Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum


John Hancock
3rd President of the Continental Congress
United Colonies of America
October 27, 1775 to July 1, 1776
1st President of Continental Congress
United States of America
July 2, 1776 to October 29, 1777

"No Taxation Without Representation"

The phraseology "Taxes … are imposed upon the people without their consent" is the best one could hope for in the early rhetoric of the American Revolution. The "no taxation without representation" slogan sounds good orally, but would be completely out of character in writing of the period. This "No Taxation" circular document is important not just for its content as it is signed by John Hancock. President Hancock was the only "signer" to actually autograph the Declaration in July of 1776 (the other members signed August 2nd, 1776). He was the President of Continental Congress and a key force in making Independence a reality. While historians can argue whether John Adams, Samuel Adams, or James Otis, was more important at the beginning of the revolution, Hancock is without question valued more highly.

The issue of taxation without representation was first raised by James Otis in 1764, but the only documents of similar content are a few printed pamphlets from 1765 through 1768. None of the documents are signed. This printed one sided Hancock document is signed and only three others are known to exist. Most importantly, this particular document had a demonstrable effect - it changed the world! In response to the Boston Town meeting that issued this document, the governor called for British reinforcements (noted in the third paragraph). Also as a direct consequence of this document, the meeting called for here took place in Faneuil Hall on September 23 to September 28, 1768, with 96 towns answering Hancock’s call.

On the final day of the meeting, warships arrived in Boston with the first British reinforcements, and on October 1 two regiments arrived from Halifax, effectively beginning British occupation of its own colony. British troops stayed in Boston until forced to evacuate in March 1776.

This signed broadside can be read and studied in Socratic detail. In one page this John Hancock document represents all the issues leading to independence. Taxation, commercial differences between the parent country and colonies in a mercantilist system, opposition to a standing army in time of peace, the right to petition "expressly recognized at the glorious Revolutions as the Birthright of an Englishman," dissolution of American assemblies, anger at clumsy British Colonial Office threats, fear of France, popular calls for conventions such as this (culminating in the Continental Congress), local democracy, etc… Even the inconsistencies of the patriots can be studies through this document. There is no more important precursor to the Declaration of Independence in private hands today than this John Hancock document

"Taxes equally detrimental to the Commercial interests of the Parent Country and her Colonies, are imposed upon the People, without their Consent…" Circular Letter Signed "John Hancock," also signed "Joseph Jackson," "John Ruddock," "John Rowe," and "Samuel Pemberton" as Selectmen of Boston, to the Selectmen of Petersham, one page; Boston, September 14, 1768.

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit
http:www.presidentwho.com

This John Hancock Circular was authenticated by Stanley L. Klos – Estoric.com


CONTINENTAL CONGRESS
"Officers of the Army are prohibited from holding more office"

Regimental resignation to General Washington

Dated Headquarters Albany, September 14th, 1776, Colonel Richard Varick, due to a July 11th, 1776 resolution passed by Congress, he is forced to resign his company. Varick as military secretary to General Philip Schuyler writes to His Excellency Genl. Washington Commander in Chief:

The Honorable Continental Congress having by their Resolution of 11th of July, informed the Hon. Major Schuyler that Officers of the Army are prohibited from holding more offices then One. I do therefore in obedience to the said resolution hereby resign to your Excellency the Company which I now have in the Regiments of Forces of the United States of America in the State of New York, Where of Brigadier Genl. Mc. Dougall was late Colonel.

In 1780 Varick became a member of Washington's military family, acting as his recording secretary till near the close of the war, and taking charge of his confidential papers. Although George Washington was commander-in-chief he was accountable to the President and Congress. Military orders of ever conceivable nature were often acts of Congress directing Generals and foot soldiers on how and where the war should be conducted.

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit
http:www.presidentwho.com

This Varick letter was authenticated by Stanley L. Klos – Estoric.com

John Hancock
1st President of Continental Congress
United States of America
July 2, 1776 to October 29, 1777

7th President of the United States

in Congress Assembled

November 23, 1785 to June 6, 1786


A Revolutionary War Letter Signed dated April 30, 1777 Philadelphia. By the spring of 1777 Fort Ticonderoga, now in the hands of the United States, had fallen in disrepair with only a handful of Continental troops protecting the northern passage. When it became clear that the British, under General Burgoyne, were marching to retake the fort, Congress quickly ordered Major General Arthur St. Clair to command and defend Fort Ticonderoga. This crucial Presidential Order is signed by John Hancock as President of the Continental Congress, United States of America.

