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Indiana be, and they are hereby, authorized to form for themselves a constitution and State government, and to assume such name as they shall deem proper; and the said State, when formed, shall be admitted into the Union upon the same footing with the original States, in all respects whatever.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the said State shall consist of all the territory included within the following boundaries, to wit: bounded on the east by the meridian line which forms the western boundary of the State of Ohio; on the south by the river Ohio, from the mouth of the Great Miami river to the mouth of the river Wabash; on the west by a line drawn along the middle of the Wabash from its mouth, to a point where a due north line, drawn from the town of Vincennes, would last touch the northwestern shore of the said river; and from thence, by a due north line, until the same shall intersect an east and west line, drawn through a point ten miles north of the southern extreme of Lake Michigan; on the north by the said east and west line, until the same shall intersect the first mentioned meridian line which forms the western boundary of the State of Ohio: Provided, That the convention hereinafter provided for, when formed, shall ratify the boundaries aforesaid, otherwise they shall be and remain as now prescribed by the ordinance for the government of the territory northwest of the river Ohio: Provided, also, That the said State shall have concurrent jurisdiction on the river Wabash, with the State to be formed west thereof, so far as the said river shall form a common boundary to both.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That all male citizens of the United States, who shall have arrived at the age of twenty-one years, and resided within the said Territory at least one year previous to the day of the election, and shall have paid a county or territorial tax; and all persons having in other respects the legal qualifications to vote for representatives in the General Assembly of the said Territory, be, and they are hereby, authorized to choose representatives to form a convention, who shall be apportioned amongst the several counties within the said Territory, according to the apportionment made by the legislature thereof at their last session, to wit: from the county of Wayne, four representatives; from the county of Franklin, five representatives; from the county of Dearborn, three representatives; from the county of Switzerland, one representative; from the county of Jefferson, three representatives; from the county of Clark, five representatives; from the county of Harrison, five representatives; from the
county of Washington, five representatives; from the county of Knox, five representatives; from the county of Gibson, four representatives; from the county of Posey, one representative; from the county of Warrick, one representative; and from the county of Perry, one representative. And the election for the representatives aforesaid shall be holden on the second Monday of May, one thousand eight hundred and sixteen, throughout the several counties in the said Territory, and shall be conducted in the same manner, and under the same penalties, as prescribed by the laws of said Territory, regulating elections therein for members of the House of Representatives.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the members of the convention thus duly elected be, and they are hereby, authorized to meet at the seat of the government of the said Territory, on the second Monday of June next; which convention, when met, shall first determine, by a majority of the whole number elected, whether it be or be not expedient, at that time, to form a constitution and State government for the people within the said Territory; and if it be determined to be expedient, the convention shall be, and hereby are, authorized to form a constitution and State government; or, if it be deemed more expedient, the said convention shall provide by ordinance for electing representatives to form a constitution or frame of government; which said representatives shall be chosen in such manner, and in such proportion, and shall meet at such time and place as shall be prescribed by the said ordinance, and shall then form, for the people of said Territory, a constitution and State government: Provided, That the same, whenever formed, shall be republican, and not repugnant to those articles of the ordinance of the thirteenth of July, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, which are declared to be irrevocable between the original States and the people and States of the Territory northwest of the river Ohio; excepting so much of said articles as relate to the boundaries of the States therein to be formed.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That, until the next general cens's shall be taken, the said State shall be entitled to one representative in the House of Representatives of the United States.
Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That the following propositions be, and the same are hereby, offered to the convention of the 'said Territory of Indiana, when formed, for their free acceptance or rejection which, if accepted by the convention, shall be obligatory upon the United States.
First. That the section numbered sixteen in every township, and, when such section has been sold, granted, or disposed of, other lands equivalent thereto, and most contiguous to the same, shall be granted to the inhabitants of such township, for the use of schools.
Second. That all salt springs within the said Territory, and the lands reserved for the use of the same, together with such other lands as may, by the President of the United States, be deemed necessary and proper for working the said salt springs, not exceeding, in the whole, the quantity contained in thirty-six entire sections shall be granted to the said State, for the use of the people of the said State, the same to be used under such terms, conditions, and regulations, as the legislature of the said State shall direct; provided the said legislature shall never sell nor lease the same for a longer period than ten years at any one time.
