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right, and had determined to submit to nothing that was wrong. I am
The acting Governor of Michigan has made known to the Presi. dent, his apprehension, that a collision may take place between the authorities of that Territory and those of the State of Ohio, in consequence of measures about to be taken for extending the jurisdiction of that State, over the territory in dispute between Ohio and Michigan. The President, confident that both parties will do justice to his motives, has instructed me to express to your Excellency and to the acting Governor of Michigan, his earnest hope, that the exercise of mutual forbearance and prudence will render such aresult impossible: he trusts that both parties will see, that the question at issue, is one which from its nature, does not permit any other than a peaceful decision. It appears to him, that as the State of Ohio has already brought the subject before Congress, it should be left for the action of that body. In any event, the formation of a State Government in Michigan will
soon afford an opportunity for obtaining a judicial decision. It is with these views that he has directed me to make this appeal to the forbearance of both parties, who however they may be geographically divided, must be fully sensible of those obligations, which they owe to each other, as parts of the same great political family. I have the honor to be, Your Excellency's most Obedient servant, JOHN FORSYTH, Secretary of Slate.
Your letter of the 14th inst. was received this morning, in which you state that “the acting Governor of Michigan has made known to the President his apprehension that a collision may take place between the authorities of that territory, and those of the State of Ohio, in consequence of measures about to be taken for extending the jurisdiction of Ohio, over the territory in dispute between Ohio and Michigan. The President, confident that both parties will do justice to his motives, has instructed me to express to the Executive of Ohio and the acting Governor of Michigan, his earnest hope, that the exercise of mutual forbearance and prudence will render such a result impossible; he trusts that both parties will see, that the question at issue, is one which from its nature, does not permit any other than a peaceful decision.” -
In reply to this part of your communication, I can assure you that the motives of the President are duly appreciated, and that as far as Ohio is concerned, we have never anticipated a collision. We know of no controversy between Ohio and Michigan—we have given Michigan no cause of offence—and have not even taken notice of the inflammatory speech of the acting Governor of Michigan to the Legislative Council of that territory on the 12th of January, 1835; the Protest of the Legislative Council against the authorities of Congress over the subject of the Boundary line of Ohio—the Proclamation of the acting Governor, of the 19th of February, 1835; nor the subsequent order of his commanding General. We have viewed all these things, together with the act passed by the Legislative Council of that Territory on the 12th of February, 1835, as the result of bad counsel and misguided zeal in support of what they erroneously supposed to be the rights of Michigan—and have felt disposed to let them pass as such without notice.
To the view taken by the President, in that clause in your communication which states that, “it appears to the President that as the State
of Ohio has already brought the subject before Congress, it should be left for the action of that body; and, in any event, the formation of a State Government in Michigan will soon afford an opportunity for obtaining a judicial decision”—that “it was with these views that he (the President) has directed me to make this appeal to the forbearance of both parties, &c.” I consider myself bound, as Executive of Ohio, to dissent. I cannot admit that Ohio has ever expressed a doubt with regard to her right to the Boundary specified in the Constitution—but as a claim was got up,by one of the Territories of the U. States, organized under an act of Congress, to a part of the Territory within our constitutional limits, we asked Congress to quiet that claim. As to the question being submitted to a Judicial Court, we are of opinion that it is not a question that can be brought before the judiciary, even were there a doubtful question of boundary in existence; but we do not admit the existence of any such question. We consider that the line described in the Proviso in our Constitution, running from the southern extremity of Lake Michigan to the most northern cape of the Maumee Bay, was firmly established and guaranteed to Ohio, by the Government of the United States, when our Constitution was accepted and the State admitted into the Union upon an equal footing with the original States. I herewith transmit for your consideration, and that of the President, a pamphlet, containing my Special Message to the General Assembly, of the 6th of February, and an Act, Preamble and Resolutions of the General Assembly, passed 23d February, 1835. The Act, Preamble and Resolutions, passed the Senate unanimously, and the House of Representatives with but one dissenting vote. By an examination of these documents, the views of Ohio may be ascertained. In these proceedings, Ohio has pursued the course adopted by the President or the United States with regard to foreign powers: she claims nothing but what is clearly her right, and has determined to submit to mothing that is wrong. The citizens residing within that part of Ohio, that is erroneously claimed by Michigan, claim of us the protection of our laws, and the rights and privileges granted to them as citizens, by the Constitution of Ohio. The Legislature has determined to extend to them these rights and privileges, for which purpose, the act of the 23d of February was passed. By this act it will be perceived that it is made the duty of the Executive to appoint three Commissioners to run and re-mark the line heretofore run from the southern extremity of Lake Michigan to the most northern cape of the Maumee Bay. These Commissioners have been appointed and will proceedin April to run the line. A copy of the Act and Preamble and Resolutions of the General Assembly of the 23d of February has been put into the hands of the civil officers of the Counties bordering on the disputed line, with instructions to extend their jurisdiction to the line specified in said Act. The commanding military officer, in these counties, has been directed to cause the persons, subject to military duty, within the bounds of the counties, as specified in said act, to be enrolled and organized under the laws of Ohio.
