Robert Patterson was a soldier and early settler in Ohio after the American Revolution.
Patterson was born in 1753 in Pennsylvania. In 1775, he moved to Kentucky, where he helped establish the city of Lexington. During the American Revolution, he accompanied General George Rogers Clark on several of his expeditions against Native Americans and their British allies. In 1786, Patterson became a colonel in the Kentucky militia.
During the late 1780s, Patterson moved to the Northwest Territory. In 1788, Patterson, Israel Ludlow, John Filson, and Matthias Denman purchased eight hundred acres from John Cleves Symmes along the Ohio River. Symmes had purchased two million acres of land from the Confederation Congress in 1787 and now hoped to make his fortune by selling parts of the Symmes Purchase to others. Denman and Filson provided money. Patterson found settlers. Ludlow surveyed the land. By early January 1789, Ludlow had platted the town, dividing it into two types of lots. Near the town's center, lots were one-half acre. Outlying lots were four acres. Ludlow, Denman, and Patterson provided the first thirty settlers with two free lots, one of each type. The three men named the town Losantiville. In 1790, the Governor of the Northwest Territory, Arthur St. Clair, changed Losantiville's name to Cincinnati, in honor of the Society of the Cincinnati.
Following the founding of Losantiville, Patterson continued to have an important impact on what would become Ohio. He was a regimental commander at St. Clair's Defeat. In 1802, Patterson moved to Dayton, Ohio, where he established a farm and a sawmill. He called his estate Rubicon in a reference to Julius Caesar who crossed the Rubicon River in the Roman Civil War and could never go back. He spent the remainder of his life in the Dayton area. During the War of 1812, he served as a quartermaster. Patterson died in 1827.
Patterson's home is now a house museum of the Montgomery County Historical Society.