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demonstrates that the east and west line runs a little south of the Fulton line, and fixes the southern boundary of Michigan upwards of one hundred feet south of that line, to which she has claimed for the past seventeen years, it being that length of time since it was run by order of Government. It is understood that the minute and careful observations, which have elicited these facts, were made at the particular desire of some of the delegation in Congress from the State of Ohio. Whether this be the fact or not, they were made by scientific and accomplished officers, and the result is not to be drawn into question at the present time. The force of the suggestion, that the east and west line cuts off a part of the northeast corner of Ohio, is therefore entirely lost; and the fifty or sixty thousand inhabitants of that section of the State, menaced with the evils of a separation from it by the imaginary wanderings of this unfortunate line, may still continue, in undisturbed tranquillity, to enjoy all the peculiar blessings secured to them by the “fostering and paternal” Government of Ohio.
But, it seems, that some of the persons residing in that part of Michigan which lies on the northern shore of the Miami of the Lake, and near to that great inland sea, into which it pours its tributary waters, do not wish to be “forced into the fellowship and fraternity” of the people of the State of Michigan.” They “turn from them with fear and aversion,” as from “the political bondage" of " adversaries and rivals,” and "seek protection from Ohio, whom they think more regardful of their feelings, and more friendly to their interests." Unfortunately for these complaints, they proceed from those who, with a full knowledge of the right, possession, and jurisdiction of Michigan over the country in question, have planted themselves in it from motives of speculation and pecuniary profit, and who prefer “ the fraternity” and “protection of Ohio," because they suppose their immediate interests will be subserved by such an association, by the consequent termination of the Wabash and Erie canal near their property, and by the advantages and accession of individual wealth, which, in that event, they will be enabled to exact from both Ohio and Michigan. Unfortunately for the suggestions in behalf of these persons, they proceed from those who, for two or three years past, have been unceasingly laboring to create this “fear and aversion” to Michigan. The inhabitants of that part of the territory were a quiet and peaceable people, well satisfied with their situation, and proud of the character and title of citizens of Michigan until the tempter came-until Ohio made an effort to sever them from their allegiance and duty, and stimulated a part of them to a violation of the laws of the United States. They were persuaded that Ohio would terminate her public works in favor of their interests; that she would bring her canal directly to their doors, if she could obtain the jurisdiction to which she laid claim. Mi. chigan had nothing to proffer in counteraction of these insidious efforts. She had not received from the General Government her million acres of the public lands, nor any portion of a liberal per centage upon the sales of other public lands, during thirty-two years, for the purpose of building canals and constructing roads and other works of public improvement. She had received no such stimulants to incite to “industry and enterprise," or to alienate men from their patriotic attachments to another government. Her territorial vassalage had continued for forty-eight
years; but she knew that her title to the country, by right and possession, was good, and that title she resolved to defend : and, with the exception of the few individuals gathered together at one or two small villages, started into life under a hope and with a view to the transfer of the territory in question, we are not aware of any general anxiety on the part of the people to aid and assist in extending the jurisdiction of Ohio. They are satisfied with their present situation; they feel an interest in the success of the Government of Michigan, and stand ready to support and defend its just rights; they interested themselves in the formation of the State government of Michigan, and were ably represented by two delegates in the convention which formed her constitution. It is not, therefore, the actual and ancient settlers of the district, :vho have generally turned from Michigan “ with fear and aversion,” but those who feel no interest in her welfare, and many of whom claim to be citizens of other States. If “the opinions and feelings of such men are to prevail in the settlement of this question, it will establish a precedent in the legislation of the Union as novel in its character as it will be deplorable in its consequences.
