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mit to several extensive deductions. In 1643 the Earl of Warwick, who had been appointed by the Parliament lord high admiral of England, with a council of five peers and twelve commoners, granted to “The Incorporation of Providence Plantations in the Narraganset Bay in New England” a tract covering the eastern portion of the Connecticut claim, bounded north and east by Massachusetts and Plymouth Colonies, and west by the Narraganset Indians, the whole tract extending about twenty-five English miles into the Pequot River and country.” This grant, by inadvertence, was entirely ignored in the Connecticut charter of 1662, which included all this country; but in 1663 a new charter was granted to Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, the Connecticut charter being recalled until the boundary between them should be settled. During the same year the line of the Pawcatuck was agreed upon as the boundary between Rhode Island and Connecticut. This charter, with those of the other New England colonies, was abrogated in January 1687, by Governor General Sir Edmund Andross; but in May 1689 the people of Rhode Island, accepting the English revolution of 1688, resumed their rights under the charter, which continued in force as the organic law of the colony and afterward of the State of Rhode Island till superseded by a regular State constitution in 1842. The territorial claim of Connecticut in its westward extension was again trenched upon by the charters of New York and Pennsylvania. The claims of the former date back to the charter of 12th March, 1664, granted by Charles II to his brother, the Duke of York, afterward James II, which, after the final subversion of the Dutch government of New Netherlands, was renewed. The limits of this grant are sketched in geographical ignorance and disregard of prior rights which meet us at periods of our colonial history. With a large territory now included in the State of Maine, it covered Long Island and all the lands between the Connecticut River and the eastern shore of Delaware Bay. The Dutch occupancy of tifty years was treated as an intrusion upon the rights of the Crown, offering no bar to this reckless and prodigal endowment. These lands were granted to the duke in free and common socage, with a yearly rent. The rights of eminent domain, subject to the sovereignty of the King, went with the land grant. A royal commission, in November 1664, determined the boundary betwen New York and Connecticut along the line of the Mamaroneck, but in 1731 the present boundary was fixed by agreement of the two colonies. Thus New York absorbed the westward extension
the Connecticut territory north of the forty-first parallel and cast of the Delaware River.
By agreement with Massachusetts in 1787, under the confederation, the present boundary line was acknowledged and the contlicting claims of the two colonies to the westward compromised by admitting the territorial sovereignty of New York and assigning to Massachusetts the title to the soil north of the forty-second parallel and west of the meridian passing eighty-two miles west of the northeast corner of Pennsyl. vania. Nortii of Massachusetts, New York still claimed the territory as far east as Connecticut River, under the grant to the Duke of York. New Hampshire asserted a right as far westward as the line of Massachusetts, and gave extensive grants of land west of the Connecticut. This produced a collision between the authorities of New Hampshire and New York, which was finally terminated by the royal order of July 1764, designating the Connecticut River as the common boundary of the two colonies. The inhabitants of the disputed territory, till then known as “the New Hampshire grants," did not object to the political jurisdiction of New York, but the effort to oust holders of land
under grants from the authorities of New Hampshire provoked resistance which was never suppressed. Finally, in 1790, New York relinquished her claims, and Vermont was admitted to the Union on the 4th of March, 1791, with her present boundaries.
That portion of the territory claimed by Connecticut between the forty-first and forty-second parallels and west of the Delaware River was intercepted by the charter which Charles II in 1681 granted to William Penn, constituting him proprietary and governor of the province of Pennsylvania. The outline of this grant was magnificent and far more definite than the previous efforts at defining colonial boundaries. It included “all that tract or part of land in America, with the islands therein contained, as the same is bounded on the east by the Delaware River, from twelve miles distance northward of New Castle Town unto the three-and-fortieth degree of northern latitude, if said river do extend so far northward; but if the said river shall not extend so far northward, then by the said river so far as it doth extend, and from the head of the said river to the eastern bounds are to be determined by a meridian line to be drawn from the head of said river unto the said forty-third degree. The said land to extend westward five degrees in longitude, to be computed from the said eastern bound
and the said lines to be bounded on the north by the beginning of the three-and-fortieth degree of northern latitude, and on the south by a circle drawn at twelve miles' distance from New Castle northward and westward unto the beginning of the fortieth degree of northern latitude, and then by a straight line westward to the limits of longitude above mentioned."
It should be observed that the geographers of that day considered degrees of latitude as zones taking designation from their northern parallels; hence the north boundary of Pennsylvania, designated as the beginning of the forty-third degree, is really the forty-second parallel. The south boundary, being the beginning of the fortieth degree, was really the thirty-ninth parallel, a construction for which Penn earnestly contended in his disputes with Lord Baltimore in relation to the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland. Proud, in his “ History of Pennsylvania,” states the length of the colony at five degrees of longitude, or two hundred and sixty-five miles, on the fortyfirst parallel. The Duke of York, soon after receiving his charter for the province
New York, granted to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret the territory contained within the present limits of New Jersey, the grant embracing powers of government as well as title to the soil. To Cecil Calvert, Lord Baltimore, King Charles I, in 1632, granted a charter constituting him lord proprietary of the province of Maryland, with territorial jurisdiction, including the country between the fortieth degree of latitude on the north and the Potomac on the south, with an eastward projection of the southern boundary across the peninsula flanking the Chesapeake Bay to the Atlantic.
