« ZurückWeiter »
was unconstitutional and void, was in violation of a contract, and that claimants' title was good and valid.
By act of March 31, 1814, Congress provided for the issuing of scrip to the Georgia claimants, non-interest bearing, receivable in payment for public lands in Mississippi, and redeemable out of the proceeds of the sale of the lands therein after Georgia's cession lien was satisfied.
For a full statement of the testimony taken in the Georgia cases by the State of Georgia and reported January 25, 1796, to the House of Representatives, see pp. 512-541, Vol. 1, Laws of the United States, edition of Browne & Duane; also see Hildreth's United States, Vols. 4, 5, and 6; American State Papers, Public Lands, Vol. 1 ; and the recommendation of the commissioners, Madison, Gallatin, and Lincoln, in 1803, as to redemption and compromise.
The United States, in addition to the 1,500 square miles of territory given to Georgia now on her northern boundary, paid more than $3,000,000 in money in settlement of the Yazoo and other claims under said deed of cession and subsequent laws of Congress, and in all paid in money from land sold for benefit of State and for “ Yazoo scrip," about $6,200,000.
CONNECTICUT AND PENNSYLVANIA BOUNDARY QUESTION.
Connecticut, after vainly contending with Pennsylvania in regard to the zone between the forty-first and forty-second parallels lying in the last named State, known as the Wyoming controversy, and the claims for land under the Susquehannah Company, which was referred to a Federal court (under an article of the Articles of Confederation) which met at Trenton, New Jersey, and which in 1782 decided the right of jurisdiction to lie in the State of Pennsylvania, finally yielded the point, but pressed her claim to the same zone west of the western boundary of the State of Pennsylvania to the Mississippi River. Finally she reserved the eastern end of her claim, now known as the Western Reserve of Connecticut in Ohio, only yielding to the United States a jurisdictional claim to the same until after 1800. The remainder of this claim for charter zone to the Mississippi River, to the west of the Reserve and now in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan, becane public domain of the United States. Virginia also claimed this region by reason of Clarke's capture and occupancy under her authority. And thus the United States obtained their first public domain for disposition by sale or settlement by Congress.
THE PUBLIC DOMAIN.
By these several acts of cession from seven of the original States (colonies prior to July 4, 1776) of the Union, the United States came into possession of all that portion of the public domain lying east of the Mississippi and north of the thirty-first parallel north latitude. The basis of the claims of these States was the grants from the Crown of England. The power of the King to erect new provinces, and subsequently to annul chartered privileges, involved constitutional questions under the system of law's then subsisting. It should, however, be mentioned in connection with colonial charters that George III., by proclamation of October 7, 1763, organizing the territory acquired from France by the treaty of Paris, February 10, 1763, into four new governments, re. served for the use of the Indians all land and territories not included in those governments, or within the limits of the Hudson Bay Company, “as also all lands and territories lying to the westward of the sources of the rivers which fall into the sea from the west and northwest, as aforesaid; and we do hereby strictly forbid, on pain of our displeasure, all our loving subjects from making any purchases or settlements whatever, or taking possession of any of the lands above reserved, without our special leave and license for that purpose first obtained." The fact that the King felt himself bound to
appeal to the courts, and to vacate the charters of Virginia and Massachusetts by writs of quo warranto, would seem to indicate that in that day the royal prerogative did not embrace the power of annulling charters. A violation of contract on the part of grantees was made the ground of vacating the charters. George III., however, assumed higher ground, and claimed by mere proclamation, without consulting Parliament, to restrict the territory of the first and second colonies of Virginia, of Massachusetts, and Connecticut to the watershed of the Atlantic streams, whereas the original charters extended their jurisdiction westward to the Pacific Ocean. By the colonies themselves, however, this proclamation of George III. was treated as a nullity. Virginia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, North and South Carolina, and Georgia claimed the full quota of territory under their original cbarters, with the exception, however, of such areas as they, by negotiation, had acknowledged to have been alienated to other colonies. Thus Connecticut and Massachusetts had yielded those portions of their original charters which were covered by the actual settlements of New York and Pennsylvania. The United States, having cessions from the several States, was indifferent as to the conflicting claims of the latter to western territory, or, as the laws said, waste and uncultivated land. The Federal Government wanted the domain, and for that reason never interfered with these boundary questione except to enforce laws.
