Opening the Door West  -- Chapter Descriptions



1. The Ohio Lands – The Northwest Territory was wild and pristine, filled with gigantic trees, exotic animals and birds and home to thousands of Native American Indians.



2.  The Ordinance and the Company – Retired Revolutionary War Officers formed The Ohio Company to buy western lands and begin the country’s western expansion.  The Ordinance of 1787 was shepherded through Congress by company men to provide a legal framework for government.  Article six-outlawed slavery in the NW – the first such move in America.



3.  Fort Harmar – Was built in 1785 to “protect the Indians from the settlers.”  Soldiers evicted squatters from the north side of the river so the Federal Government could sell the land.  Thus, Marietta became the first legal American settlement in the NW Territory.



4.  Adventure Galley, or Going Out of the World – Moving from the long settled East to the Ohio frontier was not only an adventure, it was dangerous business.  Rufus Putnam and the Ohio Company men used careful planning and organization to bring security and community to the wilderness.



5.  Field of Mars – The Ohio Company’s civilian fort was just a temporary building but Campus Martius was a magnificent sight in the frontier wilderness.  Built of four-inch thick sawn planks, it was perhaps the country’s first prefabricated condominium.



6.  Adelphi – The village at “The Point” became the commercial center of the settlement and grew into the city of Marietta. The first year brought hard work, celebrations and a treaty with the Indians.



7.  Spies and Rangers – Experienced frontiersmen were hired by The Company to protect the settlements.  While they knew the challenges of the frontier well, they hated Indians and sometimes caused more problems than they solved.



8.  Farmer’s Castle – The second year saw the settlement expand to Waterford up the Muskingum River and Belle Prairie (Belpre) 12 miles down the Ohio.  Beyond the surveyors, the builders, the millers and the rangers, the king of occupations was farming.



9.  The Starving Year – Hardship and deprivation characterized the third year.  Just as they were recovering from disease, flood and famine they were visited by another plague, one of ironic proportions.



10. Big Bottom – The massacre of 12 Ohio Company settlers begins five years of bloody warfare on the frontier.  The U. S. Army would suffer one of the worst defeats in its history and the Native Americans would stop settlement dead in its tracks – with devastating effects on the Ohio Company.



11. The Door Opens – The Federal Government finally comes to the rescue.  The Greenville Treaty brings stability to the Ohio Lands, yet it dashes the hopes of the Ohio Company men.


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