Page images
PDF
EPUB

who form a council, invested with powers to make and enforce such laws and regulations as they may think proper for the good government of the town, and to assess a tax on real estates, which, without a vote of their constituents, cannot exceed one-half per cent. annually. Three trustees, with several subordinate officers, are annually elected in each township, whose duty it is to assess and collect taxes for the support of the poor, to keep the roads and streets in good repair, to select jurors, and generally to superintend the affairs of the township. Three county commissioners are

[table]

Price of Labour.

D. c.

A common labourer, per day, - - 0 75

Do. do do. with food, - 0 50

Masons and other tradesmen, - 10

Bricklayers, for 1000 bricks, - - 5 0

Do. for laying, . 2 30

Stone-cutters and carpenters have the same prices as at Phi. ladelphia. Mechanics, manufacturers, and labourers, receive per day from 75 cents to 1 dollar 50 cents. Throughout the whole country, which has a water communication with the Ohio river, the price of articles is nearly the same, except at Cleveland and other places near Lake Erie. In general, the price of living is one third cheaper than in the eastern states.

elected in each county for the term of three years, with powers to levy taxes, for purposes in which the district is interested, to superintend the direction of public buildings, and to manage the affairs of the county. There is a recorder's office in each county, for recording all deeds and other documents of a valuable nature, of which a certified copy, by the recorder, is equally valid with the original. This officer is appointed for seven years, by the court of common pleas; he receives no salary, and the fees of office are fixed by law.

Attornies and councillors at law are examined and licensed by the supreme court, after producing certificates of their having pursued a regular course of law studies, or of being already admitted to practice elsewhere, and that their moral conduct has been correct. No previous residence is required, but the applicant must declare upon oath that he intends to reside in the state.

Laws.—The laws are published annually, accompanied with a statement of the receipts and expenditures of the public money, which cannot be drawn from the treasury but in virtue of appropriations made by law. The criminal code has lately undergone revision, and the number of capital offences has been reduced from five to two,—murder and treason. Dr Drake states, that, in the town of Cincinnati, there have been but two convictions for murder, which took place five years after the first settlement; both felons were foreigners by birth; the one was pardoned, the other executed. Paupers are not entitled to support from the township, unless they have resided a year therein, and are found to be in want, in which case they are exposed to auction, and given in charge to the person who agrees to support them on the lowest terms. Profane swearing, and illicit intercourse between the sexes, are punished by a pecuniary fine.

Slavery and involuntary servitude are abolished; no indenture of any negro or mulatto hereafter made and executed out of the state, where the term of services exceeds one year, is valid, except when given in the state of apprenticeship. A slave, as soon as he touches the soil of Ohio, is free, but he is denied the right of suffrage. By a statute of 1804, afterwards amended, free negroes are denied a residence in the state, unless they give security by bond, that neither they nor their children shall become a public charge; and both negroes and mulattoes are incapable of giving testimony against white persons. This last provision is generally carried into effect, but the former, being considered unconstitutional, is not enforced. The blacks of Cincinnati, who are most numerous, are described by Dr Drake, as good-humoured, garrulous, and profligate, generally disinclined to laborious occupations, and prone to the performance of light and menial drudgery. Some few excercise the humbler trades, and some appear to have formed a correct conception of the objects and value of property, and are both industrious and economical. A large proportion of them are reputed, and perhaps correctly, to be habituated to petty larceny, but no more than one individual has been punished corporally, by the courts of justice, since the settlement of the town.

Religion.—The constitution of the state declares, "that all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God, according to the dictates of conscience; that no human authority can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience; that no man shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent." We have not been able to ascertain the number of members of the different religious denominations in this state. That of Baptists, according to the report of their general convention, held at Philadelphia, in May 1817, was 36^8; that of churches, 07. The chief religious denominations are Methodists, Presbyterians, Seceders, Baptists, and New-lights.

At Cincinnati, there is a "Female Society for Charitable Purposes," consisting of forty members, whose funds, raised by annual subscriptions, donations, and collections at charity sermons, are appropriated to the support of a mission in Louisiana, to the use of the theological seminary at Princeton for the purchase of Bibies, and the relief of indigent individuals of their own sex.

The churches are: the Methodist Episcopal church; the first Baptist church; the Society of Friends; and the Lutheran Society. In the Baptist congregation there is a male and female Society for the Support of Foreign Missions.

The Cincinnati Bible Society, consisting of persons of all religious denominations, has for its object the distribution of the Scriptures among the poor of the Miami country. The 29th section in each township, of the patent which bears the name of Symmes, was given by the general government for the support of religion. These tracts have been sold on leases of 99 years, renewable for ever, and the annual rents divided among the churches according to their number.

Education.—By a regulation of the general government, one thirty-sixth part of the state of Ohio has been granted for the support of schools; besides some townships for college education; which donations are under the direction of the state legislature. Of the lands purchased from the Indians, 580,000 acres have been appropriated for the establishment and support of a university, an academy, schools, and public worship. The "Ohio university" at Athens, on a peninsula formed by the Hockhocking river, forty miles by land from the Ohio river, was established by an act of the legislature in 1801. It is under the management of a corporation, consisting of the governor of the state, the president of the college, and not less than ten nor more than fifteen trustees. The annual revenue arises from two townships of land, each six miles square, which, in 1817, yielded about 2500 dollars. This land is leased in farms from 100 to 160 acres, the rent of which is the amount of the interest of the appraised value of the land in a natural state. Education is furnished in this seminary without expence. The college building, now erecting, is to consist of three stories. The "Miami university," established at Oxford, to the west of the Great Miami, was created and incorporated in 1809. The "Cincinnati univer

« PreviousContinue »