United States Statutes at Large/Volume 1/5th Congress/2nd Session/Chapter 28

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Chap. ⅩⅩⅧ.—An Act for an amicable settlement of limits with the state of Georgia, and authorizing the establishment of a government in the Mississippi territory.


Section 1. President authorized to appoint Commissioners to adjust the interfering claims to certain territory;Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States be, and he hereby is authorized to appoint three commissioners; any two of whom shall have power to adjust and determine with such commissioners as may be appointed under the legislative authority of the state of Georgia, all interfering claims of the United States and that state, to territory situate west of the river Chatahouchee, north of the thirty-first degree of north latitude and south of the cession made to the United States by South Carolina: and to receive proposals for the cession of other territory claimed by Georgia.And also to receive any proposals for the relinquishment or cession of the whole or any part of the other territory claimed by the state of Georgia, and out of the ordinary jurisdiction thereof.

Sec. 2. Lands ascertained to be the property of the United States how to be disposed of.Be it further enacted, That all the lands thus ascertained as the property of the United States, shall be disposed of in such manner as shall be hereafter directed by law; and the nett proceeds thereof shall be applied to the sinking and discharging the public debt of the United States, in the same manner as the proceeds of the other public lands in the territory northwest of the river Ohio.

Sec. 3. Certain territory constituted a district, to be called the Mississippi territory.Be it further enacted, That all that tract of country bounded on the west by the Mississippi; on the north by a line to be drawn due east from the mouth of the Yasous to the Chatahouchee river; on the east by the river Chatahouchee; and on the south by the thirty-first degree of north latitude, shall be, and hereby is constituted one district, to be called the Mississippi Territory: President authorized to establish a government and appoint officers therein.and the President of the United States is hereby authorized to establish therein a government in all respect similar to that now exercised in the territory northwest of the river Ohio, excepting and excluding the last article of the ordinance made for the government thereof by the late Congress on the thirteenth day of July one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate to appoint all the necessary officers therein, who shall respectively receive the same compensations for their services; to be paid in the same manner as by law established for similar officers in the territory northwest of the river Ohio; and the powers, duties and emoluments of a superintendent of Indian affairs for the southern department, shall be united with those of governor: Provided always, that if the President of the United States should find it most expedient to establish this government in the recess of Congress, he shall nevertheless have full power to appoint and commission all officers herein authorized; and their commissions shall continue in force until the end of the session of Congress next ensuing the establishment of the government.

Sec. 4. Congress may hereafter divide it into two districts.Be it further enacted, That the territory hereby constituted one district for the purposes of government, may at the discretion of Congress be hereafter divided into two districts, with separate territorial governments in each, similar to that established by this act.

Sec. 5. Saving of the right of Georgia and of individuals to the jurisdiction of soil thereof.Be it further enacted, That the establishment of this government shall in no respect impair the right of the state of Georgia, or of any person or persons either to the jurisdiction or the soil of the said territory, but the rights and claims of the said state and of all persons interested, are hereby declared to be as firm and available, as if this act had never been made.

Sec. 6. The people of this territory to be entitled to certain rights, &c.And be it further enacted, That from and after the establishment of the said government, the people of the aforesaid territory, shall be entitled to and enjoy all and singular the rights, privileges and advantages granted to the people of the territory of the United States, northwest of the river Ohio, in and by the aforesaid ordinance of the thirteenth day of July, in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, in as full and ample a manner as the same are possessed and enjoyed by the people of the said last mentioned territory.

Sec. 7. Penalty on the importation of slaves from foreign parts.And be it further enacted, That from and after the establishment of the aforesaid government, it shall not be lawful for any person or persons to import or bring into the said Mississippi territory, from any port or place, without the limits of the United States, or to cause or procure to be so imported or brought, or knowingly to aid or assist in so importing or bringing any slave or slaves, and that every person so offending, and being thereof convicted before any court within the said territory, having competent jurisdiction, shall forfeit and pay, for each and every slave so imported or brought, the sum of three hundred dollars; one moiety for the use of the United States, and the other moiety for the use of any person or persons who shall sue for the same; and that every slave, so imported or brought, shall thereupon become entitled to, and receive his or her freedom.

Sec. 8. $10,000 appropriated for carrying the act into effect.And be it further enacted, That the sum of ten thousand dollars be, and hereby is appropriated, for the purpose of enabling the President of the United States to carry into effect the provisions of this act; and that the said sum be paid out of any monies in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.

Approved, April 7, 1798.