Israel Stone – Ruin and Recovery

As described in A Journey to Ohio – Part 2, the family of Israel Stone encountered dangers and difficulties as their party traveled from Rutland, Massachusetts to Marietta, Ohio in the autumn of 1790. The story of Israel Stone helps us to understand why this family and others made the strenuous journey, even knowing the difficulties they were likely to encounter both during and after. It also illustrates how the Northwest Ordinance and the Ohio Company of Associates provided a solution, at least for some, to the problems described in the story of Rufus Putnam and Daniel Shays.

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Rufus Putnam and Daniel Shays

Daniel Shays never set foot in Ohio, but he is part of the Ohio story.  When Rufus Putnam and others to set out for Ohio in December of 1787, they knew they would be crossing the Appalachian Mountains in the dead of winter.  Could they not have waited for better weather? Why the urgency?

Rufus Putnam’s sense of urgency had begun well before 1787. While still fighting for independence from Great Britain, Putnam foresaw that winning that war, while better than losing, was going to put some his fellow soldiers and neighbor farmers between a rock and a hard place. The story of Daniel Shays illustrates what Putnam feared….   Read full article

A Journey to Ohio – Part 1

In early September of 1790, Persis Rice Putnam and her children left their comfortable home in Rutland, Massachusetts to accompany husband and father Rufus Putnam to a newly established settlement in what was then the Northwest Territory of the United States of America…   Read full article

The Ohio Company of Associates

The history of the Northwest Ordinance and the history of the Ohio Company [1] are intertwined. The Ohio Company helped to define the Northwest Ordinance, and the Northwest Ordinance was in turn key to the success of the Ohio Company. Much has been written about the Ohio Company, some characterizing its members as shrewd land speculators and some characterizing them as patriotic visionaries.  Perhaps, in a uniquely American way, they were both…   Read full article

The Northwest Ordinance

By 13 July 1787, when the Northwest Ordinance was passed, thirteen colonies originally established by Great Britain in North America had united and won independence. [1]  A governing body formally known as the United States in Congress Assembled had signed the 1783 Treaty of Paris with Great Britain. Under the terms of this treaty, Great Britain ceded to the United States the area north of the Ohio River and south of the British Canadian border, extending west from Pennsylvania to the Mississippi. The Northwest Ordinance provided for governance of this territory and established a process by which states could be formed from it…   Read full article