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Friday, November 23, 2018

Lewis and Clark on the Ohio River

The initial phase of the Lewis and Clark Expedition began in Pittsburgh and included a stop in Marietta. Leader Meriwether Lewis set off down the Ohio River in a flatboat on August 31, 1803, laden with supplies and several recruits for the expedition. He would meet up with second-in- command William Clark at Louisville. Quotes, spelling, and grammar are from Lewis’s journal.

Thomas Jefferson had a vision: that the United States of America could occupy the whole of the continent from Atlantic to Pacific. He had closely studied past explorations of routes to the Pacific Ocean. None had succeeded. Some never had a chance. John Ledyard attempted to reach the west coast in 1786 by trekking east through Europe, Russia, Siberia, then sailing across the Bering Sea. He made it to Siberia but was arrested there. In 1790 Secretary of War Henry Knox promoted an exploration of the Missouri River by Lieutenant John Armstrong that was woefully short of resources, lacking such basic necessities as a tent. A Frenchman named Andre’ Michaux mounted an expedition west that was terminated in Kentucky when Jefferson discovered that Michaux was a French spy. 

As President, Jefferson decided a government organized mission was the way to go. Congress approved funding for $2,500 to equip and staff the expedition. It would be a U. S. Army operation, officially named The Corps of Discovery.  Jefferson selected Army Captain Meriwether Lewis, a 29 year old then serving as President Jefferson's personal secretary, to lead the expedition. 

August 31: The start down the Ohio had a rough start. After just three miles, they stopped at Bruno's Island to demonstrate Lewis’s innovative compressed air gun for inquisitive local residents. They were amazed by its power. One of the locals accidentally discharged the gun, hitting a nearby woman who "fell instantly and the blood gusing from her temple...we supposed she was dead." She soon revived and the wound was superficial, to their great relief.

At McKees Rocks, "we were obleged to get out all hands and lift the boat over about thirty yards. There were several such portages required - a herculean effort for a fifty-five foot long craft carrying a ton of supplies. They "halted for the night much fatiegued after laboring with my men all day...gave my men some whiskey and retired to rest at eight o’clock.”

The Ohio River then had no dams. There were shallows and deep pools, riffles and calm. Low water was a common condition during dry spells. Fog is also typical along the river in late summer.

Meriwether Lewis was born in Albemarle County Virginia. He was a skilled outdoorsman, developed a life-long interest in natural history, and had interacted with local Indians. He then joined the Army rising to the rank of Captain. His otherwise successful military service was marred by a 1795 court martial for a drunken outburst against a Lieutenant. He was acquitted, though chastened by the experience. He was transferred to a unit commanded by William Clark, whom he later selected for the western expedition. 

September 1: Back on the Ohio River, there were more delays from low water and morning fog. He was fascinated by the persistent fog, observing that "the Fog appears to owe it's orrigin to the difference of temperature between the air and water.” He was curious enough to start recording the air and water temperatures each day. There were more portages; one required a team of oxen to drag the boat free.

The river trip was supposed to start in early summer, before the low water and foggy conditions usually occur. But Lewis was held up by the extensive preparations for the expedition. He also spent weeks learning from experts on medicine, natural history, celestial navigation, and other skills needed for the exploration. He was a quick learner. Still, everything took longer than expected. Jefferson fretted at the delays.
Expedition cost estimates prepared by Lewis, from The Library of Congress, viewed at https://www.loc.gov/resource/mtj1.028_0183_0184/?sp=1&q=meriwether+lewis
The list was short but the details were long


Excerpts from the journal as they moved down river towards Marietta: 

Sept 2: Extensive observations by Lewis about the river bank configuration. He noted "...today the leaves of the buckeye, gum, and sausafras (trees) begin to fade, or turn red."

Sept 3: Fog delay, fired one of the crew, hired horses to drag boat over low spot, made only 6 miles.

Sept 4: Canoes sprung a leak; stopped for repair. Water very clear - saw "a great number of Fish of different kinds, the Stergeon, Bass, Cat fish, pike, &c.”

Sept 5-9. Slow going, leaky canoes, passed Steubenville, then Wheeling where he met with local officials.

Sept 10: Passed Grave Creek just below Wheeling near present day Moundsville WV. He described the large Adena culture mound at Grave Creek in some detail.

Grave Creek Mound at Moundsville WV, from Wikipedia

Sept 11: At Long Reach, just below Sunfish Creek, they saw many squirrels swimming from the west to east across the Ohio River. Joseph Barker in his Recollections of the First Settlement of Ohio about Marietta had similar observations. Lewis's dog “Seaman” swam after the squirrels and brought back several which were cooked: "I thought them when fryed a pleasant food..."

Sept 13: Reached Marietta; stayed the night. Observed many passenger pigeons passing over. Flocks were so large that they obscured the sun. More swimming squirrels. While at Marietta, he dismissed two of his hands and took on another. He wrote to President Jefferson and visited with Marietta resident Colonel Griffin Greene whom he described as “the Postmaster of this place, he appears to be much of a gentleman and an excelant republican.”

Letter from Meriwether Lewis to President Jefferson written at Marietta , courtesy Library of Congress, viewed at https://www.loc.gov/resource/mtj1.029_0103_0104/?sp=1. The letter mostly conveyed mundane details of river navigation. For a clearer image, click here.

Sept 14: Delayed departure from Marietta until 11 am because two of the crew were drunk and did not return to the boat. They were finally located and brought on board, “so drunk they were unable to help themselves.” More swimming squirrels and mention of malaria which was prevalent in the lower Ohio Valley.

The “hair of the dog” that nipped Lewis was a challenge for the expedition. Planning how much liquor to bring was itself was a major project. The daily ration required for military personnel was a gill (about 4 ounces) of rum, brandy, or whiskey. Spirits were thought necessary for soldiers - “keeping spirits (and bravery) up by pouring spirits down” was the maxim in those days. Lewis brought an estimated 120 gallons of spirits on the expedition. It ran out well before they reached the Pacific. 

Drunkenness - like the Marietta episode - was a persistent problem. Many crew members were disciplined. Two were court marshaled for stealing liquor from storage. A separate protocol to prevent theft became necessary for distributing the rations. 

The Corps of Discovery expedition overcame that and many other obstacles to achieve legendary success. Learn more about the Lewis and Clark expedition by clicking here.

There was a gap in Meriwether Lewis’s journal September 18 to November 11. He was either too busy or the journals were lost. We are fortunate that his journals included the days before and after Marietta. 



