Some History of the Northwest Territory Lands

©Illinois Trails History and Genealogy

At the close of the revolution, only a few scattered posts, separated by hundreds of miles, were to be found. Detroit, Michillimacinac, Vincennes, Kaskaskia and a few minor trading points. Kentucky could boast of a few thousand, maintaining themselves by dauntless courage and nerves of steel against the British and the Indians, but all north of Ohio was practically unbroken wilderness.

For a number of years following the revolution, most in the east failed to see the future of the republic or it's importance of holding the western country. To them, men such as Harrod and Kenton, Logan and Boone, were "lawless borderers" and willful aggressors on the rights of the red man. And yet, back of the crowning diplomacy of John Jay, that placed our western frontiers on the banks of the Mississippi, and extended our northern lines to the thread of the lakes, lay the stern resolution of the men of Kentucky and the supreme audacity in the mind of Clark.

To recount the endless horrors endured by the people south of the Ohio river during the remaining years of the revolution, and for long years afterwards, would be impossible. Parties of savages, accompanied often times by the French Canadians from Detroit, scoured the country, stealing horses, driving away the cattle, attacking solitary cabins, waylaying the unwary and often carrying women and children away into captivity. Many fell victims to the Indians and many were burned and tortured; others were harrowed with the dying shrieks of their dearest friends and connections.

Because of these pioneers and the cool enterprise and daring of Clark, the foundation was built for the subsequent negotiations of 1783, that gave the northwest territory to the United States of America. Virginia, on 2 January 1781, ceded all the lands northwest of the Ohio river to the United States and Congress accepted on 13 September 1783

The seven native tribes opposed the advance settlement into the Northwest Territory. Chief among them were the Wyandots, Miamis, Shawnes, Delawares, Ottawas, Chippewas and Potawatomi. These tribes were know later as the "western confederacy," who fought so long and bitterly against the Government and who were conquered by the arms and genius of General Anthony Wayne in the year 1794.

Michigan Gazetteer - History of the Territory and Michigan

Illinois' Abstract of Title

The Treaty of Greenville