General Land Office
The General Land Office was an independent agency of the United States government responsible for public domain lands in the United States. It was created in 1812 to take over functions conducted by the United States Department of the Treasury. Starting with the passage of the Land Ordinance of 1785, which created the Public Land Survey System, the Treasury Department had overseen the survey of the "Northwest Territory", including what is now the state of Ohio. Placed under the Department of the Interior when that department was formed in 1849, it was merged with the United States Grazing Service to become the Bureau of Land Management on July 16, 1946; the GLO oversaw the surveying and sale of the public lands in the Western United States and administered the Homestead Act and the Preemption Act in disposal of public lands. The frantic pace of public land sales in the 19th century American West led to the idiomatic expression "land-office business", meaning a thriving or high-volume trade.
The GLO was placed under the Secretary of the Interior when the Department of the Interior was formed in 1849. Reacting to public concerns about forest conservation, Congress in 1891 authorized the President to withdraw timber lands from disposal. Grover Cleveland created 17 forest reserves of nearly 18,000,000 acres, which were managed by the GLO. In 1905, Congress transferred responsibility for these reserves to the newly created Forest Service, under the Department of Agriculture. Beginning in the early 20th century, the GLO shifted from a primary function of land sales to issuing leases and collecting grazing fees for livestock raised on public lands, royalties from minerals off lands withdrawn from disposal under the Withdrawal Act of 1910, as well as other custodial duties. Thus, beginning around 1900, the GLO gained a focus for conservation of renewable public resources, as well as for their exploitation. On July 16, 1946, the GLO was merged with the United States Grazing Service to become the Bureau of Land Management, an agency of the Interior Department responsible for administering the remaining 264,000,000 acres of public lands still in federal ownership.
An early commissioner was John McLean an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. The BLM makes images of GLO records issued between 1787 and present publicly available on its website. Since 1990, the BLM's Geographic Coordinates Database program has endeavored to generate coordinate values for each established PLSS corner using the official survey records of the GLO and BLM on a township basis; the GCDB data are available for download by the public in GIS shapefile format from the GeoCommunicator Land Survey Information System website. The GCDB coordinates are available to the public in the GCDB flat file and GCDB coverage formats via the National Operations Center website. List of Commissioners of the General Land Office Beginning Point of the U. S. Public Land Survey Beginning Point of the Louisiana Purchase Survey National Irrigation Congress Malcolm J. Rohrbough; the Land Office Business: The Settlement and Administration of American Public Lands, 1789-1837. Oxford U. P.
General Land Office Records: The Official Federal Land Records Site, at Bureau of Land Management
Public Land Survey System
The Public Land Survey System is the surveying method developed and used in the United States to plat, or divide, real property for sale and settling. Known as the Rectangular Survey System, it was created by the Land Ordinance of 1785 to survey land ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Paris in 1783, following the end of the American Revolution. Beginning with the Seven Ranges, in present-day Ohio, the PLSS has been used as the primary survey method in the United States. Following the passage of the Northwest Ordinance, in 1787, the Surveyor General of the Northwest Territory platted lands in the Northwest Territory; the Surveyor General was merged with the General Land Office, which became a part of the U. S. Bureau of Land Management. Today, the BLM controls the survey and settling of the new lands. Contrary to what some believe, the BLM does not manage the State Plane Coordinate System; the SPCS is managed by the National Geodetic Survey, known as the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.
Proposed by Thomas Jefferson to create a nation of "yeoman farmers", the PLSS began shortly after the American Revolutionary War, when the federal government became responsible for large areas of land west of the original thirteen states. The government wished both to distribute land to Revolutionary War soldiers in reward for their services, as well as to sell land as a way of raising money for the nation. Before this could happen, the land needed to be surveyed; the Land Ordinance of 1785 marks the beginning of the Public Land Survey System. The Confederation Congress was in debt following the Declaration of Independence. With little power to tax, the federal government decided to use the sale of the Western Territories to pay off American Revolutionary War debt; the Public Land Survey System has been expanded and modified by Letters of Instruction and Manuals of Instruction, issued by the General Land Office and the Bureau of Land Management and continues in use in most of the states west of Pennsylvania, south to Florida and Mississippi, west to the Pacific Ocean, north into the Arctic in Alaska.
