Ordinance of 1785

Ordinance of 1785

Thomas Jefferson was acutely aware of the great potential benefits offered by lands in the West. Jefferson had earlier offered a systematic means to prepare new areas for statehood in his Ordinance of 1784. In the following year, he directed his attention to designing a system for surveying the lands that might avoid the pitfalls of earlier methods of determining boundaries.Many landowners in the original states had become embroiled in ownership disputes because their property lines were defined in terms of rocks, streams and trees — any of which could disappear or be moved. Early land ownership maps appeared to be jigsaw puzzles.Jefferson’s proposal was much more orderly. The basic unit of ownership was to be the township — a six-mile square or 36 square miles. (Jefferson had actually favored townships of 10-mile squares, but Congress believed those plots would be too large and difficult to sell.) Each township was to be divided into 36 sections, each a one-mile square or 640 acres.A north-south line of townships was to be known as a range.Borrowing from a New England practice, the Ordinance also provided that Section 16 in each township was to be reserved for the benefit of Public Education. All other sections were to be made available to the public at auction.The Ordinance provided that sections be offered to the public at the minimum bidding price of one dollar per acre or a total of $640. The meager treasury of the Confederation sorely needed every dollar it could find.The Ordinance of 1785 was landmark legislation. Future legislation would keep the basic system intact, but reduce the minimum acreage requirement.A revision of the statehood provisions for the Northwest came in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.


Northwest Ordinance

The Northwest Ordinance (formally An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States, North-West of the River Ohio, and also known as The Ordinance of 1787) enacted July 13, 1787, was an organic act of the Congress of the Confederation of the United States. It created the Northwest Territory, the new nation's first organized incorporated territory, from lands beyond the Appalachian Mountains, between British North America and the Great Lakes to the north and the Ohio River to the south. The upper Mississippi River formed the territory's western boundary. Pennsylvania was the eastern boundary.

In the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which formally ended the American Revolutionary War, Great Britain yielded the region to the United States. However, the Confederation Congress faced numerous problems gaining control of the land such as the unsanctioned movement of American settlers into the Ohio Valley violent confrontations with the region's indigenous peoples the ongoing presence of the British Army, which continued to occupy forts in the region and an empty U.S. treasury. [1] The ordinance superseded the Land Ordinance of 1784, which declared that states would one day be formed within the region, and the Land Ordinance of 1785, which described how the Confederation Congress would sell the land to private citizens. Designed to serve as a blueprint for the development and settlement of the region, the 1787 ordinance lacked a strong central government to implement it. That need was addressed shortly by the U.S. federal government formed in 1789. The First Congress reaffirmed the 1787 ordinance and, with slight modifications, renewed it by the Northwest Ordinance of 1789. [2]

Considered one of the most important legislative acts of the Confederation Congress, [3] it established the precedent by which the federal government would be sovereign and expand westward with the admission of new states, rather than with the expansion of existing states and their established sovereignty under the Articles of Confederation. It also set legislative precedent with regard to American public domain lands. [4] The U.S. Supreme Court recognized the authority of the Northwest Ordinance of 1789 within the applicable Northwest Territory as constitutional in Strader v. Graham, [5] but it did not extend the ordinance to cover the respective states once they were admitted to the Union.

The prohibition of slavery in the territory had the practical effect of establishing the Ohio River as the geographic divide between slave states and free states from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River, an extension of the Mason–Dixon line. It also helped set the stage for later federal political conflicts over slavery during the 19th century until the American Civil War.


  • According to the text, what were the key tasks surveyors needed to do to fulfill the land ordinance?
  • What suggestions does the text give to surveyors in marking lines?
  • How were the surveyors and geographers to make certain they marked straight lines?

United States Continental Congress, King, Rufus & William Samuel Johnson, "A n ordinance for ascertaining the mode of disposing of lands in the Western Territory: Be it ordained by the United States in Congress assembled, that the territory ceded by individual states to the United States, which has been purchased of the Indian inhabitants, shall be disposed of in the following manner," 18 May 1785. Courtesy of Library of Congress


Ordinance of 1785 - History

Passed by the Congress of the Confederation on May 20, 1785, this is considered one of the most important legislative acts in American history.

In 1780, the original 13 states began to cede their claims to land between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River. At the same time, a debate developed over how to dispose of those lands once they were acquired by the federal government. Some people believed that the lands should be surveyed into uniform units before sale, while others thought that individual speculators should be able to make their claims as they saw fit. The Ordinance of 1785 was a compromise solution.

