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Garfield, James Abram 1831-1881

Twentieth President of the United States; born in Orange, Cuyahoga co., O., Nov. 19, 1831. Left an orphan, his childhood and youth were spent alternately in school and in labor for his support. He drove horses on the Ohio canal; learned the carpenter's trade; worked at it during school vacations; entered the Geauga Academy, at Chester, O., in 1850, and, at the end of four years, had fitted himself for junior in college. He entered Williams College, Mass., that year; graduated in 1856; and then, till 1861, was first an instructor in Hiram College, and afterwards its president; gave his first vote for the Republican candidates, and took part in the canvass as a promising orator; studied law; was a member of the Ohio State Senate in 1859, and often preached to congregations of the Disciples' Church, of which he was a member. A firm supporter of the government, Garfield entered the military service in its defence, and in eastern Kentucky and elsewhere proved himself a skilful soldier, becoming a major-general of volunteers in 1863. In that year he was elected to Congress, where his career as a statesman was marvellous. He grasped every topic in debate with a master's hand. In 1880 he was elected to the United States Senate, and in the same year was elected President of the United States, and entered upon his duties on March 4, 1881. After an administration of four months, he was shot by Charles J. Guiteau, a disappointed office-seeker, in Washington, July 2, 1881, and lingered until

James Abram Garfield at 16.

Sept. 19 following, when he died at Elberon, on the sea-shore, in New Jersey. His death was sincerely mourned in all [13] parts of the civilized world. See Blaine, James Gillespie.


Inaugural address

On March 4, 1881, President Garfield delivered the following inaugural address, in which he eloquently considered the condition of the country at the turning of a century of its constitutional existence:

Fellow-Citizens,—We stand to-day upon an eminence which overlooks 100 years of national life—a century crowded with perils, but crowned with the triumphs of liberty and law. Before continuing the onward march let us pause on this height for a moment to strengthen our faith and renew our hope by a glance at the pathway along which our people have travelled.

It is now three days more than 100 years since the adoption of the first written Constitution of the United States —the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. The new republic was then beset with danger on every hand. It had not conquered a place in the family of nations. The decisive battle of the war for independence, whose centennial anniversary will soon be gratefully celebrated at Yorktown, had not yet been fought. The colonists were struggling not only against the armies of a great nation, but against the settled opinions of mankind; for the world did not then believe that the supreme authority of government could be safely intrusted to the guardianship of the people themselves.

We cannot overestimate the fervent love of liberty, the intelligent courage, and the sum of common-sense with which our fathers made the great experiment of selfgovernment. When they found, after a short trial, that the confederacy of States was too weak to meet the necessities of a vigorous and expanding republic, they boldly set it aside, and in its stead established a national union, founded directly upon the will of the people, endowed with full power of self-preservation and ample authority for the accomplishment of its great object.

Under this Constitution the boundaries of freedom have been enlarged, the foundations of order and peace have been strengthened, and the growth of our people in all the better elements of national life has indicated the wisdom of the founders and given new hope to their descendants. Under this Constitution our people long ago made themselves safe against danger from without and secured for their mariners and flag equality of rights on all the seas. Under this Constitution twenty-five States have been added to the Union, with constitutions and laws, framed and enforced by their own citizens, to secure the manifold blessings of local self-government.

The jurisdiction of this Constitution now covers an area fifty times greater than that of the original thirteen States and a population twenty times greater than that of 1780.

The supreme trial of the Constitution came at last under the tremendous pressure of civil war. We ourselves are witnesses that the Union emerged from the blood and fire of that conflict purified and made stronger for all the beneficent purposes of good government.

And now, at the close of this first century of growth, with the inspirations of its history in their hearts, our people have lately reviewed the condition of the nation, passed judgment upon the conduct and opinions of political parties, and have registered their will concerning the future administration of the government. To interpret and to execute that will in accordance with the Constitution is the paramount duty of the executive.

Even from this brief review it is manifest that the nation is resolutely facing to the front, resolved to employ its best energies in developing the great possibilities of the future. Sacredly preserving whatever has been gained to liberty and good government during the century, our people are determined to leave behind them all those bitter controversies concerning things which have been irrevocably settled, and the further discussion of which can only stir up strife and delay the onward march.

The supremacy of the nation and its laws should be no longer a subject of debate. That discussion, which for half a century threatened the existence of the Union, was closed at last in the high court of war by a decree from which there is no appeal—that the Constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof are and [14] shall continue to be the supreme law of the land, binding alike upon the States and the people. This decree does not disturb the autonomy of the States nor interfere with any of their necessary rights of local self-government, but it does fix and establish the permanent supremacy of the Union.

The will of the nation, speaking with the voice of battle and through the amended Constitution, has fulfilled the great promise of 1776 by proclaiming “liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof.”

The elevation of the negro race from slavery to the full rights of citizenship is the most important political change we have known since the adoption of the Constitution of 1787. No thoughtful man can fail to appreciate its beneficent effect upon our institutions and people. It has freed us from the perpetual danger of war and dissolution. It has added immensely to the moral and industrial forces of our people. It has liberated the master as well as the slave from a relation which wronged and enfeebled both. It has surrendered to their own guardianship the manhood of more than 5,000,000 people, and has opened to each one of them a career of freedom and usefulness. It has given new inspiration to the power of self-help in both races by making labor more honorable to the one and more necessary to the other. The influence of this force will grow greater and bear richer fruit with the coming years.

No doubt this great change has caused serious disturbance to our Southern communities. This is to be deplored, though it was perhaps unavoidable. But those who resisted the change should remember that under our institutions there was no middle ground for the negro race between slavery and equal citizenship. There can be no permanent disfranchised peasantry in the United States. Freedom can never yield its fulness of blessings so long as the law or its administration places the smallest obstacle in the pathway of any virtuous citizen.

The emancipated race has already made remarkable progress. With unquestioning devotion to the Union, with a patience and gentleness not born of fear, they have “followed the light as God gave them to see the light.” They are rapidly laying the material foundations of selfsupport, widening their circle of intelligence, and beginning to enjoy the blessings that gather around the homes of the industrious poor. They deserve the generous encouragement of all good men. So far as my authority can lawfully extend, they shall enjoy the full and equal protection of the Constitution and the laws.