This is the course that has been pursued by the constituted authorities of Ohio. Nothing like preparation for defence or collision has been made by Ohio. Our laws will be quietly and firmly carried into effect—in doing which we shall avoid alll cause of offence to Michigan. If resistance be made to our laws, within any part of our constitutional limits, the civil authority will be brought to bear upon the of. fenders, and in no case, will a collision take place, unless actual resistance be made to our civil authority. If such should be the case, however deplorable may be the consequences, our civil authority will be sustained. Ohio has taken her stand in this matter. Her forbearance heretofore has been tortured into a doubt of her right. She has determined to be no longer baffled. The Legislature, with a unanimity unparalleled, passed the Act, Preamble and Resolutions I transmit to you. There is but one course to be pursued by the Executive of Ohio. His duty is imperative—as far as he is concerned, the law will be mildly, but faithfully and promptly executed. We are far from desiring any difficulty with the citizens of Michigan—if any occur, it will be brought on by themselves—it will be because they will have it so, and with them must rest the consequences. We wish the people of that Territory prosperity and happiness, and would be glad to see her admitted as a member of the Union; but we cannot permit them to intrude upon the rights of Ohio, under any pretext whatever.
- I have the honor to be,
ROBERT LUCAS. Hon. John FoRsyTH,
Secretary of State, U. S.
DEPARTMENT of STATE,
Washington, March 17th, 1835. SIR:
Since my communication to you of the 14th inst the President has
heard with great regret, that preparatory orders have been issued, as well by the authorities of the State of Ohio, as by those of Michigan, to the Militia, manifesting an intention to maintain by a military force, their respective claims to jurisdiction, within the disputed Territory. The subject is now under his painful consideration, and he may hereafter decide upon communicating farther with you in relation to it.-In the mean time, he has directed me, in addition to the appeal already made, to suggest to both parties, that under no circumstances, in any part of our country, can military force be justifiably used except in aid of the civil authority in executing civil process.
I am sir, your obedient servant,
His Excellency, RoRERT LUCAS,
Governor of Ohio.
Your communication of the 17th inst. on the subject of a supposed controversy with Michigan, was received last evening—in answer to which, I will briefly state, that I gave you, in my answer to your letter of the 14th instant, a concise statement of the views and proceedings of Ohio on this subject. I now farther inform you, that there has been no correspondence between the authorities of Ohio and those of Michigan, on the subject of extending our jurisdiction to our constitutional boundaries. We know nothing of the proceedings of Michigan, further than from report and publications in the newspapers; and I regret that these proceedings should have caused any uneasiness at Washington, as I assure you, they have caused little or none in Ohio. We consider the question as settled, and therefore no longer debateable. The Legislature of Ohio has defined the boundaries of certain counties, bordering on the Northern Boundary of the State, and made it the duty of all officers, civil and military, judicial and ministerial, to extend their jurisdiction throughout the bounds of said counties.— The people living on that part of the territory of Ohio, which has been claimed by Michigan, claim of us the protection of their rights and privileges as citizens of Ohio. This we are under the most solemn obligations to grant. If Michigan attempt to exercise jurisdiction, within the bounds of the counties, as defined in the late Act of the 23dt of February, our civil authority will call the offenders to an accouni, and they will be punished for a violation of our laws. The Commissioners appointed to run and re-mark the line heretofore run from the southern extremity of Lake Michigan to the most northern cape of the Maumee Bay, have appointed to meet at Perrysburgh, Wood county, on the 1st day of April next. I will leave Columbus in a few days to meet them, preparatory to running the line. My visit to that place, is with a view to allay, as much as possible, the excitement that has been caused in the public mind, by the proceedings in Michigan. The people of Ohio have been considerably incensed at these proceedings, and if Michigan should attempt to interrupt our Commissioners while running the line, or resist our civil authority, the consequences may become unpleasant—for the Proclamation of the acting Governor and the proceedings of Gen. Brown have enkindled a martial feeling in Ohio, that it will require the utmost care to keep down. Volunteer Companies have tendered their services to defend the soil of Ohio, and repel any invasion of our rights; but I have uniformly informed them, that their services would not be wanted—at all events, not until our civil authority should demand their assistance.
As I before stated, we have no controversy with the authorities of Michigan. We shall not attend to any of their proceedings; and if they violate our laws, within any part of the constitutional boundaries