Front Page Titles (by Subject) REPORT OF GOVERNMENT FOR THE WESTERN TERRITORY 1 - The Works, vol. 4 (Notes on Virginia II, Correspondence 1782-1786)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
REPORT OF GOVERNMENT FOR THE WESTERN TERRITORY 1 - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 4 (Notes on Virginia II, Correspondence 1782-1786) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 4.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
REPORT OF GOVERNMENT FOR THE WESTERN TERRITORY1
[March 22, 1784.]
The Committee to whom was recommitted the the report of a plan for a temporary government of the Western territory have agreed to the following resolutions.
Resolved, that so much of the territory ceded or to be ceded by individual states to the United States as is already purchased or shall be purchased of the
Indian inhabitants & offered for sale by Congress, shall be divided into distinct states, in the following manner, as nearly as such cessions will admit; that is to say, 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; and by meridians of longitude, one of which shall pass thro’ the lowest point of the rapids of Ohio, and the other through the Western Cape of the mouth of the Great Kanhaway, but the territory Eastward of this last meridian, between the Ohio, Lake Erie, & Pennsylvania shall be one state, whatsoever may be its comprehension of latitude. That which may lie beyond the completion of the 45th. degree between the sd. meridians shall make part of the state adjoining it on the South, and that part of the Ohio which is between the same meridians coinciding nearly with the parallel of 39° shall be substituted so far in lieu of that parallel as a boundary line.
That the settlers on any territory so purchased & offered for sale shall, either on their own petition, or on the order of Congress, receive authority from them with appointments of time & place for their free males of full age, within the limits of their state to meet together for the purpose of establishing a temporary government, to adopt the constitution and laws of any one of the original states, so that such laws nevertheless shall be subject to alteration by their ordinary legislature; & to erect, subject to a like alteration, counties or townships for the election of members for their legislature.
That such temporary government shall only continue in force in any state until it shall have acquired 20,000 free inhabitants, when giving due proof thereof to Congress, they shall receive from them authority with appointment of time & place to call a convention of representatives to establish a permanent Constitution & Government for themselves. Provided that both the temporary & permanent governments be established on these principles as their basis. 1. That they shall forever remain a part of this confederacy of the United States of America. 2. That in their persons, property & territory they shall be subject to the Government of the United States in Congress assembled, & 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 & measure, by which apportionments thereof shall be made on the other states. 4. 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 æra, there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the sd states, otherwise than in punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been convicted to have been personally guilty.
That whensoever any of the sd 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 it’s delegates into the Congress of the United States on an equal footing with the said original states: provided nine States agree to such admission according to the reservation of the 11th. of the articles of Confederation, and in order to adapt the sd articles of confederation to the state of Congress when it’s numbers shall be thus increased, it shall be proposed to the legislatures of the states originally parties thereto, to require the assent of two thirds of the United States in Congress assembled in all those cases wherein by the said articles the assent of nine states is now required; which being agreed to by them shall be binding on the new states. 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 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 & the seal of the United States, shall be promulgated & shall stand as fundamental constitutions between the thirteen original states and each of the several states now newly described, unalterable but by the joint consent of the United States in Congress assembled, & of the particular state within which such alteration is proposed to be made.
That measures not inconsistent with the principles of the Confedn. & necessary for the preservation of peace & good order among the settlers in any of the said new states until they shall assume a temporary Government as aforesaid, may from time to time be taken by the U S in C. assembled.
[1 ]Endorsed “Report on Western Territory. Delivered 22 March, 1784. Read. Wednesday 24 assigned for consideration.”