The free enjoyment of equal suffrage is still in question, and a frank statement of the issue may aid its solution. It is alleged that in many communities negro citizens are practically denied the freedom of the ballot. In so far as the truth of this allegation is admitted, it is answered that in many places honest local government is impossible if the mass of uneducated negroes are allowed to vote. These are grave allegations. So far as the latter is true, it is the only palliation that can be offered for opposing the freedom of the ballot. Bad local government is certainly a great evil, which ought to be prevented; but to violate the freedom and sanctities of the suffrage is more than an evil. It is a crime which, if persisted in, will destroy the government itself. Suicide is not a remedy. If in other lands it be high treason to compass the death of the king, it shall be counted no less a crime here to strangle our sovereign power and stifle its voice.

It has been said that unsettled questions have no pity for the repose of nations. It should be said with the utmost emphasis that this question of the suffrage will never give repose or safety to the States or to the nation until each, within its own jurisdiction, makes and keeps the ballot free and pure by the strong sanctions of the law.

But the danger which arises from ignorance in the voter cannot be denied. It covers a field far wider than that of negro suffrage and the present condition of the race. It is a danger that lurks and hides in the sources and fountains of power in every State. We have no standard by which to measure the disaster that may be brought upon us by ignorance and vice in the citizens when joined to corruption and fraud in the suffrage.

The voters of the Union, who make and unmake constitutions, and upon whose will [15] hang the destinies of our governments, can transmit their supreme authority to no successors save the coming generation of voters, who are the sole heirs of sovereign power. If that generation comes to its inheritance blinded by ignorance and corrupted by vice, the fall of the republic will be certain and remediless.

The census has already sounded the alarm in the appalling figures which mark how dangerously high the tide of illiteracy has risen among our voters and their children.

To the South this question is of supreme importance. But the responsibility for the existence of slavery did not rest upon the South alone. The nation itself is responsible for the extension of the suffrage, and is under special obligations to aid in removing the illiteracy which it has added to the voting population. For the North and South alike there is but one remedy. All the constitutional power of the nation and of the States, and all the volunteer forces of the people, should be surrendered to meet this danger by the savory influence of universal education.

It is the high privilege and sacred duty of those now living to educate their successors and fit them, by intelligence and virtue, for the inheritance which awaits them.

In this beneficent work sections and races should be forgotten and partisanship should be unknown. Let our people find a new meaning in the divine oracle which declares that “a little child shall lead them,” for our own little children will soon control the destinies of the republic.

My countrymen, we do not now differ in our judgment concerning the controversies of past generations, and fifty years hence our children will not be divided in their opinions concerning our controversies. They will surely bless their fathers and their fathers' God that the Union was preserved, that slavery was overthrown, and that both races were made equal before the law. We may hasten or we may retard, but we cannot prevent, the final reconciliation. Is it not possible for us now to make a truce with time by anticipating and accepting its inevitable verdict?

Enterprises of the highest importance to our moral and material well-being unite us and offer ample employment of our best powers. Let all our people, leaving behind them the battle-fields of dead issues, move forward and in their strength of liberty and the restored Union win the grander victories of peace.

The prosperity which now prevails is without parallel in our history. Fruitful seasons have done much to secure it, but they have not done all. The preservation of the public credit and the resumption of specie payments, so successfully attained by the administration of my predecessors, have enabled our people to secure the blessings which the seasons brought.

By the experience of commercial nations in all ages it has been found that gold and silver afford the only safe foundation for a monetary system. Confusion has recently been created by variations in the relative value of the two metals, but I confidently believe that arrangements can be made between the leading commercial nations which will secure the general use of both metals. Congress should provide that the compulsory coinage of silver now required by law may not disturb our monetary system by driving either metal out of circulation. If possible, such an adjustment should be made that the purchasing power of every coined dollar will be exactly equal to its debt-paying power in all the markets of the world.

The chief duty of the national government in connection with the currency of the country is to coin money and declare its value. Grave doubts have been entertained whether Congress is authorized by the Constitution to make any form of paper money legal tender. The present issue of United States notes has been sustained by the necessities of war; but such paper should depend for its value and currency upon its convenience in use and its prompt redemption in coin at the will of the holder, and not upon its compulsory circulation. These notes are not money, but promises to pay money. If the holders demand it, the promise should be kept.

The refunding of the national debt at a lower rate of interest should be accomplished without compelling the withdrawal of the national bank notes, and thus disturbing the business of the country.

I venture to refer to the position I have [16] occupied on financial questions during a long service in Congress, and to say that time and experience have strengthened the opinions I have so often expressed on these subjects.

The finances of the government shall suffer no detriment which it may be possible for my administration to prevent.

The interests of agriculture deserve more attention from the government than they have yet received. The farms of the United States afford homes and employment for more than one-half our people, and furnish much the largest part of all our exports. As the government lights our coasts for the protection of mariners and the benefit of commerce, so it should give to the tillers of the soil the best lights of practical science and experience.

Our manufactures are rapidly making us industrially independent, and are opening to capital and labor new and profitable fields of employment. Their steady and healthy growth should still be matured. Our facilities for transportation should be promoted by the continued improvement of our harbors and great interior water-ways and by the increase of our tonnage on the ocean.

The development of the world's commerce has led to an urgent demand for shortening the great sea voyage around Cape Horn by constructing ship-canals or railways across the isthmus which unites the continents. Various plans to this end have been suggested and will need consideration, but none of them has been sufficiently matured to warrant the United States in extending pecuniary aid. The subject, however, is one which will immediately engage the attention of the government with a view to a thorough protection to American interests. We will urge no narrow policy nor seek peculiar or exclusive privileges in any commercial route; but, in the language of my predecessor, I believe it to be the right “and duty of the United States to assert and maintain such supervision and authority over any interoceanic canal across the isthmus that connects North and South America as will protect our national interests.”

The Constitution guarantees absolute religious freedom. Congress is prohibited from making any law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The Territories of the United States are subject to the direct legislative authority of Congress, and hence the general government is responsible for any violation of the Constitution in any of them. It is therefore a reproach to the government that in the most populous of the Territories the constitutional guarantee is not enjoyed by the people, and the authority of Congress is set at naught. The Mormon Church not only offends the moral sense of manhood by sanctioning polygamy, but prevents the administration of justice through ordinary instrumentalities of law.

In my judgment it is the duty of Congress, while respecting to the uttermost the conscientious convictions and religious scruples of every citizen, to prohibit within its jurisdiction all criminal practices, especially of that class which destroy the family relations and endanger social order. Nor can any ecclesiastical organization be safely permitted to usurp in the smallest degree the functions and powers of the national government.

