James Monroe and the Three-To-Five Clause of the Northwest Ordinance
By Jorge M. Robert
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Finally, let’s take a comparative look at the different proposals on size and number. It was known at that time that the areas of the NWT was approximately a quarter of a million square miles (73). The area of each state proposed in 1784 was going to be about 29,000 sq.ml. on average (74). The resolution of July 7 provided for states of a maximum size of 83,000 sq.ml. and a minimum of 50,000 sq.ml. on average. The conditions of the Virginia cession (resolution of 10-10-80)would have produced states of a minimum of 10,000 sq.ml. and a maximum of 22,500 sq.ml. (75). Thus, under the Virginia cession there was to be a maximum of 25 states and a minimum of 11. The number of states projected for the NWT decreased then from 25 11, to 8, to 3-5. The respective areas increased from 10,000 22,500, to 29,000, to 50,000-83,000 (76).
III. New Scheme for the “Territory Northwest of the River Ohio”
To understand the complexity of forces shaping the new policy of fewer and larger states for the NWT, consideration should also be given to some additional factors which evolved in between 1784 and 1786. They were the land ordinance of 1785; the 1786 reports of a plan of temporary government to replace the ordinance of 1784; and, the Washington’s and Eastern Nationalists’ influence in favor of progressive seating and compact settlements (77).
Land Ordinance of 1785
This ordinance changed the conception on which the report of 1784 was based. On April 30, 1784, Jefferson reported a land ordinance which was to be the companion of the ordinance for the government of the western territory passed on April 23, 1784. This plan was amended and eventually became the land ordinance of 1785 (78). A comparison between the two plans reveals that they were based on different assumptions. The 1784 land disposal report was consistent with the division of the NWT under the 1784 territorial ordinance, but the changes introduced in 1785 were based on a different conception which conditioned the design of new states introduced by the ordinance of 1784 (79).
In effect, the 1784 project of land ordinance provided that it was applicable to the western territory once it was ceded by the states, purchased from the Indians, and laid off in states. The “laying off in states” provided in this report was going to precede the survey and disposal of land. This idea is developed in the report by making the surveying to take place within the borders of each one of the states projected by Jefferson. Pattison put it technically in this way” “Jefferson’s state boundaries … were in effect an interlocking series of principal meridians and base lines … These boundaries, under the law, were to be laid out prior to the initiation of land subdivision, and the lines defining hundreds were to be spaced out from the corners of the states, just as township lines would later be spaced out from the intersections of principal meridians and base lines.” (80).
The land ordinance of 1785 eliminated all this. “The term prior survey may suggest to the reader the policy of surveying state boundaries before proceeding with subdivision and settlement. This policy, laid down in the ordinance of 1784, and further developed in the land ordinance intended to accompany it, was ignored in the Land Ordinance of 1785,” which “was directed toward the survey and disposal of lands in one specific area, extending from the Ohio River to Lake Erie, immediately west of Pennsylvania.” (81). This altered the picture in the NWT and relegated Jefferson’s boundaries to a future determination. Besides, the land ordinance of 1785 was to apply only in the NWT. Thus, when the land report of 1784 was substantially amended in 1785, the Jefferson’s ordinance and with it its boundaries was left without its original land disposal support.
1786 Reports of a Plan of Temporary Government
These reports designed a system of government preliminary tc the formation of states which was absent in the ordinance of 1784. At the same time that a revision of the number and size of the future northwestern states was under discussion, a committee was appointed on March 27, 1786 to report on forms of temporary government for the Western territory. Its members were Monroe, Johnson, King, Kean, and Pinckney. Many historians affirm or at least imply that this was the committee which reported on the number and size of the states in July 1786, but that is not the case. To be sure, the ordinance of 1784 contained a provision on the location and boundaries of the future states, but left opened the organization of preliminary governments. Then, during 1784 and 1785, it became clear the need to include a plan for temporary government. At the same time, the dismemberment “agitation” led eventually to the revision of the number and size of the states. This, as we have already seen, found congressional expression in the 7-7-86 resolution. The elaboration of these two issues, temporary government and “number and size”, followed different courses of action. Thus, the two 1786 reports on temporary government included no regulation on the “number and size” issue. Finally, in 1787, the NWO consolidated all the issues in one ordinance.
The two reports of 1786 were the one issued on May 10 and amended on July 13 by the socalled Monroe committee, and the one issued on September 19 by a committee consisting of Johnson, Pinckney, Smith, Dane, and Henry. The May 10 report was significant in relation to the “number and size” issue not only because in its preamble announced the need to reduce the number of prospective states but also because it provided for a type of government adequate for areas not yet populated. In effect, the NWT at that time was inhabited by the Indians, the French settlers of Illinois, and the inhabitants of Detroit. These were small groups scattered over the vast NWT. Thus, it made no sense to appoint authorities for several empty districts. Moreover, as Eblen pointed out, the Congress’s financial resources could not have provided for authorities for more than one district (82).
On May 10, 1786, the Monroe committee presented a report prompted by a motion by Nathan Dane. It was said to be in the writing of Remsen with a preamble and resolve in the writing of Monroe (83). The preamble indicated that Congress had to take measures to comply with two objectives: first, promote settlement, and, second, secure to the settlers and absentee purchasers the rights of property and personal safety. As to settlement, the plan was addressed to future residents and absentee landowners (future population). As to property, it would be more secure in districts under congressional control.
