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Ohio Company, the

When, by treaty, the Indians had ceded the lands of the Northwestern Territory, the thoughts of enterprising men turned in that direction as a promising field for settlements. On the night of Jan. 9, 1786, Gen. Rufus Putnam and Gen. Benjamin Tupper formed a plan for a company of soldiers of the Revolution to undertake the task of settlement on the Ohio River. The next day they issued a call for such persons who felt disposed to engage in the enterprise to meet at Boston on March 1, by delegates chosen in the several counties in Massachusetts. They met, and formed “The Ohio Company.” It was composed of men like Rufus Putnam, Abraham Whipple, J. M. Varnum, Samuel Holden Parsons, Benjamin Tupper, R. J. Meigs, whom Americans think of with gratitude. They purchased a large tract of land on the Ohio River; and on April 7, 1788, the first detachment of settlers sent by the company, forty-eight in number—men, women, and children—seated themselves

Site of Marietta in 1781

[13] near the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio rivers, athwart the great war-path of the fierce Northwestern tribes when they made their bloody incursions to the frontiers of Virginia and Pennsylvania. They named the settlement Marietta, in honor of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, the ally of the Americans. This was the seed from which sprang the great State of Ohio. It was composed of the choice materials of New England society. At one time —in 1789—there were no less than ten of the settlers there who had re ceived a college education. During that year fully 20,000 settlers from the East were on lands on the banks of the Ohio. At the beginning of 1788 there was not a white family within the bounds of that commonwealth.

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