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nications by the lakes. Then came the construction of canals, connecting the Ohio river and the Pennsylvania canal system with Cleveland harbor. Cleveland was now asserting herself as the metropolis of Northern Ohio. But about 1850 commenced that marvelous advance which followed the construction of railroads upon the Reserve. The track of commerce between the East and the West and the Southwest lay across the Reserve, and within ten years several roads reached out to the interior from this harbor. But railroad construction, with ship building, assumed vastly increased importance when the iron ores of Lake Superior were brought to the coal deposits of the Reserve.
This lighted the fires around our harbors and throughout our valleys, and the Reserve has rapidly become the seat of immense and varied manufacturing industries.
But, my friends, what shall we say of the social, political and religious characteristics of the Reserve, underlying all this material progress? They are, thank God, what might have been expected from the early seed.
The school-house at the cross-roads, and in the city the academy and college, and the church and the home where faith in God and the qualities of a true manhood are nourished and vitalized, these are the grand insignia of the inheritance we have received, venerable and beloved friends, from you.
The exercises of the day were now closed by singing to the tune of “Old Hundred” the “Early Settlers' Hymn,” in which the audience joined with the Quartette Club, followed with the Doxology.
EARLY CIVIL AND COUNTY ORGANIZATIONS,
SOUTH SHORE OF LAKE ERIE.
Hon. HARVEY RICE, PRES. EARLY SETTLERS' ASSOCIATION: It has occurred to me that the members of your Association would be interested in a review of the successive civil jurisdictions which have attached to the soil of this county.
While the French occupied the south shore of Lake Erie there was not the semblance of courts or magistrates for the trial of civil or criminal issues. This occupation ended in 1760, but it is an open historical question when it began. La Salle was in the Ohio country from 1669 to 1671 or 1672, though he established no posts, and the records of his occupation are lost. There are, on the Western Reserve, quite a number of ancient ax marks upon trees, over which the growth of woody layers corresponds to those dates, and which appear to me to have been made by parties of his expedition. The French had posts at Erie, Pa., on the Cuyahoga, on Sandusky bay, on the Maumee and Great Miami rivers as early as 1749 and 1752; and probably earier at some points in Ohio and Pennsylvania. In 1748 the English colonists from Pennsylvania had a trading post at Sandusky bay, from which they were driven by the French.
Pennsylvania had, however, no civil authority west of her boundary, which is described as being five degrees of longitude west from the Delaware river. The Colony of Virginia had claims, under various charters and descriptions, to a part of Pennsylvania, and all the territory to the west and northwest as far as a supposed ocean called the South Sea. Immediately
after the peace of 1763 with the French, the Province of Canada was extended by act of Parliament, southerly to the Alleghany and Ohio rivers. Great Britain promised the Indian tribes that the whites should not settle north of the Ohio river.
So far as I am now aware, the first civil organization under the authority of Virginia covering the Western Reserve, was that of the County of Botetourt, erected in 1769, with the county seat at Fincastle, on the head waters of the James river, between the Blue Ridge and the Alleghanies. But before this, there must have been a Virginia county covering the Forks of the Ohio, and extending, probably, to Lake Erie; for the troops captured at the Forks, now Pittsburgh, by the French in 1749, were Virginia militia, under Ensign Ward. It is probable that he was, or supposed himself to be, within the county of Augusta. Settlers from that colony located on the Monongahela and the Youghiogheny. In 1776 three counties were erected on those waters, some parts of which possibly included a part or all of the Reserve. These covered a part of Westmoreland county, Pa., which was settled from that State. This conflict of authority brought a miniature civil war, which was soon overshadowed by the war of the Revolution, in which both Virginians and Pennsylvanians heartily joined.
