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facts, whenever they are brought into controversy in any suit. The nature and modes of such proof are different in different countries ; and being wholly governed by the municipal law of each particular nation, must present many embarrassing questions. Independent of the proof, another not less serious difficulty is, as to the effect to be given to such acts, records, and proceedings, after they are duly authenticated. For example, what effect is to be given to the judgement of a court in one country, when it is sought to be enforced in another country? Is it to be held conclusive upon the parties, without further inquiry ? Or, is it to be treated like common suits, and its justice and equity to be open to new proofs and new litigation ? These are very serious questions, upon which different nations hold very different doctrines. Even in the American Colonies, before the Revolution, no uniform rules were adopted, in regard to judgements in other colonies. In some, they were held conclusive ; in others, not. Some foreign nations hold the judgements of foreign courts between the parties, as of no validity or force out of the territory, where the judgements are pronounced; others hold such judgements to be only primâ facie or presumptively valid and just, but open to be controverted and overthrown by any new proofs ; and others, again, hold such judgements, either absolutely, or under certain limitations and restrictions, to be binding and conclusive between the parties and their heirs and other representatives. Now, domestic judgements, that is, judgements rendered in the same State, are uniformly held, in all the tribunals of that State, to be conclusive between the parties and their heirs and representatives, so that they cannot be controverted, or their validity impeached, or new proofs offered to overthrow them in the ordinary administration of justice.
$ 215. We may readily perceive, upon a slight examination, how inconvenient it would be, to hold all the judgements rendered in one State to be controverted anew in any other State. Suppose a judgement in one State, after a trial, and verdict by a jury, upon a contract, or for a trespass, in the place where all the witnesses lived ; and, afterwards, the defendant should remove into
another State, and some of the material witnesses should die, or remove, so that their testimony could not be had ; if the defendant were then called upon to satisfy the judgement in a new suit, and he might controvert anew all the facts, there could be no certainty of any just redress to the plaintiff. The Constitution, therefore, has wisely suppressed this source of heart-burning and mischief between the inhabitants of different States, by declaring, that full faith and credit shall be given to the acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other State ; and by authorizing Congress to prescribe the mode of authentication, and the effect of such authentication, when duly made. Congress have accordingly declared the mode, in which the records and judgements of the respective States shall be authenticated, and have further declared, that, when so authenticated, they shall have the same force and credit, and, of course, the same effect, in every other State, that they have in the State, where the records and judgements were originally made and rendered.
Admission of New States. — Government of Territories.
$ 216. The first clause of the fourth article declares, "New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union. But no new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State ; nor any State be formed by the junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned, as well as of the Congress.” It was early foreseen, from the extent of the territory of some States, that a division thereof into several States might become important and convenient to the inhabitants thereof, as well as add to the security of the Union. And it was also obvious, that new States would spring up in the then vacant western territory, which had been ceded to the Union, and that such new States could not long be re
tained in a state of dependence upon the National Government. It was indispensable, therefore, to make some suitable provisions for both these emergencies. On the one hand, the integrity of any of the States ought not to be severed without their own consent ; for their sovereignty would, otherwise, be at the mere will of Congress. On the other hand, it was equally clear, that no State ought to be admitted into the Union without the consent of Congress ; for, otherwise, the balance, equality, and harmony of the existing States might be destroyed. Both of these objects are, therefore, united in the present clause. To admit a new State into the Union, the consent of Congress is necessary ; to form a new State within the boundaries of an old one, the consent of the latter is also necessary. Under this clause, besides Vermont, three new States formed within the boundaries of the old States, viz., Kentucky, Tennessee, and Maine ; and nine others, viz., Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, and Michigan, formed within the territories ceded to the United States, have been already admitted into the Union. Thus far, indeed, the power has been most propitious to the general welfare of the Union, and has realized the patriotic anticipation, that the parents would exult in the glory and prosperity of their children.
$ 217. The second clause of the same section is, “ The Congress shall have power to dispose of, and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory, or other property, belonging to the United States. And nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed, as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular State.” As the General Government possesses the right to acquire territory by cession and conquest, it would seem to follow, as a natural incident, that it should possess the power to govern and protect, what it had acquired. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution, it had acquired the vast region included in the Northwestern Territory ; and its acquisitions have since been greatly enlarged by the purchase of Louisiana and Florida. The two latter Territories, (Louisiana and Florida,) sub
ject to the treaty stipulations, under which they were acquired, are of course under the general regulation of Congress, so far as the power has not been or may not be parted with by erecting them into States. The Northwestern Territory has been peopled under the admirable Ordinance of the Continental Congress of the 13th of July, 1787, which we owe to the wise forecast and political wisdom of a man, whom New England can never fail to reverence. *
$ 218. The main provisions of this Ordinance, which constitute the basis of the Constitutions and Governments of all the States and Territories organized within the Northwestern Territory, deserve here to be stated, as the ordinance is equally remarkable for the beauty and exactness of its text, and for its masterly display of the fundamental principles of civil and religious and political liberty. It begins, by providing a scheme for the descent and distribution of estates equally among all the children, and their representatives, or other relatives of the deceased in equal degree, making no distinction between the whole and the half blood; and for the mode of disposing of real estate by will, and by conveyances. It then proceeds to provide for the organization of the territorial governments, according to their progress in population, confiding the whole power to a Governor and Judges, in the first instance, subject to the control of Congress. As soon as the Territory contains five thousand inhabitants, it provides for the establishment of a general Legislature, to consist of three branches, a Governor, a Legislative Council, and a House of Representatives ; with a power to the Legislature to appoint a delegate to Congress. It then proceeds to state certain fundamental articles of compact between the original States, and the people and States in the Territory, which are to remain unalterable, unless by common consent. The first provides for the freedom of religious opinion and worship. The second provides for the right to the writ of habeas corpus ; for the trial by jury; for a proportionate representation in the Legislature ; for judicial proceedings accord
* The late Hon. Nathan Dane, of Beverly, Massachusetts.
ing to the course of the common law ; for capital offences being bailable ; for fines being moderate, and punishments not being cruel or unusual ; for no man's being deprived of his liberty or property, but by the judgement of his peers, or the law of the land ; for full compensation for property taken, or services demanded, for the public exigencies ; "and, for the just preservation of rights and property, that no law ought ever to be made, or have force in the said Territory, that shall, in any manner whatever, interfere with, or affect private contracts or engagements, bona fide, and without fraud, previously formed.” The third provides for the encouragement of religion, and education, and schools, and for good faith and due respect for the rights and property of the Indians. The fourth provides, that the Territory, and States formed therein, shall for ever remain a part of the Confederacy, subject to the constitutional authority of Congress ; that the inhabitants shall be liable to be taxed proportionately for the public expenses ; that the Legislatures in the Territory shall never interfere with the primary disposal of the soil by Congress, nor with their regulations for securing the title to the soil to purchasers ; that no tax shall be imposed on lands, the property of the United States ; and non-resident proprietors shall not be taxed more than residents ; that the navigable waters leading into the Mississippi and St. Lawrence, and the carrying places between the same, shall be common highways, and for ever free. The fifth provides, that there shall be formed in the Territory not less than three, nor more than five States, with certain boundaries; and whenever any of the said States shall contain sixty thousand free inhabitants, such State shall (and may not before) be admitted, by its delegates, into Congress, on an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever, and shall be at liberty to form a permanent Constitution and State government, provided it shall be republican, and in conformity to these articles of compact. The sixth and last provides, that there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said Territory, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes; but fugitives from other