The original colonies continued the British system of bounds. This system describes property lines based on local markers and bounds drawn by humans based on topography. A typical, yet simple, description under this system might read "From the point on the north bank of Muddy Creek one mile above the junction of Muddy and Indian Creeks, north for 400 yards northwest to the large standing rock, west to the large oak tree, south to Muddy Creek down the center of the creek to the starting point." In New England, this system was supplemented by drawing town plats. The metes-and-bounds system was used to describe a town of a rectangular shape, 4 to 6 miles on a side. Within this boundary, a map or plat was maintained that showed all the individual lots or properties. There are some difficulties with this system: Irregular shapes for properties make for much more complex descriptions. Over time, these descriptions become problematic as trees streams move by erosion, it wasn't useful for the large, newly surveyed tracts of land being opened in the west, which were being sold sight unseen to investors.
In addition this system didn't work until there were people on the ground to maintain records. In the 1783 Treaty of Paris recognizing the United States, Britain recognized American rights to the land south of the Great Lakes and west to the Mississippi River; the Continental Congress passed the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance in 1787 to control the survey and settling of the new lands. The original 13 colonies donated their western lands to the new Union, for the purpose of giving land for new states; these include the lands that formed the Northwest Territory, Tennessee and Mississippi. The state that gave up the most was Virginia, whose original claim included most of the Northwest Territory and Kentucky, too; some of the western land was claimed by more than one state in the Northwest, where parts were claimed by Virginia and Connecticut, all three of which had claimed lands all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The first surveys under the new rectangular system were in eastern Ohio in an area called the Seven Ranges.
The Beginning Point of the U. S. Public Land Survey is located at a point on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border between East Liverpool and Ohioville, Pennsylvania, on private property. A National Historic Landmark marker commemorating the site lies on the side of a state highway 1,112 feet to the north of the point. Ohio was surveyed in several major subdivisions, collectively described as the Ohio Lands, each with its own meridian and baseline; the early surveying in Ohio, was performed with more speed than care, with the result that many of the oldest townships and sections vary from their prescribed shape and area. Proceeding westward, accuracy became more of a consideration than rapid sale, the system was simplified by establishing one major north-south line and one east-west line that control descriptions for an entire state or more. For example, a single Willamette Meridian serves both Washington. County lines follow the survey, so there are many rectangular counties in the Midwest and the West.
The system is in use in some capacity in most of the country. The territory under the jurisdiction of the Thirteen Colonies at the time of independence did not adopt the PLSS, with the exception of th
Indiana is a U. S. state located in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of North America. Indiana is the 17th most populous of the 50 United States, its capital and largest city is Indianapolis. Indiana was admitted to the United States as the 19th U. S. state on December 11, 1816. Indiana borders Lake Michigan to the northwest, Michigan to the north, Ohio to the east, Kentucky to the south and southeast, Illinois to the west. Before becoming a territory, various indigenous peoples and Native Americans inhabited Indiana for thousands of years. Since its founding as a territory, settlement patterns in Indiana have reflected regional cultural segmentation present in the Eastern United States. Indiana has a diverse economy with a gross state product of $359.12 billion in 2017. Indiana has several metropolitan areas with populations greater than 100,000 and a number of smaller industrial cities and towns. Indiana is home to professional sports teams, including the NFL's Indianapolis Colts and the NBA's Indiana Pacers, hosts several notable athletic events, such as the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 motorsports races.
The state's name means "Land of the Indians", or "Indian Land". It stems from Indiana's territorial history. On May 7, 1800, the United States Congress passed legislation to divide the Northwest Territory into two areas and named the western section the Indiana Territory. In 1816, when Congress passed an Enabling Act to begin the process of establishing statehood for Indiana, a part of this territorial land became the geographic area for the new state. A resident of Indiana is known as a Hoosier; the etymology of this word is disputed, but the leading theory, as advanced by the Indiana Historical Bureau and the Indiana Historical Society, has "Hoosier" originating from Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee as a term for a backwoodsman, a rough countryman, or a country bumpkin. The first inhabitants in what is now Indiana were the Paleo-Indians, who arrived about 8000 BC after the melting of the glaciers at the end of the Ice Age. Divided into small groups, the Paleo-Indians were nomads, they created stone tools made out of chert by chipping and flaking.
