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to be held on the second Tuesday of January, 1803. Edward Tiffin was the nominee of the Anti-Federalists, and Governor St. Clair was the choice of the Federalists. However, the Governor refused the nomination, and no other choice was made by his party.' This, of course, threw the election to Mr. Tiffin.
When did Ohio become a state? This is an old question for debate, for at least four different dates have been championed vigorously. It is held by some people, that Ohio was a state as soon as the Enabling Act was passed April 9, 1802. Others adhere to November 29, 1802, when the constitution for Ohio was completed. I. W. Andrews, at one time President of Marietta College, has written a lengthy argument in favor of February 19, 1803, at which time Congress passed the act to provide for the execution of the National laws within the "State of Ohio.” Finally it has been said that Ohio was not a state until the first meeting of the General Assembly, March 1, 1803.
No doubt there are arguments in support of any of these dates, and perhaps the whole question is futile or of comparatively small importance. Nevertheless, it will not be out of place to mention two exceptionally good points in behalf of the latter date. Mr. Fearing, the Territorial Representative to Congress, retained, by express permission of the House, his seat with that body until March 4, 1803. Secondly, Judge Meigs, a Territorial Judge, asked for and received his salary as a Judge, from the Territorial Government until March 1, 1803. Thus, from the viewpoint of Congress, as well as from the Government of Ohio itself, the transition from Territorial Government to statehood did not take place before March 1, 1803.
106 Western Spy, December 8, 1802,
There is one more event of note in the story of Ohio's struggle for statehood; the dismissal of Governor St. Clair. It has been noted elsewhere that the Governor's speech at the opening of the convention was considered “intemperate and indecorous” by President Jefferson. The President evidently considered this "indecorum and tendency toward a disorganizing spirit,” a sufficient reason for the Governor's removal, and such an order was sent to him by the Secretary of State, James Madison, on November 22, 1802.
The letter of dismissal was not sent to him direct, but was sent to Mr. Charles Willing Byrd, the Secretary of the Territory, who became acting Governor. Governor St. Clair and Secretary Byrd were open and avowed enemies, the latter having made personal attacks upon the Governor through the pages of the Western Spy.107 Naturally, the Governor's humiliation at being thus dismissed was very deep and his resentment exceedingly keen.
For us today it is not so very important that Ohio was admitted to the Union when it was, but it is vastly important that it was admitted as it was. Had the state been carved out of the extreme eastern division of the Territory, it could not have played the part that it has in the affairs of our Nation. Those early pioneers who, driving the Indians before them, planted their cabins in the forests of Ohio, were true apostles of the free political and social institutions that Americans love.
Secondary Authorities Abbott, J. C. History of Ohio. Detroit, 1878. Albach, James R. Annals of the West. Pittsburg, 1857. Atwater, Caleb. History of the State of Ohio. Cincinnati, 1838. Chaddock, Robert. Ohio Before 1850. New York, 1908. Chase, Salmon P. Sketch of the History of Ohio. Cincinnati,
1888. Cutler, Julia Perkins. Life and Times of Ephraim Cutler, Cin
cinnati, 1890. Gilkey, Elliot H. Ohio's Hundred Year Book. Columbus, 1901. Gilmore, William Edward. Life of Edward Tiffin. Chillicothe, ,
1897 Hickok, Charles Francis. The Negro in Ohio. Cleveland, Ohio,
University Studies. Cleveland, 1896. Hildreth, S. P. Pioneer History of Ohio. Cincinnati, 1848. Hinsdale, B. A. The Old Northwest. New York, 1884. Massie, David Meade. Life of Nathaniel Massie. Cincinnati,
1896. McDonald, John. Biography of Nathaniel Massie. Chillicothe,
1891. McMaster, John Bach. History of the People of the United
States. Volume 2. New York, 1903. Randall, Emilius Oviatt and Ryan, Daniel J. History of Ohio,
Volume 3. New York, 1912. Ryan, Daniel J. The First Constitution of Ohio, in Centennial
Celebration. Columbus, 1903. Ryan, Daniel J. History of Ohio. Columbus, 1888. Whittlesey, Charles. History of Cleveland. Cleveland, 1867.
Sources Annals of Congress, 1801-1802. Edited by Joseph Gales. Wash
ington. Burnet, Judge Jacob. Notes on the Early Settlement of the
Northwestern Territory. Cincinnati, 1847. Chase, Salmon P. Statutes of Ohio. Cincinnati, 1832. Journal of the Constitutional Convention of the Territory North
west of the Ohio River. Chillicothe, 1802. Journals of the House of Representatives of the Territory of the
United States Northwest of the Ohio River. Cincinnati,
1799-1801. Chillicothe, 1801-1802. Patterson, Isaac Franklin. The Constitution of Ohio. Cleveland,
Rives, J. C. Abridgment of the Debates of Congress. New
York, 1857-1800-1803. Smith, William Henry. Life and Public Service of Arthur St.
Clair, Together with the St. Clair Papers. Cincinnati, 1882. Van Cleve, Benjamin. Memoirs, Typewritten Copy, Public
Library, Dayton, Ohio. Washington, H. A. Complete Works of Thomas Jefferson. New
York, 1857-1859, Volumes 7, 8, 9.
CELEBRATION OF ST. CLAIR DAY No history of the Northwest Territory would be complete without conspicuous reference to what is now Preble County, Ohio. Through its primeval forests General Arthur St. Clair, in the autumn of 1791, marched on his ill-fated expedition to disastrous defeat by the Indians near the present site of Fort Recovery, to return later in disorderly retreat. Over the same route General Anthony Wayne advanced with his legions, by careful stages, in October, 1793, to a signal victory at the battle of Fallen Timbers, in what is now Lucas County, August 20, 1794. This battle prepared the way for the Treaty of Greenville, August 3, 1795, and the suspension of Indian incursions until the campaign of General William Henry Harrison in 1811, which culminated in the battle of Tippecanoe.
The defeat of St. Clair left the western border open to the attacks of the Indians and greatly retarded for a time the settlement of the Ohio Country. To afford a measure of protection and stay the advance of the savage foe, Fort St. Clair was erected between Fort Hamilton and Fort Jefferson, on a site about one mile from the public square of Eaton.
The history of this fort, as detailed in an address on St. Clair Day, is presented on following pages and need not be repeated here. The accounts of the battle that was fought almost under the guns of the fort are practically all based on a letter written by Judge Joel Col