Page images
PDF
EPUB

Report of Commissioners appointed to run the southern Pennsylvania boundary of Pennsylvania

between the said State and boundary. Virginia.

Agreeably to the commission given by the state of of Pennsylvania to Joha Ewing, David Rittenhouse, John Lukens, and Thomas Hutchins, and by the state of Virginia to James Madison, Robert Andrews, John Page, and Andrew Ellicott; to determine by astronoinical observations the extent of five degrees of longitude west from the river Delaware in the latitude of Mason's and Dixon's line, and to run and mark the boundaries which are common to both states, according to an agreement entered into by commissioners from the said two states.at Baltimore in 1779, and afterwards ratified by their respective assemblies; we, the underwritten commissioners, together with the gentlemen with whom we are joined in commission, have by corresponding astronomical observations, made near the Delaware and in the western country, ascertained the extent of the said five degrees of longitude: And the underwritten conmissioners have continued Mason's and Dixon's line to the termination of the said five degrees of longitude, by which work the southern boundary of Pennsylvania is completed. The continuation we have marked by opening, vistas over the most remarkable heights' which lie in its course, and hy planting on many of those heights in the parallel of latitude, the true boundary, posts marked with the letters P. & V, each letter facing the state of which it is the initial. At the extremity of this line, which is the south West corner of the state of Pennsylvania, we have planied a squared unlettered white oak post, around whose base we raised a pile of stones. The corner is in the last vista we cut, on the east side of an hill, one hundred and thirty four chains and nine links east of the meridian of the western observatory, and two chains and fifty foar links west of a deep narrow valley thro? which the said last vista is cut. At the distance of fifty one links and bearing from it north twenty three degrees east stands a white oak marked on the south side with three notches, and bearing south twelve degrees west, and at the distance of twenty nine links stands a black oak marked on the north side with four notches,

The advanced season of the year and the inclemency of the weather have obliged us to suspend our ope

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

Half pay. rations but we have agreed to meet again at the south

west corner of Pennsylvania on the sixteenth day of
next May, to complete the object of our commission.
Giyen under our hands and seals, in the county of
Washington in Pennsylvania, this 18th day of Novem:
ber, 1784.
JOHN EWING,

(I. s.);
DAVID RITTENHOUSE, (L. S.)
THOMAS HUTCHINS, (L. s.)
ROBERT ANDREWS, fl: s.)
ANDREW ELLICOTT, : (L. s.

Half Pay and Commutation. Half pay promised by Vir. ginia. May

Half-pay for life, was promised by the laws of Vir1779,&c. ginia, to the generals, field officers, captains, subalterns, chaplains, physicians, surgeons, and

s maies, on continental establishment, or serving in the battalions for the immediate défence of this state, who should con, tinue to serve to the end of the war, or become supernumåry on the reduction of anỹ of the battallions, and should again enter into the service, if required so to do, in the same or any higher ránk, and countinue therein until the end of the war, to commence from the determination of their command or service. (See act of May,

1779, ch. 6, vol. 10, pa. 25, October, 1780, ch. 27, State line and vol. 10, pa. 374.) For the laws respecting half pay, to

officers in the state-line, and navy, see November, 1781, ch. 19; vot, 1o, pa: 467. May 1782, cli. 47, sec. 13, ante pa. 85. May 1782, ch. 41, ante på. 170, May, 1783, ch. 22, ante på. 265. October 1790, ch. 21.

The resolutions of congress, on the subject of hallpay, are the following.

October 21st, 1780. * Resolved, thật the officers Half pay pro- who shall cončnue in the service to tire end of the war, gress, Oct. 21 shall be entitled to half pay daring life, to commence

from the time of their reduction."

January, 27th, 1781. “Resolved that all officers in the hospital department and medical staff, hereinafter mentioned, wno shall continue in service to the end of

navy:

1780.

the war, or be reduced before that time, as supernuma. Commutation ries, shall be entitled to, and receive, during life, in lieu of half-pay, the following allowances, viz.

The director of the hospital.equal to the half-pay of a lieutenant colonel.

Chief physicians and surgeons of the army and hos pitals, and hospital physicians and surgeons, purveyor, apothecary, and regimental surgeons; each equal to the half pay of a captain,

COMMUTATION.

The commutation of five years full pay, for the half pay for life, which had been promised by congress, an rose from a memorial presented by the cfficers, on the continental establishment, under the immediate- com: mand of general Washington. Officers in other de partments of the army were allowed to make their election, within. certain specified periods, to be signified to congress through their commander in chief. As the engagements, of congress applied to the continental-es tablishment only, it follows that, the state troops were not included in the above modification of the contract; but they were left to the provisions of half-pay, promised by the laws of the state,

1

IN CONGRESS, MARCH 22, 1783.

