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may be in.
But there are circumstances under which a man's enemies are his honors, and, so far forth, place him among earth's wisest and best.
Unfortunately teachers have not always been wholly free from blame in matters of this kind. There should be a firmer esprit de corps among them. The public should be made to understand that the place of a teacher, made vacant for political reasons secret or avowed, will long remain vacant, and that no first class or even second class man will consent to become the successor of such an one. There need be no politics in the usual sense of that term in teaching how we are governed. There are furthermere certain general principles underlying all good government and which all parties advocate, So there are various civic duties which every one ought to be taught to perform irrespective of party affiliations. Every pupil who has reached the age of fifteen or sixteen ought to be familiar in a general way with the workings of our government. They will thus be led to see how largely good laws and bad laws, the enforcement of law and the iminunity of law-breakers depend upon the will of the individual voter. Tens of thousands of men sell their vote every year, not so much because they are indifferent or reckless as because they are too ignorant to understand the baneful effects of such an act. They know little about the issues between the several parties and often see that in personal character the candidates are about equal; and they can see no reason why the narrowest personal considerations should not decide their vote. I believe that proper instruction upon these points will do more good than all the laws a dozen legislatures can enact.
We need also to impress as deeply as possible upon the minds of our pupils the fact that a public office is a "public trust,” and that the men who get it should be the most worthy and not the most eager or most needy. The office-hunting mania is one that threatens serious danger, and it can be cured only by properly enlightening children before they are old enough to be biased by personal considerations.
Is there not something intrinsically absurd in our neglecting to instruct the future citizen in those duties upon the proper and faithful performance of which so much of his future happiness and prosperity can not but depend? And if it is absurd and unwise as a general principle, it is doubly so as regards those schools that are wholly or chiefly supported by the state. Under such a government as France had before the Revolution, or as Russia has to-day, where the citizen has nothing to do with making the laws under which he lives and his children, it makes little difference whether he knows how he is governed or not. Under such a government as ours where the entire political
fabric can be remodeled in a few years by peaceful means, it is indeed important that our voters should know as far as human foresight goes how to make changes wisely. Ever since the establishment of our Republic, attempts have from time to time been made on a larger or smaller scale to subvert the existing form of government. Happily they have been so far without success: but in one case at least the disturbing forces were counteracted only by stupendous efforts and the sacrifice of much blood and treasure. I can not but think if the people of the South had been as enlightened in 1860 as were those of the North, the late terrible rebellion would have had a short career. The mass of the people blinded by ignorance, willingly and fiercely threw themselves into a contest in which, if successful, they would gain nothing, and which, when lost, stripped them of nearly all they had. Ignorance is relative, but mure knowledge when matched against less, never fails to win the day.
It is the truth that makes men free, no less under the law than under the Gospel. As population becomes more dense the relations between members of the same civic society become more complex and must of necessity become more clearly defined. A man's actions are more circumscribed in a city than in a town; in a town than in the country; in a thickly peopled country than in one sparsely settled.
When our vacant lands are filled up with settlers, as more and more of our towns grow into cities, there must be more and more restrictions upon conduct within certain limits. We want to keep clearly in mind the fact that such restriction is not necessary oppression, but that it is inherent in the nature of things and therefore inevitable. Self restraint is better than coercion, and every patriotic citizen rightly instructed will be willing to impose upon himself that degree of self restraint which he finds necessary in order to do the greatest good for the greatest number.
I know nothing of more importance to impress upon the minds of our young people than the great fact that a part of their time belongs to their country; and that their reward is not to come in the way of direct pecuniary compensation, but in a much larger measure with that social order which will enable them to get all the good out of life that is in it or can be put into it. Is there anything more delightful on this earth than to live in a law-abiding, God-fearing and intelligent community ?—Who is there that would choose to live on an island in mid ocean where every prospect pleases and only man is vile, for all the gold of Ophir ? We do not all of us sufficiently ponder the fact that our life is largely dependent upon the fellow beings with whom we are surrounded. It requires no small degree of self denial to properly do one's duty to the state. We shall have less time to devote to money getting, less for intimate social intercourse, less for study and less for pleasure seeking, but I am persuaded that there are no richer rewards than those which come to a man for the faithful performance of every civic duty, even the humblest.
EARLY HISTORY OF ASHTABULA COUNTY.
BY I. M. CLEMENS.
The history of Ashtabula County, as far as white men cerned, began about the year 1791.
A band of the Seneca Indians, who at that time lived about the lower part of Conneaut Creek, formed part of the Indian force that defeated Gen. St. Clair, Nov. 4, 1791. Edmund Fitz Jerald. and another young man whose name is not known were among the prisoners taken from St. Clair.
These two were given to the Senecas as their part of the captives, and were brought by them to their hunting grounds at Conneaut. The young captives were made to run the gauntlet, after which, in a solemn council of the assembled braves, it was decided that one should die and the other be adopted by the tribe.
