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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.;

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9098. WESTERN TERRITORY, Government for.—
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9098. WESTERN TERRITORY, Government for.—

The Committee appointed to
prepare a plan for the temporary Government
of the Western Territory have agreed to the
following resolutions: Resolved, that the territory
ceded or to be ceded by individual States
to the United States whensoever the same shall
have been purchased of the Indian inhabitants
and offered for sale by the United States shall
be formed into distinct States bounded in the
following manner as nearly as such cessions
will admit, that is to say: Northwardly and


Page 941
Southwardly by parallels of latitude so that
each State shall comprehend from South to
North two degrees of latitude beginning to
count from the completion of thirty-one degrees
North of the equator, but any territory Northwardly
of the 47th degree shall make part of the
State next below, and Eastwardly and Westwardly
they shall be bounded, those on the
Mississippi by that river on one side and the
meridian of the lowest point of the rapids of
Ohio on the other; and those adjoining on the
East by the same meridian on their Western
side, and on their Eastern by the meridian of
the Western cape of the mouth of the Great
Kanawha. And the territory eastward of this
last meridian between the Ohio, Lake Erie and
Pennsylvania shall be one State. That the
settlers within the territory so to be purchased
and offered for sale shall, either on their own
petition or on the order of Congress, receive
authority from them, with appointments of
time and place for their free males of full age
to meet together for the purpose of establishing
a temporary government, to adopt the constitution
and laws of any one of these States, so
that such laws nevertheless shall be subject to
alteration by their ordinary legislature, and to
erect, subject to a like alteration counties or
townships for the election of members for their
legislature. That such temporary government
shall only continue in force in any State until
it shall have acquired 20,000 free inhabitants,
when, giving due proof thereof to Congress,
they shall receive from them authority with appointments
of time and place to call a convention
of representatives to establish a permanent
Constitution and Government for themselves.
Provided, that both the temporary and
permanent Governments be established on these
principles as their basis. 1. That they shall
forever remain a part of the United States of
America. 2. That in their persons, property
and territory, they shall be subject to the Government
of the United States in Congress assembled,
and to the Articles of Confederation
in all those cases in which the original States
shall be so subject. 3. That they shall be subject
to pay a part of the federal debts contracted
or to be contracted, 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. 4. That
their respective Governments shall be in republican
forms, and shall admit no person to be
a citizen, who holds any hereditary title. 5.
That after the year 1800 of the Christian era,
there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary
servitude in any of the said States, otherwise
than in punishment of crimes, whereof the party
shall have been duly convicted to have been
personally guilty. That whenever any of the
said States shall have of free inhabitants as
many as shall then be in any one the least numerous
of the thirteen original States, such
State shall be admitted by its delegates into the
Congress of the United States, on an equal
footing with the said original States: After
which the assent of two-thirds of the United
States in Congress assembled shall be requisite
in all those cases, wherein by the Confederation
the assent of nine States is now required.
Provided the consent of nine States to such
admission may be obtained according to the
eleventh of the Articles of Confederation. Until
such admission by their delegates into Congress,
any of the said States, after the establishment
of their temporary Government, shall have
authority to keep a sitting Member in Congress,
with a right of debating, but not of voting.
That the territory Northward of the 45th degree,
that is to say of the completion of 45°
from the Equator and extending to the Lake of
the Woods, shall be called
Sylvania. That of
the territory under the 45th and 44th degrees,
that which lies Westward of Lake Michigan
shall be called
Michigania, and that which is
Eastward thereof, within the peninsula formed
by the lakes and waters of Michigan, Huron,
St. Clair and Erie, shall be called
Cherronesus, and shall include any part of the peninsula
which may extend above the 45th degree. Of
the territory under the 43d and 42d degrees,
that to the Westward through which the Assenisipi
or Rock river runs shall be called
Assenisipia, and that to the Eastward in which
are the fountains of the Muskingum, the two
Miamis of Ohio, the Wabash, the Illinois, the
Miami of the lake and Sandusky rivers, shall
be called Metropotamia. Of the territory
which lies under the 41st and 40th degrees the
Western, through which the river Illinois runs,
shall be called
Illinoia; that the next adjoining
to the Eastward
Saratoga, and that between
this last and Pennsylvania and extending from
the Ohio to Lake Erie shall be called
Washington. Of the territory which lies under the 39th
and 38th degrees to which shall be added so
much of the point of land within the fork of the
Ohio and Mississippi as lies under the 37th
degree, that to the Westward within and adjacent
to which are the confluences of the rivers
Wabash, Shawanee, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois,
Mississippi and Missouri, shall be called
Polypotamia, and that to the Eastward, farther up
the Ohio, otherwise called the Pelisipi, shall be
Pelisipia. That the preceding articles
shall be formed into a charter of Compact, shall
be duly executed by the President of the United
States in Congress assembled, under his hand
and the seal of the United States, shall be promulgated,
and shall stand as fundamental constitutions
between the thirteen original States,
and those now newly described, unalterable but
by the joint consent of the United States in
Congress assembled, and of the particular State
within which such alteration is proposed to be
Report on Government for Western Territory. Ford ed., iii, 407.
(March 1, 1784)