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settlers, or any other persons whatsoever, to any part of the aforesaid lands, and to receive from such settlers and claimants any propositions of compromise which may be made by them, and lay a full statement of the claims, and the propositions which may be made to them, by the settlers or claimants, to any part of the said lands, together with their opinion thereon, before Congress, for their decision thereon, as soon as may be : Provided, That the seitlement shall be made and completed before the fourth day of March, one thousand eight hundred and three: And provided also, That the said commissioners shall not contract for the payment of any money from the Treasury of the United States to the State of Georgia, other than the proceeds of the same lands.

April 24, 1802, Georgia ceded to the United States her claims to the entire territory west of her present western boundary (deducting the South Carolina cession on the north) and the river Mississippi.

The United States ceded to Georgia the strip of land twelve miles wide, ceded by South Carolina to the Nation, now being the extreme northern part of the State, estimated to contain fifteen hundred square miles.

Articles of agreement and cession between the United States and Georgia. Articles of agreement and cession, entered into on the twenty-fourth day of April, one

thousand eight hundred and two, between the commissioners appointed on the part of the United States, by virtue of an act, entitled "An act for an amicable settlement of limits with the State of Georgia, and authorizing the establishment of a government in the Mississippi Territory," and of the act supplemental to the last-mentioned act, on the one part; and the commissioners appointed on the part of the State of Georgia, by virtue of an act, entitled "An act to carry the twenty-third section of the first article of the constitution into effect," and of the act to amend the last-mentioned act, on the other part.

ARTICLE 1. The State of Georgia cedes to the United States all the right, title, and claim, which the said State has to the jurisdiction and soil of the lands situated within the boundaries of the United States, south of the State of Tennessee, and west of a line beginning on the western bank of the Chatahouchee River, where the same crosses the boundary line between the United States and Spain; running thence up the said river Chatahouchee, and along the western bank thereof to the great bend thereof, next above the place where a certain creek or river, called " Uchee" (being the first considerable stream on the western side, above the Cussetas and Coweta towns), empties into the said Chatahouchee River; thence in a direct line to Nickajack, on the Tennessee River; thence crossing the said last-mentioned river, and thence running up the said Tennessee River, and along the western bank thereof, to the southern boundary line of the State of Tennessee; upon the following express conditions, and subject thereto, that is to say:

First. That out of the first net proceeds of the sales of the lands thus ceded, which net proceeds shall be estimated by deducting, from the gross amount of sales, the expenses incurred in surveying, and incident to the sale, the United States shall pay, at their Treasury, one million and two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the State of Georgia, as a consideration for the expenses incurred by the said State, in relation to the said territory, and that for the better securing as prompt a payment of the said sum as is practicable, a land office for the disposition of the vacant lands thus ceded, to which the Indian title has been, or may hereafter be, extinguished, shall be opened within a twelvemonth after the assent of the State of Georgia to this agreement, as hereafter stated, shall have been declared.

Secondly. That all persons who, on the twenty-seventh day of October, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five, were actual settlers within the territory thus ceded, shall

be confirmed in all grants legally and fully executed prior to that day, by the former British government of West Florida, or by the government of Spain, and in the claims which may be derived from any actual survey or settlement made under the act of the State of Georgia, entitled "An act for laying out a district of land situate on the river Mississippi, and within the bounds of this state, into a county, to be called " Bourbon," passed the seventh day of February, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five.

Thirdly. That all the lands ceded by this agreement to the United States shall, after satisfying the above-mentioned payment of one million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the State of Georgia, and the grants recognized by the preceding conditions, be considered as a common fund for the use and benefit of the United States, Georgia included, and shall be faithfully disposed of for that purpose, and for no other use or purpose whatever: Provided, however, That the United States, for the period and until the end of one year after the assent of Georgia to the boundary eg. tablished by this agreement shall have been declared, may, in such manner as not to interfere with the above-mentioned payment to the State of Georgia, nor with the grants herein before recognized, dispose of, or appropriate a portion of the said lands, not

exceeding five millions of acres, or the proceeds of the said five millions of acres, or of any part thereof, for the purpose of satisfying, quieting, or compensating, for any claims other than those herein before recognized, which may be made to the said lands or to any part thereof. It being fully understood, that if an act of Congress making such disposition or appropriation shall not be passed into a law within the above-mentioned period of one year, the United States shall not be at liberty thereafter to cede any part of the said lands on account of claims which may be laid to the same, other than those recognized by the preceding condition, nor to compensate for the same; and in case of any such cession or compensation the present cession of Georgia to the right of soil over the lands thus ceded or compensated for, shall be considered as null and void ; and the lands thus ceded or compensated for shall revert to the State of Georgia.