The Archaic period, which began between 5000 and 4000 BC, covered the next phase of indigenous culture. The people developed new tools as well as techniques to cook food, an important step in civilization; such new tools included different types of spear knives, with various forms of notches. They made ground-stone tools such as woodworking tools and grinding stones. During the latter part of the period, they built earthwork mounds and middens, which showed that settlements were becoming more permanent; the Archaic period ended at about 1500 BC, although some Archaic people lived until 700 BC. The Woodland period commenced around 1500 BC. During this period, the people created ceramics and pottery, extended their cultivation of plants. An early Woodland period group named the Adena people had elegant burial rituals, featuring log tombs beneath earth mounds. In the middle portion of the Woodland period, the Hopewell people began developing long-range trade of goods. Nearing the end of the stage, the people developed productive cultivation and adaptation of agriculture, growing such crops as corn and squash.
The Woodland period ended around 1000 AD. The Mississippian culture emerged, lasting from 1000 AD until the 15th century, shortly before the arrival of Europeans. During this stage, the people created large urban settlements designed according to their cosmology, with large mounds and plazas defining ceremonial and public spaces; the concentrated settlements depended on the agricultural surpluses. One such complex was the Angel Mounds, they had large public areas such as plazas and platform mounds, where leaders lived or conducted rituals. Mississippian civilization collapsed in Indiana during the mid-15th century for reasons that remain unclear; the historic Native American tribes in the area at the time of European encounter spoke different languages of the Algonquian family. They included the Shawnee and Illini, they were joined by refugee tribes from eastern regions including the Delaware who settled in the White and Whitewater River Valleys. In 1679, French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle was the first European to cross into Indiana after reaching present-day South Bend at the Saint Joseph River.
He returned the following year to learn about the region. French-Canadian fur traders soon arrived, bringing blankets, tools and weapons to trade for skins with the Native Americans. By 1702, Sieur Juchereau established the first trading post near Vincennes. In 1715, Sieur de Vincennes built Fort Miami at Kekionga, now Fort Wayne. In 1717, another Canadian, Picote de Beletre, built Fort Ouiatenon on the Wabash River, to try to control Native American trade routes from Lake Erie to the Mississippi River. In 1732, Sieur de Vincennes built a second fur trading post at Vincennes. French Canadian settlers, who had left the earlier post because of hostilities, returned in larger numbers. In a period of a few years, British colonists arrived from the East and contended against the Canadians for control of the lucrative fur trade. Fighting between the French and British colonists occurred throughout the 1750s as a result; the Native American tribes of Indiana sided with th
United States Government Publishing Office
The United States Government Publishing Office is an agency of the legislative branch of the United States federal government. The office produces and distributes information products and services for all three branches of the Federal Government, including U. S. passports for the Department of State as well as the official publications of the Supreme Court, the Congress, the Executive Office of the President, executive departments, independent agencies. An act of Congress changed the office's name to its current form in 2014; the Government Printing Office was created by congressional joint resolution on June 23, 1860. It began operations March 4, 1861, with 350 employees and reached a peak employment of 8,500 in 1972; the agency began transformation to computer technology in the 1980s. For its entire history, GPO has occupied the corner of North Capitol Street NW and H Street NW in the District of Columbia; the large red brick building that houses the GPO was erected in 1903 and is unusual in being one of the few large, red brick government structures in a city where most government buildings are marble and granite.
An additional structure was attached to its north in years. The activities of GPO are defined in the public printing and documents chapters of Title 44 of the United States Code; the Director, who serves as the head of GPO, is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Director selects a Superintendent of Documents; the Superintendent of Documents is in charge of the dissemination of information at the GPO. This is accomplished through the Federal Depository Library Program, the Cataloging and Indexing Program and the Publication Sales Program, as well as operation of the Federal Citizen Information Center in Pueblo, Colorado. Adelaide Hasse was the founder of the Superintendent of Documents classification system. GPO first used 100 percent recycled paper for the Congressional Record and Federal Register from 1991-1997, under Public Printers Robert Houk and Michael DiMario. GPO resumed using recycled paper in 2009. In March 2011, GPO issued a new illustrated official history covering the agency's 150 years of Keeping America Informed.
With demand for print publications falling and a move underway to digital document production and preservation, the name of the GPO was changed to "Government Publishing Office" in a provision of an omnibus government funding bill passed by Congress in December 2014. Following signature of this legislation by President Barack Obama, the name change took place on December 17, 2014. By law, the Public Printer heads the GPO; the position of Public Printer traces its roots back to Benjamin Franklin and the period before the American Revolution, when he served as "publick printer", whose job was to produce official government documents for Pennsylvania and other colonies. When the agency was renamed in December 2014 the title "Public Printer" was changed to "Director". Davita Vance-Cooks was therefore the first "Director" of GPO. Public Printers: Almon M. Clapp John D. Defrees Sterling P. Rounds Thomas E. Benedict Frank W. Palmer Thomas E. Benedict Frank W. Palmer, O. J. Ricketts Charles A. Stillings, William S. Rossiter, Capt. Henry T. Brian John S. Leech Samuel B. Donnelly Cornelius Ford George H. Carter Augustus E. Giegengack, John J. Deviny John J. Deviny, Phillip L. Cole Raymond Blattenberger, John M. Wilson, Felix E. Cristofane James L. Harrison Adolphus N. Spence, Harry J. Humphrey, L.
