Page images



[ocr errors]



THIS country was first explored by Marquette, a Frenchman from Canada, in the year 1671. He traversed the country by the way of the lakes; ascended the Fox River from Lake Michigan, crossed over the range of mountains that give rise to the Fox and Ouisconsin; descended the latter and discovered the Mississippi; descended that river to the mouth of the Missouri, and returned. La Salle, another Frenchman, explored the country from the St. Lawrence to the Ohio; followed its course to the Mississippi, and discovered their junction in the year 1680. From this time the adventures of French traders became frequent into this vast interior; but no settlements were attempted until the year 1735: at which time the French commenced the settlement of Vincennes, upon the Wa



In 1750, the English government made a grant to a company of 600,000 acres of land upon the river Ohio, for the purpose of establishing her claims to this western wilderTo counteract these claims, the French erected Fort Duquesne at the head of the Ohio, in 1753. In 1758 the English dispossessed the French of this fort, (as has been noticed,) which struck a fatal blow to the claims of France in this country.

In 1763, France, by the cession of Canada to England, at the peace, relinquished all further claims to this western country.

In the year 1788, the Ohio Company, under the direction of Rufus Putnam, Esq. commenced the settlement of

Marietta, at the confluence of the Muskingum. In 1789, John Cleves Symmes commenced a settlement at the mouth of the Great Miami ; another settlement commenced about the same time at the mouth of the Little Miami; and Fort Washington, upon the Scioto, was constructed the same year, for general protection; but the hostile disposition of the savages prevented a general settlement in this country, until the peace of Greenville, which followed the famous victory of Gen. Wayne, August 3, 1795; since that time the settlements have progressed very rapidly three free and independent states have sprung up in this north-western territory, and added a numerous population to the Federal Union.

The limits of this work will not permit me to give that historical view of the rise and progress of the western states, which the importance of the subject demands; I shall therefore compress the whole into the following chronological form.


This state originally composed a part of Virginia, and was first settled by Col. Boon in the year


Was admitted into the Federal Union, June


Adopted her first constitution, August



This state formerly belonged to Carolina, and

was ceded by her to the United States

Was erected into a territorial government

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

This state also originally was claimed by Virginia, and Connecticut, and ceded by them to the

[blocks in formation]




United States, at sundry cessions, after the peace of 1781 Admitted into the Union



This state was formerly a part of the North-Western Territory, and was admitted into the Union Adopted its first constitution at the same time.


This was also a part of the North-Western Territory-Was raised into a territorial government




This state which lies between the territory of Arkansaw on the north, and the Gulf of Mexico on the south, was purchased of France, together with the vast regions of Louisiana, for 15,000,000 of dollars 1803 Erected into a state and admitted into the Union 1812

[blocks in formation]

This state was originally a part of the North-Western Territory, and erected into a territorial govern



Became a state and was admitted into the Union 1819


This state originally belonged to Georgia

Became a territorial government


Became a state and was admitted into the Union 1819


This composed the northern section of the vast

purchase of Louisiana

Was erected into a territorial government

Formed her state constitution

Was admitted into the Union


Is situated between the states of Missouri and Louisiana, and composed a part of the vast regions of the

Louisiana purchase

Was erected into a territorial government






Were ceded by Spain to the United States, and erected into a territorial government


These states have all formed and adopted republican forms of government, upon the original plans of NewEngland, and Pennsylvania, and have thus become so many pillars in that grand temple of American liberty, the Federal Constitution.

The primary object of this work has been to shew the origin of this pure system of liberty, and to trace its progress from the days of the 14th century down to the times in which we live, and shew how the pure religion of the gospel has fanned the sacred fire, until it has become one vast column, and given light, and life to these dark and benighted regions of the west,

Twenty or thirty years since, these western states were literally the habitations of cruelty; the abodes of savage beasts, and more savage men; and now they are covered with rich and flourishing towns, and villages, filled with a numerous population of free, and enlightended citizens,

whose noble and virtuous exertions have added nine illustrious pillars to the glorious Republic of United America.

This vast interior region abounds with every variety of soil and climate, and furnishes in rich abundance all the conveniences, and as many of the luxuries of life as are essential to the happiness, and prosperity of man.

The vast waters of the Mississippi, through the medium of its numerous tributary streams, affords all the facilities of internal navigation, as well as foreign intercourse with the ocean, that could possibly be desired.

The numerous steam-boats, and vessels, on the western waters, which now exceed one hundred, have rendered this internal navigation both safe, and expeditious; and given to the western farmer, and merchant, all the facilities of mutual interchange of commodities, that the Atlantic States enjoy, on their extensive sea-board. Added to all this, the hands of these hardy and industrious sons of labour have cleared the forests, levelled hills, and vallies, and opened numerous roads, that intersect each other in every necessary direction, to promote mutual and reciprocal intercourse, throughout the habitable parts of this vast interior.

The federal government, ever mindful of the best interests of this section of United America, have provided, as a permanent fund for the education of the rising generation; 45,680 acres of land for each new state, or two entire townships, to be applied to the purpose of endowing seminaries of learning. Also, 640 acres for the benefit of each town, as a permanent fund for the support of schools.

Education is the broad basis on which the civil and religious privileges of United America have hitherto rested, and on which they must continue to rest; remove this ba sis, and the grand fabric of American liberty will totter to its base, and tumble into ruins; preserve this, with the

« PreviousContinue »