AREA OF STATE CESSIONS TO THE UNITED STATES,
The New York cession now lies in Erie County, Pennsylvania, west of New York (315.91 square miles, 202,187 acres), and forms the northwestern portion of the State of Pennsylvania (also claimed by Massachusetts and included in her cession), and claims to Indian lands purchased by the State from the Six Nations, beginning in 1748, indefinite as to area, but lying west of Pennsylvania and north of the Ohio River, and not recognized in the organization of the territory north west of the river Ohio.
VIRGINIA. The Virginia cessions were for all the territory west of the State of Pennsylvania and northwest of the river Ohio and below the forty-first parallel of north latitude, and the area of the State of Kentucky south of the river Ohio and north of her southern boundary. The above tract, being in and lying between the southern boundary line of the colony and State of Virginia, under charter of April 10, 1606, 34° north latitude, and its northern boundary line 41° north latitude, and from the Atlantic Ocean to the international boundary, the Mississippi River, excluding the States of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey, on or near the Atlantic, which held under charters from the Crown of England, and which subsequently were erected into proprietary or crown colonies from lands embraced in the Virginia charter of 1606. She had an additional claim to this territory extending north from the forty-first parallel north latitude to Lakes Michigan and Huron, now in Illinois and Michigan, and northward, by reason of conquest and occupancy by her State troops under General Geo. Rogers Clarke during the Revolutionay War.
The present area of the State of Kentucky, 37,680 square miles, was ceded to that State. It lies south of the Ohio River and contains no public domain.
Square miles. Virginia's cessions to the United States wereThe area of the State of Ohio (excepting the Western Reserve and Fire-lands,
claimed by the State of Connecticut), under charters and capture claims, excluding claims for lands now in Michigan .......
............... 39, 964 The State of Indiana (charters and capture)......
.. ...... 33, 809 The State of Illinois (charters and capture)........
55, 414 Square miles. She also ceded lands claimed by the States of Connecticut and Massachu
setts under their crown charters, as well as by the United States under
56, 451 In W isconsin... ........... ....................................
53, 924 In Minnesota, east of Mississippi River.... ...
Total (disputed and undisputed) cession. ...... Or 169,959,680 acres.
MASSACHUSETTS AND CONNECTICUT.
The cessions of Massachusetts and Connecticut were claims to territory between latitudinal lines, being extensions of their north and south boundary lines under their charters from the British Crown, and from the western boundaries of crown grants subsequent (viz, New York and Pennsylvania), the Connecticut claim being north of the forty-first parallel north latitude (the south boundary line of Connecticnt), running along this to the Mississippi River and north in width to the south line of the Massachusetts claim, viz, 42° 2' north latitude, or about 62 miles in width, and now lying in the south of the State of Michigan, and in the north of the States of Ohio (including the Western Reserve and Fire-lands), Indiana, and Illinois, estimated to contain about 40,000 square miles.
CLAIM OF AREA BY MASSACHUSETTS.
The claim of Massachusetts was for a strip of territory from the western boundary of New York, being an extension along the line between Pennsylvania and New York, viz, 42° 2' north latitude and to the Mississippi River; also the south boundary line of Massachusetts north to a line extending a league in width from the inflow of Lake Winnipisogee, in the State of New Hampshire, across the country to the Mississippi River, about 43° 43' 12'' north latitude, being a strip about one hundred miles in width and now lying in the southern part of the States of Wisconsin and Michigan and northern part of the State of Ilinois, and estimated to contain about 54,000 square miles, and also the “Erie Purchase," now in the State of Pennsylvania, containing 315.91 square miles, or 202,187 acres, also claimed to have been ceded by New York.
The lands ceded by South Carolina constitute a strip lying west of the western boundary and west of the eighty-third meridian west of Greenwich, running along the thirty-fifth degree of latitude north to the Mississippi River, twelve to fourteen miles in width, and now lying in the extreme northern part of the States of Georgia (1,500 equare miles), Alabama (1,700 square miles), and Mississippi (1,700 square miles) and containing, estimated, 4,900 square miles, or 3,136,000 acres.
The cession of the State of North Carolina, claimed under her charter's western extension of her north and south boundary lines, being the tract of land within and from her western boundary to the Mississippi, now lies in and is the State of Tennessee, and contains 45,600 square miles, or 29,184,000 acres.