T. Golden Thomas F. McCormick John J. Boyle, Samuel Saylor Danford L. Sawyer, Jr. William J. Barrett Ralph E. Kennickell, Jr. Joseph E. Jenifer Robert Houk, Michael F. DiMario Michael F. DiMario Bruce James, William H. Turri Robert C. Tapella William J. Boarman Davita Vance-Cooks GPO contracts out much of the federal government's printing but prints the official journals of government in-house, including: Code of Federal Regulations Public and Private Laws The Congressional Record The Federal Register, the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, notices of Federal agencies and organizations. United States Code United States Statutes at Large House Journal and Senate Journal GPO has been producing U. S. passports since the 1920s. The United States Department of State began issuing e-passports in 2006; the e-Passport includes an electronic chip embedded in the cover that contains the same information, printed in the passport: name and place of birth, dates of passport issuance and expiration, passport number, photo of the bearer.
GPO produces the blank e-Passport, while the Department of State receives and processes applications and issues individual passports. GPO ceased production of legacy passports in May 2007, shifting production to e-passports. In March 2008, the Washington Times published a three-part story about the outsourcing of electronic passports to overseas
Captain William Lytle, son of Christopher Lytle, 1693-1783, from Cumberland County. Pa. served in the British army in the French and Indian War and was deeded 1,200 acres of land for service in the Revolutionary War. He solicited settlers to follow him with the promise of land in Kentucky part of Virginia. In April 1780, Capt. Lytle and his family led 63 Kentucky flatboats of settlers accompanied by 1000 fighting men, down the Ohio to the falls of the Ohio, they passed the future site of Cincinnati April 11 where they attacked and chased an Indian party which escaped on horseback. They continued on to Beargrass Creek, landing on April 15, 1780. Lytle made his permanent home near Lexington, Ky, in August, 1787. Three Lytle relatives were named Surveyor General of the Northwest Territory, based in Cincinnati after 1808. Family members included William Lytle II, the Surveyor General of Illinois, Congressman Robert Todd Lytle, Brig. Gen. William Haines Lytle, members of the Livingood family. Captain Lytle gave land to his daughter Anne for a wedding gift on which she and her husband, Judge John Rowan, built the Federal Hill Mansion, in Bardstown, which, according to tradition, inspired the song My Old Kentucky Home.
His son, William Lytle, amassed a fortune surveying the lands of Revolutionary War veterans granted land in Ohio, was a good friend of Andrew Jackson, serving in his "kitchen cabinet". Considered the first landed millionaire in the West, Lytle lost most of his money during a financial panic when western landowners could not pay their debts and the banks in Cincinnati failed. Using the land from his father's land grant, he founded Cincinnati College and Cincinnati Law College, he funded it with $500 of his personal money, land donated by his father William Lytle, $500 he solicited from a group of prominent first citizens of Cincinnati. Each shareholder took turns serving on the Board of the Cincinnati CollegeAs a lad of only sixteen, William rode with Colonel Benjamin Logan on his famed "Logan's Raid," a punitive expedition against the Shawnee villages located near the headwaters of the Great Miami and Mad Rivers in west central Ohio in October, 1786. Lytle penned his eyewitness account of the raid, of the brutal murder of the great Shawnee chief Moluntha by Colonel Hugh McGary which Lytle himself attempted unsuccessfully to thwart.
The Lytles served in the French and Indian War, the American Revolutionary War, the Mexican–American War, the Civil War. Brigadier Gen. William Haines Lytle was educated man and syndicated poet, his poems spoke of courage, the glory of war and tales of gallantry. He led the Irish troops and was so admired by his troops that six weeks before his death they presented him with a medal to show their affection, his most famous poem and Cleopatra, was beloved by both North and South in antebellum America and memorized by school children in the U. S. through the 1940s. General William Haines Lytle died leading a charge at Chickamauga in the Civil War. Lytle Hill, in Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, is named for him and a monument in the shape of a pile of cannonballs marks the spot where he fell; when he was shot, he fell from his horse with a half-finished poem in his pocket. A southern soldier who served with him in the Mexican–American War, stood guard over his body until arrangements could be made to return his body to the North.