The civil service can never be placed on a satisfactory basis until it is regulated by law. For the good of the service itself, for the protection of those who are intrusted with the appointing power against the waste of time and obstruction to the public business caused by the inordinate pressure for place, and for the protection of incumbents against intrigue and wrong, I shall at the proper time ask Congress to fix the tenure of the minor offices of the several executive departments, and prescribe the grounds upon which removals shall be made during the terms for which incumbents have been appointed.

Finally, acting always within the authority and limitations of the Constitution, invading neither the rights of the States nor the reserved rights of the people, it will be the purpose of my administration to maintain the authority of the nation in all places within its jurisdiction; to enforce obedience to all the laws of the Union in the interests of the people; to demand rigid economy in all the expenditures of the government, and to require the honest and faithful service of all executive officers, remembering that [17] the offices were created, not for the benefit of incumbents or their supporters, but for the service of the government.

And now, fellow-citizens, I am about to assume the great trust which you have committed to my hands. I appeal to you for that earnest and thoughtful support which makes this government in fact, as it is in law, a government of the people.

I shall greatly rely upon the wisdom and patriotism of Congress, and of those who may share with me the responsibilities and duties of administration, and, above all, upon our efforts to promote the welfare of this great people and their governments I reverently invoke the support and blessings of Almighty God.



The Western Reserve.

On Sept. 16, 1873, General Garfield delivered the address that follows before the Historical Society of Geauga county, Ohio:

From the historian's stand-point, our country is peculiarly and exceptionally fortunate. The origin of nearly all great nations, ancient and modern, is shrouded in fable or traditionary legend. The story of the founding of Rome by the wolf-nursed brothers, Romulus and Remus, has long been classed among myths of history; and the more modern story of Hengist and Horsa leading the Saxons to England is almost equally legendary. The origin of Paris can never be known. Its foundation was laid long before Gaul had written records. But the settlement, civilization, and political institutions of our country can be traced from their first hour by the clear light of history. It is true that over this continent hangs an impenetrable veil of tradition, mystery, and silence. But it is the tradition of races fast passing away; the mystery of a still earlier race, which flourished and perished long before its discovery by the Europeans. The story of the Mound-builders can never be told. The fate of the Indian tribes will soon be a half-forgotten tale. But the history of European civilization and institutions on this continent can be traced with precision and fulness, unless we become forgetful of the past, and neglect to save and perpetuate its precious memorials.

In discussing the scope of historical study in reference to our country, I will call attention to a few general facts concerning its discovery and settlement.

First.

The Romantic Period of Discovery on this Continent.

There can scarcely be found in the realms of romance anything more fascinating than the records of discovery and adventure during the two centuries that followed the landing of Columbus on the soil of the New World. The greed for gold; the passion for adventure; the spirit of chivalry; the enthusiasm and fanaticism of religion—all conspired to throw into America the hardiest and most daring spirits of Europe, and made the vast wilderness of the New World the theatre of the most stirring achievements that history has recorded.

Early in the sixteenth century, Spain turning from the conquest of Granada and her triumph over the Moors, followed her golden dreams of the New World with the same spirit that in an earlier day animated her Crusaders. In 1528 Ponce de Leon began his search for the fountain of perpetual youth, the tradition of which he had learned among the natives of the West Indies. He discovered the low-lying coasts of Florida, and explored its interior. Instead of the fountain of youth, he found his grave among its everglades.

A few years later De Soto, who had accompanied Pizarro in the conquest of Peru, landed in Florida with a gallant array of knights and nobles, and commenced his explorations through the western wilderness. In 1541 he reached the banks of the Mississippi River, and, crossing it, pushed his discoveries westward over the great plains; but, finding neither the gold nor the South Sea of his dreams, he returned to be buried in the waters of the great river he had discovered.

While England was more leisurely exploring the bays and rivers of the Atlantic coast, and searching for gold and peltry, the chevaliers and priests of France were chasing their dreams in the North, searching for a passage to China and the realms of Far Cathay, and telling the mystery of the Cross to the Indian tribes of the far West. Coasting northward, her bold navigators discovered the mouth of the St. Lawrence; and in 1525 Cartier sailed up its broad current to the rocky [18] heights of Quebec, and to the rapids above Montreal, which were afterwards named La Chine, in derision of the belief that the adventurers were about to find China.

In 1609 Champlain pushed above the rapids and discovered the beautiful lake that bears his name. In 1615 Priest La Caron pushed northward and westward through the wilderness and discovered Lake Huron.

In 1635 the Jesuit missionaries founded the Mission St. Mary. In 1654 another priest had entered the wilderness of northern New York and found the salt springs of Onondaga. In 1659-60 French traders and priests passed the winter on Lake Superior and established missions along its shores.

Among the earlier discoverers, no name shines out with more brilliancy than that of the Chevalier La Salle. The story of his explorations can scarcely be equalled in romantic interest by any of the stirring tales of the Crusaders. Born of a proud and wealthy family in the north of France, he was destined for the service of the church and of the Jesuit order. But his restless spirit, fired with the love of adventure, broke away from the ecclesiastical restraints to confront the dangers of the New World, and to extend the empire of Louis XIV. From the best evidence accessible, it appears that he was the first white man that saw the Ohio River. At twenty-six years of age we find him with a small party, near the western extremity of Lake Ontario, boldly entering the domain of the dreaded Iroquois, travelling southward and westward through the wintry wilderness until he reached a branch of the Ohio, probably the Alleghany. He followed it to the main stream, and descended that, until in the winter of 1669 and 1670 he reached the Falls of the Ohio, near the present site of Louisville. His companions refusing to go farther, he returned to Quebec, and prepared for still greater undertakings.

In the mean time the Jesuit missionaries had been pushing their discoveries on the northern lake. In 1673 Joliet and Marquette started from Green Bay, dragging their canoes up the rapids of Fox River; crossed Lake Winnebago; found Indian guides to conduct them to the waters of the Wisconsin; descended that stream to the westward, and on the 16th of June reached the Mississippi near the spot where now stands the city of Prairie du Chien. To-morrow will be the 200th anniversary of that discovery. One hundred and thirty-two years before that time De Soto had seen the same river more than 1,000 miles below; but during that interval it is not known that any white man had looked upon its waters.

Turning southward, these brave priests descended the great river, amid the awful solitudes. The stories of demons and monsters of the wilderness which abounded among the Indian tribes did not deter them from pushing their discoveries. They continued their journey southward to the mouth of the Arkansas River, telling as best they could the story of the Cross to the wild tribes along the shores. Returning from the Kaskaskias, and travelling thence to Lake Michigan, they reached Green Bay at the end of September, 1673, having on their journey paddled their canoes more than 2,500 miles. Marquette remained to establish missions; among the Indians, and to die, three years later, on the western shore of Lake Michigan, while Joliet returned to Quebec to report his discoveries.

