Stories Of Ohio - 1897
by William Dean Howells
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He was born at Lancaster in 1810, and the second President who has called him from the Senate to a seat in his cabinet was born at Niles in Trumbull County, in 1844. William McKinley entered the army as a private in the famous 23d Ohio, when he was only seventeen, and fought through the war. When it ended he had won the rank of brevet major, but he had then his beginning to make in civil life. He studied law, and settled in Canton, where he married, and began to be felt in politics. He was thrice sent to Congress, and then defeated; but in 1896 he was elected the fifth President of the United States from the state of Ohio.

It is a long step backward in time, in fact more than a hundred years, before we reach the birthday, in 1794, of Thomas Corwin, one of the most gifted Ohioans who has ever lived.

He was born in Kentucky and was brought, a child of four years, by his parents to Ohio, when they settled at Lebanon in Warren County. He grew up in the backwoods, but felt the poetry as well as the poverty of the pioneer days, and it is told that the great orator showed his passion for eloquence at the first school he attended. He excelled in recitations and dialogues; but he was not meant for a scholar by his father and he was soon taken from school, and put to work on the farm. In the War of 1812 he drove a wagon in the supply train for General Harrison's army, and the people liked to call him the Wagoner Boy, when he came forward in politics. A few years later he read law, and with the training which he had given himself at school as well as in the old-fashioned debating societies which flourished everywhere in that day, he quickly gained standing at the bar as an advocate. He was all-powerful with juries, and with the people he was always a favorite. Such a man could not long be kept out of public life. He was called to serve seven years in the state legislature, and ten in Congress; then he was elected governor. He was so beloved that when he was nominated a second time for the governorship it was taken for granted that he would be elected, but so few of his friends were at the trouble to vote for him that he was, to the profound astonishment of everybody, defeated.

It was a joke which no one could enjoy more than Corwin himself; for he was not only an impassioned orator, but a delightful humorist. He could put a principle or a reason in the form of a jest so that it would go farther than even eloquence could carry it with the whimsical Western people; and perhaps nothing more effective was said against the infamous Black Laws which forbade the testimony of negroes in the courts than Corwin put in the form of self-satire. He was of a very dark complexion, so that he might have been taken for a light mulatto; and he used to say that it was only when a man got to be of about his color that he could be expected to tell the truth.

He was sent to the United States Senate soon after his defeat for the governorship, and it was there that in 1847 he made his great speech against the war with Mexico, as a war of conquest for the spread of slavery. It may be that there are more eloquent passages in English than some of the finest in this speech, where he warned the American people against the doom of unjust ambition, but I do not know them. It was the supreme effort of his life, but it was addressed to a time of unwholesome patriotic frenzy, and Corwin's popularity suffered fatally from it. He never disowned it; he defended and justified it before the people; but he declined from the high stand he had taken as the champion of freedom and justice, and the later years of his political life were marked by rather an anxious conservatism. His final efforts were unavailingly made to stay the course of secession by suggestions of impossible compromise between the North and South. At the close of the war he was stricken with paralysis while visiting as a private citizen the Capitol at Washington, where he had triumphed as representative and senator, and he died almost before the laughter had left the lips of the delighted groups which hung about him. Of all our public men he was most distinctively what is called, for want of some closer term, a man of genius, and he shares with but three or four other Americans the fame of qualities that made men love while they honored and revered him. In the presence of this great soul, so simple, so sweet, so true, so winning, so wise, I think the reader will scarcely care to be reminded that among the notable Ohio men of our day are some of the richest, if not the very richest, American millionaires.


Two names well-known in literature belong to Ashtabula County. Albion W. Tourgee was born there in 1838, and made a wide reputation by his novels, "A Fool's Errand" and "Bricks without Straw,"—impassioned and vivid reports of life in the South during the period of reconstruction; and Edith Thomas, who was born in Medina County, made Ashtabula her home till she went to live near New York. While she was still in Ohio, the poems which are full of the love of nature and the sense of immortal things began to win her a fame in which she need envy no others of our time.

One of the earlier Ohioans of note was John Cleves Symmes, of Butler County, who believed that the earth was penetrated at the poles by openings into a habitable region within it. He petitioned Congress for means to explore the Arctic seas and verify his theory; of course he petitioned in vain, but he won world-wide attention and made some converts. He had been a gallant officer of the United States Army, and had fought well in the War of 1812, but he died poor and neglected. He was of New Jersey birth, and of that stanch New Jersey stock which gave character to the whole southwestern part of Ohio.

