« AnteriorContinuar »
title, and estate of and in, as well the soil as the jurisdiction, which the said Commonwealth hath to the territory or tract of country within the limits of Massachusetts charter situate and lying west of the following line, that is to say, a meridian line to be drawn from the forty-fifth degree of north latitude through the westerly bent or inclination of Lake Ontario, thence by the said meridian line to the most southerly side line of the territory contained in the Massachusetts charter; but if on experiment the above-described meridian line shall not comprehend twenty miles due west from the most westerly bent or inclination of the river or strait of Niagara, then we do by these presents, by virtue of the power and authority aforesaid, in the name and on behalf of the said Commonwealth of Massachusetts, transfer, quitclaim, cede, and convey to the United States of America, for their benefit, Massachusetts inclusive, all right, title, and estate of and in as well the soil as the jurisdiction, which the said Commonwealth hath to the territory or tract of country within the limits of the Massachusetts charter, situate and lying west of the following line, that is to say, a meridian line to be drawn from the forty-fifth degree of north latitude through a point twenty miles due west from the most westerly bent or inclination of the river or strait of Niagara; thence by the said meridian line to the most southerly side line of the territory contained in the Massachusetts charter aforesaid.
The following clause from the act of the legislature of Connecticut, authorizing the cession, defines its limits:
Be it enacted * * * That the delegates of this State, or any two of them, who shall be attending the Congress of the United States, be, and they are hereby, directed, authorized, and fully empowered, in the name and behalf of this State, to make, execute, and deliver, under their hands and seals, an ample deed of release and cession of all the right, title, interest, jurisdiction, and claim of the State of Connecticut to certain western lands, beginning at the completion of the forty-first degree of north latitude, one hundred and twenty miles west of the western boundary line of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as now claimed by said Commonwealth, and from thence by a line drawn north, parallel to and one hundred and twenty miles west of the said west line of Pennsylvania, and to continue north until it comes to forty-two degrees and two minutes north latitude. Whereby all the right, title, interest, jurisdiction, and claim of the State of Connecticut to the lands lying west of said line to be drawn as aforementioned, one hundred and twenty miles west of the western boundary line of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as now claimed by said Commonwealth, shall be included, released, and ceded to the United States in Congress assembled, for the common use and benefit of the said States, Connecticut inclusive. The cession of South Carolina was described as follows:
* * * All the territory or tract of country included within the river Mississippi and a line beginning at that part of the said river which is intersected by the southern boundary line of the State of North Carolina, and continuing along the said boundary line until it intersects the ridge or chain of mountains which divides the eastern from the western waters, then to be continued along the top of said ridge of mountains until it intersects a line to be drawn due west from the head of the southern branch of Tugaloo River to the said mountains; from thence to run a due west course to the river Mississippi.
The State of North Carolina ceded—.
The lands situated within the chartered limits of the State, west of a line beginning on the extreme height of Stone Mountain, at the place where the Virginia line intersects it; running thence along the extreme height of the said mountain to the place where the Watauga River breaks through it; thence a direct course to the top of the Yellow Mountain where Bright's road crosses the same; thence along the ridge of the said
mountain, between the waters of Doe River and the waters of Rock Creek, to the place where the road crosses the Iron Mountain; from thence along the extreme height of the said mountain to where Nolechucky River runs through the same; thence to the top of the Bald Mountain; thence along the extreme height of the said mountain to the Painted Rock, on French Broad River; thence along the highest ridge of the said mountain to the place where it is called the Great Iron or Smoky Mountain; thence along the extreme height of the said mountain to the place where it is called the Unicoy or Unaka Mountain, between the Indian towns of Cowee and Old Chota; thence along the main ridge of the said mountain to the southern boundary of this State.
It will be noted that the above description of the eastern boundary of her ceded possessions agrees in general terms with the description of the western boundary of North Carolina, as given on page 102.