In the mean time Count Frontenac, a noble of France, had been made governor of Canada, and found in La Salle a fit counsellor and assistant in his vast schemes of discovery. La Salle was sent to France, to enlist the Court and the ministers of Louis; and in 1677-78 returned to Canada, with full power under Frontenac to carry forward his grand enterprises. He had developed three great purposes: first, to realize the old plan of Champlain, the finding of a pathway to China across the American continent; second, to occupy and develop the regions of the northern lakes; and, third, to descend the Mississippi and establish a fortified post at its mouth, thus securing an outlet for the trade of the interior and checking the progress of Spain on the Gulf of Mexico.

In pursuance of this plan, we find La Salle and his companions, in January, 1679, dragging their cannon and materials for ship-building around the Falls of Niagara, and laying the keel of a vessel 2 leagues above the cataract, at the [19] mouth of Cayuga Creek. She was a schooner of 45 tons burden, and was named The Griffin. On Aug. 7, 1679, with an armament of five cannon and a crew and company of thirty-four men, she started on her voyage up Lake Erie, the first sail ever spread over the waters of our lake. On the fourth day she entered Detroit River; and, after encountering a terrible storm on Lake Huron, passed the strait and reached Green Bay early in September. A few weeks later she started back for Niagara, laden with furs, and was never heard from.

While awaiting the supplies which The Griffin was expected to bring, La Salle explored Lake Michigan to its southern extremity, ascended the St. Joseph, crossed the portage to Kankakee, descended the Illinois, and, landing at an Indian village on the site of the present village of Utica, Ill., celebrated mass on New Year's Day, 1680. Before the winter was ended he became certain that The Griffin was lost. But, undaunted by his disasters, on March 3, with five companions, he began the incredible feat of making the journey to Quebec on foot in the dead of winter. This he accomplished. He reorganized his expedition, conquered every difficulty, and on Dec. 21, 1681, with a party of fifty-four Frenchmen and friendly Indians, set out for the present site of Chicago, and by way of the Illinois River reached the Mississippi, Feb. 6, 1682. He descended its stream, and on April 9, 1682, standing on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, solemnly proclaimed to his companions and to the wilderness that, in the name of Louis the Great, he took possession of the Great Valley watered by the Mississippi River. He set up a column, and inscribed upon it the arms of France, and named the country Louisiana. Upon this act rested the claim of France to the vast region stretching from the Alleghany to the Rocky Mountains, from the Rio Grande and the Gulf to the farthest springs of the Missouri.

I will not follow further the career of the great explorers. Enough has been said to exhibit the spirit and character of their work. I would I were able to inspire the young men of this country with a desire to read the history of these stirring days of discovery that opened up to Europe the mysteries of this New World.

As Irving has well said of their work: “It was poetry put into action; it was the knight-errantry of the Old World carried into the depths of the American wilderness. The personal adventures; the feats of individual prowess; the picturesque descriptions of steel-clad cavaliers, with lance and helm and prancing steed, glittering through the wilderness of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and the prairies of the far West——would seem to us mere fictions of romance did they not come to us in the matter-of-fact narratives of those who were eye-witnesses, and who recorded minute memoranda of every incident.”

Second.

The Struggle for National Dominion.

I next invite your attention to the less stirring but not less important struggle for the possession of the New World which succeeded the period of discovery.

At the beginning of the eighteenth century North America was claimed mainly by three great powers. Spain held possession of Mexico and a belt reaching eastward to the Atlantic and northward to the southern line of Georgia except a portion near the mouth of the Mississippi held by the French. England held from the Spanish line on the south to the northern lakes and the St. Lawrence and westward to the Alleghanies. France held all north of the lakes arid west of the Alleghanies, and southward to the possessions of Spain. Some of the boundarylines were but vaguely defined, others were disputed; but the general outlines were as stated.

Besides the struggle for national possession, the religious element entered largely into the contest. It was a struggle between the Catholic and Protestant faiths. The Protestant colonies of England were enveloped on three sides by the vigorous and perfectly organized Catholic powers of France and Spain.

Indeed, at an early date, by the bull of Pope Alexander VI., all America had been given to the Spaniards. But France, with a zeal equal to that of Spain, had entered the list to contest for the prize. So far as the religious struggle was concerned, [20] the efforts of France and Spain were resisted only by the Protestants of the Atlantic coast.

The main chain of the Alleghanies was supposed to be impassable until 1714, when Governor Spotswood, of Virginia, led an expedition to discover a pass to the great valley beyond. He found one somewhere near the western boundary of Virginia, and by it descended to the Ohio. On his return he established the “Transmontane order,” or “Knights of the Golden horse-shoe.” On the sandy plains of eastern Virginia horse-shoes were rarely used, but, in climbing the mountains, he had found them necessary, and, on creating his companions knights of this new order, he gave to each a golden horseshoe, inscribed with the motto,

Sic juvat transcendere montes.

He represented to the British ministry the great importance of planting settlements in the western valley; and, with the foresight of a statesman, pointed out the danger of allowing the French the undisputed possession of that rich region.

The progress of England had been slower, but more certain, than that of her great rival. While the French were establishing trading-posts at points widely remote from each other, along the lakes and the Mississippi, and in the wilderness of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, the English were slowly but firmly planting their settlements on the Atlantic slope, and preparing to contest for the rich prize of the great West. They possessed one great advantage over their French rivals. They had cultivated the friendship of the Iroquois Confederacy, the most powerful combination of Indian tribes known to the New World. That confederacy held possession of the southern shores of lakes Ontario and Erie; and their hostility to the French had confined the settlements of that people mainly to the northern shores.

During the first half of the eighteenth century many treaties were made by the English with these confederated tribes, and some valuable grants of land were obtained on the eastern slope of the Mississippi Valley.

About the middle of that century the British government began to recognize the wisdom of Governor Spotswood, and perceived that an empire was soon to be saved or lost.

In 1748 a company was organized by Thomas Lee and Lawrence and Augustine Washington, under the name of “The Ohio Company,” and received a royal grant of 500,000 acres of land in the valley of the Ohio. In 1751 a British trading-post was established on the Big Miami; but in the following year it was destroyed by the French. Many similar efforts of the English colonists were resisted by the French; and during the years 1751-53 it became manifest that a great struggle was imminent between the French and the English for the possession of the West. The British ministers were too much absorbed in intrigues at home to appreciate the importance of this contest; and they did but little more than to permit the colonies to protect their rights in the valley of the Ohio.

