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each other, is thirteen hundred miles, and in a country so sparsely peopled, and so little reclaimed from its native wildness, this distance alone seems to present barriers almost insuperable against the exercise of the functions of government, which always presupposes a knowledge of the condition of the several parts and the practicabi ity (f seasonable communication among the several organs.
In the three western counties there has been but one court haying cognizance of crimes in five years; and the immunity which offenders experience attracts, as to an asylum, the most vile and abandoned criminals, and at the same time deters useful and virtuous persons from making settlements in such society. The extreme necessity of judiciary attention and assistance is experienced in civil as well as in criminal cases. The supplying to vacant places such necessary officers as may be wanted, such as clerks, recorders, and others of like kind, is, from the impossibility of correct notice and information, utterly neglected. This Territory is exposed, as a frontier, to foreign nations, whose agents can find sufficient interest in exciting or fomenting insurrection or discontent, as thereby they can more easily divert a valuable trade in furs from the United States, and also have a part thereof on which they border, which feels so little the cherishing hand of their proper Government, or so little dread of its energy, as to render their attachment perfectly uncertain and ambiguous. The committee would further suggest that the law of the 3d of March, 1791, granting land to certain persons in the western part of said Territory, and directing the laying out of the same, remains inexecuted; that great discontent, in consequence of such neglect, is excited in those who were interested in the provision of said law, and which require the immediate attention of this Legislature. To administer a remedy to these evils, it occurs to this committee that it is expedient that a division of said Territory into two distinct and separate governments should be made; and that such division be made, by a line beginning at the mouth of the Great Miami river, running directly north, until it intersects the boundary between the United States and Canada.
In which case it is conceived that the western part may be permitted to go into the same stage of government as is now in use in said Territory, as the same is supposed to contain at the present time fifteen thousand inhabitants.
Your committee, therefore, recommend to the House the adoption of the following resolution, viz.:
Resolved, That the Territory Northwest of the river Ohio be divided into two distinct and separate governments, by a line beginning at the mouth of the Great Miami river, and running through a north course, until it intersects the boundary line between the United States and Canada.
16. Creation of Indiana Territory (May 7, 1800).
On March 20, 1800, a bill for an act to divide the Northwest Territory into two separate governments was reported in the House. After full discussion, the bill passed the House on March 31 and the Senate on April 21 with amendments, and was then submitted to a conference committee for adjustment. The chief arguments in favor of the passage of the bill were made by Mr. William Henry Harrison who insisted that the government was too unwieldy; that numbers of families had removed to Spanish territory; that the number of inhabitants in the western division of the Territory was at least 15,000; and that it was the general wish of the people that a division should take place. Mr. Robert Goodloe Harper of South Carolina also supported the bill in a speech in which he asserted that a territory 1,000 miles in length and 700 in breadth, divided by an extensive wilderness, inhabited by Indians, was much too large, and the local situation too dissimilar to admit of being one government, either to enact equal laws or to provide for the execution of them. The opposition to the passage of the bill in the House was led by Mr. George Jackson of Virginia whose action was based on the belief that many of the people of the Territory had no knowledge or desire that the proposed division should take place or even that such a measure was under consideration. In his reply to Jackson's argument, Mr. Harrison stated that Mr. Jackson had obtained his information from an interested person who resided near Cincinnati, which would cease to be the seat of government if the proposed bill passed; he knew the information was inaccurate; believed that nine-tenths of the people were in favor of its passage, among whom were a great number of the members of the legislature, and although the Senate amendments had materially weakened the bill he was in favor of its passage in the amended form. The people of the Illinois country were in favor of a division of the Territory because their country was 800 miles in length and 400 in breadth; that many of them had to go 600 miles to a judicial court; that immigrants were very numerous.
(Annals, Sixth Congress, First Session, 1498.]