References:
Ambrose, Stephen E., Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West, New York, Simon and Schuster, 2013

Moulton, Gary E., Editor, Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Online, lewisandclarkjournals.unl.edu

Danisi, Thomas C., Meriwether Lewis, Amherst NY, Thomas C. Danisi and John C. Jackson, 2009

Coues, Elliott, History of the Expedition under the Command of Lewis and Clark, Volume I, "Memoir of Meriwether Lewis," New York, Francis P. Harper, 1893 

“Discovering Lewis and Clark” website at Lewis-Clark.org, “Preparations” section

Wikipedia, “Lewis and Clark Expedition”

Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Ohio River Chapter, at website Lewis and Clark.org





Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Thomas Wallcut's Journal


Thomas Wallcut (1758-1840) arrived in Marietta on October 26, 1789 - on foot. He started from Boston, enduring a rough passage of twenty-four days to Baltimore on the schooner CAPTAIN SNOW. After 4 days recuperating in Baltimore, he started walking to Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia). He walked the 280 plus miles in 19 Days, an average of 15 miles per day. From there he hiked to Marietta in 4 1/2 days.

Walking was not a typical mode of conveyance to Marietta from the eastern states. But then Wallcut was not your typical Marietta settler. Thomas Wallcut was a Massachusetts native, educated to be an Indian missionary at the Indian Charity School in Hanover, New Hampshire. He was accepted at Dartmouth College in 1774 but instead went to live with the St. Francis Indians (a division within the western Abenaki Indians) near Montreal. 

Wallcut worked in hospitals at Albany and Boston during the Revolutionary War. He used his earnings to buy one share in the Ohio Company of Associates which owned land in the Marietta area. He was a scholarly type yet sociable, curious, outspoken, and seemingly unfazed by the hardships of living in the new territory. 

He kept a detailed journal of his stay in Marietta from October 1789 to March 1790. The journal does not start until January 20. It offers fascinating insights into early life in the new settlements. Wallcut’s nephew George Dexter edited the journal and added helpful footnotes for background. Dexter described the journal book: “It is a compact little volume, five inches by three and a half and opens on the shorter edge. It is kept in a very neat and careful manner. Mr. Wallcut’s habits were methodical, and his handwriting almost a model for this generation of poor penmen.”  Sounds like the poor (or no) penmanship of today in the 21st century.

Some interesting observations from Wallcut’s journal; all dates listed are from 1790:

January 24: Visited the new settlement at "Belle Prairie" (today's Belpre, Ohio) down river from Marietta. Was impressed with the people he met there. Dined at Colonel (Alexander) Oliver's home: "had a good dish of boiled beef and pork, cabbage, turnips, potatoes, and Indian bread and wheat bread, and all served in a decent and handsome clean manner."

"Farmer's Castle" fortified enclosure at Belle Prairie settlement built in January 1791 after Indian attacks in the area, from Wikipedia. This included the log homes of Col. Cushing and Col. Battelle whom Thomas Wallcut visited in January of 1790. Image from Wikipedia.


Wallcut observed first hand how river conditions impacted life in the settlement:
February 10: Ohio and Muskingum Rivers were choked with ice which stopped all river traffic.
February 18: Flooding: “Expect to be routed again with the high water.” And the next morning: "At sunrise water rising fast...before we could get our breakfast done, water came in so fast that the floor was afloat, and we stood in water to our buckles to drink the last dish.”  
February 22: "The (flood) water has abated so that Lucas and Neal and several more are moving back into their houses." Walcutt kindled a fire to dry the house where he was staying. It had flooded to "about four feet on the floor."

Wallcut was a member of a debate society in Marietta which existed briefly in early 1790:
January 27: The society met and discussed this question: “Is the civil Government of the (Northwest Territory) as it now stands...calculated to secure the peace, freedom, and prosperity of the people; and what is wanting to obtain so desirable an object?” The group selected a new topic for the next meeting: “Whether the American States have, contrariant to the regulations of the Spanish Government, a right...to navigate the Mississippi (River).”
February 3: Enoch Parsons was elected President of the debate society, Wallcut was secretary.
February 16: "No meeting this evening. I fear ours will be but a short-lived society. They seem to have so little taste and animation for it that we evidently have the symptoms of decay." There was no further mention of the debate society in his journal.

January 31: “...attended the funeral of Rowena (Mrs. Winthrop) Sargent in the afternoon. The obsequies were performed with decency and respect. She died in childbirth along with the baby on January 29." Winthrop Sargent was then the Secretary of the Northwest Territory; he later served as Governor of the Mississippi Territory. Commentary about Sargent's marriage can be viewed here, courtesy "Pioneer Prologue" blog at Marietta College Special Collections. A copy of the marriage certificate issued by territorial governor Arthur St. Clair appears below:

From Marietta College Special Collections
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE


January 31: Wallcut held strong opinions which he was not shy in expressing. He was a juror in the Court of Quarter Sessions (similar to today's Common Pleas Court). They met in the southeast blockhouse at Campus Martius, the fortified enclosure. The jury "found against" two men for fighting. Foreman Dudley Woodbridge asked (probably rhetorically) if there were any other issues to discuss. Wallcut spoke up and presented "four articles of complaint to be presented as grievances." It's not clear why he chose the jury gathering as a forum for these issues, listed as follows: 
  1. No laws against duelling
  2. No incorporation of Marietta, and therefore no way of providing for poor and sick strangers
  3. No law licensing and regulating taverns, etc.
  4. No law against the crime of buying and selling the human species
These points were debated by the jury members, though the outcome had no legal standing. The Ordinance of 1787 creating the territory expressly prohibited slavery, which should have satisfied Item 4. The Ohio Company had already made some provisions for needy persons, the complaint mentioned in item 2. Wallcut was dismayed that juror Jonathan Morris passionately spoke in favor of dueling, stating that ..."every government ought to encourage duelling." 

February 6: "Employed myself in chopping wood. I feel best those days which are partly improved in exercise."

February 19: Wallcut went to Dr. True's "pest house." Smallpox appeared in Marietta in January of 1790. Some houses were built away from others for care and to quarantine persons who contracted smallpox. Such buildings were referred to as pest houses. Wallcut does not explain why he went there; it might have been temporary shelter from the flooding.

February 22: "The doctor (Wallcut referred to "the doctor" often but did not give his name) showed me, as a natural curiosity of the country, a complete lobster in miniature about two inches in length...They are found in plenty in streams and springs of water."  The "lobster in miniature" was a crayfish, or in local terminology, a crawdad.    