The articles of cession by Georgia describe the area ceded as follows: The lands situated within the boundaries of the United States, south of the State of Tennessee and west of a line beginning on the west bank of the Chattahouchee River, where the same crosses the boundry line between the United States and Spain; thence running up the said river Chattahouchee and along the western bank thereof to the great bend thereof, next above the place where a certain creek or river, called Uchee (being the first considerable stream on the western side, above the Cussetas and Coweta towns), empties into the said Chattahouchee River; thence in a direct line to Nickajack, on the Tennessee River; thence crossing the last-mentioned river, and thence running up the said Tennessee River and along the western bank thereof to the southern boundary line of the State of Tennessee.
Of the area thus ceded to the General Government the part lying north of the Ohio was afterwards erected into the "Territory Northwest of the River Ohio," and the balance, lying south of that river, was known as the "Territory South of the River Ohio."
TERRITORY NORTHWEST OF THE RIVER OHIO.
This territory was bounded on the west by the Mississippi and the international boundary, on the north by the boundary line between the United States and the British possessions, on the east by the Pennsylvania and New York State lines, and on the south by Ohio River. It comprised an area of, approximately, 266,000 square miles. It was made up of claims of different States, as follows:
1. Virginia uncontested claims, which consisted of all the territory west of Pennsylvania and north of the Ohio to the forty-first parallel of north latitude, besides her claim, by capture, as far as the northern limits of the land under the Crown which had been subject to the jurisdiction of the provinces of Quebec and to Lakes Michigan and Huron.
2. The claim of Connecticut, which extended from the forty-first parallel northward to the parallel of 42° 2′, and from the west line of Pennsylvania to the Mississippi River.
3. The claim of Massachusetts, which extended from the north line of the Connecticut claim above noted to 43° 43′ 12′′ north latitude, and from the eastern boundary of New York to the Mississippi.
4. The belt or zone lying north of the Massachusetts claim, extending thence to the Canada line and west to the Mississippi River, was claimed to have been obtained by the treaty of peace of Great Britain, September 3, 1783.
5. At the cession by the State of Virginia, both Massachusetts and New York claimed the Erie purchase of about 316 square miles, which was subsequently bought by Pennsylvania and added to that State.
From this territory were formed the following States: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, that part of Minnesota east of the Mississippi River, and the northwest corner of Pennsylvania.
In 1787 a bill for its provisional division into not less than three nor more than five States was passed by Congress. In this bill the limits of the proposed States were defined, corresponding in their north and south lines to the boundaries of Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana as at present constituted. The following gives the text of the clause defining these boundaries:
CONFEDERATE CONGRESS-AN ORDINANCE FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE TERRITORY OF THE UNITED STATES NORTHWEST OF THE RIVER OHIO.
ARTICLE 5. There shall be formed in the said territory not less than three nor more than five States; and the boundaries of the States, as soon as Virginia shall alter her act of cession and consent to the same, shall become fixed and established as follows, to wit: The western State in said territory shall be bounded by the Mississippi, the Ohio, and the Wabash River, a direct line drawn from the Wabash and Post Vincents due north to the territorial line between the United States and Canada, and by the said territorial line to the Lake of the Woods and Mississippi. The middle State shall be bounded by the said direct line, the Wabash from Post Vincents to the Ohio, by the Ohio, by a direct line drawn due north from the mouth of the Great Miami to the said territorial line, and by the said territorial line. The eastern State shall be bounded by the last-mentioned direct line, the Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the said territorial line: Provided, however, And it is further understood and declared, that the boundaries of these three States shall be subject so far to be altered, that, if Congress shall hereafter find it expedient, they shall have authority to form one or two States in that part of the said territory which lies north of an east and west line drawn through the southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michigan. Passed July 13, 1787.
The provisions of this bill seem, however, never to have been carried A provisional government was instituted in 1788. By act of May 7, 1800, Congress divided this territory into two Territorial governments, the divisional line being a meridian passing through the mouth of the Kentucky River and extending thence northward to the Canada border. The eastern portion became the "Territory Northwest of the River Ohio," and the western portion, Indiana Territory.
On November 29, 1802, the State of Ohio, comprising most of the former, was formed and admitted into the Union, while the remnant of it was added to Indiana Territory.
In 1805 all that portion of Indiana Territory lying north of a parallel
through the most southerly bend of Lake Michigan and east of a meridian drawn through the same point became the Territory of Michigan. The boundary between these Territories was subsequently very much changed, as will appear in the sequel.