The ordinance decreed that the federal government would survey the lands into individual townships, each of which was to be six miles square. These townships would then be subdivided into 36 lots of 640 acres (one square mile) each. These lots could then be further subdivided into rectangular units. Once this had been completed, the townships were to be sold at public auction for not less than $1 an acre. The ordinance also contained a provision setting aside one lot in each township to provide funds to maintain public schools.

As the United States acquired further territory -- as in the case of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 -- the ordinance was applied to these new lands, until eventually its jurisdiction stretched to the Pacific Ocean.

The first federal survey of Western lands was conducted in 1781 in eastern Ohio by Thomas Hutchinson. That survey produced the map below.


An effect of the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 was that the United States nearly doubled in size Othe practice of slavery spread to the North. Oexplorers searched for a water route across the continent Oconflict increased between settlers and American Indians​

The Ordinance of 1785 put the 1784 resolution in operation by providing a mechanism for selling and settling the land, while the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 addressed political needs. The 1785 ordinance laid the foundations of land policy until passage of the Homestead Act in 1862

Explanation: It created a system for admitting states, banned slavery in the N.W., it created a system for governing the territories and gave settlers rights. You just studied 2 terms!

An effect of the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 was that conflict increased between settlers and American Indians.

The Northwest Ordinance formally was An Command for the Government of the Province of the United States, North-West of the River Ohio, and also acknowledged as The Ordinance of 1787) established July 13, 1787, was an essential act of the Congress of the Confederation of the United States.

In the Treaty of Paris (1783), which concluded the American Revolutionary War, Great Britain relinquished this territory to the United States. Nevertheless, the Confederation Congress encountered various problems increasing restriction of the land these incorporated: the unsanctioned demonstration of American immigrants into the Ohio Valley, extreme encounters with the region's domestic peoples, the continuing occupation of the British Army which proceeded to interlock reinforcements in the area, and an abandoned U.S. treasury.

The statute succeeded the Land Ordinance of 1784 which indicated that states would one day be trained within the region and the Land Ordinance of 1785. Devised to assist as a blueprint for the expansion and compensation of the country, what the 1787 ordinance lacked was a powerful central administration to execute it.

1. According to the Supreme Court, which of these most likely prompted the arrest of the protesters in Edwards vs. South Carolina?

2. What is the proper order for how a bill passes through the house?

Topic: Land Ordinance 1785

Land Ordinance, indicated, trained, device, administration, interlock, reinforcement, treasury, demonstration, immigrants, encounters.


Did you know.

  • The township and section system was orderly, ensuring buyers a guaranteed title to specific pieces of land, but it also had drawbacks. The system forced settlers to buy bad land with good land, whatever was within a block. It also set up too much of a structured community for some independent-minded settlers. The "metes and bounds" system, although it often led to boundary disputes, allowed settlers to buy only land they deemed to be of good quality and that they marked off themselves. It also made for a more freewheeling frontier with creative boundaries.
  • By the mid-1790s, settlers outpaced the surveyors. Settlers chose land before the land was surveyed and set their property boundaries by "metes and bounds." On twenty-first-century land survey maps of counties and states, these properties appear as rambling parcels of land at the core of a community. They are surrounded by square parcels, land that the surveyors reached before settlers could claim it.
  • The family of the sixteenth U.S. president, Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865 served 1861–65), lived on a Kentucky farm that was established under the "metes and bounds" system. When Lincoln was still a young boy, the family was uprooted from the property after Lincoln's father lost a legal dispute over the property's boundaries. In 1816, the family resettled in Indiana on land with clear boundaries that had been surveyed under the township system set out in the Land Ordinance of 1785.

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Samuel Johnston
Elected but declined the office

*Republican Party - - the political Party organized by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in 1791 that went out of existence over the schism between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. Today, for the sake of expediency, political scientists incorrectly refer to it as the Democratic-Republican Party. Party Members at the time never utilized the name Democratic-Republican because it was the Republican Party.


History Club – Old

An Ordinance for ascertaining the mode of disposing of Lands in the Western Territory.

