It was at his father’s bookstore that Henry saw a copy of John W. Barber’s book, Historical Collections of Connecticut. In 1840, Henry Howe made arrangements to assist John W. Barber in preparing a similar book for the state of New York. Henry Howe worked on histories of New Jersey and Virginia. Many consider Henry Howe’s most notable project to be his Historical Collections of Ohio. Henry traveled throughout the state interviewing residents to collect historical facts. First, Henry traveled on foot, but soon he purchased a horse named “Pomp” in order to travel throughout the many counties in Ohio. He often drew sketches in public areas, which helped create interest in his work. As he collected facts and drew sketches, he also solicited subscriptions for the future book. Howe’s first edition of Historical Collections of Ohio was completed in 1847. The Ohio Historical Society states that “Eighteen thousand copies of the first edition were sold and Howe's book became the standard history of Ohio.” The title was revised and republished in several editions.
John Beatty wrote in volume 2 of the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly:
“In brief, ‘Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio,’ next to the Bible and Noah Webster, should find a place under every Ohioan's roof-tree….”Today, you can find a copy of the Historical Collections of Ohio in Two Volumes at the Sandusky Library. A variety of editions of this title are also available online, through Google Books, Making of America, and historical websites. Brief biographical sketches of Henry Howe appear in Ohio Authors and Their Books and Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900, which are found in the Reference Services area of the Sandusky Library.