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Resolved, further, That said Committee consist of such officers as, under the recent penal enactments of the Territorial Council of Michigan, have rendered themselves liable to the laws of the Territory, that by personal consultation and advice, they may be prepared to act both with prudence and decision. Adjourned.
JOHN BALDWIN, Chairman. BAXTER BOWMAN, Secretary.
Monroe, April 10th, 1835.
We beg leave to inform your Excellency, that under the order of the Court now sitting in this place, process has been issued against some of the inhabitants of the disputed Territory, which is about to be enforced by the Sheriff and “posse comitatus.” This step has probably been resorted to in consequence of the difficulty of effecting an arrest on the day before yesterday, under process from the same Court.
It is unnecessary to express to your Excellency how painfully we contemplate the prospect of the use of force upon either side, or to recall to your recollection how arduously we have struggled against its approach. In addition to the knowledge which you personally possess of our efforts to preserve the public peace on both sides, and to satisfy you that they have not been relaxed, we take the liberty to enclose a copy of a letter addressed to the acting Governor of this Territory, for your own information.
We have the honor to be,
BENJ. C. HOWARD. His Excellency, ROBERT LUCAS,
Governor of Ohio.
(COPY.) The undersigned have already made known to His Excellency, Governor Mason, in verbal conferences, the object of their visit to this portion of our common country, and the sentiments which they were instructed by the President to express, in relation to the unfortunate condition in which the controversy between the Territory of Michi · gan and State of Ohio is now placed. They will merely, therefore, repeat, that, as respects the rights of the respective parties, the President, as Chief Magistrate, wishes to express no opinion at the present moment, because he considers it a question peculiarly proper for adjustment by Congress, and which that body will at its next ses
sion, in all probability, examine and decide. All that the President feels himself authorized to do at present is to appeal to the respective authorities of the Territory and State, to enforce their claims to the jurisdiction of the tract of land, which both alledge to be included within their boundaries, with such a spirit of moderation and forbearance that violent collisions may be avoided. llis great object is the preservation of public peace. Looking to the preservation of domestic tranquility throughout the wide region of the United States as one of the chief motives thai led to the formation of the Federal Goveinment, and one of the choicest blessings flowing from its establishinent, he feels it to be an imperative duty to exert his friendly influence with both the parties to the controversy under consideration, so to enforce their respective rights as to avoid a resort to violence upon
either side. Without adverting to the numerous and cogent motives by which such a course is recommended, and which the undersigned have had the honor to expressin verbal conferences hitherto, it becomes their duty to inform his Excellency that a case has occurred, to the consideration of which they are directed to call his attention, by the express letter of their instructions.
The Territorial law of Michigan, approved on the 12th of February, 1835, entitled “An Act to prevent the exercise of a Foreign Jurisdiction within the limits of the Territory of Michigan,” like all other acts of the Legislative Council, must be subject to the revisal of Congress, although valid until dissent has been pronounced. But as it is a criminal law, the power of the Governor has been thought competent to dispense with its operation, either in whole or in part, without interfering with the exercise of the judicial power of the Courts. The undersigned are profoundly sensible that there exists no controlling power in the country, either under the Federal or any State Government, to dictate to the tribunals of justice the course to be pursued. The stream which flows from the independent exercise of judicial functions must be permitted to hold its course, unchecked by influence or unbiassed by power. Nevertheless it is respectfully submitted to his Excellency whether there cannot be found within the scope of his powers, a mode of dispensing with the rigorous punishments of a criminal law, without clashing with any co-ordinate authority, or violating the spirit of our institutions; and if so, whether it is not expedient to pursue that course in the case to which, as they have just said, they wish to call his attention.
At the moment of writing this note indictments exist in the court now in session in this place, against several of the inhabitants of the disputed territory for a violation of the territorial Act of Feb. 12, 1835, and it is understood that the process of the Court is about to be served with a strong arm. It becomes the duty of the undersigned therefore to make known to his Excellency the wish of the Federal Government, that under no state of excitement should resort be had to force under this territorial law, until an opportunity shall be afforded to Congress to consider if that Act requires to be disapproved. It is the President's expectation that the subject of the boundary line bo
tween Michigan and Ohio
will be finally disposed of by Congress at their next session; or if not, that the establishment of a State Government in Michigan will soon place the Territory upon the proper footing of equality with the Stałe, and bring the subject of dispute between them within the provisions of the Constitution of the United States. In making this communication, the undersigned believe that they have no dejarted from the attitude which, in the spirit of their instructions, they have assumed, viz: that of being the friends of both parties, whose rights, interest and honor are equally cherished by the President; and they confidently trust that no step which they may have taken will be found adverse to such an impartial position.
