« PreviousContinue »
Emigrants, especially from New England and New York, become here subject to bilious and typhous fevers, to avoid which, Dr Drake observes, “ that they should endeavour to arrive in the Miami country late in autumn, and seek the most healthy situation before the ensuing summer, avoiding the marshy effluvia of ponds and morasses, and accommodating their cloth. ing to the variations of temperature, particularly from heat to cold. In the summer of 1796, many of the inhabitants of Galliopolis fell victims to the yellow-fever, which originated from a quantity of animal and vegetable matter deposited in the small ponds and marshes within the limits of the village. * . • At Marietta in 1808, containing nearly 1500 inhabitants, there were 140 births and 28 deaths : of the latter 11 were children of cholera infantium and convulsions. The deaths, in 1817, principally of bilious fever, were 51. +
History. The rivers which water the northern parts of the Ohio were known to the French in 1634 ; and in 1680 Delasalle penetrated from Quebec to the Mississippi ; but no establishment was made till about the year 1735, when a small colony established itself F at Vinsennes, on the eastern bank of the Wabash. The want of fresh land in Virginia was the chief motive for migrating across the mountains; and the advantages of soil and climate were soon made known in Europe.
* See Ellicot's Voyage down the river Ohin, + Dr Heldreth's Description of Marietta. # Volney,
In France by La Honton, who describes the country, to the south of Lake Erie as one of the finest on the globe, both in respect of climate and of soil, containing extensive meadows, and majestic woods full of deer, wild turkies, with great abundance of native grapes. In England it became known by the publication of Dr Mitchell, in 1767,) who described it as one of the finest in all America, abounding with wild oxen and deer. In 1750, 600,000 acres of land on the borders of the Ohio river were granted by the British government to a company, who, in forming establishments, experienced opposition from the French traders. This circumstance induced the Governor of Canada to open a military communication between the fort of Presqu'ile and the Ohio river, by the channel of the Alleghany. In 1748 and 1749, the French had partly secured all this coun. try by a line of forts, and drove back the British settlers, which terminated in a war. The important fort, (Duquesne,) at the junction of the Alleghany with the Monongahela river, was given up to the English, by whom it was called Fort Pitt, and afterwards Pittsburgh. After the conquest of this place emigration was renewed from the back parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania, and several plantations had been formed on the Ohio and its branches, when, in 1763, a proclamation appeared to prevent any settlement beyond the waters which fall into the Atlantic Ocean. But the lands were too fertile to be easily abandoned, and the proclamation was disregarded. This encouraged licentious spirit, and frequent quarrels took place with the six nations of Indians to whom the country be
longed, but who afterwards sold their rights to all the lands south of the river Ohio for the sum of L. 10,000 paid by the governor of Virginia. Owing to Indian hostilities no settlements were made within the actual limits of the state of Ohio before the year 1788, when Marietta was established at the mouth of the Muskingum river by emigrants from New England, under the patronage of the Ohio company. The foundation of other establishments was also laid at a place called the North Bead, above the mouth of the Great Mi- r ami, at Fort Washington, now Cincinnati, and at Columbia, below the mouth of the Little Miami. From these points the population extended along the Musk. ingum and the Great Miami rivers ; but its progress was slow until the year 1795, when, by the treaty of Grenville, a great portion of this country was ceded to the United States by the twelve Indian tribes to whom it then belonged. Other cessions were made in the years 1805, 1807, and 1808, by which they have abandoned all claim except to the north-west corner, where they now reside. By the treaty of 1763 Great Britain relinquished to France all her pretensions to the country situated to the west of the Mississippi ; * but that on the east of this river, as far as the mountains, had been granted by charter to the states of Virginia and Connecticut ; in consequence of which, the former claimed the right of soil and jurisdiction between the parallels of 36° 30' and 41' north. The latter from
* England claimed jurisdiction over the whole continent frone. the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
41° to 42°. In 1784 Virginia relinquished all jurisdiction over the country north of the Ohio, and also her title to the soil, except a tract situated between the Scioto and Little Miami rivers ; and Connecticut, in 1786 and 1800, did the same, retaining a tract known by the name of Connecticut Reserve, or New Connecticut, 120 miles in length, as wide as the state of Connecticut, and containing nearly four millions of acres, The territory of Ohio (including the present state of Indiana, and the territories of Michigan and Illinois)< came under the jurisdiction of the general congress in 1787, who invested a governor, secretary, and three judges, with all judicial and executive functions, and this form of government continued until the popula, tion amounted to 5000 free male inhabitants of full age; when, in 1799, it gave place to a general assembly, consisting of a house of representatives elected by the people, and a legislative council nominated by this house, and appointed by congress, from which a delegate was sent to the national legislature. This government continued until 1802, when the population having reached the amount of 60,000, the people were authorized to form a constitution, which was established the following year. This constitution is founded on the most liberal principles. It is subject to revi. sion,-it secures freedom of conscience,--the liberty of the press,-trial by jury,—the right of association for the public good, and of the right of bearing arms. It prohibits unwarrantable searches, extraordinary bail, hereditary privileges, and involuntary servitude. The legislative authority is vested in a general assembly,
consisting of a senate and house of representatives, both elected by the people; all white male inhabitants above the age of twenty-one years, who have resided in the state twelve months next preceding the election, and who have paid state or county-tax, are entitled to vote ; any person convicted of bribery or perjury is excluded from the privilege of electing or of being elected. The representatives, whose number is not to exceed seventy-two, are chosen annually on the second Tuesday in October. Each representative must be twenty-five years of age, a citizen of the United States, an inhabitant of the state, and a payer of taxes, during the year immediately preceding his election, unless absent on public business of the state, or of the United States. The senators, whose number cannot be less than one-third, nor more than one half, of that of representatives, are chosen biennially by the same voters, and one-half of their seats are vacated every year. A senator must be an American citizen of thirty years of age ; must have resided two years immediately preceding his election in the county or district for which he is a candidate, unless absent on public business. He must also have paid state or county-tax.
A member of either house may be expelled for disorderly behaviour by the concurrent voice of two-thirds of its menibers, which members constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. In all cases except felony, treason, or breach of the peace, both senators and representatives are privileged from arrest during the session of the general assembly; and are not to be questioned out of doors for any words or speech spoken