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit
http:www.presidentwho.com

This John Hancock 1777 letter was authenticated by Stanley L. Klos – Estoric.com

Articles of Confederation
United Colonies of America


In the summer of 1775 Delegate Benjamin Franklin realized the easily changeable resolutions and The Articles of Association that formed the Continental Congress needed to be restructured to form a true “constitution” for the United Colonies. In July Franklin presented his new plan for the colonies as the Articles of Confederation of the United Colonies of America. The Continental Congress, upon a cursory review of this important work, tabled the measure on July 21, 1775 only to revisit the Articles in the spring of 1776 when the colonial leaders were in full rebellion against Great Britain. This complete printing of Franklin’s Articles is published in this January 1776 issue of The Gentlemen’s Magazine, London England.

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit
http:www.presidentwho.com

This 1776 magazine was authenticated by Stanley L. Klos – Estoric.com

Henry Laurens
2nd President of the Continental Congress
United States of America

Served
November 1, 1777 to December 9, 1778

Continental Congress Military promotion stating "In Congress -- The Delegations of the United States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts-bay Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia to ... " which was commonly used before the Articles of Confederation were ratifies. This Military order is signed by Henry Laurens as President and Charles Thomson as Secretary of the Continental Congress which was left undated and blank. The conducting of the war under the un-ratified Articles of Confederation actually proved to be a blessing for the new government. No President circumvented the ineffective Articles more then Henry Laurens during those thorny days of the Revolutionary War. Military Appointments and promotions were the responsibility of the Confederation Congress but they were constantly on the move during Laurens Presidency due to British battlefield successes which included capturing Independence Hall. To expedite promotions and appointments President Laurens and Secretary Thomson signed numerous blank appointments leaving them to be filled out by the filed commanders.

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit
http:www.presidentwho.com

This Military Appointment was authenticated by Stanley L. Klos – Estoric.com


John Jay
3rd President of the Continental Congress
United States of America

December 10, 1778 to September 28, 1779

Exceptionally rare Revolutionary War autograph letter signed dated Philadelphia April 2nd, 1779 as President of Congress to Major General Benjamin Lincoln. In this letter of recommendation Jay acknowledges he is not personally acquainted with Clarkson but is "so well informed" of his character ".. as to believe you will always be happy in leading a young soldier to glory, and to afford him that countenance and protection which a brave and generous youth seldom fails to invite". He adds that he will be obligated to Lincoln "by becoming his friend as well as his general". Under General Lincoln, Clarkson participated in the siege of Savannah, and in the defense of Charleston he served as a major of infantry. He became a prisoner at Charleston’s surrender to the British. In 1781 as a prisoner exchange he returned to his place as aide to General Lincoln, and was with him at the reduction of Yorktown.

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit
http:www.presidentwho.com

This John Jay letter was authenticated by Stanley L. Klos – Estoric.com


Samuel Huntington
1st President of the United States
in Congress Assembled
March 1, 1781 to July 6, 1781

4th President of the Continental Congress
United States of America
September 28, 1779 to February 28, 1781

Letter Signed as President to Caesar Rodney, dated November 13th, 1780 Philadelphia only 6 months after Benjamin Lincoln surrendered to British Forces in Charleston, South Carolina. During this dark period for the Continental Army the British, who controlled the South, were making liberal use of papers and clearances that they took from this great southern “prize.” In this letter a beleaguered President Huntington urges Caesar Rodney of Delaware to support his resolution, adopted at the urging of Minister of France, to deal with the problem of British Spies and their disruption of US trade with France.

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit
http:www.presidentwho.com

This Samuel Huntington letter was authenticated by Stanley L. Klos – Estoric.com


Samuel Huntington
1st President of the United States
in Congress Assembled
March 1, 1781 to July 6, 1781

4th President of the Continental Congress
United States of America
September 28, 1779 to February 28, 1781

Partly-printed "United States of America in Congress Assembled" Military Appointment signed "Saml: Huntington President" as President dated February 24, 1781 in Philadelphia just four days before the formal acceptance of the ratification of the Articles of Confederation by the Continental Congress. This partly printed parchment appoints Isaac Bronson "Surgeons Mate in Col. Sheldons Regiment of Light Dragoons...." It is countersigned by Joseph Carleton as Secretary of the Board of War.

