Moses Cleaveland



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Moses Cleaveland
Born: 29 Jan 1754 Canterbury, Windham, CT


Married: 21 Mar 1794 Colchester, New London, CT


Died: 16 Nov 1806 Canterbury, Windham, CT      
Buried: The Cleaveland Cemetery or Old Cemetery, Canterbury, Windham, CT
To a boulder in this cemetery a large bronze tablet has been affixed, on which is the following inscription: "In this cemetery rest the remains of Moses Cleaveland founder of the City of Cleveland He was born in Canterbury January 29.1754 and died there November 16,1806. He was a lawyer a soldier a legislator and a leader of men In grateful recognition of his services this memorial is erected by the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce on November 16, 1906 the one hundredth anniversary of his death "]
       Moses Cleaveland Esq Died Nov. 16, 1806, Aged 52.


Aaron Cleaveland


Thankful Paine


Esther Champion


1. Mary Esther Cleaveland b. 14 Feb 1795

2. Francis Moses Cleaveland b. 15 Sep 1797

3. Frances Augusta Cleaveland b. Abt. Aug 1799

4. Julius Moses Cleaveland b. 21 May 1805

Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College by Franklin Bowditch Dexter, 1903

"MOSES CLEAVELAND, the second son and child of Colonel Aaron Cleaveland, of Canterbury, Connecticut, and nephew of the Rev. John Cleaveland (Yale 1745) and the Rev. Ebenezer Cleaveland (Yale 1748), was born in Canterbury on January 29, 1754. His mother was Thankful, third daughter of Elder Elisha and Mary (Johnson) Paine, of Canterbury, who was her husband's first cousin. A younger brother (William Pitt Cleaveland) was graduated here in 1793. He joined the Second Connecticut Continental Regiment before the close of his Senior year, as Ensign, and was promoted to be First Lieutenant in December, 1777. He served with General Washington's army from the fall of 1777, and in August, 1779, was promoted to the position of Captain-Lieutenant in the corps of Sappers and Miners, with which he remained until his resignation in June, 1781. Returning to Canterbury he settled there in the practice of law, and represented the town in the General Assembly at eighteen sessions between 1787 and his death. In 1788 he was a delegate to the State Convention which ratified the Federal Constitution. He rose through successive grades in the Militia to the rank of Brigadier-General in 1796.In 1788 he had purchased of General Samuel H. Parsons, of Middletown, a portion of his interest in a large tract of land in what is now Trumbull County, in Northeastern Ohio. This was included in the " Western Reserve " claimed by Connecticut; and when in 1795 certain wealthy citizens of Connecticut, under the name of the Connecticut Land Company, purchased the main part of this territory for settlement, General Cleaveland was among the larger owners and one of the board of seven directors who took the management of affairs. In May, 1796, he was commissioned as general agent and superintendent to lead the first surveying and exploring party into the new district and to negotiate with the Indians for the extinguishment of their claims. In pursuance of this duty he visited in July, 1796, the site of what is now Cleveland, and with prophetic eye fixed upon it as the locality for a future great city. By his orders the place was surveyed, and the surveyors gave to it the name of their superior officer. Years afterward, in 1830, when the first newspaper was issued there, accidental conditions of space in the head-line led the printer to drop out one vowel from the name, Cleveland instead of Cleaveland, and the shortened form was silently accepted. After this mission he is not known to have visited Ohio again. He continued in practice in Canterbury until his very sudden death there, on November 16, 1806, in his 53d year, leaving a large property. During his later years he directed the legal studies of a number of young men in his office. He married, on March 21, 1794, Esther, youngest child of Colonel Henry and Deborah (Brainard) Champion, of Colchester, Connecticut, by whom he had two daughters and two sons, of whom only the daughters lived to maturity. Mrs. Cleaveland died in Canterbury on January 17, 1840, in her 74th year. He was very prominent as a Mason and held the position of Grand Marshal of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut. In personal appearance he was erect, thickset and portly, with a swarthy complexion and black hair which suggested Indian blood. He was manly and dignified in his bearing, and so sedate in his looks that strangers often took him for a clergyman. An engraving from his portrait is given in the Magazine of Western History, vol. 1, and elsewhere. A bronze statue was erected to his memory in Cleveland in 1888."