Be it ordained by the United States in Congress assembled, that the territory ceded by individual States to the United States, which has been purchased of the Indian inhabitants, shall be disposed of in the following manner:

A surveyor from each state shall be appointed by Congress, or a committee of the States, who shall take an Oath for the faithful discharge of his duty, before the Geographer of the United States, who is hereby empowered and directed to administer the same and the like oath shall be administered to each chain carrier, by the surveyor under whom he acts.

The Geographer, under whose direction the surveyors shall act, shall occasionally form such regulations for their conduct, as he shall deem necessary and shall have authority to suspend them for misconduct in Office, and shall make report of the same to Congress or to the Committee of the States and he shall make report in case of sickness, death, or resignation of any surveyor.

The Surveyors, as they are respectively qualified, shall proceed to divide the said territory into townships of six miles square, by lines running due north and south, and others crossing these at right angles, as near as may be, unless where the boundaries of the late Indian purchases may render the same impracticable, and then they shall depart from this rule no farther than such particular circumstances may require and each surveyor shall be allowed and paid at the rate of two dollars for every mile, in length, he shall run, including the wages of chain carriers, markers, and every other expense attending the same.

The first line, running north and south as aforesaid, shall begin on the river Ohio, at a point that shall be found to be due north from the western termination of a line, which has been run as the southern boundary of the state of Pennsylvania and the first line, running east and west, shall begin at the same point, and shall extend throughout the whole territory. Provided, that nothing herein shall be construed, as fixing the western boundary of the state of Pennsylvania. The geographer shall designate the townships, or fractional parts of townships, by numbers progressively from south to north always beginning each range with number one and the ranges shall be distinguished by their progressive numbers to the westward. The first range, extending from the Ohio to the lake Erie, being marked number one. The geographer shall personally attend to the running of the first east and west line and shall take the latitude of the extremes of the first north and south line, and of the mouths of the principal rivers.

The lines shall be measured with a chain shall be plainly marked by chaps on the trees and exactly described on a plat whereon shall be noted by the surveyor, at their proper distances, all mines, salt springs, salt licks and mill seats, that shall come to his knowledge, and all water courses, mountains and other remarkable and permanent things, over and near which such lines shall pass, and also the quality of the lands.

The plats of the townships respectively, shall be marked by subdivisions into lots of one mile square, or 640 acres, in the same direction as the external lines, and numbered from 1 to 36 always beginning the succeeding range of the lots with the number next to that with which the preceding one concluded. And where, from the causes before mentioned, only a fractional part of a township shall be surveyed, the lots protracted thereon, shall bear the same numbers as if the township had been entire. And the surveyors, in running the external lines of the townships, shall, at the interval of every mile, mark corners for the lots which are adjacent, always designating the same in a different manner from those of the townships.

The geographer and surveyors shall pay the utmost attention to the variation of the magnetic needle and shall run and note all lines by the true meridian, certifying, with every plat, what was the variation at the times of running the lines thereon noted.

As soon as seven ranges of townships, and fractional parts of townships, in the direction from south to north, shall have been surveyed, the geographer shall transmit plats thereof to the board of treasury, who shall record the same with the report, in well bound books to be kept for that purpose. And the geographer shall make similar returns, from time to time, of every seven ranges as they may be surveyed. The Secretary at War shall have recourse thereto, and shall take by lot therefrom, a number of townships, and fractional parts of townships, as well from those to be sold entire as from those to be sold in lots, as will be equal to one seventh part of the whole of such seven ranges, as nearly as may be, for the use of the late continental army and he shall make a similar draught , from time to time, until a sufficient quantity is drawn to satisfy the same, to be applied in manner hereinafter directed. The board of treasury shall, from time to time, cause the remaining numbers, as well those to be sold entire, as those to be sold in lots, to be drawn for, in the name of the thirteen states respectively, according to the quotas in the last preceding requisition on all the states provided, that in case more land than its proportion is allotted for sale, in any state, at any distribution, a deduction be made therefore at the next.

