Map of David Hudson’s Arrival

I stumbled upon this map while reading Grace Goulder Izant’s classic, Hudson’s Heritage. It’s details are intricate and reveal the difficult route and nature of Hudson’s first journey to his land claims. The outlined ‘David Hudson Trail’ in the picture is literally the first route David Hudson and crew took to the town that would soon bear his name. In the text below the picture one will notice a cut-off sentance describing the savage wilderness through which they trudged. “A crude road soon was hacked out through the marsh, a rough landsled fashioned, and the oxen…”

In all liklihood, David Hudson and crew would have been some of the first white settlers to ever step foot in this area. Not the first, certainly, as the land had been surveyed and appropriately portioned by land crews in the years leading up to and immediately following the passage of the Northwest Ordinance by Congress in 1787. Other potential white settlers or Europeans who could have passed through the area before Hudson may include French fur traders and British scouts during the Seven Years War (French/Indian War).

Notice the whole route of Hudson’s journey. The smaller map at the top-left provides a view of his total trek from Goshen, CT across upstate New York and Lake Erie, to the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. Keep in mind that when Hudson and crew passed Cleveland at the mouth of the river the city consisted of little more than a handful of timber houses, some perhaps mud-thatched, and a few farm fields to help sustain the small but growing population. With the lake and rivers providing such bountiful life resources, early settlers did not need to rely as much on land to sustain life and build for the future.