Initially colonized by French fur traders, Ohio became a British colonial possession following the French and Indian War in 1754. At the end of the American Revolution, Britain ceded control of the territory to the newly formed United States, which incorporated it into the Northwest Territory. Ohio became a state on March 1, 1803, although no formal declaration was madeuntil 1953, when President Dwight Eisenhower officially signed the documents making it a state, retroactive to the original date.Ohio issometimes called the “Mother of Modern Presidents,” having sent seven Ohioans (both natives and residents)to the White House since 1869. Ohio is also known as the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the NationalUnderground RailroadFreedom Centerin Cincinnati and National Football League Hall of Fame in Canton.

Date of Statehood: March 1, 1803

Capital: Columbus

Population: 11,536,504 (2010)

Size: 44,825 square miles

Nickname(s): Buckeye State

Motto: With God All Things Are Possible

Tree: Buckeye

Flower: Red Carnation

Bird: Cardinal

Interesting Facts

  • Ohio got its name from the Iroquois word, “O-Y-O,” meaning “great river.” The Iroquois Indians had begun to settle between the Ohio River and Great Lakes by 1650, although it is estimated that only a few hundred lived in present-day Ohio during any one period.
  • The city of Cleveland was founded by Connecticut-born Moses Cleaveland, who, in 1796, went to survey land claimed by the Connecticut Land Co. as part of the Western Reserve. Although the city was originally named “Cleaveland,” in the early 1930s the Cleveland Advertiser dropped the “a” in order to fit the name on its masthead, and the new spelling caught on.
  • On May 4, 1970, three days after anti-Vietnam War protests at Kent State University began, four students were killed and nine were wounded when 29 National Guardsmen opened fire on campus. Of the deceased, two had not been involved with the protest. Four years later, the eight guardsmen who faced trial were acquitted.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a suit against Ohio in 1997, arguing that its state motto, “With God All Things Are Possible,” violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which ensures freedom of religion. Ultimately Ohio was permitted to retain the motto since a federal ruling determined that it does not endorse a specific God and, therefore, is not a violation of the First Amendment.
  • Ohio’s nickname, the Buckeye State, is attributed to the prevalence of the local buckeye tree, whose fruit was believed to bear a striking resemblance to the eye of male deer by early American Indians.
  • The “Mother of Modern Presidents,” Ohio was the birthplace of seven U.S. presidents: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William H. Taft and Warren G. Harding.


History of Ohio

Remains of ancient peoples dating to 9000 bce have been found in Ohio. The later Adena and Hopewell cultures built elaborate burial and ceremonial mounds and also produced pottery, stone tools, polished stone pipes and other carvings, and ornamental metalwork. Both cultures had disappeared from the area by about 300–400 ce . Present-day Ohio was largely unoccupied when the first Europeans arrived in the 17th century. Villages of indigenous peoples—the Miami, Huron (Wyandot), Shawnee, Delaware, Iroquois (Mingo), and Ottawa—appeared in the 18th century.

The long Anglo-French struggle to control the area west of the Appalachian Mountains culminated with British victory, in the French and Indian War in 1763. The United States then won this region during the American Revolution (1775–83). Following the Peace of Paris (1783), Congress created the Northwest Territory north of the Ohio River and enacted the Ordinance of 1785, which established an orderly survey and settlement pattern, and subsequently the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which called for the creation of new states therein.

Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 1,026

    Benjamin Tupper, Continental Army officer, and pioneer to the Ohio Country (d. 1792) Johnny Appleseed [John Chapman], American pioneer nurseryman (introduced apple trees to Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois), born in Leominster, Massachusetts (d. 1845) Anna Symmes Harrison, 9th 1st lady (1841), born in Morristown, New Jersey (d. 1864) Benjamin Franklin Wade, American politician, US Senator from Ohio (1851-69), born in Springfield, Massachusetts (d. 1878) Melancthon Smith Wade, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1868) David Tod, US diplomat/(Gov-R-Ohio, 1861-63) James F. Schenck, American rear admiral (Mexican–American War), born in Franklin, Ohio (d. 1882) Nathan Kelley, American architect, active mainly in Ohio, (d. 1871) Catharinus Putnam Buckingham, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Zanesville, Ohio (d. 1888) Martha Finley, American children's book author (Elsie Dinsmore series), born in Chillicothe, Ohio (d. 1909) Robert Cumming Schenck, American Major General (Union Army), born in Franklin, Ohio (d. 1890) Robert Allen, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in West Point, Ohio (d. 1886) Charles Clark, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Lebanon, Ohio (d. 1877) William Grose, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Dayton, Ohio (d. 1900) Lorenzo Snow, 5th president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, born in Mantua, Ohio (d. 1901) Edwin Stanton, US Secretary of War during most of the American Civil War (1861-65) and US Attorney General (1860-61), born in Steubenville, Ohio (d. 1869) Nathaniel Collins McLean, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1905) Eleazer Arthur Paine, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Geauga County, Ohio (d. 1882) Dan Emmett, American composer, born in Mount Vernon, Ohio (d. 1904) Robert Seaman Granger, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Zanesville, Ohio (d. 1894) Mary Ann Bickerdyke, American army nurse (union), born in Knox County, Ohio (d. 1901) Don Carlos Buell, American Major General (Union Army), born in Lowell, Ohio (d. 1898) Irvin McDowell, American Major General (Union Army), born in Columbus, Ohio (d. 1885) William Starke Rosecrans, American inventor, politician and US Army General (Union Army), born in Delaware County, Ohio (d. 1898) Thomas A. Hendricks, 21st Vice President of the United States (D), born in Fultonham, Ohio (d. 1885)

William Tecumseh Sherman

1820-02-08 William Tecumseh Sherman, American Major General in the Union Army, born in Lancaster, Ohio (d. 1891)

    Mahlon Dickerson Manson, American druggist politician and General (Union Army), born in Piqua, Ohio (d. 1895) Alice Cary, American poet (Cincinnati Sentinel), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1871) Abram Sanders Piatt, American farmer, publisher, poet, politician, and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1908) William Harvey Lamb Wallace, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Urbana, Ohio (d. 1862) Charles Champion Gilbert, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Zanesville, Ohio (d. 1903)

Ulysses S. Grant

1822-04-27 Ulysses S. Grant, 18th US President (1869-77) and Union general, born in Point Pleasant, Ohio (d. 1885)

Rutherford B. Hayes

1822-10-04 Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th US President (Republican: 1877-81), born in Delaware, Ohio (d. 1893)

    Ferdinand Van Derveer, American lawyer and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Middletown, Ohio (d. 1892) Roswell S. Ripley, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Worthington, Ohio (d. 1887) Robert Byington Mitchell, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Mansfield, Ohio (d. 1882) William Burnham Woods, American politician, judge, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Newark, Ohio (d. 1887) Simon Goodell Griffin, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Newark, Ohio (d. 1887) John Sanford Mason, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Steubenville, Ohio (d. 1897) Phoebe Cary, American poet (Poems of Alice & Phoebe Cary), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1871) Quincy Adams Gillmore, American civil engineer, author, and Major General (Union Army), born in Lorain County, Ohio (d. 1888) Joseph Bailey, American civil engineer and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Morgan County, Ohio (d. 1867) John Cook, American bugler (Union Army), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1910) William Wallace Burns, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Coshocton, Ohio (d. 1892) Charles Griffin, American Major General (Union Army), born in Granville, Ohio (d. 1867) Halbert Eleazer Paine, American lawyer and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Chardon, Ohio (d. 1905) Hugh Boyle Ewing, American diplomat, author, attorney, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Lancaster, Ohio (d. 1905) Robert Hopkins Hatton, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Steubenville, Ohio (d. 1862) William Haines Lytle, US politician, poet and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1863) Jasper Adalmorn Maltby, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Kingsville, Ohio (d. 1867) Charles Robert Woods, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Newark, Ohio (d. 1855) William P. Sprague, American politician from Ohio (d. 1899) James Sidney Robinson, American politician and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Mansfield, Ohio (d. 1892) James William Reilly, American lawyer, politician, and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Akron, Ohio (d. 1905) James Birdseye MacPherson, American Major General (Union Army), born in Clyde, Ohio (d. 1864) John Beatty, American banker, statesman, and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Sandusky, Ohio (d. 1914) John Potts Slough, American politician, lawyer and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1867) Thomas Ewing Jr, American attorney, 1st chief justice of Kansas, congressman, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Lancaster, Ohio (d. 1896) George Crook, American Major General (Union Army), born in Taylorsville, Ohio (d. 1890) [Samuel] Emerson Opdycke, American businessman and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Hubbard, Ohio (d. 1884) William Sooy Smith, American civil engineer and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Tarlton, Ohio (d. 1916) Alexander McDowell McCook, American Major General (Union Army), born in Columbiana County, Ohio (d. 1903) Lucy Ware Webb Hayes, 1st lady of the United States (1877-81), born in Chillicothe, Ohio (d. 1889)

James Garfield

1831-11-19 James A. Garfield, 20th US President (Republican: 1881), born in Moreland Hills, Ohio (d. 1881)

    Joshua Woodrow Sill, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Chillicothe, Ohio (d. 1862) Lucius Fairchild, American politician, diplomat, and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Kent, Ohio (d. 1896) Orlando Metcalfe Poe, American engineer and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Navarre, Ohio (d. 1895) Lucretia Garfield, First Lady of the United States as the wife of James A. Garfield (1881), born in Garrettsville, Ohio (d. 1918) Hubert Howe Bancroft, American historian, ethnologist (History of Pacific States), born in Granville, Ohio (d. 1918) Thomas Ogden Osbord, American lawyer, diplomat and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Licking County, Ohio (d. 1904) Caroline Harrison, 1st lady of the U.S. (1889-1892), wife of Benjamin Harrison, born in Oxford, Ohio (d. 1892) Daniel H. Reynolds, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Centerburg, Ohio (d. 1902) Edward Moody McCook, American lawyer, politician and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Steubenville, Ohio (d. 1909) Benjamin Hanby, American composer (Jolly Old Saint Nicholas"), born in Rushville, Ohio (d. 1867)