The preamble said that, it was the duty of Congress, previous to sell the territory, to adopt and publish a plan of temporary government for the state or states to be created thereon and to establish a period at which such government shall expire and admission on an equal footing may take place. These goals meant an ordered and supervised process of settlement to fill the void left in the 1784 ordinance. In addition, it said that was proper to define first the bounds of the states within which the temporary government would apply. But, it was improper to make divisions until the condition from the Virginia cession (100-150 clause) were modified.
The temporary government of the 5-10-86 report was designed under the assumption that there was going to be fewer and larger states as revealed by the preamble, and also that the “number and size” issue had not been yet settled. The July 13 report is an slightly modified vesion of the 5-10 plan and the main novelty of the September 19 new version was the 1/13th requirement advanced by the Eastern states as a counterpoise to the new “number and size” arrangement of July 7 (84).
Washington’s and Eastern Nationalists’ Influence
An additional factor was Washington’s opinion in support of progressive seating and compact settlement. To consider his influence may seem to resurrect the great-man approach which this essay disregards when applied to Monroe. However, to do so seems justified, because, first, his own contemporaries recognized the considerable weight of his influence (85), secondly, he actually had an effective and extensive experience in western matters (86), and, finally, he had been proposing these measures for some time starting with his September 7, 1783 letter to Duane. Most of Washington recommendations were included in the congressional report of October 15, 1783.
Washington’s ideas about the NWT in this regard were progressive seating, and compact settlement. The former meant the gradual settlement of the NWT beginning from the area bounded by lake Erie, the western boundary of Pennsylvania and the Ohio river, and from there advancing Westward avoiding in that way that a more remote state be admitted before a closer one. Compact settlement meant the initial creation of just one state with more or less the borders of Ohio. This was opposed to “the decies,” as the proliferation of states in the ordinance of 1784 was called by Washington (87).
The practice of creating a large district at the beginning and, then, as the population increase to subdivide the district in smaller jurisdictions was typical of Virginia’s experience (88). Propounding this idea of leaving the territory opened to future demarcation, Madison in The Federalist No. 14 said that “the arrangements that may be necessary for those angles and fractions of our territory which lie on our northwestern frontier must be left to those whom further discoveries and experience will render more equal to the task.
As to the eastern nationalists’ influence, some New Englanders were trying to settle the Ohio country since the end of the war. The officers ‘ petition of 1783, issued with Washington’s support, proposed an state equivalent to Ohio which did not match the boundaries of the 1784 ordinance. These officers were mainly from New England. Samuel J. Parsons accompanied the commissioners to Fort Finney in 1785, and Benjamin Tupper, surveyor of the seven ranges, reported to. Rufus Putnam in January 1786 on the quality of the Ohio lands. From there, they went in March 1786 to found the Ohio Co. in Boston. The influence of this group on the elaboration of the new policy was carried out not only by Washington himself, but also by Manasseh Cutler and his contacts with the Massachussetts’ congressional delegation (89).
State-making in the NWT received during 1784-1786 its preliminary definitions. The size and boundaries of the new states to be carved out of the NWT was pretty much set in the summer of 1786, establishing a precedent for the future institutional expansion of the Confederation.
The traditional view of Monroe’s influence in shaping statemaking policy for the NWT seems the result of a simplistic adherence to the great-man approach. Barrett’s selected facts fitted well the image of a responsible statesman who being concerned with high policy visited the region to make sure that the legislation to be promulgated would be successful and compatible with the needs of its future inhabitants. This was an inspiring image of the future president’s statesmanship, but it does not muster the reality test. It was based on unwarranted assumptions, half truths, and a desire to introduce order and rationality in a very complex and often confused political reality.
It seems appropriate to conclude this essay pointing out to further developments of two aspects of the story: Monroe’s western tours, and the Black swamp. The first is that Monroe, as president, thirty one years later, had the chance to “complete” his 1780’s tours. In effect, in 1817, he finally and effectively saw the country lying between Lake Erie and the Ohio. The tour was a sort of political good-will campaign that took him through the original states and Vermont. From there he sailed lake Erie to visit Detroit, and, on his way back to Washington he crossed the new state of Ohio passing through Delaware, Columbus, Worthington, Circleville, Chillicothe, and Zanesville. At Worthington, Monroe addressed the citizens stating that “he had a strong desire to ascertain and know by actual view, the situation of the northern border of Ohio”. This belated remark which ironically seems to confirm some of the observations made in this essay, was however made in the context of Ohio’s aspirations concerning its northern boundary (90).
The second event concerns Monroe’s comments on the region “near lakes Michigan & Erie.” A new slander of that area took place in 1815. Monroe, as Madison’s Secretary of State, requested from Edward Tiffin, surveyor general of the U.S., the survey of 2,000,000 acres in the territory of Michigan to satisfy bounties promised by Congress to the officers and soldiers who fought in the War of 1812. The Tiffin’s report was as bad as Monroe’s 1-19-86 opinion in his letter to Jefferson, and it briefly slowed down the settlement of the region, but, eventually, it proved to be no major obstacle to Michigan’s statehood (91).
