American History and Genealogy Project

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati, a city, port of entry, and capital of Hamilton co., O., 116 s. w. Columbus, 492 W. Cincinnati, the most populous city w. of the Alleghany mountains, and the sixth in the United States, is situated on the Ohio r., near the s. w. corner of the state of Ohio, in Hamilton co., 504 ms., by the course of the river, above its junction with the Mississippi. It is in 39° 6' 30" n. lat., and 84° 27' w. long, from Greenwich, and 7° 24' 45" w. from w. It is 116 s. w. from Columbus; 250 Cleveland; 120 Indianapolis; 270 Nashville, Tenn.; 850 New Orleans; 350 St. Louis; 105 Louisville; 518 Baltimore; 298 Pittsburgh; 617 Philadelphia; 492 Washington; 900 from New York, by Lake Erie, and 600 from Charleston, S. C. In 1795 it contained 500 inhabitants; in 1800, 750; in 1810, 2,510; in 1820, 9,642; in 183 J, 24,831; in 1810, 46,333. Besides this, there is estimated to be a floating population of from 2,000 to 3,000. Engaged in commerce, 2,226; in manufactures and trades, 10,866; learned professions, 431. It is built on an elevated plain, on the n. bank of the Ohio, 540 feet above tide water at Albany, and 25 feet below the level of Lake Erie; but low water mark is 431 above tide water, and 133 below the level of Lake Erie. The shore of the Ohio here forms a good landing for boats at all seasons of the year, the principal landing being paved to low water murk, in a substantial manner, and supplied with floating wharves, rendered necessary by the great rise and fall of the river at different times. The descent from the upper part of Cincinnati to low water mark on the Ohio, is 108 feet. The city is near the eastern extremity of a pleasant valley, about 12 miles in circumference, skirted to the n. by a circular ridge of hills, the summits of which are not more than 300 feet above the plain, but of picturesque appearance. The ground on which the city stands consists of two plains, the rear one elevated 50 or 60 feet above the front, though the ascent, by grading, has been extensively reduced to a gradual slope. The view of the city is beautiful from the hills in the rear; but as approached by water, it is neither extensive nor commanding.

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Excepting on the margin of the river, it is regularly laid out in streets and alleys, crossing each other at right angles. The streets running e. and w. are denominated, proceeding from the river, First, Second, &c, while those running n. and s. are named after the native trees, as Walnut, Sycamore, &c. Main-street extends from the steam-boat landing on the river directly n. to the northern boundary of the city. 14 streets, 7 in each direction, are 65 feet wide, and 3J6 feet apart. The central portion of the city is compactly built, with handsome houses and stores; but the extensive plan, in its outer parts, is but partially built up, and the houses are irregularly scattered. Many of the streets are well paved, and extensively shaded by trees. The houses are generally of stone or brick. The climate is changeable and subject to considerable extremes of heat and cold, but is, on the whole, healthy.

The court house, on Main Street, is 56 by 60 feet, and 120 feet high, to the top of the dome. The edifice of the Franklin and La Fayette banks of Cincinnati has a splendid portico of 8 Doric columns, after the model of the Parthenon at Athens, but is in a confined situation. It is 79 feet long and 60 feet deep, exclusive of the portico. Several of the churches are fine specimens of architecture, and a number of the hotels are spacious and elegant. There are 1 market houses, a bazaar, a theatre, a college, an Athenaeum, a medical college, a mechanics' institute, 2 museums, a lunatic asylum, a high school, and a number of large and commodious houses for public schools. Within the last year 800 buildings have been erected, among which are many large warehouses and stores, and several beautiful churches.

