Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Letter From Colonel McIntosh

The Marietta Register, April 12, 1883

Fellow Citizens and Brother Pioneers:

Compelled by sickness I very reluctantly forgo the pleasure of being with you to-day.

You meet to commemorate one of the great historical events of this Nation.  The territory comprising the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin did not contain men enough until 1798 to entitle it to a Territorial legislature.  What gigantic strides have been made since that time the now millions of inhabitants attest.

Recalling the names of some of the old Pioneers of this neighborhood, or rather more properly speaking, near Olive Green, who lived in that vicinity, perhaps from 1790 to 1810, I am reminded of Robert Philander and Jared Andrews, Gen. Eli Cogswell and his brother Salmon, Aaron Delong, Henry Delong, Jesse and Ezekiel Davis, Stephen Clark, Nathaniel Chapman, Phineas and Nicholas Coburn, Josiah and Ezra Sherman, Thomas Seely, Jesse Gibbs, Peter Keith and his sons, Peter and Benjamin.

These Keiths were quite extensive manufacturers of bells for horses, cows and sheep, which with the aid of hammer and anvil they wrought from Juniata Iron.  When they had accumulated sufficient stock they loaded their horses with the same and traveled about the country selling them; having disposed of their stock, with the money so procured they entered U. S. lands.  Continuing their ventures until they became well-to-do farmers.  Their sons are now among the wealthy men of the west.

Wolf Creek has a history not to be forgotten at this time, and I trust some one more conversant with the early history of that locality will have prepared some incidents of early settlement for this meeting.

Referring to this meeting and her early recollections of this neighborhood, "Mrs. Fanny Gage" (well known to all of you as the daughter of Colonel Barker), in writing to my wife, says, "Born and brought up in the early days of Ohio, the State being but six years old at the time of my birth, its people were few and far between and the enemies of new settlements in the wilderness, the Indians, the wild beasts, the reptiles, and perhaps more than all, the mighty giants of the forests that overshadowed the place where they lived, gave admonition to the Pioneers of the fortitude necessary to that success.

"These early settlers were truly a band of brothers and sisters with open hands and loving hearts; the needs of one were the needs of all.

"My father's house on the great thoroughfare from the first settled town - Marietta - was called the 'free tavern,' the first stopping place - and the old barrel spring gushing from the nose of the hill, whose pure sweet water, always a luxury, made us acquainted with all the goers and comers of nearly all the Pioneers of Ohio - there was scarcely a family I did not know from Zanesville to Marietta.  Never was there a grander or more determined set of men than those old Pioneers of Ohio - what a state it has grown, how its records of good, and wise and valiant men looms up among the Nations of the earth."  And she adds, "How I wish I could be with you."

Realizing the necessity of brevity when so many of you will have much to say in so limited a time.  Yet I cannot refrain from relating an incident connected with the "Old Red House" in which I was born.  It was after the Battle of New Orleans which occurred on the 8th of January and, owing to the primitive manner of transmitting intelligence the news, did not reach Marietta until February 22nd, on which day the citizens assembled in the hall of the "Old Red House" to hold a meeting of rejoicing.

Col. Joseph Barker was chairman of the meeting, the excitement running so high that while he was speaking he mounted a table, seized and raised a split bottom chair upon which he had been sitting and in his wild gesticulations thrust the legs through the ceiling, dislodging the plastering which came down upon the heads of the astonished audience, much to their merriment.

Wishing you all a continued and prosperous existence, and many returns of this anniversary, I am fraternally Your Brother Pioneer,

E. S. McIntosh

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