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Historical Glossary

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Ogden v. Saunders

In 1827 the Supreme Court ruled (4–3) that a state might enact a bankruptcy law granting debtors protection from their creditors for debts assumed after the law took effect, although it added that no state bankruptcy law could offer relief to residents of another state. By distinguishing between contracts already negotiated and the conditions under which contracts might be entered into at future dates, the decision provided a significant exception to the Court's general insistence that contracts were inviolable and beyond the scope of state laws.

Oglethorpe, James Edward

(b. London, England, 22 December 1696; d. Cranham Hall, Essex, England, 30 June 1785)    Having entered Parliament in 1722, Oglethorpe was the principal sponsor of the establishment of Georgia, one of the 20 trustees appointed to oversee its development, and de facto governor (1732–43). He founded Savannah, on 12 February 1733, formed peaceful relations with the Creek Indians, and fortified the frontier. In the war of Jenkins' Ear, he invaded Fla. and repulsed a Spanish invasion. He retired to England in 1743 after being court-martialed, and acquitted, of misadministering his military command. His relations with the Ga. trustees soured and he attended none of their meetings after 1749.


The treaty of Paris (1763) ceded Ohio to Britain. It was the scene of Dunmore's War. As British allies, its Indians raided the frontier in the Revolutionary War. Britain exercised de facto control over the area after 1784 and encouraged Indian attacks from Fort Miamis. The first permanent white settlement was founded at Marietta on 7 April 1788 and in December Cincinnati was settled. Efforts to pacify the Indians failed at St Clair's Defeat but prevailed at Fallen Timbers. The first treaty of Greenville opened about two-thirds of Ohio to white settlement and Jay's Treaty ended British military occupation. By 1800, it had 45,365 settlers (including 337 blacks) and became the 17th state on 1 March 1803. The Indians sold most of their lands by 1810 and the War of 1812 was the last occasion when they threatened the Ohio frontier.
The National Road and canal boom stimulated migration to Ohio, whose population increased by 302 percent from 1820 to 1860. In 1860 it had 2,339,511 inhabitants, of whom 98 percent were white and 14 percent were foreign-born; it ranked third among the states in population, second in the value of its farmland and livestock, and fourth in manufactures. It provided 313,180 USA troops (including 5,092 blacks) in the Civil War, but was also a major stronghold of Copperheads. It was invaded by CSA cavalry in 1863 and was the site of 19 military engagements.
It experienced moderate growth after 1870 and was displaced as the most populous midwest state by Ill. in 1890. In 1900 it had 4,157,545 residents, of whom 52 percent were rural, 98 percent white, and 11 percent foreign-born; it ranked fourth in population among the states, third in the value of its agricultural products and fifth in manufactures. It became a major center of the petroleum, rubber, and machine-tool industries after 1900, but moderate growth led to its decline from the fourth-largest state in 1900 to sixth in 1990. In 1990 it was 79 percent urban and had 10,847,115 people (87 percent white, 11 percent black, 1 percent Hispanic, 1 percent Asian), of whom 2.4 percent were foreign-born. Manufacturing and mining employed 29 percent of its workers.

Ohio gang

This term referred to associates, friends, and cronies of Warren Harding who received high office during his administration. Harding was personally honest, although naive, and many of his scandal-ridden administration's problems orginated with this group's eagerness to enrich themselves through public office.

Ohio idea

In 1867 Ohio Representative George Pendleton advocated using greenbacks to pay the principal of US bonds whose redemption was not required in gold or silver. The Democratic Party's 1868 platform endorsed this “Ohio idea” to inflate the money supply and ease the deflationary burden placed on debtors and small wage-earners by the contraction of the money supply.