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constitutes the other party ? Would they, in an analogous case,'be allowed to sit upon a jury? Will Congress not pause before they proceed, under these circumstances, to settle the controversy, at least until they place the other party upon a footing with Ohio ?

It is manifest, then, from the foregoing facts and arguments, that by the ordinance for the government of the Territory of the United States Northwest of the River Ohio, and the articles of compact between the original States, and the people and States in that Territory, which“ forever remain unalterable, unless by common consent,” Congress were required to form not less than three, nor more than five States, in the said Territory :

That the three first States, so required to be formed, had certain boundaries assigned to them, with the reservation of a power to Congress 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:

That whenever either of the said States should have sixty thousand free inhabitants therein, such State should be admitted, by its delegates, into the Congress of the United States, on an equal footing with the original States, in all respects whatever; and should be at liberty to form a permanent constitution and State Government :

That by the act of Congress to enable the people of the eastern division of the Northwestern Territory to form a constitution and State Government, the northern boundary of Ohio was defined and established by an east and west line drawn through the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan, and running east until it should intersect Lake Erie or the territorial line :

That by official surveys, and minute scientific observations, ordered by Congress, and executed under the direction of the President, the line due east from the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan strikes the Miami of the lake two or three miles below the village of Maumee, cuts off a small portion of territory at the southern corner of the Miami river and bay, and intersects the territorial line in Lake Erie :

That by a proviso in the said act of Congress, liberty was given to that body either to attach all that part of the eastern division of the northwestern territory which lay north of the east and west line aforesaid to the State of Ohio, or to dispose of it in conformity to the fifth article of compact between the original States and the people and States to be formed in the territory northwest of the river Ohio :

That this disposition of it was, to create one or two States in the territory north of the said ast and west line :

That by the act of Congress dividing the Indiana Territory into two separate governments, and organizing the Territory of Michigan, they adopted the latter alternative of the said proviso, and determined to dispose of all the territory north of the east and west line, not by attaching it to Ohio, but in conformity to the fisth article of compact; and that, therefore, the State of Ohio ceased, from that moment, to have any right or claim to any part of the territory north of the said line, and Congress ceased to have any power to attach it to her :

That by the aforesaid act, the Territory of Michigan was defined and bounded so as to comprise all that country " which lies north of a line drawn east from the southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michigan, until it shall intersect Lake Erie, and east of a line drawn from the said southerly bend through the middle of said Lake to its northern extremity, and thence due north to the northern boundary of the United States :

That the inhabitants of the said Territory of Michigan were, by the same act, declared to be entitled to, and promised that they should enjoy, " all and singular the rights, privileges, and advantages granted and secured to the people of the Territory of the United States northwest of the river Ohio, by the said ordinance :"

That the most important of these rights, that which alone could secure to them the enjoyment of civil and religious liberty, and all the other blessings of self-government, was, that whenever they should have sixty thousand free inhabitants within the limits assigned to them, in the said act, they should be admitted by their delegates, into the Congress of the United States; and be at liberty to form a permanent constitution and State government:

That this act of Congress, like the fifth article of compact in the ordinance, the principles of which it carries out, bears with it the pledge of the national faith for its inviolability :

That, therefore, the boundaries of Michigan could not and cannot be contracted without the consent of the people of that territory :

And that, having attained a population of sixty thousand free inhabitants, the people of Michigan have formed a permanent constitution and State government, republican in character, and in conformity to the principles contained in the articles of compact; and do now, by us, their delegates, or, according to the Federal constitution, their Senators and Representative, respectfully claim to be admitted into the Congress of the United States, on an equal footing with the original States, in all respects whatever."


WASHINGTON, January 5, 1836.

