JEFFERSON, THOMAS. 1743-1826.
Letterpress Document Signed ("Th: Jefferson") as Secretary of State, 1 p, folio (348 x 230 mm), [Philadelphia: Childs & Swaine 1791], mat-shadow, left margin ragged, top edge folded and with tape, tape shadows to edges, some browning to verso, printed area still fine with only mild offsetting.
Congress's joint resolution to survey the Northwest Territory. Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the Northwest Ordinance enacted by Congress in 1787 and the first federal governmental framework for the Territory that now includes Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota. Once surveyed, the lands were to be sold to settlers or granted to Revolutionary War veterans. However, relations with the American Indian tribes in the Territory were complicated by the interference of British Canadians, by aggressive settlers, and by disputes within tribes as to the authority held by previous treaty-makers. In this Act, Congress requests an estimate made of "the quantity and situation of the lands not claimed by the Indians, nor granted to, nor claimed by any of the citizens of the United States, within the territory ceded to the United States, by the state of North Carolina, and within the territory of the United States north-west of the river Ohio." North Carolina ceded the land south of the Ohio River in May, 1790. Washington submitted the report requested in this document in November, 1791, by which point the U.S. was at the nadir of the Northwest Indian Wars. Evans 23882.
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