What Moses Cleaveland Saw
After listening to a short story about the landing of Moses Cleaveland
and his surveying party, students will be able to describe what
the area of Cleveland looked like in 1796. Students will learn
what a survey is and how the land is surveyed.
survey, surveyor's measure, link, chain
- What was the geography of the area when Moses Cleaveland and
his surveying party landed in 1796?
- What were the advantages and disadvantages of settling along
the banks of the Cuyahoga River.
- What does it mean to "survey" an area? How do you
survey land? Why is it important to survey land?
Teacher Notes: There are two types of surveys. A land
survey is used to fix boundaries and to find the areas of
plots of ground. A plane survey is used on small plots
of ground only, since it does not take into consideration the
curvature of the earth's surface. A geodetic survey makes allowance
for curvature and it is used to find large areas or long boundaries.
- Transit - small telescope set up on a tripod with attached
horizontal and vertical arcs, used to measure horizontal and vertical
angles. A transit also judges distances.
- Surveyor's Compass - used to determine magnetic directions.
- Surveyor's Measure or Chain - A linear measure.
1 link (li) = 7.92 in.
100 li = 1chain (ch.) = 66 ft.
10 ch. = 1 furlong (fur.) = 660 ft.
8 fur. = 1 statute mile (mi.) = 5,280 ft.
- Engineer's Chain
1 link (li.) = 1 ft.
100 li = 1 chain (ch.) = 100 ft.
52.8 ch. = 1 mile (mi.) = 5,280 ft
The City of Cleveland was named for its founder Moses Cleaveland.
The spelling was later changed to its current spelling.
- Ask students to define survey.
- Display a map of Cleveland focusing on the mouth of the Cuyahoga
River, the Flats and the downtown area. Ask students to describe
the area, allowing those who have been in that area to share their
information. Ask how the Cuyahoga River got its name. (It is believed
that the Mohawk Indians called it "Cayagaga", meaning
crooked river. The Senecas called it Cuyohaga, meaning "place
of the jawbone"). Ask them what they think this area looked
like when Moses Cleaveland and the first surveying party landed
there in 1796?
- Read the short story of Moses Cleaveland and His Surveying
Party or have students read it independently, and answer the questions
for discussion. Focus on the positives and negatives of the area.
- Distribute paper and crayons to students and ask them to draw
a picture of what they think Moses saw drawing upon their imagination
and the information from the reading.
- Ask students what they think it means to "survey"
the land? How do they think a surveyor measures the land? Explain
the types of surveys and the surveyor's instrument. Introduce
the "Surveyors Measure" from the handout. Have students
create their own surveyors measure. Ask students to speculate
on what problems the surveyor might encounter when surveying the
land? (trees, rocks, hills, etc.) How does the surveyor solve
these problems? Have students conduct a plane survey of the room.
They could extend this activity and survey the halls or playground,
or the perimeter of the school building. Ask students to speculate
how long it took that first surveying party to survey the newly
planned city of Cleveland?