Third. That five per cent of the net proceeds of the lands lying within the said Territory, and which shall be sold by Congress from and after the first day of December next, after deducting all expenses incident to the same, shall be reserved for making public roads and canals, of which three-fifths shall be applied to those objects within the said State, under the direction of the legislature thereof, and two-fifths to the making of a road or roads leading to the said State, under the direction of Congress.
Fourth. That one entire township, which shall be designated by the President of the United States, in addition to the one heretofore reserved for that purpose, shall be reserved for the use of a seminary of learning, and vested in the legislature of the said State, to be appropriated solely to the use of such seminary by the said legislature.
Fifth. That four sections of land be, and the same are hereby, granted to the said State for the purpose of fixing their seat of government thereon; which four sections shall, under the direction of the legislature of said State, be located, at any time, in such township and range as the legislature aforesaid may select, on such lands as may hereafter be acquired by the United States from the Indian tribes within the said Territory: Provided, That such locations shall be made prior to the public sales of the lands of the United States surrounding such location: And provided always, That the five foregoing propositions herein offered, are on the condition that the convention of the said State shall provide, by an ordinance irrevocable, without the consent of the United States, that every and each tract of land sold by the United States, from and after the first day of December next, shall be and remain exempt from any tax laid by order, or under any authority of the State, whether for State, county, or township, or any other purpose whatever, for the term of five years, from and after the day of sale.
Approved, April 19, 1816.
41. Jenning's Letter to his Constituents Relative to Enabling Act
(April 16, 1816).
On April 16, 1816, three days after the Enabling Act had passed the Senate, Jonathan Jennings communicated the following open letter to his constituents relative to the provisions of the Enabling Act.
(Western Sun, May 11, 1816.]
Washington City, April 16th, 1816. The act to enable the people of Indiana to form a constitution and State government has passed both Houses of Congress, and will undoubtedly receive the President's signature. The act fixes the second Monday of May next, for the election of members of the convention in the several counties. Each county has the number of members to elect, as were allotted to each by the Territorial legislature except the county of Harrison. Every citizen qualified to vote for members of the Territorial legislature is qualified to vote for members of the convention, and the second Monday of June next is fixed by the act for the meeting of the convention when elected at the seat of Government. The times fixed for the election and meeting of the convention, are as well suited to every interest and circumstance connected with the proposed important change of our form of government as I was enabled to select when every consideration was duly weighed, and I trust will be so considered when the convention shall act officially on the subject. With regard to the grants and conditions contained in this act, the convention when met will be able to form a correct estimate. Allow me, however, to state that they are at least as advantageous if not more so, than those granted to any other Territory on similar occasions.
42. Notice of Election of Constitutional Delegates (May 2, 1816).
The following is the official notice of the election of constitutional delegates which was given in Knox county.
[Western Sun, May 4, 1816.) On Monday the 13th inst. an election will be held in the different townships in this county, at the following places for five persons to represent this county in the convention to form a constitution-in Vincennes township, at the court house; in Decker township, at the house of Adam Harness; in Harrison township, at the house of George Leech; in Palmyra township, at the house of William Purcell; in Busseron township, at the house of Joseph Latshaw; in Widner township, at the house of John Widner; in Hawkins township, at Liverpool; and in Perry township, at the house of Samuel Perry.
B. V. BECKES, S. K. C. May 2, 1816.
43. Expediency of Adopting a Constitution (June 11, 1816).
By the terms of the Enabling Act of April 19, 1816, the Convention when met, was required to first determine, by a majority of the votes of all the members elected, whether it was expedient, at the time, to form a constitution and State government. If it was determined to be expedient, the Convention was then authorized either to prepare and adopt a constitution and provide a State government at once, or to provide for the election of representatives to form a constitution and State government at some future time. On the afternoon of June 10, the first day of the convention, Mr. Ezra Ferris of Dearborn County submitted a resolution to the consideration of the Convention declaring it to be expedient at the time to proceed to the formation of a constitution and State government. On motion of John Johnson of Knox County, the further consideration of the resolution was postponed until June 11. On the afternoon of June 11, the Convention in committee of the whole, considered the resolution and adopted it without amendment, by a vote of 34-8. The resolution as adopted is as follows:
(Convention Journal, 6.)
Whereas, by an act of Congress, approved the 19th of April, 1816, to enable the people of the Indiana territory to form a constitution and State government, and for the admission of the same into the Union on the same footing with the original States, it is provided, that the convention, when met, shall first determine, by a majority of the votes of all the members elected, whether it be