Page:Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison Vol. 1.djvu/52

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
14
HARRISON: MESSAGES AND LETTERS

provisions of the law; I have, however, sent a copy of it to the printers at Cincinnati, with a request that they would publish it several weeks.

A law supplementary to the act appropriating land for the satisfying of the United States military warrants has been enacted, warrants have been located, the patents issued and many persons, who are holders of those lands, are preparing to make settlement on them the ensuing summer.

Petitions and letters from various parts of the territory, having been forwarded to me, expressed a desire that the territory should be divided into two great governments and as my opinion of the policy of the measure strongly coincided with them, a bill was passed by the House of Representatives on my motion for this purpose; and that line which is declared by the ordinance of congress [1787] for the govemment of the territory, the line of division between the eastern and middle states was to have formed the division between the opposite districts; this bill also received very material alteration in the Senate, which alterations were finally adopted by the House of Representatives and the bill passed into a law. The division line by this law, runs from the mouth of the Kentucky River to Ft. Recovery and from thence north till it intersects the northern boundary of the United States, running through the lakes. The western division is called "the Indiana Territory" and the other district is to retain the appellation of territory of the United States, northwest of the Ohio and is to remain in every respect in statu quo. The most objectionable part of the bill is that it fixed the seat of government for the eastern division; and it was opposed by me on the grounds of its being a violation of the ordinance for the govemment of the territory, which gives the sole and exclusive right of legislature to the general assembly of the territory, but in the cases, where it is expressly withheld.[1]

However, as the seat of the government is fixed at Chilicothe which is certainly the most central and eligible situation and as the continuance of the legislature at Cincinnati for the short time that the territory will remain under its present dependent form of government can be of very little moment to the citizens of that place and none to the neighboring country; we have nothing to regret upon the subject, but the fear that

  1. For this statute see Annals. 6th congress, 1798