Benjamin Harrison

1833-08-20 Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States (Republican: 1889-93), born in North Bend, Ohio (d. 1901)

    Cyrus Bussey, American politician and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Hubbard, Ohio (d. 1915) Daniel McCook Jr, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Carrollton, Ohio (d. 1864) Wager Swayne, American Colonel (Union Army), born in Columbus, Ohio (d. 1902) Charles Ewing, American attorney and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Lancaster, Ohio (d. 1883) Elisha Grey, American electrical engineer and inventor (Telephone), born in Barnesville, Ohio James William Forsyth, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Maumee, Ohio (d. 1906) Andrew L. Harris, governor of Ohio (d. 1915) Americus Vespucius Rice, American politician, banker, and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Perrysville, Ohio (d. 1904) Benjamin Franklin Potts, American lawyer, politician, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Fox Township, Ohio (d. 1887) Archibald M Willard, American artist (Spirit of '76), born in Bedford, Ohio (d. 1918) William Quantrill, American guerrilla leader in the Confederate Army, born in Canal Dover, Ohio (d. 1865) Charles C. Walcutt, American general in the Union Army during the American Civil War, born in Columbus, Ohio (d. 1898) Alfred Pease, American composer, born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 1882)

Victoria Woodhull

1838-09-23 Victoria Woodhull, American civil rights activist (1872 presidential candidate, woman's suffrage movement), born in Homer, Ohio (d. 1927)

    John Grant Mitchell, American lawyer and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Piqua, Ohio (d. 1894) Josephine Cochrane, American inventor (automatic dishwasher), born in Ashtabula County, Ohio (d. 1913) Ephraim Shay, American inventor of Shay type of geared steam locomotive, born in Huron, Ohio (d. 1916) Isaac Kauffman Funk, American publisher (Funk & Wagnalls), born in Clifton, Ohio (d. 1912)

George Armstrong Custer

1839-12-05 George Armstrong Custer, United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars, born in New Rumley, Ohio (d. 1876)

Ambrose Bierce

1842-06-24 Ambrose Bierce, American writer and satirist (Devil's Dictionary, Nuggets & Dust), born in Meigs County, Ohio (d. 1914)

William McKinley

1843-01-29 William McKinley, 25th US President (Republican: 1897-1901), born in Niles, Ohio (d. 1901)


Ohio's geographic location has proven to be an asset for economic growth and expansion. Because Ohio links the Northeast to the Midwest, much cargo and business traffic passes through its borders along its well-developed highways. Ohio has the nation's 10th largest highway network and is within a one-day drive of 50% of North America's population and 70% of North America's manufacturing capacity. [25] To the north, Ohio has 312 miles (502 km) of coastline with Lake Erie, [26] which allows for numerous cargo ports such as Cleveland and Toledo. Ohio's southern border is defined by the Ohio River. Ohio's neighbors are Pennsylvania to the east, Michigan to the northwest, Lake Erie to the north, Indiana to the west, Kentucky on the south, and West Virginia on the southeast. Ohio's borders were defined by metes and bounds in the Enabling Act of 1802 as follows:

Bounded on the east by the Pennsylvania line, on the south by the Ohio River, to the mouth of the Great Miami River, on the west by the line drawn due north from the mouth of the Great Miami aforesaid, and on the north by an east and west line drawn through the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan, running east after intersecting the due north line aforesaid, from the mouth of the Great Miami until it shall intersect Lake Erie or the territorial line, and thence with the same through Lake Erie to the Pennsylvania line aforesaid.

Ohio is bounded by the Ohio River, but nearly all of the river itself belongs to Kentucky and West Virginia. In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court held that, based on the wording of the cessation of territory by Virginia (which at the time included what is now Kentucky and West Virginia), the boundary between Ohio and Kentucky (and, by implication, West Virginia) is the northern low-water mark of the river as it existed in 1792. [27] Ohio has only that portion of the river between the river's 1792 low-water mark and the present high-water mark.

The border with Michigan has also changed, as a result of the Toledo War, to angle slightly northeast to the north shore of the mouth of the Maumee River.

Much of Ohio features glaciated till plains, with an exceptionally flat area in the northwest being known as the Great Black Swamp. This glaciated region in the northwest and central state is bordered to the east and southeast first by a belt known as the glaciated Allegheny Plateau, and then by another belt known as the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau. Most of Ohio is of low relief, but the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau features rugged hills and forests.

The rugged southeastern quadrant of Ohio, stretching in an outward bow-like arc along the Ohio River from the West Virginia Panhandle to the outskirts of Cincinnati, forms a distinct socio-economic unit. Geologically similar to parts of West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania, this area's coal mining legacy, dependence on small pockets of old manufacturing establishments, and distinctive regional dialect set this section off from the rest of the state. In 1965 the United States Congress passed the Appalachian Regional Development Act, an attempt to "address the persistent poverty and growing economic despair of the Appalachian Region". [28] This act defines 29 Ohio counties as part of Appalachia. [29] While 1/3 of Ohio's land mass is part of the federally defined Appalachian region, only 12.8% of Ohioans live there (1.476 million people.) [30]

Significant rivers within the state include the Cuyahoga River, Great Miami River, Maumee River, Muskingum River, and Scioto River. The rivers in the northern part of the state drain into the northern Atlantic Ocean via Lake Erie and the St. Lawrence River, and the rivers in the southern part of the state drain into the Gulf of Mexico via the Ohio River and then the Mississippi.

The worst weather disaster in Ohio history occurred along the Great Miami River in 1913. Known as the Great Dayton Flood, the entire Miami River watershed flooded, including the downtown business district of Dayton. As a result, the Miami Conservancy District was created as the first major flood plain engineering project in Ohio and the United States. [31]

Grand Lake St. Marys in the west-central part of the state was constructed as a supply of water for canals in the canal-building era of 1820–1850. This body of water, over 20 square miles (52 km 2 ), was the largest artificial lake in the world when completed in 1845. [32] Ohio's canal-building projects were not the economic fiasco that similar efforts were in other states. Some cities, such as Dayton, owe their industrial emergence to location on canals, and as late as 1910 interior canals carried much of the bulk freight of the state.


The climate of Ohio is a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa/Dfb) throughout most of the state, except in the extreme southern counties of Ohio's Bluegrass region section, which are located on the northern periphery of the humid subtropical climate (Cfa) and Upland South region of the United States. Summers are typically hot and humid throughout the state, while winters generally range from cool to cold. Precipitation in Ohio is moderate year-round. Severe weather is not uncommon in the state, although there are typically fewer tornado reports in Ohio than in states located in what is known as the Tornado Alley. Severe lake effect snowstorms are also not uncommon on the southeast shore of Lake Erie, which is located in an area designated as the Snowbelt.

Although predominantly not in a subtropical climate, some warmer-climate flora and fauna do reach well into Ohio. For instance, some trees with more southern ranges, such as the blackjack oak, Quercus marilandica, are found at their northernmost in Ohio just north of the Ohio River. Also evidencing this climatic transition from a subtropical to continental climate, several plants such as the Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), Albizia julibrissin (mimosa), Crape Myrtle, and even the occasional Needle Palm are hardy landscape materials regularly used as street, yard, and garden plantings in the Bluegrass region of Ohio but these same plants will simply not thrive in much of the rest of the state. This interesting change may be observed while traveling through Ohio on Interstate 75 from Cincinnati to Toledo the observant traveler of this diverse state may even catch a glimpse of Cincinnati's common wall lizard, one of the few examples of permanent "subtropical" fauna in Ohio.

Due to flooding resulting in severely damaged highways, Governor Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency in 37 Ohio counties in 2019. [33]

Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for selected cities in Ohio [34]
Location Region July (°F) July (°C) January (°F) January (°C)
Athens Appalachian 85/61 29/16 40/21 4/−6
Canton Northeast 82/62 28/16 33/19 1/−7
Cincinnati Southwest 86/66 30/19 39/23 3/−5
Cleveland Northeast 82/64 28/18 34/21 1/−5
Columbus Central 85/65 29/18 36/22 2/−5
Dayton Miami Valley 87/67 31/19 36/22 2/−5
Toledo Northwest 84/62 29/17 32/18 0/−7


The highest recorded temperature was 113 °F (45 °C), near Gallipolis on July 21, 1934. [35] The lowest recorded temperature was −39 °F (−39 °C), at Milligan on February 10, 1899, [36] during the Great Blizzard of 1899. [37]


Although few have registered as noticeable to the average resident, more than 200 earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.0 or higher have occurred in Ohio since 1776. [38] The Western Ohio Seismic Zone and a portion of the Southern Great Lakes Seismic Zone are located in the state, and numerous faults lie under the surface. [38] [39]

The most substantial known earthquake in Ohio history was the Anna (Shelby County) earthquake, [40] which occurred on March 9, 1937. It was centered in western Ohio, and had a magnitude of 5.4, and was of intensity VIII. [41]

Other significant earthquakes in Ohio include: [42] one of magnitude 4.8 near Lima on September 19, 1884 [43] one of magnitude 4.2 near Portsmouth on May 17, 1901 [44] and one of 5.0 in LeRoy Township in Lake County on January 31, 1986, which continued to trigger 13 aftershocks of magnitude 0.5 to 2.4 for two months. [45] [46]

Notable Ohio earthquakes in the 21st century include one occurring on December 31, 2011, approximately 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) northwest of Youngstown, [47] and one occurring on June 10, 2019, approximately 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) north-northwest of Eastlake under Lake Erie [48] both registered a 4.0 magnitude.

