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"The troubled history of that ill-starred speculation
Albert Bushnell Hart says "The Scioto Company, managed by speculators, undertook to buy three and a half million acres, but never took any."
SEC. 107. Letter from the Virginia Delegates to the Continental Congress, to the Governor of Virginia reads in part as follows:
“NEW YORK, November 30, 1787. We are happy in being able to present to the View of your Excellency and the Legislature a prospect of an early and considerable reduction of the domestic debt by Sales of Western Territory. Seven Ranges of Townships have been surveyed agreeably to the Ordinance of the 20th of May 1785, containing upwards of one Million of Acres, about one hundred and Twenty thousand Whereof have been sold for some what more than the average price of one dollar per Acre in public securities. these Ranges extend west from the place of beginning directed in the Ordinance nearly down to Muskingum. But a mode of Sale has lately presented itself which promises a more Rapid progress, while it will exempt the United States from the greatest part of the expence that would attend a strict pursuance of the Ordinance, without Materially departing from it. Companies of Adventurers have come forward with propositions for large Tracts, and a Contract is actually made with Messrs. Sargent and Cutler, in behalf of a considerable Company from the Eastern States, for all the Country between the Seventh Range of Townships, and Sciota, from the Ohio North, as far as a due West line to be extended from the Northern boundary of the Tenth Township. the whole of this tract is supposed to contain about five Millions of Acres. The terms are, that the United States, shall at the public expence, Survey and mark the external boundaries, and ascertain the Contents of the Tract, the Company to lay it out, at their own expence, into Townships and Sections, agreeably to the Ordinance, subject to the reserves therein described, except that one of the Sections for future Sale shall be granted forever for the purposes of Religion, and that two Complete Townships shall be granted forever for the purposes of an University. All other Lands within the Tract, to be paid for, without any abatement whatever for bad Land, at the price of two thirds of a dollar per Acre in public Securities, excluding interest, half a million of dollars to be paid upon closing the ('ontract, and possession taken so far as that payment will cover; and afterwards payment and Occupancy to go on, pari passu, at certain periods, under Certain Stipulations of reciprocal assurance. Army Rights for Military bounties are made Receivable in payment of the purchase money, in the proportion of one Seventh part, but as Lands are Set apart and to be Surveyed, for Satisfying these Bounties, more to the advantage of the Claimants, it is not likely that many of these Rights will be rendered in discharge of this debt.
“Another offer is made by Judge Symmes and his associates from New-Jersey, for about two and an half Millions between the little and great Miami's, upon the same terms. ('ongress have Authorised the Treasury Board to close with this proposition, but it is not yet compleated; upon these two Contracts heing carried into full effect they will take up, as may be seen by the Statement inclosed, upwards of three Millions and an half of dollars, even upon a supposition that the full proportion receivable in Bounty Rights, be actually rendered. Two other propositions have been made, whereupon Congress bave given the Treasury Board a general Authority to sell by Contract; provided that no tract so disposed of shall contain less than one Million of Acres, making the Terms of Sargent and Cutlers purchase the ground, with deviations as to the grants for Religion, and an University, unless the Contract be for an equal quantity. This mode of Sale is calculated to relieve the United States of much expence, and present Appearances are, that our people will soon feel the domestic debt considerably lightened, by it.
“This great fund for the extinguishment of the National debt, has lately received a probable augmentation, by a Cession from South Carolina of a Tract that will, it is supposed, be eventually within the limits of that State, containing about half a Million of Acres on the Missisippi, upon running the lines lately stipulated in the adjustment of her disputes with Georgia." **
24 Treat, 58. See also Dawes, Major E. C., "The Beginning of the Ohio Company and the Scioto Purchase", Ohio Archaeological and Historical Publications (1895), voi. IV, 14, ff.
25 Essentials in American History (copyright 1905, 1919) 193. * Burnett, E. C., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress, VIII, 670, 673, 674.
SEC. 108. Endorsement on a memorial of William Newbold and sixteen other persons reads :
"N. 90 Geo. Morgan for purchase 2 Mill Acres W terry Read 13 May 1788 May 14 Referred to the board of treasury to report Acted on June 20th 1788".
