Scholars working in archaeology, education, history, geography, and politics tell a nuanced story about the people and dynamics that reshaped this region and determined who would control it.
The Ohio Valley possesses some of the most resource-rich terrain in the world. Its settlement by humans was thus consequential not only for shaping the geographic and cultural landscape of the region but also for forming the United States and the future of world history.
Settling Ohio begins with an overview of the first people who inhabited the region, who built civilizations that moved massive amounts of earth and left an archaeological record that drew the interest of subsequent settlers and continues to intrigue scholars. It highlights how, in the eighteenth century, Native Americans who migrated from the East and North interacted with Europeans to develop impressive trading networks and how they navigated complicated wars and sought to preserve national identities in the face of violent attempts to remove them from their lands.
The book situates the traditional story of Ohio settlement, including the Northwest Ordinance, the dealings of the Ohio Company of Associates, and early road building, into a far richer story of contested spaces, competing visions of nationhood, and complicated relations with Indian peoples. By so doing, the contributors provide valuable new insights into how chaotic and contingent early national politics and frontier development truly were. Chapters highlighting the role of apple-growing culture, education, African American settlers, and the diverse migration flows into Ohio from the East and Europe further demonstrate the complex multiethnic composition of Ohio’s early settlements and the tensions that resulted.
A final theme of this volume is the desirability of working to recover the often-forgotten history of non-White peoples displaced by the processes of settler colonialism that has been, until recently, undervalued in the scholarship.
Foreword by M. DUANE NELLIS
Introduction by BRIAN SCHOEN
PART I: First Nations
1 The True Pioneers: A Brief Overview of Prehistoric Native Americans in Ohio, by JOSEPH A. M. GINGERICH
2 Situating Settlement in Ohio: The Eighteenth Century from Local and Atlantic Perspectives, by CAMERON SHRIVER
3 Who Speaks in the Name of the Miami Nation? by JOHN BICKERS
PART 2: American Foundations
4 Ohio, the Northwest Ordinance, and the Constitutional Foundations of the United States, by JESSICA CHOPPIN RONEY
5 Selective Migration and the Production of Ohio’s Regional Cultural Landscapes: A Genealogical Geography, by TIMOTHY G. ANDERSON
6 (Re)tracing Zane: Zane’s Trace and Production of Space in the Ohio Country, by WILLIAM M. HUNTER
7 Ice Water Baths and Rising Waters: Dudley Woodbridge Jr.’s Commercial Connections along the Ohio and Its Tributaries in the Early Republic, by KIM M. GRUENWALD
8 Johnny Appleseed and Apple Cultures in Early Ohio, by WILLIAM KERRIGAN
PART 3: ALTERNATIVE HISTORIES
9 What If Manasseh Cutler Were Black? The History of the Diverse Pioneers Who Created Ohio, by ANNA-LISA COX
10 Federalist Failure: Conflict and Disorder in the Northwest Territory, by JOSEPH THOMAS ROSS
11 Public Education in the Old Northwest: Legacies of Ohio’s First Land Grant, by ADAM R. NELSON
Conclusion, by TIMOTHY G. ANDERSON
Afterword: History vs. Legacy, by CHIEF GLENNA J. WALLACE
“Provides new and fresh insights into the settlement of the Ohio country.” — Scott C. Martin, author of Killing Time: Leisure and Culture in Southwestern Pennsylvania, 1800–1850
“An important collection of essays that should find abundant and long-term use in the classroom.” — R. Douglas Hurt, author of Food and Agriculture during the Civil War