Another and still more famous theorist, who is not generally known to have been an Ohioan, was Delia Bacon, who first maintained that the plays and poems of Shakespeare were written, by Sir Francis Bacon. She was born in Portage County at Tallmadge, where her father was settled as minister.

A sculptor who, if not the greatest American sculptor, has yet achieved in his art the most American things ever done in it, is J. Q. A. Ward, the author of the "Indian Hunter," and many other noble if less native works. He was born at Urbana, in Champaign County, of the old pioneer stock; and in a region remote from artistic influences, he felt the artistic impulse in his boyhood. His earliest attempt was a figure modeled in the wax which one of his sisters used in making wax flowers, and which he clandestinely borrowed. Then he made a bas-relief of the first train of cars he ever saw, but this he did in clay at the village potter's; and he also modeled in clay the head of a negro, well known in the place, which all the neighbors recognized. A few years later he was sent to school in Brooklyn, where he used every day to pass the studio of the sculptor H. K. Browne, and long for some accident that would give him entrance. The chance came at last; he told the sculptor the wish of his heart, and Browne consented to let him try his hand under his eye. From that time the boy's future was assured. The famous sculptor lives absorbed in his work in New York, where his ripe years find him crowned with the honor that will survive him as long as his bronzes and marbles endure.

To Clinton County belongs the name of Addison P. Russell, whose charming books of literary comment have so widely endeared him to book lovers; but whose public services in his own state are scarcely known outside of it among the readers of "Library Notes," or of "A Club of One."

The inventor of the first successful electric light, Charles Francis Brush, was born on his father's farm in Euclid, Cuyahoga County, in 1840, and still pursues in Cleveland the studies which have literally illumined the world. One of the earliest pioneers of science in geology and archaeology, Charles Whittlesey is identified with Cleveland, where the girlhood of the gifted novelist, Constance Fenimore Woolson, was passed. There, too, Charles F. Browne began to make his pseudonym of Artemus Ward known, and helped found the school of American humor. He was born in Maine; but his fun tastes of the West rather than the East.

Thomas A. Edison, the electrician whose inventions are almost of the quality of miracles, and have given him worldwide celebrity, was born in Milan, Erie County, in 1847, of mixed American and Canadian parentage. His early boyhood was passed in Ohio, but he went later to Michigan, where he began his studies in a railroad telegraph office, after serving as a train boy.

Another noted name in science is that of T. G. Wormley, long a citizen of Columbus, though a native of Pennsylvania. He wrote his work on poisons in our capital, where he had studied their effects on animal life, in several thousand cats and dogs, while a professor in Starling Medical College. His microscopical analysis was illustrated by drawings of the poison crystals, made by his wife, who learned the art of steel engraving for the purpose, when it was found that no one else could give the exquisite delicacy and precision of the original designs. Her achievement in this art was hardly less than her husband's in science, and it is a pleasure to record that she was born in Columbus.

To Franklin County also belongs the honor of being the birthplace of the botanist, William S. Sullivant. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences recognized him as the most accomplished student of mosses whom this country has produced.

I do not think it at all the least of her honors that Franklin County should be the birthplace of the horse tamer John S. Rarey, for whose celebrity the world was once not too large. He imagined a gentle art of managing horses by study of their nature and character, and in Europe, as well as America, he showed how he could subdue the fiercest of them to his will, through his patient kindness. In England the ferocious racing colt Cruiser yielded to Rarey, and everywhere the most vicious animals felt his magic. He was the author of a "Treatise on Horse Taming" which had a great vogue in various languages, and he achieved a reputation which was by no means mere notoriety.

Coates Kinney of Xenia was not born in Greene County, or even in Ohio; but he came to our state from New York when a boy, he has lived here ever since, and has been shaped by its life. His poem of "Rain on the Roof" is a household word, and it is the poem which will first come into the reader's mind at the mention of his name. But his greatest poem is "Optim and Pessim," which is one of the subtlest and strongest passages of human thought concerning the mystery of the universe; and his next greatest is his "Ode for the Ohio Centennial," delivered at Columbus in 1888. It merits a place with the best that have celebrated, like Lowell's "Commemoration Ode," the achievements of the people.