Cincinnati College was founded in 1819 and had, in 1840. 8 instructors, and 84 students. It has academical, medical, and law departments. The Medical College of Ohio has trustees ap-pointed by the legislature every 3 years, and it has 8 professors, and 130 students. The College of Professional Teachers was formed in 1832, and has for its object the improvement of schools in the western country, and holds an annual meeting in October. The Mechanics' Institute is formed for the improvement of mechanics in scientific knowledge, by means of popular lectures and mutual instruction. It has a valuable philosophical apparatus, a respectable library, and a reading-room, much frequented by young men. The Cincinnati Lyceum furnishes an instructive and fashionable place of resort to the citizens, by its popular lectures and debates through the winter season. It has a good library and a reading room. The Athenreum is a respectable literary institution, under the direction of the Catholics, in which the mathematics, philosophy, and the classics, as well as the modern languages, are taught by competent professors. It has over 70 students, and a large and splendid edifice. The Lane Seminary, at Walnut Hills, 2 miles from the city, has 3 professors, 61 students, and a library of 10,300 volumes. It has a literary as well as theological department. Woodward High School, named after its founder, gives education, in part gratuitously, to a large number of students. It has 4 instructors, and a large and commodious building. There is a great number of respectable private schools, and 20 public schools for males and females, in which there are 2,000 pupils. There are 43 churches in Cincinnati, of which 3 are old school Presbyterian, 4 new school Presbyterian, 2 Scots Presbyterian, 2 Episcopal, 3 Baptist, 7 Methodist, 2 Protestant Methodist, 2 Catholic, 2 Friends, and various others.

Cincinnati is an extensive manufacturing place-Its destitution of water power has been extensively compensated by the employment of steam mills. There were in 1840, 42 foreign commercial and 36 commission houses, with a capital of $5,200,000; 1,035 retail stores, with a capital of $12,877,000; 19 lumber yards, capital $133,000; 245 persons were engaged in internal transportation, who, with 790 butchers, packers, &c, employed a capital of $4,071,930; 14 furnaces, cap. $478,000; value of machinery manufactured, $545,000; hardware, cutlery, &c, $289,000; precious metals, $48,000; various other metals, $713,000; 4 woolen fac, cap. $39,000; 1 cotton fac, cap. $6,000; tobacco manufactures, capital $61,000; 13 tanneries, cap. $156,000; manufactures of leather, as saddleries, &c, cap. $552,000; 2 distilleries, and 6 breweries, with a capital of $152,000; paints, drugs, &c, cap. $26,000; 4 rope walks, cap. $34,000; carriages and wagons, cap. $63,000; 10 flouring m., 8 saw m., 2 oil m., total cap. $367,000; vessels built, value, $403,000; furniture amounted to $459,000; 264 brick and stone, and 74 wooden houses built, cost $1,196,000; 32 printing offices, 13 binderies, produced 3,800 daily newspapers, 33,100 weekly, 1,800 semi-weekly, and 17,200 periodicals, with a capital of $266,000. Total cap. in manufac. $7,469,912. 2 colleges, 80 students, 2 acad. 120 students, 51 sch. 5,445 scholars. There were 5 incorporated and 2 unincorporated banks, with an aggregate capital of nearly $6,000,000.

From many directions, good roads converge to this place, and bring the rich products of the surrounding country to this market. The Miami railroad extends from Cincinnati 85 miles to Springfield. The Miami canal extends from Cincinnati 178 miles to Defiance, where it joins the Wabash and Erie canal. The internal trade of Cincinnati is thus very extensive. The tonnage of the port in 1810, was 12,052. There are 7 daily papers, which are also issued weekly or tri-weekly; 8 weekly papers, a large number of magazines, issued semi-monthly or monthly, and a number of religious magazines, published monthly.

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The municipal government of the city consists of a president, recorder, and 21 councilors, 3 for each of the 7 wards into which the city is divided.

Cincinnati was founded in 1789, by emigrants from New England and New Jersey, on the site of Fort Washington. It has grown with great rapidity, and now ranks as the sixth place in population in the United States; and, it being the great emporium of the West, it must continue to increase with the growth of the rapidly rising country with which it is connected.

Table of Contents

Source: A Complete Descriptive And Statistical Gazetteer Of The United States Of America, By Daniel Haskel, A. M and J. Calvin Smith, Published By Sherman & Smith, 1843

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