(1) Bernard Bailyn. Voyagers to the West. N.Y.: Knopf, 1986. Drew R. McCoy. The Elusive Republic. Chapel Hill: Univ.N.C.Pr., 1980. David H. Fischer. Albion’s Seed. N.Y.: Oxford, 1989. Daniel J. Boorstin. The Americans: The National Experience. N.Y.: Random, 1965. Patricia N. Limerick. The Legacy of Conquest. N.Y.: Norton, 1987. Michael Lienesch. New Order of the Ages. Princeton Univ.P., 1988. Donald K. Pickens. “The Turner Theses and Republicanism” PHR(1992): 319. Andrew Cayton & Peter S. Onuf. The Midwest and the Nation. Bloomington: Ind.Univ.P., 1990. William Cronon. “Revisiting the Vanishing Frontier.” WHQ (Ap. 87):157. Richard Jensen. “On Modernizing F.J.Turner.” 11 WHQ (1980): 307-22.
(2) Rush Welter. “The Frontier West as Image of American Society.” 46 MVHR (1960): 593-614. Paul W. Conner. Poor Richard’s Politicks. N.Y.: Oxford, 1965. Henry N. Smith. Virgin Land. Cambridge: Harvard Univ.P., 1950. A.L.Rowse. “Tudor Expansion.” 14 WMQ (1965): 309-316. For Turner’s central theme I follow Bestor for whom, the theme was not really the frontier, but something larger: the westward movement, the West which it created, and the influence of both on American life. See, Arthur E. Bestor, Jr., “PatentOffice Models of the Good Society.” 58 AHR (AP. 1953): 505-526. William Cronon. “BecominC West,” in Under the Open Sky. N.Y.: Norton, 1992.
(3) Jay Amos Barrett. Evolution of the Ordinance of 1787 with an Account of the Earlier Plans for the Government of the Northwest Territory. N.Y.: Putnam, 1891.
(4) Barrett, ibidem, 34. For the text of the Ordinance of 1784, see, Julian P. Boyd, ed. Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Princeton Univ.P., 613-615 (hereafter “Papers”). For the resolution of 7-786, see Journal of the Continental Congress, L.C. ed. (Ju1.1786), 390-394 (hereafter “JCC”).
(5) George H. Alden. “The Evolution of the American System of Forming and Admitting New States into the Union,” 18 Annals of the American Academy of Political & Social Sciences (1901): 469-479, 477; Alpheus H. Snow. The Administration of Dependencies. N.Y.: Putnam, 1902, 430; Edmund C. Burnett, Letters of Members of the Continental Congress. Wash.D.C.: Carnegie Institution, 1921, vol. 8, xxv, Preface; Clarence Carter ed., Territorial Papers of the United States, NWT, 48 n. 29. Francis S. Philbrick. The Rise of the West, 1754-1830. N.Y.: Harper, 1965, 128; Daniel J. Boorstin. The Americans: The National Experience. N.Y.: Random, 1965, 244; Jack E. Eblen. The First and Second United States Empires. Univ.Pittsburgh P., 1968, 28; Merril D. Peterson. Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation. N.Y.: Oxford, 1970, 283; Harry Ammon. James Monroe: The Quest for National Identity. N.Y.: McGraw, 1971, 53; Robert F. Berkhofer Jr., “Jefferson, the Ordinance of 1784, and the Origins of the American Territorial System,” 29 WMQ (1972): 231262; H.James Henderson. Party Politics in the Continental Congress. N.Y.: McGraw, 1974, 409; Joseph L. Davis. Sectionalism in American Politics, 1774-1787. Madison: Univ.Wis.P., 1977, 120. Peter S. Onuf. The Origins of the Federal Republic. Philadelphia: Univ.Penn.P., 1983, 154; Onuf, Statehood and Union. Bloomington: Ind.Univ.P., 1987, 52. William A. Williams. The Contours of American History. N.Y.: Norton, 1988, 132. Reginald Horsman, The Northwest Ordinance and the Shaping of an Expanding Republic, Wisconsin Magazine of History (Autumn, 1989): 21-32. Dexter Perkins, in his contribution of Monroe’s biography to the Dictionary of American Biography, N.Y.: Scribner’s, says that the “youthful delegate [Monroe] was not a dominating influence, …, in the great legislation of 1784 and 1785 for the organization of the West.” For a work preceding Barrett’s Evolution, see, John M. Merriam, “The Legislative History of the Ordinance of 1787,.°° American Antiquarian Soc. (Ap. 1888): 303-342.
(6) Monroe to Jefferson, 8-9-84, in The Writings of James Monroe, ed. by Stanislaus Murray Hamilton, N.Y.: AMS P., 1969 (1989), I, 38 (hereafter “Writings”).
(7) Harry Ammon, James Monroe. N.Y.: McGraw, 1971, 45.
(8) Monroe to Jefferson, 7-20-84 and 11-1-84, Writings, I, 3538 and 40-46.