Fourthly. That the United States shall, at their own expense, extinguish, for the use of Georgia, as early

as the same can be peacably obtained, on reasonable terms, the Indian title to the county of Talassee, to the lands left out by the line drawn with the Creeks, in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight, which had been previously granted by the State of Georgia; both which tracts had formerly been yielded by the Indians; and to the lands within the forks of Oconee and Oakmulgee rivers; for which several objects, the President of the United States has directed that a treaty should be immediately held with the Creeks; and that the United States shall, in the same manner, also extinguish the Indian title to all the other lands within the State of Georgia.

Fifthly. That the territory thus ceded shall form a State, and be admitted as such into the Union, as soon as it shall contain sixty thousand free inhabitants, or at an earlier period if Congress shall think it expedient, on the same conditions and restrictions, with the same privileges, and in the same manner, as is provided in the or. dinance of Congress of the thirteenth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, for the government of the western territory of the United States, which ordinance shall, in all its parts, extend to the territory contained in the present act of cession, that article only excepted which forbids slavery.

ART. 2. The United States accept the cession above mentioned, and on the conditions therein expressed ; and they cede to the State of Georgia whatever claim, right, or title they may have to the jurisdiction or soil of any lands, lying within the United States, and out of the proper boundaries of any other State, and situated south of the southern boundaries of the States of Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and east of the boundary line hereinabove described, as the eastern boundary of the territory ceded by Georgia to the United States.

ART. 3. The present act of cession and agreement shall be in fall force as soon as the legislature of Georgia shall have given its assent to the boundaries of this cession: Provided, that the said assent shall be given within six months after the date of these presents, and provided that Congress shall not, during the same period of six months, repeal so much of any former law as authorizes this agreement, and renders it binding and conclusive on the United States. But if either the assent of Georgia shall not be thus given, or if the law of the United States shall be thus repealed witbin the said period of six months, then, and in either case, these presents shall become null and void.

Signed, &c. The articles of agreement were ratified by the legislature of the State of Georgia, June 16, 1802.

RATIFICATION BY GEORGIA. AN ACT to ratify and confirm certain articles of agreement and consion, entered into on the 24th day

of April, 1802, between the commissioners of the State of Georgia on the one part, and the commis. sioners of the United States on the other part.

Whereas the commissioners of the State of Georgia, to wit, James Jackson, Abraham Baldwin, and John Milledge, duly authorized and appointed by and on the part and behalf of the said State of Georgia, and the commissioners of the United States, James Madison, Albert Gallatin, and Levi Lincoln, duly authorized and appointed by and on the part and behalf of the said United States, to make an amicable settlement of limits between the two sovereignties, after a due examination of their respective pow; ers, did, on the twenty-fourth day of April last, enter into a deed of articles and mutual cession, in the words following, to wit: [Here follow the articles of agreement.]

Be it enacted by the senate and house of representatives of the State of Georgia, in general assembly met, and by the authority thereof, 'î'hat the said deed or articles of agreement and cession be, and the same hereby is and are, fully, absolutely, and amply, ratified and confirmed in all its parts; and hereby is and are declared to be binding and conclusive on the said State, her government, and citizens, forever.

March 3, 1803, the United States by law provided for the sale and disposition of the public domain therein.





The cessions by States were accompanied in some cases by important reservations. The last district ceded by Connecticut, May 30, 1800, having been excluded in the first cession of September 13, 1786, was called the "Western Reserve of Connecticut in Ohio.” These lands now lie in the counties of Ashland, Ashtabula, Cuyaboga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Ottawa, Portage, Suminit, and Trumbull; in all, fourteen counties in the State of Ohio, and contain about 3,800,000

This tract lies to the north of the forty-first parallel north latitnde, to Lake Erie, and runs westward 120 miles from the western boundary of the State of Pennsylvania.



