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The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States

Durrie, D. S.
The public domain,   pp. [210]-230 PDF (10.1 MB)

Page 213

                                     THE 'PUBLIC DOMAIN.                
      All the claiming states finally ceded their interests to the general
government, giving the
  latter a perfect title, subject only to the rights of the Indians. The
deed of cession from Virginia
  was dated March I, 1784. The other states ceded their claims, some before
this date, others
  subsequent thereto.
      Virginia made a number of stipulations in her deed of cession; among
others, that the
 French and Canadian inhabitants and the neighboring villages who had professed
 citizens of Virginia, should have their possessions and title confirmed
to them, and be protected in
 the enjoyment of their rights and liberties; thP.t 15O,OOO acres of land
near the rapids of the Ohio,
 should be reserved for that portion of her state troops which had reduced
the country; and about
 3,5oo,ooo acres between the rivers Scioto and Little Miami be reserved for
bounties to her troops
 on the continental establishment.
      In consequence of certain objectionable stipulations made by Virginia
as to the division of
 the territory into states, the deed of cession was referred back to that
state with a recommenda-
 tion from congress that these stipulations should be altered. On the 3oth
of December, 1788,
 Virginia assented to the wish of congress, and formally ratified and confirmed
the fifth article of
 compact which related to that subject, and tacitly gave her consent to the
whole ordinance of 1787.
 The provisions of this ordinance have since been applied to all the territories
of the United
 States lying north of the 36Q 40'. After the adoption of the constitution
of the United States the
 the new congress, among its earliest acts, passed one, recognizing the binding
force of the ordi-
 nance of 1787.
      Of this ordinance it has been said:, "It was based on the principles
of civil liberty, maintained
 in the magna charta of England, re-enacted in the bill of rights, and incorporated
in our differ-
 ent state constitutions. It was the fundamental law of the constitution,
so to speak, of the great
 northwest, upon which were based, and with which harmonized all our territorial
enactments, as"
 well as our subsequent state legislation, and, moreover, it is to that wise,
statesman-like document
 that we are indebted for much of our prosperity and greatness."
     After the close of the revolutionary war, enterprising individuals traversed
the whole country
 which had been ceded to the government, and companies were formed to explore
and settle the
 fertile and beautiftil lands beyond the Ohio; but the determination of the
British cabinet not to
 evacuate the western posts, was well known, and had its effect on the people
who were disposed
 to make settlements.
     The western tribes were also dissatisfied and threatened war, and efforts
were made by the
government to settle the difficulties. A grand council was held at the mouth
of Detroit river
in December, 1787, which did not result favorably, and two treaties were
subsequently held,
which were not respected by the savages who were parties to them. Soon an
Indian war ensued,
ihich resulted at first disastrously to the American troops under Generals
Harmar and St. Clair,
but finally with success to the American arms under General Wayne. The treaty
of Greenville
followed. It was concluded August 3, 1795. At this treaty therewere present
eleven hundred
and thirty chiefs and warriors. It was signed by eighty-four chiefs and General
Anthony Wayne,
sole commissioner of the United States.   One of the provisions of the treaty
was'that in consid-
eration of'the peace then established, and the cessions and relinquishments
of lands made by the
tribes of Indians, and to manifest the liberality of the United States as
the great means of render-
ing this peace strong and perpetual, the United States relinquished their
claims to all other
Indian lands northward of the river Ohio, eastward of the Mississippi, and
westward and south-
ward of the great lakes and the waters united by them, except certain reservations
and portions
before purchased of the Indians, none of which were within the present limits
of this state. The
Indian title to the whole of what is now Wisconsin, subject only to certain
restrictions, became.

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