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from Boston, and Burgoyne's surren- | necessities and sacrifices of the times, der at Saratoga, New England, save in connection with the discovery the islands on her coast, was pretty and elucidation, already noticed, of carefully avoided by the Royalist elemental principles, had pretty generals, and only assailed by raids, thoroughly cured the North of all which were finished almost as soon attachment to, or disposition to jusas begun. These facts, vividly im- tify Slavery before the close of the pressed on the general mind by the Revolutionary war.


As the public burdens were con- chartered claim to such lands much stantly swelled, and the debts of the beyond the limits of their then actual several States increased, by the mag- settlements, that their partners in the nitude and duration of our Revolu- efforts, responsibilities, and sacrifices tionary struggle, the sale of yet un of the common struggle were likely settled lands, especially in the vast to reap a peculiar and disproporand fertile West, began to be regard- tionate advantage from its success. ed as a principal resource for the Massachusetts, Connecticut, New ultimate discharge of these constantly York, Virginia, North Carolina, and augmenting liabilities : and it be- Georgia, each claimed, under their came a matter of just complaint and several charters, a right of almost inuneasiness on the part of those States-- definite extension westward, and, in Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, the event of the establishment of and South Carolina—which had no American independence, would natu

freedom as themselves. I perceive the work in order to get their liberty. Our oppressors before me is great. I shall appear to many as a have planned to gain the blacks, and induce them promoter not only of strange, but of dangerous to take up arms against us, by promising them doctrines: it will therefore be necessary to pro- liberty on this condition, and this plan they are ceed with caution. You are apparently deeply | prosecuting to the utmost of their power, by interested in this affair; but, as I have no doubts which means they have persuaded numbers to concerning your concurrence and approbation, I | join them. And, should we attempt to restrain most sincerely wish for your advice and assist them by force and severity, keeping a strict ance, and hope to receive both in good time.” guard over them, and punishing them severely Collection of the Zenger Club, pp. 20, 21,

who shall be detected in attempting to join our 9 The famous Rev. Samuel Hopkins, D.D., an |

opposers, this will only be making bad worse,

and serve to render our inconsistence, oppression, eminent Calvinist divine, published, soon after

and cruelty, more criminal, perspicuous, and the commencement of the war, a dialogue con shocking, and brîng down the righteous vencerning the slavery of the Africans, which he geance of Heaven on our heads. The only way dedicated to “The Honorable Continental pointed out to prevent this threatening evil is to Congress," and of which the following passage

set the blacks at liberty ourselves, by some public

acts and laws, and then give them proper enexhibits the drift and purpose:

couragement to labor, or take arms in the defense "God is so ordering it in his providence, that of the American cause, as they shall choose. This it seems absolutely necessary something should would at once be doing them some degree of be speedily done with respect to the slaves | justice, and defeating our enemies in the scheme among us, in order to our safety, and to prevent that they are prosecuting."-Hopkins's Works, their turning against us in our present struggle, vol ii., p. 584.