Columbus is the capital of Ohio, located near the geographic center of the state and well known for The Ohio State University. However, other Ohio cities function as economic and cultural centers of metropolitan areas. Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Mansfield, and Youngstown are in the Northeast, known for major industrial companies Goodyear Tire and Rubber and Timken, top-ranked colleges Case Western Reserve University and Kent State University, the Cleveland Clinic, and cultural attractions including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Big Five group Cleveland Orchestra, Playhouse Square, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Lima and Toledo are the major cities in Northwest Ohio. Northwest Ohio is known for its glass-making industry, and is home to Owens Corning and Owens-Illinois, two Fortune 500 corporations. Dayton and Springfield are located in the Miami Valley, which is home to the University of Dayton, the Dayton Ballet, and the extensive Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Cincinnati anchors Southwest Ohio and is the largest economy in the state. It is home of Miami University and the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Union Terminal, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and various Fortune 500 companies including Procter & Gamble, Kroger, Macy's, Inc., and Fifth Third Bank. Steubenville is the only metropolitan city in Appalachian Ohio, which is home to Hocking Hills State Park.

Metropolitan areas

Largest metropolitan statistical areas in Ohio
Ohio Rank U.S. Rank Metropolitan statistical area [50] 2019 Estimate [51] 2010 Census [51] Change Counties [50]
1 30 Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area 2,221,208 2,137,667 +3.91% Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Warren
2 32 Columbus, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area 2,122,271 1,901,974 +11.58% Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Hocking, Licking, Madison, Morrow, Perry, Pickaway, Union
3 34 Cleveland-Elyria, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area 2,048,449 2,077,240 −1.39% Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina
4 73 Dayton, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area 807,611 799,232 +1.05% Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble
5 82 Akron, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area 703,479 703,200 +0.04% Portage, Summit
6 93 Toledo, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area 641,816 651,429 −1.48% Fulton, Lucas, Wood
7 106 Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area 536,081 565,773 −5.25% Mahoning, Trumbull
8 136 Canton-Massillon, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area 397,520 404,422 −1.71% Stark, Carroll
9 307 Springfield, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area 134,083 138,333 −3.07% Clark
10 329 Mansfield, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area 121,154 124,475 −2.67% Richland
11 334 Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area 116,074 124,454 −6.73% Jefferson
12 352 Lima, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area 102,351 106,331 −3.74% Allen

The Cincinnati metropolitan area extends into Kentucky and Indiana, the Steubenville metropolitan area extends into West Virginia, and the Youngstown metropolitan area extends into Pennsylvania.

Other metropolitan areas that contain cities in Ohio, but are primarily in other states include:

Additionally, 30 Ohio cities function as centers of micropolitan areas, urban clusters smaller than that of metropolitan areas. Many of these are included as part of larger combined statistical areas, as shown in the table above.

Indigenous settlement

Archeological evidence of spear points of both the Folsom and Clovis types indicate that the Ohio Valley was inhabited by nomadic people as early as 13,000 BC. [53] These early nomads disappeared from Ohio by 1,000 BC. [53] Between 1,000 and 800 BC, the sedentary Adena culture emerged. The Adena were able to establish "semi-permanent" villages because they domesticated plants, including, sunflowers, and "grew squash and possibly corn" with hunting and gathering, this cultivation supported more settled, complex villages. [54] The most notable remnant of the Adena culture is the Great Serpent Mound, located in Adams County, Ohio. [54]

Around 100 BC, the Adena evolved into the Hopewell people who were also mound builders. Their complex, large and technologically sophisticated earthworks can be found in modern-day Marietta, Newark, and Circleville. [55] They were also a prolific trading society, their trading network spanning a third of the continent. [56] The Hopewell disappeared from the Ohio Valley about 600 AD. The Mississippian Culture rose as the Hopewell Culture declined. Many Siouan-speaking peoples from the plains and east coast claim them as ancestors and say they lived throughout the Ohio region until approximately the 13th century. [57]

There were three other cultures contemporaneous with the Mississippians: the Fort Ancient people, the Whittlesey Focus people [57] and the Monongahela Culture. [58] All three cultures disappeared in the 17th century. Their origins are unknown. The Shawnees may have absorbed the Fort Ancient people. [57] It is also possible that the Monongahela held no land in Ohio during the Colonial Era. The Mississippian Culture were close to and traded extensively with the Fort Ancient people.

Indians in the Ohio Valley were greatly affected by the aggressive tactics of the Iroquois Confederation, based in central and western New York. [59] After the Beaver Wars in the mid-17th century, the Iroquois claimed much of the Ohio country as hunting and, more importantly, beaver-trapping ground. After the devastation of epidemics and war in the mid-17th century, which largely emptied the Ohio country of indigenous people [ dubious – discuss ] by the mid-to-late 17th century, the land gradually became repopulated by the mostly Algonquian. Many of these Ohio-country nations were multi-ethnic (sometimes multi-linguistic) societies born out of the earlier devastation brought about by disease, [ clarification needed ] war, and subsequent social instability. They subsisted on agriculture (corn, sunflowers, beans, etc.) supplemented by seasonal hunts. By the 18th century, they were part of a larger global economy brought about by European entry into the fur trade. [60]

Some of the indigenous nations which historically inhabited Ohio included the Iroquoian, [61] the Algonquian [62] & the Siouan. [63] [64] [65] Ohio country was also the site of Indian massacres, such as the Yellow Creek Massacre, Gnadenhutten and Pontiac's Rebellion school massacre. [66] After the War of 1812 when Natives suffered serious losses such as at Tippecanoe, most Native tribes either left Ohio or had to live on only limited reservations. By 1842, all remaining Natives were forced out of the state. [67]

Colonial and Revolutionary eras

During the 18th century, the French set up a system of trading posts to control the fur trade in the region. Beginning in 1754, France and Great Britain fought the French and Indian War. As a result of the Treaty of Paris, the French ceded control of Ohio and the remainder of the Old Northwest to Great Britain. In the Treaty of Paris in 1783, Britain ceded all claims to Ohio country to the United States. [68] [69]

Northwest Territory

The United States created the Northwest Territory under the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. [70] Slavery was not permitted in the new territory. Settlement began with the founding of Marietta by the Ohio Company of Associates, which had been formed by a group of American Revolutionary War veterans. Following the Ohio Company, the Miami Company (also referred to as the "Symmes Purchase") claimed the southwestern section, and the Connecticut Land Company surveyed and settled the Connecticut Western Reserve in present-day Northeast Ohio. Territorial surveyors from Fort Steuben began surveying an area of eastern Ohio called the Seven Ranges at about the same time.

The old Northwest Territory originally included areas previously known as Ohio Country and Illinois Country. As Ohio prepared for statehood, the Indiana Territory was created, reducing the Northwest Territory to approximately the size of present-day Ohio plus the eastern half of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and the eastern tip of the Upper Peninsula and a sliver of southeastern Indiana called "The Gore".

The coalition of Native American tribes, known as the Western Confederacy, was forced to cede extensive territory, including much of present-day Ohio, in the Treaty of Greenville in 1795.

Under the Northwest Ordinance, areas could be defined and admitted as states once their population reached 60,000. Although Ohio's population was only 45,000 in December 1801, Congress determined that it was growing rapidly and had already begun the path to statehood. In regards to the Leni Lenape natives, Congress decided that 10,000 acres on the Muskingum River in the present state of Ohio would "be set apart and the property thereof be vested in the Moravian Brethren . or a society of the said Brethren for civilizing the Indians and promoting Christianity". [71]

Rufus Putnam, the "Father of Ohio"

Rufus Putnam served in important military capacities in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War. He was one of the most highly respected men in the early years of the United States. [72]

In 1776, Putnam created a method of building portable fortifications, which enabled the Continental Army to drive the British from Boston. George Washington was so impressed that he made Putnam his chief engineer. After the war, Putnam and Manasseh Cutler were instrumental in creating the Northwest Ordinance, which opened up the Northwest Territory for settlement. This land was used to serve as compensation for what was owed to Revolutionary War veterans. It was also at Putnam's recommendation that the land would be surveyed and laid out in townships of six miles square. Putnam organized and led the Ohio Company of Associates, who settled at Marietta, Ohio, where they built a large fort called Campus Martius. [73] [74] [75]

Putnam, in the Puritan tradition, was influential in establishing education in the Northwest Territory. Substantial amounts of land were set aside for schools. Putnam had been one of the primary benefactors in the founding of Leicester Academy in Massachusetts, and similarly, in 1798, he created the plan for the construction of the Muskingum Academy (now Marietta College) in Ohio. In 1780, the directors of the Ohio Company appointed him superintendent of all its affairs relating to settlement north of the Ohio River. In 1796, he was commissioned by President George Washington as Surveyor-General of United States Lands. In 1788, he served as a judge in the Northwest Territory's first court. In 1802, he served in the convention to form a constitution for the State of Ohio. [76] [77] [78]

Statehood and early years

On February 19, 1803, U.S. president Thomas Jefferson signed an act of Congress that approved Ohio's boundaries and constitution. [79] However, Congress had never passed a formal resolution admitting Ohio as the 17th state, a custom not introduced until Louisiana's admission as the 18th state. Although no formal resolution of admission was required, when the oversight was discovered in 1953, as Ohio began preparations for celebrating its sesquicentennial, Ohio congressman George H. Bender introduced a bill in Congress to admit Ohio to the Union retroactive to March 1, 1803, the date on which the Ohio General Assembly first convened. [80] At a special session at the old state capital in Chillicothe, the Ohio state legislature approved a new petition for statehood which was delivered to Washington, D.C., on horseback, and approved that August. [80] [81] [82]

Ohio has had three capital cities: Chillicothe, Zanesville, and Columbus. Chillicothe was the capital from 1803 to 1810. The capital was then moved to Zanesville for two years, as part of a state legislative compromise to get a bill passed. The capital was then moved back to Chillicothe, which was the capital from 1812 to 1816. Finally, the capital was moved to Columbus, to have it near the geographic center of the state.

Although many Native Americans had migrated west to evade American encroachment, others remained settled in the state, sometimes assimilating in part. In 1830 under President Andrew Jackson, the US government forced Indian Removal of most tribes to the Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River.

In 1835, Ohio fought with Michigan in the Toledo War, a mostly bloodless boundary war over the Toledo Strip. Only one person was injured in the conflict. Congress intervened, making Michigan's admittance as a state conditional on ending the conflict. In exchange for giving up its claim to the Toledo Strip, Michigan was given the western two-thirds of the Upper Peninsula, in addition to the eastern third which was already considered part of the state.

Civil War and industrialization

Ohio's central position and its population gave it an important place during the Civil War. The Ohio River was a vital artery for troop and supply movements, as were Ohio's railroads. The industry of Ohio made the state one of the most important states in the Union during the Civil war. Ohio contributed more soldiers per capita than any other state in the Union. In 1862, the state's morale was badly shaken in the aftermath of the Battle of Shiloh, a costly victory in which Ohio forces suffered 2,000 casualties. [83] Later that year, when Confederate troops under the leadership of Stonewall Jackson threatened Washington, D.C., Ohio governor David Tod still could recruit 5,000 volunteers to provide three months of service. [84] From July 13 to 26, 1863, towns along the Ohio River were attacked and ransacked in Morgan's Raid, starting in Harrison in the west and culminating in the Battle of Salineville near West Point in the far east. While this raid was overall insignificant to the Confederacy, it aroused fear among people in Ohio and Indiana as it was the furthest advancement of troops from the South in the war. [85] Almost 35,000 Ohioans died in the conflict, and 30,000 were physically wounded. [86] By the end of the Civil War, the Union's top three generals – Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Philip Sheridan – were all from Ohio. [87] [88]

Throughout much of the 19th century, industry was rapidly introduced to complement an existing agricultural economy. One of the first iron manufacturing plants opened near Youngstown in 1804 called Hopewell Furnace. By the mid-19th century, 48 blast furnaces were operating in the state, most in the southern portions of the state. [89] Discovery of coal deposits aided the further development of the steel industry in the state, and by 1853 Cleveland was the third largest iron and steel producer in the country. The first Bessemer converter was purchased by the Cleveland Rolling Mill Company, which eventually became part of the U.S. Steel Corporation following the merger of Federal Steel Company and Carnegie Steel, the first billion-dollar American corporation. [89] The first open-hearth furnace used for steel production was constructed by the Otis Steel Company in Cleveland, and by 1892, Ohio ranked as the 2nd-largest steel-producing state behind Pennsylvania. [89] Republic Steel was founded in Youngstown in 1899 and was at one point the nation's third-largest producer. Armco, now AK Steel, was founded in Middletown also in 1899.

20th century

During the 1930s, the Great Depression struck the state hard. American Jews watched the rise of the Third Reich with apprehension. Cleveland residents Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created the Superman comic character in the spirit of the Jewish golem. Many of their comics portrayed Superman fighting and defeating the Nazis. [90] [91]

Artists, writers, musicians and actors developed in the state throughout the 20th century and often moved to other cities which were larger centers for their work. They included Zane Grey, Milton Caniff, George Bellows, Art Tatum, Roy Lichtenstein, and Roy Rogers. Alan Freed, who emerged from the swing dance culture in Cleveland, hosted the first live rock 'n roll concert in Cleveland in 1952. Famous filmmakers include Steven Spielberg, Chris Columbus and the original Warner Brothers, who set up their first movie theatre in Youngstown before that company later relocated to California. The state produced many popular musicians, including Dean Martin, Doris Day, The O'Jays, Marilyn Manson, Dave Grohl, Devo, Macy Gray and The Isley Brothers.

The National Football League was originally founded in Ohio in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association.

In 1970 an Ohio Army National Guard unit fired at students during an anti-war protest at Kent State University, killing four and wounding nine. The Guard had been called onto campus after several protests in and around campus had become violent, including a riot in downtown Kent and the burning of an ROTC building. The main cause of the protests was the United States' invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. [92]

Beginning in the 1980s, the state entered into international economic and resource cooperation treaties and organizations with other Midwestern states, as well as New York, Pennsylvania, Ontario, and Quebec, including the Great Lakes Charter, Great Lakes Compact, and the Council of Great Lakes Governors.

21st century

Ohio had become nicknamed the "fuel cell corridor" [93] in being a contributing anchor for the region now called the "Green Belt," in reference to the growing renewable energy sector. [94] Although the state experienced heavy manufacturing losses at the close of the 20th century and suffered from the Great Recession, it was rebounding by the second decade in being the country's 6th-fastest-growing economy through the first half of 2010. [95]

Ohio's transition into the 21st century was symbolized by the Third Frontier program, spearheaded by governor Bob Taft around the start of the century. This built on the agricultural and industrial pillars of the economy, dubbed the first and second frontiers, by aiding the growth of advanced technology industries, the third frontier. [96] The results of this initiative were considered widely successful, [97] attracting 637 new high-tech companies to the state and 55,000 new jobs, with an average of salary of $65,000, [98] while having a $6.6 billion economic impact with an investment return ratio of 9:1. [98] In 2010 the state won the International Economic Development Council's Excellence in Economic Development Award, celebrated as a national model of success. [99]

Many of the state's former industrial centers turned to new industries, including Akron as a center for polymer and biomedical research, Cincinnati as the state's largest mercantile hub, [100] Columbus as a center for technological research and development, education, and insurance, [100] Cleveland in regenerative medicine research and manufacturing, Dayton as an aerospace and defense hub, and Toledo as a national center for solar technology. [101] [102] Ohio was hit hard by the Great Recession and manufacturing employment losses entering the 2010s. The recession cost the state 376,500 jobs [103] and it had 89,053 foreclosures in 2009, a record for the state. [104] The median household income dropped 7% and the poverty rate ballooned to 13.5% by 2009. [105]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1810230,760 408.7%
1820581,434 152.0%
1830937,903 61.3%
18401,519,467 62.0%
18501,980,329 30.3%
18602,339,511 18.1%
18702,665,260 13.9%
18803,198,062 20.0%
18903,672,329 14.8%
19004,157,545 13.2%
19104,767,121 14.7%
19205,759,394 20.8%
19306,646,697 15.4%
19406,907,612 3.9%
19507,946,627 15.0%
19609,706,397 22.1%
197010,652,017 9.7%
198010,797,630 1.4%
199010,847,115 0.5%
200011,353,140 4.7%
201011,536,504 1.6%
202011,799,448 2.3%
Source: 1910–2020 [106]


From just over 45,000 residents in 1800, Ohio's population grew faster than 10% per decade (except for the 1940 census) until the 1970 census, which recorded just over 10.65 million Ohioans. [107] Growth then slowed for the next four decades. [108] The United States Census Bureau counted 11,808,848 in the 2020 census, a 2.4% increase since the 2010 United States Census. [11] Ohio's population growth lags that of the entire United States, and whites are found in a greater density than the US average. As of 2000 [update] , Ohio's center of population is located in Morrow County, [109] in the county seat of Mount Gilead. [110] This is approximately 6,346 feet (1,934 m) south and west of Ohio's population center in 1990. [109]

As of 2011, 27.6% of Ohio's children under the age of 1 belonged to minority groups. [111]

6.2% of Ohio's population is under five years of age, 23.7 percent under 18 years of age, and 14.1 percent were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51.2 percent of the population.

Birth data

Note: Births in table do not add up because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.

  • Since 2016, data for births of White Hispanic origin are not collected, but included in one Hispanic group persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.


According to the 2010 United States Census, the racial composition of Ohio was the following: [119] [120]

    : 82.7% (Non-Hispanic Whites: 81.1%) : 12.2% : 0.2% : 1.7% (0.6% Indian, 0.4% Chinese, 0.1% Filipino, 0.1% Korean, 0.1% Vietnamese, 0.1% Japanese) : 0.03% : 2.1%
  • Some other race: 1.1% (of any race) make up 3.1% (1.5% Mexican, 0.8% Puerto Rican, 0.1% Guatemalan, 0.1% Cuban)

In 2010, there were 469,700 foreign-born residents in Ohio, corresponding to 4.1% of the total population. Of these, 229,049 (2.0%) were naturalized US citizens and 240,699 (2.1%) were not. [14] The largest groups were: [124] Mexico (54,166), India (50,256), China (34,901), Germany (19,219), Philippines (16,410), United Kingdom (15,917), Canada (14,223), Russia (11,763), South Korea (11,307), and Ukraine (10,681). Though predominantly white, Ohio has large black populations in all major metropolitan areas throughout the state, Ohio has a significant Hispanic population made up of Mexicans in Toledo and Columbus, and Puerto Ricans in Cleveland and Columbus, and also has a significant and diverse Asian population in Columbus.