The board of treasury shall transmit a copy of the original plats, previously noting thereon, the townships, and fractional parts of townships, which shall have fallen to the several states, by the distribution aforesaid, to the Commissioners of the loan office of the several states, who, after giving notice of not less than two nor more than six months by causing advertisements to be posted up at the court houses, or other noted places in every county, and to be inserted in one newspaper, published in the states of their residence respectively, shall proceed to sell the townships, or fractional parts of townships, at public vendue, in the following manner, viz.: The township, or fractional part of a township, N 1, in the first range, shall be sold entire and N 2, in the same range, by lots and thus in alternate order through the whole of the first range. The township, or fractional part of a township, N 1, in the second range, shall be sold by lots and N 2, in the same range, entire and so in alternate order through the whole of the second range and the third range shall be sold in the same manner as the first, and the fourth in the same manner as the second, and thus alternately throughout all the ranges provided, that none of the lands, within the said territory, be sold under the price of one dollar the acre, to be paid in specie, or loan office certificates, reduced to specie value, by the scale of depreciation, or certificates of liquidated debts of the United States, including interest, besides the expense of the survey and other charges thereon, which are hereby rated at thirty six dollars the township, in specie or certificates as aforesaid, and so in the same proportion for a fractional part of a township, or of a lot, to be paid at the time of sales on failure of which payment the said lands shall again be offered for sale.

There shall be reserved for the United States out of every township, the four lots, being numbered 8, 11, 26, 29, and out of every fractional part of a township, so many lots of the same numbers as shall be found thereon, for future sale. There shall be reserved the lot N 16, of every township, for the maintenance of public schools, within the said township also one third part of all gold, silver, lead and copper mines, to be sold, or otherwise disposed of as Congress shall hereafter direct.

When any township, or fractional part of a township, shall have been sold as aforesaid, and the money or certificates received therefore, the loan officer shall deliver a deed in the following terms:

The United States of America to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting:

Know ye, That for the consideration of [blank] dollars we have granted, and hereby do grant and confirm unto [blank] the township, (or fractional part of a township, as the case may be) numbered [blank] in the range [blank] excepting therefrom, and reserving one third part of all gold, silver, lead and copper mines within the same and the lots Ns 8, 11, 26, and 29, for future sale or disposition, and the lot N 16, for the maintenance of public schools. To have to the said [blank] his heirs and assigns for ever (or if more than one purchaser to the said [blank] their heirs and assigns for ever as tenants in Common.) In witness whereof, (A.B.) Commissioner of the loan office, in the State of [blank] hath, in conformity to the Ordinance passed by the United States in Congress assembled, the twentieth day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty five, hereunto set his hand and affixed his seal this [blank] day of [blank] in the year of our Lord [blank] and of the independence of the United States of America [blank].

And when any township, or fractional part of a township, shall be sold by lots as aforesaid, the Commissioner of the loan office shall deliver a deed therefore in the following form:

The United States of America to all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting:

Know ye, That for the consideration of [blank] dollars, we have granted, and hereby do grant and confirm unto [blank] the lot (or lots, as the case may be, in the township or fractional part of the township, as the case may be) numbered [blank] in the range [blank] excepting and reserving one third part of all gold, silver, lead and copper mines within the same, for future sale or disposition. To have to the said [blank] his heirs and assigns for ever (or if more than one purchaser, to the said [blank] their heirs and assigns for ever as tenants in common). In witness whereof, (A.B.) Commissioner of the continental loan office in the state of [blank] hath, in conformity to the Ordinance passed by the United States in Congress assembled, the twentieth day of May, in the year of our Lord 1785, hereunto set his hand and affixed his seal, this [blank] day of [blank] in the year of our Lord [blank] and of the independence of the United States of America [blank].

Which deeds shall be recorded in proper books by the commissioner of the loan office and shall be certified to have been recorded, previous to their being delivered to the purchaser, and shall be good and valid to convey the lands in the same described.

The commissioners of the loan offices respectively, shall transmit to the board of treasury every three months, an account of the townships, fractional parts of townships, and lots committed to their charge specifying therein the names of the persons to whom sold, and the sums of money or certificates received for the same and shall cause all certificates by them received, to be struck through with a circular punch and they shall be duly charged in the books of the treasury, with the amount of the moneys or certificates, distinguishing the same, by them received as aforesaid.

If any township, or fractional part of a township or lot, remains unsold for eighteen months after the plat shall have been received, by the commissioners of the loan office, the same shall be returned to the board of treasury, and shall be sold in such manner as Congress may hereafter direct.

