Abbildungen der Seite

boundaries, as established by the Act of the 30th of April, 1802, above alluded to; and to cause to be made a plat or plan of so much of the Boundary Line as ran from the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan to Lake Erie, particularly noting the place where the said line intersected the margin of said Lake, and to return the same, when made, to Congress, &c.

The foregoing Act of the 20th of May, 1812, required the Surveyor General to cause to be surveyed, marked and designated, so much of the western and northern boundaries of Ohio, which had not been ascertained, as divided it from the Territories of Indiana and Michigan. That part of the Northern Boundary of Ohio, which extended westward from the Pennsylvania line, with the Territorial line, through Lake Erie, to the intersection of the line drawn east from Lake Michigan, had already been specifically designated in the Act of the 30th of April, 1802; but the particular point of intersection had not been ascertained. This point, the Surveyor General, by his deputy Mr. Harris, fixed at the North Cape of the Maumee Bay; and from thence, ran on a direct course to the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan, until it struck the Indiana line, or the line run due north from the mouth of the Great Miami river. This line is specifically marked, and the marks in the noted Field Book returned to the Surveyor General's Office by Mr. Harris, as the division line between Ohio and Michigan Territory; a copy of which field notes, duly certified by the Surveyor General of the United States, I have now before me. I will give a few extracts: they commence as follows, viz: 56 Variation 3° 32'. Commenced at the North Cape of the Miami Baymade a willow a corner in di. and marked M. T. on the north side, and O. on the South; from which corner a point of land bears S. 57 E. 6 or 7 miles, and a point of an island bears S. 60 E. 6 or 7 miles and the north part of the same island bears S. 75 E. 6 or 7 miles—from thence, S. 87° 42' W: along the shore 1 mile, corner in the Bay-second mile continued between the State of Ohio and Michigan Territory, S. 87° 42' W.-passed the Bay, &c."

The same course and the same expression, (“continued between the State of Ohio and Michigan Territory,“) are repeated in the notes of every mile to the last, or 720 mile from the Bay, where the survey is ended with the following note: “S. 87° 42' W.-continued between the State of Ohio and Michigan Territory, 33.92 to the north-west corner of the State of Ohio—the corner a pile of stones, from which a beech 14, N. 37 W. 44, sugar 5, N. 31 E. 15, sugar 9, S. 8 W. 20.”

The line surveyed and designated as above, appears to have been run under the direction of the Surveyor General of the United States in 1817, according to his understanding of the Act of 20th of May 1812; and I am inclined to think it has been done in more strict accordance with the provisions of that Act than any line subsequently run. This line is definitive: it runs to certain natural and fixed objects referred to in the Act of Congress, and the Constitution of Ohio, and is the only line, as I before observed, that appears to have been estab lished. But you say "that this line, not being considered as run argee

ably to the Act of 1812, orders were issued in 1818 by the Treasury Department to run the line in accordance therewith, and that the or der was executed by one Fulton in that year.” This we perfectly understand. Let us now examine Fulton's line, and the observations taken by him, and see if it has any greater claim to accuracy. He ran a line to Lake Erie, but it does not intersect the Territorial line as described in the act of 30th of April, 1802. It is not a line run due east from the southerly extremity of Lake Michigan, as is shown by his own observations; for he places the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan at 41° 38' 58"; the western boundary of Ohio at 41° 32' 47'', and where his line intersects the margin of Lake Erie at 41° 31' 38". The line run by Fulton is said to strike the Maumee river about eight miles south of the north cape of the Maumee Bay, and is the line to which Michigan claims jurisdiction.

