Handout 1 - Moses Cleaveland's Journal
On this creek ("Conneaught") in New Connecticut land, July 4th, 1796 under General Moses Cleaveland, the surveyors, and men sent by the Connecticut Land Company to survey and settle the Connecticut Reserve, and were the first English people who took possession of it. The day, memorable as the birthday on which the settlement of this new country was commenced, and in time may raise her head amongst the most enlightened and improved States. And after many difficulties, perplexities and hardships surmounted, and we were on the good and promised land, felt that a just tribute of respect to the day ought to be paid. There were in all including men, women and children, fifty in number. The men, under Captain Tinker ranged themselves on the beach, and fired a federal salute of fifteen rounds, and then the sixteenth in honor of New Connecticut. We gave three cheers and christened the place Port Independence. Drank several toasts, viz:
Closed with three cheers. Drank several pails of grog, supped and retired in remarkable good order.
July 5th -- Wrote letters to the directors and my wife. Two boats were dispatched under the direction of Tinker to Fort Erie, to bring the remainder of stores left there. The Conneaut is now choked with sand. The stream is capable of admitting boats the greater part of the year, up beyond the Pennsylvania line, which in a straight line cannot be more than four miles.
July 6th. -- Received a message from Paqua, Chief of the Massasagoes, residing in Conneaut, that they wished a council held that day. I prepared to meet them, and after they were all seated, took my seat in the middle. Cato, son of Paqua, was the orator, Paqua dictated. They opened the council by smoking the pipe of peace and friendship. The orator then rose and addressed me in the language of Indian flattery. "Thank the Great Spirit for preserving and bringing me here, thank the Great Spirit for giving a pleasant day," and then requested to know our claim to the land, as they had friends who resided on the land and others at a distance who would come there. They wanted to know what I would do with them. I replied, informing them of our title, and what I had said to the Six Nations, and also assured them that they would not be disturbed in their possessions, as we would treat them and their friends as brothers. They then presented me with the pipe of friendship and peace, a curious one, indeed. I returned a chain of wampum, silver trinkets, and other presents, and whisky to the amount of about twenty-five dollars. They also said they were poor; and as I had expressed, hoped we should be friendly and continue to be liberal. I told them I acted for others as well as for myself, and to be liberal of others property was not evidence of true friendship; those people I represented lived by industry, and to give away their property lavishly, to those who lived in indolence and by begging, would be no deed of charity. As long as they were industrious and conducted themselves well, I would do such benevolent acts to them as would do them the most good, cautioned them against indolence and drunkenness. This not only closed the business, but checked their begging for more whiskey....
from the Papers of Moses Cleaveland, WRHS