(9) To avoid confusions on the NWT concept, see, Hildegard B. Johnson, Order Upon the Land, N.Y.: Oxford, 1976, 7-8. For the location of Ft. Niagara and Ft. Erie, see, Scribner’s Atla of American History, 2d ed., N.Y., 1984, maps Nos. 25 & 73.
(10) Writings, 113, n. 1. Justin Winsor. The Westward Movement, N.Y.: Franklin, 1968 (1897), 272. Ammon, ibidem, 53. Gerry to Jefferson, 9-12-85, LMCC # 227 at 216.
(11) 7 Statutes at Large 26. Long to Langdon, 3-29-86, LMC # 361 at 335. Monroe to Jefferson, 8-25-85, Writings, 107/8.
(12) To understand the geography of this trip, see, Scribner’s Atlas, maps Nos. 55 & 103.
(13) Monroe to Jefferson, 1-19-86, Writings, 112-120, 113.
(14) Ibidem, 117.
(15) Ibidem, 112-120, 118. This rationale will be referred to hereafter as the “unfertile lands” argument.
(16) William D. Pattison, Beginnings of the American Rectangular Land Survey System, 1784-1800, Columbus: Ohio Hist.Soc., 1957, 1970, 32.
(17) Ray A. Billington, Westward Expansion, Macmillan, 1967, 277, 280-81, 305. Harlan Hatcher, Lake Erie, N.Y.: Bobbs Merrill, 1945, 190. Frank Angelo. Yesterday’s Detroit, Miami: Seemann, 1974. Bruce Catton, A Bicentennial History, N.Y.: Norton, 1976, 72.
(18) Ralph H. Brown, Historical Geography of the U.S., N.Y.: Harcourt Brace, 1948, 204, 209, 284. Billington, Expansion, 305. Philbrick, Rise, 128.
(19) Papers, 591, 593. Pattison, Beginnings, 18, 27, 34.
(20) JCC, 7-7-86, 390-91. There was to be much cohtroversy between Ohio and Michigan concerning this boundary.
(21) See supra note 19. Brown, Historical Geography, 206211. Johnson, Order, 16.
(22) See supra note 12. Winsor, Westward, 262.
(23) Hutchins to the President of Congress, 11-24-85, in Papers of the Continental Congress (microfilm edition) M247, r. 74, i. 60, pg. 193-197 (herein after PCC).
(24) Pattison, Beginnings, 17, n. 3.
(25) Ammon, Monroe, 39. Monroe to Clark, 10-19-83, in Draper Coll. microfilm ed., Serv. J, r. 13, # 85-91.
(26) Manasseh Cutler. An Explanation of the Map of Federal Lands. Ann Arbor: Univ. Microfilms, 1966, 12, 15 [It is true that this is a promotional pamphlet which would try to avoid any unfavorable feature]; N.H. delegates, 5-29-85, in E.C.Burnett ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress, 8-130/131 (hereinafter LMCC); William Thomas Hutchinson, The Bounty Lands of the American Revolution in Ohio. New York: Arno, 1979 (1927), 76 (on Tupper’s and Putnam’s opinions); Louis Guillaume Otto, Question of the Mississippi (1786), in Albert Bushnell Hart ed. American History told by Contemporaries, N.Y.:Macmillan, 1900, III150/154.
(27) Draper Coll. MS 2U-139. See also, Monroe’s own 1783 contrary opinion in a letter to Clark, 10-19-83, Draper Mss. 52 J 85 […you may rest assured that the objects of this part of the state, an object which will govern in all our councils, will be to effect a separation an erect an independent state westward, as it will enable us to economize our efforts here & give us greater strength in the federal councils].
(28) Monroe to Jefferson, 8-25-85, Writings, 107; Lowell H. Harrison, Kentucky’s Road to Statehood, Lexington: Univ. of Kentucky, 1992, 41. Jefferson believed that, by letting Kentucky go, Virginia would be able to keep Southwest Virginia. Jefferson to Madison, 2-20-84, Robert A. Rutland ed. The Papers of Madison, Charlottesville: Univ. Pr. of Va., VII-425 (herein after Papers of Madison). Thomas P. Abernethy. Western Lands and the American Revolution. N.Y.: Russell, 1964 (1937), 308.
(29) Ammon, supra, 38, and n. 26. Willard R. Jillson, Old Kentucky Entries and Deeds, Louisville: Standard, 1926, 51, 130, 350, 434, 515. Samuel M. Wilson, Revolutionary Soldiers and Sailors, Greenville: Southern Historical Pr., 1994 (1913), 52. Daniel M. Friedenberg. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Land. Buffalo: Prometheus, 1992, 220; Monroe to Clark, 10-1983, Draper Mss. 52 J 85 [sale of land from Major Crittenden to Monroe].
(30) Ammon, Monroe, 74. Monroe to Madison, 10-26-88, Writings, 194-95 [In this letter Monroe said that he acquired 300 acres not 800 as indicated by Ammon]. Treasury warrants were purchased at 40 pounds sterling per hundred acres. Harrison, Statehood, 11. Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia, Bridgewater, Va.: Carrier, 1964, 279-80, 289-90.
(31) Merrill Jensen, The New Nation, N.Y.: Random House, 1950, 354.
(32) LMCC: 8-381/382, # 413. Henderson, Party Politics, 393.
