Settlement of the Virginia Military District and Ross County

NathanielMassieYoung Nathaniel Massie made a name for himself as a top notch surveyor who knew the Ohio Country well. He accumulated a massive amount of land in payment for his surveying services in the this new unsettled Virginia Military District.  His land would only be of value if people came here to settle.

Please click on the read titles to pull up the PDF.

Americans Settle the Ohio Country The U.S. Government helps the financial plight of the war veterans while helping itself to settle the newly established Northwest Territory.

Virginia Military District-3  The U.S. government’s plan to pay veterans with land.

Nathaniel Massie Settles Chillicothe-3


Opening the Northwest Territory to Settlement

The Revolutionary War was over.  The new United States now reached across the Allegheny Mountains to the Mississippi River.  Part of the new lands were the Northwest Territory where we live today.

The young country was experiencing financial problems.  Too much continental currency had been printed during the war, which made it close to worthless.  This caused much distress for veterans who had been paid with these continental dollars.

The United States was anxious to settle these new lands.  The Congress decided to give land  to the veterans of the Revolutionary War as payment for their service. The Ordinance of 1785 as written by Congress, determined how the land would be surveyed and divided, but it did not lay out a plan to govern the new territory. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 was written to do just that, thus opening the door to settlement.

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1. Opening the NWT to Settlement-Teacher Guide

2. New Americans Look Westward-4 As interest grows in settlement of the Northwest Territory, Congress grants land to Revolutionary War veterans as payment for their service.

3. Hard Times and Worthless Money  Veterans had been paid in continental currency which was now worthless.  This caused much distress as taxes rose to support the new country.

4. Northwest Ordinance:A Plan for Government Congress created the Ordinance of 1785, then the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 to pave the way to settlement of the Northwest Territory.        

5. 4th Ohio Social Studies Learning Standard-#5 The articles above corresponds with  the Ohio Social Studies Learning Standard for Grade 4

Additional Resources:



This feature length historical documentary is the story of the Ohio Company of Associates, a group of Revolutionary War officers and soldiers, and how, in 1788, they first opened the door for westward expansion of the new United States.  At Marietta, Ohio, they began the first legal, organized American settlement in the old Northwest Territory. Divided into 12 chapters which can be watched individually.  Please contact Julie Lambert for a copy.



Along the Ohio Trail                                 Join your trail guide Simon for a hike through Ohio’s history! As you read Along the Ohio Trail, you’ll learn about what makes our state different from all the others.  This is in easy to use PDF format.



The Shawnee in Ross County

The Shawnee had a presence in the Ross County area for a period of about 150 years.  There were numerous encampments and several signifigant villages such as Old Town at the site of present day Frankfort.   The most famous of the Shawnee,  Tecumseh, never lived in Ross County, but visited here at least twice.

Please click on the read titles to pull up the PDF.

Ross County, An Indian Crossroads – Indian “Highways” brought Indians of many tribes through Ross County.  Some of those trails are our highways of today. Incliudes map showing location of Ohio Indian tribes, indian trails, modern highways.

The Shawnee Indians in Ross CountyThe Shawnee once called Ross County their home.

Tabitha & the Hungry Indians– Tabitha Thomas Streevey lived most of her seventy-five years in Huntington Township, but her family was one of the first to live in Chillicothe.

Catherine Gouger-Indian Captive

Catrherine Gouger monument copyOn Orr Road (old U.S. Route #23) about nine miles north of Chillicothe there is a monument about 200 ft.east of the highway. This monument marks the final resting place of one of the first white women to live in this section of our state. It is the grave of Catherine Gouger Goodman.

Catherine made two trips to Ohio. The first time she came she was a captive of the Shawnee Indians. Fifty-four years later she again came to live here. This time she came with her son’s family and, strangely enough, settled in the very same place where she had lived as an Indian captive fifty-four years before.

Indian CalendarThe Indians used nature to measure time.

The Story of Tecumseh3/4th grade level overview of Tecumseh.  Includes a map from the book, Tecumseh, Shawnee War Chief -by Jane Fleischer, gives an overall view of where Tecumseh spent most of his life.


Tecumseh, Shawnee War Chief -by Jane Fleischer,  This book, which is available at is a great children’s book about the life of Tecumseh.

Ohio History Central- OHS webesite: