This influential Ohio politician, judge and educator -- originally from Connecticut and an acquaintance of George Washington -- helped to write and sign that state's Constitution; an ardent Abolitionist, he drafted the Constitution in such a way as to prohibit slavery in Ohio; later a trustee of Ohio University. Item #27051
ADS, 1p, 8" X 6½", Ames, Ohio, 1803 January 13. Good plus. Some edgewear and irregular mild age toning. An important regional document establishing the first teaching position in Ames Township, southern Ohio, signed by Cutler and six early settlers. Reads in full: "Whereas it being very essential to promote Virtue secure happiness both public and private that Schools and the means of Instructions Should be supported therefore we the subscribers agree to pay to Charles Cutler fourteen dollars per month for Teaching a school at Ames for the three Insuing months and will pay in proportion to each scholar we shall anex to our names the payments to be made to E Cutler in labour or produce at cash price Said E Cutler having become responsible to said Charles Cutler for the same." Cutler himself thus signs three times, twice in the text and once at the top of the list (along with "6 Scholar"). Six other Ames pioneers sign below him. In order: 1.) BENJAMIN BROWN (1745-1817), a "Minute Man" in the American Revolution who fought at Bunker Hill, captain in the Eighth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers; moved to Ames in 1799, a prominent local resident who held different township offices; father of General John Brown. 2.) GEORGE EWING, himself a former schoolteacher, had served in the Continental Army. 3.) RACHEL LENOX. 4.) BENJAMIN L. BROWN. 5.) SILVANUS AMES (1771-1823), "Judge Ames," a famed local jurist and the second sheriff of Ames County; long-time Ohio University trustee. 6.) WILLIAM GREEN. (Note that both a "Benja'n Brown" and a "Benja. L Brown" sign; given Benjamin Brown signs first after Cutler and just before Ewing, we believe that this first Brown is the reknowned Captain Brown.) Cutler and Ewing first set up this community in 1799, and along with Captain Brown and Judge Ames are considered the town's founding fathers. "Schools of an elevated character," Ephraim Cutler wrote elsewhere, "were soon established." In 1802 the first one-room school cabin was established on Cutler's property, with Charles Cutler -- A Harvard College graduate, presumably related to Ephraim -- as the first teacher. Hard currency was in notoriously short supply at the time, so payment "in labour or produce" would have been a typical arrangement. This document would appear to be hiring him for his second term there. A delightful and rare item establishing one of the region's first schools.