OHIO, state of, is one of the United States of America. The name is derived from that of the Ohio River, which washes nearly the whole of its eastern and southern borders.
It is bounded on the north by Michigan territory and lake Erie, which separates it from Upper Canada, east fey Pennsylvania and the Ohio river, south also by said river which separates it from Virginia and Kentucky, and on the west by the state of Indiana.
Situation and Extent
It is situated between 28 degrees 50 minutes and 42 degrees of north latitude, and between 81 degrees 35 minutes, and 84 degrees 47 minutes west longitude from London. It is 216 miles, in extent, both from east to west and from north to south. But, Lake Erie projects so far into the northern borders, and the Ohio River cuts off so much of its southeastern quarter, that the state contains an area of but about 40,000 square miles, or 25,600,000 acres. The right of soil has not however been purchased from the native Indians inhabiting it, for more than four fifths of the territory included within the before mentioned limits.
1st, Civil Divisions
For civil purposes the state is divided into the forty eight following counties: Ashtabula, Trumbull, Columbiana, Jefferson, Harrison, Belmont, Monroe, Washington, Muskingum, Guernsey, Tuscarawas, Coshocton, Wayne, Stark, Portage, Geauga, Cuyahoga, Medina, Huron, Richland, Knox, Licking, Fairfield, Athens, Gallia, Jackson, Lawrence, Scioto, Pike, Ross, Pickaway, Franklin, Delaware, Madison, Fayette, Highland, Adams, Clermont, Clinton, Green, Champaign, Miami, Montgomery, Warren, Hamilton, Butler, Preble and Darke. These counties are again subdivided into townships.
2nd, Political Divisions
For the purpose of a due representation of the people in the senatorial and popular
branches of the state legislature, the several counties, and their several amounts of representation are apportioned as follows:
|County Name || No. rep.|| No. sen.|
|Ashtabula || 2 || 2|
|Geauga || 2 || 2|
|Cuyahoga || 2 || 2|
|Huron || 2 || 2|
|Portage || 1 || 2|
|Medina || 1 ||2|
|Trumbull ||2 ||1|
|Stark || 1 || 1|
|Wayne || 1 || 1|
|Muskingum ||2 ||1|
|Pickaway ||2 ||1|
|Pike || 1 || 1|
|Jackson || 1 || 1|
|Gallia || 1 || 1|
|Lawrence || 1 || 1|
|Scioto || 1 || 1|
|Adams ||2 ||1|
|Clermont ||2 ||1|
|Highland || 1 || 1|
|Fayette || 1 || 1|
|Richland || 1 || 1|
|Knox || 1 || 1|
|Licking || 1 || 1|
|Coshocton || 1 || 1|
|Tuscarawas || 1 || 1|
|Guernsey || 1 || 1|
|Harrison || 1 || 1|
|Washington ||2 ||1|
|Athens ||2 ||1|
|Madison || 1 || 1|
|Franklin || 1 || 1|
|Delaware || 1 || 1|
|Champaign ||2 ||1|
|Green || 1 || 1|
|Clinton || 1 || 1|
|Warren ||2 ||1|
|Montgomery ||2 ||1|
|Preble || 1 || 1|
|Miami || 1 || 1|
|Darke || 1 || 1|
The foregoing apportionment of representation was made by the legislature in February 1816, and is intended to continue four years; at the expiration of which time another enumeration of the voters is to take place, upon which to base the next apportionment.
For the election of representatives to Congress, the several counties are combined into six Congressional districts; which arrangement is to continue during ten years from 1811 and is as follows:
First District Counties
Second District Counties
Third District Counties
Fourth District Counties
Fifth District Counties
Sixth District Counties
For judicial purposes, the state is likewise divided into six circuits, composed of the various counties, in manner as follows:
Among the chief towns are Cincinnati, Chillicothe, Steubenville, Zanesville, Columbus and Marietta: and are in magnitude in the order mentioned. Of these Cincinnati is vastly the largest, and all rapidly improving, but none faster than Columbus, which will probably soon rank as the second or third in magnitude. Beside those here named are numerous others which are rapidly increasing in population and importance. One particular is worthy of remark: the towns throughout this end the other middle and western states, are very seldom of the same name with that of the township in which they are situated: for instance, Chillicothe is not situated in a township of the same name, but in Scioto township; Columbus in Montgomery, Lancaster in Hocking, &c.
In 1810, Ohio contained 230,760 inhabitants; among whom were 10,000 more males than females. This inequality in these relative numbers, probably results from the circumstance of a much greater number of young men, than of young women having emigrated hither from the eastward; and the recentness of their arrival not having yet permitted a restoration of the natural equilibrium. Of the above mentioned population, 1399 were blacks; but all free. By a census of the qualified voters, or free white males over 21 years of age, taken under the state authority in 1815, as data for apportioning the state representation, it appears that the total number of that description of persons, was 64,814: and allowing these to compose one fifth of the whole, the actual population of the state in 1815 was 324,070; making the increase, within five years, 94,710: which estimation is probably considerable less than the actual number. In Ohio, a much less number of individuals are legally exempted from military duty, than in many of the eastern state; yet the number of names on the militia rolls, by the latest official returns fell short of 40,000.
In religious opinions, the people are very much divided but the Presbyterian and Methodist are the prevailing denominations. In the southwestern, and some other parts of the state are a few Shakers, and Quakers or Friends. There are also a few of almost every denomination, and some of none at all.
Character and Manners
As to the general character and manners of the people, it may be proper to remark that the inhabitants having but recently emigrated from different sections of the Republic, have not yet resided together sufficiently long for a complete assimilation of manners; but they are gradually assuming a uniformity. A taste, likewise, for the more elegant and refined pleasures and ornamental accomplishments which embellish society, and enhance the enjoyments of social intercourse, seems rather to be gaining among the people generally.
This, like most other newly settled states, has not progressed far in the walks of science, and general literature; but is improving. Charters for three several colleges, pompously dignified with the titles of Universities, have been granted by the legislature. These are the Ohio University at Athens, the Cincinnati University, and another at Oxford called the Miami University. But the infantile state of the settlements, and their consequent inability to endow and furnish with a suitable number of students, so many seminaries, abstractly considered, seem to render questionable, the policy of granting so many of them, and the result has hitherto evinced the impolicy of the measure. There are also eight or ten incorporated academies in the state: eight of which are situated respectively at Burton, New Lisbon, Steubenville, Marietta, Gallipolis, Chillicothe, Worthington and Dayton: few or none of which however, at present, have regular classical schools kept in them. But common schools the grand & most important public source of useful knowledge, are annually set up, and encouraged in a greater or less degree, throughout the state. In several parts however the country is at present so thinly settled as to preclude the convenient practicability of immediately establishing them: but as it becomes more thickly populated schools will probably be supported wherever needed.
Trade & Manufactures
Beside the manufactures of a domestic kind, considerable quantities of cotton yarn and cloth, and some woolen goods are beginning to be made at the several factories. Of trade, horses, cattle, swine, whisky and flour compose the principal domestic articles of exchange for foreign commodities. By estimation, above 40,000 head of swine were driven from this state in the autumn of 1810, to the Philadelphia, Baltimore and other eastern markets: and since the commencement of the late war, vast numbers have been driven to Detroit and other military posts in that quarter. Those articles which are transported abroad from the northern and many interior counties, are frequently sent to Montreal and New York markets, by way of Lake Erie. The same species of property, from about two thirds of the southern parts of the state, are boated down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, to New Orleans. Part however ascends the Mississippi river to St Louis, and other places. The total "valuation of lands, lots with their improvements and dwelling houses within the state of Ohio, as revised and settled by the principal board of assessors" 1815, was 61,347,216 dollars.
Form of Government
The legislative authority is vested in a senate and house of representatives; both of which, collectively, are styled the General Assembly of Ohio. The members of both branches are elected by counties, or by districts composed of counties, according to population. The representatives are chosen for one year; and, for eligibility, a man must be at least 25 years of age, have resided in the state at least one year, and paid a tax. Their number must never exceed seventy two, nor be less than thirty six. The senate is composed of members elected for two years, who must not exceed one half, nor fall short of one third of the number in tire house of representatives. The present numbers are £9 senators, and 62 representatives. A senator must be at least 30 years of age, and have resided two years in the district from which he is chosen. The general assembly has the sole power of enacting all the state laws; the assent or signature of the governor not being necessary in any case whatever. The judiciary system comprises three several grades of courts, namely: the Supreme Court, courts of common pleas, and justices' courts. The justices of the peace are chosen triennially by the people themselves, in each township respectively. They are conservators of the peace, throughout the county; but have no civil jurisdiction out of their own townships. The state is divided into six judicial districts for courts of common pleas, in each of which is a presiding judge styled president and in each county of which the district is com posed, three associate judges, all elected by the legislature for seven years. These courts are held three times a year in each county. The Supreme Court consists of four judges, who hold a court once a year, in each county throughout the state. They are likewise chosen by the legislature for seven years. The supreme executive authority is vested in a governor chosen biennially by the people. He must be 30 years of age, and have resided in the state at least four years. He is commander in chief of the militia; and commissions all officers in the state, both civil and military. In case of disability, or vacancy in his place, the speaker of the senate acts as governor, until the next succeeding regular election. The qualifications of a freeman are the age of 21 years, one year's residence in the state, and the payment of a tax.