They beg leave, in conclusion, to acknowledge the friendliness with which they have been received by his Excellency, and to request him to accept the assurances of their high consideration and esteem. (Signed)
BENJ. C. HOWARD. MONROE, April 10th 1835. His Excellency, STEPHEN T. MASON,
Acting Governor of Michigan.
MAUMEE, April 11th, 1835. DR. SIR: Matters in this region assume an aspect altogether more terrific than was anticipated: the state of things will be communicated by the bearer. There is a very great anxiety by all the citizens for you to return. I have received information which can be relied on that Gov. Mason has openly avowed that the line should not be runtherefore we must make up our minds to have a large force, or be taken.
URI SEELEY. His Excellency, Gov. LUCAS.
Defiance, Ohio, April 15, 1835. Major General John Bell, of the 17th Division of Ohio Militia, is hereby commanded to cause to be forth with detailed, armed, organized and equipped for active service, five hundred troops from his division, of such description as he may deem to be most efficient to enable him to ensorce respect and obedience to the laws of Ohio within the bounds of his division, and to protect the Commissioners appointed
to run the Northern Boundary line of the State of Ohio, in the discharge of their duties."
He will cause the Quartermaster General of his division, under the direction of the Quartermaster General of the State, to furnish the necessary supplies. He will command the troops in person, and cause them to rendezvous at such time and place as he may deem most advantageous to effect the object contemplated, and to repel any invasion of our Territory or Constitutional rights by an armed force from any quarter or under any authority. The troops will continue in active service such time, as may be deemed expedient by the Commanding General, or until discharged by order of the Commander in Chief.
TOLEDO, April 14, 1835. SIR: Having transmitted to your Excellency a copy of the note which we addressed to the Acting Governor of Michigan on the 10th of this month, we now ask permission herewith to enclose the copy of one which we have also addressed to him under date of to day; and have the honor to remain, with great respect, your Excellency's obedt. servt's.
BFNI. C. HOWARD. His Excellency, ROBERT LUCAS,
Governor of Ohio.
COPY. The undersigned present their respects to Governor Mason, and beg leave to say, that since parting from him this morning, they have found an apprehension existing in this quarter, that forcible obstruction will be interposed by the authorities of Michigan in case of an attempt by the Commissioners of Ohio to run the line. However satisfied the undersigned themselves may at present be that this apprehension is unfounded, they feel that they would not fully discharge the duty which the President has devolved upon them, if they did not again and distinctly make it known as his desire, that force be not used to obstruct that measure, the authorities of Michigan abstaining until some other and better mode can be adopted by Congress or the Judiciary for settling the boundary question.
In thus repeating in this form the President's desire to Governor Mason, which an anxiety to fulfill their instructions as agents for maintaining the public peace impels them to do, the undersigned gladly avail themselves of the opportunity of tendering to him the assur ances of their high consideration and esteem. Signed,
BENJ. C. HOWARD TOLEDO, April 14th, 1835.
CAMP No. 5, April 2011, 1835. DR. SIR: Our Messengers, Messrs. Raymond and Norris, have just reached us, and bring the intelligence that the authorities of Michigan are determined to arrest us at or near Bean creek—and to that end have a sheriff in waiting with a “posse.” General Brown has ordered a force to assemble at Adrian, to act as exigencies may require, should Ohio attempt to run the line. Since we have reached this point, we have examined the rout to Harris' line, and would immediately proceed to carry the laws of Ohio into effect, by commencing runing and marking it as our law requires, were we not apprehensive of being arrested by the authorities of Michigan. Your Excellency will readily see the necessity of rendering us such aid as will enable us to execute the object of our appointment. Our supplies are nearly exhausted. Your Excellency will no doubt readily see that without supplies we can do nothing. The road hither is almost impassable. We have thought it advisable to suggest the propriety of procuring them at the nearest point, and sending them by way of Bean creek, which will be the most certain way of transporting them to this point. We have had no intelligence of our hunters. Our intention is to send on to-morrow messengers to gain some information of them, as well as to ascertain such other information as will enable us to move with safety.
We are now encamped within twenty rods of Fulton's line, and will not proceed further until we shall hear from your Excellency We have had intelligence, such as can be relied on, that the Acting Governor of Michigan will accompany General Brown and assist him and his forces in resisting the running the Northern line by the authorities of our State.
Very respectfully, yours, &c.
J. PATTERSON. His Excellency, ROBERT LUCAS,
Governor of Ohio.
DEFIANCE, April 21st, 1835. Messrs. J. Taylor, W. Seely, and John Patterson,
GENTLEMEN: I this morning received your communication of the 20th inst. and regret to hear that there is prospect of your meeting with difficulty on the line. I am well aware that the policy of Michigan has been to deter by menaces and threats from commencing and progressing with the work; but I hope that you will not be deterred by them, until an enemy be actually discovered in force on the line to oppose you.“