CWRU Links

ATWATER, AMZI

ATWATER, AMZI (23 May 1776- 14 (22) June 1851) was employed by the CONNECTICUT LAND COMPANY to help survey the Western Reserve in 1796 and 1797 and recorded the events of the undertaking in his journal.

Atwater, one of five children, was born in New Haven, Connecticut to Enos and Lois Atwater. After attending school briefly, Amzi worked as a hired hand to help support the family. In 1795 he lived with his uncle, Rev. Noah Atwater in Westfield, Mass. and learned the art of surveying. The following year he traveled to Canadaigua, New York, where he joined General MOSES CLEAVELAND's surveying party as an assistant in June 1796. On their way to survey the Western Reserve lands, Atwater was among the group of young men who demanded higher wages from Cleaveland who offered them instead a township of land (Euclid) in the Reserve at a stipulated price. Atwater's 2-year journal gave a detailed description of the land and it suitability for farming as well as the daily working life of a surveyor in the wilderness. The Cleaveland party left the Reserve in Oct. 1796, and Atwater returned with the second party in the spring of 1797, this time as an assistant surveyor. In 1798 and 1799 he surveyed for the Holland Land Company in western New York. The land in Euclid he had bought in 1796 proved to be of poor quality, and in 1800 he purchased land in Mantua, Ohio and remained there for the rest of his life.

Atwater married Hulda Sheldon 21 Nov.1801. They had a daughter, Cleona, born 4 Dec.1802. After his wife's death in Oct.1845, Atwater married Mrs. Rebecca Paine. Atwater died in Mantua at age 75. His second wife lived until Feb.1854.


Atwater, Amzi, Field Notes, 1797, WRHS.

Atwater Journal, WRHS.

Elijah Wadsworth Papers, WRHS.

Harmon Family Papers, WRHS.


Finding aid for the Amzi Atwater Journal. WRHS.