A Fragile Capital: Identity and the Early Years of Columbus, Ohio

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Ohio State University Press, 2001 - History - 292 pages
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In 1812 the Ohio legislature chose the high eastern bank of the Scioto River as the site of the third, and final, state capital. The legislators named the city-to-be Columbus after the boyhood hero of one of the state senators. In A Fragile Capital, Charles C. Cole Jr. uses material from original sources such as letters, diaries, documents, and newspapers to trace the first forty years of the fledgling community.

Overall, the book is organized by topic, including business, politics, education, religion, the arts, transportation, and the press. Cole shows how Columbus residents reacted to and reflected the major political, economic, and social trends in the United States at the time. In contrast to earlier accounts that focused primarily on the male, white leadership, this book tries to encompass all economic classes and ethnic and racial groups.

How did the state capital, created before there was even a town in place, go about establishing a sense of identity? How did the new settlers balance their desire for freedom, which caused them to move west in the first place, with the need to build a secure and stable community? Charles Cole has written an engaging and informative account of the early years of Columbus, Ohio.

  

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Contents

John Kerr
3
Creating a New Community
10
First state buildings at Columbus
16
Economic Development
28
Alfred Kelley
34
Transportation Improvements
48
Samuel Galloway
73
Beginnings of Culture
76
Inner courtyard of the Ohio Penitentiary
123
Journalism and Literature
135
Mrs William Sullivant
141
The Role of Religion
154
Cover of Christys Minstrels
166
Columbus Looks Westward
173
Antislaverys Influence on Politics
201
Notes
223

Women On and Off the Pedestal
93
Hannah Neil
103
Asylums and Poorhouses
109
Bibliography
251
Index
275
Copyright

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