Freshwater crayfish


February 25: Attended a meeting of agents (a group representing shareholders) of the Ohio Company. They discussed finances but spent most of the time debating policy about salt springs on the Scioto River. Wallcut’s notes suggest that this was a controversial topic. It was also mentioned at other meetings, including March 2 when Wallcut himself was quite vocal on the subject. Topics at other agents’ meetings included finances, land surveys, Donation Lands, and employment of Daniel Story as a preacher for the settlements. Wallcut met Reverend Story and wrote a note of support for employing him. 

By early March, Thomas Wallcut had decided to leave Marietta and return to Boston. He gave no reason; it's possible that he never intended to stay. But his detailed study of the Ohio Company's records and serious inquires about Donation Lands for himself suggested some level of interest in the new settlement. 

In those final days, his journal reflects preoccupation with others' opinions of him - perhaps reflecting some ambivalence about leaving:
March 4: Wallcut seemed apologetic about his conduct at a March 2 agents' meeting regarding the salt springs debate. He separately asked Colonel Meigs and Colonel Battelle what they thought of his behavior at the meeting. Both offered favorable comments. 
March 6: Paul Fearing was a friend who expressed regret about Wallcut's departure and wanted him to return. Wallcut listed many others who were complimentary or respectful of him, including "Colonel Oliver, Colonel Meigs, Captain Prince, and Mr. Gridley,....Commodore Whipple,...Major White, Esquire Wells and his sons, Mr. Rockwell, Mr. Bent, Messrs. Buell and Munsell, Colonel Battelle, Messrs Mills, Barker, Mr. Story and brother, Captain Shepard, Mr. Skinner, Mr. Tilas, Skinner, Parsons,...He stated that their favorable opinions "affords me great pleasure and gives me satisfaction..."

On March 8, he began his trip east to Boston with the doctor, and two men named Dodge and Proctor. They walked, navigating crude roads in very rough condition, and lodged mostly in homes or road houses along the way. They often made 15-20 miles per day. That is quite a distance for persons not normally accustomed to walking.

He suffered from leg and feet soreness along the way, but except for one day of rest, pressed on. READER ALERT: POSSIBLY DISTURBING LANGUAGE JUST AHEAD: On March 15, Wallcut was attacked by what he called "thoroughgonimbles." Thorough Go Nimbles was slang for diarrhea. Loosely (so to speak) translated, the phrase meant "goes through quick." A 1903 slang dictionary listed other synonyms for the condition: squitters, wild squirt, and back door trot. Fortunately, this situation persisted only a few hours.

The journal ends on April 5 in Philadelphia. Other correspondence suggests that he met the doctor in New York and arrived back in Boston on April 23 “in good health.” 

Wallcut did not return to Marietta, though he occasionally inquired about the parcels of area property that he owned through his share in the Ohio Company. He forwarded money for taxes on the properties but never occupied or developed the land. He finally transferred the parcels to Nahum Ward in 1838 for the price of $100.

Wallcut was devoted to antiquarian research and was a founding member of the Massachusetts Historical Society. His day job was clerk at the State House in Boston, a job he held for forty years.

Silhouette image of Thomas Walcutt ca 1835, from masshist.org


We are indebted to Thomas Wallcut - and his nephew George Dexter - for preserving this fascinating snapshot of life in early Marietta.


Sources:

American Antiquarian Society, Manuscript Collections finding aid, Wallcut, Thomas Papers 1640-1833, viewed at https://www.americanantiquarian.org/Findingaids/thomas_wallcut.pdf

Dexter, George, Journal of Thomas Wallcut, in 1790 with notes by George Dexter, Cambridge MA, University Press: John Wilson and Sons, 1879

Farmer, John Stephen, and Henley, William E., Editors, Slang and Its Analogues Past and Present, Volume VII, London, Publisher not given, 1903

Hildreth, Samuel, Pioneer History: Being an Account of the First Examinations of the Ohio Valley and the Early Settlement of the Northwest Territory, Cincinnati, H. W. Derby & Co., 1848








Thursday, August 9, 2018

Brick Streets and Horse Manure


Brick Streets are a signature part of Marietta, Ohio’s small town charm. The Marietta Brick Streets Commission states that Marietta has more brick street mileage (about seven miles total) than any city in Ohio. I'm not sure how to fact check that, but it sounds good to me. Locals are proud of those brick streets as part of Marietta's historic vibe. But that has not always been so.

But first, some background. Brick street paving began as an experiment in Charleston, West Virginia. A man named Mordecai Levi completed paving of Summer Street there in 1870. From that modest experiment, brick paving swept the nation in the late 1800s. Bricks were durable, readily available as brick manufacture expanded, provided a smooth surface, and promised to be low maintenance.

Brick was a welcome solution to a problem shared then by all communities. Almost all streets then were unpaved dirt surfaces which were, uh, dirty. They became boot-sucking quagmires after a rain and dusty rutted hard pan in the summer. A “mud room” was a necessity in homes of the period, not just the quaint convenience of today.

Paving with brick became quite sophisticated. Specialized bricks called “pavers” were created for strength and durability. They were larger than “facing bricks” used for buildings and weighed about 10 pounds. Pavers were fired at a higher temperature, producing a glazed surface which was more water and corrosion resistant. Marietta brick makers, such as Cisler and Acme, manufactured pavers.


Cisler Paver with reversed S. CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
Caption: Antique Cisler Paver Marietta Ohio Brick "Backwards S" being advertised for sale at $9.99



Two different styles of ‘Acme’ Paving Bricks w/Bar Lugs. Made by the Acme Brick Company of Marietta, OH. Early 1900’s. CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE




Cisler Paver images: from   https://gramrix.com/tag/ohiobricks
caption: Two different sizes of 'Cisler' Paving bricks w/ornate lettering. Thomas Cisler & Son, Marietta, OH. 1890's. Uncommon. CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE


Paving projects were engineered in detail. Preparation of the foundation under the bricks was critical. Gravel and sand were most often used. The subsoil was excavated and rolled to provided a compacted base. Bricks were laid down, curbing installed, and then the bricks were rolled a final time. Then sand, tar, or a concrete grout was used between the bricks once they were laid.

Marietta first paved parts of some streets with brick in 1892, then continued adding streets over the next 20 years. Marietta’s brick paving was mentioned in national settings on at least two occasions. 