And whereas Congress by their resolutions of September 16 and 18 in the year 1776, and the 12th of August, 1780, stipulated grants of land to certain officers and soldiers of the late continental army, and by the resolution of the 22d September, 1780, stipulated grants of land to certain officers in the hospital department of the late continental army for complying therefore with such engagements, Be it ordained, That the secretary at war, from the returns in his office, or such other evidence as the nature of the case may admit, determine who are the objects of the above resolutions and engagements, and the quantity of land to which such persons or their representatives are respectively entitled, and cause the townships, or fractional parts of townships, hereinbefore reserved for the use of the late continental army, to be drawn for in such manner as he shall deem expedient, to answer the purpose of an impartial distribution. He shall, from time to time, transmit certificates to the commissioners of the loan offices of the different states, to the lines of which the military claimants have respectively belonged, specifying the name and rank of the party, the terms of his engagement and time of his service, and the division, brigade, regiment or company to which he belonged, the quantity of land he is entitled to, and the township, or fractional part of a township, and range out of which his portion is to be taken.

The commissioners of the loan offices shall execute deeds for such undivided proportions in manner and form herein before-mentioned, varying only in such a degree as to make the same conformable to the certificate from the Secretary at War.

Where any military claimants of bounty in land shall not have belonged to the line of any particular state, similar certificates shall be sent to the board of treasury, who shall execute deeds to the parties for the same.

The Secretary at War, from the proper returns, shall transmit to the board of treasury, a certificate specifying the name and rank of the several claimants of the hospital department of the late continental army, together with the quantity of land each claimant is entitled to, and the township, or fractional part of a township, and range out of which his portion is to be taken and thereupon the board of treasury shall proceed to execute deeds to such claimants.

The board of treasury, and the commissioners of the loan offices in the states, shall, within 18 months, return receipts to the secretary at war, for all deeds which have been delivered, as also all the original deeds which remain in their hands for want of applicants, having been first recorded which deeds so returned, shall be preserved in the office, until the parties or their representatives require the same.

And be it further Ordained, That three townships adjacent to lake Erie be reserved, to be hereafter disposed of by Congress, for the use of the officers, men and others, refugees from Canada, and the refugees from Nova Scotia, who are or may be entitled to grants of land under resolutions of Congress now existing, or which may hereafter be made respecting them, and for such other purposes as Congress may hereafter direct.

And be it further Ordained, That the towns of Gnadenhutten, Schoenbrun and Salem, on the Muskingum, and so much of the lands adjoining to the said towns, with the buildings and improvements thereon, shall be reserved for the sole use of the Christian Indians, who were formerly settled there, or the remains of that society, as may, in the judgment of the geographer, be sufficient for them to cultivate.

Saving and reserving always, to all officers and soldiers entitled to lands on the northwest side of the Ohio, by donation or bounty from the commonwealth of Virginia, and to all persons claiming under them, all rights to which they are so entitled, under the deed of cession executed by the delegates for the state of Virginia, on the first day of March, 1784, and the act of Congress accepting the same: and to the end that the said rights may be fully and effectually secured, according to the true intent and meaning of the said deed of cession and act aforesaid, Be it Ordained, that no part of the land included between the rivers called little Miami and Sciota, on the northwest side of the river Ohio, be sold, or in any manner alienated, until there shall first have been laid off and appropriated for the said Officers and Soldiers, and persons claiming under them, the lands they are entitled to, agreeably to the said deed of cession and act of Congress accepting the same.

Done by the United States in Congress assembled, the 20th day of May, in the year of our Lord 1785, and of our sovereignty and independence the ninth.


Ordinance of 1785 - History

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and the Land Ordinance of 1785 were designed to establish some order among western settlers. The Land Ordinance prescribed the division of the land into six-mile-square townships. By 1820, townships had been laid out in the southern part of Illinois, and a solid band of them (the Bounty Lands) lined the northwest side of the Illinois River, working up toward the site of Chicago.

Meanwhile, the United Tribes had in 1816 agreed to cede to the federal government a corridor of land stretching southwestward from Chicago between these Indian Boundary Lines a canal was to be built. During the early 1820s, townships were laid out in this corridor, to link up with the Bounty Lands. By 1830, the site of Chicago itself had been surveyed, as the eastern terminus of the canal corridor, and during the 1830s further surveys covered the whole of the future metropolitan area, west to the Fox River and north to the Wisconsin border. In 1827, the federal government had assigned to the canal commissioners 286,000 acres within the canal corridor. From their headquarters in Lockport, the commissioners then sold this land, so that between 1836 and 1848 they were able to construct the Illinois & Michigan Canal, the basis for Chicago&aposs emergence. As the city grew, its streets tended to develop on the section lines platted in 1830, so that the early surveyors in effect determined much of the outline of the modern grid. Indeed, the streets followed the grid so faithfully that in time the effect became wearisome, and in new suburbs like Riverside (platted in 1869) there was a determined attempt to set the streets out in more “natural,” flowing lines.

