|Pages 545-553||Pages 566-575|
| Report of commissioners, extending
Mason's and Dixon's line, and
fixing the south-west corner
| Report of commissioners extending Mason's and
Dixon's line, and fixing the south west corner of Pennsylvania. |
|[ This is an important paper, as it is the only one which ascertains the southern boundary of Pennsylvania, and fixes the south-west corner, in conformity with the agreement of the commissioners of the states of Pennsylvania and Virginia, of the 31st of August, 1779. (See vol 10, pa. 533.) The report of the commissioners, of the 23d August, 1785, published in the Revised Code of 1819,vol. 1, pa. 52, merely relates to the running of a line "from the south-west corner of Pennsylvania," northward to the Ohio, for the western boundary; but how the commissioners got to the southwest corner, no where appears, without reference to this document. For a connected series of the most important papers on this subject, see 1 Rev. Code of 1819, ch. 16, pa. 51 −− Hening's Stat. at Large, vol. 10, pa. 520 to 533, this paper, and 1 vol. Rev. Code of 1819, ch. 17, pa. 52.|
|SIR−−In consequence of the commission received from the hon. the executive for the purpose of establishing the boundary in dispute between Virginia and Pennsylvania, we have the honour to report, that the five degrees of longitude claimed by the state of Pennsylvania, have been determined with great astronomical precision; that Mason's and Dixon's line has been continued to the limit of those five degrees, and consequently, that the south west corner of Pennsylvania is finally settled; but, that the running of the meridian line, on account of the severity of the season, was postponed until a more convenient opportunity.|
|We are, sir, your most ob't serv'ts,|
| December 16th, 1784.|
His excellency the Governour.
| Pennsylvania |
|Agreeably to the commission given by the state of Pennsylvania to John Ewing, David Rittenhouse, John Lukens, and Thomas Hutchins, and by the state of Virginia to James Madison, Robert Andrews, John Page, and Andrew Ellicott, to determine by astronomical observations the extent of five degrees of longitude west from the river Delaware in the latitude of Mason's and Dixon's line, and to run and mark the boundaries which are common to both states, according to an agreement entered into by commissioners from the said two states at Baltimore in 1779, and afterwards ratified by their respective assemblies; we, the underwritten commissioners, together with the gentlemen with whom we are joined in commission, have by corresponding astronomical observations, made near the Delaware and in the western country, ascertained the extent of the said five degrees of longitude: And the underwritten commissioners have continued Mason's and Dixon's line to the termination of the said five degrees of longitude, by which work the southern boundary of Pennsylvania is completed. The continuation we have marked by opening vistas over the most remarkable heights which lie in its course, and by planting on many of these heights in the parallel of latitude, the true boundary, posts marked with the letters P & V, each letter facing the state of which it is the initial. At the extremity of this line, which is the south west corner of the state of Pennsylvania, we have planted a squared unlettered white oak post, around whose base we raised a pile of stones. The corner is in the last vista we cut, on the east side of a hill, one hundred and thirty four chains and nine links east of the meridian of the western observatory, and two chains and fifty four links west of a deep narrow valley thro' which the said last vista is cut. At the distance of fifty one links and bearing from it north twenty three degrees east stands a white oak marked on the south side with three notches, and bearing south twelve degrees west, and at the distance of twenty nine links stands a black oak marked on the north side with four notches.|
|The advanced season of the year and the inclemency of the weather have obliged us to suspend our operations:|
|but we have agreed to meet again at the south west corner of Pennsylvania on the sixteenth day of next May, to complete the object of our commission. Given under our hands and seals, in the county of Washington in Pennsylvania, this 18th day of November, 1784.|| Half pay.|
Half Pay and Commutation.
