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called away on important business. He entrusted his foreman, M. S. Barnes, with writing the editorial, and making up the inside of that week's edition. The outside had already been printed and was chuck full of Democracy. Barnes took the inside in hand, but he was a Whig. He could not write a Democratic editorial to save his life. The result was that the outside of that issue was furious for the annexation of the “ Lone Star," for “Fifty-four-Forty or Fight," and all other Democratic measures of that campaign, while the inside antagonized all these measures; was purely Whig, and intensely hostile to everything that even looked Democratic. The only explanation given by Barnes was in a little editorial saying that Whipple was “ revelling among the Tombes." What he meant by this I have never been able to find out. In a few days Whipple returned, discharged his foreman, issued two or three more numbers of his paper, and from that day to this, neither patriot nor hero has been found who cared to publish a Democratic newspaper in Chagrin Falls.
. In 1852 the good old Whig party expired. Strange and startling as it may seem, it received its death blow at Chagrin Falls, and at the hand of my distinguished friend Judge Tilden. It may be a sad reminiscence, but its importance entitles it to a place in recorded history.
The Western Reserve had been the stronghold of the Whig party in Ohio, but its anti-slavery convictions were stronger than its party ties. The National Convention of the party that year nominated General Scott for the Presidency, but in its platform it resolved against the further agitation of the slavery question. This was too much for the Whigs of the Reserve, and without them the State was sure to cast its electoral vote for the Democratic candidate, Franklin Pierce--a result sure to follow if the Whigs of the Reserve supported the Free Soil candidate, John P. Hale.
Ben. Wade, then in Washington, took in the situation, interviewed General Scott, and received assurances from him that
rather than see slavery extended, he would sacrifice his right arm. Wade knew that that old hero meant just what he said, and that the result of this important interview should at once be made known to the anti-slavery Whigs of the Western Reserve. Knowing that on the Reserve there was no Whig more influential, and no abolitionist more earnest than Judge Tilden, Wade at once wrote to him what General Scott had said. Tilden was satisfied, and then determined that he could best place the good news upon the breeze at Chagrin Falls. He went there, and in a vigorous Whig speech stated the substance of Wade's letter, and returned to his home in Cleveland.
In a few days a good friend in Chagrin Falls wrote him that his statement in regard to the Wade letter was doubted; thereupon he sent the original letter to the Chagrin friend. But there it met the omnipresent and irrepressible Plain Dealer reporter, who took a copy of the letter and published it in the next issue of that paper. That was a good thing if the Plain Dealer had not circulated beyond the Western Reserve. But unfortunately it went into the Southern States, and the letter was largely copied in the Democratic papers in that section, and threatened the ruin of the Whig party throughout the entire South. The Southern Whigs in Washington called on Wade and asked, “Is this so?” As good fortune would have it, the Plain Dealer had misprinted one word; entirely immaterial, but nevertheless a misprint, enough to justify Wade in denying the anthorship of the letter. He did so with characteristic vehemence, and wrote to Tilden that the letter was raising hell with Scott in the South, and as the published copy was inaccurate, he had denied writing such a letter, and that he (Tilden) must destroy the original. I don't know whether Judge Tilden made another Whig speech on the Reserve or not; but faithful to his old friend Wade, and true to his party, he determined to consign the fatal letter to oblivion. With his true and tried friend S. I. Noble, and other Whigs, he took a steamer at Cleveland and sailed for the great Lundy's Lane Scott jollification. That letter weighed heavily upon his mind. Consulting with Mr. Noble they concluded that there was no better time to dispose of the letter than when they were beyond the sight of land. Tying a weight to the dread paper, and calling Noble as a witness, with judicial gravity Judge Tilden consigned it to the depths of Lake Erie. Oh, what relief was then given to a troubled breast!
But it was too late; the die was cast; that letter had done its fatal work in the South, where Scott received the electoral vote of but two States, Kentucky and Tennessee, and Wade's denial had neutralized Scott's assurance on the Western Reserve, and Ohio cast her electoral vote for Pierce. The Whig party was dead. Who says Chagrin Falls has no place in history?
RESPONSE BY HON. R. P. RANNEY.