In the disputes on boundary with Penn, Baltimore contended for the modern meaning of the word latitude, which would carry his grant to the fortieth parallel. The controversy was settled by the location, in 1767, by Mason and Dixon, two eminent English surveyors, of the celebrated line which bears their names.
In 1682, by two deeds of feoffment, the Duke of York, afterward James II, made over to William Penn his proprietary interest in the territory then denominated the three lower counties on the Delaware. After fruitless efforts to incorporate them with Pennsylvania, they were
made a separate colony, subsequently called Delaware. As the territory lay within the limits claimed by Maryland, James II ordered that that portion of the peninsula lying between the fortieth parallel and the parallel of Cape Henlopen should be equally divided between the two colonies. By the agreement of the heirs of Penn and Baltimore, made in 1732, from the middle point of the parallel of Henlopen a tangent was drawn to the circle around Newcastle, and made the line of separate jurisdiction. This tangent was continued northward to a point fifteen miles south of Philadelphia, through which Mason and Dixon's line was subsequently run.
The limits of the first colony of Virginia, as defined by the second charter, issued in 1609, embraced four hundred miles of sea-coast, of which the central point was Old Point Comfort, with a westward exten. sion to the Pacitic, between the parallels passing through these extreme points. Of this territory portions were included, as above detailed, in the colonies of Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey. The Virginia charter having been judicially vacated, there remained no legal obstacle to further dismemberment of the territory.
In 1663 Charles II granted to Lords Clarendon, Albemarle, and others the zone between the parallels 310 and 360 from the Atlantic to the Pacific, to be called the colony of Carolina; the grant embracing both title to the soil and political jurisdiction, subject to the sovereignty of the Crown. Two years afterward, to wit, 1665, this domain was enlarged by another charter, fixing the limits of the zone granted at the parallels of 290 and 360 30'. The southern boundary trenched upon the province of Florida, held by the Spaniards. This claim, however, the English authorities disputed, alleging prior discovery.
In 1729 the Parliament of England purchased the proprietary interest of seven of the eight lord proprietors and transformed the colony into a royal province. It was then divided into two provinces, denominated, respectively, North and South Carolina. By the charter of June 9, 1732, the colony of Georgia was constituted, and to it was granted all the territory between the Savannah and Altamaha Rivers, with the zone included between the parallels passing through their headwaters and ex. tending westward to the Pacific.
By proclamation of George III, dated October 7, 1763, all the lands between the Altamaha and the St. Mary's Rivers were annexed to the colony. Again, George III, in commissioning James Wright as Gov. ernor of Georgia, in January 1764, defined its jurisdiction as covering all the lands between the Savannah and the St. Mary's, and between the parallels passing through the headwaters of the former and the north boundary of East and West Florida, which extended along the St. Mary's to its headwaters, thence by a direct line to the confluence of the Chattahoochee and Flint, thence up the Flint to the thirty-first parallel, and thence, by said parallel, to the Mississippi River. The thirty-first parallel was made the north boundary of West Florida, in compliance with a recommendation in 1764 of the British Board of Trade, as shown by royal commissions to Governors Elliot and Chester, of West Florida, dated, respectively, May 15, 1767, and January 25, 1770.
This brief resume of the chartered claims of the different colonies will facilitate an understanding of the cessions made by each particular State subsequent to the Declaration of Independence. It will be ob. served that these grants from the Crown were frequently in conflict with and overlapped each other. Not only a want of geographical knowledge, but a disregard of prior grants, often led the capricious mind of the Stuart dynasty to annul their own solemn public acts, and to ignore
rights acquired under those acts. After the revolution of 1688, the royal prerogative having been limited, we find no more of such interference with chartered rights by royal authority. The Parliament, having become supreme in the state, subsequently assumed some of the prerogatives wrested from the Crown, and finally precipitated the revolutionary war by claiming the right of taxation without representation. The successful result of that war left to the colonies a variety of territorial claims. These claims, in accordance with an earnest recommend. ation of Congress, were at different times ceded to the United States.
