The Port of Cincinnati is the seat of Hamilton County, Ohio, and part of the Ohio-Mississippi River Waterway. Located on the banks of the Ohio River, the Port of Cincinnati is about 388 kilometers (241 miles) southeast of the Port of Chicago and some 417 kilometers (256 miles) southwest of the Port of Pittsburgh. The Port of Cincinnati is the third largest city in Ohio and the center of a large metropolitan area that occupies parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. The 2010 US Census reported a city population of almost 297 thousand residents of the Port of Cincinnati and a metropolitan population of over 2.1 million.
The Port of Cincinnati economy is based largely on commerce, government, and education. The Port of Cincinnati supports a diverse manufacturing industry that produces food products, industrial machinery, transportation equipment, pharmaceuticals, textiles, furniture, metal products, and cosmetics. The Port of Cincinnati is an important national hub and one of the country's biggest inland coal ports. The Port of Cincinnati is also a major cultural center for the United States' heartland.
Before European and American settlers began to arrive in the future Port of Cincinnati, the Shawnee people inhabited the area. Some experts think the Shawnee people descend from the prehistoric Fort Ancient culture that flourished along the Ohio River from 1000 to 1650. A mound-builder people, the Fort Ancient culture descended from the Hopewell Culture.
The Shawnee were an Eastern Woodlands people were pushed to the west and the future Port of Cincinnati area by European settlers. Some of the earlier Shawnee received a land grant at what is now Cape Girardeau, Missouri, from the Spanish King in 1793. After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 brought the Shawnee lands under control of the United States, some of the Cape Girardeau Shawnee migrated to Texas and Mexico.
The Treaty of Fort Meigs in 1817 gave the Shawnee that remained in Ohio three reservations: Wapakoneta, Hog Creek, and Lewiston. By 1824, only about 800 Shawnee lived in Ohio, and almost 1400 lived in Missouri. The US Congress ratified an 1825 treaty that traded the Cape Girardeau lands for an 1.6 million acre reservation in Kansas. Later, the Ohio Shawnee signed treaties giving them lands on the Kansas Reservation.
Famous Native American Tecumseh was a leader of the Shawnee people and an important player in American History. He fought the United States in Tecumseh's War (early 1800s) and allied with the British in the War of 1812. In 1811, Tecumseh led warriors in the Battle of Tippecanoe against William Henry Harrison who claimed victory and later became President of the United States with the theme song "Tippicanoe and Tyler Too."
By 1854, the Kansas Reservation had been reduced to 160 thousand acres. During and after the United States' Civil War, acts of brutality by white settlers on the Shawnee forced them to move to the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. However, the Kansas Reservation continued to exist, and some Shawnee still hold their allotments in Kansas. In 1869, the US government made the Kansas Shawnee combine with the Cherokee in Oklahoma, becoming citizens of the Cherokee Nation.
In the 1980s, efforts started to separate the Shawnee from the Cherokee Nation. The Shawnee Tribe Status Act of 2000 restored the Shawnee to its sovereign nation status.
The first settlement at what would become the Port of Cincinnati was Columbia, located near the Little Miami River in 1788. Additional communities (North Bend and Losantiville) were soon established nearby. In 1780, General Arthur St. Clair, who was Governor of the Northwest Territory, renamed the settlements in honor of the American Revolution officers' Society of the Cincinnati, making the Port of Cincinnati the county seat.
After the threat of Indian attacks on the Port of Cincinnati had been reduced by the 1794 victory at Fallen Timbers, the Port of Cincinnati began to emerge as a river port. The first steamboat west of the Allegheny Mountains, the New Orleans arrived in the Port of Cincinnati in 1811 from Pittsburgh.
Growth came to the Port of Cincinnati in 1829 when the Miami and Erie Canal was finished, and in 1843, the Little Miami Railway's first section was laid. River commerce, peaking in the Port of Cincinnati in 1852, fueled industry and the building of steamboats. In 1842, Charles Dickens wrote of his admiration of the Port of Cincinnati. Before the American Civil War, Irish and German immigrants helped the Port of Cincinnati grow rapidly. While the citizens of the Port of Cincinnati were loyal to the Union in the Civil War, many of its residents had strong ties to the South.
During and after the Civil War, the Port of Cincinnati economy prospered from new markets in the Northern States. By the 1880s, rail connections revived trade between the Port of Cincinnati and the South. For the rest of the 19th Century, the Port of Cincinnati grew steadily, giving birth to many cultural and civic institutions. A period of corruption in the early 20th Century was followed by an era of reform and restoration in the 1920s.
The population of the Port of Cincinnati reached a high of over 500 thousand residents in 1950 and then declined as people moved to the suburbs. In the later 20th Century, historic preservation efforts and civic and commercial building revitalized central Port of Cincinnati.
The modern Port of Cincinnati boasts many contributions to the country's heritage. The Port of Cincinnati was the birthplace of President William Howard Taft, and it has the second oldest zoo in the United States which has also been a leader in modernizing zoo surroundings and breeding captive animals.
The Port of Cincinnati architectural landmarks of the late 1800s made it known as the "Paris of America." The Port of Cincinnati is home to the Cincinnati Reds baseball team and the Great American Ballpark, the Bengals football team, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and the historic Showboat Majestic. The Port of Cincinnati has a much historic architecture that includes the world's biggest collection of Italianate architecture. Its Over-the-Rhine district (built from 1850 to 1900), for many years a center for German immigrants, is one of the biggest historic districts recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.