Although there is a long history of giving thanks for a bountiful harvest the early settlers had no formal Thanksgiving holiday.
In the Ohio territory settlement began in 1788. Although the Indians had vowed to keep all white settlers out of this area, settlement in Columbia (an area of present day Cincinnati) began in November. Settlers working on the fort were approached by a Shawnee hunting party. The party had been unsuccessful in their hunt for game so the settlers invited them to join them in a harvest feast.
The Indians led by Chief Blackfish returned on the day of the feast with 20 men and 10 women and children. The settlers led by Captain Benjamin Stites made the visitors welcome.
The winter passed with a sense of peace among the two groups, but by April hostilities brought about a change of attitudes and a state of war existed.