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Stories Of Ohio   By: (1837-1920)

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By William Dean Howells

Copyright, 1897, by American Book Company.


In the following stories, drawn from the annals of Ohio, I have tried to possess the reader with a knowledge, in outline at least, of the history of the State from the earliest times. I cannot suppose that I have done this with unfailing accuracy in respect to fact, but with regard to the truth, I am quite sure of my purpose at all times to impart it.

The books which have been of most use to me in writing this are the histories of Francis Parkman; the various publications of Messrs. Robert Clarke and Co. in the "Ohio Valley Series"; McClung's "Sketches of Western Adventure"; "Ohio" (in the American Commonwealths Series) by Ruf us King; "History and Civil Government of Ohio," by B. A. Hinsdale and Mary Hinsdale; "Beginnings of Literary Culture in the Ohio Valley," by W. H. Venable; Theodore Roosevelt's "Winning of the West"; Whitelaw Reid's "Ohio in the War"; and above all others, the delightful and inexhaustible volumes of Henry Howe's "Historical Collections of Ohio."

W. D. H.


I. The Ice Folk and the Earth Folk

II. Ohio as a Part of France

III. Ohio becomes English

IV. The Forty Years' War for the West

V. The Captivity of James Smith

VI. The Captivity of Boone and Kenton

VII. The Renegades

VIII. The Wickedest Deed in our History

IX. The Torture of Colonel Crawford

X. The Escape of Knight and Slover

XI. The Indian Wars and St. Clair's Defeat

XII. The Indian Wars and Wayne's Victory

XIII. Indian Fighters

XIV. Later Captivities

XV. Indian Heroes and Sages

XVI. Life in the Backwoods

XVII. The First Great Settlements

XVIII. The State of Ohio in the War of 1812

XIX. A Foolish Man, a Philosopher, and a Fanatic

XX. Ways Out

XXI. The Fight with Slavery

XXII. The Civil War in Ohio

XXIII. Famous Ohio Soldiers

XXIV. Ohio Statesmen

XXV. Other Notable Ohioans

XXVI. Incidents and Characteristics



The first Ohio stories are part of the common story of the wonderful Ice Age, when a frozen deluge pushed down from the north, and covered a vast part of the earth's surface with slowly moving glaciers. The traces that this age left in Ohio are much the same as it left elsewhere, and the signs that there were people here ten thousand years ago, when the glaciers began to melt and the land became fit to live in again, are such as have been found in the glacier drift in many other countries. Even before the ice came creeping southwestwardly from the region of Niagara, and passed over two thirds of our state, from Lake Erie to the Ohio River there were people here of a race older than the hills, as the hills now are; for the glaciers ground away the hills as they once were, and made new ones, with new valleys between them, and new channels for the streams to run where there had never been water courses before. These earliest Ohioans must have been the same as the Ohioans of the Ice Age, and when they had fled southward before the glaciers, they must have followed the retreat of the melting ice back into Ohio again. No one knows how long they dwelt here along its edges in a climate like that of Greenland, where the glaciers are now to be seen as they once were in the region of Cincinnati. But it is believed that these Ice Folk, as we may call them, were of the race which still roams the Arctic snows. They seem to have lived as the Eskimos of our day live: they were hunters and fishers, and in the gravelly banks of the new rivers, which the glaciers upheaved, the Ice Folk dropped the axes of chipped stone which are now found there... Continue reading book >>

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