The first appeared in the January 1899 issue of Brick, a trade magazine. It was a sales presentation to the Fort Worth, Texas, City Council by A. O. Jones of Zanesville, Ohio. His company provided the brick for the 1892 paving in Marietta. Jones’ comments:

Some seven years ago, I made and furnished vitrified brick for paving three streets in the historic city and key to the Northwest, Marietta, Ohio...It is a common scene in early morning to see four or six big and powerful horses hauling monster steam boilers over these streets to the different oil fields of which today she is the center, and has one of the largest boiler shops in Ohio. I procured a testimonial only a few weeks ago, attested by the city officials, stating that, while the brick have been down for seven years the pavement shows little or no signs of wear, and is good for many more years. This is the unvarnished truth, and defies any other kind of paving material to produce such a record, not having cost the city a single cent for repairs, nor is it likely to during the life time of the present generation at least.

Jones not only promoted his brick but Marietta as well. I don’t know if he was given the contract for brick in Fort Worth.

You may have noticed that Jones mentioned “...horses hauling monster steam boilers.” Horses. There were no autos or trucks yet. But paved streets were still essential. 

Marietta brick streets were also a topic at the Convention of the American Society of Municipal Improvements in April 1896. Seymour J. Hathaway, Chairman of the Paving Committee for Marietta City Council, presented “Paving Streets with Bricks.” It was fascinating view of the practices and prevalent views on street paving at the time. Here are some of his key points:
  • Marietta followed a rigorous legislative procedure for paving in Ohio cities. The portion of cost for pavement fronting private property was assessed to the property owners. 
    • The City Civil Engineer prepared an estimate; City Council approved; the Engineer then prepared detailed specifications; Council passed a “necessity resolution,” requiring a three-quarters majority, with details of the proposed plan.
    • Property owners were given a copy of the resolution. After 30 days if there were no objections or other problems, a "paving ordinance" was passed by City Council.
    • The City then borrowed the money through the issue of assessment bonds with payments spread over 10 years. Next they advertised for bids for the paving.
  • City Council Paving Committee was the overseer of the work; the city civil engineer was the Superintendent. Different from today.
  • Hathaway gave a refreshing statement on the ethical aspects of the paving work. 
    • He implied that City Councils should administer the projects, not politically motivated "boards, claimed to be non-partisan" (but not accountable to voters) appointed in some large cities. He further professed that "In (Marietta), politics do not enter into the city elections and, so far, we have not had the troubles incident to politics in large cities." 
    • He further admonished that paving projects contracts "should be handled with economy and honesty" for the protection of property owners who funded a large part of the projects.
  • The horse manure factor: Hathaway was unabashed in his praise of bricks as pavement material. They were smooth, durable, easy to repair or replace, and sanitary - compared to other surfaces which he noted could accumulate "refuse matter which is bound to be left to fester in the sun and cast its mal-odor" into the area. Sanitary? Not a typically mentioned attribute of pavement. It took your author a while to realize that the "refuse matter" was horse manure, "road apples" in the slang of the day. Sidebar: Readers may be interested to know that horse manure became a major problem for major cities in the late 1800s where horses were the primary mode of transport. Read more here: https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofBritain/Great-Horse-Manure-Crisis-of-1894/
  • Hathaway recommended a repressed shale block type brick for the paving. Such bricks should have beveled edges which gave horses "a better foothold" and was less subject to breaking and chipping than sharp edged bricks. He pointed out that a Marietta street "subject to heavy traffic" paved three years earlier with this type of brick, had shown no wear.
  • Brick durability was a function of "skill in burning the brick properly. "A perfectly annealed brick like a fine tempered piece of steel will outlast the man who made it."
  • He praised Marietta's wide streets, crediting the founding Ohio Company's street layout with the phrase "They builded better than they knew," referring to something that turns out better than anyone could have imagined.
  • "Bicycles are here to stay," he presciently observed, stating that widespread bicycle use has given urgency to the need for good roads. Automobiles were still a decade or more over the horizon.
  • Good roads, he stated, were a municipal necessity and "evidence of its progress in civilization," similar to "bath rooms and water works."

From 1892 to 1916, the Marietta times reported that $500,000 ($10 million in today's dollars) had been invested in brick paving. Some work was done almost every year. Thomas J. Summers in his 1903 History of Marietta listed paved streets as evidence of Marietta’s resurgence along with its waterworks, sanitary sewers, paid fire department, electric light plant, interurban train system, telephone service, Ohio River bridge, extensive new construction and several new public institutions. With the many improvements, Summers conferred the term “New Marietta” on the city: “....we welcome “new Marietta”: that we pride ourselves in the ancient history of our city, and rejoice in its modern improvements and advancements.”


Image of Marietta Times from July 29, 1917 edition, courtesy Washington County Local History and Genealogy Library. CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE


Brick paving was mostly over by the 1920s and 30s. Asphalt and concrete were considered superior for auto and truck traffic. Nationally, thousands of miles of brick streets were paved over for a smoother ride, increasing vehicular traffic, and less noise for residents. The same is true in Marietta. Most of the arterial streets, formerly brick, are now asphalt. But the paving over of Fourth Street in the late 1960's prompted protest from those favoring historic preservation. No brick streets have been paved over since. 

Tourists rumble over bricks on Second Street below Greene Street; the rest of Second Street has been paved over with asphalt. Viewed at gypsyroadtrip.com. CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE


In 1988, then Mayor Nancy Hollister created a Brick Street Commission to encourage preservation of Marietta’s brick streets. The Commission researched brick streets, made an inventory of existing brick streets, developed a recommended maintenance program. They also drafted an ordinance to protect brick streets which City Council enacted into law.

Night Scene of Putnam Street with light glistening off the brick pavement.
From hiddenmarietta.com. CLICK TO ENLARGE



Church Street. Even side streets and alleys were paved with bricks. Viewed at hiddenmarietta.com CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE


Brick street maintenance is a constant challenge. Specialized expertise is needed to remove the bricks, correct drainage or other problems, then re-lay them. It can be time consuming, sometimes straining the City’s staffing and finances. Work in recent years has been done by City Street Department workers.

My uncle, Dan F. Baker, who grew up in Marietta, recalled a brick repair project on Fifth Street in the early 1930s. “I was nine years old when Marietta dug up and turned over every brick on Fifth St.  They came clear up to 828 (Fifth Street) where we lived.  I remember hearing the scraping sound of trowels cleaning off the old sand. I watched them from the front windows,  They had horses helping to bring loads of fresh sand. There were no trucks or other motor vehicles involved.”

The future of brick streets in Marietta seems assured for now, thanks to current policies. But constant diligence, patience, and investment will be needed to continue the legacy.

Friday, July 27, 2018

A New Territory Begins: July 1788


Walking through the woods on July day recently sparked a reminder of Marietta’s earliest days as a new settlement in 1788. Our two English Sheepdogs Sophie, Tess, and I ambled down a trail near our home. It was a sunny and mild Sunday in July - a welcome break from the typical heat and humidity.

