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Ohio Statehood Day, March 1 2014

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    Anne Evans
    Anne Evans
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    Ohio Statehouse to Commemorate Statehood Day

    Columbus, OH – In commemoration of Ohio’s founding on March 1, 1803, the Ohio Statehouse will host a small exhibit in the Statehouse Rotunda February 27 through March 3. The Statehood Day exhibit will include the film, “The Debate Over Statehood,” which depicts the struggle for Statehood between Arthur St. Clair and Thomas Worthington.

    The film highlights Ohio’s journey to statehood through an interesting tale of political intrigue between Federalists and Anti-Federalists, a governmental rivalry rooted in the fight for ratification of the U.S. Constitution. The display will also include the original portraits of St. Clair and Worthington and a model of the first Columbus Capitol. Seating will be available.

    Arriving to Ohio in 1796 Thomas Worthington, quickly, emerged as a political leader in the Northwest Territory. Worthington built his home, Adena, near Chillicothe. From 1799 to 1803, Worthington served in the territorial legislature. A committed member of the Democratic-Republican Party, Worthington became a major opponent of the Northwest Territory’s Governor Arthur St. Clair and the Federalist Party. St. Clair actively opposed Ohio’s admittance to the Union. He hoped that Ohio would not become a single state but rather two states.

    Worthington and several others urged President Thomas Jefferson, to make Ohio a state. Worthington personally traveled to Washington, D.C. to urge Ohio statehood. Jefferson responded by approving the Enabling Act of 1802. This act called on the people of Ohio to form a constitutional convention and to fulfill other requirements of the Northwest Ordinance to become a state. St. Clair denounced the Enabling Act, prompting Jefferson to remove St. Clair as territorial governor. Ohio became the seventeenth state of the United States on March 1, 1803.

    Worthington served in the Ohio General Assembly briefly in 1803 but became one of Ohio’s first two United States Senators in that same year. He served as a senator until 1807. He then became a member of the Ohio General Assembly for the next two years. In 1810, he returned to the United States Senate. While in the Senate, Worthington urged the United States government to send military assistance to the settlers of Ohio to aid them against the Indian forces of Tecumseh and the Prophet. He also believed that the United States was too weak to defend itself adequately against the British and opposed the War of 1812. He resigned his senate seat in December 1814 to become governor of Ohio. He was reelected governor in 1816.

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