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Ohio Literary Timeline

1788-1875
1876-1900
1901-1920
1921-1930
1931-1940
1941-1950

1951-1960
1961-1970
1971-1980
1981-1990
1991-2000
2001-Present

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1788

Marietta, named in honor of Marie Antoinette, becomes Ohio's first permanent settlement.

1796

The settlement of Chillicothe is founded.

The state's first public library is believed to have been set up this year, in Belpre near Marietta.

1802

A second library was organized at Yeatman's Tavern in Cincinnati, which was then known as Losantiville.

1803

On March 1, Ohio becomes the seventeenth state admitted to the Union and Chillicothe is the first capital of the state.

1804

Ohio University in Athens receives its charter and becomes the first University in Ohio.

1810

Zanesville is named the capital of Ohio.

1811

Harriet Beecher Stowe is born on June 14 in Litchfield, Connecticut.

1816

Columbus becomes the state capital of Ohio.

1817

Charles Osborn of Mt. Pleasant, Ohio, publishes The Philanthropist, the first antislavery newspaper in the United States.

1825

Construction begins on the Miami and Erie canals.

1832

Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati chooses the famous preacher Dr. Lymon Beecher to be president. Dr. Beecher moves his family, including daughter Harriet, to Cincinnati.

1833

Oberlin College was founded in Oberlin, Ohio. It is the nation's first interracial, coeducational college.

1837

William Dean Howells is born on March 1 in Martinsville, Ohio, which is now known as Martin's Ferry.

1842

Novelist, poet, and critic Ambrose Gwinett Bierce is born on June 24 in a log cabin in Meigs County, Ohio.

1851

Sojourner Truth, an African-American woman, gave her famous "Ain't I a Woman?" speech at the Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. The Women's Rights Movement grew in large part out of the antislavery movement.

1852

The book Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly, by Harriet Beecher Stowe is published. Based on actual incidents, the book is a best-seller and is credited with some as, if not triggering the Civil War, then certainly making it inevitable.

1853

Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin: Presenting the Original Facts and Documents Upon Which the Story is Founded.

1854

Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands is a two-volume set written by Harriet Beecher Stowe that describes her trip to Scotland, England, and Northern Europe. Stowe was invited to speak in Great Britain to antislavery societies.

1856

Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes the two-volume antislavery book Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp.

1858

Charles Waddell Chesnutt is born on June 20 in Cleveland, Ohio. Chesnutt is considered to be the first African-American author to use fiction to chronicle the experiences of black life.

1859

Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel The Minister's Wooing is published.

1860

William Dean Howells's book The Lives and Speeches of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin is published.

1861

The Civil War starts on May 6 when President Abraham Lincoln declares a state of insurrection in the southern states.

Ambrose Bierce enlists in the army in Indiana. Later this year he is involved in his first military action against the Confederates in Virginia. His first-hand experience during the Civil War serves as the basis for some of his works.

1862

O. Henry (William Sidney Porter) was born on September 11 in North Carolina.

1863

President Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation. The proclamation declares "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."

1865

The Confederate States of America surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, ending the Civil War on April 9.

1866

The novel Venetian Life, Travel and Description by William Dean Howells is published.

1868

The 14th Amendment is ratified, making African Americans full citizens of the U.S., prohibiting states from denying equal protection or due process of law. Women petition to be included but are turned down.

Ulysses S. Grant, from Point Pleasant, Ohio, is elected President of the United States.

1869

Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes Old Town Folks, the first of several novels about New England.

The Cincinnati Redstockings becomes the first professional baseball team.

W. F. Semple of Mount Vernon patents chewing gum.

1870

The 15th Amendment is ratified, guaranteeing the right to vote will not be denied on account of race. First segregation law is passed in Tennessee, mandating separation of African Americans from whites on trains. By 1885, most southern states have laws requiring separate schools.

Lady Byron Vindicated is a nonfiction work published by Harriet Beecher Stowe to defend her friend Lady Byron.

1871

The novel Italian Journeys, Travel and Description by William Dean Howells is published.

Harriet Beecher Stowe's satirical society novel My Wife and I is published.

1872

William Dean Howells publishes two novels, Their Wedding Journey (the story of Basil and Isabel March) and Suburban Sketches.

Ambrose Bierce's first book, Nuggets and Dust, is published.

Paul Laurence Dunbar, renowned African American poet, is born on June 27 in Dayton, Ohio. Both of his parents are former slaves.

Zane Grey (Pearl Zane Gray) is born on January 31 in Zanesville, Ohio, a town founded by his mother's family.

1873

William Dean Howells's novel A Chance Acquaintance is published.

Ambrose Bierce's book The Fiend's Delight is published.

1874

The novel A Foregone Conclusion by William Dean Howells is published.

Ambrose Bierce's book Cobwebs from an Empty Skull is published.

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