Fitz Jeralds was the fortunate one. His companion was to die at the steak. When the time came for the execution of the savage decree, the unfortunate man was firmly bound to an oak tree, fagots of dry hickory bark were piled about him, and all was ready to apply the torch. At this point "there appeared upon the scene a young maiden squaw, whose heart was stricken with sympathy and grief, and, like Pocahontas, she earnestly pleaded for the life of the young victim. Her entreaties were heeded, and Fitz Jerald's companion was rescued from a frightful death.” The young man became a favorite, and was intrusted with important business for the tribe ; but a few years later, being sent to Detroit with furs to exchange for supplies, he improved the opportunity to escape. In 1800 he returned to Conneaut, after the Indians had gone, and related these facts, and even pointed out the tree to which he had been tied. Fitz Jeralds remained a captive, but when the Indians left, about 1794, he must have escaped or been released by them, for he became a citizen of this county and lived here for many years.
These two men, it is believed, were the first white men that looked upon this region.” From certain earth.works and manufactured articles found in this section of our State, it is thought by some that
white men visited this region” long before the Indians brought these two captives here. These visitors were thought to be La Salle and his company. All this is, however, mere conjecture.
When the surveyors arrived in 1796 they found a man by the name of Halsted living in a log hut which he had built in East Conneaut. He had cleared a small piece of ground and evidently interded to remain here. He was greatly annoyed at the coming of white men to his secluded home, and was not inclined to give any account of himself. All that could be learned of him was that he came from the Old Bay State, and had lived here three or four years. He soon left his cabin and disappeared. Nothing more is known of him, and he is remembered as "the hermit of Conneaut."
In 1796 the Connecticut Land Company sent men to survey the lands they had bought on the Western Reserve. By previous arrangement the party met at Schenectady, New York, from which point they ascended the Mohawk river in four flat-bottomed boats, proceeding by the way of Oswego, Niagara and Biffalo, reaching the Reserve on the 4th of July. The party consisted of fifty-two persons, among whom there were two women and one child. Moses Cleaveland was the agent of the Land Company, Joshua Stow, commissary, and Augustus Porter, principal surveyor. The day of their landing at Conneaut Creek happened to be the twentieth anniversary of American Independence, and this little band, though far from home and civilization, was too patriotic to allow the day to pass without some demonstration of their loyalty to the land whose Independence they had helped to achieve. After christening the place Port Independence, they thanked God for his care of them, fired a national salute from their fowling-pieces, pledged their fidelity to their country, ate, drank and were merry. These were the toasts they drank:
1. The President of the United States.
4. May the Port of Independence and the fifty sons and daughters who have entered it this day be successful and prosperous.
5. May these sons and daughters multiply in sixteen years sixteen times fifty.
6. May every person have his bowsprit trimmed and ready to enter every port that opens.
This was undoubtedly the first Fourth of July celebration held on the Western Reserve.
As soon as their festivities were ended, the men proceeded to construct a log house, “large and ungainly,” in which to shelter them.
selves and store their supplies. They named it Stow's Castle, in honor of the commissary of their company. With the exception of the Hermit's cabin, which was a very rude affair, this is said to be the first building erected by while men upon the soil of the Western Reserve.
The surveyors went to the south line of the Reserve, and after finding the point where the forty-first parallel of norih latitude crosses the western boundary of Pennsylvania, meridian lines were run north to the Lake, five miles apart; parallels were also run westward five miles apart, thus dividing the land into townships five miles square.
The Indians were not pleased with this invasion of their hunting grounds. A council was called, the pipe of peace was smoked, speeches were made, presents exchanged, and with the assurance on the part of the surveyors that the Indians should not be molested, an amicable settlement was reached, and the work of the surveyors proceeded without further hindrance. Those not engaged in surveying busied themselves in various ways. Among other things done, six acres of land were cleared and sowed to wheat, from which the next year a good crop was obtained. This was the first wheat raised on the Reserve.
After their work had advanced somewhat, the surveyors found it convenient to remove their headquarters farther west. Moses Cleaveland, with a small party, went to the mouth of the Cuyahoga river, and laid the foundation of what is now the city of Cleveland. Others of the original party followed later, so that by the time winter had fairly set in all had left Stow's Castle except the family of Mr. James Kingsbury, who came to Conneaut after the surveyors had come. This was the first white family who passed the winter within the present limits of Ashtabula County. The story of their sufferings during that severe winter is a sad one. “Circumstances rendering it necessary during the fall for Mr. Kingsbury to make a journey to the State of New York, he left his family in expectation of a speedy return, but in his absence he was prostrated with a severe attack of sickness that confined him to his bed till the setting in of winter. As soon as he was able, he began his return, and proceeded as far as Buffalo, where he obtained an Indian guide to conduct him through the wilderness. At Presque Isle, anticipating the wants of his family, he purchased twenty pounds of four, and continued his journey. In crossing Elk Creek on the ice he disabled his horse, left him in the snow, placed the flour upon his own back and pursued his way, filled with gloomy forebodings as to the condition of his little family. On his arrival, late Christmas evening, his worst apprehensions were more