Abraham Lincoln eBook

George Haven Putnam
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 229 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln.

[Footnote 6:—­The cession of Territory was authorized by New-York, Feb. 19, 1780; by Virginia, January 2, 1781, and again, (without certain conditions at first imposed,) “at their sessions, begun on the 20th day of October, 1783;” by Mass., Nov. 13, 1784; by Conn., May——­, 1786; by S. Carolina, March 8, 1787; by N. Carolina, Dec.——­, 1789; and by Georgia at some time prior to April, 1802.

The deeds of cession were executed by New-York, March 1, 1781; by Virginia, March 1, 1784; by Mass., April 19, 1785; by Conn., Sept. 13, 1786; by S. Carolina, August 9, 1787; by N. Carolina, Feb. 25, 1790; and by Georgia, April 24, 1802.  Five of these grants were therefore made before the adoption of the Constitution, and one afterward; while the sixth (North Carolina) was authorized before, and consummated afterward.  The cession of this State contains the express proviso “that no regulations made, or to be made by Congress, shall tend to emancipate slaves.”  The cession of Georgia conveys the Territory subject to the Ordinance of ’87, except the provision prohibiting slavery.

These dates are also interesting in connection with the extraordinary assertions of Chief Justice Taney, (19 How., page 434,) that “the example of Virginia was soon afterwards followed by other States,” and that (p. 436) the power in the Constitution “to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the Territory or other property belonging to the United States,” was intended only “to transfer to the new Government the property then held in common,” “and has no reference whatever to any Territory or other property which the new sovereignty might afterwards itself acquire.”  On this subject, vide Federalist, No. 43, sub. 4 and 5.]

[Footnote 7:—­Sherman was from Connecticut; Mifflin from Penn.; Williamson from North Carolina, and M’Henry from Maryland.]

[Footnote 8:—­What Mr. M’Henry’s views were, it seems impossible to ascertain.  When the Ordinance of ’87 was passed he was sitting in the Convention.  He was afterwards appointed Secretary of War; yet no record has thus far been discovered of his opinion.  Mr. M’Henry also wrote a biography of La Fayette, which, however, cannot be found in any of the public libraries, among which may be mentioned the State Library at Albany, and the Astor, Society, and Historical Society Libraries, at New York.

Hamilton says of him, in a letter to Washington (Works, vol. vi., p. 65):  “M’Henry you know.  He would give no strength to the Administration, but he would not disgrace the office; his views are good.”]

[Footnote 9:—­William Blount was from North Carolina, and William Few from Georgia—­the two States which afterward ceded their Territory to the United States.  In addition to these facts the following extract from the speech of Rufus King in the Senate, on the Missouri Bill, shows the entire unanimity with which the Southern States approved the prohibition: 

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Abraham Lincoln from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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