The largest ancestry groups (which the Census defines as not including racial terms) in the state are: [14] [125]

  • 26.5% German
  • 14.1% Irish
  • 9.0% English
  • 6.4% Italian
  • 3.8% Polish
  • 2.5% French
  • 1.9% Scottish
  • 1.7% Hungarian
  • 1.6% Dutch
  • 1.5% Mexican
  • 1.2% Slovak
  • 1.1% Welsh
  • 1.1% Scotch-Irish


About 6.7% of the population age 5 years and older reported speaking a language other than English, with 2.2% of the population speaking Spanish, 2.6% speaking other Indo-European languages, 1.1% speaking Asian and Austronesian languages, and 0.8% speaking other languages. [14] Numerically: 10,100,586 spoke English, 239,229 Spanish, 55,970 German, 38,990 Chinese, 33,125 Arabic, and 32,019 French. In addition 59,881 spoke a Slavic language and 42,673 spoke another West Germanic language according to the 2010 Census. [126] Ohio also had the nation's largest population of Slovene speakers, second largest of Slovak speakers, second largest of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) speakers, and the third largest of Serbian speakers. [127]


According to a Pew Forum poll, as of 2014, 73% of Ohioans identified as Christian. [128] Specifically, 29% of Ohio's population identified as Evangelical Protestant, 17% as Mainline Protestant, 7% as Historically Black Protestant, and 18% as Catholic. [128] 22% of the population is unaffiliated with any religious body. [128] Small minorities of Jews (1%), Jehovah's Witnesses (1%), Muslims (1%), Hindus (<1%), Buddhists (1%), Mormons (1%), and other faiths (1-1.5%) exist. [128]

According to the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA), in 2010 the largest denominations by adherents were the Catholic Church with 1,992,567 the United Methodist Church with 496,232 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with 223,253, the Southern Baptist Convention with 171,000, the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ with 141,311, the United Church of Christ with 118,000, and the Presbyterian Church (USA) with 110,000. [129] With about 80,000 adherents in 2020, Ohio has the second largest Amish population of all U.S. states, only behind neighboring Pennsylvania. [130]

According to the same data, a majority of Ohioans, 56%, feel religion is "very important", 25% that it is "somewhat important", and 19% that religion is "not too important/not important at all". [128] 38% of Ohioans indicate that they attend religious services at least once weekly, 32% occasionally, and 30% seldom or never. [128]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the total number for employment in 2016 was 4,790,178. The total number of unique employer establishments was 252,201, while the total number of non-employer establishments was 785,833. [131] In 2010, Ohio was ranked second in the country for best business climate by Site Selection magazine, based on a business-activity database. [132] The state has also won three consecutive Governor's Cup awards from the magazine, based on business growth and developments. [133] As of 2016 [update] , Ohio's gross domestic product (GDP) was $626 billion. [134] This ranks Ohio's economy as the seventh-largest of all fifty states and the District of Columbia. [135]

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council ranked the state No. 10 for best business-friendly tax systems in their Business Tax Index 2009, including a top corporate tax and capital gains rate that were both ranked No. 6 at 1.9%. [136] Ohio was ranked No. 11 by the council for best friendly-policy states according to their Small Business Survival Index 2009. [137] The Directorship's Boardroom Guide ranked the state No. 13 overall for best business climate, including No. 7 for best litigation climate. [138] Forbes ranked the state No. 8 for best regulatory environment in 2009. [139] Ohio has five of the top 115 colleges in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report's 2010 rankings, [140] and was ranked No. 8 by the same magazine in 2008 for best high schools. [141]

Ohio's unemployment rate stands at 4.5% as of February 2018, [142] down from 10.7% in May 2010. [143] [144] The state still lacks 45,000 jobs compared to the pre-recession numbers of 2007. [145] The labor force participation as of April 2015 is 63%, slightly above the national average. [145] Ohio's per capita income stands at $34,874. [135] [146] As of 2019 [update] , Ohio's median household income is $58,642, [147] and 13.1% of the population is below the poverty line. [148]

The manufacturing and financial activities sectors each compose 18.3% of Ohio's GDP, making them Ohio's largest industries by percentage of GDP. [135] Ohio has the third largest manufacturing workforce behind California and Texas. [149] [150] Ohio has the largest bioscience sector in the Midwest, and is a national leader in the "green" economy. Ohio is the largest producer in the country of plastics, rubber, fabricated metals, electrical equipment, and appliances. [151] 5,212,000 Ohioans are currently employed by wage or salary. [135]

By employment, Ohio's largest sector is trade/transportation/utilities, which employs 1,010,000 Ohioans, or 19.4% of Ohio's workforce, while the health care and education sector employs 825,000 Ohioans (15.8%). [135] Government employs 787,000 Ohioans (15.1%), manufacturing employs 669,000 Ohioans (12.9%), and professional and technical services employs 638,000 Ohioans (12.2%). [135] Ohio's manufacturing sector is the third-largest of all fifty United States states in terms of gross domestic product. [135] Fifty-nine of the United States' top 1,000 publicly traded companies (by revenue in 2008) are headquartered in Ohio, including Procter & Gamble, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, AK Steel, Timken, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Wendy's. [152]

Ohio is also one of 41 states with its own lottery, [153] the Ohio Lottery. [154] As of 2020 [update] , the Ohio Lottery has contributed more than $26 billion to education beginning in 1974. [155]

Ground travel

Many major east–west transportation corridors go through Ohio. One of those pioneer routes, known in the early 20th century as "Main Market Route 3", was chosen in 1913 to become part of the historic Lincoln Highway which was the first road across America, connecting New York City to San Francisco. In Ohio, the Lincoln Highway linked many towns and cities together, including Canton, Mansfield, Wooster, Lima, and Van Wert. The arrival of the Lincoln Highway to Ohio was a major influence on the development of the state. Upon the advent of the federal numbered highway system in 1926, the Lincoln Highway through Ohio became U.S. Route 30.

Ohio also is home to 228 miles (367 km) of the Historic National Road, now U.S. Route 40.

Ohio has a highly developed network of roads and interstate highways. Major east-west through routes include the Ohio Turnpike (I-80/I-90) in the north, I-76 through Akron to Pennsylvania, I-70 through Columbus and Dayton, and the Appalachian Highway (State Route 32) running from West Virginia to Cincinnati. Major north–south routes include I-75 in the west through Toledo, Dayton, and Cincinnati, I-71 through the middle of the state from Cleveland through Columbus and Cincinnati into Kentucky, and I-77 in the eastern part of the state from Cleveland through Akron, Canton, New Philadelphia and Marietta south into West Virginia. Interstate 75 between Cincinnati and Dayton is one of the heaviest traveled sections of interstate in Ohio.

Ohio also has a highly developed network of signed state bicycle routes. Many of them follow rail trails, with conversion ongoing. The Ohio to Erie Trail (route 1) connects Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland. U.S. Bicycle Route 50 traverses Ohio from Steubenville to the Indiana state line outside Richmond. [156]

Ohio has several long-distance hiking trails, the most prominent of which is the Buckeye Trail which extends 1,444 mi (2,324 km) in a loop around the state of Ohio. Part of it is on roads and part is on wooded trail. Additionally, the North Country Trail (the longest of the eleven National Scenic Trails authorized by Congress) and the American Discovery Trail (a system of recreational trails and roads that collectively form a coast-to-coast route across the mid-tier of the United States) pass through Ohio. Much of these two trails coincide with the Buckeye Trail.

Ohio has extensive railroads, though today most are only utilized by freight companies. Major cities in the north and south of Ohio lie on Amtrak intercity rail lines. The Capitol Limited and the Lake Shore Limited serve Toledo, Cleveland and other northern Ohio cities. The Cardinal serves Cincinnati. Columbus is the largest city in the United States without any form of passenger rail. Its Union Station last had an inter-city train in 1979 with the National Limited. Mass transit exists in many forms in Ohio cities, primarily through bus systems, though Cleveland has both light and heavy rail through the GCRTA, and Cincinnati reestablished a streetcar line in 2016.

Air travel

Ohio has four international airports, four commercial, and two military. The four international include Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, John Glenn Columbus International Airport, Dayton International Airport, and Rickenbacker International Airport (one of two military airfields). The other military airfield is Wright Patterson Air Force Base which is one of the largest Air Force bases in the United States. Other major airports are located in Toledo and Akron. Cincinnati's primary airport, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, is in Hebron, Kentucky, and therefore is not included in Ohio airport lists.

Transportation lists

The state government of Ohio consists of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. [157] [158] [159]

Executive branch

The executive branch is headed by the governor of Ohio. [157] The current governor is Mike DeWine since 2019, a member of the Republican Party. [160] A lieutenant governor succeeds the governor in the event of any removal from office, and performs any duties assigned by the governor. [161] [162] The current lieutenant governor is Jon A. Husted. The other elected constitutional offices in the executive branch are the secretary of state (Frank LaRose), auditor (Keith Faber), treasurer (Robert Sprague), and attorney general (Dave Yost). [157] There are 21 state administrative departments in the executive branch. [163] [164]

Legislative branch

The Ohio General Assembly is a bicameral legislature consisting of the Senate and House of Representatives. [165] The Senate is composed of 33 districts, each of which is represented by one senator. Each senator represents approximately 330,000 constituents. [166] The House of Representatives is composed of 99 members. [167] The Republican Party is the controlling party in both houses as of the 2020 election cycle.

Judicial branch

There are three levels of the Ohio state judiciary. The lowest level is the court of common pleas: each county maintains its own constitutionally mandated court of common pleas, which maintain jurisdiction over "all justiciable matters". [168] The intermediate-level court system is the district court system. [169] Twelve courts of appeals exist, each retaining jurisdiction over appeals from common pleas, municipal, and county courts in a set geographical area. [168] A case heard in this system is decided by a three-judge panel, and each judge is elected. [168]

The state's highest-ranking court is the Ohio Supreme Court. [170] A seven-justice panel composes the court, which, by its own discretion, hears appeals from the courts of appeals, and retains original jurisdiction over limited matters. [171]

"Mother of presidents"

Six U.S. presidents hailed from Ohio at the time of their elections, giving rise to its nickname "mother of presidents", a sobriquet it shares with Virginia. It is also termed "modern mother of presidents", [172] in contrast to Virginia's status as the origin of presidents earlier in American history. Seven presidents were born in Ohio, making it second to Virginia's eight. Virginia-born William Henry Harrison lived most of his life in Ohio and is also buried there. Harrison conducted his political career while living on the family compound, founded by his father-in-law, John Cleves Symmes, in North Bend, Ohio. The seven presidents born in Ohio were Ulysses S. Grant (elected from Illinois), Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison (grandson of William Henry Harrison & elected from Indiana), William McKinley, William Howard Taft and Warren G. Harding. [173] All seven were Republicans.

