From Ohio History Central
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<p>Cleveland was the first settlement founded in the Connecticut Western Reserve by the Connecticut Land Company. It was named after General Moses Cleaveland, an investor in the company who led the survey of its land within the Western Reserve. The town was located along the eastern bank of the Cuyahoga River.
Because of a spelling error on the original map, the community has always been spelled Cleveland instead of Cleaveland. The first survey of Cleveland was completed in 1796, and it included 220 lots. The company originally charged fifty dollars for lots in the settlement and found that few people were willing to pay that much to live there. As late as 1800, a company representative reported that only three men lived in Cleveland. Ten years later, there were only fifty-seven residents. Despite its small population, Cleveland became the Cuyahoga County seat in 1807.</p>
<p>Although the settlement was located near Lake Erie, the population did not grow significantly until after the War of 1812. By this time, the threat of American Indian attacks had ended and money was invested in road improvements and a harbor for the community. Cleveland became known as a market town where farmers brought crops to sell and merchants offered goods from the East. Even so, the settlement grew slowly because of the lack of adequate roads connecting it to other parts of the state. By 1820, only 606 people lived in Cleveland.</p>
<p>During the 1820s, the city experienced some growth due to the arrival of new forms of transportation. The Erie Canal connected the city with the Atlantic Ocean during the 1820s. The first steamboat on Lake Erie, the <em>Walk-In-The-Water</em>,<em> </em>allowed for quicker trade between Cleveland and other localities along the lake. During the 1820s and the 1830s, construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal connected Lake Erie with the Ohio River. In the 1850s, railroads came to Cleveland. In forty years, Cleveland's population increased from under one thousand to more than forty thousand people.</p>