22 June 2008

Cincinnati History Moment: John Cleves Symmes

From Cincinnati: The Queen City published by the Cincinnati Historical Society:

John Cleves Symmes (1742-1814)

John Cleves Symmes was born in Southold, Long Island. An ambitious person, he quickly rose through the ranks of colonial society. He served with the New Jersey militia in the Revolutionary War, as associate judge of the Supreme Court of New Jersey and as a member of the Continental Congress.

In 1788 Symmes was appointed a judge for the Northwest Territory and began negotiations to buy one million acres of land between the Great and Little Miami rivers north from the Ohio River. In his haste to settle the purchase, Symmes often sold land before establishing legal claim. Most of his personal property was eventually sold to satisfy suits filed over disputed titles. He died penniless and disillusioned.

At the time Symmes was here there was no such thing as "Cincinnati." The first settlement was called Columbia (now Columbia-Tusculum) and the second which would eventually be renamed Cincinnati was then called "Losantiville." When Symmes came down the Ohio River he landed near the mouth of the Great Miami and established the settlement of North Bend.


Anonymous said...

“I declare that the earth is hollow and habitable within. I pledge my life in support of this truth and am ready to explore the hollow if the world will support and aid me in the undertaking.” John Cleeves Symmes

I'm not sure if this was your Symmes father (dates of birth and death are off) but the hollow-earther was dead serious. He even got Congress to fund an expedition.

WestEnder said...

Well thank goodness Congress now heeds the advice of experts and scientists before providing funds, rather than bending to the will of a few well-connected individuals.

*sigh* The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Anonymous said...

Ironic that I wrote this a day before the news of Ken Hamm and the Pentagon.