The SECRETARY OF STATE, to whom was referred by the PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES, the Resolution of Congress, requesting the Presi­dent 'to cause an estimate to be laid before Congress at their next session, of the quantity and situation of the LANDS not claimed by the Indians, nor granted to, nor claimed by any citizens of the United States, within the territory ceded to the United States by the state of North-Carolina, and within the territory of the Uni­ted States, north-west of the river Ohio,' makes thereon the following REPORT.

THE territory ceded by the state of North-Carolina to the United States,South-western Territory. by deed bearing date the 25th day of February 1790, is bounded as fol­lows, to wit: Beginning in the boundary between Virginia and North-Carolina, that is to say, in the parallel of latitude 36 ½ degrees north from the equator, on the extreme height of the Stone Mountain, where the said boundary or parallel intersects it, and running thence along the said extreme height to the place where Wataugo River breaks through it; thence a direct course to the top of the Yellow Mountain, where Bright's Road crosses the same; thence along the ridge of the said mountain between the waters of Doe River and the waters of Rock Creek, to the place where the road crosses the Iron Mountain; from thence along the extreme height of said mountain to where Nolichuckey River runs through the same; thence to the top of the Bald Mountain; thence along the extreme height of the said mountain to the Painted Rock, on French Broad River; thence along the highest ridge of the said mountain, to the place where it is called the Great Iron or Smoaky Mountain; thence along the ex­treme height of the said mountain to the place where it is called Unaka Moun­tain, between the Indian towns of Cowee and Old Chota; thence along the main ridge of the said mountain, to the southern boundary of the said state of North-Carolina, that is to say, to the parallel of latitude 35 degrees north from the equator; thence westwardly along the said boundary or parallel, to the middle of the river Missisippi; thence up the middle of the said river to where it is intersected by the first mentioned parallel of 36 ½ degrees; thence along the said parallel to the beginning: which tract of country is a degree and a half of latitude from north to south, and about 360 miles, in general, from east to west, as nearly as may be estimated from such maps as exist of that country.

The Indians having claims within the said tract of country,Indian claims. are the Chero­kees and Chickasaws, whose boundaries are settled by the treaties of Hopewell, concluded with the Cherokees on the twenty-eighth day of November, 1785, and with the Chickasaws, on the tenth day of January 1786, and by the treaty of Holston, concluded with the Cherokees, July second, 1791. These trea­ties acknowledge to the said Indians all the lands westward and southward of the following lines, to wit; beginning in the boundary between South and North-Carolina, where the South-Carolina Indian boundary strikes the same; thence north to a point from which a line is to be extended to the river Clinch, that shall pass the Holston, at the ridge which divides the waters running into Little River, from those running into the Tannissee; thence up the river Clinch to Campbell's Line, and along the same to the top of the Cumberland mountain; thence in a direct course towards the Cumberland river, where the Kentucky road crosses it, as far as the Virginia line, or parallel aforesaid, of 30 ½ degrees; thence westwardly, or eastwardly, as the case shall be, along the said line or parallel to the point thereof, which is due north-east from an­other [Page 4] point to be taken on the dividing ridge of Cumberland and Duck rivers, 40 miles from Nashville; thence south-west to the point last mentioned, on the said dividing ridge, and along the said dividing ridge north-westwardly, to where it is intersected by the said Virginia line, or parallel of 36 ½ degrees. So that there remained to the United States, the right of pre-emption of the lands westward and southward of the said lines, and the absolute right to those northward thereof, that is to say; to one parcel to the eastward, somewhat triangular, comprehending the counties of Sullivan and Washington, and parts of those of Greene and Hawkins, running about 150 miles from east to west, on the Virginia boundary, as its base, and between 80 and 90 miles from north to south, where broadest; and containing, as may be conjectured, with­out pretending to accuracy, between seven and eight thousand square miles, or about five millions of acres: And to one other parcel to the westward, somewhat triangular also, comprehending parts of the counties of Sumner, Da­vidson, and Tannissee, the base whereof extends about 150 miles also, from east to west, on the same Virginia line, and its height, from north to south, about 55 miles, and so may comprehend about four thousand square miles, or up­wards of two and a half millions of acres of land.

Claims of citi­zens.Within these triangles, however, are the following claims of citizens, reserved by the deed of cession, and consequently forming exceptions to the rights of the United States.

I. Appropriations by the state of North-Carolina, for their continental and state officers and soldiers.

II. Grants and titles to grants vested in individuals by the laws of the state.

III. Entries made in Armstrong's office, under an act of that state, of 1783, for the redemption of specie and other certificates.

The claims covered by the first reservation are,

Military boun­ties.1st. The bounties in land given by the said state of North-Carolina, to their continental line, in addition to those given by Congress; these were to be located within a district bounded northwardly by the Virginia line, and south­wardly by a line parallel thereto, and 55 miles distant: westwardly, by the Tannissee, and eastwardly by the meridian of the intersection of the Virginia line, and Cumberland river; grants have accordingly issued for 1,239,498 acres, and warrants for the further quantity of 1,549,726 acres, making toge­ther 2,789,224 acres.

