BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll


The Haunted Bookshop

Christopher Morely


The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller


Boundaries of the United States

by Henry Gannett

Excerpt:

At the time the Constitution was adopted by the original thirteen States, many of them possessed unoccupied territory, in some cases entirely detached and lying west of the Appalachian Mountains. Thus, Georgia included the territory from its present eastern limits westward to the Mississippi River. North Carolina possessed a narrow strip extending from latitude 35° to 36° 30', approximate^', and running westward to the Mississippi, including besides its own present area that of the present State of Tennessee. In like manner, Virginia possessed what is now Kentucky, while a number of States, as Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, laid claim to areas in what was afterwards known as the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, a region which is now comprised mainly in the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. These claims were to a greater or less extent conflicting. In some cases several States claimed authority over the same area, while the boundary lines were in most cases very ill-defined.

The ownership of these western lands by individual States was opposed by those States which did net share in their possession, mainly on the ground that the resources of the General Government, to which all contributed, should not be taxed for the protection and development of this region, while its advantages would inure to the benefit of but a favored few. On this ground several of the States refused to ratify the Constitution until this matter had been settled by the cession of these tracts to the General Government.

Moved by these arguments, as well as by the consideration of the conflicting character of the claims, which must inevitably lead to trouble among the States, Congress passed, on October 30, 1779, the following act:

Whereaa the appropriation of the vacant lands by the several States during the present war will, in the opinion of Congress, be attended with great mischiefs: Therefore,

Resolved, That it be earnestly recommended to the State of Virginia to reconsider their late act of assembly for opening their land office; and that it be recommended to the said State, and all other States similarly circumstanced, to forbear settling or issuing warrants for unappropriated lands, or granting the same during the continuance of the present war. 30

This resolution was transmitted to the different States. The first to respond to it hy the transfer of her territory to the General Government was New York, whose example was followed by the other States.

The cessions were made on the dates given below:

New York, March 1, 1781.

Virginia, March 1, 1784.

Massachusetts, April 19, 178.5.

Connecticut, September 13, 1786.

The Connecticut act of cession reserved an area in the northeastern part of Ohio, known as the Western Reserve. On May 30, 1800, Connecticut gave to the United States jurisdiction over this area, but without giving up its property rights in it.

South Carolina, August 9, 1787.

North Carolina, February 25, 1790.

Georgia, April 24, 1802.

The following paragraph from the deed of cession by New York defines the limits of its cession to the General Government:

Now, therefore, know ye, that we, the said James Duane, William Floid, and Alexander M'Dougall, hy virtue of the power and authority, and in the execution of the trust reposed in us, as aforesaid, have judged it expedient to limit and restrict, and we do, by these presents, for and in behalf of the said State of New York, limit and restrict the boundaries of the said State in the western parts thereof, with respect to the jurisdiction, as well as the right or pre-emption of soil, by the lines and in the form following, that is to say: A line from the northeast corner of the State of Pennsylvania, along the north bounds thereof to its northwest corner, continued due west until it shall be intersected by a meridian line to be drawn from the forty-fifth degree of north latitude, through the most westerly bent or inclination of Lake Ontario; thence by the said meridian line to the forty-fifth degree of north latitude; and thence by the said forty-fifth degree of north latitude; but, if on experiment, the above-described meridian line shall not comprehend twenty miles due west from the most westerly bent or inclination of the river or strait of Niagara, then we do, by these presents, in the name of the people, and for and on behalf of the State of New York, and by virtue of the authority aforesaid, limit and restrict the boundaries of the said State in the western parts thereof, with respectto jurisdiction, as well as the right of pre-emption of soil, by the lines and in the manner following, that is to say: A line from the northeast corner of the State of Pennsylvania, along the north bounds thereof, to its northwest corner continued due west until it shall be intersected by a meridian line, to be drawn from the forty-fifth degree of north latitude, through a point twenty miles due west from the most westerly bent or inclination of the river or strait Niagara; thence by the said meridian line to the forty-fifth degree of north latitude, and thence by the said forty-fifth degree of north latitude.


... from the RetroRead library, using Google Book Search, and download any of the books already converted to Kindle format.

Browse the 100 most recent additions to the RetroRead library

Browse the library alphabetically by title

Make books:

Login or register to convert Google epubs to Kindle ebooks

username:

password:

Lost your password?

Not a member yet? Register here, and convert any Google epub you wish


Powerd by Calibre powered by calibre