Harper's New Monthly Magazine,  10 (1885), 552–65.

The Earliest Settlement in Ohio

Alfred Mathews




Monographs, Steam-power, Steamships, Commerce, Prognostication, Futurism

    Claims that the early proponent of Westward expansion Manasseh Cutler 'published anonymously at Salem, Massachusetts, a small pamphlet' that contained 'some prophecies which were undoubtedly regarded as the wildest of improbabilities or impossibilities, born in the brain of a sanguine visionary. Among other things, the pamphlet set forth what was probably the first suggestion ever made in print of the mighty commerce that the future would witness upon the Western rivers, and of the employment of steam in its service'. The pamphlet was 'published just twenty years before Fulton's successful application of steam to navigation; but it is worthy of note that Miller in Scotland had that very year [i.e. 1787] demonstrated the practicability of propelling boats by this power, and Dr. Cutler being a scientist, fully abreast with the times, and in communication with certain savants and scientific societies of Europe, in all probability had early knowledge of the fact'. (556)

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