Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Northwest Territory and Kentucky: After the 13 Colones

I posted about my various families winding up in Kentucky, Oho and Indiana after leaving their colonial roots. I thought the development of the Old Northwest and Kentucky warranted mention as well.

The Northwest became an incorporated US territory on 13 July 1787 and remained so until 1 March 1803 when the state of Ohio was admitted to the Union. The territory was claimed, at one time or another, by France, Great Britain, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

After the French and Indian War, the "Ohio Territory" was set aside for Indians and forbidden to colonial settlement by the British under the Royal Proclamation of 1763. The proclamation was largely ignored by those interested in settling the western lands.

During the American Revolution, the British enlisted Native American to raid American settlements as far south as Kentucky and western Virginia. Most unsettling was the fact that the British commander at Detroit was paying for American scalps. In 1779, George Rogers Clark led a volunteer Virginia militia into the Illinois territory to put an end to the British occupation. Clark successfully took control of Kaskaskia [present-day Illinois] and Vincennes [present-day Indiana] and forced "Hair-buyer" Hamilton to surrender. Clark planned on taking Detroit as well, but that mission never came to fruition. Clark claimed the country for Virginia, calling it Illinois County. After the war, the northwest became US territory, but was still under strong British influence until the end of the War of 1812.

In 1784 a land ordinance was passed organizing the territory. A second ordinance passed in 1785 established the township - range method for dividing the land into saleable lots. Parts of the Ohio Territory had already been settled using the old metes and bounds system, so Ohio was organized under both survey systems. Marietta, Ohio [1788] was the first new settlement north of the Ohio River.

Three major military engagements took place between the US and local Indians. "Mad Anthony" Wayne marked up a victory in 1794 at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. In 1790, General Josiah Hamer was  defeated in "Little Turtle's War."The most devastating defeat in US military history at the hands of Indians came in 1791 when general and territorial governor Arthur St. Clair was defeated by the combined forces of Little Turtle [Miami] and Blue Jacket [Shawnee] at the Battle of the Wabash. St. Clair resigned his commission and was later removed as governor.

The Indiana Territory was created in 1800, in preparation for Ohio's statehood. Ohio became a state in 1803. Five more states would be carved out of the Old Northwest: Indiana [1816], Illinois [1818],
Michigan [1837], Wisconsin [1848] and Minnesota [1858].

I'll take a brief look at the early years of each state and then wrap up with a post on "Kaintuck." Needless to say, I will give mention to my pioneer families in each state.

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