|Half-pay for life, was promised by the laws of Virginia, to the generals, field officers, captains, subalterns, chaplains, physicians, surgeons, and surgeon's mates, on continental establishment, or serving in the battalions for the immediate defence of this stated, who should continue to serve to the end of the war, or become supernumerary on the reduction of any of the battalions, and should again enter into the service, if required so to do, in the same or any higher rank, and countinue therein until the end of the war, to commence from the determination of their command or service. (See act of May, 1779, ch. 6, vol 10, pa. 25, October, 1780, ch. 27, vol. 10, pa. 374.) For the laws respecting half pay to officers in the state line, and navy, see November, 1781, ch. 19, vol. 10, pa. 467. May 1782, ch. 47, sec. 13, ante pa. 85. May 1782, ch. 41, ante pa. 170. May, 1783, ch. 22, ante pa. 265. October 1790, ch. 21.||Half pay promised by Virginia, May 1779, &c.|
|The resolutions of congress, on the subject of half-pay, are the following.|
|October 21st, 1780. "Resolved, that the officers who shall continue in the service to the end of the war, shall be entitled to half pay during life, to commence from the time of their reduction."||Half pay promised by congress, Oct. 21 1780.|
|January, 27th, 1781. "Resolved that all officers in the hospital department and medical staff, hereinafter mentioned, who shall continue in service to the end of|
|the war, or be reduced before that time, as supernumaries, shall be entitled to, and receive, during life, in lieu of half-pay, the following allowances, viz.|| Commutation.|
|The director of the hospital equal to the half-pay of a lieutenant colonel.|
|Chief physicians and surgeons of the army and hospitals, and hospital physicians and surgeons, purveyor, apothecary, and regimental surgeons; each equal to the half pay of a captain.|
|The commutation of five years full pay, for the half pay for life, which had been promised by congress, arose from a memorial presented by the officers, on the continental establishment, under the immediate command of general Washington. Officer in other departments of the army were allowed to make their election, within certain specified periods, to be signified to congress through their commander in chief. As the engagements of congress applied to the continental establishment only, it follows that the state troops were not included in the above modification of the contract; but they were left to the provisions of half-pay, promised by the laws of the state.|
|IN CONGRESS, MARCH 22, 1783.||In congress, March 22, 1783.|
|On the rrport of a committe, consisting of Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Dyer, and Mr. Bedford, to whom was referred a motion of Mr. Dyer, together with the memorial of the officers of the army, and the report of the committee thereon; congress came to the following resolutions:|
|Whereas the officers of the several lines under the immediate command of his excellency general Washington, did, by their late memorial, transmitted by their committee, represent to congress, that the half pay granted by sundry resolutions, was regarded in an unfavorable light by the citizens of some of these states, who would prefer a compensation for a limited term of years, or by a sum in gross, to an establishment for life, and did, on that account, solicit a commutation of their half pay for an equivalent in one to the two modes above mentioned, in order to remove all subject of dissatisfaction from|| Half pay viewed in an unfavourable light, &c.
|The minds of their fellow citizens: And whereas congress are desirous, as well of gratifying the reasonable expectations of the officers of the army, as of removing all objections which may exist, in any part of the United States, to the principle of the half pay establishment, for which the faith of the United States hath been pledged; persuaded that those objections can only arise from the nature of the compensation, not from any indisposition to compensate those, whose services, sacrifices, and sufferings, have so just a title to the approbation and rewards of their country:|| |
Half pay, pensions, &c.
