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Governor of Northwestern Territory

ohio, appointed and army


Under the celebrated Ordinance of 1787, lie was appoint ed Governor of the Northwestern Territory, the appointment being made by Congress. This territory embraced all the country belonging to us west of Pennsylvania and north of the Ohio river, and now forms the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, which now have a popula tion of nearly twenty millions. His prerogatives as governor were very extensive. He was not only the executive officer of the territory but the law-giver as well. He appointed all these in council with himself, had the power to make laws for the government of the territory. He erected counties and named them, appointed officers, built forts, founded and named towns and held treaties with the Indians. Going down the Ohio river in 1791, he arrived at Fort Wash ington and around it organized Hamilton county, naming it after the great constructive statesman, then Secretary of the Treasury. To the town around the fort he gave the name of Cincinnati, after the society by that name consisting of offi cers of the Revolution, of which he was president of the Pennsylvania division.

His administration in Ohio territory is too extensive a subject to be reviewed in this brief sketch. Governor Nash at the Centennial of Ohio's Statehood said, "Our grandest glory arises from the fact that we have faithfully kept, during these too years, all the precepts of the best law ever formed for the government of mankind, the great Ordinance of 1787, in making of which St. Clair took an active part." In all this new country he again encountered hostile Indians who, having been driven westward, were then con stantly committing depredations on the Ohio frontier. Gen eral Josiah Harmar was accordingly sent out in 1790 to sub due them, but his army was badly defeated. In 1791 St. Clair was appointed commander-in-chief of the army and vest ed with a corresponding military power in the territory. An army of two thousand regular troops was at his disposal, and he had authority to increase it as he saw fit, by calling out the militia.