Abbildungen der Seite

Should such be the case, it would be prudent to withdraw until a suffi-
cient force can be collected to guard you in the discharge of your duty.
Orders have been issued to Gen. Bell to have men in readiness, and
they will be ordered to march as soon as an armed force appear on
the line to oppose you.
The crisis is an important one.

The eyes of the State, as well as the nation, are looking on you. Our tardiness in commencing running the line has encouraged the authorities of Michigan. The line must be run at all hazards. I am not of opinion that 1. here will be an armed force sent against you. There may, probably, be a sheriff and “posse,” but not in any great force. I received a letter from Messrs. Rush and Howard, enclosing a copy of a letter from them to Gov. Mason, of the 14th inst. in which they declared to him the wish of the President, that no force should be opposed to running the line. This instruction, I have little doubt, will be insisted upon by the U. States Commissioners. I was in hopes that you would have got on with the line to Wood County next week, while the Court would be in session, so that the civil as well as the military arm could be brought to bear on those who might attempt to oppose you in the discharge of your duty. The hunters who left this place before you, I understand had not yet joined you. My advice would be to collect all your party and then progress with the line, as rapidly as it can be done by both surveyors, until you be opposed by a superior force. If such force should appear in opposition as to render it prudent to withdraw from the line, you will immediately repair to Maumee, until forces sufficient to guard you be collected, and ready to proceed with you on the line. If your supplies are likely to grow short, it will be well to send out a foraging party to the seitlements to replenish them, in the best way they can be had. I shall start to-morrow to the Court in Henry County, and will be at the Court in Wood County next Monday, in order to get our civil authority in full operation, and I think it probable that by that time, Messrs. Rush and Howard will have obtained further instructions from Washington. As unanimity of sentiment and concert in action are requisite to enable you to accomplish with success the important trust reposed in you by the State, I will therefore say to you, in conclusion,—be cautious,--keep a sharp look out, do not suffer yourselves to be surprised; but persevere until you complete the arduous duties assigned you by the General Assem bly.

With sincere respect,
I am your obe’dt ser'vt,

The Hon. Board of Commissioners

appointed to run the Northern Boundary of the State of Ohio,

[ocr errors]


Governor of the State of Ohio,



In the discharge of the duties which devolved on us as Commissioners appointed by your Excellency for re-marking the Northern boundary line of this State, which is known and distinguished as Harris' line, we met at Perrysburgh on Wednesday, the first of April last, and after completing the necessary arrangements, proceeded to the North-west corner of the State, and there succeeded in finding the corner as described in the field notes of the Surveyor Harris, a copy of which we had procured from the Surveyor General's office. Thence your Commissioners proceeded eastwardly along said line, which they found with little difficulty, and re-marked the same as directed by law in a plain and visible manner, to the distance of thirty-eight miles and a half, being more than half the length of the whole line.

During our progress we had been constantly threatened by the authorities of Michigan; and spies from the Territory, for the purpose of watching our movements and ascertaining our actual streng h, were almost daily among us.

On Saturday evening the 25th ult. after having performed a very laborious day's service, your Commissioners together with their party, retired to the distance of about one mile South of the line, in Henry County, within the State of Ohio, where we thought to have rested quietly, and peaceably enjoy the blessings of the Sabbath—and especially not being engaged on the line, we thought selves secure for that day. But contrary to our expectations, at ab ut twelve o'clock in the day, an armed force of about fifty or sixty men, hove in sight, within musket shot of us, all mounted upon horses, well armed with muskets, and under the command of Gen. Brown of Michigan. Your Commissioners observing the great superiority of force, having but five armed men among us, who had been employed to keep a look out, and as hunters for the party, thought it prudent to retire, and so advised our men.

Your Commissioners, with several of their party, made good their retreat to this place. But, Sir, we are under the painful necessity of relating that nine of our men, who did not leave the ground in time, after being fired upon by the enemy, from thirty to fifty shots, were taken prisoners, and carried away into the interior of the country. Those who were taken were as follows, to-wit: Cols. Hawkins, Scott and Gould, Major Rice, Capt. Biggerstaf and Messrs. Elsworth, Fletcher, Moale and Rickets.

We are happy to learn that our party did not fire a gun in turn, and that no one was wounded, although a ball from the enemy passed through the clothing of one of our men.

We have this day learned, by some of the men who were arrested, and have just returned, that they were taken to Tecumseh, under the escort of the armed force, were there brought before a Magistrate

for examination, that they denied the jurisdiction; but that six entered bail for their appearance; two were released as not guilty, and one, towit: Mr. Fletcher, refused to give bail, and is retained in custody. We are also further informed, by unquestionable authority, that, on the same Sabbath day, an armed force of several hundred men were stretched along the line, to the east of us, with a view to intercept us on our way.

Under existing circumstances, and in the present threatening attitude of affairs, your Commissioners have thought it prudent, for the interest of the State, as also, for the safety of her citizens, and to prevent the threatened effusion of blood, to withdraw from the line at present, and suspend the further prosecution of the work, until some efficient preparatory measures can be taken, which will insure the completion of the undertaking. All of which is respectfully submitted.