It has been said, that “ Congress had the right, by virtue of their general powers, without any express compact authorizing it, to erect Territorial Governments, such as they might see fit, as to number, extent and · boundary, and to change and modify them at pleasure.” We have searched in vain, in the constitution, or in any other concession of powers to the General Government, for the right here claimed for it. And we apprehend that the restricted character of that Government is too obvious, and the examples of the arrest of its unconstitutional practices by the States and people too numerous, to allow usage to sanctify the undue extension of powers not delegated to it in the constitution. But whatever weight may be given to this suggestion, it cannot apply to that great Territory ceded to the United States upon conditions em"braced in the solemn compact making the cession. To this compact the State of Virginia, and the people of every part and division of the Territory, were parties. They have a right to claim the fulfilment, by the General Government, of the conditions contained in the deed of cession, and accepted and ratified by that Government itself. It has been shown, that, in pursuance of that ordinance, and with a view to the fulfilment of its conditions, Congress, thirty years ago, organized the Territory of Michigan; defined and fixed its boundaries and limits, without qualification or reservation; gave to it a “temporary Government,” and a pledge to the inhabitants, then and thereafter inhabiting it, that when they attained a population of sixty thousand, they should " be at liberty to form a permanent constitution and State Government,” and should be admitted into the Union as a free, sovereign, and independent State, “upon an equal footing with the original States. With due deference be it affirmed, this was the only “temporary Government” ever given to the people of Michigan, as such. It was the only organization of that Territory which gave to it, without any reservation, its fixed limits and bounda- · ries. And when this was done, the power of Congress was exhausted upon the subject, so far as the territorial and political rights of the people of Michigan were concerned. Its " limits” are “ fixed and immutable," without the consent of its people. They have never claimed any
thing beyond those limits: they have never transcended them : they have, in all their proceedings, adhered to them with punctilious fidelity. The annexation of the Wisconsin country to Michigan, like the more recent annexation of the territory west of the Mississippi, was made to save the necessity and expense of another Territorial Government. But that annexation has never been supposed by the people of Michigan to confer upon them any claim to any portion of the annexed territory; nor has it ever been believed by them to indicate any intention on the part of Congress to add it to Michigan. On the contrary, they consider that such a proceeding would operate injuriously and unjustiy upon their fellow-citizens west of lake Michigan, both in a political and territorial point of view.
The words“ temporary government” have been dwelt upon in order to show that Michigan has no fixed boundaries, and no claim to admission as a State into the Union, until Congress shall have previously, by a special act, authorized her to form a constitution. It would be a sufhcient answer to this argument, to say that the phrase “temporary government” has reference, not to boundaries, but exclusively to that grade of government which precedes the establishment of “a permanent constitution and State government;" and that Congress having, in the ordinance, vested in the people of Michigan, as soon as, within the limits prescribed by a subsequent act, equally obligatory, they attained a population of sixty thousand free inhabitants, a right to form a State constitution and government, no further action of that body was necessary, except that of admission into the Union, which ought to be considered a matter of course, if the constitution so formed be republican, and in conformity to the principles of the ordinance.
But the compact of 1784, revised and altered by the compact of 1787, fully explains the language of “temporary government.'
It was a gove ernment instituted for the time being, for particular purposes; to be superseded by a permanent government. By the former compact, the people of their own volition could institute the temporary government, but must await the assent of Congress to create their permanent government. But, by the ordinance of 1787, Congress have the power to institute the temporary government, and the people of the Territory that of instituting the permanent government, on the happening of th tingency of attaining the requisite population.
In the whole action of that body in relation to the Northwestern Territory, until the formation of the State of Indiana, there was a studied and careful observance of the ordinance. In the creation of that government, and in its admission into the Union, Congress first disregarded the ordinance, and extended the northern and western boundary of that State, the former ten miles north of the east and west line through the southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michigan. The State of Illinois subsequently assented, for a valuable consideration, to this deviation by Congress from the ordinance, so far as related to the western boundary of Indiana, in which alone was she interested. Michigan has neither assented, nor received a valuable consideration for assenting, to the deviation from the ordinance in fixing the northern boundary of Indiana. Nor would any consideration, in the extension of her boundary at any other point, atone to Michigan for the loss of the ten miles taken from her in settling that
northern boundary. A due regard to “natural boundaries,” and to the rights, political and territorial, of another people, whom she hopes, at an early day, to hail as another accession to this great confederacy of States, would forbid her to accept any acquisition of territory north and west of her, as a consideration for the serious loss alluded to. If Congress, in the admission of Indiana, failed to remember the obligations imposed upon them by the ordinance, they have created the difficulties which surround the question involved in the conflicting territorial claims of Michigan and Indiana. None have perceived, none have regretted, these difficulties, more than they have been seen and felt by Michigan. She has, therefore, never annoyed either Indiana or the United States upon the subject. But, in presenting her constitution and claim for admission as a State into the Union, she could do no less than adhere to her compact rights in relation to all her boundaries. Having, by an incautious, and, as she thinks, unconstitutional act of Congress, been devested of an important part of the domain situated within her rightsul territorial limits, she is, perhaps unavoidably, constrained to leave it to Congress to afford the remedy, or to point her to the mode of obtaining it. But if she should be so constrained, by circumstances beyond her own control, and possibly, at this time, not entirely within the control of Congress, it will not be because she admits the power of that body either to extend, when and as they did extend, the northern boundary of Indiana, or to contract, as is proposed in the biil before the Judiciary Committee, any of the ordinance boundaries of Michigan.