|Therefore, resolved, That such officers as are now in service, and shall continue therein to the end of the war, shall be entitled to receive the amount of five years full pay in money, or securities on interest at six per cent. per annum as congress shall find most convenient, instead of the half pay promised for life by the resolution of the twenty-first day of October, one thousand seven hundred and eighty, the said securities to be such as shall be given to other creditors of the United States: provided, it be at the option of the lines of the respective states, and not of officers, individually, in those lines, to accept or refuse the same; and provided also, that their election shall be signified to congress through the commander in chief, from the lines under his immediate command, within two months, and through the commanding officer of the southern army, from those under his command, within six months, from the date of this resolution:||Five years full pay, in lieu of half pay for life.|
|That the same commutation shall extend to the corps not belonging to the lines of particular states, and who are entitled to half pay for life, as aforesaid: the acceptance or refusal to be determined by corps, and to be signified in the same manner, and within the same time, as above mentioned:||The same commutation to corps not belonging to lines of particular states, &c.|
|That all officers belonging to the hospital department, who are entitled to half pay, by the resolution of the seventeenth day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty one, may, collectively, agree to accept or refuse the aforesaid commutation, signifying the same through the commander in chief, within six months from this time: that such officers as have retired at different periods, entitled to half pay for life, may, collectively, in each state of which they are inhabitants, accept or refuse the same; their acceptance or refusal||Officers belonging to the hospital department, and such as have retired, &c may accept or refuse.|
|to be signified by agents authorized for that purpose, within six months from this period: that with respect to such retiring officers, the commutation, if accepted by them, shall be in lieu of whatever may now be due to them since the time of their retiring from service, as well as of what might hereafter become due; and that so soon as their acceptance shall be signified, the superintendant of finance be, and he is hereby directed to take measures for the settlement of their accounts accordingly, and to issue to them certificates, bearing interest at six per cent. That all officers entitled to half pay for life, not included in the preceding resolution, may also, collectively, agree to accept or refuse the aforesaid commutation, signifying the same within six months from this time.|| Commutation |
Digest of Laws, on the subject of
|[ The resolutions of congress, under the confederation, and the laws of Virginia, on the subject of land-bounties, being dispersed through a number of volumes, some of which are of difficult access, it has been deemed important to bring into one view all the resolutions and laws which bear upon the subject.||Land bounties.|
|Congress, by their resolutions of the 16th and 18th of September, 1776, and the 12th of August and 22d of September, 1780, stipulated grants of land to the officers and soldiers of the continental army, and to certain officers in the hospital department. At that period, congress had no land at their disposal; and would have been compelled to purchase lands to make good their contracts, had it not been for the liberality of the states: For, the same resolution which promises the bounty, expressly declares, that such lands are to be provided by the United States, and whatever expense shall be necessary to procure such lands, shall be paid and borne by the states in the same proportion as the other expenses of the war.|
The resolutions of congress of the 16th of September, 1776, above referred to, provide for the raising of eighty-eight battalions, to serve for the war. -- IN addition to a money bounty to twenty dollars to each noncommissioned officer and private soldier, it was resolved, "that congress make provision for granting lands, in the following proportions, to the officers and soldiers who shall engage in the service, and continue therein to the close of the war, or until discharged by congress, and to the representatives of such officers and soldiers, as shall be slain by the enemy.
|U. States' land bounty.|
|"Such lands to be provided by the United States, and whatever expense shall be necessary to procure such land, the said expense shall be paid and borne by the states, in the same proportion as the other expenses of the war, viz.||1776, Sep. 16|
| On the 18th of September, 1776, the following resolutions were
"That the bounty and grants of land offered by congress, by a resolution of the 16th instant, as an encouragement to the officers and soldiers to engage to serve in the army of the United States during the war, shall extend to all who are, or shall be, enlisted for that term; the bounty of ten dollars, which any of the soldiers have received from the continent, on account of a former enlistment, to be reckoned in part payment of the twenty dollars offered by the said resolution.
"That no officer in the continental army be allowed to hold more than one commission, or to receive pay but in one capacity, at the same time."
|1776, Sep. 18|
| The resolution of the 12th of August, 1780, referred to, is in the
"That the provision for granting lands, by the resolution of September 16th, he and is hereby extended to the general officers, in the following proportion:
|1780, Aug. 12|
| Land-Bounties |
1780, Aug. 22
| With respect to the resolution of the 22d of September, 1780, the
following appears on the journals of congress: |
"Congress resumed the consideration of the report of the committee on the medical department; and, on the consideration of the following paragraph, viz:
"That the several officers, whose pay is established as above, except the clerks and stewards, shall, at the end of the war, be entitled, to a certain provision of land, in the proportion following, to wit:
The director to have the same quantity as a brigadier general; chief physicians and purveyor, the same as a colonel; physicians and surgeons, and apothecary, the same as a lieutenant colonel; regimental surgeons and assistants to the purveyor and apothecary, the same as a major; hospital and regimental surgeons' mates, the same as a captain."