A Guard of Honor composed of fifteen officers and men from the 10th Ohio Volunteer Infantry was appointed to escort Lytle's body from Chickamauga to Cincinnati. Under a flag of truce, both southern and northern soldiers escorted his body to Louisville where it was loaded on a paddle-wheeler and returned to Cincinnati. Since most soldiers were buried where they fell in the Civil War, few bodies were returned to their families; the city went into mourning with all the windows of the stores draped in black. His horse, another gift from his troops, led a parade down 4th street, with Lytle's boots turned backwards in the stirrups to represent a riderless horse. A long line of dignitaries followed the coffin. A branch of this family settled to the north in Butler County, where Judge Robert Lytle acquired a section of land from the U. S. and named it Milford Township. Prominent descendants include Sen. Homer Truett Bone, Secretary of Agriculture Claude R. Wickard, Gov. Andrew L. Harris, James McBride of Hamilton, others.
Lytle Park, where the Lytle mansion was located, was donated to the city in 1903 by the family, with terms that it remain a park in perpetuity. When an expressway needed to be built downtown, the terms forced the Lytle Tunnel to be built under the park to preserve it; the statue of Abraham Lincoln at the entrance of the park was commissioned by the WPA Works Progress Administration. Lytle House and Lawrence Streets
The Congress Lands was a group of land tracts in Ohio that made land available for sale to members of the general public through land offices in various cities, through the General Land Office. It consisted of three groups of surveys: Ohio River Base Congress Lands East of Scioto River Congress Lands North of Old Seven Ranges Congress Lands West of Miami River Northwest Ohio North and East of the First Principal Meridian South and East of the First Principal Meridian The Ohio River Base consisted of the Congress Lands East of Scioto River, Congress Lands North of Old Seven Ranges; these surveys had vertical rows of six mile square townships called Ranges. These ranges were numbered from Ellicott’s Line, the boundary between Ohio and Pennsylvania known as the Eastern Ohio Meridian; the townships within each range were surveyed north and south from the baseline called the “Geographer’s Line” at 40 degrees 38 minutes north, which runs west from the north bank of the Ohio River where it exits Pennsylvania, at a place now called the Beginning Point of the U.
S. Public Land Survey; the townships were not numbered from the baseline, but from south to north beginning with the first partial township in each range formed next to the Ohio River. Thus, townships in adjacent ranges had the same number; this system extended the original numbering plan from the Seven Ranges. There being no east ranges or south townships, plats are designated “Township X of Range Y of Ohio River Survey” with no need for north or west designations. Surveys on the Ohio River Base consist of the Ohio Company and the Seven Ranges; the Seven Ranges were sold in the same manner, could be considered Congress Lands, but get a special category to itself. The Congress Lands West of Miami River consists of lands between the Great Miami River and Indiana, south of the Greenville Treaty Line. Ranges are designated as east of the First Principal Meridian, at the Ohio-Indiana border. Townships are numbered from south to north, with irregularities caused by the course of the Great Miami River.
Congress Lands in northwest Ohio consist of North and East of the First Principal Meridian and South and East of the First Principal Meridian. These lands are south of a narrow strip next to the Michigan border, west of the Firelands and the Congress Lands North of Old Seven Ranges, North of the Greenville Treaty Line and the Virginia Military District, east of Indiana. Townships are surveyed north and south from the baseline at 41 degrees north, are designated “Township X N, Range Y E of First Principal Meridian” or “Township X S, Range Y E of First Principal Meridian”. In all five of Ohio’s Congress Lands, townships are divided into 36 one mile square sections; these sections are numbered by the method established May 18, 1796. Section sixteen of each survey township was set aside for support of public schools. Lands that were not dispersed in the United States Military District or the Refugee Tract were made available for sale through the various Land Offices, treated the same as Congress Lands.