Although the Military Appointment heading states: The United States of America in Congress Assembled the Perpetual Union of the United States was not formed until March 1, 1781. Maryland, the last holdout reported to Congress on February 12, 1781 that their State had ratified the Articles on February 2, 1781. These partly printed documents were most likely produced in anticipation of the formal acceptance of the Articles on March 1. Note the difference of this military appointment from the one signed by Henry Laurens in 1778 whose heading states "In Congress -- The Delegations of the United States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts-bay Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia to ..."

Isaac Bronson went on to be one of New York City’s most influential businessmen founding the New York and Ohio Life Insurance Companies.

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit
http:www.presidentwho.com

This Samuel Huntington Document was authenticated by Stanley L. Klos – Estoric.com


Articles of Confederation
United States of America
Ratified March 1, 1781


This is an official printing of The Journals of the United States in Congress Assembled Published By Order Of Con­gress, Volume VII New York: Printed by John Patterson in 1787. This 18th Century Journal includes the full printing of the Articles of Confederation and the installment of Samuel Huntington as President of the United States in Congress Assembled. By virtue of the ratification of “The Perpetual Union” the ever fluid Continental Congress ceased to exist and on March 2nd "The United States in Congress Assembled" was placed at the head of each page of the Official Journal of Congress. The United States of America, which was con­ceived on July 2, 1776, had finally been born in 1781 under the watch of President Samuel Huntington.

On March 7th The Pennsylvania Gazette of PHILADELPHIA reported of this event:

IN pursuance of an Act of the Legislature of Maryland, intituled, "An Act to empower the Delegates of the State in Congress to subscriber and ratify the Articles of Confederation," the Delegates of the said State, on Thursday last, at twelve o, signed and ratified the Articles of Confederation; by which act the Confederation of THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA was compleated, each and every of

the Thirteen States, from New Hampshire to George, both included, having adopted and confirmed, and by their Delegates in Congress ratified the same.

This happy even was immediately announced to the public by the discharge of the artillery on land, and the cannon of the shipping in the river Delaware.

At two his Excellency the President of the United States in Congress received on this occasion the congratulations of the Hon. the Minister Plenipotentiary of France, and of the Legislative and Executive Bodies of this State, of the Civil and Military Officers, sundry strangers of distinction in town, and of many of the principal inhabitants.

The evening was closed by an elegant exhibition of fireworks. The Ariel frigate, commanded by the gallant John Paul Jones, fired a feu de joye, and was beautifully decorated with a variety of streamers in the day, and ornamented with a brilliant appearance of lights in the night.

Thus will the first of March, 1781, be a day memorable in the annals of America, for the final ratification of the Confederation and perpetual Union of the Thirteen States of America --- A Union, begun by necessity, cemented by oppression and common danger, and now finally consolidated into a perpetual confederacy of these new and rising States: And thus the United States of America, having, amidst the calamities of a destructive war, established a solid foundation of greatness, are growing up into consequence among the nations, while their haughty enemy, Britain, with all her boasted wealth and grandeur, instead of bringing them to her feet and reducing them to unconditional submission, finds her hopes blasted, her power crumbling to pieces, and the empire which, with overbearing insolence and brutality she exercised on the ocean, divided among her insulted neighbours.

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit
http:www.presidentwho.com

These Journals were authenticated by Stanley L. Klos – Estoric.com

Thomas McKean
2nd President of the United States
in Congress Assembled
July 10, 1781 to November 5, 1781

and

CHARLES THOMSON
Secretary of the United States
in Congress Assembled

An October 19th, 1781 autograph letter attested by Jos: Carleton the Secretary of the Board of War commending Surgeon John Thomas, Esquire for serving with the 8th Massachusetts Regiment since January 1, 1777 and ordering him to “… faithfully & diligently to discharge the duty of Surgeon…”. The letter details Mr. Thomas’ duties under the new United States in Congress Assembled. It is Signed Thomas McKean president of the Congress of the United States of America at Philadelphia the 19th day of October 1781 and in the sixth year of our Independence.

Letters from the Presidency of Thomas McKean are rare as his term lasted only four months. This letter is displayed with Autographed Military Orders dated September 19, 1781 under McKean's Presidency but signed by the Secretary of Congress. In this revolutionary war order The Secretary of the United States in Congress Assembled, Charles Thomson, instructs General Arthur St. Clair to round up his troops, who were protecting Philadelphia, in preparation to join George Washington at Yorktown. Charles Thomson was the only elected representative of all the people aside from the early Presidents. He served as both the Secretary of the Continental Congress and The United States in Congress Assembled from 1774 to 1789. He designed the Great Seal of the United States.

