At the age of 24, Ariel Bradley, Jr. married Chloe Lane in 1792 in Connecticut. Their first four children were born in Salisbury, Connecticut: James Lane (1793-1854), John Anson (1796-1881), Phoebe Marilla (1798-1872), and Robert Edgar (1800-1817).
On June 14, 1801, Ariel left Salisbury with his young family and his brother Thaddeus’ family for the long and difficult journey to the frontier town of Canfield in the Western Reserve, now Ohio. They arrived in Canfield in August, traveling the Southern route: over the Allegheny Mountains, about 600-700 miles. Canfield, now in Mahoning County, was on the main stage road from Pittsburgh to Cleveland.
The Connecticut Western Reserve was a portion of land claimed by the Colony of Connecticut and later by the state of Connecticut in what is now mostly northeastern Ohio. Following the Revolutionary War, Connecticut gave up claim to some of its western lands, but initially sold the Western Reserve to the Connecticut Land Company for $1,200,000. It was surveyed under the leadership of Moses Cleaveland to divide the land into townships, 5 miles square. (The city of Cleveland is named after the surveyor.)
In 1800 Connecticut finally ceded control of this portion of the young United States, and the area was organized under the Northwest Territory until Ohio was admitted as a state in 1803.
In 1800 the Territory organized Trumbull County in the boundaries of the Western Reserve. This area was also referred to as New Connecticut.
By 1799, settlements had already been made at Ravenna, Deerfield, and Palmyra in what is today Portage County.
This was the country the young Bradley family was traveling to with plans to settle since Ariel had sold his principal farm lands in Salisbury on December 25, 1800. In June, 1801, when the Bradleys departed for Canfield in the Western Reserve, they were traveling with their young children: James, 8, John, 5, Phoebe, 3, and Robert, 1. Such courage and fortitude!
Pictured here is a map of the lands once owned by Connecticut, and the Western Reserve in 1826.