Ohio Lands Historic regions of the United States Peters, William E. Ohio Lands and Their Subdivision. W. E. Peters. Knepper, George W.. The Official Ohio Lands Book; the Auditor of the State of Ohio. Ohio History Central - Congress Lands
Rufus Putnam was a colonial military officer during the French and Indian War, a general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. As an organizer of the Ohio Company, he was instrumental in the initial settling of the Northwest Territory in present-day Ohio following the war, he was known as "Father of the Northwest Territory" Putnam was born in Massachusetts. Rufus's father Elisha Putnam died when Rufus was 6 or 7, Rufus temporarily lived with his paternal grandfather in Danvers, Massachusetts. Elisha Putnam and Israel Putnam, who became a renowned general during the American Revolution were cousins. After Rufus Putnam's mother married John Sadler, Rufus lived with his mother and stepfather in Sutton, where the family ran an inn. Putnam served with a Connecticut regiment during the French and Indian War. During the war, Putnam saw action in the Great Lakes region, near Lake Champlain. After the war, Putnam relocated to Massachusetts. There, he worked as a millwright from 1761 to 1768.
He was famous after the War. Established at work, in April 1761 Putnam married Elizabeth Ayers, the daughter of William Ayers, esquire of the Second Precinct of Brookfield, Massachusetts. Elizabeth died in 1762 in childbirth. On January 10, 1765 Putnam married again, to Persis Rice, the daughter of Zebulon Rice and Abigail Forbush Rice of Westborough, Massachusetts. While Putnam worked as a millwright, he devoted his free time to self-education, studying geography and surveying. In 1769, Putnam became a surveyor. Rufus Putnam, along with his cousin Israel Putnam and two others, traveled in 1773 to survey near present-day Pensacola, Florida. There, Putnam surveyed and chartered lands along the Mississippi River, which the Crown was going to grant to veterans of the French and Indian War in lieu of payment for their service. After the Battle of Lexington and Concord, Putnam enlisted the same day, on April 19, 1775, in one of Massachusett's first revolutionary regiments. Putnam was commissioned in the Continental Army as a Lieutenant Colonel, under the command of David Brewer.
Brewer's regiment first engaged with the British Army in Massachusetts. After the Battle of Lexington and Concord and the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Americans laid siege against the British in Boston; the long siege lasted for many months, until Putnam devised a system for fortifying Dorchester Heights using cannon brought from Fort Ticonderoga by Henry Knox. Since the ground was frozen, drawing from his skills as a millwright, devised a system using timbers and fascines, a plan that enabled the Americans to put up the defenses overnight; this left the British in an untenable position and resulted in their evacuating all of their troops from Boston by sea. Putnam directed the building of fortifications which secured victories at Sewall's Point, Newport, Long Island, West Point. General Washington appointed Putnam to be the Chief of Engineers of the Works of New York, he was soon promoted to engineer with the rank of colonel. When in December 1776 the Continental Congress rejected his proposition to establish a national corps of engineers, Putnam resigned.
He served under Major General Horatio Gates. Putnam commanded two regiments in the battle of Saratoga, he continued to work on critical fortifications, including Fort Putnam at West Point in 1778. In 1779 Putnam served under Major General Anthony Wayne in the Corps of Light Infantry following the capture of Stony Point, commanding the 4th Regiment. Putnam's remaining military career was less eventful. In January 1783 he was commissioned as brigadier general. After the war was over, Putnam returned to Massachusetts. In 1780 he had bought a farm confiscated from a Loyalist, he settled there, he returned to working as a surveyor. Putnam was a strong advocate of granting lands to veterans of the Revolution, he was one of the authors of the army's Newbergh Petition, submitted to Congress requesting land disbursements. There was pent-up land hunger among younger men in New England, where topography and long settlement restricted buying land. Putnam's advocacy for land grants led him, with partners, to establish the Ohio Company of Associates for the purchase and settlement of Western lands.
He established the Company in Boston on March 3, 1786 together with Benjamin Tupper, Samuel Holden Parsons, Manasseh Cutler. Its primary purpose was to settle the Northwest Territory the lands between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River, ceded to the US by Great Britain under the Treaty of Paris. After passage of the Northwest Ordinance to organize the territory, the Company bought about 1,000,000 acres of land north of the Ohio River, between the present day sites of Marietta and Huntington, West Virginia. Cutler had tried to purchase all the land between the Ohio and Scioto rivers, but the western half was optioned by the Scioto Company, it failed without having purchased any of the land. In 1788 Putnam led a group of Revolutionary veterans to settle the land in; these pioneers arrived at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers on April 7, 1788, where they established Marietta, Ohio as the first European-American permanent United States settlement in the Northwest Territory.
Putnam was appointed to serve as one of three judges of the Northwest Territory after Samuel Holden Parsons died. The territory had been occupied by Native American tribes, more were driven west by colonial encroachment before the Revolution; as they had not ceded any land, they ca