In 1753 the Ohio Company had opened a road, by “Will's Creek,” into the western valley, and were preparing to locate their colony. At the same time the French had sent a force to occupy and hold the line of the Ohio. As the Ohio Company was under the especial protection of Virginia, the governor of that colony determined to send a messenger to the commander of the French forces and demand the reason for invading the British dominions. For this purpose he selected George Washington, then twenty-one years of age, who, with six assistants, set out from Williamsburg, Va., in the middle of November, for the waters of the Ohio and the lakes. After a journey of nine days through sleet and snow, he reached the Ohio, at the junction of the Alleghany and the Monongahela; and his quick eye seemed to foresee the destiny of the place. “I spent some time,” said he, “in viewing the rivers. The land in the fork has the absolute command of both.” On this spot Fort Pitt was afterwards built, and still later the city of Pittsburg.

As Bancroft has said, “After creating in imagination a fortress and city, his party swam across the Alleghany, and wrapped their blankets around them for the night on the northwest bank.” Proceeding down the Ohio to Logstown, he [21] held a council with the Shawnees and the Delawares, who promised to secure the aid of the Six Nations in resisting the French. He then proceeded to the French posts at Venango and Fort Le Boelig;uf (the latter 15 miles from Lake Erie), and warned the commanders that the rights of Virginia must not be invaded. He received for his answer that the French would seize every Englishman in the Ohio Valley.

Returning to Virginia in January, 1754, he reported to the governor, and immediate preparations were made by the colonists to maintain their rights in the West and resist the incursions of the French. In this movement originated the first military union among the English colonists.

Although peace existed between France and England, formidable preparations were made by the latter to repel encroachments on the frontier, from Ohio to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Braddock was sent to America, and in 1755, at Alexandria, Va., he planned four expeditions against the French.

It is not necessary to speak in detail of the war that followed. After Braddock's defeat, near the forks of the Ohio, which occurred on July 9, 1755, England herself took active measures for prosecuting the war.

On Nov. 25, 1758, Forbes captured Fort Duquesne, which thus passed into the possession of the English, and was named Fort Pitt, in honor of the great minister. In 1759 Quebec was captured by General Wolfe; and the same year Niagara fell into the hands of the English.

In 1760 an English force, under Major Rogers, moved westward from Niagara, to occupy the French posts on the upper lakes. They coasted along the south shore of Erie, the first English-speaking people that sailed its waters. Near the mouth of the Grand River they met in council the chiefs of the great warrior Pontiac. A few weeks later they took possession of Detroit. “Thus,” says Mr. Bancroft, “was Michigan won by Great Britain, though not for itself. There were those who foresaw that the acquisition of Canada was the prelude of American independence.”

Late in December Rogers returned to the Maumee; and, setting out from the point where Sandusky City now stands, crossed the Huron River to the northern branch of White Woman's River, and, passing thence by the English village of Beaverstown, and up the Ohio, reached Fort Pitt on Jan. 23, 1761, just a month after he left Detroit.

Under the leadership of Pitt, England was finally triumphant in this great struggle; and by the treaty of Paris, of Feb. 10, 1763, she acquired Canada and all the territory east of the Mississippi River, and southward to the Spanish territory, excepting New Orleans and the island on which it is situated.

During the twelve years which followed the treaty of Paris, the English colonists were pushing their settlements into the newly acquired territory; but they encountered the opposition of the Six Nations and their allies who made fruitless efforts to capture the British posts—Detroit, Niagara, and Fort Pitt.

At length, in 1768, Sir William Johnson concluded a treaty at Fort Stanwix with these tribes, by which all the lands south of the Ohio and the Alleghany were sold to the British, the Indians to remain in undisturbed possession of the territory north and west of those rivers. New companies were organized to occupy the territory thus obtained.

“Among the foremost speculators in Western lands at that time,” says the author of Annals of the West, “was George Washington.” In 1769 he was one of the signers of a petition to the King for a grant of 2,500,000 acres in the West. In 1770 he crossed the mountains and descended the Ohio to the mouth of the Great Kanawha, to locate the 10,000 acres to which he was entitled for services in the French War.

Virginians planted settlements in Kentucky; and pioneers from all the colonies began to occupy the frontiers, from the Alleghany to the Tennessee.

Third.

The War of the Revolution, and its Relations to the West.

How came the thirteen colonies to possess the valley of the Mississippi? The object of their struggle was independence. and yet by the treaty of peace in 1783 not only was the independence of the thirteen colonies conceded, but there was [22] granted to the new republic a western territory bounded by the northern lakes, the Mississippi, and the French and Spanish possessions.

How did these hills and valleys become a part of the United States? It is true that by virtue of royal charters several of the colonies set up claims extending to the “South sea.” The knowledge which the English possessed of the geography of this country at that time is illustrated by the fact that Capt. John Smith was commissioned to sail up the Chickahominy and find a passage to China! But the claims of the colonies were too vague to be of any consequence in determining the boundaries of the two governments. Virginia had indeed extended her settlements into the region south of the Ohio River, and during the Revolution had annexed that country to the Old Dominion, calling it the county of Kentucky. But previous to the Revolution the colonies had taken no such action in reference to the territory northwest of the Ohio.

The cession of that great territory, under the treaty of 1783, was due mainly to the foresight, the courage, and the endurance of one man, who never received from his country any adequate recognition for his great service. That man was George Rogers Clark; and it is worth your while to consider the work he accomplished. Born in Virginia, he was in early life a surveyor, and afterwards served in Lord Dunmore's War. In 1776 he settled in Kentucky, and was, in fact, the founder of that commonwealth. As the war of the Revolution progressed, he saw that the pioneers west of the Alleghanies were threatened by two formidable dangers: first, by the Indians, many of whom had joined the standard of Great Britain; and, second, by the success of the war itself. For, should the colonies obtain their independence while the British held possession of the Mississippi Valley, the Alleghanies would be the western boundary of the new republic, and the pioneers of the West would remain subject to Great Britain.

Inspired by these views, he made two journeys to Virginia to represent the case to the authorities of that colony. Failing to impress the House of Burgesses with the importance of warding off these dangers, he appealed to the governor, Patrick Henry, and received from him authority to enlist seven companies to go to Kentucky subject to his orders, and serve for three months after their arrival in the West. This was a public commission.