In the course of said memorial, which is dated May 1" 1788, the memorialists by their agent George Morgan express the desire for themselves and their associates to contract for and to purchase two million acres of land "(saving & reserving to the Inhabitants of Kaskaskias, Prairie du Rocher, Fort Chartres, s.! Phillips & Kahokia, & all others having just Claims, their respective Rights within the said Boundaries, to be determined as Congress shall direct) for which your Memorialists by their said Agent will engage to pay on similar Terms granted by Congress to other Companies, or on such other Terms as their Agent may deem more advantageous to their Interest.
Entry in Committee Book, Papers C. C., No. 190, folio 190, under date of May 14, 1788 reads :
Board of treas Messrs. Newbold & others by G. Morgan
to report for purchase of 2 Mill, acres land. To the left of said entry is
on Memo G Morgan
see Journal June 20+ 1788" 29 Said report of the Board of Treasury is as follows:
"The Board of Treasury to whom was referred the Memorial of George Morgan and his Associates for the purchase of a Tract of Land in the Illinois Country.
"Beg leave to refer Congress to their Report of the 18 March 1788 on the application of I. Woods and Garret Rapelje of the
"It is necessary however to observe, that the principles of that Report (so far as they relate to the probability of the execution of the proposals of Mess? Woods and Rapelje) are in a great degree invalidated, by the respectable association, in whose behalf the present Memorial is presented; the private property of the parties, being we presume fully adequate to a compliance with their proposed Contract.
"Under the above circumstances, the Board are of opinion, that it would be adviseable to enter into a Contract with M! Morgan, and his associates, on the same terms, as have been agreed on, on the application of Royal Flint and Joseph Parker; should Congress judge it adviseable (previous to the termination of the approaching Treaty) to enter into any further Contracts for Lands, where the Indian Title has not been extinguished.
"With respect to the application of the Memorialists on the Form of Government which they wish to be Established, within the proposed purchase; the Board forbear to make any observations as they presume this Object (being of a positive nature, and not necessarily connected with the Business of their Department) was not intended by Congress to form part of the subject in Reference. “All which is humbly Submitted.
Arthur Lee *229 MAY 1788."
Entry in Committee Book, Papers C. C. No. 190, folio 192, under date of May 23, 1788 (which date appears in column entitled “Appointed”, which column is between column headed “Report” and column headed "Committees”) and in columns respectively headed "Report", "Committees”, and “Subjects", reads: M" Williamson
n Papers C. C., No. 41, VI, folio 499.
> Papers C. C., No. 138, II, folio 176. See also Papers C. C., No. 190, folio 192. See also J. C. C., XXXIV, 177.
Report of board of treasury
on Mem! G Morgan & others M" Dane "Report M' Carrington
May 26 The report of board of treas of the "state [?] June 12 M' Kearny
respecting contracts for sale of Western territoryW' Wingate
Sec. 109. A report of the Board of Treasury is as follows, namely:
“The Board of Treasury to whom it was referred to report to Congress the State of such Contracts as they have made for the sale of Lands in the Western Territory Beg leave to Report
"That the Resolves of Congress of the 230 & 27!h July, 24 and 22! of October last relative to Contracts for Lands in the Western Territory all stand on the same principles; Except in one article of the Agreement proposed to be made with Mess! Flint and Parker; by which the United States stipulate to extinguish the Indian Title, instead of the same being done by the Contractors agreeably to their proposition.
"That no Contract has been completed in consequence of the Resolves of Congress above above stated; except with Messrs. Sarjeant & Cutler: the Board not conceiving themselves authorised to conclude any Contract, till the first installment is paid on the respective purchases.
"That assurances have been given to the Board of the intentions of M. Symmes, and of Messrs. Fiint and Parker to fulfill their proposed Contracts; except in the case of the Two Million Acre Tract on the Wabash-which the Attorney of M' Flint in this City informs the Board cannot (he presumes) be complied with for want of a sufficient number of Subscribers to complete the Purchase.
