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burgh, as might be most agreeable to them. On the evening of the 6th April they arrived at Perrysburgh, and on the 7th we had an interview on the subject of the conflicting jurisdiction between Ohio and Michigan, and, after mutual explanation, an arrangement was agreed to, which appeared satisfactory on both sides, under which impression we arted; they to Monroe and I to Maumee, on my way to Defiance, in Williams county.
The Commissioners of the U. S. handed to me a document during our conference, as they said, at the request of Mr. Forsyth, which I found to be the opinion of the Attorney General. This opinion, I was fully satisfied on examination, would, in its tendency, counteract the laudable exertions of the President and his Commissioners, which the sequel proved; for it was proclaimed by the authorities of Michigan as a justification of their acts: And it is a subject worthy of remark, that all the proceedings at Washington were entirely ex parte; that the three letters from the Secretary of State were written; the opinion of the Attorney General drawn up; and the Commissioners appointed and had left Washington, before my answer to the Secretary's first letter could have been received, or any thing correctly known with regard to the intentions or movements of Ohio. These letters of Mr. Forsyth, and the opinion of the Attorney General, were evidently dictated under feelings highly excited and unfavorable to Ohio, as is manifest from their contents.
The people within the townships of Sylvania and Port Lawrence, had met and held their elections, as authorized by the act of the 23d of February, 1835; and the returns of the elections had been made to the Clerk's office in Wood county. I delivered commissions to six jus-, tices of the peace, within said townships, and also appointed and com: missioned one Notary Public, in Toledo. I understand a Deputy Sheriff, qualified according to law, with a competent number of township officers and School Examiners, were duly elected and appointed within these townships.
After delivering commissions to the officers in Wood county, I hastened to Defiance, in Williams co. and while at that place I received intelligence of the outrages committed at Toledo by a body of armed men, under pretence of serving civil process, issued against our fellow citizens for acting in obedience to the laws of Ohio. While there, I also received an account of the preparation that was being made in Michigan to arrest our Commissioners while running the line; with a letier from Messrs. Rush and Howard, in which they enclosed to me a copy of a letter addressed by them to the Acting Governor of Michigan, making known to him the wish of the President, that no force should be used in opposition to that measure; a copy of which letter was transmitted to our commissioners on the line, with a request that they would proceed with the line until met by a force to oppose them, and if such force should appear, that they might withdraw to Maumee until a guard sufficient to protect them should be collected. I also issued an order to General Bell to detail a guard for their protection. I then attended the Court in Williams county, and found the
organization of that county coinpleted to the line described in the late act, and the jurisdiction of the Court extended accordingly. This is likewise the case in Henry county; and it may be truly said that that part of the State is as completely organized, under the laws of Ohio, as is any other part of the State at this time. But while the authorities of Ohio were thus pursuing a steady, peaceable course, in accordance with the understanding expressed at Perrysburgh in a conference with Messrs. Rush and Howard, (as will be seen in the statement of Cols. Swayn and Andrews,) the authorities of Michigan commenced prosecutions against the citizens of Ohio, in opposition to the advice of the U. States Commissioners, as communicated to the Acting Governor of that Territory (as will be seen by reference to the copy of the letter transmitted io me) with a degree of reckless vengeance, scarcely paralleled in the history of civilized nations. A particular account of those violent proceedings will be found in the letters of Mr. Goodse Major Stickney, Colonel Fletcher, and also in the report of the Commissioners, all of which are included in the documents herewith transmitted, and to which I call your particular attention.
