Ebenezer Zane Biography, American Pioneer Life Story


Who was Ebenezer Zane? Information on American pioneer Ebenezer Zane biography, short life story and works.

Ebeneezer Zane Cabin in Zanesfield

Ebeneezer Zane Cabin in Zanesfield (Source : wikipedia.org)

Ebenezer Zane; American pioneer: b. near Moorefield, W.Va., Oct. 7, 1747; d. Martin’s Ferry, Ohio, Nov. 19, 1812.┬áSons of a Pennsylvania Quaker, he and his brothers Silas and Jonathan founded (1769) the settlement of Zanesburg, renamed (1806) Wheeling, now one of the major cities of West Virginia. Zanesburg became the Ohio River terminus of the road from Cumberland, Md., which was used by many settlers in Ohio. A Virginia militia colonel during the American Revolution, Ebenezer helped repel British and Indian attacks on Fort Henry at Zanesburg.

During one of these engagements (1782) his sister Betty became a heroine when she retrieved a keg of gunpowder under heavy Indian fire. In 1796, on condition that he blaze a road from Zanesburg to Maysville, Ky., before Jan. 1, 1797, Congress offered him three lots in the Ohio territory, stipulating, however, that he pay United States bounty warrants, provide roads and ferries, and survey the tracts at his own expense. He fulfilled all the conditions, and the important trail that he blazed became known as Zane’s Trace. On one of the tracts that Congress granted him, Zanesville, Ohio, was platted in 1797, and Lancaster on another in 1800.

Ebenezer Zane Death and Legacy

Ebenezer Zane was an American pioneer and explorer who helped to establish the first permanent settlement in the Ohio Country, which is now part of the state of Ohio. He built the first road through the region, known as Zane’s Trace, which helped to open up the area for settlement. He died in 1811, but his legacy lives on in the form of Zane’s Trace, which is now part of U.S. Route 40, and in the many towns and counties that bear his name. He is also remembered as a man who helped to open up the West to settlement, and for his role in establishing the first permanent European settlement in the region that is now Ohio.


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