|In the preamble to an act of October, 1776, for raising six additional regiments (then called battalions) on the continental establishment, the resolutions of congress, offering a land-bounty, are recited. (See vol. 9, pa. 179.) By an act of October, 1778, for speedily recruiting the Virginia regiments on continental establishment, besides other inducements to enlist for three years, or during the war, the continental bounty of lands is expressly stipulated. (See vol. 9, pa. 588, 589.)|| Oct. 1776, ch. 11.|
Oct. 1778, ch. 45
|By act of May, 1779, chap. VI, "concerning officers, soldiers, and marines," a bounty of 100 acres is promised to each private at the end of the war, and to the offices the like quantity as is allowed to officers of the same rank, in the Virginia regiments on continental established. (See vol. 10, pa. 24.) By the same law 200 acres are given to each volunteer soldier who served under Col. George Rogers Clarke, until the reduction of the posts in the Illinois country, (Ibid, pa. 26,) and to each soldier who should re-enlist||May 1779, ch. 6.|
|for the protection of the Illinois country, 100 acres, (Ibid, pa. 27,) and the like quantity to each trooper of cavalry, who should enlist for the war, for the defence of the eastern frontier. (See vol. 10, pa. 27.) A quantity of land, not exceeding 150,000 acres, was reserved to satisfy the offices and soldiers, under Col. George Rogers Clarke, in our cession of the North Western Territory. (See vol. 10, pa. 565.) Note. -- The above act of May, 1779, chap. VI, was taken from the Revised Bills, presented to the Legislature, at that session, by Thomas Jefferson, esq. then governor, who was one of the revisors. In its passage through the parliamentary forms, it doubtless received some additions, particularly in relation to Col. George Rogers Clarke, his officers, and men. When the collection of the Revised Bills reported in 1779, was printed in 1784, the title of this only, "A bill for the enlistment of soldiers, sailors and marines," was printed, with the following note: "This was a bill designed to answer a temporary and occasional purpose, during the war, and was incorporated into a law in the May session, 1779, entitled, 'An act concerning officers, soldiers, sailors, and mariners.' It is now expired, and was deemed unnecessary to be here inserted.;" (See Revised Bills of 1779, chap. XV, pa. 12) In the Chancellors' Revisal, printed in 1785, this act is omitted, the title only being published, with a note in the margin "Executed." (See Chan. Rev. pa. 89.)|| Land Bounties.|
|The act of May 1779, ch. 13, sec. 2, prescribes the evidence on which warrants for land bounties shall issue. (See vol. 10, pa. 51.) By act of May, 1782, ch. 47, sec. 8, it was declared that those warrants should be granted, upon producing to the register, a certificate from the Commissioner of War, and not otherwise. (See ante pa. 83, 84.) But by act of October, 1782, ch. 14, the office of Commissioner of War, was abolished, and the duties transferred to the Executive. (See ante pa. 133.) Ever since that period, certificates for land-bounties have issued by orders of the Executive. −− By act of 1815, ch. 12, the executive are authorised to allow claims for land bounty, where satisfactory evidence is adduced that the party is entitled; which, indeed, had been the practice long before, from the impossibility of complying with the requisitions of the former law.|| May 1779, ch. 13, sec. 2.|
May 1782, ch. 17, sec. 3.
Oct'r 1782, ch. 14.
