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the manifest right and consent of the people of this territory," &c.
The resolutions following this preamble requests that on a certain day the inhabitants of the territory do voie for or against the formation of a state government, including all that district of country north of the line above mentioned; and invite the inhabitants in that part of the district claimed by Illinois to express their sentiments in relation to its formation, and, in the event of an election being ordered by the governor, to choose delegates to the state convention. ;
The committee to whom this subject had been referred, in their report say, that "it has been declared as the opinion of a former legislative assembly of this territory, “that all that district of country lying between the northern boundary line of the state of Illinois, and a line drawn west from the southern extreme of Lake Michigan to the Mississippi river, rightfully belongs to the territory of Wisconsin.' This opinion, with the arguments and reasons in supoort of il, have been spread before congress.
"To recede now from the grounds at that time taken, or to relinquish in any manner the just rights of the territory to the jurisdiction of that district, in the opinion of your committee, would be to disa ppoint the hopes and defeat the most cherished desires and wishes of both the inhabitants of that district, and the people of the territory.”
Concurring, as I do, in the opinion thus expressed at former sessions of the legislature, and which I presume are still entertained by those gentlemen who were then members, it will be only necessary for me lo advert at this time to some of the authorities upon which my opinions are founded.
I observe that “an east and west line drawn through the southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michigan,” is described or adverted to, as a boundary, by the government of the United States in several instances:
1st. In the 5th article of compact, in the ordinance of 1787.
2d. The act of congress of April 30, 1802, to enable the people Ohio to form a state government.
3d. The act of congress of January 11, 1805, to provide a temporary government for Michigan.
4th. An'act to authorize the President of the United States to ascertain and designate certain boundaries, passed May 20, 1812; which requires a survey of the boundary which divides “the state of Ohio from the territory of Michigan;" and "a plat to be made of so much of the line as runs from the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan.” The war of 1812 prevented the execution of this act; but on the 15th of April, 1816, an appropriation was made for carrying it into effect; and the line was run, in conformity with the various acis of congress, due east from the southern extreme of Lake Michigan. It was not until the year 1818 that the work was completed, and the returns made to congress.
51h. The act to enable the people of Indiana to forn a state government, passed April 191h, 1816; the provisions of which require the people to ratify the alteration of the ordinance line.
6th. The treaty between the United States and the Ottawas, Chippewas, and Potowatamies, concluded August 24, 1816. Under ireaty this line was run and marked in the year 1818 by John Sullivan; and the monument, erected at its termination on the bank of the Mississippi, near the head of Rock Island, was standing but a few years ago.
7th. An act to provide for the taking of certain observations preparatory to the adjustment of the northern boundary line of the state of Ohio, passed July 14, 1832. The President is required to ascertain, by observations, “the point in the Mississippi which is due west from the southerly extreme of Lake Michi
8th. The official report of Capt. Talcott, of the United States Engineers, dated January 17, 1834. He states that from his ob servations, the southern bend of Lake Michigan is in latitude for ty-one degrees and thirty-seven minutes. And that a due west line from this point will intersect the Mississippi river about seter miles north of the fort on Rock Island. He erected monuments to mark each of these stations.
I unite with the assembly, therefore, in claiming, for the southern boundary of this state, a line drawn due west from the southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michigan to the Mississippi riret, because it was “ fixed and established " by the ordinance of 1787, in an article which it is declared "shall forever remain unalterable, unless by common consent," and because the people of this state have never given their consent to the alteration attempted to be made by congress and the people of the territory of Illinois.
Whether the inhabitants of the district of country which was placed by congress under the jurisdiction of Michigan, and which lies west of a line drawn from the northern cxtremity of Lake Michigan, have not the right to vote with us for or against the formation of a state government, is a question of great importance, and to which I invite your attention. Michigan asserted her claim to this line as her true boundary on several occasions; particularly when she opposed the passage by congress of the act to establish the territorial government of Huron, and when she defined her own limits as a state in the act under which she formed her constitution. Her own arguments and concessions are considered very conclusive upon this poin:.
