Front Page Titles (by Subject) OPINION ON TERRITORIAL AUTHORITY - The Works, vol. 6 (Correspondence 1789-1792)
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OPINION ON TERRITORIAL AUTHORITY - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 6 (Correspondence 1789-1792) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 6.
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OPINION ON TERRITORIAL AUTHORITY
[December 14, 1790.]
Opinion on certain proceedings of the Executive in the North-western Territory.
The Secretary of State having had under his consideration, the journal of the proceedings of the Executive in the North-western Territory, thinks it his duty to extract therefrom, for the notice of the President of the United States, the articles of April 25th, June 6th, 28th, and 29th. Some of which are hereto annexed.
Conceiving that the regulations, purported in these articles, are beyond the competence of the executive of the said government, that they amount, in fact, to laws, and as such, could only flow from its regular legislature; that it is the duty of the general government to guard its subordinate members from the encroachments of each other, even when they are made through error or inadvertence, and to cover its citizens from the exercise of powers not authorized by the law, the Secretary of State is of opinion that the said articles be laid before the Attorney General for consideration, and if he finds them to be against law, that his opinion be communicated to the Governor of the North-western Territory, for his future conduct.