[ocr errors]

TOLEDO, May 1, 1835. DEAR SIR: We have just received your favor of this date, and regret to learn that His Excellency Governor Lucas, contemplates setting out for Columbus as soon as to-morrow. Col. Howard has been confined to his bed by indisposition, since last evening, and has only just left it; but, if he should be sufficienily recovered, we will both of us have the honor of waiting on the Governor at Port Miami, as soon after breakfast tomorrow, as we can reach it. Should he, unfortunately, be too unwell, I will go alone. I remain, dear sir, very respectsully,

Your friend and servant,


Port MIAMI, May 2d, 1835

An interview between Governor Lucas and Richard Rush and Col. How

ard, United States Commissioners. 1st. The Commissioners of Ohio to mark the line without molestation or hindrance by any process of a public character, or by troops, or in any other manner. Should individuduals incline to bring actions of trespass against them, all reasonable efforts to be made to dissuade them from this course,

2d. Should the inhabitants of the disputed territory be willing, for the sake of present peace, to submit to legal process, issuing

from the Courts of Ohio and Michigan, it is understood that the executive authorities will intimate to the prosecuting officers, their wish that all indictments or recognizances, founded upon the territorial Act of 12th February, and the Act of Ohio of the 23d February, shall be continued from term to term, until the termination of the next session of Congress, and, in case the question of jurisdiction shall, by that time, be decided, either by Congress, or the Supreme Court, all such indictments, on both sides, shall be quashed. Every reasonable facility to be afforded towards bringing the question before the Judiciary.

any duty


Washington, 2d April, 1835. His Excellency, ROBERT LUCAS,

Governor of Ohio, Perrysburgh.

have had the honor to receive your Excellency's letter of the 27th March, and in reply, have to state, that the President does not profess to interfere, authoritatively, with the performance of imposed upon you by the State of Ohio. His purpose is, by all the means of conciliatory conference, to prevent any unpleasant occurrence arising between Ohio and Michigan; to leave the question of right between them, to stand at the meeting of the next, as it stood at the adjournment of the last Congress; and, at all events, to prevent the public peace from being disturbed by any movement, either the State or Territory may think proper to make before that period arrives. Without intending to give, even an indication of opinion on the main question, I beg leave to call your attention to a clause in the Act of 1812, under which Harris' line is said to have been run, and which seems to have been overlooked. It follows the words quoted in your letter, and requires the line to be surveyed and marked agreeably to the boundaries, as established by the act, entitled An "act to enable the people of the eastern division of the Territory

north-west of the river Ohio, to form a Constitution and State Go“vernment, &c. passed April 30, 1802; and to cause to be made a “plat or plan, of so much of the boundary line as runs from the “southerly extreme of Lake Michigan to Lake Erie, particularly nosting the place where the said line intersects the margin of said Lake, "and to return the same, when made, to Congress." It may not be uninteresting to you to know that Harris' line not being considered as run agreeably to this clause of the Act of 1812, orders were issued in 1813, by the Treasury Department, to run a line in accordance therewith. This order was executed by one Fulton, in the same year: In 1820, a message was sent to Congress by the President, furnishing plats of both lines; which are now to be found on the files of the Senate and House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States.

A letter, just received from Mr. Doty, makes it proper to say to you that Mr. D. had no instructions from this Department to do more than to present to you my letter of the 19th ultimo.

I am, with great respect,
Your Excellency's ob't. serv't.



Columbus, May 11th, 1835. SIR: Your communication of the 2d of April, directed to me at Perrysburgh, in answer to my letter of the 27th of March, was forwarded to Defiance, Williams county, and received by me at that place; but the

press of other duties has prevented me from replying to it sooner. You call my attention to a clause in the Act of 1812, under which Harris' line was run, and which you say seemed to “have been overlooked.” In this, you are under a mistake. The whole Act was carefully examined by me, as it doubtless was by the Surveyor General of the United States, (Governor Tifling) under whose direction Harris ran and marked the boundary between Ohio and Michigan; and I have not yet been convinced that Harris' line was not run and marked in accordance with the spirit, if not the letter, of said Act. This was the opinion of the Surveyor General of the United Siates, under whose direction it was run, marked and designated; and, as I observed in my former communication, it is the only line that appears to have been established—as the subsequent experimental lines run by Fulton and Talcott as east lines, vary from each other, and show conclusively that neither of them is correct—and that they cannot, by any reasonable rule of construction, be considered the established Northern Boundary of Ohio, as described in the Act of the 30th of April, 1802, (referred to in your letter.) Let us take a candid and dispassionate view of both these Acts, and the three several lines run by Harris, Fulton and Talcott, as the Northern Boundary of Ohio, and see which line is most in accordance with the obvious meaning of said Acts. The Act of the 30th of April, 1802, declares that Ohio shall be bounded on the east, by the Pennsylvania line, on the north, by an east and west line drawn through the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan, running east, after intersecting the due north line from the mouth of the great Miami, until it shall intersect Lake Erie or the Territorial line; and thence, with the same, through Lake Erie, to the Pennsylvania line. Mark the expression !—“Lake Erie or the Territorial line; and thence, with the same, through Lake Erie to the Pennsylvania line." The Act of the 20th of May, 1812, declared that the Surveyor General, under the direction of the President of the United States, should be required to cause to be surveyed, marked and designated so much of the western and northern boundaries of the State of Ohio, which had not already been ascertained, as divided Ohio from the Territories of Indiana and Michigan, agreeably to the

« ZurückWeiter »