Swing state

Ohio is considered a swing state, being won by either the Democratic or Republican candidates reasonably each election. As a swing state, Ohio is usually targeted by both major-party campaigns, especially in competitive elections. [174] Pivotal in the election of 1888, Ohio has been a regular swing state since 1980. [175] [176]

Additionally, Ohio is considered a bellwether. Historian R. Douglas Hurt asserts that not since Virginia "had a state made such a mark on national political affairs". [177] The Economist notes that "This slice of the mid-west contains a bit of everything American—part north-eastern and part southern, part urban and part rural, part hardscrabble poverty and part booming suburb", [178] Since 1896, Ohio has had only three misses in the general election (Thomas E. Dewey in 1944, Richard Nixon in 1960, and Donald Trump in 2020) and had the longest perfect streak of any state, voting for the winning presidential candidate in each election from 1964 to 2016, and in 33 of the 38 held since the Civil War. No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio.

As of 2019, there are more than 7.8 million registered Ohioan voters, with 1.3 million Democrats and 1.9 million Republicans. They are disproportionate in age, with a million more over 65 than there are 18- to 24-year-olds. [179] Since the 2010 midterm elections, Ohio's voter demographic has leaned towards the Republican Party. [180] The governor, Mike DeWine, is Republican, as well as all other non-judicial statewide elected officials, including Lieutenant Governor Jon A. Husted, Attorney General Dave Yost, State Auditor Keith Faber, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and State Treasurer Robert Sprague. In the Ohio State Senate the Republicans are the majority, 25–8, and in the Ohio House of Representatives the Republicans control the delegation 64–35.

Losing two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives following the 2010 Census, Ohio has had 16 seats for the three presidential elections of the decade in 2012, 2016 and 2020. [181] As of the 2020 cycle, twelve federal representatives are Republicans while four are Democrats. Marcy Kaptur (D-09) is the most senior member of the Ohio delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives. [182] The senior U.S. senator, Sherrod Brown, is a Democrat, while the junior, Rob Portman, is a Republican. [183] [184]

Voter suppression

Since 1994, the state has had a policy of purging infrequent voters from its rolls. In April 2016, a lawsuit was filed, challenging this policy on the grounds that it violated the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993 [185] and the Help America Vote Act of 2002. [186] In June, the federal district court ruled for the plaintiffs and entered a preliminary injunction applicable only to the November 2016 election. The preliminary injunction was upheld in September by the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Had it not been upheld, thousands of voters would have been purged from the rolls just a few weeks before the election. [185]

Still, it has been estimated that the state has removed up to two million voters since 2011. [187]

Ohio's system of public education is outlined in Article VI of the state constitution, and in Title XXXIII of the Ohio Revised Code. Ohio University, the first university in the Northwest Territory, was also the first public institution in Ohio. Substantively, Ohio's system is similar to those found in other states. At the State level, the Ohio Department of Education, which is overseen by the Ohio State Board of Education, governs primary and secondary educational institutions. At the municipal level, there are approximately 700 school districts statewide. The Ohio Board of Regents coordinates and assists with Ohio's institutions of higher education which have recently been reorganized into the University System of Ohio under Governor Strickland. The system averages an annual enrollment of more than 400,000 students, making it one of the five largest state university systems in the U.S.

Colleges and universities

Ohio schools consistently ranking in the top 50 nationally of the U.S. News & World Report of liberal arts colleges are Kenyon College, Oberlin College, and Denison University. Ranking in the top 100 of national research universities typically includes Case Western Reserve University, Ohio State University and Miami University. [188]

    13 state universities
      (Bowling Green) (Wilberforce) (Cleveland) (Kent) (Oxford) (Columbus) (Athens) (Portsmouth) (Akron) (Cincinnati) (Toledo) (Fairborn) (Youngstown)
      , Wright State University , Ohio University (formerly Medical University of Ohio)


    Ohio is home to some of the nation's highest-ranked public libraries. [189] The 2008 study by Thomas J. Hennen Jr. ranked Ohio as number one in a state-by-state comparison. [190] For 2008, 31 of Ohio's library systems were all ranked in the top ten for American cities of their population category. [189]

    The Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) is an organization that provides Ohio residents with internet access to their 251 public libraries. OPLIN also provides Ohioans with free home access to high-quality, subscription research databases.

    Ohio also offers the OhioLINK program, allowing Ohio's libraries (particularly those from colleges and universities) access to materials for the other libraries. The program is largely successful in allowing researchers for access to books and other media that might not be otherwise available.


    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame are both located in Cleveland. Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed is credited with coining the term and promoting rock and roll in the early 1950s. Cincinnati is home to the American Classical Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

    Performance arts

    Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland is the second-largest performing arts center in the United States, home to ten theaters. [191] The Cleveland Orchestra is one of the historic Big Five orchestras in the U.S., and is considered one of the best worldwide. [192]

    Many other Ohio cities are home to their own orchestras, including Akron, Blue Ash, Canton, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Youngstown. Cincinnati is home to its own ballet, symphony orchestra, pops orchestra, and opera, all housed at the Cincinnati Music Hall. Dayton is also home to a ballet, orchestra, and opera, collectively known as the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance.

    The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts manages seven historic Columbus area theaters. [193]

    Winter Guard International has hosted national championships at the University of Dayton from 1983 to 1989, 1991–1996, 1998–2000, 2002–2003, and from 2005 to the present.

    Visual arts

    Ohio is home to 30 art institutions, including the Columbus Museum of Art, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, and other entities. The full list includes:

    The Cincinnati Art Museum holds over 100,000 works spanning 6,000 years of human history, being among the most comprehensive collections in the Midwest. Among its notable collections are works by Master of San Baudelio, Jorge Ingles, Sandro Botticelli (Judith with Head of Holofernes), Matteo di Giovanni, Domenico Tintoretto (Portrait of Venetian dux Marino Grimani), Mattia Preti, Bernardo Strozzi, Frans Hals, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (St. Thomas of Villanueva), Peter Paul Rubens (Samson and Delilah) and Aert van der Neer. The collection also includes works by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet (Rocks At Belle Isle), and Pablo Picasso. The museum also has a large collection of paintings by American painter Frank Duveneck (Elizabeth B. Duveneck).

    The Cleveland Museum of Art is internationally renowned for its substantial holdings of Asian and Egyptian art, and has a permanent collection of more than 61,000 works from around the world. [194] It is the fourth-wealthiest art museum in the United States. [195]

    The Columbus Museum of Art holds nineteenth and early twentieth-century American and European art, including early Cubist paintings by Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris, works by François Boucher, Paul Cézanne, Mary Cassatt, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Edward Hopper, and Norman Rockwell, and installations by Mel Chin, Josiah McElheny, Susan Philipsz, and Allan Sekula. Also in Columbus, the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum collection includes 450,000 original cartoons, 36,000 books, 51,000 serial titles, and 3,000 feet (910 m) of manuscript materials, plus 2.5 million comic strip clippings and tear sheets, making it the largest research library for cartoon art.

    Youngstown's Butler Institute of American Art was the first museum to be dedicated exclusively to American art. [196]


    Professional sports teams

    Ohio has brought home seven World Series titles (Reds 1919, 1940, 1975, 1976, 1990 Indians 1920, 1948), two MLS Cups (Crew 2008, 2020), one NBA Championship (Cavaliers 2016), and nine NFL Championships (Pros 1920 Bulldogs 1922, 1923, 1924 Rams 1945 Browns 1950, 1954, 1955, 1964). Despite this success in the NFL in the first half of the 20th century, no Ohio team has won the Super Bowl since its inception in 1967 or made an appearance since 1989. No Ohio team has made an appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals.

    Ohio played a central role in the development of both Major League Baseball and the National Football League. Baseball's first fully professional team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings of 1869, were organized in Ohio. [203] An informal early-20th-century American football association, the Ohio League, was the direct predecessor of the NFL, although neither of Ohio's modern NFL franchises trace their roots to an Ohio League club. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton.

    On a smaller scale, Ohio hosts minor league baseball, arena football, indoor football, mid-level hockey, and lower division soccer.

    Individual sports

    College sports

    Ohio has eight NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision college football teams, divided among three different conferences. It has also experienced considerable success in the secondary and tertiary tiers of college football divisions.

    There is only one program in the Power Five conferences, the Ohio State Buckeyes, who play in the Big Ten Conference. The football team is second in all-time winning percentage, with a 931–327–53 overall record and a 25–26 bowl record as of 2020. The program has produced seven Heisman Trophy winners, forty conference titles, and eight undisputed national championships. The men's basketball program has appeared in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament 27 times.

    In the Group of Five conferences, the Cincinnati Bearcats play as a member of the American Athletic Conference. Their men's basketball team has over 1,800 wins, 33 March Madness appearances, and is currently on a nine-year streak of appearances as of 2019. Six teams are represented in the Mid-American Conference: the Akron Zips, Bowling Green Falcons, Kent State Golden Flashes, Miami RedHawks, Ohio Bobcats and the Toledo Rockets. The MAC headquarters are in Cleveland. The Cincinnati–Miami rivalry game has been played in southwest Ohio every year since 1888 and is the oldest current non-conference NCAA football rivalry.