By the United States in Congress Assembled

September 19, 1781

Ordered that Major General St. Clair cause the levies of the Pennsylvania line now in Pennsylvania to rendezvous at or near Philadelphia with all possible exposition.

Extract from the minutes

Charles Thompson

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit
http:www.presidentwho.com

This Charles Thomson Document was authenticated by Stanley L. Klos – Estoric.com

John Hanson

3rd President of the United States

in Congress Assembled

November 5, 1781 to November 4, 1782

18th Century Journal of the United States in Congress Assembled dated September 16th, 1781 of a resolution authorizing George Washington to negotiate terms of Peace with Great Britain a month after his Victory at Yorktown signed John Hanson President of the United States in Congress Assembled transcribed in full:

THE UNITED STATES IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED.

To all people who shall see these presents, send greeting.

Whereas justice and humanity and the practice of civilized nations, require that the calamities and asperities [SEAL] John Hanson Chas. Thomson, Secy. of war should as far as possible be mitigated; and we being disposed for that benevolent purpose to accede to a general cartel between the United States of America and the British nation, for the exchange, subsistance and better treatment of all prisoners of war: Now therefore know ye, that reposing high confidence in the wisdom, prudence and integrity of our trusty and well beloved George Washington, esq. our Commander in Chief of all our armies, raised and to be raised for the defence of the United

States of America, we have authorised sad empowered, sad by these presents do authorise and empower, our said Commander in Chief, for us and in our name, to negotiate, accede to and establish, in the proper forms and with the usual solemnities, such general cartel between the United States in Congress assembled, and the king of Great Britain, for the exchange, subsistance and better treatment of all prisoners of war, as well land as naval prisoners; hereby giving and granting to our said Commander in Chief full power and authority, ultimately and on all points, to adjust and conclude the principles, terms and conditions of the said cartel, and in general to do and perform every matter and thing which shall in any wise be necessary for the final and perfect accomplishment thereof. And the better to enable our said Commander in Chief to execute the trust reposed in him by these presents, we do hereby further authorise sad empower him, from time to time, by commission under his hand and seal, to nominate and constitute such and so many commissioners as he shall judge necessary, to meet, treat, confer and agree with commissioners to be appointed and competently authorised on the part of the king of Great Britain, touching the terms, conditions and stipulations, for subsisting, better treating and exchanging all prisoners of war as aforesaid, as well as for liquidating and settling all accounts and claims whatsoever, respecting the maintenance and subsistance of prisoners of war on either side. And we do hereby declare that the engagements concluded upon by our said Commander in Chief in the premises, being mutually interchanged with the party contracting on behalf of the crown and nation of Great Britain, shall be binding and conclusive on the United States of America.

In testimony whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patent, and the great seal of the United States of America to be thereunto affixed. Witness his Excellency John Hanson, President of the United States in Congress assembled, the 16th day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two, and of our sovereignty and independence the seventh.

This is an official printing of The Journals of the United States in Congress Assembled Published By Order Of Con­gress, Volume VII New York: Printed by John Patterson in 1787.

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit
http:www.presidentwho.com

This Journal was authenticated by Stanley L. Klos – Estoric.com


Elias Boudinot

4th President of the United States

in Congress Assembled

November 4, 1782 to November 3, 1783

In July 1783, while President Boudinot and Congress struggled with the treaty, massive debt, a corrupt court system and a host of other ills, they were dealt a now unthinkable blow to the new democracy. On a sizzling Sunday afternoon, soldiers from Lancaster, Pennsylvania mutinied and marched for Philadelphia for the stated purpose of com­pelling Congress to relinquish to their demands of back pay, food and desperately need­ed supplies. Recruits from the barracks in Philadelphia reinforced the mutineers; as they surrounded the Independence Hall where Congress was in session, they numbered in excess of three hundred. Moreover, the Executive Council of Pennsylvania’s State Government was meeting at the same very hall.

President Boundinot called out the Pennsylvania militia but they failed to come to the two-year old government’s rescue. The President of the United States, the Unicameral Confederation Congress and Pennsylvania’s Executive Council, in the midst of final negotiations with Great Britain for peace, were held captive in Philadelphia’s famed Independence Hall. The mutineers demands were made in very dictatorial tones, that

"…unless their demand were com-plied with in twenty minutes, they would let in upon them the injured soldiery, the consequences of which they were to abide."