(33) LMCC: 8-375/377, # 408. Monroe to Henry, 8-12-86, Writings, 150. Davis, Sectionalism, 122.
(34) Papers of Madison, 12-22-85, 450-453. Some of the terms of the act had been anticipated by Madison who was being consulted by Caleb Wallace. See, Madison to RHLee, 7-7-85, Papers of Madison, 314.
(35) JCC, 28132/135.
(36) Monroe to Madison, 12-19-85, Writings, 108.
(37) Monroe to Jefferson, 8-25-85. Samuel Cole Williams, History of the Lost State of Franklin, 1974 (1924), 86, n. 8. See also, supra, footnote 27.
(38) Philbrick, Rise, 128. The boundaries of the Ordinance of 1784 should not be taken too seriously anyhow. See, Jefferson’s thinking in September 1785 as revealed in his letters to RH Lee (712-85) and Hartley (9-5-85), Papers, 287, 483.
(39) Williams, Franklin, 86-87. Campbell to Madison, 10-2885, Papers of Madison, 381-385. Johnson to Sherman, 4-20-85, LMCC # 110 at 100, 102. LMCC 5-16-85, 120, n.2. RHLee to Madison, 5-30-85, LMCC # 142 at 131. Spaight to Caswell, 6-585, LMCC # 146 at 134.
(40) Harrison, Statehood, 35. John A. Caruso, The Appalachian Frontier, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1959, 316317.
(41) Ronald F. Banks. Maine Becomes a State, Portland: N.Y. Publis.Co1, 1973, 3-25. Grayson to Short, 6-15-85, I14CC # 153 at 141. Dane to Phillips, 1-20-86, LMCC # 317 at 289, n. 8. Van Beck Hall. Politics Without Parties. Massachusetts, 1780-1791. U.Pitts.Pr., 1972, 40-42, 173-175.
(42) RHLee to Jefferson, 10-29-85, LMCC 8-242; Virginia delegates to Patrick Henry, 11-7-85, LMCC 8-249; Grayson to Madison, 11-8-85, LMCC 8-251; Luther Martin, Genuine Information, Farrand, Records, App. A, CLVIII, 223.
(43) The Virginia act is explained by Williams as a reaction to the threatened separation of Washington county (S.W. Va.), which aspired to join the new state of Franklin, more than to the separation of Kentucky. Williams, Franklin, 54. See, Papers, 1-2286, Madison to Jefferson, at 201. George H. Alden. The State of Franklin, 8 AHR (1903): 282. Norman K. Risjord. Chesapeake Politics 1781-1800. N.Y.: COl.U.Pr., 1978, 237, n. 26 (616). James William Hagy. Arthur Campbell and the Origins of Kentucky: A Reassessment. 55 The Filson Club History Quarterly (1981): 373. Jay said in a letter to Adams (10-14-85) that “the rage for separation and new states is mischievous, it will, unless checked, scatter our resources and in every view enfeeble the Union.” Cited in Winsor, Westward, 262.
(44) The motion disapproved the disposition which appears in several districts of the U.S., to be separated from the states which have exercised constitutional jurisdiction over them, and be erected into independent governments without the consent of the said states and of the U.S.- It also stressed the intention of Congress to support any state when opposing such unconstitutional attempts to destroy the fundamental principles of the Union. JCC, 29:810. Grayson to Madison, 8-2185, LMCC #203 at 193, 195.
(45) The rationale for the Massachusetts vote was given by Dane in a letter to Samuel Phillips saying that with the exception of Canada or any other British colony, no other states could be admitted, because it would be in the power of nine states to balance the Union at pleasure by dividing old states and making new ones. January 20, 1786, Dane Manuscripts, cited in Onuf, Origins, 165, n. 78. Dane to Choate, 1-31-86, LMCC # 320 at 293. This motion was a forerunner of Art. 4, clause 3, Sec. 1 of the Fed. Const. See also Williamson’s motion of 6-19-83, Papers of Madison, 7, 164. To appreciate the significance of these issues, see, debates in the Federal Convention on August 29 and 30, 1787.
(46) Virginia delegates to the Governor [P.Henry], LMCC 8:249; RHLee to Jefferson, 10-29-85, LMCC # 264 at 243. See also, Onuf, Origins, 163.
(47) See, supra, footnote # 15. On the “diversity of interest” as an obstacle to republican government, see, Cathy D. Matson and Peter S. Onuf, A Union of Interest, Lawrence U.Pr. of Kansas, 1990, 82, and also Madison to Jefferson, 3-1886, The Writings of Madison, 230. Jefferson himself, the great champion of western rights preferred to have the commercial reform passed before the admission of the western states; in Jefferson to Monroe, 6-17-85, Writings, IV, 49.
(48) JCC (July 86): 390-94.
(49) The Virginia motion on boundaries should be understood as a proposal to secure the maximum of five states. This vote reveals that the Southern states supported the creation of more states in the NWT than the Eastern states which at this point were increasing the minimum population required for admission.