In congress March 2*,

1783. On the rrport of a committe, consisting of Mr. Hamilton, Mr Dyer, and Mr. Bedford, to whom was referred a motion of Mr. Dyer, together with the memorial of the officers of the army, and the report of the committee thereon; congress came to the following resolations:

Whereas the officers of the several lines under the immediate command of his excellency-general Washington, did, by their late memorial, transmitted by their committee, represent to congress; that the half pay granted viewed in an by sundry resolutions, was regarded in an unfavorable unfavourable light by the citizens of some of these states, who would prefer' a compensation for a limited term of years, or by a sum in gross, to an establishment for life, and did, on

Commutation ibat aecount, solicit a commutation of their half pay for solicited. an equivalent in one of the two modes above mentioned, in order to remove all subject of dissatisfaction from

Hall pay

light, &c.

Commutation the minds of their fellow citizens:" And whereas "con

gress are desirous, as well of gratifying the reasonable expectations of the officers of the army, as of removing all objections which may exist, in any part of the United States, to the principle of the half pay establishment, for which the faith of the United States hath been

pledged; persuaded that those objections can only arise Half pay,pen.

from the nature of the compensation, not from any yinsions, &c. disposition to compensate those, whose services, saeri

fices, and sufferings, have so just a title to the approbation and rewards of their country:

Therefore, resolved, That such officers as are now in Five years service, and shall continue therein to the end of the war, full pay, in shall be entitled to receive the amount of five years

full lieu of half

pay

in money, or securities on interest at six per cent. pay for life.

per annum, as congress shall find most convenient, instead of the half pay promised for life by the resolution of the twenty-first day of October, one thousand seven hundred and eighty, the said securities to be such as shall be given to other creditors of the United States: provided, it be at the option of the lines of the respective states, and not of officers, individually, in those lines, to accept or refuse the same; aud provided also, that their election shall be signified to congress through the commander in chief, from the lines under his immediate command, within two months, and through the commandiug officer of the southern army, from those under his command, within six months, from the date

of this resolution: The same „That the same commutation shall extend to the corps commutation not belonging to the lines of particular states,"and who to corps not

are entitled to half pay for life, as aforesaid: the acceptbelonging o lines of par.

ance or refusal to be determined by corps, and to be ticular states, signified in the same manner, and within the same time, &c.

as above inentioned:

That all officers belonging to the hospital departa Officers be- ment, who are entitled to half pay, by the resolution of longing tothe the seventeenth day of January, one thousand seven hospital de hundred and eighty, one, may, collectively, agree to acsuch as have cept or refuse the aforesaid commutation, signifying retired, &c. the same through the commander in chief, within six may accept months from this time: that such officers as have retired er refuse.

at different periods, entitled to half pay for life, may, collectively, in each state of which they are inhabitants, accept or refuse the same; their acceptance or refasal

.

to be signified by agents authorized for that

purpose,

Commutation within six monthis from this period: that with respect to soch retiring officers, the commutation, if'accepted by them, shall be in lieu of whatever may now be due to them since the time of their retiring from service, as well as of what might hereafter become due; and that so soon as their acceptance shall be signified, the superintendant of finance be, and he is hereby directed to take measures for the settlement of their accounts accordingly, and to issde to them certificates, bearing interest at six per cent. That all officers entitled to half pay for lise, not included in the preceding resolation, may also, collectively, agree to accept or refuse the aforesaid commutation, signifying the same within six months from this time.

Digest of Laws, on the subject of

Land Bounties.

[ocr errors]

[ The resolutions of congress, under the confe

Land bounderation, and the laws of Virginia, on the subject of ties. land-baunties, being dispersed through a number of volumes, some of which are of difficult access, it has been deemed important to bring into one view all the resolutions and laws which bear upon the subject.

Congress, by their resolutions of the 16th and 18th of September, 1776, and the 12th of August and 22d of September, 1780, stipulated grants of land to the officers and soldiers of the continental army, and to certain officers in the hospital department. At that period, congress had no land at their disposal; and would have been compelled to purchase lands to make good their contracts, had it not been for the liberality of the states: For, the same resolution which promises the bounty, expressly declares, that such lands are to be provided by the United States, and whatever expense shall be necessary to procure such lands, shall be paid and borne by the states in the same proportion as the other expenses of the war.

« PreviousContinue »