Cutler, Manasseh

Cutler, Manasseh

(mənăs`ə), 1742–1823, American clergyman, scientist, and one of the organizers of the Ohio Company of AssociatesOhio Company of Associates,
organization for the purchase and settlement of lands on the Ohio River, founded at Boston in 1786. Its organizers were a group of New England men, most of them former American Revolutionary army officers. In July, 1787, one of the directors, Dr.
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, b. Killingly, Conn. A student of both law and theology, he was admitted to the bar in 1767 and was ordained (1771) pastor of the Congregational Church at Hamilton, Mass. He also studied medicine and became a practicing physician. In science Cutler used both the telescope and microscope and contributed his observations to the Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of which he was a member. His botanical papers, taken together, form the first systematic description and classification of New England flora. He aided (1786) in forming the Ohio Company and in 1787 was sent as agent to the Continental Congress to secure a grant of land on the Ohio River for settlement. By skillful lobbying he succeeded in negotiating the land purchase. He also promoted the Ordinance of 1787Ordinance of 1787,
adopted by the Congress of Confederation for the government of the Western territories ceded to the United States by the states. It created the Northwest Territory and is frequently called the Northwest Ordinance.
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, which provided for the establishment of territorial government in the area. He was (1801–5) a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Cutler wrote, in addition to his scientific papers, Description of Ohio (1787, repr. 1896).

Bibliography

See W. P. Cutler and J. P. Cutler, Life, Journals, and Correspondence of Rev. Manasseh Cutler (1888).

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