By act of February 3, 1809, Indiana Territory was again divided, and the Territory of Illinois was created from the part lying west of the Wabash River and a meridian running through the city of Vincennes, extending thence to the Canada line.
In 1816 Indiana, and in 1818 Illinois, were admitted to the Union as States, each with its boundaries as constituted at present. By the same act the Mississippi River was made the western boundary of the Territory of Michigan, thus making it include all the balance of the original Northwest Territory after the formation of the three States of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.
The act of 1834 added to Michigan Territory the land between the Missouri and White Earth rivers on the west and the Mississippi River on the east.
Wisconsin Territory was formed in 1836 from the portion of Michigan Territory west of the present State of Michigan. On January 26, 1837, Michigan was admitted into the Union, with its present boundaries. In 1838 all that portion of Wisconsin Territory lying west of the Mississippi River and a line drawn due north from its source to the international boundary (that is, all that part which was originally comprised in the Louisiana purchase) was made the Territory of Iowa, and in 1848 Wisconsin was admitted as a State, with its boundaries as at present constituted.
This appears to leave the area which is now the northeastern part of Minnesota, lying east of the Mississippi River and a line drawn due north from its source, without any government until the formation of Minnesota Territory, in 1849.
TERRITORY SOUTH OF THE RIVER OHIO.
The "Territory South of the River Ohio" was bounded on the north by the present northern boundary of Tennessee, on the south by the thirty-first parallel of latitude, on the east by the States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, and on the west by Mississippi River. The different cessions from the States which made up this region are as follows:
1. The area ceded by North Carolina, which extended from 36° 30' north latitude southward to 35°, and from the western boundary line of the present State to the Mississippi River. This is now the State of Tennessee.
2. The area ceded by South Carolina, which formed a narrow belt 12 or 14 miles in width lying south of the thirty-fifth parallel and extending from her western boundary to the Mississippi River. It is
doubtful whether under the terms of the original charters South Carolina possessed this strip, or whether it was not included in the possessions of Georgia.
3. The area ceded by Georgia, which comprised most of the region of the present States of Alabama and Mississippi north of the thirtyfirst parallel.
Tennessee was admitted as a State in 1796. a State in 1796. In 1798 Congress organized the Territory of Mississippi, which was originally a small, rectangular area, bounded on the west by the Mississippi River, on the north by a parallel through the mouth of the Yazoo River; the boundary on the east was the river Chattahoochee, and on the south the thirty-first parallel of north latitude. This area was subsequently enlarged so as to include the whole of what is now Mississippi and Alabama, with the exception of a strip along the Gulf coast, which was at that time claimed by Spain. In 1817 the Territory was divided, and the eastern portion was made into Alabama Territory. Subsequently the two Territories were admitted as States.
LOUISIANA AND THE TERRITORY ACQUIRED FROM MEXICO.
The Louisiana purchase was effected in 1803. In 1804 it was divided into two parts, that portion which now comprises the State of Louisiana being organized as Orleans Territory, while the balance remained as the Louisiana Territory. The State of Louisiana, comprising most of the Territory of Orleans, was admitted to the Union in 1812, and in the same year it was enlarged by the addition of the portion lying between the Mississippi and Pearl rivers, in the southeastern part. In the same year the name of Louisiana Territory was changed to Missouri Territory. In 1819 Arkansaw Territory was created, and in 1836 it was admitted as a State.
In 1820 the State of Missouri was formed from another portion of Missouri Territory, and in 1836 the boundaries of this State were enlarged to their present limits. In 1834, as was stated above, that portion of this Territory lying north of the State of Missouri and east of the Missouri and White Earth rivers was attached to the Territory of Michigan. In 1836 this portion was transferred from the Territory of Michigan to the Territory of Wisconsin. In 1838 it was transferred to the Territory of Iowa. In 1845 the State of Iowa
was created, and in 1846 its boundaries were enlarged. In 1849 the remainder of the Territory was transferred to Minnesota Territory. Minnesota was admitted as a State on May 11, 1858, with its present boundaries.
Meantime Texas had been admitted to the Union, and by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Gadsden purchase we had acquired from Mexico all the area west of the northern part of Texas and south