Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

carriage of only 60 miles in Pennsylvania, where wagonage is cheaper than in any other part of North America.

“6. The expense of transporting European manufactures from the sea to the Ohio will not be so much as is now paid, and ever must be paid, to a great part of the counties of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland. Whenever the farmers or merchants of Ohio shall properly understand the business of transportation, they will build schooners, sloops, etc., on the Ohio, suitable for the West India or European markets; or, by having black walnut, cherry tree, oak, etc., properly sawed for foreign markets, and formed into rafts, in the manner that is now done in Pennsylvania, and thereon stow their hemp, iron, tobacco, etc., and proceed with them to New Orleans.

“ It may not, perhaps, be amiss to observe, that large quantities of flour are made in the western counties of Pennsylvania, and sent, by an expensive land carriage, to the city of Philadelphia; and from thence shipped to South Carolina and East and West Florida—there being little or no wheat raised in these provinces. The River Ohio seems kindly designed, by nature, as the channel through which the two Floridas may be supplied with flour, not only for their own consumption, but also for carrying on an extensive commerce with Jamaica and the Spanish settlements in the Bay of Mexico. Millstones, in abundance, are to be obtained in the hills near the Ohio ; and the country is every-where well watered with large and constant springs and streams for grist and other mills. The passage from Philadelphia to Pensacola is seldom made in less than a month ; and 60 shillings sterling per ton freight (consisting of 16 barrels) is usually paid for flour, etc., thither. Boats, carrying 500 or 1,000 barrels of flour, may go in about the same time from Pittsburgh as from Philadelphia to Pensacola, and for half the above freight. The Ohio merchants could deliver flour, etc., there, in much better order than from Philadelphia, and without incurring the damage and delay of the sea, and charges of insurance, etc., as from thence to Pensacola. This is not mere speculation; for it is a fact, that about the year 1746 there was a scarcity of provisions at New Orleans, and the French settle

ments at the Illinois, small as they then were, sent thither, in one winter, upward of eight hundred thousand weight of flour.”

If, instead of furnishing other nations with raw materials, companies of manufacturers from Europe could be introduced and established in this inviting situation, under the superintendence of men of property, it would occasion an immense addition of men and wealth to these new settlements, and serve as a beneficial example of economy to many parts of the United States.

Third. In the late ordinance of Congress for disposing of the western lands, as far down as the River Scioto, the provision that is made for schools and the endowment of an university, looks with a most favorable aspect upon the settlement, and furnishes the presentiment that, by a proper attention to the subject of education, under these advantages, the field of science may be greatly enlarged, and the acquisition of useful knowledge placed upon a more respectable footing here than in any other part of the world. Besides the opportunity of opening a new and unexplored region for the range of natural history, botany, and the medical science, there will be one advantage which no other part of the earth can boast, and which probably will never again occur—that, in order to begin right, there will be no wrong habits to combat, and no inveterate systems to overturn—there is no rubbish to remove, before you can lay the foundation. The first settlement will embosom many men of the most liberal minds—well versed in the world, in business, and every useful science. Could the necessary apparatus be procured, and funds immediately established, for founding a university on a liberal plan, that professors might be active in their various researches and employments—even now, in the infancy of the settlement, a proper use might be made of an advantage which will never be repeated.

Many political benefits would immediately result to the United States from such an early institution in that part of the country. The people in the Kentucky and Illinois countries are rapidly increasing. Their distance from the old States will prevent their sending their children thither for instruction; from the want of which they are in danger of losing

all their habits of government, and allegiance to the United States. But, on seeing examples of government, science, and regular industry follow them into the neighborhood of their own country, they would favor their children with these advantages, and revive the ideas of order, citizenship, and the useful sciences. This attention, from these neighboring people, would increase the wealth and population of the new proposed settlement.

Fourth. In the ordinance of Congress, for the government of the territory north-west of the Ohio, it is provided that, after the said territory acquires a certain degree of population, it shall be divided into States. The Eastern State that is thus provided to be made is bounded on the Great Miami on the west and by the Pennsylvania line on the cast. The center of this State will fall between the Scioto and the Hockhocking. At the mouth of one of these rivers will probably be the seat of government for the State. And, if we may indulge the sublime contemplation of beholding the whole territory of the United States settled by an enlightened people, and continued under one extended government, on the river Ohio, and not far from this spot, will be the seat of empire for the whole dominion. This is central to the whole; it will best accommodate every part; it is the most pleasant, and probably the most healthful. Altho’ it is an object of importance that Congress should soon fix on a seat of government, yet, in the present state of the country, it is presumed, it will not be thought best that such a seat be considered as immovably fixed. To take the range of the Alleghany Mountains from north to south, it is probable twenty years will not elapse before there will be more people on the western than on the eastern waters of the United States. The settlers ought even now to have it in view, that government will forever accommodate them as much as their brethren on the east. This may be necessary to prevent their forming schemes of independence, seeking other connections, and providing for their separate convenience. As it is the most exalted and benevolent object of legislation that ever was aimed at, to unite such an amazingly extensive people, and make them happy, under one jurisdiction, every act of Congress

under the new Constitution, by looking forward to this object, will, we trust, inculcate and familiarize the idea. They will, no doubt, at an early period, make a reservation or purchase of a suitable tract of land for a federal town that will be central to the whole, and give some public intimation of such intention to transfer the seat of government, on the occurrence of certain events, such as comparative population, etc. This would render such transfer easily practicable, by preventing the occasion of uneasiness in the old states, while it would not appear to be the result of danger, or the prospect of revolt, in the new.

APPENDIX D.

THE ORDINANCE OF 1787, AND Its Restory, by Peter Force-ORDINANCE

FOR SALE OF Lands IN THE NORTH-WESTERN TERRITORY-ORDINANCE
FOR ASCERTAINING THE MODE OF DISPOSING OF LANDS IN THE WEST-
ERN TERRITORY.

[Copied from Appendix I of “ St. Clair Papers.''] On the first of March, 1784, a committee, consisting of Mr. Jefferson, of Virginia, Mr. Chase, of Maryland, and Mr. lIowell, of Rhode Island, submitted to Congress the following plan for the temporary government of the Western Territory:

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 additional States, bounded in the following manner, as nearly as such cessions will admit: That is to say, northwarılly and 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 fortyseventh 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 the one side, and the meridian of the lowest point of the rapids of the Ohio on the other; and those adjoining on the east, by the same meridian on the western side, and on the 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 appointinents of time and place, for their free males of full age to

« VorigeDoorgaan »