Ohio Country

Ohio Country

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[[Image:Ohio Country en.png|300px|right|thumb|The Ohio Country with battles and massacres between 1775 and 1794]] The '''Ohio Country''' (sometimes called the '''Ohio Territory''' or '''Ohio Valley''' by the French) was the name used in the 18th century for the regions of [[North America]] west of the [[Appalachian Mountains]] and in the region of the upper [[Ohio River]] south of [[Lake Erie]]. One of the first [[frontier]] regions of the [[United States]], the area encompassed roughly the present-day states of [[Ohio]], eastern [[Indiana]], [[Western Pennsylvania]], and northwestern [[West Virginia]]. The issue of settlement in the region is considered by historians to have been a primary cause of the [[French and Indian War]] and a contributing factor to the [[American Revolutionary War]]. ===Colonial Era=== In the 17th century, the area north of the Ohio River had been occupied by the [[Algonquian languages|Algonquian]]-speaking [[Shawnee]]s. Around 1660, during a conflict known as the [[Beaver Wars]], the [[Iroquois]] seized control of the Ohio Country, driving out the Shawnee and conquering and absorbing the [[Erie (tribe)|Erie tribe]]. The Ohio Country remained largely uninhabited for decades, and was used primarily for hunting by the Iroquois. In the 1720s, a number of Native American groups began to migrate to the Ohio Country. By 1724, [[Lenape|Delaware Indians]] had established the village of [[Kittanning (village)|Kittanning]] on the [[Allegheny River]] in present-day western Pennsylvania. The Delawares were migrating because of the expansion of European colonial settlement in eastern Pennsylvania. With them came those Shawnees who had settled in the east. Other bands of the scattered Shawnee tribe also began to return to the Ohio Country in the decades that followed. A number of Senecas and other Iroquois also migrated to the Ohio Country, moving away from the French and British imperial rivalries south of [[Lake Ontario]]. ===Seven Years' War=== {{Further|[[Great Britain in the Seven Years War]]}} With the arrival of the [[Europe]]ans, the region was claimed by both [[United Kingdom|Great Britain]] and [[France]], which both sent merchants into the area to trade with the Ohio Country Indians. The region was also claimed by the Iroquois by right of conquest. The rivalry between the two European nations, the Iroquois, and the Ohio natives for control of the region played an important part of the French and Indian War in the 1750s. After initially remaining neutral, the Ohio Country Indians largely sided with the French. Armed with supplies and guns from the French, they undertook brutal raids via the [[Kittanning Path]] against British settlers east of the Alleghenies. After one such raid destroyed Fort Granville in the summer of 1756, colonial governor [[John Penn (governor)|John Penn]] ordered Lt. Colonel [[John Armstrong, Sr.|John Armstrong]] to destroy the Shawnee villages west of the Alleghenies. The war ended with the defeat of the French and their allies. Meanwhile other British and colonial forces were driving the French from [[Fort Duquesne]] and building [[Fort Pitt (Pennsylvania)|Fort Pitt]], the origin of the city of [[Pittsburgh|Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania]]. The 1763 [[1763 Treaty of Paris|Treaty of Paris]] gave control of the entire Ohio region to Great Britain, through the various colonies who laid claim to parts of it. [[George III]] in his [[Royal Proclamation of 1763]] placed Ohio Country in the vast [[Indian Reserve (1763)|Indian Reserve]] stretching from the [[Appalachian Mountains]] to the Mississippi River and from [[Florida]] to [[Newfoundland (island)|Newfoundland]]. Existing settlers (mostly French) were ordered to leave or get special permission to stay. ===American Revolution and early Republic=== Despite its acquisition by Great Britain, the area remained officially closed to white settlement by the [[Proclamation of 1763]], which arose in part of the British desire to regain peaceful relations with the Shawnee and other tribes in the region. This proclamation also effectively established that the Crown no longer recognized claims of the colonies made on the land. On June 22, 1774, the parliament passed the [[Quebec Act]] which annexed this region to the [[province of Quebec]], and was referred to as one of the [[Intolerable Acts]] leading to the American Revolution. Despite the actions of the Crown, [[frontier]]smen from the [[Virginia Colony|Virginia]] and [[Pennsylvania Colony|Pennsylvania]] colonies had begun crossing the Allegheny Mountains and coming into conflict with the Shawnee. The Shawnee referred to the settlers as the [[Long Knives]], and the realization of the threat they posed led the Shawnee, as well as the other tribes of the Ohio Nations, to side with the British against the Americans during the American Revolutionary War. The desire of the Americans to establish control over the region was strong. In 1778, after victories in the region by American General [[George Rogers Clark]], the Virginia legislature organized the first civil government in the region, called the [[Illinois County, Virginia|Illinois County]], which encompassed all of the lands lying west of the Ohio River to which Virginia had any claim. The high-water mark of the Native American struggle to retain the region was in 1782, when the Ohio Nations and the British