AN ACT to divide the Territory of the United States northwest of the Ohio,
into two separate governments. Be it enacted, etc., That, from and after the fourth day of July next, all that part of the Territory of the United States Northwest of the Ohio river which lies to the west ward of a line beginning at the Ohio, opposite to the mouth of Kentucky river, and running thence to Fort Recovery, and thence north until it shall intersect the territorial line between the United States and Canada, shall, for the purposes of temporary government, constitute a separate territory, and be called Indiana Territory.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That there shall be established within the said Territory a Government in all respects similar to that provided by the ordinance of Congress, passed on the thirteenth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and eightyseven for the government of the Territory of the United States Northwest of the river Ohio; and the inhabitants thereof shall be entitled to, and enjoy all and singular the rights, privileges, and advantages, granted and secured to the people by the said ordinance.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the officers for the said Territory, who, by virtue of this act shall be appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall respectively exercise the same powers, perform the same duties, and receive for their services the same compensations, as by the ordinance aforesaid and the laws of the United States, have been provided and established for similar officers in the Territory of the United States Northwest of the river Ohio: And the duties and emoluments of Superintendent of Indian Affairs shall be united with those of Governor: Provided, That the President of the United States shall have full power, in the recess of Congress, to appoint and commission all officers herein authorized; and their commissions shall continue in force until the end of the next session of Congress.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That so much of the ordinance for the government of the Territory of the United States Northwest of the Ohio river, as relates to the organization of a General Assembly therein, and prescribes the powers thereof, shall be in force and operate in the Indiana Territory, whenever satisfactory evidence shall be given to the Governor thereof that such is the wish of a majority of the freeholders, not withstanding there may not be therein five thousand free male inhabitants of the age of twenty-one years and upwards: Provided, That, until there shall be five thousand free male inhabitants of twenty-one years and upwards in said Territory, the whole number of representatives to the General Assembly shall not be less than seven, nor more than nine, to be apportioned by the Governor to the several counties in the said Territory, agreeably to the number of free males of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, which the; may res, ectively contain.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That nothing in this act contained shall be construed so as in any manner to affect the Government now in force in the Territory of the United States Northwest of the Ohio river, further than to prohibit the exercise thereof within the Indiana Territory, from and after the aforesaid fourth day of July next: Provided, That, whenever that part of the Territory of the United States which lies to the eastward of a line beginning at the mouth of the Great Miami river, and running thence due north to the territorial line between the United States and Canada, shall be erected into an independent State, and admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, thenceforth said line shall become and remain permanently the boundary line between such State and the Indiana Territory, anything in this act contained to the contrary not withstanding.
Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That, until it sh ll be otherwise ordered by the Legislatures of the said Territories, respectively, Chilicot he, on Scioto river, shall be the seat of the Government of the Territory of the United States Northwest of the Ohio river; and that Saint Vincennes, on the Wabash river, shall be the seat of the Government for the Indiana Territory.
Approved, May 7, 1800.
17. Favorable Senate Report on Creation of Michigan Territory
(October 27, 1803). On October 21, 1803, a memorial of Joseph Harrison and other citizens of Michigan was presented in the Senate asking for the creation of a separate government. This memorial was presented to a select committee which presented the following report on October 27.
(Annals, Eighth Congress, First Session, 29.)
The committee to whom was re’erred the memor al of Joseph Harrison and others, resident in that part of the Indiana Territory which lies north of an east and west line, extending through the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan, report:
That it appears from the census taken under the authority of the United States in the year 1800, the territory above described contained three thousand nine hundred and seventy-two free white inhabitants at that time.
It also appears, from the best information that the committee have been able to obtain, that these inhabitants are separated from the other settlements of the Indiana Territory by a tract of the Indian country, at least three hundred and fifty miles in extent; and that Vincennes, the seat of Government of the Indiana Territory, and place of residence of the Governor and other officers appointed to govern the same, is still more distant.
The committee are of opinion, that the local situation of the inhabitants of Detroit, and of the adjacent settlements, requires the special attention of the General Government, for reasons too obvious to every one, who will examine their geographical situations, to be enumerated.
On the one side, their settlements adjoin to, and are bounded by, the British Province of Canada; and on the other sides, are wholly encompassed by Indian tribes. Thus situated, and in a quarter so interesting to the Union, it is the opinion of the committee, that every accommodation and arrangement which would tend to populate and strengthen that quarter, and thereby enable the General Government with the least expense to maintain good order, ought to be extended to them. Were even these considerations without any weight, the committee conceive that the unreasonable delays and difficulties which must necessarily exist in the administration of justice, and the other concerns of these inhabitants, detached as they are from Vincennes, the residence of the Governor and other principal officers of the Territory, require that a separate territorial government should be extended to them. Under these impressions your committee respectfully submit the following resolution:
“Resolved, That the prayer of the memorial of Joseph Harrison and others ought to be granted, and that all that portion of the Indiana Territory which lies north of a line drawn east from the southernmost extreme of Lake Michigan, until it intersects Lake Erie, and west from the said southernmost extreme of Lake Michigan until it shall intersect the Mississippi river, shall form a separate Territory, and that the said Territory shall, in all respects, be governed by, and according to, the principles and regulations contained in 'An ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States Northwest of the river Ohio,' passed on the 13th day of July, 1787."
18. Unfavorable House Report on Creation of Michigan Territory
(December 29, 1803). On November 4, 1803, a bill was reported in the Senate providing for the creation of Michigan Territory, which passed on December 6. On December 8, the bill, having been reported to the House, was referred to a select committee who submitted a report opposing the passage of the bill. This report was the subject of an animated debate. The report was supported chiefly