Another document, bearing date Williamsburg, Jan. 2, 1778, was a secret commission, which authorized him, in the name of Virginia, to capture the military posts held by the British in the Northwest. Armed with this authority, he proceeded to Pittsburg, where he obtained ammunition and floated it down the river to Kentucky, succeeded in enlisting seven companies of pioneers, and in the month of June, 1778, commenced his march through the untrodden wilderness to the region of the Illinois. With a daring that is scarcely equalled in the annals of war, he captured the garrisons of Kaskaskia, St. Vincent, and Cahokia, and sent his prisoners to the governor of Virginia, and by his energy and skill won over the French inhabitants of that region to the American cause.

In October, 1778, the House of Burgesses passed an act declaring that “all the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, who are already settled there, or shall hereafter be settled on the west side of the Ohio, shall be included in the District of Kentucky, which shall be called Illinois county.” In other words, George Rogers Clark conquered the Territory of the Northwest in the name of Virginia, and the flag of the republic covered it at the close of the war.

In negotiating the treaty of peace at Paris, in 1783, the British commissioners insisted on the Ohio River as the northwestern boundary of the United States; and it was found that the only tenable ground on which the American commissioners relied, to sustain our claim to the Lakes and the Mississippi as the boundary, was the fact that George Rogers Clark had conquered the country, and Virginia was in undisputed possession of it at the cessation of hostilities.

In his Notes on the early settlement of the Northwest Territory, Judge Burnet says, “That fact [the capture of the British posts] was confirmed and [23] admitted, and was the chief ground on which the British commissioners reluctantly abandoned their claim.”

It is a stain upon the honor of our country that such a man—the leader of pioneers who made the first lodgment on the site now occupied by Louisville, who was in fact the founder of the State of Kentucky, and who by his personal foresight and energy gave nine great States to the republic—was allowed to sink under a load of debt incurred for the honor and glory of his country.

In 1799 Judge Burnet rode some 10 or 12 miles from Louisville into the country to visit this veteran hero. He says he was induced to make this visit by the veneration he entertained for Clark's military talents and services.

“He had,” says Burnet, “ the appearance of a man born to command, and fitted by nature for his destiny. There was a gravity and solemnity in his demeanor resembling that which so eminently distinguished the venerated Father of his Country. A person familiar with the lives and character of the military veterans of Rome in the days of her greatest power might readily have selected this remarkable man as a specimen of the model he had formed of them in his own mind; but he was rapidly falling a victim to his extreme sensibility, and to the ingratitude of his native State, under whose banner he had fought bravely and with great success.

The time will certainly come when the enlightened and magnanimous citizens of Louisville will remember the debt of gratitude they owe the memory of that distinguished man. He was the leader of the pioneers who made the first lodgment on the site now covered by their rich and splendid city. He was its protector during the years of its infancy, and in the period of its greatest danger. Yet the traveller, who had read of his achievements, admired his character, and visited the theatre of his brilliant deeds, discovers nothing indicating the place where his remains are deposited, and where he can go and pay a tribute of respect to the memory of the departed and gallant hero.

This eulogy of Judge Burnet is fully warranted by the facts of history. There is preserved in the War Department at Washington a portrait of Clark, which gives unmistakable evidence of a character of rare grasp and power. No one can look upon that remarkable face without knowing that the original was a man of unusual force.

Fourth.

Organization and Settlement of the Northwest Territory.

Soon after the close of the Revolution our Western country was divided into three territories—the Territory of the Mississippi, the Territory south of the Ohio, and the Territory northwest of the Ohio. For the purposes of this address I shall consider only the organization and settlement of the latter.

It would be difficult to find any country so covered with conflicting claims of title as the territory of the Northwest. Several States, still asserting the validity of their royal charters, set up claims more or less definite to portions of this territory. First—by royal charter of 1662, confirming a council charter of 1630, Connecticut claimed a strip of land bounded on the east by the Narraganset River, north by Massachusetts, south by Long Island Sound, and extending westward between the parallels of 41° and 42° 2′ north latitude, to the mythical “South sea.” Second—New York, by her charter of 1614, claimed a territory marked by definite boundaries, lying across the boundaries of the Connecticut charter. Third—by the grant to William Penn, in 1664, Pennsylvania claimed a territory overlapping part of the territory of both these colonies. Fourth—the charter of Massachusetts also conflicted with some of the claims above mentioned. Fifth—Virginia claimed the whole of the Northwest territory by right of conquest, and in 1779, by an act of her legislature, annexed it as a county. Sixth—several grants had been made of special tracts to incorporated companies by the different States. And, finally, the whole territory of the Northwest was claimed by the Indians as their own.

The claims of New York, Massachusetts, and part of the claim of Pennsylvania had been settled before the war by royal commissioners; the others were still unadjusted. It became evident that no satisfactory settlement could be made except by Congress. That body urged the several States to make a cession of the [24] lands they claimed, and thus enable the general government to open the Northwest for settlement.

On March 1, 1784, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Hardy, Arthur Lee, and James Monroe, delegates in Congress, executed a deed of cession in the name of Virginia, by which they transferred to the United States the title of Virginia to the Northwest Territory, but reserving to that State 150,000 acres of land which Virginia had promised to George Rogers Clark, and to the officers and soldiers who with him captured the British posts in the West. Also, another tract of land between the Scioto and Little Miami, to enable Virginia to pay her promised bounties to her officers and soldiers of the Revolutionary army.

On Oct. 27, 1784, a treaty was made at Fort Stanwix (now Rome, N. Y.) with tile Six Nations, by which these tribes ceded to the United States their vague claims to the lands north and west of the Ohio. On Jan. 31, 1785, a treaty was made at Fort McIntosh (now the town of Beaver, Pa.) with the four Western tribes, the Wyandottes, the Delawares, the Chippewas, and the Tawas, by which all their lands in the Northwest Territory were ceded to the United States, except that portion bounded by a line from the mouth of the Cuyahoga up that river to the portage between the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas, thence down that branch to the mouth of Sandy, thence westwardly to the portage of the Big Miami, which runs into the Ohio, thence along the portage to the Great Miami or Maumee, and down the southeast side of the river to its mouth, thence along the shore of Lake Erie to the mouth of the Cuyahoga. The territory thus described was to be forever the exclusive possession of these Indians.

In 1788 a settlement was made at Marietta., and soon after other settlements were begun. But the Indians were dissatisfied, and, by the intrigues of their late allies, the British, a savage and bloody war ensued, which delayed for several years the settlement of the State. The campaign of General Harmar in 1790 was only a partial success. In the following year a more formidable force was placed under the command of General St. Clair, who suffered a disastrous and overwhelming defeat on Nov. 4 of that year, near the head-waters of the Wabash.

