Page:Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison Vol. 1.djvu/54

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HARRISON: MESSAGES AND LETTERS

were to have the land at the same prices that it was to be granted to him, with the additional advantage of one year to raise the money from and after the 1st of February, 1802. It was also required of Judge Symmes to convey in fee simple to such trustees as the legislature of the territory may think proper to appoint, land equal in quality and quantity, to the township reserved in his former patent for the purpose of education and the legislature were authorized to receive such land as an equivalent for the said township; the bill was finally adopted by the House of Representatives without a dissenting voice. The Senate referred it to a select committee, consisting of Messrs. [James] Ross, [John] Brown and [Samuel] Livermore, who reported the bill without amendment; but the day before the session closed, Mr. Ross moved to strike out the whole bill for the purpose of inserting a new one (the object of which I have not learnt) but this was rejected and for want of time the business was finally postponed until the next session. Whilst the bill was before the committee of the Senate, it was suggested to me that doubt had arisen with some whether those persons who had sued Judge Symmes in the courts of common pleas would be entitled to remedy in equity against the Judge. I therefore went before the committee and urged them to insert a provision in their favor, declaring that it was the meaning of the committee who formed the bill that those persons should be entitled to all the benefits arising from it and that I should object to the passage of the bill if they were not included; but upon my stating the question to the attorney general of the United States, to Mr. [Robert G.] Harper and other characters eminent in the law, it was their unanimous opinion that they were within the provision of the act. I send a copy as it passed the House of Representatives to the printers in Cincinnati. What I have given you is the substance of this bill. Nothing surely could be more fair towards the purchasers and I had in view the pleasing prospect that this law would be the means of restoring harmony and peace to the hitherto distracted settlement between the two Miamis. In the management of this business, I was placed from my connection [son-in-law] with Judge Symmes in the most delicate situation; whether my conduct has been such as to merit the approbation of my friends and disappoint the malice of my enemies is not for me to declare: my fellow-citizens will de-