98 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.
the expense of the United States to make good the prof fered bounties, every idea of their being a common stock must thereby be given up ; some of the states may, by fix ing their own price on the Land, pay off what of their quota of the public debt they please, and have their ex tensive territory settled by the soldiery of the other states, whilst this state and a few others must be so weakened and impoverished that they can hold their liberties only at the will of their powerful neighbors. " (Am. Arch., Fifth Series, vol. 3, p. 1569.)
This letter was read in Congress November 13, 1776, and elicited no action except an order that the president inform Maryland that the faith of the United States is pledged for the bounty land to the soldiers. But Mary land was resolute to follow up the attack. October 15, 1777, her delegates moved in Congress "that the United States, in Congress assembled, shall have the sole and exclusive right and power to ascertain and fix the western boundary of such states as claim to the Mississippi or South Sea and lay out the land beyond the boundary so ascertained, into separate and independent States, from time to time, as the numbers and circumstances of the people may require." (Journals, vol. 2, p. 290.)
This motion fully developed the Maryland idea. Coer cion was to be used. This was proposed even before a confederation was established. The unorganized United States should seize the territory of the States, and de prive them of jurisdiction and property. The argument was, that some of the smaller States did not own public land, and felt it to be a hardship to lack this resource while others possessed it ; that this land, if secured by "the blood and treasure of all," should be a "common stock"; therefore, the United States should arbitrarily limit the western boundaries of the claimant States with out regard to their charter rights, and take possession of all territory which they saw fit to sequester. No wonder that such a proposition received only the vote of Mary-