It appears to me, the honor and faith of the State is pledged, in the most solemn manner, to protect these people in their rights, and to defend them against all outrages. They claim to be citizens of Ohio. The Legislature, by a solemn Act, has declared them to be such, and has required them to obey the laws of Ohio, which, as good citizens, they have done; and for which they have been persecuted, prosecuted, assaulted, arrested, abducted, and imprisoned. Some of them have been driven from their houses in dread and terror, while oihers are menaced by the authorities of Michigan. Those things have been all done within the constitutional boundaries of the State of Ohio, where our laws have been directed to be enforced. Are we not under as great an obligation to command respect and obedience to our laws adjoining our northern boundary, as in any other part of the State? Are not ihe inhabitants of Port Lawrence, on the Mauniee Bay, as much entitled to our protection, as the citizens of Cincinnati, on the Ohio river? I feel convinced they are equally as much. Our Commissioners, appointed in obedience to the Act of the 23d February, while in discharge of the duty assigned them, were assaulted, while resting on the Sabbath day, by an armed force from Michigan. Some of the hands were fired on, others arrested, and one of them, Col. Fletcher, is now incarcerated in Tecumsch, (as will be seen by his letter,) and for what? Is it for crime? No, but for faithfully discharging his duty, as a good citizen of Ohio, in obedience to our laws. These outrageous transgressions demand your most serious consideration; and I earnestly recommend, and confidently hope, that such measures may be adopted as will afford protection to our citizens; provide for the relief of those who have been arrested, and bound under recognizancos; and for the liberation of those who are imprisoned; as also for the indemnity of those who have suffered loss in consequence
of their obedience to the laws of Ohio; and, in an espe eial manner, for the more prompt execution of our laws, and the pun
ishment of those who have violated them. You may rest assured, that whatever course you may direct will be promptly pursued by the Executive, and that all your laws shall be faithfully executed, as far as his power extends; but, for their effectual enforcement, you have to furnish him with the necessary means.
In the documents annexed for your inspection and consideration, will be found all the correspondence of the Executive, relative to carrying into effect the act of the 23d of February; which embraces the correspondence with the Department of State, at Washington; the communications received from Messrs. Rush and Howard, V. States Commissioners; the opinion of the Attorney General of the United States; the correspondence with the Surveyor General of the United States, together with sundry documents relative to running the Northern boundary of Ohio; the field notes of the survey of the line run by Mr. Harris under the direction of the Surveyor General of the United States; a letter from Governor Cass, objecting to Harris's line, with the Surveyor General's reply, contending that that line was run in accordance with the act of Congress, and was the true Northern boundary of Ohio; together with sundry oiher letters relative to the subject of our boundary, and the extension of our jurisdiction, all worthy of a minute investigation.
The subject of our Northern Boundary has excited considerable attention throughout the nation, and as far as can be learned from the tone of the papers, great exertions are making to raise feelings unfavorable to Ohio, forestalling public opinion to her prejudice, without reference to the merits of our claim, and all principally upon the grounds that Ohio is a great and powerful State, Michigan a weak and small Territory,(while in fact Michigan has a greater extent of territory than Ohio.) This appears to be the substance of every argument, from the beginning to the end of this controversy. We find it in the first letter of Governor Cass to the Surveyor General, so early as 1817, which letter was the beginning of the controversy; we also find it in the arguments of the Ex-President in the last Congress, as well as in all the intermediate arguments. But what is the true state of the case? Ohio has oppressed nobody-she claims no territory more than what is defined in her Constitution: while, on the other hand, we find the territory of Michigan (who can have no legitimate claim to sovereignty, as her government, at any time, may be dissolved by Con. gress, and the territory, north of Ohio, attached to this State,) exerting all the power of her temporary or territorial Government, to oppress the small village of Toledo, punishing its inhabitants, not for crime, but for claiming their constitutional rights. In this transaction we see the great and powerful city of Detroit, aided by the authorities of the Territory, united to oppress and weaken the small village of Toledo, on the Maumee Bay. But the true parties in the con troversy are the United States and the State of Ohio; and let me ask which is the weaker party in tnis controversy? Surely it will not be contended that the great and gigantic State of Ohio (as she has been tauntingly called) is about to weaken the United States, by elaiming
her constitutional rights; or that, by enforcing these her just claims, she would be making the weak weaker, and the strong still mor powerful, according to the arguments of our opponents. Arguments of this character may suit those who wish to avoid the truth, to shun the light, and carry their point, right or wrong, by their diplomatic management; but, in my view, these arguments are too contracted to meet the approbation of liberal minded statesmen. Is not Ohio a member of the Union? Does she not form a component part of the United States? Will not any measure calculated to promote the prosperity of Ohio, also promote the prosperity of the United States? Why, then, should jealousy be excited against Ohio? Why the extreme exertions of many editors of newspapers, and other individuals, in some of the States, to forestal public opinion, and make impressions unfavorable to Ohio, without examining the justness of our cause? Is this course liberal? is it just? We think not.
