Mount Pleasant, Jefferson County, OH was the one area selected for the newcomers. Mount Pleasant had been settled in 1796 by an advance party of twenty men of which none were Quakers. They had scouted  the area for a settlement. Robert Carothers purchased land in July 1800 and later he sold land to Jesse Thomas, a Friend, who brought his family to Ohio from North Carolina in 1802. Those two men laid out the village of Mount Pleasant which was known for several years as, “Jesse-Bob Town.”

By the close of 1800, it is estimated that a hundred families of Friends were in the Ohio Country. Rufus M. Jones wrote, “Something happened up and down the entire Atlantic coast from Georgia to Long Island, and in a less degree also in New York and New England. Whole meetings in many instances moved westward in a body, and pushed out to find new homes and a new career in the wilderness of the north-west.”

By 1826 the Old Northwest held more than eight thousand Quakers who lived among the limestone hills of Jefferson, Belmont, Harrison and Columbiana counties in the eastern part of the state of Ohio. For nearly seventy-five years, one-third of the Friends in America lived within the boundaries of the Old Northwest Territory.

Another slight migration wave took place in 1835 to 1840 when Quakers with large families sought to secure land for their children. When the National Road was built in eastern Ohio in the late 1820’s, it passed through Quaker country at St. Clairsvlle. Farmland then increased in value.

Some “Firsts” in Quaker Meetings
·        Concord – First monthly meeting in the Northwest Territory and what was to become the state of Ohio; consisted of two preparative meetings, Concord and Short Creek. First sessions were held December 1801.
·        Short Creek – First quarterly meeting in Ohio was held June 1807.
·        Ohio Yearly Meeting – First yearly meeting west of the Alleghenies: forerunner of Friends meetings in the Northwest Territory was August 1813. Two thousand people were estimated. Others say it was closer to three thousand people in attendance.
·        Horton Howard was named clerk, William Wilson was chosen to assist him, and Enoch Harris was selected treasurer.

Some “Firsts” in Quaker Meetings


·        Concord – First monthly meeting in the Northwest Territory and what was to become the state of Ohio; consisted of two preparative meetings, Concord and Short Creek. First sessions were held December 1801.

·        Short Creek – First quarterly meeting in Ohio was held June 1807.

·        Ohio Yearly Meeting – First yearly meeting west of the Alleghenies: forerunner of Friends meetings in the Northwest Territory was August 1813. Two thousand people were estimated. Others say it was closer to three thousand people in attendance.

·        Horton Howard was named clerk, William Wilson was chosen to assist him, and Enoch Harris was selected treasurer.


Mount Pleasant Meeting House after restoration
{Photo's  courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio}


Mount Pleasant Friends Boarding School operated from 1837 to 1875. 


George K. Jenkins’ home, built in 1807, served as a school and as an Underground Railroad station.