“BONNIE BELMONT” Book by Judge John S. (Salisbury) Cochran,1907 with history by John Bowman 2017

I believe this is a picture you will never see anywhere else…all three “BONNIE BELMONT” Editions together in one photo.

BONNIE BELMONT Books Left to Right, 1907 First Edition. 1997 Third Printing, 1990 Second Printing Photo by John Bowman


BONNIE BELMONT 1907 First Edition Photo by John Bowman

“BONNIE BELMONT A Historical Romance of the Days of Slavery and the Civil War”
Cochran, Judge John S. 1907, Wheeling, W. VA. Press of Wheeling News Lithograph Co.
BONNIE BELMONT is perhaps is the most coveted book in historical circles in this ‘Upper Ohio Valley’ area. The book is of primary importance essential to the study of the Eastern Ohio area including Belmont County and Slavery. Author John S. Cochran served in the 15th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War. While writing this book, Judge John S. Cochran served as a Belmont County Ohio Probate Judge.
This book is of such importance no other source of content may be available. The author writes, “There is nothing related in this book that in not founded on facts”. All the characters are real although some of the names have been changed. The story is set in mid-19th century life in the “Sunset Heights” Colerain area above Martins Ferry, Ohio, with stories of the ‘Underground Railroad’ in Belmont County, Eastern Ohio opposite the slave-trading center and auction block at Wheeling, Virginia. The plate inserted between pages 52, 53 folds out to show a photo of early Wheeling with an X to mark the point where the slave auction block stood. This was at the north end of Wheeling’s old ‘Market House’ on Tenth (then Madison Street) and Market Street.
The 6 ¼” x 9 ¼” Dark Blue Cloth book with gold gilt illustration and lettering has 291 pages plus 16 plates. The ‘Very Scarce’ First Edition had 1000 copies. One may find a First Edition with the following: a 5 7/8” x 3 1/2” 15 page insert stapled and pasted in the front cover leaf with an additional 4 pages (but with printing only on two) laid in. These are “Extracts (testimonials) from voluntary and unsolicited editorials and letters received by the author concerning his work”. The book did not sell well at first (obviously) as this insert was placed in the book in 1908 to promote later sales. Finding one of these ‘Extremely Scarce’ books adds to the books value.
A July 30, 1960 “BONNIE BELMONT” tour of various places in the Martins Ferry, Sunset Heights – Colerain area connected with John S. Cochran’s Bonnie Belmont identifies some of the actual people in the book, such as Minerva Pratt, (Minerva Patterson) in the book, the unrequited love of “Jack Salisbury” (the author himself, John Salisbury Cochran).
Note: A Bonnie Belmont book once ‘For Sale’ on the Internet made the following statement that may or may not be true. “Bonnie Belmont 1st Edition (Cochran obtained) a signed probate notice and taped it to the title page, #1 of 1000 declaring this copy to be the 1st copy”.

BONNIE BELMONT 1990 Second Printing Photo by John Bowman

BONNIE BELMONT 1990 Book by Judge John Salisbury Cochran
“BONNIE BELMONT A Historical Romance of the Days of Slavery and the Civil War”
Cochran, Judge John S., 1990 Closson Press Apollo, Pennsylvania. “This November 1990 Second Printing, a reproduction of the 1907 BONNIE BELMONT book has been made possible by income from the sales of the “Belmont County History” 1988 and the efforts of the Committee “1990 Belmont Book Committee”. “Permission granted September 17, 1990 by great grandson William E. Cochran”.
The 6 ¼” x 9 ¼” Dark Blue Cloth book with gold gilt illustration and lettering has 291 pages plus 16 plates. This Scarce Second Printing has a plate inserted between pages 52, 53 that folds out to show a photo of early Wheeling with an X to mark the point where the slave auction block stood. This was at the north end of Wheeling’s old ‘Market House’ on Tenth (then Madison Street) and Market Street. One of these books is a ‘Scarce’ find.