It is to be noted that the southwestern and southeastern angles of this district, constituting perhaps a fourth or a fifth of the whole, are south of the lines established by the treaties of Hopewell and Holston, and consequently in a country wherein the Indian title is acknowledged and guarantied by the Uni­ted States. No information is received of the exact proportion of the locations made within these angles.

2d. Bounties in land to Evan's battalion, raised for state purposes. These were to be taken west of the Cumberland Mountain. The locations are not yet made.

The second reservation covers the following claims:

Entries and grants.1. Lands for the surveyor-general's fees for laying out the military bounties, to be located in the military district. The grants already issued on this account amount to 30,203 acres.

2. Grants to Isaac Shelby, Anthony Bledsoe, and Absalom Tatum, commis­sioners for laying out the military bounties;Commissioners. and to guards, chain-carriers, markers, and hunters, who attended them, already issued to the amount of 65,932 acres, located in the military district.

3. Entries in Washington county amounting to 746,362 ½ acres; for 214,549 ¾ of which grants have already issued.Washington county. Of the remaining 531,812 ¼ acres, a considerable proportion were declared void by the laws of the state, and were particularly excluded from the cover of the reservation in the deed [Page 5] of cession, by this clause in it, to wit, "Provided that nothing herein contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, to the making good any [...] or en­tries, or any grant or grants, heretofore declared void, by any act or [...] of the General Assembly of this state." Still it is to be considered, that many of these persons have settled and improved the lands, are willing, as is said, to comply with such conditions as shall be required of other purchasers, form a strong barrier on the new frontier, acquired by the treaty of Holston, and are there­fore objects meriting the consideration of the Legislature.

4. Entries in Sullivan county, amounting to 240,624 acres;Sullivan county. for 173,332 acres of which, grants have already issued; of the remaining entries, many are certified void, and others understood to be lapsed or otherwise voidable under the laws of the state.

5. Certain pre-emption rights granted to the first settlers of Davidson county,Pre-emptions. on Cumberland river, amounting to 309,760 acres.

6. A grant of 200,000 acres to Richard Henderson and others on Powel's and Clinch's rivers,Henderson. extending up Powel's river in a breadth of not less than 4 miles, and down Clinch's from their junction in a breadth not less than 12 miles. A great part of this is within the Indian territory.

Among the grants of the state now under recapitulation, as forming excep­tions out of the absolute rights of the United States, are not to be reckoned here two grants of 2,000 acres each to Alexander Martin and David Wilson,Martin & Wil­son. adjacent to the lands allotted to the officers and soldiers; nor a grant of 25,000 acres on Duck river to the late Major General Greene;General Greene. because they are whol­ly within the Indian territory, as acknowledged by the treaties of Hopewell and Holston.

The extent of the third reservation in favor of entries made in Armstrong's office is not yet entirely known, nor can be till the 20th of December, 1702,Armstrong's of­fice. the last day given for perfecting them: the sum of certificates, however, which had been paid for these warrants into the treasury of the state, before the 20th day of May 1790, reaches in all probability near to their whole amount; this was £.373,649: 6: 5, currency of that state, and at the price of £.10 the hun­dred acres, established by law, shews that warrants had issued for 3,736,493 acres; for 1,762,660 of these, grants have passed, which appear to have been located partly in the counties of Greene and Hawkins, and partly in the coun­try, from thence to the Missisippi, as divided into Eastern, Middle, and West­ern districts. Almost the whole of these locations are within the Indian terri­tory. Besides the warrants paid for as before mentioned, it is known that there are some others out-standing and not paid for: but perhaps these need not be taken into account, as payment of them has been disputed on the ground, that the lands being within the Indian territory, cannot now be delivered to the holders of the warrants.

On a review of all the reservations, after making such conjectural allowance as our information authorizes, for the proportion of them, which may be with­in the Indian boundaries, it appears probable that they cover all the ceded lands susceptible of culture, and cleared of the Indian title, that is to say, all the habitable parts of the two triangles beforementioned, excepting only the lands south of French Broad, and Big Pigeon Rivers. These were part of the tract appropriated by the laws of the state, to the use of the Indians, whose ti­tle being purchased at the late treaty of Holston, they are now free to be dispo­sed of by the United States, and are probably the only lands open to their dis­posal, within this south-western territory, which can excite the attention of pur­chasers. They are supposed to amount to about 300,000 acres, and we are told that 300 families have already set down upon them without right or li­cense.

The territory of the United States north-west of the Ohio,North-western territory. is bounded on the south by that river, on the east by Pennsylvania, on the north and west, [Page 6] by the lines which divide the United States from the dominions of Great-Bri­tain and Spain.