With a desire to ascertain all the facts connected with the controversy relative to our Northern Boundary, I have devoted what time I could spare from other duties, to a minute examination of the subject. In doing this, I collected extracts from all the original charters by which the territory north-west of the river Ohio was originally claimed; also, from the several deeds of cession, resolutions of Congress, ordinances and acts relative to the territory north-west of the river Ohio, the organization of temporary or territorial government, and the formation of States therein; all which extracts will be submitted to your consideration, as an appendix to this communication. These extracts will present to you a full view of the subject, and must have a tendency to confirm all who examine them dispassionately, in the opinion that the claim of Ohio is just and incontrovertible. By them it will be seen, that the territory now claimed by Michigan, was originally included in the grant to Connecticut, and that that state did not cede her right of jurisdiction to the United States, over that portion of territory bordering on the Lake, and known as the “ Western Reserve," till the year 1800, many years after the Ordinance of 1787 was passed; which Mr. Adams declared, in his famous speech in the last Congress, “to be as unalterable as the laws of nature:" yet the line contended for by Michigan, agreeably to said Ordinance, would run east through that district of country, to which Congress had no claim, either of soil or jurisdiction, at the time this Ordinance was passed. The more I examine the subject, the more convinced I am that our claim is just and incontrovertible; that it is a settled question; and that we are under as solemn an obligation to maintain our jurisdiction over the township of Port Lawrence, on the Maumee Bay, as we are to maintain it over any township on the Chio river.
Gentlemen: The whole subject is now before you for consideration. The question necessarily arises, wha: shall be done? Shall we abandon our just claim, relinquish our indisputable righis, and proclaim to the world that the Act and Resolutions of the last session of the General Assembly were mere empty things? Or, rather, shall we not (as was delared in said Resolutions to be our duty,) prepare to carry.
their provisions into effect? The latter, I doubt not, will be your resolution; and I trust that, by your acts, you will manifest to the world that Ohio knows her constitutional rights; that she has independence enough to assert them; and that she can neither be seduced by flaitery, baffled by diplomatic management, nor driven by menaces from the support of those rights. And, gentlemen, you may rest assured, that whatever measures, in your wisdom, you may direct, will be faithfully pursued by the Executive, to the full extent of his constitutional power, and the means that may be placed under his control.
Since preparing the foregoing, I received a communication from one John Biddle, dated Detroit June 1, 1835, in which he states that he had been instructed by the Convention in session at that place, to forward to me enclosed documents. Those documents I transmit to you, without comment, (marked C.) You will, doubtless, give to them that consideration to which you may deem them entitled. Very respectfully, yours, &c. &c. &c.
ROBERT LUCAS. COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 8th, 1835.
DOCUMENTS ACCOMPANYING THE MESSAGE.
EXECUTIVE OFFICE, OHIO,
Columbus, February 23rd, 1835. SIR: Presuming that it would be satisfactory to you, to be informed of t'he proceedings of the constituted authorities of Ohio, relative to the Northern Boundary of the State, I herewith enclose to you my Special Message to the General Assembly, on this subject, together with a copy of a Preamble and Resolutions, relating to the Northern Boundary of the State of Ohio, and "An act defining the Northern Boundaries of certain Counties within this State, and for other purposes."
These documents will fully explain to you the view of the Executive and Legislature of Ohio, on this interesting subject; and it is with pleasure I announce to you that this Act, as well as the Preamble and Resolutions, passed the Senate unanimously, and the House of Representatives with but one dissenting voice. This vote may be considered as a correct representation of the sentiments of the people of Ohio, on this subject; and in conclusion I will assure you, that this Act of the Legislature will be promptly executed.
Since writing the above, we have received a copy of an Act of the Legislative Council of Michigan, which the General Assembly have ordered to be printed and attached to the Act of Ohio. I need not remark to you that this Act of Michigan will be wholly diregarded by Ohio. With due respect, I am your ob't. serv't.
ROBERT LUCAS. To each Member of Congress.