Cleaveland, Moses klēv´lənd [key], 1754–1806, American pioneer, b. Canterbury, Conn. After serving (1777–81) in the American Revolution, he practiced law in his native town and entered (1787) the state legislature. When the Connecticut Land Company purchased (1795) land in the Western Reserve region of Ohio, Cleaveland was chosen as one of the directors and surveyors of the company. In 1796 he led a party of men to the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, where he determined to develop the main settlement. The surveyors named the site Cleaveland, which name it bore until c.1830, when it became Cleveland.
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