New Englanders on the Ohio Frontier: Migration and Settlement of Worthington, Ohio

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Kent State University Press, 1998 - History - 360 pages
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Travelers in Worthington, Ohio, might think they were in a New England town. Old brick buildings line the very edges of the sidewalk, and a picturesque village green is flanked by two church steeples. Like most frontier communities, it reflects the heritage of its founders. In New Englanders on the Ohio Frontier, Virginia and Robert McCormick examine the founding and development of Worthington to show how it reflects New England culture transplanted and reshaped by the western frontier.

The founders of Worthington left a wealth of primary sources, which the McCormicks have mined to tell the town's story. Within nine months of Ohio statehood in 1803, the settlers surveyed the town, organized a subscription library and an Episcopal Church, provided temporary housing for one hundred settlers, and granted one the right to "keep a public house for the entertainment of travelers if any there should be." Within a few years Worthington had a newspaper advertising a farm for rent with a "tolerably comfortable cabin," a store offering "European and India Goods" in addition to domestic products, an academy offering students "Latin, Greek, or French" for $6.00 a term, and testimonials for the threshing machine, invented by a local farmer, that would "thrash forty-five sheaves in five minutes."

Despite Indian alarms during the War of 1812, failure to secure the seat of the state capital, and the economic depression that followed the banking collapse of 1819, Worthington prospered and grew. This case study of one community provides a perspective from which historians can better understand the process of westward migration and frontier settlement.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
A Company to Make Settlement Northwest
7
To Explore Said Territory and Report
15
A Place Most Favorable for Our First Improvement
28
If You Calculate for Smooth Roads Free from Hills
39
In Perfect Health and Much Pleased with
50
A Just and Legal Land Division
65
An Elderly Gentleman Passed Through with
80
All Kinds of Manufacturies which
159
Main Street Wide and Free of Mud
179
To the Dough Faces of the Last Congress
193
Runaway Negro Taken Near This Place
207
Leghorn Bonnets Horn Sided Corsets
220
So Much Boast of Succession Handed
231
Correct Mental and Moral Habits
248
That Dead Animals or Nuisances
258

A Tolerably Comfortable Cabin
91
Squires with Muskets and Rifles
108
Apprentice WantedOf Steady Deportment
118
If Elected I Shall Not Disappoint Your
133
From Reading Writing and Arithmetic
146
Epilogue
267
APPENDIXES
277
Migration of Worthington Proprietors
283
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About the author (1998)

Virginia E. McCormick served on the faculties of Pennsylvania State University, Iowa State University, and, most recently, Ohio State University. Her previous books include Farm Wife: A Self Portrait, 1886-1896 and Scioto Company Descendants: Genealogies of the Original Proprietors of Worthington, Ohio.

Robert W. McCormick is professor emeritus and former assistant vice president for continuing education at Ohio State University. He is the author of Cockney: The Story of the 696th Armored Field Artillery Battalion in World War II.

The McCormicks are coauthors of A. B. Graham: Country Schoolmaster and Extension Pioneer; Worthington Landmarks: Photo-Essays of Historic Worthington Properties; and Probing Worthington's Heritage.

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