Word was immediately sent to Major General Arthur St. Clair requesting his presence. St. Clair rushed to the rescue and confronted the mutineers. He reported the facts and demands to the Confederation Congress. After lengthy debate Congress directed General St. Clair:

" ... to endeavor to march the mutineers to their barracks, and to announce to them that Congress would enter into no deliberation with them; that they must return to Lancaster, and that there, and only there, they would be paid.'

Thanks to Arthur St. Clair’s ability to reason with the men, President Boudinot and the Congressional members passed through the files of the mutineers without being molest­ed. The committee, with Alexander Hamilton as chairman, waited on the State Executive Council to insure the Government of the United States protection when Congress was ready to convene the following day. Elias Boudinot, receiving no pledge of protection by the Pennsylvania militia, advised an adjournment of the United States in Congress Assembled on June 24th to Princeton, New Jersey.

President Elias Boudinot now in his home state of New Jersey, and protected by their mili­tia, wasted no time in dealing harshly with the mutineers. On June 30th, the day after Congress's arrival in New Jersey, a resolution was passed ordering General Howe to march fifteen hundred troops to Philadelphia to disarm the mutineers and bring them to trial.

Before this force could reach Philadelphia, General St. Clair and the Executive Council succeeded in quieting the disturbance without bloodshed. The principal leaders were arrested, obedience secured and a trial was set.

The Congressional resolution directing General Howe to move with the troops against the mutineers affronted General St. Clair. St. Clair regarded it as an attempt to supersede his command and undermine his negotiations. Arthur St. Clair took it upon himself to write Congress a scathing letter, which was answered by this very letter by Elias Boudinot, President of the United States in Congress Assembled, from Princeton New Jersey:

Dear Sir,

I duly recd your favor of yesterday but conceiving that you had mistaken the Resolution of Congress, I showed it to Mr. Fitzsimmons and we have agreed not to present it to Congress, till we hear again from you. Congress were so careful to interfere one way or the other in the military etiquette, that we recommitted the Resolution to have every thing struck out that should look towards any determination as to the Command, and it was left so that the Commanding officer be him who it might, was to carry the Resolution into Execution; and it can bear no other Construction.

If on the second reading you choose your Letter should be read in Congress, it shall be done without delay …

Elias Boudinot, President

P. S., You may depend on Congress having been perfectly satisfied with your conduct.

Boudinot undoubtedly trusted St. Clair’s judgment and spared him the embarrassment of making his letter known to Congress. Peace once again reigned. As a result of the mutiny the accused ringleaders were sentenced to death, but were pardoned by Congress in September 1783.

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit
http:www.presidentwho.com


This Boudinot Letter was authenticated by Stanley L. Klos – Estoric.com


Thomas Mifflin
5th President of the United States

in Congress Assembled
November 3, 1783 to June 3, 1784

President Thomas Mifflin was also a Revolutionary War General. He was accused of conspiring unsuccessfully with Generals Horatio Gates and Thomas Conway to remove George Washington from his office of Commander-and-Chief in 1777. In an ironic twist of fortune General George Washington on December 23d, 1783, at a time when the people were calling for him to be King, resigned his Commission as Commander-and-Chief to none other then to President Thomas Mifflin the very man who conspired in 1777 to remove him from this very office.

This promissory note “Borrowed 2nd August 1784 of … Twenty-two pounds in Philefs to be accounted for on demand Thomas Mifflin” was executed in the year of his Presidency demonstrating the sacrifices these Presidents made serving their country with no salary compensation. Demands from Mifflin’s creditors finally forced him to leave Philadelphia and he died in Lancaster in 1800 at 56. Pennsylvania remunerated his burial expenses at Trinity Lutheran Church.

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit
http:www.presidentwho.com

This Mifflin Letter was authenticated by Stanley L. Klos – Estoric.com


Richard Henry Lee
6th President of the United States

in Congress Assembled
November 30, 1784 to November 23, 1785

This is a very unusual Revolutionary War Document signed by Richard Henry Lee as Colonel of the Westmoreland Militia approving payment for hours of two Continental Soldiers who were patrolling the Potomac River in Virginia.

Westmoreland County D to Hugh Luttrell and Richard Sandford for patroleing (sic) the year of 1780 as following: Thursday Night April 20 … Tuesday Night August 8.

Total of 570

EE
Hugh Luttrell
Richard Sandford

Rcd The Above Account

Patrick Sanford

Richard Henry Lee, Col.

