University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
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.;

expand sectionA. 
expand sectionB. 
expand sectionC. 
expand sectionD. 
expand sectionE. 
expand sectionF. 
expand sectionG. 
expand sectionH. 
expand sectionI. 
expand sectionJ. 
expand sectionK. 
expand sectionL. 
expand sectionM. 
expand sectionN. 
expand sectionO. 
expand sectionP. 
expand sectionQ. 
expand sectionR. 
expand sectionS. 
expand sectionT. 
expand sectionU. 
expand sectionV. 
collapse sectionW. 
9094. WESTERN TERRITORY, Acceptance of cession.—
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 

9094. WESTERN TERRITORY, Acceptance of cession.—

On receiving the act
of Assembly for the Western cession, our delegation
agreed on the form of a deed; we then
delivered to Congress a copy of the act, and the
form of the deed we were ready to execute
whenever they should think proper to declare
they would accept it. They referred the act
and deed to a committee, who reported the act
of Assembly to comport perfectly with the propositions
of Congress, and that the deed was
proper in its form, and that Congress ought to
accept the same. On the question to agree to
the report of the Committee, eight States being
present, Jersey was in the negative, and South
Carolina and Pennsylvania divided (being represented
each by two members). Of course
there were five ayes only and the report fell.
We determined on consultation that our proper
duty was to be still, having declared we were
ready to execute, we would leave it to them to
come forward and tell us they were ready to
accept. We meddled not at all, therefore, and
showed a perfect indifference. New Hampshire
came to town which made us nine States. A
member proposed that we should execute the
deed and lay it on the table, which after what
had been done by Congress would be final. urging
the example of New York which had executed
their deed, laid it on the table, where it
remained eighteen months before Congress accepted
it. We replied, “No”, if the lands are
not offered for sale the ensuing spring, they
will be taken from us all by adventures; we
will, therefore, put it out of our power, by the
execution of a deed, to sell them ourselves, if
Congress will not. A member from Rhode
Island then moved that Congress should accept.
Another from Jersey proposed as an amendment
a proviso that it should not amount to an


Page 940
acknowledgment of our right. We told them
we were not authorized to admit any conditions
or provisions; that their acceptance must be
simple, absolute and unqualified, or we could
not execute. On the question there were six
ayes; Jersey, “No”; South Carolina and Pennsylvania
divided. The motion dropped, and the
House proceeded to other business. About an
hour after, the dissenting Pennsylvanian asked
and obtained leave to change his “no” into
“aye”; the vote then passed and we executed
the deed. We have desired an exemplification
of it under the Seal of the States. * * * This shows the wisdom of the Assembly in
not taking any new conditions, which would certainly
have defeated their accommodating intentions.—
To Governor Benj. Harrison. Ford ed., iii, 411.
(A. March. 1784)