The above observations prove conclusively that the line runiby Fulton, and to which you allude, cannot be correct, or in accordance with the Act of 1812, as you seem to think, for it strikes Lake Erie 7 20" south of the southerly extremity of Lake Michigan, as shown by his own observations, which would throw a correct line about seven miles north of the line actually run by Fulton, and would carry it very near the north cape of the Bay, as claimed by Ohio, (see Congressional reports H. R. March 18th, 1828, No. 196.) From an examination of this subject, you must become satisfied that if Harris' line was not run in accordance with the Act of Congres of 1812, Fulton's line is at a still greater distance from it, and that according to Fulton's observations, Michigan has been claiming jurisdiction over a considerable extent of territorý south of a due east line, if it were correctly run to the same latitude of the southerly extremity of Lake Michigan. In Capt. T: llcot's report on the Northem boundary of Ohio, we find that he differs from Mr. Fulton, and places the southerly bend of Lake Michigan at 41° 37'07" 9; North cape of Maumee Bay 41° 44' 02" }; and the most southerly point of the territorial line of the U.S. in Lake Erie at 41° 38'38". By these lasi observations it

appears that an east line from the southerly bend of Lake Michigan will never intersect the territorialline of the U. S. in Lake Erie, and is therefore rendered an impossible line, and in non-conformity with the ordinance of 1787, the act of Congress of April, 1802, and all subsequent icts. But how will the question appear if we look at it as a plain practical surveyor would, if called to inake a survey for individuals from similar documents. He would first run the line called for in the documents: If it missed the object specified he would reverse the calls and make the course finally yield to the fixed objects or specified boundaries. Then suppose we reverse the calls, and begin at the Pennsylvania line where it strikes the Territorial line in Lake Eric, and run thence westwardly with the Territorial line through Lake Erie, so far that a direct west line will strike the southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michigan. Would not this be a fair statement of the case, and would it not in some manner change the position of the question? I think it would, particularly if we confine curselves to the

expression in the ordinance of 1787, upon which Michigan appears to found her claim, for the expression in that ordinance is southerly bend or extreme of Michigan; and in the Act of 1805, defining the boundary of Michigan, the expression is "that part of Indiana Territory which lies north of a line drawn east from the southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michigan, until it shall intersect Lake Erie, &c.” The southerly bend or extreme is here mentioned, as wel: as in the ordinance, and the term east, instead of a due east. is used therein. In the act relative to the boundary of Ohio, Lake Erie or the Territorial line is mentioned. This expression carries with it the idea of an impression of the author, when the article was penned, that an east line would strike the Territorial line north of Lake Erie. This

supposition is corroborated by all the maps that were published at an early period. Some of them place the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan as far north as 42° 30'—and most of them would have thrown our northern boundary as far north as Detroit river and some even to the city of Detroit-and had not Ohio inserted a provision in her Constitution, establishing, under a certain contingency, the Northern boundary of the State by a line to run from the north cape of Maumee Bay to the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan, she would, in my opinion, have had a just and equitable claim to have extended her boundary as far north as the river Detroit at least. I will drop this part of the subject, for the present, and will call your attention to one of more serious import. You have doubtless been already informed by Messrs. Richard Rush and B. C. Howard of the situation of affairs in the vicinity of Perrysburgh and Toledo, with regard to the boundary difficulty. As I have heretofore stated to you, we can have no controversy with the Territorial government of Michigan. A Territory can have no sovereign rights, and no arrangements that could be made with the Territorial authorities on the subject of boundary would be obligatory. Congress have reserved to themselves the express right to attach that part of the Territory of Michigan lying north of this State, to Ohio, whenever they might deem it expedient; and Ohio is bound by the compact to accept it as part of the State. This being the case, we consider that it is in the power of Congress, at any moment previous to the actual admission of Michigan into the Union as a sovereign State, to dissolve the Territorial Government, and attach the whole North-western Territory to the three States already formed. With this impression, we have been led to view the proceedings of the authorities of Michigan as of a very extraordinary characer, particularly the late outrage commiited on the Commissioners and pariy engaged under the authority of Ohio, in running and remarking the Northern boundary line of the State. This attack, you will perceive by the enclosed copy of the official report of the Commissioners, was made in the most anprovoked manner, on the Sabhaih, by a party of armed men, headed by a Judge of the Court a Sheriff and a Brigadier General. This outrage committed by the authorities of Michigan upon the officers and citizens of

