In the year 1787, George Washington was President of the newly formed Government of the United States of America. The Capitol was located in New York City. The vast area west of the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River was acquired from Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris in 1783. This area was bordered on the north by Canada and on the south by the Ohio River and encompassed the present day states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin.
The Government of Great Britain had claimed this territory and by the signing of numerous treaties the Indians living there had given up most of their rights to this land. The British forbid white settlement there to appease the Indians. At the end of the American Revolution, the United States now claimed this territory by “Right of Conquest” over Great Britain and with the creation of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 opened it up for white settlement against the protests of the Indians who still considered it their land.
The first permanent American settlement northwest of the Ohio River was Marietta in the year 1788 and soon after more and more pioneers flooded into the country. It was not an easy life for these early pioneers. They had to deal with hostile Indians, disease, starvation and the lack of basic necessities, but they made it and the State of Ohio was admitted into the union in 1803.
This book chronicles the events from the earliest explorations of the territory, the purchase of lands by The Ohio Company, the early settlements and the trying times of the early pioneers who settled and tamed this original Northwest Territory.
In 1852 Mr. Hildreth wrote a follow up companion book to Pioneer History and named it Memoirs of the Early Settlers of Ohio, which gives us a look at the individual lives and the trials and tribulations of the people who settled in the Northwest Territory expansion of the United States.