The first in the patriotic movement was New York; on the 1st of March, 1781, her delegates in the Continental Congress, James Duane, William Floyd, and Alexander McDougall, in a deed reciting the authority given them by act of the legislature, restricted the jurisdiction and right of preëmption to the present lines of the State, and quitclaimed the residue, if any, of her territorial claims to the General Government for the benefit of all the States that were at that time, or that should thereafter become, parties to the Union then subsisting under the articles of confederation. The original charter to the Duke of York covered only the lands Between the Connecticut River and the eastern shore of Delaware Bay. New Jersey, embracing that portion of this grant subsequently transferred to Berkeley and Carteret, was separated from New York by a line running from the forty-first parallel on the Hudson River to the parallel of 41° 40' on the Delaware River. The line between New York and Pennsylvania, commencing at the last-named point, followed the Delaware to the forty-second parallel and continued along that parallel westward to its intersection with meridian passing twenty miles west of the Niagara River, and northwardly along that meridian to the international boundary.
The next cession was made by Virginia, on the 1st of March, 1784, through her delegates in the Continental Congress, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Hardy, Arthur Lee, and James Monroe. She still claimed the residue of territory originally granted to the first colony of Virginia, after deducting the lands covered by the charters of Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina, westward to the Mississippi River. This embraced, in addition to the present States of Virginia and West Virginia, Kentucky, and all of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois south of the forty-first parallel. She set up an additional claim to the territory northwest of the Ohio River, founded upon the successful expedition of a detachment of her State troops, under General George R. Clarke, by which the British power was practically subverted. Consenting to the erection of Kentucky into an independent State, she ceded all ber territorial claims northwest of the Ohio with certain restrictions.
On the 9th of April, 1785, Massachusetts, through her delegates in Congress, renounced all territorial claims west of a meridian passing twenty miles west of Niagara River, the west boundary of New York already mentioned.
Connecticut, on the 3d of September, 1786, through her delegates, yielded both soil and jurisdiction west of the meridian passing one hun dred and twenty miles west of the west boundary of Pennsylvania. On the 30th of May, 1800, by deed executed by her Governor', Jonathan Trum bull, she ceded the right of eminent domain over the intervening territory, but retained the right of disposal of the soil. This territory embraced a zone between the forty tirst parallel and Lake Erie.
On the 9th of August, 1787, South Carolina ceded all her territorial claims west of her present boundaries. By previous adjustinent of the conflicting claims of Georgia, the public lands which South Carolina had to cede were reduced to a strip twelve miles wide skirting the south line of North Carolina and Tennessee, or the parallel of 350, westward to the Mississippi.
On the 25th of February, 1790, North Carolina transferred all her chartered rights of " sovereignty and territory” over the zone included between the parallels of 350 and 36° 30' as far west as the Mississippi, then the international boundary line; this territory now constitutes the State of Tennessee.
On the 16th of June, 1802, Georgia ratified an agreement previously drawn up by her commissioners and the General Government, whereby her public lands west of her present boundaries became a part of the public domain. She received in turn that portion of the South Carolina cession lying within her present boundaries, thus adding a strip twelve miles wide to her northern frontier and making her coterminous with North Carolina and Tennessee.
These cessions were accompanied, however, in some cases by important reservations. The last district ceded by Connecticut, having been excluded from the first cession of that State, was called the Western Reserve, a title by which it is still known in Ohio. It covers a tract of land one hundred and twenty miles long, extending from Lake Erie to the forty-first parallel, and containing 3,800,000 acres. About 500,000 acres of the western portion of this tract were donated by the State of Connecticut to certain of her citizens who had suffered by fire and depredation in the revolutionary raids of British partisans. These lands were, from this circumstance, called the “Fire Lands.” The remaining portion of the Western Reserve was sold by Connecticut, and the proceeds applied to constitute that common school fund which has enabled this State to stand in the front rank of educational enterprise.
Virginia stipulated that a quantity of lands, not exceeding 150,000 acres, should be laid off in one tract, the length of which should not exceed twice the breadth, to satisfy the claims of General George R. Clarke and the officers and soldiers composing his celebrated expedition to the Illinois region. This tract, according to the terms of the reservation, was selected and located near the Falls of the Ohio, and distributed among the claimants according to the laws of Virginia. It was further stipulated in this cession that in case the lands in Kentucky, between the Green and Tennessee Rivers, which had been reserved to meet the land bounty claims of the Virginia revolutionary officers and soldiers under her laws should prove inadequate, the deficiency should be supplied in good lands to be selected and surveyed by the claimants themselves in a district allotted them on the north side of the Ohio River and between the Sciota and Little Miami Rivers. This loose method, and the entire absence of public monuments of survey in the 6- Virginia military district," was necessarily productive of many conflicts of title, requiring a long course of litigation to settle and seriously retarding the growth of civilization. After a quarter of a century, however, titles became measurably quieted and the march of improvement was accelerated. This district embraces a fine body of 6,570 square miles, or 4,204,800 acres, now one of the “ garden spots” of the continent.
The reservations of North Carolina present a singular chapter in this history of the public domain. Among the conditions of transfer it was stipulated that three classes of claims should be satisfied from the public lands ceded by that State before any other disposition should be made of them. These reservations were as follows: Ist. Appropriations of land by the State of North Carolins to her continental and