1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Gallipolis

GALLIPOLIS, a city and the county-seat of Gallia county, Ohio, U.S.A., on the Ohio river, about 125 m. E. by S. of Cincinnati. Pop. (1890) 4498; (1900) 5432 (852 negroes); (1910) 5560. It is served by the Kanawha & Michigan (Ohio Central Lines) and the Hocking Valley railways, and (at Gallipolis Ferry, West Virginia, across the Ohio) by the Baltimore & Ohio railway. The city is built on a level site several feet above the river’s high-water mark. It has a United States marine hospital and a state hospital for epileptics. Among the city’s manufactures are lumber, furniture, iron, stoves, flour and brooms. The municipality owns and operates its water-works. Gallipolis was settled in 1790 by colonists from France, who had received worthless deeds to lands in Ohio from the Scioto Land Company, founded by Col. William Duer (1747–1799) and others in 1787 and officially organized in 1789 as the Compagnie du Scioto in Paris by Joel Barlow, the agent of Duer and his associates abroad, William Playfair, an Englishman, and six Frenchmen. This company had arranged with the Ohio Company in 1787 for the use of about 4,000,000 acres, N. of the Ohio and E. of the Scioto, on which the Ohio Company had secured an option only. The dishonesty of those who conducted the sales in France, the unbusinesslike methods of Barlow, and the failure of Duer and his associates to meet their contract with the Ohio Company, caused the collapse of the Scioto Company early in 1790, and two subsequent attempts to revive it failed. Meanwhile about 150,000 acres had been sold to prospective settlers in France, and in October 1790 the French immigrants, who had been detained for two months at Alexandria, Virginia, arrived on the site of Gallipolis, where rude huts had been built for them. This land, however, fell within the limits of the tract bought outright by the Ohio Company, which sold it to the Scioto Company, and to which it reverted on the failure of the Scioto Company to pay. In 1794 William Bradford, attorney-general of the United States, decided that all rights in the 4,000,000 acres, on which the Ohio Company had secured an option for the Scioto Company, were legally vested in the Ohio Company. In 1795 the Ohio Company sold to the French settlers for $1.25 an acre the land they occupied and adjacent improved lots, and the United States government granted to them 24,000 acres in the southern part of what is now Scioto County in 1795; little of this land (still known as the “French Grant”), however, was ever occupied by them. Gallipolis was incorporated as a village in 1842, and was first chartered as a city in 1865.

See Theodore T. Belote, The Scioto Speculation and the French Settlement at Gallipolis (Cincinnati, 1907), series 2, vol. iii. No. 3 of the University Studies of the University of Cincinnati.