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DECEMBER 7, 1835. Sin: I have read the printed argument presented by Messrs. Lyon, Norvell, and Crary, against the bill to settle and define the northern boundary of Ohio, and find in it nothing which I wish to answer, unless it be to say, that the averment printed in italics, in the sixth page of their pamphlet, is incorrect in point of fact. I know of no such recommendation having ever been made by any engineer in the employment of Ohio. Every thing besides, which we contend for, has been, I believe, heretofore presented on paper, and answered in like inanner. For the views and claims of Ohio, I beg leave to refer you to a letter addressed by Mr. Vinton to the honorable John Tipton, chairman, &c., which is printed in

Senate documents of 1833–24, vol. 4, doc. 354, page 57, and to a printed copy of my argument on introducing the bill into the Senate.

I am, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,

T. EWING, To the Hon. John M. CLAYTON,

Chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the Senate.


Argument of Mr. Ewing, of Ohio, on the subject of the boundary.

I feel it due to the importance of the measure which I propose, and to public expectation and public opinion in my State, that I present, at this early stage of the proceeding, a brief summary, at least, of the question to which this bill will give rise. I feel it the more important to do so, as public opinion abroad, throughout the Union, has been assailed, and in some measure pre-occupied, with papers issuing from various quarters inimical to the proposed measure; papers in which a one-sided view of the case has been presented; and in some instances erroneous statements of public documents have, in the over-zeal of individuals to establish their favorite position, been sent abroad, as a part of the political history, and of the law and truth of the case. I wish, in behalf of Ohio, that the facts as they exist may go forth to the public in such small compass, that they may be seen, examined, and understood. And I wish by reference to documents here, and all the documents that I think bear upon the question, to lighten the labor of gentlemen who wish to examine it, and form their judgment. This being my object, I shall attempt little argument and indulge in no digression.

This bill, so far as it relates to Ohio, is the same in all its provisions with that which I have twice offered in the Senate, which has twice passed this body, and which has been twice lost among the unfinished business of the House. A few words are necessary, however, to explain the full purport of its provisions. The act of Congress of the 30th April, 1802, "authorizing the inhabitants of the eastern division of the Northwestern Territory to form a constitution and State Government,” directs that the contemplated State shall be bounded “on the north by an east and west line drawn through the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan," “running east until it shall intersect Lake Eric, or the territorial line; thence with the same, through Lake Erie, to the Pennsylvania line.” Under this law the Convention met, and formed the constitution of Ohio; but fearing that the mouth and estuary of an important river, which had its course within the State, would be excluded by the prescribed boundary, the Convention accepted it, with a proviso which is found in the sixth section of the seventh article of the constitution, and is in the following words:

“Provided always, and it is hereby fuity understood and declared by this Convention, that, if the southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michigan should extend so far south that a line drawn due east from it should not

intersect Lake Erie, or if it should intersect the said lake east of the mouth of the Miami of the lake, then, and in that case, with the assent of the Congress of the United States, the northern boundary of the State shall be established by and extend to a line running from the southerly extremity of Lake Michigan to the most northerly cape of the Miami bay,” " thence northeast to the territorial line, and by the said territorial line to the Pennsylvania line."

Now, sir, the position of Lake Michigan is proved to be, as was apprehended by the framers of the constitution of Ohio. The southerly extreme of Lake Michigan is so far south, that a line drawn from it due east cuts off the mouth of the Miami of the lake, and intersects Lake Erie many miles east of that river; and this bill copies substantially the above recited proviso of the constitution of Ohio, and will, if it become a law, give the express assent of Congress to the boundary designated therein. The objection to the boundary named in the act of Congress is best understood by reference to a map of the country, which Senators will find upon their tables. It will be seen that the Miami of the lake, a large and navigable river, (the largest, I believe which flows northward into that chain of lakes,) has almost its whole course in Ohio and its whole and entire navigable course in Ohio and Indiana, except the last eight miles, with its mouth and bay, or estuary, which is cut off by this east and west line, and thrown into another jurisdiction—that of the Territory of Michigan.