With the adjacent metropolitan area now covered by the township-and-range grid, the surveyors&apos townships in many cases became civil townships, with names like Hanover, Lemont, and York, which survive to the present day. The townships for some years also had important administrative functions, but these withered over time, until today they are chiefly known for their role as school districts. As time went by, municipal entities emerged that overlapped the townships, more and more blurring their outlines. But these offspring of the Land Ordinance of 1785 had played an important role in early settlement, and continued in many cases as the origin of modern roads.


V. The Ordinance of 1784By the UNITED STATES in CONGRESSassembled, April 23, 1784

CONGRESS resumed the consideration of the report of a committee on a plan for a temporary government of the western territory, which being amended, was agreed to as follows:

Resolved, That so much of the territory ceded or to be ceded by individual states to the United States, as is already purchased or shall be purchased of the Indian inhabitants, and offered for sale by Congress, shall be divided into distinct states in the following manner, as nearly as such cessions will admit that is to say, by parallels of latitude, so that each state shall comprehend from north to south two degrees of latitude, beginning to count from the completion of forty five degrees north of the equator and by meridians of longitude, one of which shall pass through the lowest point of the rapids of Ohio, and the other through the western cape of the mouth of the great Kanhaway but the territory eastward of this last meridian, between the Ohio, Lake Erie, and Pennsylvania, shall be one state, whatsoever may be its comprehension of latitude. That which may lie beyond the completion of the 45th degree between the said meridians shall make part of the state adjoining it on the south and that part of the Ohio, which is between the same meridians coinciding nearly with the parallel of 39° shall be substituted so far in lieu of that parallel as a boundary line.

That the settlers on any territory so purchased and offered for sale shall, either on their own petition or on the order of Congress, receive authority from them, with appointments of time and place, for their free males of full age within the limits of their state to meet together, for the purpose of establishing a temporary government, to adopt the constitution and laws of any one of the original states so that such laws nevertheless shall be subject to alteration by their ordinary legislature and to erect, subject to a like alteration, counties, townships, or other divisions, for the election of members for their legislature.

That when any such state shall have acquired twenty thousand free inhabitants, on giving due proof thereof to Congress, they shall receive from them authority with appointments of time and place, to call a Convention of representatives to establish a permanent constitution and government for themselves. Provided that both the temporary and permanent governments be established on these principles as their basis.

First. That they shall for ever remain a part of this confederacy of the United States of America.

Second. That they shall be subject to the articles of confederation in all those cases in which the original states shall be so subject, and to all the acts and ordinances of the United States in Congress assembled, conformable thereto.

Third. That they in no case shall interfere with the primary disposal of the soil by the United States in Congress assembled, nor with the ordinances and regulations which Congress may find necessary for securing the title in such soil to the bona fide purchasers.

Fourth. That they shall be subject to pay a part of the federal debts contracted or to be contracted, to be apportioned on them by Congress, according to the same common rule and measure by which apportionments thereof shall be made on the other states.

Fifth. That no tax shall be imposed on lands the property of the United States.

Sixth. That their respective governments shall be republican.

Seventh. That the lands of non resident proprietors shall in no case be taxed higher than those of residents within any new state, before the admission thereof to a vote by its delegates in Congress.

That whensoever any of the said states shall have of free inhabitants, as many as shall then be in any one the least numerous of the thirteen original states, such state1 shall be admitted by its delegates into the Congress of the United States, on an equal footing with the said original states provided the consent of so many states in Congress is first obtained as may at the time be competent to such admission. And in order to adapt1 the said articles of confederation to the state of Congress when its numbers shall be thus increased, it shall be proposed to the legislatures of the states, originally parties thereto, to require the assent of two thirds of the United States in Congress assembled, in all those cases wherein by the said articles, the assent of nine states is now required, which being agreed to by them shall be binding on the new states. Until such admission by their Delegates into Congress, any of the said states after the establishment of their temporary government shall have authority to keep a member in Congress, with a right of debating, but not of voting.