uld be tre and to

175 * Vork in the Count Phi

rally each possess a vast area of unpeo- | their respective charters, now known pled, ungranted, and ultimately valu- as Tennessee, Alabama, and Missisable lands. The landless States, with sippi. obvious reason and justice, insisted Though the war was practically that these lands, won by the common concluded by the surrender of Cornvalor and sacrifices of the whole wallis at Yorktown, October 19, American people, should be regarded 1781, and though the treaty of peace as their common property, and to was signed at Paris, November 30, this end should be surrendered or 1782, the British did not evacuate ceded by the States claiming them New York till November 25, 1783; respectively to the Confederation. and the Ninth Continental Congress, The colonial charters, moreover, were which convened at Philadelphia on glaringly inconsistent with each the 3d of that month, adjourned next other; vast tracts being ceded by day to Annapolis. A bare quorum them to two or more colonies respect of members responded to their names, ively; and it was a puzzling question, but one and another soon dropped even for lawyers, to determine wheth- off; so that the journal of most days er the earliest or the latest royal con- records no quorum present, and no cession, if either, should have the pre- business done, until about the 1st cedence. There was but one benefi- day of March, 1784. On that day, cent and just solution for all dis- Mr. Jefferson, on behalf of the deleputes and difficulties in the premises ; gates from his State, presented the and this was a quit-claim by the re- deed of cession to the Confederation, spective States of their several rights by Virginia, of all her claims to juand pretensions to lands exterior to risdiction over territory northwest of their own proper boundaries, in favor the Ohio, and to the soil also of that of the common Confederacy. This territory, subject to the reservation consummation was, for the most part, in behalf of her soldiers already seasonably and cheerfully agreed to. noted. This deed being formally Connecticut made a moderate reser- accepted, Mr. Jefferson moved the vation of wild lands assured to her appointment of a select committee to by her charter in what is now North- report a plan of government for the ern Ohio. Virginia, beside retain-western territory; and Messrs. Jeffering her partially settled country son, Chase of Maryland, and Howell south of the Ohio, now forming the of Rhode Island, were appointed such State of Kentucky, reserved a suffi- committee. From this committee, ciency north of the Ohio to provide | Mr. Jefferson, in due time, reported liberal bounties for her officers and an Ordinance for the government of soldiers who fought in the war of the “ the territory, ceded already, or to Revolution, conceding all other ter- be ceded, by individual States to the ritory north of the river, and all ju- United States," specifying that such risdiction over this. And it was pre- territory extends from the 31st to the sumed, at the close of the war, that 47th degree of north latitude, so as North Carolina and Georgia would to include what now constitutes the promptly make similar concessions of States of Tennessee, Alabama, and the then savage regions covered by Mississippi, but which was then, and wbie to after ordia the

THE JEFFERSONIAN ORDINANCE OF 1784. 39 remained for some years thereafter, particular State within which such alteration unceded to the Union by North Car- | is proposed to be made." olina and Georgia. This entire ter- On the 19th of April, Congress ritory, ceded and to be ceded, was took up this plan for consideration divided prospectively by the Ordi and action, and Mr. Spaight of N. nance into embryo States, to which C. moved that the fifth proposition names were given ; each of them to above quoted, prohibiting Slavery receive, in due time, a temporary or after the year 1800, be stricken out territorial government, and ulti- of the Ordinance; and Mr. Read of S. mately to be admitted into the Con- | C. seconded the motion. The quesfederation of States upon the express tion was put in this form: “Shall assent of two-thirds of the preceding the words moved to be stricken out States; but both their temporary stand ?” and on this question the and their permanent governments Ays and Noes were required and were to be established on these fun- taken, with the following result: damental conditions:

N. HAMP...Mr. Foster.......ay, La “1. That they shall forever remain a part

Mr. Blanchard.. . .ay, } 4y. of the United States of America.

MASSACHU..Mr. Gerry.......ay, ? “2. That, in their persons, property, and

Mr. Partridge....ay, S territory, they shall be subject to the gov R. ISLAND..Mr. Ellery .......ay, ernment of the United States, in Congress

Mr. Howell......ay, J ^y. assembled, and to the Articles of Confedera CONNECT... Mr. Sherman.....ay, tion, in all those cases in which the original

Mr. Wadsworth...ay, 44• States shall be so subject.

NEW YORK.Mr. De Witt.....ay, I Am. "3. That they shall be subject to pay a

Mr. Paine........ay, S. part of the Federal debts, contracted or to. N. JERSEY..Mr. Dick.........ay, | No vote. be contracted; to be apportioned on them by | PENNSYL... Mr. Mifflin .......ay, Congress, according to the same common

Mr. Montgomery..ay, { Ay. rule and measure by which apportionments

Mr. Hand........ay, ) thereof shall be made on the other States. MARYLAND.Mr. Henry.......no, “4. That their respective governments

Mr. Stone........ no, 14" shall be in republican forms, and shall admit VIRGINIA. . Mr. Jefferson.....ay, ) no person to be a citizen who holds an he

Mr. Hardy .......no, reditary title.

