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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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4420. LANDS (Public), Squatting.—
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3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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4420. LANDS (Public), Squatting.—

Virginia Assembly finding that, in defiance of
their endeavors to discourage and prevent the
settling our western country, people were removing
thither in great numbers, appropriating
lands of their own authority, and meditating to
hold them by force, after propositions, made
and rejected at several sessions for legalizing
those settlements, at length found it necessary
to give way to the torrent, and by their act of
May, 1779, to establish a land office. The irregular
claims and settlements which, in the
meantime, had covered that country, were become
so extensive that no prudent man could
venture to locate a new claim, and so numerous
that, in the common administration of justice,
it would have engrossed the whole time of
our ordinary courts for many years to have
adjusted them. So multifarious were they, at
the same time, that no established principles of
law or equity could be applied for their determination;
many of them being built on customs
and habits which had grown up in that country,
being founded on modes of transmission peculiar
to themselves, and which, having entered almost
into every title, could not be absolutely neglected.
This impressed on the minds of the
Assembly the necessity of sending special commissioners
to settle, on the spot, and without
delay, those various claims, which being once
cleared away would leave the residuary country
open to the acquisition of other adventurers.
The western Counties were accordingly laid off
into Districts for this purpose, and the arrangement
being general, included the territory on
the waters of the Ohio claimed by the State of
Pennsylvania. Whether the Assembly did not
advert to this circumstance, or took for granted
that the commissioners would never consider a
law of this State as meant to be applied to
those who professed themselves the citizens of
another, and had been freely admitted so to
profess themselves by our Government, or
whether they relied that the term of one year,
within which they provided that no grant should
issue on any judgment of the commissioners,
would give them time for the settlement of our
disputed territory, or at least to provide for the
peace of their citizens within it, is not within
my province or power to say. This, however,
I can say, that from an intimate knowledge of
their cordial desire to settle this claim with
them amicably, no motive inconsistent with
that entered into the transaction. In fact the
execution of this commission, guarded as its effects
are by a twelve months' delay of the grants,
appears to be as peaceable and inoffensive as
the mission of so many astronomers to take
the longitude or latitude of the several farms.—
To the President of Congress. Ford ed., ii, 293.
(Wg. 1780)