With the passage of The Ordinance of 1787, in July of that year, events for the settlement of the Northwest Territory moved rapidly. On August 29 the directors of the Ohio Company of Associates met again at "The Bunch of Grapes" tavern where Rev. Manasseh Cutler reported that a contact with the Board of Treasury had been drawn up for a million acres of land north and west of the Ohio River. On Sept. 1, the contract was approved and the first payment made. The signatures of the Board of Treasury were affixed Oct. 27, 1787.
"...at a meeting of the directors of the Ohio Company at Bracket's tavern, in Boston, Nov. 23, 1787, it was ordered that four surveyors be employed, under the direction of the superintendent, hereinafter named: That 22 men shall attend the surveyors, that there be added to this number 20 men, including six boat builders, four house carpenters, one blacksmith, and nine common workmen, in all 48 men: that the boat builders shall proceed on Monday next, and the surveyors rendezvous at Hartford, the first day of January next, on their way to the Muskingum: that the boat builders and men, with the surveyors, be proprietors in the company: that their tools and one axe and one hoe to each man and thirty pounds weight of baggage shall be carried in the company's wagons, and that the subsistence of the men on their journey be furnished by the company..."
In pursuance of the above order, 21 men assembled at Rev. Cutler's church in Ipswich, Mass some hours before daylight on Dec. 3, 1787 and there made final preparations for the journey. Rev. Cutler accompanied them as far as Danvers, where he placed them in the charge of Maj. Haffield White.
After a hard journey of seven weeks, the first party arrived Jan. 21, 1788 at Simeral's Ferry, where boats were to be built for the remainder of the journey down the Youghiogheny to the Monongahela and the Ohio Rivers to the mouth of the Muskingum.
The men of the second party of pioneers assembled early in January, 1788, in Hartford, CT. Here they were met by Gen. Rufus Putnam, superintendent of the company, and Col. Ebenezer Sproat. Gen. Putnam, who before departing for the western country had business in New York, placed Col. Sproat in charge of this party, which had the same destination as that of the party led by Maj. White. Gen. Putnam overtook Col. Sproat's party at Sweetara Creek near Harrisburg, PA. The second party, after delays caused by heavy snows in the mountains, reached Simeral's Ferry on Feb. 14.
Under the leadership of Gen. Putnam, the men constructed the boats which were to carry them to their new home. The largest of these boats was named the "Adventure Galley" and, afterwards, named the "Mayflower" in honor of the first settlers of Massachusetts. March 31 found the boats completed and loaded with provisions which had been procured in Virginia (Now West Virginia) and loaded on the boats at Buffalo Creek, now Wellsburg, WV. On April 1, the flotilla departed Simeral's Ferry. After a journey of 6 days, the men on the large boat sighted Fort Harmar and "came to on the east point of the fork between the Ohio and Muskingum."
The men of the first pioneer party, with very few exceptions, became inhabitants of the new colony. Several of them, and their descendants, became influential in the building of the community and the new state.
Following are the names of the 48 original settlers:
|Jabez Barlow||Hezekiah Flint||Wm. Moulton|
|Daniel Bushnell||Hezekiah Flint, Jr.||Joshiah Munro|
|Phineas Coburn||Periegrine Foster||Amos Porter, Jr.|
|Ezekiel Cooper||John Gardner||Allen Putnam|
|Evenezer Cory||Wm. Gray||Jethro Putnam|
|Samuel Cushing||Benjamin Griswold||Rufus Putnam|
|Jervis Cutler||Elizur Kirtland||Benjamin Shaw|
|Israel Danton||Theophilus Larned||Earl Sproat|
|Daniel Davis||Joseph Lincoln||Ebenezer Sproat|
|Jonas Davis||Simeon Martin||Anselm Tupper|
|Allen Devol||Wm. Mason||David Wallace|
|Gilbert Devol, Jr.||John Mathews||Joseph Wells|
|Jonathon Devol||Henry Maxon||Haffield White|
|Isaac Dodge||Return J. Meigs||Pelatiah White|
|Oliver Dodge||Wm. Miller||Josiah White|
|Samuel Felshaw||Edmund Moulton||Josiah Whitridge|
Marietta today has many evidences of the planning of these pioneers. The streets, surveyed in 1788, add much to the order and beauty of the city. The pioneers named the cross-streets for generals whom they knew in the War of Independence. In 1938, there was dedicated in Muskingum Park, on the spot where Gen. Arthur St. Clair inaugurated government in the Northwest Territory, July 15, 1788, a monument to these 48 pioneers.