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The said territory, and the States which may be formed therein, shall forever remain a part of this confederacy of the United States of America, subject to the articles of Confederation, and to such alterations therein as shall be constitutionally made ; and to all the acts and ordinances of the United States in Congress assembled, conformable thereto. The inhabitants and settlers in the said territory shall be subject to pay a part of the Federal debts, contracted, or to be contracted, and a proportional part of the expenses of government to be apportioned on them by Congress, according to the same common rule and measure by which apportionments thereof shall be made on the other States; and the taxes for paying their proportion shall be laid and levied by the authority and direction of the legislatures of the district, or districts, or new States, as in the original States, within the time agreed upon by the United States in Congress assembled. The legislatures of those districts, or new States, shall never interfere with the primary disposal of the soil by the United States in Congress assembled, nor with any regulations Congress may find necessary for securing the title in such soil to the bona-fide purchasers. No tax shall be imposed on lands the property of the United States; and in no case shall non-resident proprietors be taxed higher than residents. The navigable waters leading into the Mississippi and Saint Lawrence, and the carrying places between the same, shall be common highways, and forever free, as well to the inhabitants of the said territory as to the citizens of the United States, and those of any other States that may be admitted into the confederacy, without any tax, impost, or duty therefor.
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 the said territory, shall be bounded by the Mississippi, the Ohio, and the Wabash Rivers; 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. And whenever any of the said States shall have sixty thousand free inhabitants therein, such State shall 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 shall be at liberty to form a permanent constitution and State government: Provided, The constitution and government, so to be formed, shall be republican, and in conformity to the principles contained in these articles, and, so far as it can be consistent with the general interest of the confederacy, such admission shall be allowed at an earlier period, and when there
may be a less number of free inhabitants in the State than sixty thousand.
There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servi. tude in the said territory, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted : Provided always, That any person escaping into the same, from whom labor or service is lawfully claimed in any one of the original States, such fugitive may be lawfully reclaimed, and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labor or service as aforesaid.
Be it ordained by the authority aforesaid, That the resolutions of the 23d of April, 1784, relative to the subject of this ordinance, be, and the same are hereby, repealed, and declared null and void.
Done by the United States, in Congress assembled, the 13th day of July, in the year of our Lord 1787, and of their sovereignty and independence the twelfth.
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED
At the close of the revolution it was evident that the Articles of Confederation were not suited to the exigencies of the nation. Suggestions of a convention to revise the Articles came from various quarters, but led to no result till the Virginia Legislature, in January, 1786, appointed commissioners to meet such as might be appointed by other states “to take into consideration the trade of the United States; to examine the relative situations and trade of the said states; to consider how far a uniform system in their commercial regulations may be necessary to their common interest and their permanent harmony; and to report to the several states such an act relative to this
great object as, when unanimously ratified by them, will enable the United States in Congress assembled effectually to provide for the same.” Accordingly twelve commissioners from the five states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia met at Annapolis, September 11, 1786, and, after a short session, adjourned, recommending that a full convention of delegates from all the states be held at Philadelphia, May 2d next, to mature plans for adapting the federal government “ to the exigency of the union.” The Congress of the Confederation, Feb. 21, 1787, recommended
to the several states that a convention be held at Philadelphia “ for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation, and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures, such alterations and provisions therein as shall, when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the States, render the Federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government and the preservation of the union.” How closely the convention followed these instructions is well known.
The convention, consisting of fifty delegates, from twelve states (all but Rhode Island), met at Philadelphia, May 14, 1787, and sat with closed doors till September 17, 1787, when Washington transmitted, as the result of their labors, the Constitution to Congress.
Congress transmitted the Constitution to the several legislatures, and, September 13, 1788, eleven states having ratified it, passed resolutions providing for the choosing of electors for President and Vice-President.
The dates of the ratification of the Constitution by the several states are as follows :-Delaware, December 7, 1787; Pennsylvania, December 12, 1787; New Jersey, December 18, 1787; Georgia, January 2, 1788; Connecticut, January 9, 1788; Massachusetts, February 6, 1788; Maryland, April 28, 1788; South Carolina, May 23, 1788; New Hampshire, June 21, 1788 ; Virginia, June 26, 1788 ; New York, July 26, 1788 ; North Carolina, November 21, 1789; Rhode Island, May 29, 1790.