In Greene County began the long journalistic life of William D. Gallagher, who was born in Philadelphia in 1808, but came while a child to Southern Ohio, and grew up in the impassioned love of that beautiful country. There was not much besides its beauty to endear it to him, for his life was a long struggle there with adverse conditions. But he never lost heart or hope; he failed cheerfully in one literary enterprise after another, and turned from literature to politics until he found the means and the chance to fail again in the field where his heart was always. In Xenia, in Cincinnati, in Columbus, in Louisville, he lived, now here, now there, as his hopes and enterprises called him, and ended at last on a little farm in Kentucky. His poetic vein was genuine; it was sometimes overworked, but at least one poem of entire loveliness was minted from it; and there are few American poems which impart a truer and tenderer feeling for nature than Gallaghers "August," beginning—

"Dust on thy summer mantle, dust."

The life of Whitelaw Reid, who was born near Xenia in 1837, is a romance of success from the beginning, of the kind that seems peculiarly American. His people were Scotch Covenanters, with the stern convictions of that race. It is said that his grandfather first settled in Hamilton County, but rather than run a ferry boat on Sunday, as the deed of his land bound him to do, he sold it and removed to Greene County, where his father was a farmer when the boy White-law was born. He sent his son to school and to college, and then left him to make his own way in the world, which he did by first becoming a country editor, and then going to the war as a newspaper correspondent, and taking part in several battles as an aid-de-camp. He learned to know the war at first hand, and he was well fitted to make his history of "Ohio in the War" the most important of all the state histories. He spent two years in writing this work of truly Ohioan proportions and of unfailing interest, and then he became Horace Greeley's assistant on the New York Tribune. It was in the course of nature that after Greeley's death he should become its owner and director, and should take a leading part in national politics. He has been our minister to France, and has acquired great wealth as well as honor; but he has remained affectionately true to the home of his youth, as his care of the old farmstead at Cedarville evinces.

Among the most eminent and useful citizens of the state was Nicholas Longworth, who came from New Jersey to Cincinnati, when just of age, in 1803. He was first to introduce the culture of grapes and the making of wine into Ohio; he planted the Catawba vine on the uplands of Cincinnati, where it flourished till the destruction of the forests changed the climate. He became very rich by his investments in lands, but he never outgrew his sympathy with the poor and struggling, and his hand was open to every one who could intelligently profit by his help. Many stories are told of his eccentricity. He was so simple in his dress that he was once mistaken for one of his own workmen by a stranger whom he had shown through his grounds, and who gave him a dime; Longworth thanked him and put it in his pocket For a long time he received the poor every Monday morning at his house, and gave whoever asked a loaf of bread, or a peck of meal, or their worth in money. His charity was of the divine order which does not seek desert in its objects. "I will help the devil's poor," he said, "the miserable drunken dog, whom nobody else will do anything for but despise and kick," and he left the deserving poor to others, knowing that they were sure of friends.

Hiram Powers was the first American sculptor to give us rank in Europe. Longworth, who loved the arts as well as the industries, helped him to go to Florence from Cincinnati, where he had begun by modeling wax figures for a local museum. James H. Beard came from Painesville to Cincinnati, and won there his first success as a portrait painter. He was later to reveal the peculiar satirical gift for expressing human character in animals, for which his brother William H. Beard is perhaps even more famed. Among later artists, either born or bred in Cincinnati, Frank Dengler in sculpture, and Mr. Frank Duvaneck in painting, have shown extraordinary qualities. Dengler died at twenty-four, but not too soon to have given proof of his great talent; Mr. Duvaneck did such things in painting as to attract wide notice in America and Europe, where he headed a revolt of the young painters from the Munich School, and may be said almost to have founded a school of his own. These two young men were of the German stock which flourishes amid the Rhine-like hills of the Ohio; but another gifted Ohioan, who began his art life at Cincinnati, though he was born in Trumbull County, is of that pure American lineage commonest in the Western Reserve. Kenyon Cox, now president of the Art Student's League in New York, is the son of the distinguished statesman and soldier, General J. D. Cox, who was one of the first to enter the army from civil life, and with Garfield and Hayes, to show military qualities second only to those of the West Point men.

Of this class of our generals was Ormsby M. Mitchell, the eminent astronomer in charge of the observatory at Cincinnati, who was among the first to go from that city to the war. He won rank and honor without fighting a battle, by virtue of the same qualities which enabled him to do more than any one else towards founding a public observatory at Cincinnati before any city in the East had one.