In 1778, soon after the conquest of the British forts on the Mississippi and the Wabash, by Gen. George Rogers Clark, Virginia erected the county of Illinois, with the county seat at Kaskaskia. It embraced the south shore of Lake Erie, Detroit, Mackinaw, Green Bay, and Prairie Duchien; but for practical purposes, only Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and St. Vincent or Vincennes.' The British held possession of the Ohio country and all the lakes. For the English forts on both shores of the lakes there was no county or civil organization during the Revolutionary war. The government of this almost unlimited region was exclusively military, of which Detroit was the central post. British soldiers and officers were at all the trading forts in Ohio, exercising arbitrary authority over the Indians and the white
traders, including the Moravian settlements on the Tuscarawas and the Cuyahoga.
After the treaty of peace in 1783, the same state of affairs continued, until, by successive campaigns against the Indians, the United States drove them off by military force. All the lives lost, the forts built, and the expeditions made in the Northwest, from 1785 to 1794, were a continuation of the war of the Revolution against England. Even after the second treaty, in 1792, she built fort Miami, on the Maumee, within the State of Ohio. The result of the battle of the Rapids of the Maumee, in August, 1794, put a stop to her overt acts against us for a time; but it was not until after the war of 1812 that she abandoned the project of recovering the American Colonies. While in her possession, until 1796, there were at the posts on the lakes, justices of the peace or stipendiary magistrates, exercising some civil authority, but none of them resided on the south shore of this lake.
This subject of early civil jurisdiction is a very obscure one, owing to indefinite geographical boundaries. I have received the assistance of Judge Campbell, of Detroit, of Silas Farmer, the histcrian of Detroit City, and of Mr. H. C. Gilman, of the Detroit Library, in the effort to trace out the extent of the Canadian districts and counties, with their courts, from 1760 to 1796. Their replies agree, that it is difficult to follow the progress of civil law on the peninsula of Upper Canada westward to the Detroit river and around the lakes. In 1778, Lord Dorchester, Governor General of Canada, divided Upper Canada into four districts for civil purposes, one of which included Detroit and the posts on the upper lakes. Early in 1792 the Upper Canadian Parliament authorized Governor Simcoe to lay off nineteen counties, to embrace that province. It is presumed that the county of Essex, on the east bank of Detroit river, included the country on the west and south around the head of Lake Erie, but of this the information is not conclusive. Some form of British civil authority existed at their forts and settle
ments until Detroit was given up, and all its dependencies, in 1796. When Gov. St. Clair erected the county of Washington, in Ohio, in 1788, it embraced the Western Reserve east of the Cuyahoga. West of this river and the Tuscarawas was held by the Indians and the British.
The State of Connecticut claimed jurisdiction over the Reserve, but made no movement toward the erection of counties. When she sold to the Land Company, in 1795, both parties imagined that the deed of Connecticut conveyed powers of civil government to the company, and that the grantees might organize a new State. As the United States objected to this mode of setting up States, this region was, in practice, without any magistrates, courts or other organized civil authority until that question was settled, in 1800. Immediately after the British had retired, in 1796, Governor St. Clair erected the county of Wayne, with Detroit as the county seat. It included that part of the Reserve west of the Cuyahoga, extending south to Wayne's treaty line, west to the waters of Lake Michigan and its tributaries, and north to the territorial line. Its boundaries are not very precise, but it clearly embraced about one-third of the present State of Ohio. The question of jurisdiction when Wayne county was erected, in 1796, remained open, as it had under the county of Washington. In 1797 the county of Jefferson was established, embracing all of the Reserve east of the Cuyahoga. When Trumbull county was erected, in 1800, it embraced the entire Western Reserve, with magistrates and courts having full legal authority under the territorial government. Before this, although no deeds oould be executed here, those executed elsewhere were, in some cases, recorded at Marietta, the county seat of Washington county. Some divines had ventured to solemnize marriages before 1800, by virtue of their ministerial office. During the first four years of the settlement of the Reserve there was no law the force of which was acknowledged here, but the law abiding spirit of New England among the early settlers was such that peace and order generally prevailed. By the organi