It was evident that nothing but a war so decisive as to break the power of the Western tribes could make the settlement of Ohio possible. There are but few things in the career of George Washington that so strikingly illustrate his sagacity and prudence as the policy he pursued in reference to this subject. He made preparations for organizing an army of 5,000 men, appointed General Wayne to the command of a special force, and early in 1792 drafted detailed instructions for giving it special discipline to fit it for Indian warfare. During that and the following year he exhausted every means to secure the peace of the West by treaties with the tribes.

But agents of England and Spain were busy in intrigues with the Indians in hopes of recovering a portion of the great empire they had lost by the treaty of 1783. So far were the efforts of England carried that a British force was sent to the rapids of the Maumee, where they built a fort, and inspired the Indians with the hope that the British would join them in fighting the forces of the United States.

All efforts to make a peaceable settlement on any other basis than the abandonment on the part of the United States of all territory north of the Ohio having failed, General Wayne proceeded with that wonderful vigor which had made him famous on so many fields of the Revolution, and on Aug. 20, 1794, defeated the Indians and their allies on the banks of the Maumee, and completely broke the power of their confederation.

On Aug. 3, 1795, General Wayne concluded at Greenville a treaty of lasting peace with these tribes and thus opened the State to settlement. In this treaty there was reserved to the Indians the same territory west of the Cuyahoga as described in the treaty of Fort McIntosh of 1785.

Fifth.

Settlement of the Western Reserve.

I have now noticed briefly the adjustment of the several claims to the Northwestern Territory, excepting that of Connecticut. It has already been seen that [25] Connecticut claimed a strip westward from the Narraganset River to the Mississippi, between the parallels of 41° and 42° 2′; but that portion of her claim which crossed the territory of New York and Pennsylvania had been extinguished by adjustment. Her claim to the territory west of Pennsylvania was unsettled until Sept. 14, 1786, when she ceded it all to the United States, except that portion lying between the parallels above named and a line 120 miles west of the western line of Pennsylvania and parallel with it. This tract of country was about the size of the present State, and was called “New Connecticut.”

In May, 1792, the legislature of Connecticut granted to those of her citizens whose property had been burned or otherwise spoliated by the British during the war of the Revolution half a million of acres from the west end of the reserve. These were called “The fire lands.”

On Sept. 5, 1795, Connecticut executed a deed to John Caldwell, Jonathan Brace, and John Morgan, trustees for the Connecticut Land Company, for 3,000,000 acres of reserve lying west of Pennsylvania, for $1,200,000, or at the rate of 40 cents per acre. The State gave only a quit-claim deed, transferring only such title as she possessed, and leaving all the remaining Indian titles to the reserve to be extinguished by the purchasers themselves. With the exception of a few hundred acres previously sold in the neighborhood of the Salt Spring tract on the Mahoning, all titles to lands on the reserve east of “The fire lands” rest on this quit-claim deed of Connecticut to the three trustees, who were all living as late as 1836, and joined in making deeds to the lands on the reserve.

On the same day that the trust deed was made, articles of association were signed by the proprietors, providing for the government of the company. The management of its affairs was intrusted to seven directors. They determined to extinguish the Indian title, and survey their land into townships 5 miles square. Moses Cleaveland, one of the directors, was made general agent; Augustus Porter, principal surveyor; and Seth Pease, astronomer and surveyor. To these were added four assistant surveyors, a commissary, a physician, and thirty-seven other employees. This party assembled at Schenectady, N. Y., in the spring of 1796, and prepared for their expedition.

It is interesting to follow them on their way to the Reserve. They ascended the Mohawk River in bateaux, passing through Little Falls, and from the present city of Rome took their boats and stores across into Wood Creek. Passing down the stream, they crossed the Oneida Lake, thence down the Oswego to Lake Ontario, coasting along the lake to Niagara. After encountering innumerable hardships, the party reached Buffalo on June 17, where they met Red Jacket and the principal chiefs of the Six Nations, and on the 23d of that month completed a contract with those chiefs, by which they purchased all the rights of those Indians to the lands on the Reserve, for £500, New York currency, to be paid in goods to the Western Indians, and two beef cattle and 100 gallons of whiskey to the Eastern Indians, besides gifts and provisions to all of them.

Setting out from Buffalo on June 27, they coasted along the shore of the lake, some of the party in boats and others marching along the banks.

In the journal of Seth Pease, published in Whittlesey's History of Cleveland, I find the following:

Monday, July 4, 1796.—We that came by land arrived at the confines of New Connecticut, and gave three cheers precisely at five o'clock P. M. We then proceeded to Conneaut, at five hours thirty minutes, our boats got on an hour after; we pitched our tents on the east side.

In the journal of General Cleaveland is the following entry:

On this Creek ( “ Conneaugh ” ), in New Connecticut Land, July 4, 1796, under General Moses Cleaveland, the surveyors and men sent by the Connecticut Land Company to survey and settle the Connecticut Reserve, were the first English people who took possession of it. ...

We gave three cheers and christened the place Fort Independence; and, after many difficulties, perplexities, and hardships were surmounted, and we were on the good and promised land, felt that a just tribute of respect to the day ought to be paid. There were in all, including [26] women and children, fifty in number. The men, under Captain Tinker, ranged themselves on the beach and fired a federal salute of fifteen rounds, and then the sixteenth in honor of New Connecticut. Drank several toasts. ... Closed with three cheers. Drank several pails of grog. Supped and retired in good order.

Three days afterwards General Cleaveland held a council with Paqua, chief of the Massasagas, whose village was at Conneaut Creek. The friendship of these Indians was purchased by a few trinkets and $25 worth of whiskey.

A cabin was erected on the bank of Conneaut Creek; and, in honor of the commissary of the expedition, was called “Stow Castle.” At this time the white inhabitants west of the Genesee River and along the coasts of the lakes were as follows: the garrison at Niagara, two families at Lewiston, one at Buffalo, one at Cleveland, and one at Sandusky. There were no other families east of Detroit; :and, with the exception of a few adventurers at the Salt Springs of the Mahoning, the interior of New Connecticut was an unbroken wilderness.

The work of surveying was commenced at once. One party went southward on the Pennsylvania line to find the 41st parallel, and began the survey; another, under General Cleaveland, coasted along the lake to the mouth of the Cuyahoga, which they reached on July 22, and there laid the foundation of the chief city of the Reserve. A large portion of the survey was made during that season, and the work was completed in the following year.