'This subject was presented to the assembly in my message of February 16, 1812, with the act passed by her legislature on the 26th of January, 1836. In that message I remarked: “ It is ascertained that a part of the western boundary of the state of Michigan, as prescribed by the act of congress of the 15th of June, 1836, is an impracticable line, there being no such natural boundary as is therein described. The Lake of the Desert, ["s old plantation lake,"] does not discharge its waters into the Montreal river. It having therefore become necessary to designate a new line, I avail myself of the occasion to present the subject to the notice of the assembly, that such measures as are proper may be adopted, to procure the recognition by the governinent of the United States of the boundary which was established between Michigan and Wisconsin in the year 1805.”
In the year 1828, a bill was reported in the house of representatives of the United States to establish the territorial govern. ment of Huron. T'he territory was bounded on the south by the states of Illinois and Missouri, and eastwardly by a line drawn through Lake Michigan and the strajts of Mackinac to the southern extremity of Bois Blanc Island in Lake Huron, and thence due east across that lake to the boundary of the United States. The same bill was again reported (it having failed to pass both houses of congress) in 1829, 1830, and 1832. A report was made by the committee, with the bill, in the latter year, from which I make the following extract:
“ This committee are ot opinion that the limits of the territory of Michigan, as originally separated from the then Indiana territory, ought, upon every fair and just principle, to be preserved to its present population, so as to enable them to emerge, as early as possible, into the condition of an independent state of ihe union.
The committee therefore recommend that, in a severance of the present territory of Michigan, the eldest and the most populous portion should be left under its original limits, and that the integ. rity of its bounds should be preserved by a line drawn through the lake to its northern extremity, and thence by a line drawn due north to the northern boundary of the United States; and with this division and seperation of the new territory from every point of Lake Huron, they also propose the adoption for it of the name of Wisconsin instead of that of Huron, as heretofore contemplated."
Governor Cass, in a message to the council on the 5th of January, 1831, had presented the consideration of this measure in the following language:
"An effort has been made to detach the counties of Michilimackinac and Chippewa from the peninsular territory, and to annex them to the new government, which is asked for west of Lake Michigan. Such a measure would be equally injurious to our rights, and subversive of our interests. The act of congress of January 11, 1805, establishing this territory, defined its boundaries, and guaranteed to the inhabitants then living, or who might thereafter live, within them, many political rights dear to the American people, and without the enjoyment of which, our citi. zens would never encounter the difficulties and hardships incident to the scttlement of a new country. Among these, not the least important, is the right of admission into the union, when our population shall equal the number prescribed in the ordinance of code gress of July 13, 1787, which laid the foundation of the govern. ments of the states and territories north-west of the Ohio river. If we have any security for the political privileges we enjoy or expect to enjoy, we have the same security, and that is, the faith of the United States, for the integrity of the territorial boundaries established by that act. A line drawn through the middle of Lake Michigan to its northern extreme, and thence due north to Lake Superior, which is our western boundary, leaves the inhabited porlions of the counties of Mackinaw and Chippewa in the original territory of Michigan. To the country west of that line we have no clairo."
The same view was taken of this question, and the right of Michigan to this north and south line again asserted in a memorial of the legislative council to congress which was adopted with but
one dissenting vote, (and that was given by the member froin this district, on the 7th of January, 1833.
It is deemed unnecessary to pursue this subject farther. It will receive from you, there can be no doubt, a careful examination and consideration, equally with those which duty has compelled me to suggest. I believe you will concur with me in the opinion that it was not the intention of the patriots who framed the ordinance, that this territory should, at any period of its political existence, be parcelled out among the neighboring states; nor that a true hearted American will ever refuse to claim his birthright, or to secure for himself and his posterity the enjoyment of constitutional liberty.
J. D. DOTY. Madison, Wisconsin, December 4, 1343.
Documents accompanying the Governor's Message.
DOCUMENT NO. 1. Copy of the act passed by the Legislative Council of the Territory
of Michigan, Dec. 26, 1834, to enable the people of Michigan
lo form a state government. AN ACT to enable the people of Michigan to form a constitution
and state government. Whereas, it is ordained and declared, in and by the ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States northwest of the river Ohio, passed by congress on the 13th day of July, 1787, that certain articles therein contained “shall be considered as articles of compact between the original states and the people and states in the said territory, and forever remain unalterable unless by common consent;"
And whereas it is stipulated in and by the 5th of the said articles of compact, that there shall be formed in the said territory not less than three nor more than five states; and that “the boundaries of the three states shall be subject so far to be altered, that if