Washington and Hamilton Counties, Ohio
St. Clair was appointed governor of the
Territory, October 5, 1787, and arrived at Marietta, July 9,
1788. His first act toward carrying out the provisions of the
Ordinance, as to the establishment of local government, was to
erect the county of Washington. He issued an order defining its
boundaries, July 27, 1788. They were as follows:
First Counties Established in the
"Beginning on the bank of the Ohio
River, where the western boundary line of Pennsylvania crosses
it, and running with that line to Lake Erie; thence along the
southern shore of said lake, to the mouth of Cuyahoga River;
thence up said river to the portage, between it and the
Tuscarawas branch of the Muskingum; thence down that branch to
the forks, at the crossing place above Fort Lawrence (Laurens);
thence with a line to be drawn westerly to the portage, on that
branch of the Big Miami on which the fort stood that was taken
by the French in 1752 (Loramie's Store), until it meets the road
from the lower Shawnee town to Sandusky; thence south to the
Scioto river; thence with that river to the mouth, and thence up
the Ohio river to the place of beginning." It will be seen that
this county comprised a large part of the eastern and northern
portions of what is now the State of Ohio. It received its name
in honor of President Washington. St. Clair not only exercised
the right to lay off the counties, but to designate the place
that the county business should be transacted. He named Marietta
as the chief town of Washington County.
The next county formed by St. Clair was
Hamilton. His edict brought it into existence January 2, 1790.
Its boundaries were as follows:
''Beginning on the bank of the Ohio
River, at the confluence of the Little Miami, and down the said
Ohio River to the mouth of the Big Miami, and up said Miami to
the standing stone forks, or branch of said river, and thence
with a line to be drawn due east, to the Little Miami, and down
said Little Miami to the place of beginning."
It will be seen that this county at
first contained only a small strip between the two Miami Rivers.
It was subsequently enlarged, as will be shown farther on. It
received its name from Gen. Alexander Hamilton. Its place of
holding court was fixed by St. Clair, at Cincinnati.
Source: Ohio Archaeological and
Historical Publications, Volume 5, John L. Trauger, 1898.