Sunlight filtered through the trees. We stepped into a cathedral of total shade at the waterfall under a canopy of towering maple, oak, and sycamore trees. It was quiet. Only the gentle patter of the waterfall and the wheezy buzz of a seasonal cicada were audible. Later that same day, the dogs explored the edge of a bluff above the creek. Suddenly there was an explosion of flapping wings and squawking as a flock of turkeys launched themselves down the valley. 

The towering trees, turkeys, and the quiet reminded me of Marietta’s earliest period 230 years ago in July of 1788. The tall trees hid the sun needed to grow crops needed for food. Turkeys were a welcome source of food, but large flocks also damaged crops. It was quiet then: there were just a few dozen people around. Only sounds of nature, people talking, and hand tools would have been heard.

Yet it was a busy July of 1788 in the new settlement at Marietta. A year had passed since the passage of the landmark Ordinance of 1787 which created the first United States territory beyond the original thirteen states. Now it was time to bring that new territory to life.


Summary of Ordinance of 1787 from Reddit.com viewed at
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

July 4 featured a community celebration with fireworks. On July 9, the Territorial Governor, Arthur St. Clair, arrived at Marietta. Major Ebenezer Denny’s journal records the event: “The arrival of the Governor of the Territory was announced by the discharge of thirteen rounds from a six pounder (cannon). The garrison (at Fort Harmar) turned out, and troops received him with presented arms.” 

The government of the new territory was officially installed on July 15. Governor St. Clair was conveyed from Fort Harmar to the “Bowery” (a long covered area erected near the Muskingum River) on the east side on a barge with “Congress” written on one of the oars. He was greeted by General Rufus Putnam and two of the three territorial judges, Samuel H. Parsons and James Mitchell Varnum. Putnam gave brief welcoming remarks. Secretary Winthrop Sargent read the commissions of the governor, judges, and secretary. St. Clair gave an address. 


Major General Arthur St. Clair, first Governor of "The Territory North and West of the Ohio River"
From Wikipedia

St Clair made several points that caught my attention:
  • He praised the character of territorial leaders, mentioning their concern for religion, morality, love of liberty, willingness to sacrifice, respect for the rights of mankind. This went beyond mere rhetoric; it truly reflected the attitudes of the leaders.
  • He observed that the legislative function of the new territorial government was only a temporary one: There was no elected legislature at this early stage. The Governor and Judges formed a legislative council to enact laws and could only enact laws adopted by other states. He gave assurance that acting in the best interests of the residents under this technically undemocratic system was "...a very important part of our duty, and will be attended to with the greatest care." He further pointed out that Congress could annul territorial laws which it believed were not lawful or suitable.
  • Despite hardships in the new settlements, he encouraged patience and perseverance, along with a keeping a vision of a successful future.
  • He devoted a significant part of his comments to the relationship with Indians: "Cultivate a good understanding with the natives...., treat them on all occasions with kindness, and the strictest regard for justice, run not into their customs and habits, prevent....reproach." Such conduct, he argued, would make them less hostile and more open to a peaceful existence.



Summary and Map of the Northwest Territory - from
https://historyplex.com/northwest-ordinance-of1787-purpose-summary-significance
The map shows states which eventually were formed from the territory lands
CLICK  ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

General Putnam gave a brief response and "three cheers closed the ceremonies of the day." The citizens of Marietta issued a written response to St. Clair's speech. A committee including Ebenezer Sproat, John May, and Paul Fearing delivered that response to Governor St. Clair on July 17.

Governor St. Clair had been engaged in governing since his appointment in late 1787. His primary focus was arranging for a treaty negotiation with Indian tribes in the Ohio country. Congress had tasked him with this daunting assignment shortly after his appointment. On the very same day of his inauguration, he had corresponded with Secretary of War Henry Knox, regarding an Indian skirmish at the Falls of the Muskingum River where treaty negotiations were to be held. Click on link to learn more about the Treaty of Fort Harmar.

The Governor and Judges issued their first Territorial law on July 25, 1788,  "A Law for regulating and establishing a militia of the United States northwest of the river Ohio.... "  A few weeks later, Washington County, Ohio was created. In September, the “Court of Quarter Sessions” - what we refer to as common pleas court today - was convened with much fanfare. There was a procession from the Point to a room in the northwest blockhouse at the Campus Martius fortified enclosure led by Sheriff Colonel Ebenezer Sproat riding on horseback with saber drawn. Appointed judges Rufus Putnam and Benjamin Tupper were seated on the bench. Reverend Manasseh Cutler, visiting the settlement, offered a prayer. Colonel Sproat intoned these words: "Oh yes! A court is open for the administration of evenhanded justice , to the poor and the rich, to the guilty and innocent, without respect of persons; none to be punished without trial by their peers, and then in pursuance of the laws and evidence in the case."

The bold experiment in territorial government that would be the base for state formation and nation building in the United States was well underway in late 1788 - in Marietta, Ohio.

Further notes about Arthur St. Clair:
  • He served in the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War, and U. S. Army after the war, eventually achieving the rank of Major General. But he experienced two setbacks. One was a controversial retreat from Fort Ticonderoga which led to his court martial; he was exonerated. The other was a humiliating defeat by Indians in western Ohio in November, 1791.


A cover page of report analyzing St. Clair's humiliating defeat by Indians

From Wikipedia. CLICK TO ENLARGE

  • His oldest daughter Louisa drew superlatives from locals when he and the children lived in Marietta. She was described in The St. Clair Papers as full of life, expert equestrian - dashing around Campus Martius in full gallop, rapid skater, elegant in appearance, capable hunter, skilled with a rifle which she could load and fire as well as any backwoodsman, yet refined in manners and well educated.
  • St. Clair changed the name of Losantiville, Ohio, to Cincinnati - in recognition of the Society of the Cincinnati, a group formed to preserve the ideals and fellowship of Continental Army officers after the Revolutionary War
  • St. Clair acquired wealth but lost much of it as a result of military service in the Revolutionary War. He regained wealth later in life but suffered financial loss when a loan he co-signed defaulted. He died in poverty in 1818 at his home near Greensburg, PA.
  • He was a Federalist whose preference for a strong national government and elitist leadership left him at odds with the grassroots conservatism prevalent in the new territory. He opposed Ohio statehood. Instead he espoused dividing the Ohio land into two sections with the Scioto River as a north-south dividing line - regions that he thought could generate a Federalist majority.

Sources: All of these were viewed on line unless noted.