On what evidence and by whom certificates and warrants for land bounties shall be issued.
|By the act of May, 1779, ch. 13, sec. 3, referring to a resolution of the General Assembly of the 19th of December, 1778, a tract of country, bounded by the Green river, the Cumberland mountains, the Carolina line, the Tennessee river and the Ohio river, was reserved for the officers and soldiers. (See vol. 10, p. 55, 56.) A considerable part of this territory having fallen into North Carolina, by the extension of the boundary line between that state and Virginia, a further tract of land, included within the rivers Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee, and the Carolina boundary line, was substituted, by the act of November, 1781, ch 19, sec 8. in lieu of that so fallen into North Carolina. −− By the same act, sec. 9, provision is made for surveying their lands: (further provision by deputation of officers, Oct. 1783, ch. 4, ante pa. 309.) −− Sec. 12, declares that the bounties in lands given to the officers in the Virginia line, in continental service, and the regulations for surveying, shall be extended to the state officers −− Sec. 13, gives the cavalry the same advantages as the infantry −− and sec. 14 entitles the offices and seamen of the navy to the same advantages as those in the land service. (See vol. 10, pa. 465, 466, 467.) −− But the act of Oct. 1782, (ante pa. 162) is more explicit, as to the navy, and declares that the "officers, seamen and marines, and their representatives, shall be entitled to the same bounty in lands and other emoluments as the officers and soldiers of the Virginia line on continental establishment."|| May, 1779, ch. 13, sec. 3.|
Nov 1781, ch. 19, sec. 8, 9, 12, 13, 14.
Oct. 1782, ch. 34, sec 3.
Reservation of lands for officers and soldiers.
Rights of states troops.
|The resolution of the 2d of January, 1781, for ceding the North Western Territory to the United States, provides, "That in case the quantity of good lands of the south east side of the Ohio upon the waters of Cumberland river and between the Green river and the Tennessee river, which have been reserved by law for the Virginia troops upon continental establishment, and upon their own state establishment, should (from the North Carolina line bearing in further upon the Cumberland lands than was expected) prove insufficient for their legal bounties, the deficiency shall be made up to the said troops in good lands to be laid off between the rivers Scioto and little Miamis, on the north west side of the river Ohio, in such proportions as have been engaged to them by the laws of Virginia." (See vol. 10, pa. 565.) In the copy of this resolution made for|
|the governor, to be sent by him to our delegates in congress, the words and upon their own state establishment, it is presumed, were accidentally omitted. (See the note to page 565 of vol. 10, and the note to the deed of cession, in a subsequent part of this volume.)|| Land-Bounties.|
|By the act of October, 1779, chapter 9, the bounty in lands, to chaplains, surgeons, and surgeon's mates, serving three years, or during the war, is declared to be equal to commissioned officers, receiving the same pay and rations. (See vol. 10. pa. 141.)|| Oct. 1779 ch. 9.|
Chaplain's, surgeons, and surgeon's mates.
|As to the quantity of land, the act of October 1779, ch. 21, sect. 2, seems to have been the first law which fixed, with precision, the proportions of the officers and soldiers; on the continental and state establishments, and in the navy. (See vol. 10, pa. 160.) They are as follow:|| Oct.1779,ch.21, sec. 2.|
Quantity of land allowed officers and soldiers, in the land service and navy.
| * This allowance of 300
acres of land, to soldiers, who should serve to the end of the war, having been overlooked, in
practice has given rise to many conjectures. It has been supposed either that the law had been
repealed, or that as the provision contained in the same clause, for granting a negro, or sixty
pounds at the option of the soldier, had never been demanded, some other law had been passed,
which superseded this act. To these objections, it may be answered,|
I. That no law repealing that of October 1780, ch. 3, giving the bounty of 300 acres of land, can be found on our statute book. On the contrary, an act of the next session (March, 1781, ch. 2,) expressly recognizes it as being in force, and gives further time for carrying some of its provisions, which were executory, into effect. Indeed it cannot be conceived how a law vesting such absolute rights, could be repealed. 2. The depreciation of paper money was so great, at this period, that it was no longer an inducement to offer it. The negro, or the sixty pounds was intended to make good the pay; the land was a gratuity, a bounty. By a subsequent law (November 1781, ch. 19) reciting the depreciation of paper money, and expressing the disposition of the legislature to do justice to the officers and soldiers, their whole pay is made good from the 1st of January 1777, thus superseding the act of October, 1780 as to the pay, but not as to the bounty.
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