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meet together for the purpose of establishing a temporary government to adopt the constitution and laws of any one of these States, so that such laws, nevertheless, shall be subject to alteration by their ordinary legislature, and to erect, subject to a like alteration, counties or townships for the election of members of their legislature.
That such temporary government shall only continue in force in any State until it shall have acquired twenty thousand free inhabitants, when, giving due proof thereof to Congress, they shall receive from them authority, with appointments of time and place, to call a convention of representatives to establish a permanent constitution and government for themselves.
Provided, That both the temporary and permanent governments be established on these principles as their basis :
1. That they shall forever remain a part of the United States of America.
2. That, in their persons, property, and territory, they shall be subject to the Government of the United States in Congress assembled, and to the Articles of Confederation in all those cases in which the original States shall be so subject.
3. That they shall be subject to pay a part of the Federal debts, contracted or to be contracted, to be apportioned on them by Congress, according to the same common rule and measure by which apportionments thereof shall be made on the other States.
1. That their respective governments shall be in republican forms, and shall admit no person to be a citizen who holds any hereditary title.
5. That, after the year 1800 of the Christian era, there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the said States, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted to have been personally guilty.
That whensoever any of the said States shall have, of free inhabitants, as many as shall then be in any one of the least numerous of the thirteen original States, such State shall be admitted by its delegates into the Congress of the United States, on an equal footing with the said original States, after which the assent of two-thirds of the United States, in Congress assembled, shall be requisite in all those cases wherein, by the confederation, the assent of nine States is now required, provided the consent of nine States to such admission may be obtained according to the eleventh of the Articles of Confederation. Until such admission by their delegates into Congress, any of the said States, after the establishment of their temporary government, shall have authority to keep a sitting member in Congress, with a right of debating but not of voting.
That the territory northward of the forty-fifth degree, that is to say, of the completion of forty-five degrees from the equator, and extending to the Lake of the Woods, shall be called Sylvania. That, of the territory under the forty-fifth and forty-fourth degrees, that which lies westward of Michigan shall be called Michigania; and that which is eastward thereof, within the peninsula formed by the lakes and waters of Michigan, Huron, St. Clair, and Erie, shall be called Cheronesus, and shall include any part of the peninsula which may extend above the forty-fifth degree. Of the territory under the forty-third and forty-second degrees, that to the westward, through which the Assenisipi or Rock River runs, shall be called Assenisipia; and that to the eastward, in which are the fountains of the Muskingum, the two Miamis of Ohio, the Wabash, the Illinois, the Miami of the Lake, and the Sandusky Rivers, shall be called Metropotamia. Of the territory which lies under the forty-first and fortieth degrees, the western, through which the river Illinois runs, shall be called Illinoia ; that next adjoining, to the eastward, Saratoga; and that between this last and Pennsylvania, and extending from the Ohio to Lake Erie, shall be called Washington. Of the territory which lies under the thirty-ninth and thirty-eighth degrees, to which shall be added so much of the point of land within the fork of the Ohio and Mississippi as lies under the thirty-seventh degree, that to the westward, within and adjacent to which are the confluences of the rivers Wabash, Shawnee, Tanisee, Ohio, Illinois, Mississippi, and Missouri, shall be called Polypotamia; and that to the eastward, farther up the Ohio, otherwise called the Pelisipi, shall be called Pelisipia.
That all the preceding articles shall be formed into a charter
of compact; shall be duly executed by the President of the United States, in Congress assembled, under his hand and the seal of the United States; shall be promulgated, and shall stand as fundamental conditions between the thirteen original States and these newly described, unalterable but by the joint consent of the United States, in Congress assembled, and of the particular State within which such alteration is proposed to be made.
This report was recommitted to the same committee on the 17th of March, and a new one was submitted on the 22d of the same month. The second report agreed in substance with the first. The principal difference was the omission of the paragraph giving names to the States to be formed out of the Western Territory. It was taken up for consideration by Congress on the 19th of April, on which day, on the motion of Mr. Spaight, of North Carolina, the following clause was struck out:
“ That, after the year 1800 of the Christian era, there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the said States, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted to have. been personally guilty.”
The report was further considered and amended on the 20th and 21st. On the 23d, it was agreed to (ten States voting aye, and one no), without the clause prohibiting slavery and involuntary servitude after the year 1800. On the question to agree to the report, after the prohibitory clause was struck out, the yeas and nays were required by Mr. Beresford. The vote was: New Hampshire
Mr. Sherman, aye.
Mr. Wadsworth, aye.
Mr. Dewitt, aye.
Mr. Paine, aye.
Mr. Beatty, aye.
Mr. Dick, aye.
Mr. Jefferson, aye.
Mr. Mercer, aye.
Mr. Monroe, aye.
Mr. Williams, aye.
Mr. Spaight, aye.
Mr. Reed, no.
Mr. Beresford, no. Thus, the report of Mr. Jefferson for the temporary government of the Western Territory, without any restriction whatever as to slavery, received the vote of every State present except South Carolina. It did not “lay on the table of Congress during the three years from 1784 to 1787.” During these three years, it was the law of the land. It was repealed in 1787.
Nearly a year after the first plan was adopted, the clause originally offered by Mr. Jefferson, as a part of the charter of compact and fundamental constitutions between the thirteen original States and the new States to be formed in the Western Territory, prohibiting slavery and involuntary servitude, was again submitted to Congress, omitting the time named, “ after the year 1800 of the Christian era.”
On the 16th of March, 1785
“A motion was made by Mr. King, seconded by Mr. Ellery, that the following proposition be committed:
“ That there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the States described in the resolve of Congress of the 23d of April, 1784, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been personally guilty; and that this regulation shall be an article of compact, and remain a fundamental principle of the constitutions between the thirteen original States and each of the States described in the said resolve of the 23d of April, 1784.”
The motion was, “ that the following proposition be committed”—that is, committed to a committee of the whole House; it was not “in the nature of an instruction to the Committee on the Western Territory.” At that time, there was no such committee. It was a separate, independent proposition. The very terms of it show that it was offered as an addition to the resolve of April 23, 1784, with the intention of restoring to that resolve a clause that had originally formed a part of it.
Mr. King's motion to commit was agreed to-eight States (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland) voted in the affirmative, and three States (Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina) in the negative. Neither Delaware nor Georgia was represented.
After the commitment of this proposition, it was neither called up in Congress nor noticed by any of the committees who subsequently reported plans for the government of the Western Territory.
The subject was not laid over from this time till September, 1786. It is noticed as being before Congress on the 24th of March, the 10th of May, the 13th of July, and the 24th of August of that year.
On the 24th of March, 1786, a report was made by the grand Committee of the Ilouse, to whom had been referred a motion of Mr. Monroe upon the subject of the Western Territory.
On the 10th of May, 1786, a report was made by another committee, consisting of Mr. Monroe, of Virginia, Mr. Johnson, of Connecticut, Mr. King, of Massachusetts, Mr. Kean, of South Carolina, and Mr. Pinckney, of South Carolina, to whom a motion of Mr. Dane, for considering and reporting the form of a temporary government for the Western Territory, was referred. This report, after amendment, was recommitted on the 13th of July following.
On the 24th of August, 1786, the Secretary of Congress was directed to inform the inhabitants of Kaskaskia " that Congress have under their consideration the plan of a temporary government for the said district, and that its adoption will be no longer protracted than the importance of the subject and a due regard to their interest may require.”
On the 19th of September, 1786, a committee, consisting of Mr. Johnson, of Connecticut, Mr. Pinckney, of South Caro