This state was first very partially settled by a few French emigrants on the Ohio River, while they possessed Canada and Louisiana, about the middle of last century. But these settlements were very inconsiderable, until the year 1787, when the Ohio. Company and shortly after, some other people from the eastern states, removed hither: since which, the population, and internal improvements have progressed with considerable rapidity. The Indian war, however, during several years previous to the year 1796, occasioned a serious interruption to their progress. In 1803, this was admitted: into the federal Union as an independent state.
The principal rivers are the Maumee, Sandusky, Huron, Vermillion, Black, Rocky, Cuyahoga and Grand rivers, in the north, and the Muskingum, Scioto, and Little and Great Miamies in the south. For a particular description, of each, see the several articles respectively.
Face of the country, soil, and productions
The interior and northern parts of the country bordering upon Lake Erie, are generally level, and, in some places marshy. About one quarter, or a third of the eastern and southeastern parts of the state bordering on the Ohio River, is very hilly and broken. The hills are not, however generally, so large and rocky, as properly to be termed maintains; notwithstanding they are almost infinitely numerous. But immediately upon the banks of the Ohio, and several of its tributaries are numerous tracts-of interval or meadow land of most exuberant fertility. In the interior parts, bordering on both sides of the Scioto River, which divides the state into two nearly equal parts, and on the two Miamies are perhaps the most extensive bodies of rich, fertile and level land of any other in the state. In many places are extensive prairies, particularly on the head waters of the Muskingum and Scioto, and between the Scioto and the sources of the two Miami rivers On these prairies no timber grows, excepting occasionally a few scattering, trees; sometimes however, they grow in small groves. Several of these prairies are low and marshy: others again are high and elevated. The latter are frequently called barrens; but are not always so called from their sterility; for they are often fertile. The latter produce a trifling quantity of grass; and the former spontaneously yield a large quantity of coarse grass from two to five feet in height. Some of this grass is of a tolerably good quality. Among the forest trees are oak of various species, hickory, maple of different kinds, beach, birch, poplar, sycamore, ash of several species, pawpaw, Buckeye, and cherry, beside numerous other kinds, whose beauteous foliage, or variegated hues of their flowers present a delightful scenery, to the lover of, rural pleasures. Among the cultivated productions of the soil, are fruit trees, and grain of the various kinds.
From 70 to 100 bushels of corn are said to have been frequently produced in a year, on an acre of ground. Among the animals of the forest, are the bear, wolf and deer. The domestic animals, the birds and fish, are similar to those of other states in corresponding latitudes. Of mines which have yet been discovered, Ohio has not much to boast. The free born citizens have found a much more certain source of wealth in the fertile soil. Salt springs however have been discovered and wrought to a very considerable extent, on Salt creek, 28 miles southeast from Chilicothe and also on some of the eastern waters of Muskingum River. One particular, are the conformation of the land in this state as well as throughout the western country generally, is the circumstance of the height of land between, the large rivers and other principal water courses, being the wettest, most marshy, and of the most miry quality of any other ire the state: while the driest land lies along the margins of the various streams: whereas concerning the land in the eastern states, the reverse is true. Coal is obtained in great quantities in the eastern parts. Iron ore is likewise discovered and wrought pretty extensively in some places, particularly on the southern side of Licking River 4 miles west of Zanesville, on Brush creek and elsewhere.
The summers are warm and pretty regular, although somewhat subject to tornadoes. The winters are generally mild and all the seasons healthy. In some parts near marshes and stagnated waters, fevers and agues frequently prevail, especially during some of the first years, after the inhabitants settle around them. But the climate in general may be ranked among the healthiest in the world.
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Source: The Ohio Gazetteer or Topographical Dictionary, by John Kilbourn, A. M.,
Smith & Griswold Printers, Columbus, Nov. 1816
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