Formed by the confluence of the Allegheny
Rivers at Pittsburgh
, the Ohio River
forms part of the border between Ohio
and West Virginia
, between Ohio
, between Indiana
, and between Illinois
before joining the Mississippi at Cairo, Illinois
Since it was considered by pre-Columbian inhabitants of eastern North America to be part of a single river continuing on through the lower Mississippi, it is perhaps an understatement to characterize the Ohio as a mere tributary of the Mississippi. The river is 981 miles (1579 km) long and carries the largest volume of water of any upper tributary of the Mississippi. In fact, the Ohio typically carries a much greater volume of water than the upper Mississippi.
On May 19, 1749 King George II of Great Britain granted the Ohio Company a charter of land around the forks of the Ohio River.
Besides Pittsburgh and Cairo, other cities along the Ohio include:
- Steubenville, Marietta, Portsmouth, and Cincinnati in Ohio
- Weirton, Wheeling, Parkersburg, and Huntington in West Virginia
- Ashland, Newport, Covington, Louisville, Owensboro, Henderson, and Paducah in Kentucky
- Madison, Jeffersonville, Clarksville, New Albany, Tell City, Evansville, and Mount Vernon in Indiana.
- Metropolis, Illinois