The last cession to the United States was by the State of Georgia, of the territory lying directly to the west of her western boundary and to the Mississippi River, and lying between (the north line being the same as the north line of the colony of Georgia) about 34° 40' north latitude, and the thirty-first parallel of north latitude.
BRITISH PROVINCE OF WEST FLORIDA.
The British province of West Florida was substantially included in this: consisting of a territory south of a line from the west boundary of Georgia, on the parallel of about 320 30' north latitude to the Mississippi River on the west and south to the thirty-first parallel of north latitude, now lying in Alabama and Mississippi.
The jurisdiction of the British government of West Florida thus extended betweon the thirty-first parallel of north latitude and 320 30' north latitude. This province the United States claimed to have acquired by the definitive treaty with Great Britain of 1783, and disclaimed knowledge of the ownership of the colony or State of Georgia thereto. The cession, however, settled all questions of doubt.
Square miles. Area now lying in Alabama north of the line of the province of West Florida, estimated ...
27,722 Area south of West Florida line and north of latitude 31° north.
....... 19,000 Total .........
Area,estimated, now lying in Mississippi north of line of province of West Florida, 26, 900 South of West Florida and north ot latitude 31° north
...... 14, 956 Total.
...... In all, estimated, 88,578 square miles, or 56,689,920 acres.
The total cessions by States to the United States, as detailed in this chapter, were 404,955.91 square miles, or 259,171,787 acres.
ACQUISITION BY PURCHASE, CONQUEST, AND TREATY, OF TERRI
TORY TO THE NATIONAL AND PUBLIC DOMAIN BY THE UNITED
THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE FROM FRANCE.
In 1541 De Soto reached the Mississippi River.
In 1600 La Salle descended the Mississippi River and took possession of the country adjacent to it in the name of Louis XIV. of France, and called it “Louisiana."
In 1699 Lemoine d'Iberville founded the first colony at Biloxi, but dying soon after, Henille took command.
In 1706 these colonists made a new location on the site of what is now the city of New Orleans.
In 1712, September 14, Louis XIV. made a grant to Antoine de Crozat, a merchant of Paris, who had amassed a fortune of 40,000,000 livres in the India trade, the grant being for trading privileges.
(Extract from the grant to Crozat.) Louis, by the grace of God, King of France and Navarre : To all who shall see these present letters, greeting:
The care we have always had to procure the welfare and advantage of our subjects, having induced us, notwithstanding the almost continual wars which we have been obliged to support, from the beginning of our reign, to seek for all possible opportunity of enlarging and extending the trade of our American colonies, we did, in the year sixteen hundred and eighty-three, give our orders to undertake a discovery of the countries and lands which are situated in the northern part of America, between New France and New Mexico: and the Sieur de la Salle, to whom we committed that enterprise, having had success enough to confirm a belief, that communication might be settled from New France to the Gulf of Mexico, by means of large rivers ; this obliged us immediately after the peace of Ryswick, to give orders for the establishing a colony there, and maintaining a garrison, which has kept and preserved the possession we had taken in the very year 1683, of the lands, coasts, and islands, which are situated in the Gulf of Mexico, between Carolina on the east, and Old and New Mexico on the west. But a new war having broke out in Europe shortly after, there was no possibility, till now, of reaping from that new colony the advantages that might have been expected from thence, because the private men who are concerned in the sea trade were all under engagements with other colonies, which they have been obliged to follow: And whereas, upon the information we have received, concerning the disposition and situation of the said countries, known at present by the name of the province of Louisiana, we are of opinion that there may be established therein a considerable commerce, so much the more advantageous to our kingdom, in that there has hitherto been a necessity of fetching from foreigners the greatest part of the commodities which may be brought from thence; and because, in exchange thereof we need carry thither nothing but commodities of the growth and manufacture of our own kingdom; we have resolved to grant the commerce of the country of Louisiana to the sienr Anthony Crozat, our counsellor, secretary of the household, crown and revenue, to whom we entrust the execution of this project. We are the more readily inclined hereunto, because his zeal and the singular knowledge he has acquired in maritime commerce, encourage us to hope for as good success as he has hitherto had in the divers and sundry enterprises be has gone npon, and which have procured to our kingdom great quantities of gold and silver, in such conjunctures as have rendered them very welcome to us.
For these reasons, being desirous to show our favor to him, and to regulate the condition upon which we mean to grant him the said commerce, after having deliberated