"The Early Northwest Territory"

  • 08 Mar 2021
  • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Zoom, On line

Jim Swift

Monday, March 8, 21

Members ONLY

The Early Northwest Territory

This presentation reviews the transformation of the old Northwest Territory from a wilderness occupied by native inhabitants to a tamed land of farms, towns, roads and colleges.  In the early days of the United States the land north and west of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River was called the Northwest Territory.  Comprising the modern states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and part of Minnesota, this area has its own unique and interesting history. Beginning with early French exploration in the mid 1600s, advancing through the American Revolution up to a fully surveyed landscape by 1860, maps are employed to help to tell the story.  Particular attention is paid to the era between 1800 and 1860, during which time the territory was gradually purchased from native tribes by the United States government, surveyed into a huge grid, divided into states and counties and populated by folks of European descent.

Jim Swift is a professional surveyor with a tale to tell.  He performs surveys throughout west central Indiana with a primary focus on Boone County, where he has spent more than a decade searching for, and usually finding, the stones which mark the original section corners.  A keen student of history with a passion for old maps, Jim finds the history of the American Midwest to be a rich and interesting topic.  He holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree in History from St. Olaf College in Northfields, Minnesota and a Master of Science degree in Geomatics from the School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.  He resides in Crawfordsville, Indiana with his wife Beth, and owns and operates Swift Land Consulting LLC, Crawfordsville.