Mr. Mercer.......no, 65. That after the year 1800 of the Chris- N. CAROLI..Mr. Williamson ... ay, : tian era, there shall be neither Slavery nor

Mr. Spaight. .....no, I involuntary servitude in any of the said | S. CAROLI...Mr. Read ........no, States, otherwise than in punishment of


Mr. Beresford....no, } crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted to have been personally The votes of members were sixteen guilty."

for Mr. Jefferson's interdiction of The Ordinance concluded as fol

Slavery to seven against it, and the lows:

States stood recorded six for it to three " That all the preceding articles shall be

against it. But the Articles of Conformed into a charter of compact ; shall be duly executed by the President of the United federation required an affirmative States, in Congress assembled, under his

vote of a majority of all the States to hand and the seal of the United States; shall be promulgated, and shall stand as funda

sustain a proposition; and thus the mental conditions between the thirteen orig restriction failed through the absence inal States and those newly described, unal

of a member from New Jersey, renterable but by the joint consent of the United States, in Congress assembled, and of the dering the vote of that State null for

1 By the Articles of Confederation, two or cast the vote of a State. New Jersey, therefore, more delegates were required to be present to | failed to vote.


want of a quorum. Had Delaware Ohio,” excluding, by its silence, the been then represented, she might, territories south of that river, which

were expressly brought within the firmative; but it is not probable that purview and operation of Mr. JefferGeorgia, had she been present, would son's Ordinance-those territories have cast an affirmative vote. Hu- not having, as yet, been ceded by the manly speaking, we may say that States claiming them respectively as the accident-a most deplorable and their peculiar possessions. Mr. Dane's fatal accident-of the absence of a ordinance embodies many provisions member from New Jersey, prevented | | originally drafted and reported by the adoption, at that time, of a prop- Mr. Jefferson in 1784, but with some osition which would have confined modifications. The act concludes Slavery in our country within the with six unalterable Articles of Perlimits of the then existing States, and petual Compact between the embryo precluded all reasonable probability of States respectively and the Union: subsequent contentions, collisions, and the last of them in these words : bloody strife touching its extension.

There shall be neither Slavery nor involThe Jeffersonian Ordinance, thus

untary servitude in the said Territory, othershorn of its strength-the play of wise than in punishment of crimes, whereof Hamlet with the part of Hamlet

the parties shall be duly convicted." omitted—after undergoing some fur- To this was added, prior to its pasther amendments, was finally adopt- sage, the stipulation for the rendition ed, four days later: all the delegates of fugitives from labor or service, but those from South Carolina voting which either had just been, or was in its favor.

just about to be, embodied in the In 1787, the last Continental Con-, Federal Constitution, then being gress, sitting in New York, simulta- framed ; and in this shape the entire neously with the Convention at Phi- Ordinance was adopted, July 13, by ladelphia which framed our present the unanimous vote of the States Constitution, took further action on then represented in Congress, incluthe subject of the government of the ding Georgia and the Carolinas; no western territory, raising a Select effort having been made to strike Committee thereon, of which Nathan out the inhibition of Slavery. Mr. Dane, of Massachusetts, was Chair- Robert Yates, of New York, voted man. That committtee reported, alone in the negative on the passage

ust abe

k, sim, con l

government of the Territories of the by the vote of his two colleagues, United States northwest of the then present.”

? As the American people of our day evi the basis whereon these Republics, their laws dently presume themselves much wiser than and constitutions, are erected; to fix and estabtheir grandfathers, especially in the science of | lish these principles as the basis of all laws, government, the more essential portion of this

constitutions, and governments, which forever celebrated Ordinance of 1787 is hereto appended,

hereafter shall be formed in the said Territory; as affording a standard of comparison with the

to provide, also, for the establishment of States latest improvements in the art of Constitution

and permanent government therein, and for their

admission to a share in the Federal councils on making. It reads:

an equal footing with the original States at as "And for extending the fundamental princi early periods as may be consistent with the ples of civil and religious liberty, which form | general interest:



The experiment of a Confedera- | was fairly tried by our fathers. Its tion, as contra-distinguished from a only beneficent result was the demore intimate and positive Union, monstration thereby afforded of its

