Ohio Company of Associates


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Ohio 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. Manasseh CutlerCutler, Manasseh
, 1742–1823, American clergyman, scientist, and one of the organizers of the Ohio Company of Associates, 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
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, was sent to New York to a meeting of Congress to negotiate the land purchase. There he shrewdly allied himself with a group of New York speculators led by William DuerDuer, William
, 1747–99, political leader in the American Revolution and financier, b. Devonshire, England. He served for a time as aide-de-camp to Robert Clive in India, afterward spending some time in the West Indies looking after his father's estates.
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, secretary of the U.S. Treasury Board. Congress desperately needed revenue, and the prospect of selling large tracts of land in Ohio hastened its passage of the Northwest 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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. In order to conclude the matter quickly, Cutler suggested the appointment of Gen. Arthur St. Clair, then president of Congress, as governor of the Northwest Territory. On Oct. 27 two contracts were signed by Cutler and Winthrop Sargent, secretary of the Ohio Company. The first gave to the company 1,780,000 acres (720,340 hectares) of land at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers for a payment of $1 million in government securities, then worth about 12¢ specie to the dollar. The contract also provided that one section of land in every township be devoted to the maintenance of public schools, another section be set apart for religious uses, and two entire townships be reserved for a university. The second contract, made for William Duer, gave to the Scioto Company (as Duer and his associates were known) the option to buy 5,000,000 acres (2,023,428 hectares) of land on the Ohio and Scioto rivers. The Scioto Company's scheme was purely speculative, and its contract lapsed before any land was purchased. The Ohio Company, however, had a genuine plan of settlement. In Apr., 1788, Gen. Rufus PutnamPutnam, Rufus,
1738–1824, American Revolutionary general, one of the founders of the Ohio Company of Associates, b. Sutton, Mass.; cousin of Israel Putnam. In the French and Indian War he joined (1757) the army and saw action around Lake Champlain.
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, one of the directors, began settlement of the company's land and laid out Marietta. In 1796 the company divided its shares and ceased to be a significant land company.
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1788, he and a group called the Ohio Company of Associates headed west to become some of the first Europeans to settle the Northwest Territory.
Marietta was founded by the Ohio Company of Associates and was established in response to the turmoil of Shays's Rebellion in 1787.

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