He was of Kentucky birth, and came a child to Ohio; but William H. Lytle, dear to lovers of poetry as the author of the fine lyric, "Antony and Cleopatra," was born in Cincinnati, of the old Scotch-Irish stock, in 1826. He had everything pleasant in life and he enjoyed his prosperity, but when the war came he met its call halfway. At Chickamauga he fell, pierced by three bullets, in the thick of the fight. As he dropped from his horse into the arms of friends, he smiled his gratitude, and spent his last breath in urging them to save themselves, and leave him to his fate. The poem which begins with the well-known words,

"I am dying, Egypt, dying,"

will keep the name of Lytle in remembrance perhaps longer than all the poems of Phoebe and Alice Cary shall live, such are the caprices of fame; but the verse of these sisters is a part of American literature, as they themselves are a part of its history. They were true poets, and in their work a sense of

"The broad horizons of the West"

first made itself felt. They left the farm where they were born near College Hill and came to live in Cincinnati after they began to be known in literature, and later they went to dwell among the noises of New York, where they died; but the country, the sweet Miami country, remained a source of their inspiration, and now and again the reader tastes its charm in their verse.

They were undeniably Ohioan, while Pennsylvania may dispute our right to the fame of Thomas Buchanan Read, though his most famous poem, "Sheridan's Ride," was written and first recited in Cincinnati. We must not more than remind ourselves that Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe passed part of her early life in that city, and is known to have gathered much of the suggestion for "Uncle Tom's Cabin" among the Ohio scenes where some of its most vivid events occur.

In the county of Huron a man of unquestionable claim to remembrance was born. George Kennan, whose enviable privilege it was to let the light in upon the misery of Siberian exile and to awaken the abhorrence of the world for Russian tyranny, was a native of Norwalk, where he grew up a telegraph operator. He worked at night and went to school by day, and when only nineteen, while one of the chief operators in Cincinnati, he applied for leave to join an expedition for laying a cable from Alaska to Siberia by way of Bering Strait. He was asked if he could get ready to start in two weeks, and he answered that he could get ready to start in two hours. He was appointed, and in this way he came to know the horrors which he afterwards studied more fully in a second visit to Siberia. He traveled fifteen hundred miles through that wintry prison of Russia, and saw and heard the sorrowful things which the despotism of the Czar has done to men who dare to love freedom.

His report of these cruelties has at least put their authors to shame before the civilized world, if it has not wrought so great an open change as the work of another Ohio man in dealing with even greater atrocities. It is interesting to note that Januarius A. Mac-Gahan was born in the same county as Philip H. Sheridan, of the same Irish parentage, to the same Catholic religion, and the same early poverty. He saw the light in July, 1844, in a log cabin on his father's little farm among the woods near New Lexington in Perry County. He studied hard at school, and read constantly out of school, when a boy. When a little older, he worked for the neighboring farmers; he hoped to get a school to teach; but he could not get it in his own home, where he was thought too young, and he had to go to Indiana for it. From there he went to St Louis, where he became a newspaper reporter. In 1868 he sailed for Europe to study French and German, hoping to come home and practice law in that city. But his duty as correspondent took him to the scenes of various European wars, and launched him at last amidst the barbaric outrages of the Turks in Bulgaria. His exposure of their abominable misdeeds in 1876 roused the whole world; the English government officially examined his facts and found them indisputable. The war began between Russia and Turkey, and MacGahan returned to Bulgaria with the victorious Russian troops. There, wherever the people knew him, they hailed him as their savior. He had made their miseries so widely known to mankind as to render it impossible that they should continue. It is not strange that they thronged upon him, and kissed his hands, his boots, his saddle, his horse. In the peace that followed, a whole empire was torn from the bloody hands of the Turks, and four Christian peoples were saved from their savage rule. Bulgaria, Roumania, Roumelia, and Servia now belong to themselves, and all this has come about from the efforts of an unknown young Ohio man, who went abroad to study the languages, and changed the map of Europe. It reads like wild romance, but it is sober history.

Among all these Ohioans of celebrity we must not forget Johnnie Clem, the Drummer Boy of Shiloh. He ran away from his home in Newark, his native city, in 1861, when he was not yet ten years old, and joined the 24th Ohio as drummer; but he was afraid to be seen and sent home by an uncle who was in that regiment, and he cast his lot with the 22d Michigan. He was not only at Shiloh, but the battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, Chickamauga, Nashville, and Kenesaw. He was taken prisoner in Georgia, and when his captors stripped him of his clothes he grieved for the loss of nothing except his cap, which had three bullet holes in it. After his release, he came home to get well, and then returned to the army, where General Thomas attached him to his staff. Later he was sent to West Point, where he could not be regularly entered because he was too small; but he made his studies, and Grant commissioned him as lieutenant, and he rose to be captain of infantry. He won the love and respect of all his generals, and while they lived they wrote him letters of affectionate friendship. He was once wounded by a shell, and once he lost his drum by the fragment of a bursting bomb.