(50) The elimination of Massachusetts from the language of the resolution has been attributed to the fact that her 4-19-8G cession did not specifically referred to the 100-150 clause, however, her cession was made under the provisions of the 1010-80 resolution which brought that condition in the first place. It seems that the elimination of Massachusetts may have been prompted by the Eastern states’ realization that the size of the future northwestern states was intrinsically related to the population threshold requirement (See infra footnote # 71). The issue since October 85 had changed from affecting the unceded lands (SWT plus Maine and Vermont) to regarding only the ceded lands (NWT). The southern states seem to have dropped the boundaries which secured five states for an increase in the minimum from two to three states. In 1787, the NWO would include both, the boundaries and the 3-5 clause.
(51) Madison, in The Federalist # 14, in discussing what to do with “angles and fractions” laying in the “northwestern frontier” of the Union, proposed to leave the issue “to those whom further discoveries and experience will render more equal to the task.” Onuf, origins, 162 [He clearly develops the distinction between the institutional treatment of ceded and unceded lands].
(52) Madison in 1783 said that “from several circumstances there was reason to believe that Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, if not Maryland also, retained latent views of confining Virginia to the Allegheny mountains.” JCC 25:973 and Madison’s notes. On Rhode Island’s policy, see Staples, Rhode Island in the Continental Congress, 457-459. Ellery and Howell to Governor Greene, 10-9-83, “It has been earnestly contended that they [Virginia] should relinquish all their claims over the Allegheny mountains. In alleviation of the public disappointment by failing in this point, it may be observed that the lands appropriated by Virginia to her line, at all events, must have been taken out of these western claims. The lands already ceded to the United States are estimated to amount to upwards of 500,000 square miles. Allowing the state of Rhode Island to strike one-fiftieth, our share would amount to ten thousand square miles, a territory of ten times the extent of the whole state.”(Emphasis added); and 517. Howell to Deputy Governor Bowen, 5-31-84. Howell was optimistic that “Congress will be able to open a land office for the sale of one or two states by next Christmas.” Ibid., 524, Howell to Governor Greene, 2-9-85. Congress waits impatiently for the outcome of the Indian negotiations, since there is a great demand for land. Spaight to Blount, 3-27-85, LMCC #85 at 75. Madison’s observations, 5-1-82, LMCC 6-340, 341. Howell to Greene, 7-30-82, LMCC 6-399, 402.
(53) Debates in the Convention for 6-28-87 (Madison), and 69-87 (Brearly). Rosemarie Zagarri, The Politics of Size, Ithaca: Cornell U.Pr., 1987, 68. A.C. McLaughlin, The Confederation and the Constitution, 1905, 216. Jefferson to Madison, 2-20-84, Papers of Madison, 7-424 (RHLee was talking of separating the Northern Neck from Virginia and make it part of Maryland to interest the small states int he Union). Williamson to Martin, 11-18-82, LMCC 6-544, No. 689.
(54) See, supra, footnote # 41. Campbell to Madison, 10-2885, Papers, 8:383. Onuf, Origins, 156, 161.
(55) JCC 28132.
(56) Monroe to Jefferson, 5-11-86, Writings, 126. A Monroe scholar, in a comparable situation, believes that the absence of an allusion in a letter sent to Jefferson a week after the submission of a report, provides no evidence of the report’s authorship. Charles E. Dickson, James Monroe’s Defense of Kentucky’s Interests in the Confederation Congress: An Example of Early North/South Party Alignment, Register of the Kentucky Historical Society (1976): 261,280, 264. As to the absence of Monroe’s motion from the JCC and the PCC, it is interesting to observe that motion was already missing from the previous edition of the Journals. See, Snow, Dependencies, 430 [The LC edition of the JCC by John C. Fitzpatrick was published in 1933/34, and Snow’s Dependencies in 1902].
(57) JCC, 3-24-86, 133, n. 1, and 135, n. 1.
(58) The ordinance of 1784 was to apply to lands ceded by the states, purchased from the Indians, and offered for sale by the Congress. This guarantee given to the future property owners referred to the population threshold requirement set at the population of the least numerous of the thirteen states as well as to governmental provisions securing orderly settlements.
(59) JCC, 5-3-86: 230. With respect to this motion by Dane, it is intriguing that the document shows below the indorsement an sketch which resembles part of the 1784 boundaries of the ordinance intersected by a river. See, PCC, No. 30, folio 83. The unfertile lands argument cannot be said to be “apparent” as the term is used int he Secretary of Congress’ letter to the Governor of Virginia, 711-86, Territorial Papers (NWT), 19. For a discussion of “natural boundaries,” see, Campbell to Madison, 10-28-85, Papers of Madison, 382. JCC (3-24-1786), 394.
(60) It was eventually incorporated in art. IV of the NWO. See also, Madison to Jefferson, 1-9-85, Papers, 232 [opening the rivers as an answer to separatism].
(61) Grayson to Madison, 5-5-86, LMCC: 8-372/374, # 407.
(62) Peter Onuf, Toward Federalism: Virginia, Congress, and the Western Lands, 34 WMQ (1977): 372; Grayson in Virginia Ratifying Convention of 1788, Elliot, Debates, 340/343; Arthur P. Whitaker, The Spanish-American Frontier. 1783-1795. Gloucester: P.Smith, 1962, 75. For the transition among the following groupings: landed-landless states, the small-large states, and the eastern-southern states, see, Madison to Pendleton, 4-23-82, in Hutchinson, Bounty Lands, 39 n.l.