    Other Division I schools, either part of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision or not fielding in football include the Cleveland State Vikings, Xavier Musketeers, Wright State Raiders, and Youngstown State Penguins. Xavier's men's basketball has performed particularly well, with 27 March Madness appearances. Youngstown State's football has the third most NCAA Division I Football Championship wins, with 3.

    There are 12 NCAA Division II universities and 22 NCAA Division III universities in Ohio.

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    • Cayton, Andrew R. L. (2002). Ohio: The History of a People. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Press. 0-8142-0899-1
    • Knepper, George W. (1989). Ohio and Its People. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press. 978-0-87338-791-0
    • Mithun, Marianne (1999). Languages of Native North America. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    • Morris, Roy, Jr. (1992). Sheridan: The Life and Wars of General Phil Sheridan. New York: Crown Publishing. 0-517-58070-5.
    • Holli, Melvin G. (1999). The American Mayor. State College, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. 0-271-01876-3
    • Roseboom, Eugene H. Weisenburger, Francis P. (1967). A History of Ohio. Columbus: The Ohio Historical Society.
    • Definitions from Wiktionary
    • Media from Wikimedia Commons
    • News from Wikinews
    • Quotations from Wikiquote
    • Texts from Wikisource
    • Textbooks from Wikibooks
    • Travel guide from Wikivoyage
    • Resources from Wikiversity

    220 ms 12.9% 140 ms 8.2% Scribunto_LuaSandboxCallback::callParserFunction 100 ms 5.9% Scribunto_LuaSandboxCallback::find 100 ms 5.9% type 40 ms 2.4% Scribunto_LuaSandboxCallback::test 40 ms 2.4% Scribunto_LuaSandboxCallback::newTitle 40 ms 2.4% makeMessage 40 ms 2.4% [others] 460 ms 27.1% Number of Wikibase entities loaded: 1/400 -->

    Ohio History Journal

    On the cover: Depiction of the Drummond Gristmill, ca. 1840. (Original artwork by Ann Geise.) See page 59.

    Ohio History Fall 2020


    Contents for Volume 127, Number 2, Fall 2020

    • Contributors . 6
    • The Tensions between Continuity and Change: Early Prescriptive Literature in Ohio and the Western Reserve
      • Martha I. Pallante . 7
      • Robert Klotz . 32
      • Stuart D. Hobbs . 47
      • Ken J. Ward . 92

      On the cover: “Construction of a Modern Steel Building.” Image courtesy the Supreme Court of Ohio. David Barker, photographer.

      Ohio History Spring 2020


      Contents for Volume 127, Number 1, Spring 2020

      • Contributors . 6
      • Editor’s Note . 8
      • Cincinnati’s Base Hospital No. 25: A Community’s Contribution to World War I
        • Richard M. Prior and Kimberly Mullins . 9
        • Jonathan L. Entin . 30
        • Douglas A. Dixon . 58
        • Paul Burnam . 87
        • Michael H. Washington . 104

        On the cover: Surgical ward at Christmas dinner, Base Hospital No. 25 (National Library of Medicine, Image A08578)

        Ohio History Fall 2019


        Contents for Volume 126, Number 2, Fall 2019

        • Contributors . 4
        • A Lesson for All Rebels at Home: The Holmes County, Ohio, Rebellion of 1863 Revisited
          • Stephen E. Towne . 5
          • Perry Bush . 38
          • Jerrad Lancaster . 64

          On the cover: David Tod (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)

          Ohio History Spring 2019

          OHIO HISTORY

          Contents for Volume 126, Number 1, Spring 2019

          • Contributors . 4
          • Blue Jacket, Anthony Wayne, and the Psychological and Symbolic War for Ohio, 1790–95
            • Joshua Casmir Catalano . 5
            • Elaine Verdill . 35
            • Jack Hammersmith . 58
            • Naomi Rendina . 72

            On the cover: Anthony Wayne’s defeat of the Indians, at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, near Toledo, Ohio, August 20, 1794. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

            Ohio History Fall 2018

            OHIO HISTORY

            Contents for Volume 125, Number 2, Fall 2018

            • Contributors . 4
            • Editor’s Note . 5
            • Pioneers and Land on the Ohio Frontier
              • Mansel G. Blackford . 7
              • Arthur Andrew Savery . 28
              • Transcribed and edited by Samuel R. Phillips . 55

              On the cover: Pioneers Crossing the Ohio River. (Courtesy of the Ohio History Connection, Image ALO4712)

              Ohio History Spring 2018

              OHIO HISTORY

              Contents for Volume 125, Number 1, Spring 2018

              • Contributors . 4
              • By Compass, Chain, and Level: Early Efforts at Surveying and Mapping the Mounds
                • Terry A. Barnhart . 5
                • Renea Frey and Jacqueline Johnson . 32
                • Arjun Sabharwal . 47
                • Robert Llewellyn Tyler . 70
                • Christopher Cumo . 95

                On the cover: Squier and Davis’s “The Serpent,” Adams County, Ohio.

                Ohio History Fall 2017

                OHIO HISTORY

                Contents for Volume 124, Number 2, Fall 2017

                • Contributors . 4
                • Ladies of Lockbourne: Women Airforce Service Pilots and the Mighty B-17 Flying Fortress
                  • Jenny Sage . 5
                  • Lawrence S. Freund . 28
                  • Paul Lubienecki . 49

                  Cover image courtesy of the National Archives.

                  Ohio History Spring 2017

                  OHIO HISTORY

                  Contents for Volume 124, Number 1, Spring 2017

                  • Contributors . 4
                  • Editor’s Note . 5
                  • “Only a Moral Power”: African Americans, Reformers, and the Repeal of Ohio’s Black Laws
                    • L. Diane Barnes . 7
                    • Daniel R. Griesmer . 22
                    • Lae’l Hughes-Watkins . 41
                    • Marcelle R. Wilson . 65

                    On the cover: “Mabel the Elephant Looked at the GF Label and Climbed Aboard.” (Suender and Morgan, GF News: 50 Years of Progress, September 1931.)

                    Ohio History Fall 2016

                    OHIO HISTORY

                    Contents for Volume 123, Number 2, Fall 2016

                    • Contributors . 4
                    • Editor’s Note . 5
                    • Publisher’s Note . 6
                    • The State of Ohio History: A Roundtable Discussion
                      • L. Diane Barnes, Donna M. DeBlasio, Kevin F. Kern, David J. Merkowitz, and Gregory S. Wilson . 7
                      • Carol Lasser . 26
                      • Edward J. Roach . 48

                      On the cover: Chevy Bel Air with Airstream trailer, courtesy of Stephen H. Paschen. From the exhibit 1950s: Building the American Dream, Columbus, Ohio Historical Center, Ohio History Connection

                      Ohio History Spring 2016

                      OHIO HISTORY

                      Contents for Volume 123, Number 1, Spring 2016

                      • Contributors . 4
                      • Editor’s Note . 5
                      • Love and Danger on the Underground Railroad: George and Edy Duncan’s Journey to Freedom, 1820
                        • Roy E. Finkenbine . 7
                        • Megan Chew . 26
                        • Joshua Casmir Catalano . 51
                        • Casey Huegel . 73

                        On the cover: Daniel Henderson, a young neighbor of the Wright brothers, poses with arms crossed outside the Wright family home at 7 Hawthorn Street, Dayton, 1899‒1901. (Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-W85-28)

                        Ohio History 2015

                        OHIO HISTORY

                        Contents for Volume 122, 2015

                        • Contested Patriarchy: John Cleves Symmes and the Struggle for Family Control in the Post-revolutionary West
                          • Cathy Rodabaugh . 5
                          • Larry Lee Nelson . 29
                          • Michael Daniel Goodnough . 49
                          • Mansel G. Blackford . 65

                          On the cover: The Columbus water-treatment plant was one of the most modern in the world, and worked well in all weather. (Columbus Metropolitan Library)

                          Ohio History Today

                          He was born in Ohio in a small town in Sandusky County before it was a town. Today, the citizens of Clyde proudly honor his contribution to the Nation by giving him his rightful place in their community. He would grow up to play a pivotal role as a U.S. General commanding the right wing of General Sherman during his campaign to take Atlanta during the Civil War.

                          McPherson had been with Sherman for a long time including the siege of Vicksburg the following year. As Sherman would later say, his good friend and right hand, was James McPherson. When James asked Sherman for a short leave so he could marry his fiance in Baltimore, Sherman denied that request. A decision he would openly regret a few months later.

                          James McPherson’s home in Clyde, Ohio.

                          After his death, his body was returned to Clyde and buried in the family cemetery not far from the home where he was born on November 14, 1828.

                          James Birdseye McPherson was the first born son of William and Cynthia. William had come to this area from New York state 5 years before to purchase some land, build a house for his bride-to-be. He came with several of his friends, one of them was James Birdseye for whom William would name his son.

                          William was a blacksmith and a farmer. From some records it indicates that he may have had a quick to rise temper. Like many of his friends that would later join him in Sandusky County, his family were Scottish. He purchased a rather substantial piece of land that was at the time known as Hamer’s Corners (this name would later be changed to Clyde in honor of Clyde New York which was named for the Clyde River in Scotland).

                          Four years after the McPherson’s set up household in Hamer’s Corner, Cynthia gave birth to James B. McPherson. No description of this birth or of the baby was recorded, but many years later after James’ death, his mother Cynthia related a story that when he was 3 weeks old a group of Seneca Indians stopped in at their house to see the new baby. One of them declared: “He will be a great man.”

                          When James was 11, the country experienced a major financial crisis that became known as the Panic of 1837 which was similar in scope to the 2008 financial crisis experience that lasted seven years. Banks failed, businesses failed, prices declined and thousands of workers lost their jobs. Unemployment rose as high as 25% in some areas.