BONNIE BELMONT 1997 Third Printing Photo by John Bowman

BONNIE BELMONT 1997 Book by Judge John Salisbury Cochran
“BONNIE BELMONT A Historical Romance of the Days of Slavery and the Civil War”
Cochran, Judge John S., 1997 Genesis Publishing Company, West Jefferson, Ohio ISBN 1-891515-00-4. This third printing is a reproduction of the 1907 BONNIE BELMONT book. The third printing has a new introduction by Historian Annie C. Tanks and a new foreword by Cathy Nelson. In 1990, a group of citizens along with the Belmont Book Council worked along with Genesis Publishing in conjunction with David Roth, Blue & Gray Magazine and its affiliate “The General’s Books” to extend this book and its ‘long gone’ history to a larger audience.
The 5 ½” x 8 ½” Dark Green Cloth book with gold gilt illustration and lettering has 354 pages plus 16 plates re-typeset and re-formatted, and it is smaller than the original. Unlike the first and second printing of the book, this third printing has the photo on pages 56,57 (that does not fold out) of early Wheeling with an X to mark the point where the slave auction block stood at the north end of Wheeling’s old ‘Market House’ on Tenth (then Madison Street) and Market Street.
This third 1997 limited edition of the BONNIE BELMONT book with the following indispensable notes remains hard to find. These same notes fit with the original 1907 printing only on different pages.