"With respect to that part of the proposed Contract with Messrs. Flint and Parker ; which differs in the point we have suggested from the other propositions-Congress will observe that it necessarily arises, from the Indian Title to the same not being extinguished; which is not the case of the other proposed Contracts; and consequently that the agreement with Messrs. Flint and Parker (should it take effect) will stand precisely on the same grounds with those abovementioned. "All which is humbly submitted
"Samuel Osgood Walter Livingston
Not reported" 31 Sec. 110. On June 12, 1788, according to endorsement, there was read a report tbe opening sentence of which reads as follows:
"The Committee consisting of M! (Hugh] Williamson, (Mr. Nathan Dane, Mr. Edward Carrington, Mr. Dyre Kearny and Mr. Paine Wingate) to whom was referred the Memorial Geo. Morgan and his associates, respecting a tract of land in the Illinois Country on the Mississippi beg leave to report”.**
In the course of said report the committee submitted certain resolves. Among said resolves is the following:
"That the Board of Treasury be authorised to Contract with any person or persons for a grant of a Tract of land which shall be bounded as fol. lows.
30 Papers C. C., No. 139, folios 689-691. See also Carter, op. cit., II, 110, 111.
"That the purchaser or purchasers shall oblige themselves to lay off the Tract at their own expence into Townships or fractional parts of Townships and to divide the same into lots according to the land Ordinance of the 2044 May 1785, complete Returns of which are to be made to the Board of Treasury. The lot No 16 in each Township or fractional part of a Township to be given perpetually for the purposes contained in the said Ordinance and the lot NO 29 in each Township or fractional part of a Township to be given perpetually for the purposes of Religion, and that each of the several Townships shall be thus laid off before the original purchaser or purchasers shall have disposed of the same, or made any settlement therein."
In the course of endorsement on said report is the following: “Acted on June
Sec. 111. The report of the committee mentioned in Sec. 110 hereof having been amended, it was resolved on June 20, 1788, that Congress agree to said report, 35 On the reverse of said report as so amended is endorsed the following, namely:
"Report on G. Morgan's
order for 20 t"36 In the course of said report as so amended appears the following, namely:
"That the Board of Treasury be authorised to contract with any person or persons for a grant of a tract of land which shall be bounded as follows:
* That the purchaser or purchasers shall oblige themselves to lay off the tract at their own expence into townships or fractional parts of townships, and to divide the same into lots according to the land ordinance of the 20th of May, 1785, complete returns of which are to be made to the Board of Treasury. The lot No. 16, in each township, or fractional part of a township to be given perpetually for the purposes contained in the said ordinance; and the lot No. 29, in each township, or fractional part of a township, to be given perpetually for the purposes of religion, and that each of the several townships shall be thus laid off Defore the original purchaser or purchasers shall have disposed of the same, or made any settlement therein." 37
SEC. 112. On June 25, 1788, there was read a memorial of George Morgan, Agent of the New Jersey Land Society, to the United States in Congress assembled, the first two sentences of which memorial read "That your Memorialist hath not yet made Proposals to the Treasury Board, for the Land described in the late Ordinance of Congress, on Account of its not authorising the Board, to give the Right of immediate Entry & Occupancy. This being an indispensible Stipulation in behalf of the New Jersey Land Society, your Memorialist wishes to give Congress ample Satisfaction, of the Propriety of granting this Indulgence in the present Instance." 38 In Committee Book, Papers C. C., No. 190, folio 196 appear words, figures, punctuation, and symbols as in this section below quoted, pamely: (in column headed "Report")
July 1", (in column headed “Appointed") the first figures and words in which column are
"1788 June 20"), the figures “25", (in column headed “Committees" opposite square bracket) the following, namely:
33 Papers C. C., No. 19, IV, folios 147-149. See also J. C. C., XXXIV, 214.
Papers C. C., No. 19, IV. folio 156. 85 Papers C. C. No, 19, IV, folio 157 and reverse of 157 ; Papers C. C., Western Territory, No. 176, folios 29-36. See also J. C. C., XXXIV, 247-252.