Ohio, together with sundry other matters connected with the boundary question, have impressed upon me the necessity of convening the Legislature, that the whole su bject matter may be laid before them and the people of Ohio, for their consideration, in order that they may be prepared to adopt such prompt and efficient measures as may be deemed expedient for defending the sovereign rights and constitutional boundaries of the State, and for the protection of her citizens in their constitutional privileges against encroachments from any quarter or under any pretence or authority whatever. The conversations I have had with Messrs. Rush and Howard have perfectly satisfied me, that the outrages committed upon the citizens of Ohio by the authorities of ichigan were entirely adverse to the wishes of the President, as communicated by them to the Acting Governor of Michigan Territory.—Yet as these outrages have been committed under the direction of officers holding their appointments from the United States, it becomes my duty to inquire of you, and to ask to be distinctly informed, how far the authorities of Michigan are held reprehensible by the cabinet at Washington for the various outrages committed by them on the citizens of Ohio. I should not have taken the liberty to have made this inquiry had you not commenced a correspondence on this subject as a mediator. This being the case, I hope you will feel at liberty to communicate such facts as may place the subject fairly before the people of Ohio and the nation at large. I have the honor, to be very respectfully, your obedt. servt.


Secretary of State, U.S.

TOLEDO, MAY 4, 1835. SIR

By the mail of Saturday night, we communicated to the Acting Governor of Michigan, the plan by which we had supposed, in the interview we had the honor to hold with you on that day, that a temporary arrangement might be made for avoiding collisions in this quarter; and now find ourselves under the necessity of saying, that, by his answer, dated at Monroe, and received this morning, it has been declined.

In this state of things, it is our intention to leave this place and proceed 10 Washington; and we beg to assure your Excellency, of the continued and high consideration and respect with which

We have the honor to be,

Your obedient servants,


BENJ. C. HOWARD. His Excellency,


Governor of Ohio.



Considering it my duty to inform the authorities of Ohio, of my present situation, relative to my imprisonment in Michigan, I take the liberty to address your Excellency. I am, at present, incarcerated in Jail-was committed yesterday. The Sheriff was influenced to change his course of treatment towards me, by Gov. Mason and Gen. , Brown-chiefly, I believe, by Brown. I dined with Gen. Brown yesterday. Gov. Mason was there. He, (Mason) strongly urged me to give bail; he observed that as bail had been proffered me, this fact would

go forth to the public, and exonerate Michigan from censure, in case that I was committed. The same consideration has been repeatedly advanced to induce me to enter bail. My reply has been, that the right to demand bail, is the question at issue—hat in case I gave bail, I did not consider it material whether the responsibility of that bail was assumed by a citizen of Ohio or a citizen of Michigan. Gov. Mason expressed himself as being very anxious that the difficulties might be settled without any further hostilities. Gen. Brown was silent on this subject. There is reason to believe that he does not wish to have this question amicably settled, but that he secretly wishes for a collision between the State and Territory, that he may have an opportunity to distinguish himself; and that all his measures are taken with a view to effect this. In conversation at Gen. Brown's yesterday, respecting the circumstances attending our arrest, the Sheriff expressed regret that the citizens of Ohio were fired upon. Gen. Brown replied that “it was the best thing that was done; that he did not hesitate to say that he gave the order to fire." He spoke of giving directions to the Sheriff how to proceed; and the Sheriff admitted that he acted under his (Brown's) direction. I mention these circumstances, because, in my view, they illustrate the principles and motives which have deeply prompted the opposition which Ohio has met in her attempts to re-mark the boundary line; and that you may be better able to anticipate the course which Michigan will adopt in future.

Gov. Mason expressed a determination to prevent the running of the lin at all hazards. Said that the Sheriff's "” would not be called out again. That in case of an emergency, he relied on the assistance and protection of the Executive of the United States. I did not understand him to say that this reliance was grounded on any direct assurances, but only

on inference. On Saturday evening last, I received a communication from the Commissioners, by Col. Green, in which they approve of the position which I had taken'; and instructed me to abide by it. I was gratified by being informed by Col. Green, thnt your Excellency coincided with the Commissioners in opinion, respecting the course which I adopted. When Col. Green left here, the understanding with the Sheriff, was, that he would not commit me; as he has seen fit to do so, I have thought proper to give your ExcelLency information of it. I will only add, that I shal] remain as I am,

« ZurückWeiter »