Seth Pease helped survey the Connecticut Western Reserve in the late 1790s.
Pease was born on January 9, 1774, in Suffield, Connecticut. He graduated from Yale College, where he excelled in mathematics. He briefly taught school in Suffield, before opening a sawmill with his brother. Pease remained in the milling business from 1785 to 1798.
In 1796, the Connecticut Land Company sent Pease, along with several other men, including Moses Cleaveland, to begin surveying the Connecticut Western Reserve. Pease, Cleaveland, Amos Spafford, and additional surveyors platted Cleveland, Ohio on this trip. In 1797, Pease returned to the Connecticut Western Reserve, where he surveyed several communities east of the Cuyahoga River. This same year, Pease published the first map of the Connecticut Western Reserve. Following the second surveying expedition to the Western Reserve, Pease only returned one additional time to the area that would become Ohio. In the early 1800s, he helped survey the southern boundary of the Western Reserve for the United States government.
Pease continued to earn income as a surveyor, mapping the Holland Purchase in New York from 1798 to 1799. Prior to traveling to the Connecticut Western Reserve, Pease had also surveyed a township in modern-day Maine. From 1806 to 1807, he also served as U.S. surveyor general in the Mississippi and Orleans Territory. During a portion of President Thomas Jefferson's administration, Pease also held the office of assistant postmaster general. Beginning in 1801, he also operated a successful fur-trapping business in New England.
Pease died unexpectedly on September 12, 1819, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Butler, Margaret Manor. A Pictorial History of the Western Reserve: 1796-1860. Cleveland, OH: The Early Settlers Association of the Western Reserve and The Western Reserve Historical Society, 1963.
- Van Tassel, David D., and John J. Grabowski, eds. The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996.