(63) See, Monroe to Jefferson, 7-16-85, LMCC 8:403, No. 443.
(64) See, comparison between agriculture and manufacturing related to density in C.E. Carter ed. Documents Relating to the Mississippi Land Co., 1763-1769, 16 AHR(1911): 311-319, 316. McCoy, Elusive Republic, 83-85. For maps depicting densities in 1790, 1800, and 1810, and for early Americans’ assumptions about the relationship between state size and population, see, Zagarri, Politics of Size, 6-7.
(65) Otto to Vergennes, 9-10-86, in Albert B. Hart ed., American History told by Contemporaries, Macmillan, 1900, 111150. See also, Joseph L. Davis, Political Change in Revolutionary America: A Sectional Interpretation,” in James K. Martin, The Human Dimension of Nation Making, Madison: State Historical Soc. of Wis., 1976, passim. Onuf, Origins, 154, 169. Dave to King, 7-16-87, LMCC: 8-621/22.
(66) Monroe to Jefferson, 7-16-86, LMCC: 8-403, # 443. See also, Williamson-Bland motion of 6-19-83, Papers of Madison, 7164. Whitaker, Frontier, 76. See, Davis, interpretation of the “opened the eyes” phrase, in Davis, Sectionalism, 117. Grayson to Washington, 5-8-85, LMCC: 118. Snow, Dependencies, 427 [“As the power to admit new “States” was based on Article XI of the Articles of Confederation, a new “State” could be admitted by vote of any nine States of the Confederation. As soon as more than three new States were added, the original States would have been at the mercy of any coalition between these three and a minority of themselves, and as soon as more than five new States were admitted, even nine of the old States voting together could not have prevented the admission of as many new States as the remainder might have seen fit. The original states were slow to adopt a plan which seemed certain to throw the power into the hands of the Western states.”
(67) Tupper and Parsons toured some areas of the NWT as surveyors and Indian commissioners and went to form the Ohio Co., see, Dumas Malone ed., Dictionary of American Biography, and Winsor, Westward Movement, 280. Michael Allen, The Federalists and the West, 61 Western Pa.H.Mg. (1978): 315-332 [Allen develops the distinction among Federalists between the hard line constrictionists and the “reluctant expansionists A good illustration of Allen’s distinction is Putnam to Ames, Jan. 1790, in Bushnell Hart ed., American History, III-106. It seems that a rejection of western expansionism had more ideological than sectional background. The main example is Washington who presided over the federal period. See also, Grayson to Washington, 4-15-85, LMCC: 8:95/97.
(68) Monroe to Madison, 5-8-85, Writings, I-78. JCC, 25-915 (226-83). LMCC: 8-130 [“(N.H. delegates) think it beyond a doubt that many of the creditors of the U.S. in the middle and southern parts of the Union have fixed their attention to this as a fund from which they shall soon be able to pay themselves”]. An additional incentive was the revenue resulting from the sale of western lands which might be used to pay the federal debt without resorting to commercial taxes. Davis, Sectionalism, 116. Dane to Wales, 1-31-86, LMCC # 321 at 296. Hall, Politics, 40-42.
(69) Jefferson to Monroe, 7-9-86, Papers, 111-115. This letter has been used and abused to prove Jefferson’s “democratic” views. For the political and institutional context of state size, see generally, Zagarri, Politics of Size, supra.
(70) Monroe to Jefferson, 7-16-86, Writings, 140.
(71) Jefferson, LMCC: 8-91, n. 12. Monroe to Madison, 9-386, Writings, 162-163, and Monroe to Henry, 8-12-86, Writings, 150. For the federalist ideology in general, see, Linda K. Kerber, Federalists in Dissent, Ithaca: Cornell U.Pr., 1983 (1970). Allen, Federalists, 315-332.
(72) JCC, 10-4-86 at 738. It is interesting that Dane’s motion talked about the number of “free inhabitants” necessary for admission raising thus implicitly the slavery issue to the fore. He later on attached the slavery clause to the NWO.
(73) See, Jefferson’s comments to Hogendorf on the western territory, 4-11-84, Papers, 220, n. 2. Washington computed 500,000 sq.ml. for the entire western territory. As to Jefferson’s geography, see, John K. Wright, Human Nature in Geography, Cambridge: Harvard U.Pr., 1966, 219.
(74) It is true that not all the states were planned to have the same extension. Berkhofer, Origins, 245. See also, Arthur Bestor, Jr., Constitutionalism and the Settlement of the West: The Attainment of Consensus, 1754-1784, in John Porter Bloom, ed. The American Territorial System, Athens, 1973, 29.
(75) See, Bestor, ibidem. The 3-24-86 report in its preamble assumes that the 1784 districts were drawn in compliance with the 100-150 clause.
(76) For a New Hampshire delegate, the area of an state should be about 20 millon acres = 31,250 sq.ml. See LMCC 2-2785, 8-46, # 52. This was the minimum size established by the financing committee report of 1778, LMCC (Spt. 1778): 931 [20 to 40 million acres = 31,250/62,500 sq.mils.]