About 500,000 acres of this tract, now lying in the counties of Erie, Huron, and Ottawa, in Ohio, and in the western part of the Reserye, Connecticut donated to the use of such of her citizens as suffered (at Danbury and other points) loss by fire and raids by British troops and raiders during the Revolutionary War. These became known as the “Fire-lands.” The remainder of the Western Reserve was sold September 9, 1795, by the State of Connecticut to a company-about 3,000,000 acres at forty cents per acre-realizing some $1,200,000, which became the basis of her present common-school fund. These Connecticut reservations aggregated about 4,300,000 acres.


Virginia stipulated that a quantity of lands, not exceeding 150,000 acres, should be laid off in one tract, the length of which should not exceed twice the breadth, to satisfy the claims of General George R. Clarke, and the officers and soldiers under his command in her State service, and which composed his force in his expedition to Illinois, and which had reduced that country. This, according to the terms of the reservation, was selected and located near the falls of the Ohio, and distributed among the claimants according to the laws of Virginia. It now lies in the State of Indiana. Virginia also stipulated for the confirmation of the holdings of the French and Canadian residents at Kaskaskia and Saint Vincents; all of which was afterward affirmed by the United States.


It was further stipulated in this cession that in case the lands in Kentucky, between the Green and Tennessee rivers, which had been reserved to meet the land bounty claims of the Virginia revolutionary officers and soldiers of her continental quota under her laws, should prove inadequate, the deficiency should be supplied in good lands to be selected and surveyed by the claimants themselves in a district allotted them on the north side of the Ohio River and between the Scioto and Little Miami rivers, lying in the present counties of Adams, Auglaize, Brown, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Hardin, Highland, Logan, Madison, Marion, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Union, and Warren-twentythree counties known as "the Virginia Military Lands."

The loose method and entire absence of publio monuments of survey in the “Virginia Military District," was necessarily productive of many conflicts of title, requiring a long course of litigation to settle.

After a quarter of a century, however, titles became measurably quieted and the march of improvement was accelerated. This district embraces a body of 6,570 square miles or 4,204,300 acres. It was the subject of much legislation on the part of Congress, as the laws show, for a period of fifty years prior to 1871.

By act of Congress, February 18th, 1871, the unsurveyed and unappropriated lands in this district were ceded to the State of Ohio, each settler thereon to have a pre-emption right of 160 acres. The State of Ohio, March 26, 1872, accepted the grant and conveyed the same to the trustees of the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, for the benefit of that institution. These lands were in the unsettled portions of three counties and also in Pickaway County, viz, in the “Sun-fish hills” of Pike and the “Red Brush" country of Scioto and Adams counties, and amounted to 76,735.44 acres and were appraised at $74,287.45 These lands were sold by an agent of the college, under authority of the State.


The reservations of North Carolina present a singular chapter in the history of the public domain. Among the conditions of transfer it was stipulated that three classes of claims should be satisfied from the public lands ceded by that State before any other disposition of them should be made. These reservations were as follows: 1st. Appropriations of land by the State of North Carolina to her continental and State officers and soldiers, each claimant to select and lay off his legal complement in such locality as he might choose, without reference to any public standards of survey. 2d. Grants of land, whether located upon the soil or not, made to individuals under the laws of the State, including all inceptive or perfected rights, whether acquired by formal entry, by actual occupancy, by pre-emption privilege, or by special reservation. 30. Entries under the law of 1783, in the office of one John Armstrong, an entry taker, whose legal status it is not easy now to ascertain, conflicting with prior claims; such entries were to be relocated upon unappropriated lands elsewhere.

By a report made to Congress, November 10, 1791, by Jefferson, Secretary of State, it appears that the Indian title within the ceded territory had been extinguished to about 7,500,000 acres, whereas the claims already reported amounted to 8,118,6014 acres, many of them located within the limits guaranteed to the Cherokees and Chickasaws by the treaties of Hopewell and Holston.

The Government of the United States, by treaty, purchase, or cunquest, extinguished at different times the Indian title to the remaining lands in Tennessee, but the North Carolina claims absorbod the great mass of the eligible lands. Finding that the remnant would scarce pay expense of disposal, Congress, by act of February 18, 1841, made Tennessee its agent for the disposal of all unappropriated lands within the State, granting to the State any surplus after satisfying the North Carolina claims.


The most important conditions in the Georgia cession were: First, payment by the United States to Georgia of $1,200,000 from sale of public lands in said cession. Second, 500,000 acres therein should be set aside, or the proceeds of sale thereof, to satisfy claims against lands in the cession. Third, extinguishment of Indian titles to certain portions of the cession.

