Nathaniel Massie

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Nathaniel Massie
Nathaniel Massie by Henry Howe.png
sketch by Henry Howe
first Speaker of the Ohio Senate
In office
March 1, 1803 – December 4, 1803
Preceded bynew office
Succeeded byDaniel Symmes
Personal details
Born(1763-12-28)December 28, 1763
Goochland, Virginia
DiedNovember 13, 1813(1813-11-13) (aged 49)
Paint Creek Falls, Ohio
Resting placeGrandview Cemetery, Chillicothe
Political partyDemocratic-Republican

Nathaniel Massie (December 28, 1763 – November 13, 1813) was a frontier surveyor in the Ohio Country (including the Virginia Military District)[1] who became a prominent land owner, politician, and soldier. He founded fourteen early towns in what became the State of Ohio, including its first capital, Chillicothe. In 1807, the Ohio General Assembly declared him the winner of the election for governor, but he refused the office.

Early life[edit]

A native of the colony of Virginia, Massie served briefly in the Virginia militia during the American Revolutionary War. After becoming a surveyor, he established the first town in the Virginia Military District at what is now Manchester. He platted the town of Chillicothe on his own land. Massie was one of the largest landowners in early Ohio, and served as a major general in the Ohio militia.

Political career[edit]

Massie served as a Ross county delegate to the 1802 Ohio Constitutional Convention[2] and was a leader of the Jeffersonian faction that supported statehood. He was a leader of the Chillicothe Junto, a group of Chillicothe Democratic-Republican politicians who brought about the admission of Ohio as a state in 1803, and largely controlled its politics for some years thereafter. Among his colleagues in the faction were Thomas Worthington and Edward Tiffin. He was a Presidential elector for Thomas Jefferson in 1804 and James Madison in 1808.[3] He was a Trustee of Ohio University from 1804 to 1808.[4] Massie served in the General Assembly and was the first president of the Ohio Senate.


Massie led troops in the War of 1812, but died of pneumonia in the late autumn of 1813 at the age of 49. He is interred in Grandview Cemetery, Chillicothe in Ross County, Ohio.[5][6]


The Nathaniel Massie Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in Chillicothe is named in the general's honor, as is Massie Township in Warren County, Ohio and the Clinton-Massie Local School District that serves the area.

Massie is a member of the Ohio Hall of Fame.[5]

A monument to Massie stands along U.S. Route 50, just west of Bainbridge, a town he founded. It commemorates his life, as well as marking the approximate location of his home in the Paint Valley. The memorial was dedicated in September 1938.[7]

The inscription on the monument reads: "Home Of General Nathaniel Massie. Built 1800, One Fourth Mile South. Nathaniel Massie, Born Goochland County, Virginia, December 28, 1763, 1800 Married Sarah Everard Mead, Died November 13, 1813. Revolutionary Soldier; Surveyor Of Wilderness Then Known As Northwest Territory And Locator Of Revolutionary War Land Grants. 1786-87 Cut Road Lexington, Kentucky To Great Kanawha River. 1791 Founded Manchester, Ohio. 1790-94 Explored Little Miami And Scioto Rivers To Their Sources. April 1796 Founded Chillicothe, Ohio. Massie Was Member Of Convention Framing First Ohio Constitution. Was First Speaker Of State Legislature. 1799 Organized First Militia Northwest Territory. Commissioned Major General. 1805 Founded Bainbridge, Ohio, One Of Fourteen Towns Founded By Him. Erected By The Ohio Society Daughters Of The American Colonists - Sept. 21, 1938."


  1. ^ "Nathaniel Massie". Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography. 4. 1900. p. 250.
  2. ^ "First Constitutional Convention, Convened November 1, 1802". Ohio Archaeological and Historical Publications. V: 131–132. 1896.
  3. ^ Taylor, William Alexander; Taylor, Aubrey Clarence (1899). Ohio statesmen and annals of progress: from the year 1788 to the year 1900 ... 1. State of Ohio. p. 64.
  4. ^ Walker, Charles M. (1869). History of Athens County, Ohio And Incidentally of the Ohio Land Company and the First Settlement of the State at Marietta etc. Robert Clarke & Company. pp. 346–348.
  5. ^ a b "Nathaniel Massie". Find A Grave. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  6. ^ "Grandview Cemetery". Grandview Cemetery. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  7. ^ Ohio Historical Society.

External sources[edit]