(77) This enumeration is not exhaustive. In utilizing the word “factor” I have in mind the elemental idea of connection which I take from Monroe himself. He said in his letter to Henry, 8-12-86, Writings, 149, that “clearly I am of opinion it [the Mississippi question] will be held connected with other objects -& perhaps with that upon which the convention will sit at Annapolis.”
(78) See, text of the report of 1784 in Papers, 140-148; and the land ordinance of 1785 in C. Carter ed., Territorial Papers, 1218. Philbrick, Rise, 127.
(79) Onuf, Origins, 166. Monroe to Jefferson, 4-12-85, Writings, 71. Grayson to Washington, 5-8-85, LMCC: 8-118.
(80) Pattison, Beginnings, 53.
(81) Pattison, ibidem, 88, 104; JCC: 18-915/16. Winsor, Westward, 261, 271.
(82) Eblen, Empires, 27. Richard P. McCormick, “The ‘Ordinance’ of 1784?” 50 WMQ(1993): 112, 119. Onuf, Origins, 166. The distinction between settled and unsettled areas was crucial to an effective expansion of the Confederation.
(83) JCC: 5-10-86, 255, n. 1. PCC No. 30, folio 85. A review of the original report in the PCC indicates that the only portion in the writing of Monroe is just the “introduction” which says that “the committee to whom a motion of Mr. Dane was referred for considering & reporting the form of a temporary government for the western territory beg leave to report.”
(84) Monroe to Jefferson, 7-16-86, LMCC 8:403, 404.
(85) Washington to James Duane, 9-7-83, in Fitzpatrick, Writings of George Washington, 27-133/140; and Congress report of 11-15-83. Pattison, Beginnings, 29. William T. Hutchinson, The Bounty Lands of the American Revolution in Ohio, N.Y.: Arno, 1979, 67. Also, in November 1785, Hamilton petitioned Washington to use his influence with Congress in favor of Baron Steuben, LMCC: 8-260, n. 2 (261). On Washington’s influence in passing the land ordinance of 1785, see, LMCC: 8-vii, introduction by Burnett. On Washington’s influence in acceptance of the Constitution see John C. Ranney, The Bases of American Federalism, 3 WMQ(1946): 1-35, 28. Henry Lee to Washington, 10-17-86, LMCC: 8-486, # 523 [“Unbounded influence” to conciliate the Shay’s rebellion], and 8:343 # 374 (4-21-86).
Philbrick, Rise, 121, n. 66.
(86) As to Washington first hand knowledge of the West, see, Charles H. Ambler, George Washington and the West, N.Y.: Russell, 1936, passim.
(87) For Washington ideas of progressive seating and compact settlement, see his letters to Arthur Lee, 3-15-85, in Writings of Washington, 106; Jacob Read, 11-3-84, 485-490, 487; Hugh Williamson, 3-15-85, ibidem, 107-108; RHLee, 3-15-85, ibidem, 108109 [Lee showed this letter to Grayson, Payson Jackson Treat, The National Land System, 1910, 29, n. 30], 6-22-85, and 8-22-85, ibidem, 173-175, 230-232; William Grayson, 4-25-85 and 8-22-85, ibidem, 136-138, 232-234. See also, RHLee to Washington, 4-18-85, LMCC: # 107 at 97/98. Winsor, Westward Movement, 261. Washington used the expression “the decies” in his letter to RHLee, 3-15-85, Writings, 108-109. The partitions of Kentucky and Tennessee in eastern and western portions was seen with suspicion and disapproval.
(88) Carl Evans Boyd, “The County of Illinois” 4 AHR (1899): 623-35. Abernethy, Western Lands, 309. John Jay to John Lowell, 510-85, cited in Richard B. Morris, The Forging of the Union 17811789, N.Y.: Harper, 1987, 21. As to the comparison of states to counties, see, Williamson at the Federal Convention on 6-9-87, Governour Morris on 7-7-87, and Madison on 6-28-87.
(89) Hutchinson, Bounty Lands, 77. Onuf, Origins, 169. Jensen, New Nation, 355.
(90) Hatchet, Lake Erie, 177. R. Carlyle Buley, The Old Northwest Pioneer Period 1815-1840, Bloomington: Ind.U.Pr., 1951, 51. Samuel Putnam Waldo. A Narrative of a Tour of Observation made during the Summer of 1817, Hartford, Conn., 1817, 205-206. Cass to Secr. of War, 11-27-17, Territ.Papers of U.S. (hereafter TPUS), X-711, 712. On the Northern border of Ohio, see, Spafford to Meigs, 6-9-16, TPUS, X-650; Meigs to the President, 8-16-16, ibidem, X-663; Meigs to Tiffin, 8-22-16, ibidem, X-664; Cass to Tiffin, 11-1-17, ibidem, X-709.
(91) Buley, ibidem, 52. F. Clever Bald, Michigan in Four Centuries, N.Y.: Harper, 1954, 145146. Willis F. Dunbar, Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965, 241-242. John A. Caruso, The Great Lakes Frontier, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1961, 352 [Caruso seems to incurred in the same fallacy criticized in this essay when he says that the surveyors of 1815 may have been influenced by Monroe’s comment in his 1-19-86 letter to Jefferson].