38 Papers C. C., No. 19, IV, reverse of folio 157. 37 Papers C. C. No. 19.' IV, folio 157. See also J. C. C., XXXIV, 248, 249, and Papers C. C., Western Territory. No. 176. folios 30, 31.
$$ Papers C. C., No. 41, VI, folios 510-513; see also folios 514-517.
and (in column headed “Subjects", opposite a bracket the most of which is in said last mentioned column and a part of which is in said column headed "Committees") the following quoted, namely,
" | Mem' of G. Morgan in behalf of N Jersey
Society, to have inserted in contract to have
immediate occupancy". SEXO. 113. On July 1, 1788, there was entered and read a report of Messis. Williamson, Otis and Baldwin, on “col Morgan's Mem'" 89 In the course of said report the committee "to whom was referred a Memorial of M' George Morgan” (a) begged leave to report that George Morgan is willing, with certain provisos, immediately to contract for the tract of land described in the Act of June 20, 1788, at the price and with the exceptions and reservations mentioned in said Aćt and (b) expressed itself to be "of the Opinion that the Board of Treasury should be authorised to contract with M' Geo Morgan in behalf of himself and Associates according to the Terms mentioned." 40
SEC. 114. On July 15, 1788, according to Committee Book Papers C. C., No. 190, folio 198, there was appointed a committee consisting of Messrs. Williamson. Otis, Baldwin, Carrington and Seney on "Report on Mem! G. Morgan Mem' Tardiveau”.41
On the same day, according to endorsement on the report mentioned in Section 113, supra, said report was recommitted
"with Tardiveau's Mem'
M' Seney”.42 Sec. 115. On July 30, 1788, there was entered and read a report of Messrs. Williamson, Otis and Baldwin " ("evidently the report of the committee of July 15, 1788, which according to the Committee Book also included Mr. Edward Carrington and Mr. Joshua Seney' *). In said report there was submitted a resolution in the course of which it is resolved “That the Board of Treasury be authorised in contracting with George Morgan and his Associates or with any other Person or Persons for the Sale of a Tract of Land on the River Mississippi to vary" in certain particulars “from the Terms proposed in the Act of 20th of June last”, said terms relating to payment etc.45
Sec. 116. On an unknown day of September 1788 *there was read in Congress a report of a committee on memorial of M! Tardiveau Agent of the French and American Inhabitants of the Illinois and Post St Vincents.*7 In the course of said report is the following quoted, namely:
"And Whereas Congress by their Acts of the 20h of June and 29. of August last, took measures for confirming in thier possessions and Titles all the French and Canadian Inhabitants and others, Settlers at or near the Rivers Mississippi Illinois & Wabash, who on or before the year 1783, had professed themselves Citizens of the United States or any of them, and for laying off the several traets which they rightfully claim within certain limits. And also in and by said Acts directed the laying of certain tracts of Land of such extent as to contain four hundred acres as donations to each of the heads of families in the districts therein mentioned to be divided among them by Lot, but omitted making any grants of Land for Supporting Religion and for Schools of education as had been done in the Sales of Land in the Western territory; for Supplying which Omission,
"Resolved that before any of the Tracts of Land directed by the above mentioned Acts as donations to the heads of families, shall be laid of, there shall be · laid out two Tracts of Land of Acres each Adjoining to each Village not the property of any of the Inhabitants of such Village ; one of which said tracts adjoining each Village shall be and remain forever to the sole and only use of
39 Papers C. C., No. 19. IV, endorsement on document which document begins at folio 163. See also J. C. C., XXXIV, 267, 275-276.
40 Papers C. C., No. 19, IV, folio 163. See also J. C. C., XXXIV, 275. 41 See also J. C. C., XXXIV. 327. 42 Papers C. C., 19, IV, endorsement on document which document begins at folio 163. 43 Papers C. C., 19, IV, folio 168. 44 J. C. C.. XXXIV, 371. 45 Papers C. C., 19, IV. folios 165, 166. 49 Papers C. C., No. 19, VI, folio 12. See also J. C. C., XXXIV, 540. 47 Papers C. C., No. 19, VI, folios 9-12; the first folio "11" should be numbered “10." See also J. C. C., XXXIV, 540-542.