Denny, Ebenezer, Military Journal of Ebenezer Denny, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, J. J. Lippincott and Company, 1859

Hildreth, Samuel, Pioneer History: Being an Account of the First Examinations of the Ohio Valley and the Early Settlement of the Northwest Territory, Cincinnati, H. W. Derby & Co., 1848

The St. Clair Papers Volumes I and II, William Henry Smith editor, Cincinnati, Robert Clarke and Co., 1882, page 107, viewed at archive.org

Wikipedia, "Arthur St. Clair."

Williams, H. Z. et al, History of Washington County with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches, Cleveland, H. Z. Williams and Bro., 1888

Milligan, Fred,  Ohio’s Founding Fathers, New York, iUniverse, Inc., 2003
Pages 81-94 (viewed in paperback edition)

Friday, May 18, 2018

Jack Nicklaus and the 1956 Ohio Open Experience


Jack Nicklaus finished what he described as a “ho-hum” round of 76. Then he flew off in a private plane for an exhibition match later the same day. Sounds like a routine day in Jack’s legendary professional career. But it was not. "Jackie" (that's how his name appeared in print at the time) Nicklaus was only 16 then, an amateur, and a high school student . The “ho-hum” round was played at Marietta Country Club (MCC) in the 1956 Ohio Open. He was aptly described in The Marietta Times as.....“the heralded 16-year old phenom from Columbus.” 

Jack recounted his Ohio Open experience in a 2017 AARP magazine article, “The Coach that Celebrities Will Never Forget”. He gave praised his Ohio State golf coach Bob Kepler. He taught Jack "to seize opportunities" and helped him "figure out what was important."   

AARP article - Photo by author


An early example was Jack's participation in the 1956 Ohio Open, an annual tournament primarily for golf pros in Ohio. It was played that year at Marietta Country Club. "Out of the blue" he also received an invitation to play in an exhibition match with golf great Sam Snead at Urbana, Ohio. But the exhibition was on the same day as the Ohio Open first round. Coach Kepler knew Jack who was then still in high school. Jack recalled, “Kep told me I couldn’t miss (the exhibition match with Snead). And I wondered how I could pull it off.”

No problem. Fortunately, Bob Kepler was involved in running the Open tournament. He arranged for an early tee time and a private plane to fly Jack to Urbana for the exhibition match. When he arrived for the exhibition, he was intimidated by the crowd, which appeared to be "thousands of people." He recalled "I'd had first-tee jitters before but nothing like the nervousness that struck me this time...there was nowhere to run and hide." Jack was mesmerized by Sam Snead's smooth effortless golf swing. As the round progressed, he found that his own swing began to take on that smooth tempo. Jack said that Snead couldn't have been nicer - except for calling him "Junior."

Jack Nicklaus returned to Marietta for the final two rounds of the Open. With Snead's swing in his muscle memory, Jack shot a 64 in the third round, tying the course record at Marietta Country Club. He finished the final round with a 72 to win the Ohio Open. The victory was special for Jack because he won as an amateur, outscoring professional golfers. He gave credit for his win to Sam Snead, overlooking all those times Sam called him "Junior." It also brought him recognition beyond the Columbus area for his golfing accomplishments.

Jack holding Ohio Open trophy, with Earl Christiansen of Athens, the lowest scoring professional
golfer

Jack was known by "Jackie" at the time. Note the small headline at the top: "Blond links 'baby' wins." Article copy provided by Dan B. Cawley, Jr.


There was another amateur who outscored the pros: Dan Cawley, then 39 years old, who had been Marietta Country Club champion multiple times. He was two strokes back with a 284 total score. It was Cawley's course record which Jack Nicklaus equaled in the third round. Other Marietta golfers who finished in the final 36 participants included: Bob Murray, Bob Bisciotti (then MCC club pro), Bill Fenton, Bernie Wentis, Chick Engle, and Carl McQuilken.

Dan Cawley was pictured in a Marietta Times article about the Open victory with his son Jim who caddied for Dan. Jim went on to become an MCC club champion who also broke the old course record with a 62. Jack autographed a copy of the Marietta Times article for Dan in 1976.

Autograph reads "To Dan, Happy Birthday
Jack Nicklaus  1976". Document provided by Dan B. Cawley, Jr.


The 1956 Ohio Open victory was a milestone in Jack Nicklaus' storied golf career. It happened at Marietta Country Club. And, to Marietta's credit, the Open also showcased the considerable local golf talent.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Three Brave Men


The Grave
I overheard the trail crew talking about it: a grave site along the new trail. A Buckeye Trail work party was building a new hiking trail in June, 2015, through the Edge of Appalachia Preserve in Adams County, Ohio. One day after trail work was done I hiked out to see the grave.

It was a poignant sight, a simple grave stone with a crisp American flag and Revolutionary War veteran marker, located near the trail. It was shaded by a canopy of tall trees. I took a picture. The cryptic inscription: 
Wm Flood
Morgan's Va
(illegible) Rev War


Grave of William Flood, Adams County, OH, Photo by Author


Ted Cox, a volunteer tour guide at Campus Martius Museum, sent me some information he found on line about William Flood. I learned that Flood had been part of Daniel Morgan's Virginia Riflemen on Benedict Arnold's campaign to capture Quebec in late 1775. Instantly I made the connection: Flood was in the same campaign as two other prominent men with Marietta connections: Return Jonathan Meigs and Aaron Burr.

What follows is a story of three remarkable men, very different in their backgrounds and stations in life, but united in their zeal for the Revolutionary cause. And each was heroic in their courage and perseverance during the Quebec campaign. 

Background: The Quebec Campaign
Invading Canada was thought to make strategic sense. French speaking inhabitants were believed sympathetic to the American cause. It would deny the British a base for operations down the Hudson Valley. General Philip Schuyler was dispatched into Canada via Lake Champlain. George Washington approved a separate expedition led by Benedict Arnold to Quebec. This group would combine with Schuyler's force to take Quebec.

Washington wrote to Congress: 

“I am now to inform the honorable congress that, encouraged by the repeated declarations of the Canadians and Indians, and urged by their requests, I have detached Col. (Benedict) Arnold, with one thousand men, to penetrate into Canada by way of the Kennebec River....I made all possible inquiry as to the distance, the safety of the route, and the danger of the season being too far advanced, but found nothing in either to deter me from proceeding..."  

There was some political spin in the first sentence. The last sentence, though spoken honestly, would turn out to be tragically misleading. 

He also wrote a glowing letter to Canadian citizens inviting their cooperation which included this plea: "Come then, my brethren, unite with us in an indissoluble union; let us run together to the same goal." 