Michigan is the smallest, and destined always to be the weakest and the most exposed, of the Northwestern States. Nearly one-fourth of her superficial extent is water, and nearly one-third of her territory, extending in one direction from Saganaw to Mackinac, is unimproveable land, little or no part of which will ever be susceptible of cultivation. It is believed that not a white man inhabits the interior of that whole region of cold, barren, and marshy soil. Nominally she has forty thousand square miles of territory and water. In reality she has not thirty thousand square miles of land which may be cultivated, or which will ever be productive. She must, therefore, rely upon her more southern soil and climate for
po. pulation, production and support. The ground claimed by Ohio, but which belongs to Michigan, although only six hundred and fifty square miles, is of more value to her than all the country in the northern section of the State. Michigan is a border State. Her eastern and northeastern side touches the British province of Upper Canada, and is liable, in the event of war, to daily incursion and to subjugation from that quarter. Several times, in the history of the past century, has she changed masters by the fortunes of war. In the last contest with Great Britain, the people of Michigan suffered all the horrors of savage warfare and cruelty, and all the “ tender mercies” of British hostility and conquest. There are distinguished statesmen now in Congress, who were the personal witnesses of their sufferings; who can bear testimony to their humanity and hospitality to their countrymen from other States taken captive by the enemy, as well as to their services in danger and in battle. The safety, therefore, and the efficient defence of Michigan, in wars with Great Britain, require all the population, and the resources of strength and subsistence, which all the territory which she justly claims can afford her. From her remote posi
tion in the northwest ; from the character of the country and climate ; from inattention to her petitions and claims, Michigan has been a colony, and treated as such, for thirty or forty years. She has now a population of at least one hundred and forty thousand free inhabitants. She appealed to Congress, at several successive sessions, for authority to form a constitution and State government. Her appeals were unavailing. No Territory in the United States has been subjected to the same neglect, or so long debarred of its compact and constitutional right of self-government. No Territory has been exposed to the same evils from the vulnerable nature of her position, or from the want of men and means for defence, as well as for improvement. And shall Michigan, so exposed, so sterile in a large portion of her territory, so slow heretofore in her progress to wealth and prosperity, so weak to defend herself against invasion and conquest, be compelled to surrender a valuable part of her soil, a still more valuable port and harbor, to the great and powerful State of Ohio, possessed of so many advantages by nature, position, soil, population, and wealth ? In the future political destinies of the country, it is important that the States, formed and to be formed, in the west and northwest, should be as equal as may be in the extent and capability of territory, and in the scale of power and influence. In this view, it is surely not desirable, in the estimation of the American people, that the weak should he rendered weaker, and the strong still more strong; that Michigan, incapable of ever coping with Ohio in population and resources, should be still further reduced in extent and means of prosperity, in order that Ohio, already strengthened and enriched by more than a million of inhabitants, may have her boundaries further extended, and her population more rapidly increased.
It is unnecessary to multiply proofs of the fact, that the possession and jurisdiction of the ground claimed by Ohio, in the present controversy, have been in Michigan ever since her Territorial Government was organized. All the laws of the United States in relation to that subject prove it: And the President has, on various occasions, within the past year, distinctly recognised the possession and jurisdiction of Michigan, and declared his intention to maintain this state of things as long as it constitutionally and lawfully existed.
The surveys of the public lands, both in Ohio and Michigan, in that vicinity, have all been made with reference to the northern boundary of the former State, as prescribed in the act providing for her admission into the Union. A change would cut up these surveys, leaving parts of sections and lots in Ohio, and parts in Michigan. It will make it necessary to have the patents, or deeds of the same lane's, recorded in the two States. It will disorganize all the townships of Michigan along the line, and break down the division lines of three of her counties, created by the Territorial government of Michigan, under authority of the ordinance and of succeeding acts of Congress.
In relation to the right of Congress to decide the question between Michigan and Obio, we think we have demonstrated that all its power on the subject has been exhausted : But if it had not been, can it be proper, will it be just to one of the parties, that many of the individuals composing the tribunal to decide between them, are directly interested in the question ; are citizens and representatives of the very State which