J. J. Platt, who is first among Ohio poets, was born in Indiana; but his boyhood was passed mostly in Ohio, where he grew up on his father's farm, amidst the scenes which he has loved to depict in his verse, until he became a printer's apprentice. Since then he has dwelt in cities, both at home and abroad; but he is always happiest in dealing with the traits and aspects of country life, especially in the earlier times. He was for many years consul at different points in Ireland; and he has found in England even greater recognition for the distinctively mid-western quality of his poems than he has enjoyed among ourselves. So far as he is of Ohio, he is of Logan County, which has been the seat of his family from the settlement of the country; as his name suggests, he is of French descent.

Of Toledo, and therefore of Lucas County, was David R. Locke, who was born in New York state, but lived in Ohio from his fifth year onward. He was a printer and an editor, and after the war, he suddenly won national fame as the author of the Petroleum V. Naseby letters. These were satires of the old proslavery spirit which retarded the reconstruction of the South and harried the freedmen by mobs and lynchings. Their humor gave Locke a place in our literature which no history of it can ignore.

Another literary man who must be taken account of in the summing up of American literature was S. S. Cox, who made himself known early in the fifties when Ohio was far less heard of than now, by his lively book of travels, "A Buckeye Abroad." He was a journalist and a politician; he was three times elected to Congress from Columbus, and when he went to live in New York, he was three times sent to the House of Representatives from that city, where he is commemorated by a statue. He was a native of Muskingum County, and was born in 1824 at Zanesville.

The latest and most brilliant contribution of Ohio to the scholarship of the East is Professor W. M. Sloane, now of Princeton University, but by birth of Jefferson County. He must rank by his "Life of Napoleon" among the American historians of the first class. He is of Scotch Calvinistic ancestry, and the son of a Presbyterian minister.

In this list of Ohioans who have done honor to our state, Mr. James Ford Rhodes happens to be last, though chance might well have placed him among the first He is the author of "A History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850," which has a peculiar value in the field of American history, and which has given Mr. Rhodes prominent standing, with a constantly growing reputation. He is of the New England race of the Western Reserve; until within a few years his home was in Cleveland, but he now lives in Boston.


Nearly all the Ohio stories since 1812 have been stories of business enterprise and industrial adventure. I dare say that if these could be fully told, we should have tales as exciting, as romantic and pathetic as any I have set down concerning the Indian wars. But such stories are usually forgotten in the material interest of the affairs, and it is only when some tragedy or comedy arising from them finds chance record that we realize how full of human interest they are. The decay of steamboating and the rise of railroading is in itself a romance if it could be rightly seen, and if the facts could be clearly set before us, the story of commercial triumph by a great monopoly would not be less fascinating than that of any war of conquest.

The greatest monopoly of ancient or modern times, the Standard Oil Company, had its rise in Ohio, and there is no more impressive chapter in the annals of our country than its history forms. In fact, everything concerning the discovery of the great underground lakes of petroleum, and subterranean spaces of natural gas, which suddenly enriched certain sections of the state, and then with their exhaustion left them to lapse into ruin, is picturesque and dramatic. Many tales are told of poor farmers who struck oil on their lands, and sold them for sums greater than they had ever dreamed of, and then went out into the world to waste their wealth in a few years of wild riot, or sank down and led idle and useless lives in sight of the fields they had once tilled. Similar stories are told of the regions where natural gas has been found, and some day, when the chronicles of Findlay, in Hancock County are fully written we shall know all these romantic episodes in their grotesqueness and their pathos. It had been known from the earliest settlement of the country that the natural gas underlay the town, and fifty years ago two small wells were sunk. But it was not until after the discovery of the natural gas at Pittsburg that the people of Findlay began to think of turning their treasure to account. Then, in the year 1884, the first great well was bored, and sent into the startled air a shaft of flame sixty feet high. Other wells were sunk, and the greatest of all, the famous Karg well, shook its flag of fire against the sky with a roar like that of Niagara, and made its voice heard fifteen miles away. It was winter when it was first lighted, but it made summer for two hundred yards around. The snow melted, the grass and wild flowers sprang up, and the crickets came and trilled in the grateful warmth. By a sad irony this source of future wealth became the refuge of homeless men, and within its genial circuit many tramps slept sweetly, secure from the winter beyond.