The Quebec expedition turned out to be grueling struggle which ultimately failed in its objective. Everything that could go wrong did. Boats provided for river transport were poorly made and leaked. The map of the route was inaccurate. The distance was estimated at 180 miles; it was actually twice that. The men - and many of their leaders - lacked proper training, conditioning, and discipline. Illness and exertion put many out of service. 

Boats and supplies had to be portaged many times. Image viewed at  https://www.britishbattles.com/war-of-the-revolution-1775-to-1783/battle-of-quebec-1775/

Working against the flood on Dead River viewed at http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/revolut/jb_revolut_canada_2_e.html

Boats and supplies had to be portaged over long distances. River rapids sank many of the boats with some loss of life. Days were spent slogging through swamps and dangerous stream crossings. Food ran short. Men in many units were reduced to eating - on various occasions - shoe leather, candle wax, a dog, and a horse. One whole unit under Roger Enos gave up and turned back with 450 men. Those who completed the harrowing journey exhibited incredible courage and perseverance. The battle itself was lost when part of the force withdrew, leaving the other outnumbered and 
surrounded. 

William Flood
Little detail is known of Flood’s activity in the Quebec expedition. He enlisted in a company of 96 riflemen recruited in June 1775 by Daniel Morgan near Winchester VA. They became known as “Morgan’s Virginia Riflemen.” The nature of Flood’s experience can be discerned from Morgan’s activity. John Henry’s journal of the Quebec expedition described Morgan as “a large, strong bodied personage..., a strict disciplinarian,...was of an impetuous temper, yet withal, prudent in war, as he was fearless of personal danger. His severity, at times, has made me shudder, yet it was necessary...”


Daniel Morgan led Morgan's Virginia Riflemen. He was a cousin of Daniel Boone. Image from Wikipedia.com

Service in Morgan's company required immense physical and mental stamina. To start, Morgan marched them 600 miles from Winchester to Boston in just 21 days. That is an average of 30 miles per day.

Morgan attacked the extreme difficulties of the Quebec march head on, as indicated by these events: 
On October 28, boats had to be portaged over the 2500’ Height of Land. Other units carried over just a single boat; Morgan ordered his men to carry all of their boats. Henry’s journal: “It would have made your heart ache, to view the intolerable labors (Morgan's) fine fellows underwent. Some of them, it was said, had the flesh worn from their shoulders.”

On November 1, Morgan lost all of his boats in the rapids of the Chaudiere River along with their food, supplies, and the doctor’s medical kit. One of his men drowned; Morgan himself barely survived. 

The expedition forces crossed the St. Lawrence River undetected to Quebec City on the night of November 13. Morgan was in the lead canoe with expedition leader Benedict Arnold. Morgan boldly suggested attacking the city immediately with the element of surprise - even though some of their force had not crossed the river yet. Arnold thought about it but decided to wait.

The attack was finally mounted on December 31 at 5 am in a blinding snow storm. There were two main attack groups: one lead by General Richard Montgomery and another led by Benedict Arnold. Daniel Morgan's unit was with Benedict Arnold. Morgan took command of that force when Arnold was wounded. His men pressed on, withstanding withering fire, to overcome blockades and enter the Lower City. Henry's journal: Morgan, "brave to temerity, stormed and raged,....though under tremendous fire." 

British and Canadian forces attacking
Arnold's column in the Sault-au-Matelot
painting by C. W. Jefferys





Map showing American forces attacking Quebec, viewed at 


Montgomery's force withdrew after General Montgomery and senior officers were killed by a single cannon shot - ironically, a shot fired off by a drunken British sailor as he fled his station. With Montgomery’s force out of the fight, British troops were able to concentrate men and fire on Morgan's unit. By 10 that morning, they were surrounded and forced to surrender. William Flood was fully engaged in all of this dangerous action - and was taken captive along with Morgan's force. 

Prisoners were crowded into a former seminary building. Life in captivity was grim, though the men were treated with respect by the British. In early January, General Montgomery and other senior officers were given dignified burials. The next day the prisoners witnessed bodies being transported to a makeshift morgue called the "dead house." There “the bodies were stacked in monstrous piles.”

Captivity brought on new misery. Prisoners received only limited food, due in part to a general food shortage in Quebec. Some played games to kill the monotony. All Fours, a card game, was was a favorite for some - played not for money but for biscuits and other necessities. 

Poor nutrition afflicted the men. Diarrhea and scurvy became rampant. Scurvy caused weakness, severe joint pain, bruising in the legs, and mood swings. A doctor prescribed cleansing of the stomach with cathartics - and exercise. The men tried to stay active and often played Fives - a game similar to handball. The activity did temporarily ease the joint pain. Later in April, green plants - even grass, dandelion, and onion tops - helped relieve the scurvy.

William Flood escaped from captivity in Quebec and returned to Staten Island. He re-enlisted in Morgan's Virginia Riflemen after the men had been returned in a prisoner exchange. He continued in Morgan's company until the end of the war - five long years after the Quebec campaign. After the war, he moved to Adams County, Ohio, perhaps on a land grant. An affidavit required for his pension in 1818 poignantly states "...from unforeseen events I am in great need of aid to render me more comfortable in my old age." 

A similar affidavit in 1828 listed his occupation as well digger and that "his age (80) and infirmities prevent him in great measure from pursuing his employment." His meager statement of assets included "1 cow & calf $12.00, 1 oven and lid $1.00, Cups saucers tin pan and tin cups $.75, among a few others. His total assets were listed at $19.62 with debts of $20.00. He signed the affidavit "William hisXmark Flood." He was likely illiterate.

William Flood Pension Certificate - this and the document below are from the National Archives

William Flood - portion of affidavit required (to prevent fraudulent claims) after 1818 to continue pension payments. This part includes a list at top of document of his meager assets.


Return Jonathan Meigs emerged from British captivity in early January, 1776. He had been captured with others in Morgan's forces. British Commander Guy Carleton allowed him to retrieve belongings of the officers at the Americans’ camp. He returned to his captors the same day. 

Return Jonathan Meigs, from 
Appletons' Cyclop√¶dia of American Biography, 4, p. 288, viewed at Wikisource.org


He had joined the Quebec expedition as a Major in September, 1775, from the 6th Connecticut Regiment. Find out how he acquired the name "Return" by clicking here. He kept a journal, writing in "ink" made of gun powder and water. 

On the journey to Quebec Meigs was constantly on the move, helping his men, guiding their passage, clearing portaging areas, and distributing supplies and ammuntion. Despite the hardships he remained positive and steady in leadership. November 1 was an especially difficult day, as many were on the Quebec expedition. His journal records “...the marching this day exceedingly bad. I passed a number of soldiers who had no provisions and some that were sick, and not in my power to help or relieve them except to encourage them.” 