met in a council at the Chalawgatha village along the [[Little Miami River]] and planned the successful rout of the Americans at the [[Battle of Blue Licks]] south of the Ohio River two weeks later. In 1783, following the [[Treaty of Paris (1783)|Treaty of Paris]], the area became part of the original territory of the [[United States]] and was immediately opened to legal settlement. The Ohio Country quickly became one of the most desirable locations for Trans-Appalachian settlements, in particular among veterans of the [[American Revolutionary War]]. Several treaties such as the [[Treaty of Fort McIntosh]] in 1785 and the [[Treaty of Fort Harmar]] in 1789 fixed boundaries between American and tribal lands. Some tribes such as the [[Shawnee]] however continued to resist the encroachment of settlement into their lands. This resistance led to the [[Northwest Indian War]] which lasted until 1795. By 1800, many of the Shawnee had ceded their lands to control of the United States in exchange for lands in [[Missouri]]. The last great resistance to white settlement in the area was during the [[War of 1812]], when [[Tecumseh]] led a disastrous war against the Americans. By 1817, the Shawnee, as well as the other [[Algonquian languages|Algonquian]]-speaking tribes in the region, had ceded all their lands to the United States. ===Claims of the states=== The area was seen as highly desirable for settlement in the early years of the existence of the United States, which led to the area being subject to overlapping and conflicting territorial claims of several eastern states. These claims arose from existing colonial charters. Specifically: * [[Virginia]], based on the charter of the [[Virginia Colony]], claimed the entire region. * [[New York]] claimed the entire region. * [[Connecticut]] claimed a [[Connecticut Western Reserve|strip of land]] across the northern part of the region delineated by the westward extension of its northern and southern state boundaries. Another result was that unlike the rest of the [[Northwest Territory]], which was surveyed more or less uniformly under the [[Public Land Survey System]], sections of the [[Ohio Lands]] were incrementally granted to various parties and were surveyed using disparate survey systems. ===Northwest Ordinance=== In 1784 the area was part of the Trans-Appalachian region that [[Thomas Jefferson]] proposed for the creation of future states to be admitted to the Union. Jefferson proposed that the states surrender their respective claims to the region. One of the most contentious issues was whether or not the area would be open to [[slavery]]. In 1787, with the passage by the [[United States Congress|Congress]] of the [[Northwest Ordinance]], the boundaries of the region were firmly established. [[Virginia]] was granted the land south of the Ohio and [[Pennsylvania]] was granted the area around the headwaters of the Ohio. The remaining area west of the Pennsylvania boundary and north of the Ohio became part of the newly formed [[Northwest Territory]], the first [[organized territory]] in the United States, with a civil government under the jurisdiction of the Congress. [[American pioneers to the Northwest Territory|Pioneers to the Ohio Country]] arrived at the confluence of the [[Ohio River|Ohio]] and [[Muskingum River|Muskingum]] rivers, on April 7, 1788, and established [[Marietta, Ohio]] as the first permanent American settlement in the Northwest Territory. All the existing states surrendered all their claims to the Ohio Country land within the Northwest Territory. Connecticut and Virginia reserved the right to use land in the new territory as payment to veterans of the Revolutionary War, without claiming sovereignty over the reserved areas, known respectively as the [[Connecticut Western Reserve]] and the [[Virginia Military District]]. The Northwest Ordinance prohibited slavery in the territory and adopted the Jeffersonian proposal that the territory should eventually be admitted as future states of the Union. The "Ohio Territory" is sometimes used in reference to the Northwest Territory. In 1802, the [[Enabling Act of 1802|Enabling Act]] specifically provided for the admission of new states, the first of which, Ohio, was admitted to the Union on February 19, 1803, celebrated as March 1, 1803, the date of the first meeting of the [[Ohio state legislature]]. ==See also== * [[American pioneers to the Northwest Territory]] * [[Illinois Country]] * [[Ohio Company]] * [[Ohio Company of Associates]] * [[Ohio Lands]] * [[Northwest Indian War]] * [[Trans-Appalachian Wars]] ==External links== * [http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=780 Ohio History Central: The Ohio Country] * [http://freepages.history.rootsweb.com/~maggie/ohio-lands/ Ohio Lands in the History Community at RootsWeb] * [http://www.rootsweb.com/~ohrichla/ohgrant.htm Ohio Territory Grant Map] * [http://www.archives.gov/records_of_congress/features/print_friendly.html?page=ohio_statehood_anniversary_content.html&title=NARA%20%7C%20Records%20of%20Congress%20%7C%20Featured%20Document National Archives: Historical Documents Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Ohio Statehood] * [http://www.ohiodnr.com/geosurvey/pdf/mg2_8x11.pdf Ohio Division of Geological Survey: Map of Original Land Subdivisions of Ohio (1.9 MB pdf)] * [http://www.tolatsga.org/shaw.html Shawnee History] {{coord missing|Ohio}} {{Ohio}} {{Pittsburgh}} {{Pennsylvania during the French and Indian War}}