Judge R. P. Ranney was the next speaker, supplementing Judge Spalding's remarks with another version of the way in which the Western Reserve obtained its name, relating several facts and anecdotes of an amusing character. It is much to be regretted that a full report of his excellent speech has not been procured for publication in these pages.
RESPONSE BY HON. R. P. SPALDING.
MR. PRESIDENT, AND LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: If my honored friend, Judge Tilden, had propounded his question to me: “Did you ever know a man attempt to speak when he had nothing to say?” he knows well what the reply would have been.
Somewhere about fifty years ago that gentleman made his first effort to address a jury, as my associate in a cause on trial in the Common Pleas of Portage county. He arose with a good deal of dignity and said, with emphasis: “ Gentlemen of the Jury!!!” But beyond this it seemed impossible for him to get, until finally, after many repetitions, he said: “ Gentlemen of the jury, if you do not decide this case in favor of my client, you will—you will—” (“dampen my aspirations," I whispered in his ear) “ You will dampen my aspirations, gentlemen!" When he said this in a commanding tone of voice, I caught up my hat and left the Court House. He soon followed, and I was obliged to sue for peace. But badinage aside.
We have heard much about the “ Western Reserve,” its settlement and progress. It is about as good a country as the sun shines upon, but then what of its name? It is, properly speaking, the “ Connecticut Western Reserve," and the name originated in this wise:
In 1662 the charter of Charles II granted to the colony of Connecticut “ all lands between the parallels of 41 and 42 degrees North latitude, from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean.” After American independence was established, a compromise was effected whereby Congress secured to the State of Connecticut 3,800,000 acres of land in the northeastern part of what is now the State of Ohio, and Connecticut relinquished all further claim to the Western territory.
500,000 acres of this land, in the western part, was donated by Connecticut, in 1792, to certain sufferers by fire, in the war of the Revolution. The residue was sold to an association of gentlemen known as the “ Connecticut Land Company," who sent out Gen. Moses Cleaveland, in 1796, with a number of practical surveyors to divide it into townships of five miles square. It was this body of men who, in the autumn of 1796, laid out the town of Cleveland and called it by the name of their leader. In February, 1823, when I first attended court in this county, Cleveland had a population of 400 souls. At this time the enumeration in the city runs up to 200,000, and it may not be extravagant to say that the child is already born that may see it teeming with a population of more than half a million.
In the spring of 1819 I was descending the Ohio River from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati, in a skiff, with some young traveling companions who, like myself, had become tired of the stage coach. It took us some ten days to reach the end of our route, as we could not proceed in the night season, but we became highly interested in the scenery upon the river bank in the day time.
I well recollect our visit to Backus' Island, a little below Marietta, where, in 1800, Harmon Blennerhassett and his accomplished wife had made for themselves a palatial residence which continued to be the abode of peace and happiness until in an evil hour it was entered by Aaron Burr, who, like Satan in the Eden of old, visited this earthly paradise only to deceive and destroy. The place and the parties are made historical by the eloquence of William Wirt at the trial of Burr in Richmond.
At the time of my visit the place was in ruins, but enough remained to enable me to judge of its past splendor and magnificence. The learned Dr. Hildreth, in his “Lives of Early Settlers of Ohio,” has given a faithful picture of this “ classical retreat," as it stood before the torch of the incendiary was applied, and it is well worthy of examination.
In 1793 John Armstrong lived on the Virginia side of the Ohio river, opposite the upper end of this island of Blennerhassett. A party of Indians crossed thc Ohio from the mouth of the Little Hocking, and in the night season approached Armstrong's house, killed Mrs. Armstrong and her three youngest children, and carried into captivity three older children, the youngest of whom was Jeremiah, a lad then about eight years old. They were adopted into the Indian nation as their children, and lived for some years at Lower Sandusky, near Fremont. Jerry was afterwards recovered, by an older brother, from the hands of Billy Wyandot, an Indian chief, with whom he lived. When I was first a member of the Ohio Legislature, in the winter of 1839-40, I boarded at the house of this same identical Jeremiah Armstrong, who was, for many years, a well known and highly respected citizen of Columbus.