of the Continental army.
The men who formed these Miami Company colonies came largely from the Middle States. Like the New England founders of Marietta, very many of them, if not most, had served in the Continental army. They were good settlers; they made good material out of which to build up a great state.
Their movement was modeled on that of Putnam and his associates. It was a triumph of collectivism rather than of individualism. The settlers were marshaled in a company, instead of moving freely by themselves, and they took a territory granted them by Congress, under certain conditions, and de