I can acquit, at once, the framers of the ordinance of 1787, and the Congress which passed the law of April 30, 1802, of the apparent neglect of the just interests of the great civil division of our country which comprises the community which those acts called into being. They had fixed, according to their belief of the geographical relations of the country, boundaries to that State which were totally unexceptionable. The line, as they had fixed it, did, as they believed, instead of cutting off from Ohio the mouth of the Miami of the lake, extend northward beyond the river Raisin, to the head of the lake, or rather above it, near the mouth of the Detroit river. I refer to an ancient map of the country, the same which was of the highest authority at the time of the passage of the ordinance and the act of 1802, to show what was their purpose, and what were their opinions as to this boundary. It is a singular case of an error affecting a division of land or a tract of country. It is not a mistake in the position of an object which forms part of a boundary, but the position of a very remote object, lying in an unexplored region, from which a line was to be produced in the given direction, until it should touch the Territory in question, and form the boundary.

But the difficulty will be remedied by adopting the bill which I now offer. It will give to Ohio, not all that was supposed and intended by the Congress which framed the act of 1802, but it will give her all that is important to her internal improvements and commercial interests, and all that was asked for by the framers of her constitution. And there would seem to be the most obvious propriety and policy in according it, having a due regard to the great leading features of our country in its civil divisions, if, indeed Congress have the power to do so without the infringement of a compact, or the violation of national faith.

This measure has been long a subject of discussion. Those who oppose it contend that Congress, by the terms of the deed of cession from

Virginia, by the ordinance of 1787, for the government of the Territory northwest of the river Ohio, and by their own subsequent acts, haye been deprived of the power of extending the boundary of either of the southern States of the Northwestern Territory, Ohio inclusive, north of an east and west line drawn through the southerly extreme of Lake Micigan. And the first and most important inquiry is, whether Congress does now possess that power? To me, indeed, it seems a question of easy solution.

At the close of the revolutionary war, Virginia and Connecticut claimed each a portion of the Northwestern Territory. Connecticut ceded her jurisdiction without any directions as to is future civil divisions; but Virginia required that the lands so ceded should be divided into States, "containing a suitable extent of territory, not less than one hundred, nor more than one hundred and fifty miles square, or as near thereto as circumstances will permit,” &c.; which provision was made in accordance with a resolution of Congress of the 10th of October, 1780.

The country was at that time unexplored, and great difficulties might have arisen from the fixing of any unbending rules for the formation of new States, in respect to location and boundary. Congress soon became sensible of this, and, by their resolution of July 7, 1786, asked Virginia to revise her deed of cession. The preamble to that resolution shows what were the views and wishes of that Congress in the formation of new members of the Federal Union, and what, I believe, has been (at least what ought to have been the purpose of each succeeding Congress which has been called to act on this subject. It is as follows:

“Whereas it appears, from the knowledge already obtained of the tract of country lying northwest of the river Ohio, that the laying it out and forming it into new States, of the extent mentioned in the resolution of Congress of October 10, 1780, and in one of the conditions contained in the cession of Virginia, will be productive of many and great inconveniences; that, by such a division of the country, some of the new States will be deprived of the advantage of navigation; some will be improperly intersected by lakes, rivers, and mountains; and some will contain too great a proportion of barren and unimprovable land, and, of consequence, will not for many years, if ever, have a sufficient number of inhabitants to form a respectable Government, and entitle them to a seat and voice in the Federal council: And whereas, in fixing the limits and dimensions of the new States, due attention ought to be paid to natural boundaries, and a variety of circumstances which will be pointed out by a more perfect knowledge of the country, so as to provide for the future growth and prosperity of each State, as well as for the accommodation and security of the first adventurers: in order, therefore, that the ends of Government be attained, and that the States which are formed may become a speedy and sure accession of strength to the confederacy:

Resolved, That it be, and is hereby, recommended to the Legislature of Virginia to take into consideration their act of cession, and revise the same, so far as to empower the United States, in Congress assembled, to make such a division of the territory of the United States, lying northerly and westerly of the river Ohio, into distinct republican States, not more than five nor less than three, as the situation of that country and future circumstances may require; which States shall hereafter become members of the Federal Union, and have the same rights of sovereignty, freedom,

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