Findlay grew from five thousand to fifteen thousand inhabitants in a year. The municipality wisely possessed itself of the most important wells, and supplied the gas so cheaply and abundantly to the people that no company could rival it. In June, 1887, it celebrated the anniversary of the first use of the natural gas in the industrial arts, and for three days the town was given over to rejoicing in its glory and prosperity. The streets were arched with flame, the great wells flaunted their banners night and day, and the gas flared from innumerable pipes and jets through sun and rain in every part of the town.

No such festival has commemorated the introduction of the grape culture in Ohio, though this is one of the most poetic facts of our history. When the changes of climate along the Ohio River rendered it unprofitable in the region of Cincinnati, where the imaginative genius of Longworth had first invented the Catawba wine which the poetic genius of Longfellow celebrated in graceful song, the vine found home and welcome along the shores of Lake Erie. There thousands upon thousands of acres now spread interminable vineyards, and the grapes of every American variety purple in autumn to an almost unfailing harvest.

It was at first only a dream when Longworth transplanted the wild vine from the woods, and it might well have been scoffed at as akin to dreams of the past which never were realized. One of these was the silk culture, which people believed was to be one of our greatest sources of wealth sixty or seventy years ago, when they planted millions of mulberry trees to nourish the silkworms which died rather than become citizens of Ohio. Another was the culture of the Chinese sorghum cane, which for many years tantalized our farmers with the hopes of native sugar never fulfilled.

Still other kinds of dreams there have been native to our air or naturalized to it. The Leatherwood God was by no means the only religious impostor who has flourished among us. In 1831 Joseph Smith, the first of the Mormon prophets and the founder of Mormon-ism, came to Portage County, with one of his disciples, and began to preach. They made so many converts that some shortsighted people of Hiram thought to stop their work by tarring and feathering them. This only drove them from the place; but the next year, they settled in Kirtland, Lake County, where, in 1834, their followers built the first Mormon temple, for the worship of God according to the Book of Mormon. It was this sacred book, written on gold plates, which Smith, a native of Vermont, pretended to find, in a hill near Palmyra, New York, where he was leading an idle and useless life. His converts at Kirtland increased to three thousand, but they founded a bank as well as a temple, and so got into debt and trouble. Smith left the state to escape the sheriff, and went to Missouri, where the great mass of the believers joined him, seven hundred leaving Kirtland in one day. Before long the Missourians foolishly began to persecute them, and then the Mormons settled at Nauvoo, in Illinois, where they built their second temple, far more magnificent than the first at Kirtland. But here again their unwise neighbors began to molest them, and Joseph Smith and his brother Hiram were thrown into jail. A mob attacked the jail, and the Smiths were murdered. The Mormons then abandoned Nauvoo, and took their way through the desert to Salt Lake, in Utah, where they laid the foundations of a great commonwealth. They still own their first temple at Kirtland, however, and it is said to be the hope of one sect among them yet to return and dwell there.

Among the fanaticisms or enthusiasms which flourished among our people, none was more striking than that which moved the Woman's Temperance Crusade in Hillsborough, Highland County, in 1873. Under the influence of a fervent speaker, who told how the women of his native village in New England had joined in beseeching the liquor sellers of the place to give up their traffic, a hundred and fifty ladies of Hillsborough banded together and went about to the different saloons, entreating their owners not to sell strong drink any more. By day and by night, in wet and in cold, through menace and insult, they kept up their effort the whole winter long. Where the dealer was very obstinate, they knelt down at his door, and prayed and sang till he yielded. After the crusade ended, the liquor selling began again, but though it seemed to have done little good, yet it is said that there has been far less drunkenness in the region than before, and public opinion was roused to enforce the laws against liquor selling. Among the crusaders were some of the first ladies of the neighborhood, and good women emulated their efforts in several other places.

I am willing to leave the reader with the impression that the people of Ohio are that sort of idealists who have the courage of their dreams. By this courage they have made the best of them come true, and it is well for them in their mainly matter-of-fact and practical character that they show themselves at times enthusiasts and even fanatics. It is not ill for them that they should now and then have been mistaken. This has helped to keep them modest in the midst of their prosperity, and their eminence in saving and governing the union of these states. Such as they are, they seem to me, historically, the first of the Americans. The whole country on the eastward characterized them, and they, more than the people of any other state, have perpetuated and imparted their character to the whole country on the westward.


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