Territory Northwest of the River Ohio (territory) -- Wayne (county)


County Quick Reference

County Seat: Detroit

County Name: Named for General Anthony Wayne

Boundary Changes
(click on the name of a change to see more information)
15 AUG 179673,069The county was created from Hamilton and Knox counties and non-organized lands
04 JUL 180036,62936,440 square miles was lost to the Indiana Territory
10 JUL 180034,5321,908 square miles was lost to the creation of Trumbull County



(click on a title below to view laws involved in the formation or governance of the area)
(general information on the county to put it in the context of history)

Wayne County was formed on 15 August 1796 by proclamation of the Governor of the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio [click here for more information]. By 1800, the county would go through two additional changes to its boundaries before being incorporated into the Territory of Indiana and, later, the Territory of Michigan. Click on a date in the table above to see a map of how the county looked on that date, as well as, the authority changing the boundary (if available).

The following map shows the original size of the county at its founding (in blue with a red border) and the final borders of the county after the boundary changes (in red with yellow border) superimposed on a modern map


Wayne County in 1796 and 1800

(click on a year below to view information on the population of the Territory)


(click on the title of the following works to learn more about life in the area;for those items not available online, check with your local library for availability)


Referenced Items
(content on HistoryKat that references this area)

Alteration in the Boundary of Hamilton, Wayne, and Knox, 1798

The Western boundary of the County of Hamilton shall begin at the spot on the bank of the Ohio River where the general boundary line between the lands of the United States and the Indian Tribes, established at Greeneville on the third day of August 1795 so intersects the bank of that River & run with that general boundary line to Fort Recovery;and from thence by a line to be drawn due north from Fort Recovery until it intersects the Southern boundary line of the County of Wayne, and the said line from the Ohio to Fort Recovery and from thence to the southern boundary of the County of Wayne shall also be the eastern boundary of the County of Knox

Wayne County Proclamation, 1796

Beginning at the mouth of Cuyahoga river, upon lake Erie, and with the said river to the Portage, between it and the Tuscarawa branch of the Muskingum;thence down the said branch to the forks, at the carrying place above fort Lawrence;thence by a west line, to the eastern boundary of Hamilton county, (which is a due north line from the lower Shawnese town upon the Scioto river) thence by a line west-northerly to the southern part of the Portage

Ross County Proclamation, 1798

Beginning at the forty-second mile tree, on the line of the original grant of land by the United States to the Ohio company, which line was run by Israel Ludlow, and running from thence west, until it shall intersect a line to be drawn due north from the mouth of Elk river, (commonly called Eagle creek) and from the point of intersection running north, to the southern boundary of the county of Wayne, and from thence easterly with the said boundary of Wayne


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