YAZOO CLAIMS. In the efforts of Georgia to make cession of her western lands to the United States, beginning February 5, 1788, there was involved the question of the title of the State to certain lands lying west of her present boundaries. It was claimed by the United States that the State of Georgia was attempting in the proposed cession to cede some territory to which they had no valid or legal claim, and further claimed that certain large claims, pretended to be derived from that State, and known by the name of " Yazoo claims," rendered it important for the United States to prove that a considerable porting of the territory thus claimed was not within the boundaries of Georgia, nor of any other State, at the date of the treaty of peace with Great Britain, September 3, 1783, and became therefore iminediately vested in the United States by virtue of that treaty.

The charter of Carolina having been surrendered to the Crown by the proprietors South Carolina became a regal colony, the boundaries of which might be altered by the Crown according to circumstances. Georgia was accordingly erected into a separate government, and her charter having been surrendered by the trustees, she also became a regal colony. Her southern boundary was originally the Altamaba River, and thence westwardly a parallel of latitude passing by the source of that river. The territory between the rivers Altamaha and Saint Mary's was annexed to it by the King's proclamation of the 7th October, 1763, and, though not positively expressed by that instrument, it appears by the commission of Governor Wright, dated 20th January, 1764, that the jurisdiction extended to the river Mississippi, as far south as the thirtyfirst degree of north latitude, which, according to the proclamation, formed the northern boundary of the new British province of West Florida. But, on the representation of the board of trade, the boundaries were altered, and it appears from the second commission of Governor Johnstone, of that province, and from those of the subsequent governors, Elliott and Chester, that West Florida, from the 6th day of June, 1764, and thence as long as it continued under the British Government, was bounded on the north by a parallel of latitude passing by the mouth of the river Yasons, or about 320 30' of north latitude. The jurisdiction of the governors of West Florida did accordingly, in fact, extend to the territory lying between that parallel and the thirty-first degree, as well as south of this. Lands were granted by them within those boundaries, and, when not subsequently forfeited, continue to be held under that title. That portion of territory (viz, between the thirty-first degree and 32° 30' of latitude) appears therefore to have been acquired, not by any of the States as lying within its boundaries, but by the United States as part of West Florida, and for the benefit of the whole Union.

The Yazoo claims, so called, embracing about 35,000,000 acres in the Mississippi Territory, and derived from a preteuded sale by the legislature of Georgia, in 1789–1795, were declared null, as fraudulent, by a subsequent legislature. The evidence, as published by the State of Georgia and by Congress, shows that that transaction, even if considered as a contract, is, as such, on acknowledged principles of law and equity, null ab initio : it being in proof that all the members of the legislature who voted in favor of the sale, that is to say, the agents who pretended to sell the property of their constituents, were, with the exception of a single person, interested in, and parties to the purchase.*

The first legislature of Georgia, which met December 24, 1789, sold the pre-emption right to certain lands beyond the Chattahoochee, viz, 5,000,000 of acres, to the Virginia Yazoo Company, for $93,724; 5,000,000 of acres to the South Carolina Yazoo Company, for $66,964; 3,500,000 of acres to the Tennessee Yazoo Company, for $46,875, to be paid in two years. The companies tendered payment to the State of Georgia in depreciated State paper. The State objected, and a succeeding legislature enacted that the bargain was at an end. The three companies above named (and a fourth company) sold out a large portion of their claims to persons in the Middle and New England States, and various companies were formed under said sales, and many influential men became interested. In February, 1796, the Georgia legislature passed an act revoking the sale to the Georgia, the Georgia Mississippi, the Upper Mississippi, and the Tennessee companies for lands west of the Chattahoochee, for which they had paid about $500,000.

In January, 1795, the two houses of the legislature of Georgia moved in procession to a fire in front of the State capitol, and with solemn ceremonies burned the act of sale of the lands.

In Fletcher vs. Peck (6 Cranch, 87,) the Supreme Court of the United States decided that the act of the Georgia legislature repealing the prior act for the sale of the land

* Albert Gallatin, one of the commissioners to act upon the Georgia case. Vide Land Laws, 1810.

1 Sales were made to a company called “The Georgia Company," and to one called “The Upper Missis. sippi Company," January 7, 1795; to the Tennessee Company under same grant, and to the Georgia and Mississippi Company for $500,000.-ALBERT GALLATIN.

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