By the close of the year 1800 there were thirty-two settlements on the Reserve, though as yet no organization of government had been established. But the pioneers were a people who had been trained in the principles and practices of civil order; and these were transplanted to their new home. In New Connecticut there was but little of that lawlessness which so often characterizes the people of a new country. In many instances a township organization was completed and their minister chosen before the pioneers left home. Thus they planted the institutions and opinions of Old Connecticut in their new wilderness homes.

There are townships on this Western Reserve which are more thoroughly New England in character and spirit than most of the towns of the New England of to– day. Cut off as they were from the metropolitan life that had gradually been moulding and changing the spirit of New England, they preserved here in the wilderness the characteristics of New England, as it was when they left it at the beginning of the century. This has given to the people of the Western Reserve those strongly marked qualities which have always distinguished them.

For a long time it was difficult to ascertain the political and legal status of the settlers on the Reserve. The State of Connecticut did not assume jurisdiction over its people, because the State had parted with her claim to the soil.

By a proclamation of Governor St. Clair, in 1788, Washington county had been organized, having its limits extended westward to the Scioto and northward to the mouth of the Cuyahoga, with Marietta as the county seat. These limits included a portion of the Western Reserve. But the Connecticut settlers did not consider this a practical government, and most of them doubted its legality.

By the end of the century seven counties, Washington, Hamilton, Ross, Wayne, Adams, Jefferson, and Knox, had been created, but none of them were of any practical service to the settlers on the Reserve. No magistrate had been appointed for that portion of the country, no civil process was established, and no mode existed of making legal conveyances.

But in the year 1800 the State of Connecticut, by act of her legislature, transferred to the national government all her claim to civil jurisdiction. Congress assumed the political control, and the President conveyed by patent the fee of the soil to the government of the State for the use of the grantees and the parties claiming under them. Whereupon, in pursuance of this authority, on Sept. 22, 1800, Governor St. Clair issued a proclamation establishing the county of Trumbull, to include within its boundaries the “Fire lands” and adjacent islands, and ordered an election to be held at Warren, its county seat, on the second Tuesday of October. At that [27] election forty-two votes were cast, of which General Edward Paine received thirty-eight, and was thus elected a member of the Territorial legislature. All the early deeds on the Reserve are preserved in the records of Trumbull county.

A treaty was held at Fort Industry on July 4, 1805, between the commissioners of the Connecticut Land Company and the Indians, by which all the lands in the Reserve west of the Cuyahoga belonging to the Indians were ceded to the Connecticut Company.

Geauga was the second county of the Reserve. It was created by an act of the legislature, Dec. 31, 1805; and by a subsequent act its boundaries were made to include the present territory of Cuyahoga county as far west as the Fourteenth Range.

Portage county was established on Feb. 10, 1807; and on June 16, 1810, the act establishing Cuyahoga county went into operation. But that act all of Geauga west of the Ninth Range was made a part of Cuyahoga county. Ashtabula county was established on Jan. 22, 1811.

A considerable number of Indians remained on the Western Reserve until the breaking out of the War of 1812. Most of the Canadian tribes took up arms against the United States in that struggle, and a portion of the Indians of the Western Reserve joined their Canadian brethren. At the close of that war occasional bands of these Indians returned to their old haunts on the Cuyahoga and the Mahoning; but the inhabitants of the Reserve soon made them understand that they were unwelcome visitors after the part they had taken against us. Thus the War of 1812 substantially cleared the Reserve of its Indian inhabitants.

In this brief survey I have attempted to indicate the general character of the leading events connected with the discovery and settlement of our country. I cannot, on this occasion, further pursue the history of the settlement and building up of the counties and townships of the Western Reserve. I have already noticed the peculiar character of the people who converted this wilderness into the land of happy homes which we now behold on every hand. But I desire to call the attention of the young men and women who hear me to the duty they owe to themselves and their ancestors to study carefully and reverently the history of the great work which has been accomplished in this New Connecticut.

The pioneers who first broke ground here accomplished a work unlike that which fell to the lot of any succeeding generation. The hardships they endured, the obstacles they encountered, the life they led, the peculiar qualities they needed in their undertakings, and the traits of character developed by their works stand alone in our history. The generation that knew these first pioneers is fast passing away. But there are sitting in this audience to-day a few men and women whose memories date back to the early settlement. Here sits a gentleman near me who is older than the Western Reserve. He remembers a time when the axe of the Connecticut pioneer had never awakened the echoes of the wilderness here. How strange and wonderful a transformation has taken place since he was a child! It is our sacred duty to rescue from oblivion the stirring recollections of such men, and preserve them as memorials of the past, as lessons for our own inspiration and the instruction of those who shall come after us.

The materials for a history of this Reserve are rich and abundant. Its pioneers were not ignorant and thoughtless adventurers, but men of established character, whose opinions on civil and religious liberty had grown with their growth and become the settled convictions of their maturer years. Both here and in Connecticut the family records, journals, and letters, which are preserved in hundreds of families, if brought out and arranged in order, would throw a flood of light on every page of our history. Even the brief notice which informed the citizens of this county that a meeting was to be held here to-day to organize a Pioneer Society has called this great audience together, and they have brought with them many rich historical memorials. They have brought old colonial commissions given to early Connecticut soldiers of the Revolution, who became pioneers of the Reserve and whose children are here today. They have brought church and other records which date back to the [28] beginning of these settlements. They have shown us implements of industry which the pioneers brought in with them, many of which have been superseded by the superior mechanical contrivances of our time. Some of these implements are symbols of the spirit and character of the pioneers of the Reserve. Here is a broad-axe brought from Connecticut by John Ford, father of the late governor of Ohio; and we are told that the first work done with this axe by that sturdy old pioneer, after he had finished a few cabins for the families that came with him, was to hew out the timbers for an academy, the Burton Academy, to which so many of our older men owe the foundation of their education, and from which sprang the Western Reserve College.

These pioneers knew well that the three great forces which constitute the strength and glory of a free government are the family, the school, and the church. These three they planted here, and they nourished and cherished them with an energy and devotion scarcely equalled in any other quarter of the world. On this height were planted in the wilderness the symbols of this trinity of powers; and here, let us hope, may be maintained forever the ancient faith of our fathers in the sanctity of the home, the intelligence of the school, and the faithfulness of the church. Where these three combine in prosperous union, the safety and prosperity of the nation are assured. The glory of our country can never be dimmed while these three lights are kept shining with an undimmed lustre.


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