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit
http:www.presidentwho.com

This Lee Document was authenticated by Stanley L. Klos – Estoric.com


Nathaniel Gorham

8th President of the United States
in Congress Assembled
June 1786 - November 13, 1786

Autograph Letter Signed on legal folio, Charles Town, Nov. 5, 1772 to Philadelphia merchants John Reynell and Samuel Coates writing that

“…by Capt. Hinkley I wrote you desiring you to ship me 2 Tons Barr Iron which I take this opportunitiy to desire you to alter & in the room of it to send six Tons pig Iron & if you cannot get pig Iron then to send the Barr Iron as above mentioned…”

According to the Iron Act of 1750, iron manufacture was prohibited in the colonies and all pig and bar iron was to be shipped to Great Britain for finishing. Many Colonial merchants and manufacturers skirted these laws and future President Gorham’s business was no exception to circumventing these British Laws. While most of the arms used during the American Revolution were of European manufacture, some of the numerous New England iron furnaces did supply shot, shells and the occasional cannon.

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit
http:www.presidentwho.com

This Gorham Letter was authenticated by Stanley L. Klos – Estoric.com

Arthur St. Clair
9th President of the United States
in Congress Assembled February 2, 1787 to October 29, 1787
Northwest Territory Governor  & Revolutionary War Major General

A rare document signed on partly printed parchment 12" x 7½" dated October 20th, 1787 New York. This Articles of Confederation Military Commission is for  the appointment of Jacob Kingsbury as Lieutenant in the Army of the United States which, is boldly signed "Ar. St. Clair" as President of The United States of America in Congress Assembled. The appointment is also signed by "H(enry) Knox" as Secretary of War with an intact United States War Department Seal.  

Arthur St. Clair's Congress passed two of the most important pieces of laws ever enacted the Northwest Ordinance and the United States Constitution of 1787.  As recognition for his Herculean work as US President Arthur St. Clair was named Governor of the Northwest Territory shortly after he executed this commission.

 

 

The northwest ordinance
June 30th, 1787


The Connecticut Courant – A full printing of the Northwest Ordinance - Hartford July 30, 1787. The Headlined

“An ORDINACE for the GOVERNMENT of the TERRITORY of the UNITED STATES, North-Weft of the RIVER OHIO

In June, St. Clair decided to recycle Jefferson's Ordinance of 1784 as the blueprint for national expansion to the West. This ordinance had failed enactment for nearly three years. It was a combination of the dire need for federal money and President Arthur St. Clair’s leadership that the Confederation Congress, on July 13, 1787, passed one the most far-reaching acts in American history, the Northwest Ordinance.

The world was now put on notice that the land north and west of the

Ohio River and east of the Mississippi would be settled and utilized for the creation of “… not less than three nor more than five territories.”

Additionally, this plan for governing the Northwest Territory included freedom of religion, right to trial by jury, the banishment of slavery, and public education as asserted rights granted to the people in the territory. This ordi­nance was and still remains one of the most important laws ever enacted by the govern­ment of the United States.

Specifically, this ordinance was an exceptional piece of legislation because Article 5 permit­ted the people North and West of the Ohio River to settle their land, form their own ter­ritorial government, and take their place as a full fledged state, equal to the original 13. The Northwest Ordinance's Article 5 became the principle that enabled the United States rapid westward expansion, which ended with the inclusion of Alaska and Hawaii as our 49th and 50th states. This ordinance guaranteed that inhabitants of the Territory would have the same rights and privileges that citizens of the first thirteen States enjoyed. Equally important Article 6 provided that slavery and involuntary servitude were outlawed in the Northwest Territory. This was a law that finally gave some merit to the Declaration of Independence's "... all men are created equal...”

The Northwest Ordinance one of the great docu­ments in American History. In the words of Daniel Webster:

"We are accustomed to praise lawgivers of antiquity ... but I doubt whether one single law of any lawgiver, ancient or modern, has produced the effects of more distinct, marked, and last­ing character than the Ordinance of 1787"

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit
http:www.presidentwho.com

This Newspaper was authenticated by Stanley L. Klos – Estoric.com

PAGE 3




Now Available in Paperback
President Who?
Forgotten Founders
Click Here


Copyright© 2000 by StanKlos.comTM. All rights reserved.
StanKlos.comTM Privacy Policy

Search:

About Us

e-mail us

 


Now Available in Paperback
President Who?
Forgotten Founders
Click Here

 


Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum