The Connecticut Western Reserve
Transcribed froman undated manuscriptbyHezekiah Spencer Sheldon, prob. ca. 1885.
From the collections of the Kent Memorial Librar yH istorical Room ,
Western Reserve, item 2.
In 1786Conn. cededtothe United States all her rights and title in thePublic Lands within the ancient Charter limits,yielding all claims to theWyomingsettlement,made by Connecticut peopleupon landssupposedtobe
within the"Conn. Patent,"but nowgivenup to Penn. after a contest and
struggle oftwenty-four years,perhaps the saddest and most romantic history
tobe found [in]American Annals. In this final settlement ofclaims to thePublic Lands,Conn. received a tract ofland ofabout
millions ofacres inthe N.E. part ofOhiostill known as the"Conn.Reserve,"overwhich theU.
S. Government appears to have had nojurisdiction until 1800(April)when
this was cededby Conn.The Conn.Reserve was a dense wilderness,and the first disposition
made ofany part ofit was in 1792,when the Conn. Legislature granted500,00 acres ofthe western part ofit to citizens ofTowns along the Sound forloss ofproperty bythe British in the Revolutionary War. In May 1795theGen
Assembly appointed a Committee ofeight persons to make sale ofthelands ofthe Reservation and to appropriate the avails to a permanent fundthe interest ofwhich should be annually distributed among the severalSchoolSocieties ofthe State.This Committee in December of1795had disposed ofthe tract(toOliver Phelps as agent forthe Connecticut Land Company) forthe sum of [$]1,200,000.
payable in fiveyears with annual interest after twoyears.The Representatives fromSuffield [tothe Connecticut GeneralAssembly in] 1795were Samuel Hale and GideonGranger,Jr.
Suffield was represented (inthis Land Co)bythe followingpersonsas
purchasers ofConn. Reserve lands on speculation.None ofthem settledthere except perhaps David King, but resold to settlers and to otherspeculators. Their names were Oliver Phelps, GideonGranger, Jr., LutherLoomis,Ebenezer King, David King,Asahel Hatheway,Sylvanus Griswold.
The aggregate being $330,916. Ofthis Oliver Phelps had more than onehalf.