"It is hereby ordained and declared, by the settlers in the said Territory shall be subject to authority aforesaid, that the following articles pay a part of the Federal debts, apportioned on shall be considered as articles of compact be- them by Congress, according to the same comtween the original States and the people and mon rule and measure by which apportionments States in the said Territory, and forever remain shall be made on the other States; and the taxes unalterable, unless by common consent, to wit: for paying their proportion shall be laid and

“ARTICLE 1. No person demeaning himself in / levied by the authority and direction of the a peaceable, orderly manner, shall ever be mo- | legislatures of the district, or districts, or new lested on account of his mode of worship, or reli States, as in the original States, within the time gious sentiments, in the Territory.

agreed upon by the United States, in Congress "ART. 2. The inhabitants of the said Territory | assembled. The Legislatures of those districts, shall always be entitled to the benefits of the right or States, shall never interfere with the primary of habeas corpus, and to the trial by jury; of a pro- disposal of the soil by the United States in Con. portionate representation of the people in the gress assembled, nor with any regulations ConLegislature, and of judicial proceedings according gress may find necessary for securing the title to the course of the common law. All persons in such soil to the bona fide purchasers. No shall be bailable, unless for capital offenses, where taxes shall be imposed on the lands and property the proof shall be evident or the presumption of the United States; and in no case shall nongreat. All fines shall be moderate, and no cruel resident proprietors be taxed higher than resior unusual punishment shall be inflicted. No dents. The navigable waters leading into the man shall be deprived of his liberty, or property, Mississippi and Saint Lawrence, and the conveybut by the judgment of his peers, or the law of | ing-places between the same, shall be common the land; and, should the public exigencies make highways, and forever free, as well to the inhabitit necessary for the common preservation to take ants of the said Territory as to the citizens of ant person's property, or to demand his par the United States, and those of any other State ticular services, full compensation shall be that may be admitted into the Confederacy, made for the same. And in the just preser without any tax, impost, or duty, therefor. vation of rights and property, it is understood "ART. 5. There shall be formed in the said Terand declared, that no law ought ever to be made, ritory no less than three, nor more than five or have force, in the said Territory, that shall, States; and the boundaries of the States, as soon in any manner whatever, interfere with, or af as Virginia shall alter her act of cession and fect, private contracts or engagements, bonâ fide, consent to the same, shall be fixed and estaband without fraud, previously formed.

lished as follows, to wit: The western State in "ART. 3. General morality and knowledge be the said Territory shall be bounded by the Mising necessary to good government and the happi. sissippi, the Ohio, and Wabash rivers; a direct ness of mankind, schools and the means of educa line drawn from the Wabash and Post Vincent's tion shall be forever encouraged. The utmost good due north to the territorial line between the faith shall always be observed toward the In | United States and Canada; and by the said terdians; their lands and property shall never be ritorial line to the Lake of the Woods and Mistaken from them, without their consent; and in sissippi. The middle State shall be bounded by their property, rights, and liberty, they shall the said direct line, the Wabash, from Post Vinnever be invaded or disturbed, unless in just cent's to the Ohio; by the Ohio; by a direct and lawful wars, authorized by Congress; and line, drawn due north, from the mouth of the laws, founded in justice and humanity, shall Great Miami to the said territorial line; and by from time to time be made for preventing wrongs the said national line. The eastern State shall be being done to them, and for preserving peace bounded by the last mentioned direct line, the Ohio, and friendship with them.

Pennsylvania, and the said territorial line. ProART. 4. The said Territory, and the States vided, however, and it is further understood and which may be formed therein, shall forever re- | declared, that the boundaries of these three States main a part of this confederacy of the United States shall be subject so far to be altered, that, if Conof America, subject to the Articles of Confedera- | gress shall hereafter find it expedient, they shall tion, and to such alterations therein as shall be have authority to form one or two States in that constitutionally made, and to all acts and ordi- | part of the said Territory which lies north of an nances of the United States, in Congress assem- | east and west line drawn through the southerly bled, conformable thereto. The inhabitants and bend or extremity of Lake Michigan. And

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