That measures not inconsistent with the principles of the confederation, and necessary for the preservation of peace and good order among the settlers in any of the said new states, until they shall assume a temporary government as aforesaid, may from time to time be taken by the United States in Congress assembled.

That the preceding articles shall be formed into a charter of compact shall be duly executed by the President of the United States in Congress assembled, under his hand, and the seal of the United States shall be promulgated and shall stand as fundamental constitutions between the thirteen original states, and each of the several states now newly described, unalterable from and after the sale of any part of the territory of such state, pursuant to this resolve, but by the joint consent of the United States in Congress assembled, and of the particular state within which such alteration is proposed to be made.

Charles Thomson , Secretary

Text from Va. Gaz . description begins Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg, 1751–1780, and Richmond, 1780–1781). Abbreviations for publishers of the several newspapers of this name, frequently published concurrently, include the following: C & D (Clarkson & Davis), D & H (Dixon & Hunter), D & N (Dixon & Nicolson), P & D (Purdie & Dixon). In all other cases the publisher’s name is not abbreviated description ends (N & P), under the dateline “Annapolis May 6.” This text was obviously printed from the two-leaf publication of the Ordinance of 1784 issued by authority of Congress, bearing the same title, and being circulated by Thomson (see Ford, description begins Paul Leicester Ford, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, “Letterpress Edition,” N.Y., 1892–1899 description ends III, 430, note). It varies from that in the manuscript Journals of Congress only in spelling and punctuation and, of course, in the fact that the latter lacks title, preamble, and attest.

1 . In copying this word in the Journals, Thomson committed the same error that the printer had made in the official broadside described in Document IV (see notes 22 and 24), but he then corrected his mistake. From this it is clear that, in inserting the text in the Journal, Thomson must have been copying from the amended text described as OB in Document iv .


Land Ordinance of 1785 / The Seven Ranges

Side A: Land Ordinance of 1785 In April 1784, the Continental Congress adopted the Report of Government for the Western Territory, a broad plan drafted primarily by Thomas Jefferson for organizing the United States' new western lands that were ceded by the states and purchased from Native Americans. One of the most far-reaching legislative acts in American history, the resulting Land Ordinance of 1785, passed on May 20th, established the public land system by which all federal land was surveyed and distributed. The Ordinance established a rectilinear survey system that divided land into townships of six miles square aligned by north-south and east-west baselines, and set aside certain lands for Revolutionary War veterans and for public schools.

Side B: The Seven Ranges In late 1785, Thomas Hutchins, geographer of the United States, began the first federal land survey according to the terms of the recent Land Ordinance of 1785. Hutchins' party extended a base line (the Geographer's Line) from the Pennsylvania border due westward from the north bank of the Ohio River, laying out the northern boundary of seven ranges of townships. Each six-mile-square township was subdivided into one-mile-square sections with a north-south row called a range. A one-mile-square

section (640 acres) was the smallest unit offered for sale at public auction. As few could afford to purchase a section at $1.00 per acre, land sold slowly. The presence of illegal settlers and tensions with Native Americans slowed the surveying process and only Ohio's Seven Ranges was completed under the first survey.

Erected 2003 by Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Marietta Chapter NSDAR, The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 18-15.)

Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education &bull Native Americans &bull Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #03 Thomas Jefferson, and the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1784.

Location. 40° 38.547′ N, 80° 31.147′ W. Marker is in East Liverpool, Ohio, in Columbiana County. Marker is on Harvey Avenue (Ohio Route 39) 0.4 miles east of Bushwick Street, on the right when traveling east. Located at a roadside pull off at the Ohio/Pennsylvania state line. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: East Liverpool OH 43920, United States of America. Touch for directions.

Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Gateway To The Northwest (here, next to this marker) The Point of Beginning (a few steps from this marker in Pennsylvania) Beginning Point of the U. S. Public Land Survey

(within shouting distance of this marker) The Sandy and Beaver Canal (approx. 0.4 miles away in Pennsylvania) First Paper Mill / Little Beaver Creek Bridge (approx. 0.9 miles away) Smiths Ferry (approx. 0.9 miles away in Pennsylvania) The Penna - Virginia Boundary (approx. 0.9 miles away in Pennsylvania) Georgetown (approx. one mile away in Pennsylvania). Touch for a list and map of all markers in East Liverpool.


Watch the video: Mr. Kuespert - Land Ordinance of 1785