1. (Pg. 8) The old Neelan Tavern stood just across the Pike from the old Reid Mansion 2 miles from Bridgeport and 3 miles from Martins Ferry and 4 miles from Wheeling. It sat alone along the Pike surrounded by fields much used by drovers driving hogs and cattle to market.
2. (Pg. 14) The Tavern sat on the North side of the State Road (Rt. 250) also known as the Plank Road, Cadiz Pike, Old Cadiz Pike. The building of the Road was authorized in 1852 starting at Bridgeport and ending at Cadiz. The old road to Bridgeport angled off the Pike at the Tavern, and followed on the North East side of a ravine and angled South East to Bridgeport. The old Robert E. Lee Estate was on the North East side of Old Cadiz Road. The Neelan’s farm became the Chandler farm
3. (Pg. 15) John Cochran’s fathers’ farm lay at an angle where Buckeye Run joined Glenns Run on the old Martins Ferry/Mt. Pleasant Road. Buckeye Run Road ran up to meet with the old State Road (Rt. 250) ½ mile west of the Tavern. The gate to John’s farmhouse (originally a log cabin and later a frame house) was half way up Buckeye Run Road on the West side of the run. The old spring feeding the farm was above the house about 100 feet and about 10 ft. below the spring was the springhouse. John’s grandfather’s farm was previously the Louis Cook farm. (Pg. 28) most of the old log cabins were gone in the 1860’s.
4. (Pg. 17) a neighbor to John was Mr. And Mrs. James Brown.
5. (Pg. 27) Scotch Ridge and Pinch Ridge are described with the names of settlers on each ridge.
6. (Pg. 27) Fox designer of “Old Ironsides” resided near Maultown now Colerain. See Jacob Maule (Pg. 32)
7. (Pg. 31) the log school house sat of the Jacob Van Pelt farm fronting the State Road 300 yards South of Van Pelts Mansion near the Gow property gate 100 yards South of the present Ferry View school (then in 1900) and overlooked Martins Ferry. The landscape was still heavily forested in the mid-19th century. Ferry View Road (the old State Road on Pinch Ridge) laid on the upper brow of the hill near the Van Pelt Farm and lowered to the lower brow (from this point one could see the River in full view) and just above the Noah Zane Mansion in Martins Ferry. The Mansion known later as the Elms
8. (Pg. 30) speaks of seeing Mingo Town from this advantage.
9. (Pg. 31) Slaves pointed to the (2) story brick on the hill top (Van Pelt Mansion) from the VA side of the river. The east entrance of the old log school faced the old State Road and was 25’ by 40’.
10. (Pg. 33) School Master John Weeks is barred out by the pupils of Pinch Ridge.
11. (Pg. 38) Minerva was the daughter of a Physician and lived on the Pike (Rt. 250) near the Tavern.
12. (Pg. 45) Blackford schoolhouse was on Pinch Ridge on the State Road about one mile west of the Tavern.
13. (Pg. 51) April 15, 1887 a tornado destroyed the old log schoolhouse and it was replaced by a frame building.
14. (Pg. 53) The Whig and Democrat parties both supported slavery. The Cochran’s were Democrats. Abolition to slavery was confined to the Abolition party and the Republican Party was not yet in existence in the 1840-50’s. With the party of Lincoln the Republicans, there was a more favorable leaning to discontinue slavery and of course Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
15. (Pg. 48) The Wheeling Market, John’s mother took produce to the market leaving home at 1:30 AM and setting up at 3:30 AM at the 1st Ward Market in the lower building as John states the South Market was not yet established. History records, this same trip was earlier taken by Betty Zane McLaughlin with produce from her Westlawn Edition farm off Ferry View.
16. (Pg. 50) The slave auction block at the west side of the north end of the upper bldg.
17. (Pg. 55) Joshua Cope.
18. (Pg. 66) Thomas Swan Boat.
19. (Pg. 68) Sunday AM at Gow Cemetery and to Martinsville. The Van Pelts on the river hill 600 yards from Gow Cemetery and you needed to cross the road to get to the orchard, which was also behind the schoolhouse.
20. (Pg. 69) The woods on the west side of the orchard were unbroken to Buckeye Run and Glenns Run and on to Copes Mill. Copes Mill was near the Headwaters of Glenns Run. Taking to the woods and crossing Buckeye Run, you would keep the woods on your left of the run going up Glenns Run to Copes Mill with the Mill on the right and the house sitting on the right across the road from the mill. Joshua Copes was the 1st station on the Underground RR after leaving the Joel Wood house in Martinsville.
21. (Pg. 68) Jacob Van Pelt was and Abolitionist.
22. (Pg. 72) A neighbor was Joseph Blackford and see Isaac Vickers farther on.
23. (Pg. 74) read the description of the road leading from the ferry at Washington Street. See: drawing.
24. (Pg. 74) The lease on the Ferry
25. (Pg. 88) Riverview school
26. (Pg. 95) The Jos. S. Chandler Mansion was near the Tavern on the Hogg farm.
27. (Pg. 126) the brow of the hill.
28. (Pg. 137) The Society of Friends at Mt. Pleasant
29. (Pg. 138) Concord site 1803 A Friends Meeting House Barbara found old Concord Cemetery at the end of Negus Road, off Colerain Pike.
30. (Pg. 144) John Hogg
31. (Pg. 155) The Underground RR
32. (Pg. 162) The old Plank Road
33. (Pg. 163) Isaac Vickers and three others named
Other mentioning’s:
34. Mitchell bldg. & McBride farm, the Sandy Road a few hundred yards East of Tavern was Grandfathers farm
35. Mingo Bottom 6 miles above Wheeling.
36. The Quakers were pioneer “Abolitionists” and See: The Ordinance of 1787.
37. The Kansas/Nebraska Act of 1854.
38. The Tavern and the Toll Gate
39. Abolitionists and Jobetown
40. Blackford’s School 1 mile west of the Tavern
41. The Pratts, The old State Road, The Plank Road, The Pike.
42. The Wide Awakes. Cochran states that he was at the Slave block auction nearly 8 years ago; this was probably in the spring of 1853.
43. John Frew & The Wheeling Intelligencer.
44. The Litton farm
45. A walk the Chandlers past the Toll Gate
46. A third ridge Grandfather’s farm.
47. The Zane farm and Copes field.
48. Woodmansee Tavern and the McMechen farm.
49. The Wheeling Bridge Case
50. Van Pelt, Tavern, Woods farm, Toll Gate
51. The Toll Gate by Minerva’s House
52. Colerain Township was founded Jan 14, 1808 originally called Maule Town; Jacob Maule was a Merchant in the town.
53. Pease Township founded August 15, 1804 named for John Calvin Pease and Pinch Ridge was named because of the hard times on the ridge.
54. Two hollow’s Dandelion (Rt. 250) from Bridgeport and Mutton Hollow.
The 1st settler in what is now Martins Ferry was Charles Norris and Martins Ferry was called Norristown.

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