He greatly lamented the death of General Richard Montgomery. Meigs journal on December 31, 1775 records his thoughts: ...”He had the voluntary love, confidence, and esteem of the whole army. His death, though honorable, is lamented, not only as the death as an amiable, worthy friend, but as an experienced, brave General, whose country suffers greatly by such a loss at this time...”

Meigs was chagrined at having to surrender. His journal entry on January 1, 1776, included this comment: “The first day I knew confinement. I hope I shall bear it with becoming fortitude.”

Major Return Jonathan Meigs was given an early release from captivity in May of 1776 by General Carleton and returned home. He continued his service in the Continental Army with distinguished action at Sag Harbor, Stony Point, and in suppressing a mutiny. 

Meigs joined the Ohio Company of Associates as a surveyor and moved to the new settlement at Marietta in 1788. He served as a territorial judge, justice of the peace, and clerk of the Court of Quarter Sessions. In 1801, he went to Tennessee to serve as agent to the Cherokee Nation where he remained until his death in 1823.

Aaron Burr
The battles at Lexington and Bunker Hill had electrified the thirteen colonies - and Aaron Burr, later a prominent lawyer, politician and Vice President of the United States. He was 19 at the time. One of his biographers noted that "this young student-at-law threw aside his books, and seized the sword, on fire to join the patriot forces." Burr was excited by the military life. He had studied it since childhood. His was a quick learner, natural leader, self promoter, fearless and steady under stress. Though slight in stature, he was able to endure intense physical exertion and privation. 

Aaron Burr portrait, viewed at http://www.nndb.com/people/184/000022118/


He joined the army at Cambridge MA near Boston. He leaped at the chance to join Benedict Arnold's campaign to capture Quebec. His family and friends tried to dissuade him but he was resolute. 

On the arduous trip to Quebec, Burr quickly gained the respect of his fellow soldiers for his bravery, willingness to help others, and wilderness skills. His biographer noted that "His hardihood and quick helpfulness attracted general admiration among the troops." 

He soon attracted the attention of senior officers. Benedict Arnold entrusted Burr to deliver a message to General Montgomery at Montreal. This required traveling alone across 128 miles of enemy territory. Burr gave a striking example of his tact and creativity by disguising himself as a priest, to gain more cooperation and minimize suspicion of the local population. His knowledge of Latin allowed him to elicit help of with a religious order to guide him along his route to General Montgomery. At Montreal, the latter was so impressed with Burr that he made him an aide-de-camp with the rank of Captain. He participated in discussions about planning the attack.

Aaron Burr was at the front of the attack on Quebec with General Montgomery when the General and others were cut down by the cannon shot. The attack faltered. Burr stayed cool and was vehement in urging the attack to continue. Captain Richard Platt who commanded a company in the attack testified that Burr "animated the troops, and made many efforts to lead them on...and might have succeeded, but for the positive order of the commanding officer to retreat."  Burr also braved heavy fire to attempt, unsuccessfully, the retrieval of General Montgomery's body from the snow. 

He stayed with the Arnold's diminished forces near Quebec for a time but disagreed vocally with Arnold's ideas and bearing. He left against Arnold's wishes, an act of insubordination which Arnold ultimately overlooked. Burr served on the staff of other Generals, including George Washington (with whom he developed a long standing feud) and Israel Putnam. His service was exemplary. For decades after, many would recall his performance during the War, particularly the Quebec campaign, in glowing terms. In 1779 he resigned due to poor health. He began the practice of law and entered politics.

Some 25 years later, Aaron Burr began planning an expedition (often referred to as "The Burr Conspiracy") to the United States western territories. That brought him to Marietta through contacts with Harman Blennerhassett, Dudley Woodbridge, Joseph Barker, and others. For more detail, click here.


Appendix: 
Journals' excerpts from Meigs and Henry recorded the ordeals in wilderness on the way to Quebec:
Oct 3: (Meigs) In the evening....my battoe (boat) filled with water...I lost my kettle, butter, and sugar, a loss not to be replaced here.
October 8 Henry:..a twig, perhaps, caught the buckle of my shoe: tripped , I came down head foremost, (down an incline) about 20 or 30 feet.
October 11 Henry: ...we observed a great smoke before us, (hoping it would be a camp of fellow soldiers). ...at the great smoke there was no army, no friends, no food, only a friendly fire, kindled by ourselves...; it had been our camp as we ascended the river."
Oct 13 Henry: ...we arrived at our first encamping ground on the Dead River...pallid and weak, for want of substantial food in due quantity."
Oct 14: Meigs. Last night a tree, blown down by the wind, fell upon one of our men and bruised him in such a manner, that his life is despaired of.”
Oct 16 Henry: "Melancholy of the desperate kind oppressed me. (I feared) that we should die of mere debility in these wilds." 
Oct 22 Meigs: The river rose 8 ft overnight, flooding the area, impeding passage of those marching on land.
Oct 23 Henry: The boat (was) borne under, in spite of all our force, by the fury of the stream. (Going into the water), I yelled “Simpson we are going to heaven.”
Oct 23 Meigs: River current upset six of the boats, “...by which we lost several barrels of provisions, a number of guns, and some cash.”
Nov 1 Meigs: “...the marching this day exceedingly bad. I passed a number of soldiers who had no provisions and some that were sick, and not in my power to help or relieve them except to encourage them.” 


Sources:
Army and Navy Pension Laws, and Bounty Land Laws of the United States, compiled by Robert Mayo, M.D. and Ferdinand Moulton, Counsellor at Law, Baltimore, Lucas Brothers, 1854, page 135-36  

Britishbattles.com, Battle of Quebec

Henry, John Joseph, Account of Arnold’s Campaign Against Quebec, Albany, Joel Munsell, 1877.

Hickman, Kennedy, “American Revolution Arnold Expedition,” thoughtco.com

Johnston, Henry P., “Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs, Connecticut Line,” The Journal of American History, Vol IV,  New York, A. S. Barnes & Co., 1880

Meigs, Return Jonathan, Journal of the Expedition Against Quebec, Under the Command of Benedict Arnold, New York, Privately Printed, 1864,

Parton, James, The Life and Times of Aaron Burr, Vol 1., Mason Brothers, 1857, p 66-84

Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application File S. 42,728, William Flood, Va., National Archives, https://catalog.archives.gov/id/54581415

Wikipedia.org, Battle of Quebec; Benedict Arnold’s Expedition to Quebec