                          Like most businessmen of the day, the Panic of 1837 caused dramatic changes in William first in his financial health and then later his physical health. The stress of his losses and his efforts to try and protect his family ultimately caused him to become bedridden. Since the family business had collapsed, young James found it necessary to work for others in order to help provide for the family. At the age of 12 he had become the man of the family which would prove to have a long lasting effect on him and his career.

                          Fortunately, James was able to find work as a clerk in Sterntown (known today as Green Springs located about 6 miles southwest of Hamer’s Corner). Robert Smith the owner of a general store and the local mill adopted James (not legally). They exposed him to a rich education where he learned to read, appreciate music and was exposed to a variety of people one of those being Rutherford B. Hayes who was six years older than James and the two became good friends. It was through the Smith family and Rutherford that several years later afforded him the opportunity to move up in the world when he became a West Point cadet.

                          In 1847 James’ father died. The following year 19 year old James left home for West Point. He would never return to Hamer’s Corner other than for short stays.

                          During the battle for Atlanta, General McPherson was at General Sherman’s tent discussing what McPherson thought about how the Confederate would attack. It was in Sherman’s mind that the Confederates were retreating from Atlanta, but McPherson was certain they were setting up an attack of the Union’s flank and rear. It was a heated discussion and ongoing when a large volume of gunfire erupted in the direction of where McPherson’s troops were located and confirming his belief that Confederate forces were mounting an attack and that attack had begun.

                          McPherson quickly returned to his men until he reached his XVI Corps. Here he found his men struggling against an overwhelming advance of Confederate forces. Realizing the importance of this contact, McPherson decided to personally go on to his XVII Corps so they could be brought to bear upon the advancing Confederates.

                          Photograph taken a few days after McPherson was killed of the spot where the event happened just outside of Atlanta in 1864. In the center of the image in the distance is a tree with a sign tacked to it stating this was the spot where McPherson was shot.

                          Ohio - HISTORY

                          Slavery was abolished in Ohio by the state's original constitution (1802). But at the same time, Ohio, with slave-state Kentucky across the river, took the lead in aggressively barring black immigration.

                          When Virginian John Randolph's 518 slaves were emancipated and a plan was hatched to settle them in southern Ohio, the population rose up in indignation. An Ohio congressman warned that if the attempt were made, "the banks of the Ohio . would be lined with men with muskets on their shoulders to keep off the emancipated slaves."[1]

                          According to historian Leon F. Litwack, Ohio "provided a classic example of how anti-immigration legislation could be invoked to harass Negro residents."[2] The state had enacted Black Laws in 1804 and 1807 that compelled blacks entering the state to post bond of $500 guaranteeing good behavior and to produce a court paper as proof that they were free.

                          "No extensive effort was made to enforce the bond requirement" Likwack wrote, "until 1829, when the rapid increase of the Negro population alarmed Cincinnati. The city authorities announced that the Black Laws would be enforced and ordered Negroes to comply or leave within thirty days."

                          Citizens of the city's "Little Africa" -- largely a ghetto of wooden shacks owned by whites -- appealed for a delay, and sent a delegation to Canada to try to find a place to settle there. But if the authorities were willing to offer more time, the Ohio mob was not, and whites in packs roamed through the black neighborhoods, burning and beating. The delegation came back from Upper Canada with the offer of a safe home from the governor. "Tell the Republicans on your side of the line that we royalists do not know men by their color. Should you come to us you will be entitled to all the privileges of the rest of His Majesty's subjects."

                          About half of the city's 2,200 blacks left, most of them apparently going to Canada. The proponents of strict enforcement of the Black Laws then discovered that they had driven off "the sober, honest, industrious, and useful portion of the colored population," which lessened "much of the moral restraint . on the idle and indolent, as well as the profligate" among the rest.[3]

                          The abolitionists in the Old Northwest pitched their appeal, in part, to the desire for a homogenous (white) Ohio by claiming that attempts by blacks to immigrate into the state would end when slavery ceased and there was no more reason for blacks to flee the South for "the uncongenial North."

                          Blacks petitioned against the exclusion laws, but the state legislature denied they had the right to petition the government "for any purpose whatsoever." Finally, after the Free Soil Party gained a degree of power in the state in 1849, a compromise partially repealed the Black Laws, ending the bond-posting requirement. It was a rare, if not unique, instance of a Northern state loosening its restrictions on black settlement.

                          The northern tier of the state had been settled by good stock from southern New England and to a degree shared in the liberal and abolitionist religion and politics of that region. But when it came to an issue like integrating schools, the people's plain feelings revealed themselves.

                          When the public school system spread to Ohio, citizens and legislators alike objected to educating blacks from public funds, in part because it would tend to encourage blacks to come there and settle.

                          In the end, the state, like Pennsylvania, required its district school directors to set up separate facilities for black and white children. The Ohio courts upheld this segregation in 1850 and 1859, rejecting the idea of integration and declaring that, "whether consistent with true philanthropy or not . there . still is an almost invincible repugnance to such communion and fellowship."

                          Yet segregation was not enough for many Ohio whites, and they insulted, opposed, and sometimes literally attacked private schools set up to teach black children. Whites destroyed newly opened schools for blacks in Zanesville in 1837 and Troy in 1840.

                          In the 1830s, Oberlin College decided to open its doors to black students. As soon as the plan became known "panic and despair" seized students, faculty, and town residents. The chief proponent of the plan hastened to assure them that he had no intention to let the place "full up with filthy stupid negroes," but the controversy continued. The board of trustees tried to table the plan, but by now the abolitionists were aroused and would accept no retreat. In the end, in 1835, the trustees punted the decision to the faculty, which was assured of allowing black students to attend the school.

                          The move threatened the very existence of the college. From New England, the quarter from which much of the school's student body and money came, the college's financial agent wrote predicting disaster. "For as soon as your darkies begin to come in in any considerable numbers, unless they are completely separated . the whites will begin to leave -- and at length your Institute will change colour. Why not have a black Institution, Dyed in the wool -- and let Oberlin be?"[4]

                          The college did survive integration, however, mostly because before 1860 only a token handful of blacks were admitted. In 1860, the figure for black students was 4 percent. Still, the school was shocklingly integrated by Northern standards. A Massachusetts girl wrote home from the school in 1852, assuring her family, "that we don't have to kiss the Niggars nor speak to them," and anyway only about six "pure Niggars" were a the school, the rest looked like mulattoes, and anyway they dressed better than most of the white students.

                          Ohio was one of the states that prohibited blacks from testifying in legal cases involving white people. When that ban was lifted as part of the Free Soil-Democratic compromise of 1849, observers nonetheless acknowledged that, in the southern part of the state, where most of the blacks lived and where prejudice ran strongest, social forces would keep the ban in practical effect.

                          As for the brief victories of the Free Soilers, by 1854, the state government was back to its old ways, and it expelled a black reporter from a freedman's newspaper from the Senate press galley because his presence there violated "the laws of nature and the moral and political well-being of both races."[5]

                          When the Republicans arose as the Northern political party, in Ohio as in Pennsylvania they kept their distance from abolitionists and blacks to assure their success. "The 'negro question,' " one state leader of the party wrote as Lincoln's election approached, "as we understand it, is a white man's question, the question of the right of free white laborers to the soil of the territories. It is not to be crushed or retarded by shouting 'Sambo' at us. We have no Sambo in our platform. . We object to Sambo. We don't want him about. We insist that he shall not be forced upon us."

                          1. Appendix to the "Congressional Globe," 30 Cong. 1 Sess., p.727.
                          2. Litwack, North of Slavery, Chicago, 1961, p.72.
                          3. "Cincinnati Gazette," Aug. 17, 1829.
                          4. Robert S. Fletcher, History of Oberlin College, 1943, vol. II, p.523.
                          5. Litwack, loc. cit., p.263.

                          History Department

                          Students explore yesterday to help inform today and tomorrow. They grasp that humanity has the capacity to create the magisterial works hanging in the Louvre as well as the horrors of Auschwitz, or the inspiring wonder of Angkor Wat as well as the Killing Fields of Cambodia. And they understand that history propels our lives.

                          Did you know?

                          James A. Garfield, who later became the 20th president of the United States, served as pastor of Franklin Circle Christian Church in 1857.

                          James Ford Rhodes, who was the rare combination of millionaire businessman and Pulitzer Prize winning historian, was born and raised in Ohio City. His brother Robert’s house is a landmark at 2905 Franklin Boulevard.

                          A plaque from the Ohio Historical Society on Bridge Avenue marks what is believed to be the birthplace of John Heisman, the innovative football coach. However some historians contend that he was actually born a few blocks farther to the west on the same street.

                          This piece is typical of the wooden bins once found in general stores and small groceries.

                          The Amazement Park

                          H. John Hildebrandt worked at Cedar Point for 40 years. As the legendary amusement park celebrates its 150th anniversary, he looks back at our connection to Ohio&rsquos summer playground. READ MORE >>

                          3 Questions: Nate Ebner

                          The Dublin native, Ohio State standout and NFL veteran&rsquos new book shares how his father shaped his personal journey through athletics and life. READ MORE >>

                          On A Mission

                          When &ldquoStar Trek&rdquo fan Russ Haslage set out to launch a fan club for his favorite science fiction franchise, he turned to the show&rsquos creator. Decades later, the International Federation of Trekkers has chapters around the globe and a headquarters in Huron, Ohio. READ MORE >>

                          The Robinson-Shuba Commemorative Statue

                          This addition to Youngstown&rsquos Wean Park immortalizes the famous handshake between baseball players George Shuba and Jackie Robinson. READ MORE >>

                          Travel Guides

                          40 Things Every Ohioan Must Do

                          The book is yours free with a paid three-year subscription to Ohio Magazine. Subscribe online with code OMWB19.