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Moses Cleavland Passes Away

Today in Masonic history Moses Cleavland passes away in 1806.

Moses Cleavland was an American politician, lawyer, solider and surveyor.

Cleavland was born in Connecticut and graduated from Yale in 1777 during the American Revolution. Cleavland joined the 2nd Connecticut Regiment of the Continental Army as an Ensign after graduating.

In 1779 he was given command over a group of combat engineers nicknamed "sappers and miners". By 1781 he had resigned from the military and opened a law practice in Canterbury, Connecticut.

In 1788 Cleavland was a member of the Connecticut convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution. Shortly after he was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly. In 1796 Cleavland was commissioned as a brigadier general in the Connecticut Militia.

Also in 1796 Cleavland setup with a party from Schenectady, New York for the Western Reserve, also referred to as New Connecticut since it was reserved to Connecticut by Congress. The area would be in what is now northeastern Ohio.

Cleavland party consisted of about 50 people some traveling by land and the rest traveling by water. When the party reached Buffalo they were met by representatives from the Mohawk nation and Seneca Tribe. Both claimed ownership of the land. Cleavland negotiated with the both parties to allow his party access to the Western reserve.

On arriving in the Western Reserve Cleavland and his team began surveying the land. On July 22, 1796 the party found themselves at the head of the Cuyahoga River. Going ashore, Cleavland stood looking at a plain with luxuriant forest growth declared that the site where he stood was a favorable spot for a city. The first year there were only 4 settlers in Cleavland, by 1820 it had grown to 150 inhabitants.

After Cleavland finished the survey he returned to Connecticut and would never return to Ohio.

Cleavland was initiated into a military lodge and was Worshipful Master of Moriah Lodge in Connecticut.