Claims of In­dians.The part of this territory occupied by Indians, is north and west of the following lines, established with the Wiandots, Delawares, Chippawas, and Ottawas, by the treaty of Fort M'Intosh, and, with the Shawanese, by that of the Great Miami, to wit: beginning at the mouth of the Cayahoga, and running up the river to the portage, between that and the Tuscaroras branch of the Muskingum, then down the said branch to the Forks, at the crossing place above Fort Lawrence, then westwardly, towards the portage of the Big Miami, to the main branch of that river, then down the Miami to the fork of that river next below the old Fort, which was taken by the French in 1752; thence due west to the river De la Panse, and down that river to the Wabash. So far the lines are precisely defined, and the whole country southward of these lines, and eastward of the Wabash cleared of the claims of those Indians, as it is also of those of the Poutiwatimas, and Sacs, by the treaty of Muskingum. How far on the other side of the Wabash, the south­ern boundary of the Indians has been defined, we know not. It is only un­derstood in general, that their title to the lower country, between that river and the Illinois, has been formally extinguished by the French, while in their possession. As to that country then, and what lies still beyond the Illinois, it would seem expedient that nothing be done, till a fair ascertainment of boundary can take place, by mutual consent, between us and the Indians in­terested.

The country within the Wabash, the Indian line before described, the Penn­sylvania line, and the Ohio, contains, on a loose estimate, about 55,000 square miles, or 35 millions of acres.

During the British government, great numbers or persons had formed themselves into companies under different names,Ancient compa­nies. such as the Ohio, the Wa­bache, the Illinois, the Missisippi, or Vandalia companies, and had covered, with their applications, a great part of this territory. Some of them had ob­tained orders on certain conditions, which, having never been fulfilled, their titles were never completed by grants. Others were only in a state of nego­ciation, when the British authority was discontinued. Some of these claims being already under a special reference by order of Congress, and all of them probably falling under the operation of the same principles, they will not be noticed in the present report.

Claims of Citi­zens.The claims of citizens to be here stated will be,

I. Those reserved by the states in their deeds of cession.

II. Those which have arisen under the government of the United States themselves.

Under the first head presents itself the tract of country from the comple­tion of the 41st degree,Connecticut to 42 deg. 2 min. of north latitude, and extending from the Pennsylvania line before mentioned, 120 miles westward, not men­tioned in the deed of Connecticut, while all the country westward thereof, was mentioned to be ceded; about two and a half millions of acres of this may perhaps be without the Indian lines before mentioned.

French at Kas­kaskias, &c.2. A reservation in the deed of Virginia of the possessions and titles of the French and Canadian inhabitants and other settlers of the Kaskaskias, St. Vincents, and the neighboring villages, who had professed themselves citi­zens of Virginia, which rights have been settled by an act of the last session of Congress, intituled, "An act for granting lands to the inhabitants and set­tlers at Vincennes and the Illinois country in the territory north-west of the Ohio, and for confirming them in their possessions." These lands are in the neighborhood of the several villages.

Clarke's regi­ment.3. A reservation in the same deed of a quantity not exceeding 150,000 acres of land for General George Rogers Clarke, and the officers and soldiers of his regiment who were at the reduction of Kaskaskias, and St. Vincents, to to be laid off in such place on the north-west side of the Ohio, as a majority of [Page 7] the officers should choose. They chose they should be laid off on the river ad­jacent to the rapids, which accordingly has been done.

4. A reservation, in the same deed,Virginia line. of lands between the Scioto and Little Miami, to make up to the Virginia troops on continental establishment, the quantity which the good lands, in their southern allotments, might fall short of the bounties given them by the laws of that state. By a statement of the 16th of September, 1788, it appears that 724,045 [...]/3 acres had been sur­veyed for them on the south-eastern side of the Ohio; that 1,395,385 [...]/3 acres had been surveyed on the north-western side; that warrants for 649,649 acres more, to be laid off on the same side of the river, were in the hands of the surveyor, and it was supposed there might still be some few warrants not yet presented; so that this reservation may be stated at 2,045,034 ⅓ acres, or perhaps some small matter more.

II. The claims of individual citizens derived from the United States them­selves are the following.

1. Those of the continental army,Continental ar­my. founded on the resolutions of Congress of September 16, 1776, August 12, and September 30, 1780, and fixed by the ordinance of May 20, 1785. The resolution of October 22, 1787, and the supplementary ordinance of July 9, 1788, in the seven ranges of town­ships, beginning at a point on the Ohio, due north from the western termina­tion of a line then lately run, as the southern boundary of Pennsylvania: or in a second tract of a million of acres, bounded east, by the 7th range of the said townships, south by the lands of Cutler and Sargent; north, by an ex­tension of the northern boundary of the said townships; and going towards the west so far as to include the above quantity; or, lastly, in a third tract of country; beginning at the mouth of the Ohio, and running up the Missisippi to the river Au Va [...]e, thence up the same till it meets a west line from the mouth of the Little Wabash; thence along that line to the Great Wabash; thence down the same, and the Ohio, to the beginning. The sum total of the said military claims is 1,851,800 acres.

2. Those of the individuals who made purchases of land at New-York,Purchasers at New-York. with­in the said seven ranges of townships, according to the resolutions of Congress of April 21, 1787, and the supplementary ordinance of July 9, 1788, which claims amount to 150,896 acres.

3. The purchase of one million and a half acres of land by Cutler and Sar­gent, on behalf of certain individuals,Ohio company· associated under the name of the Ohio Company. This begins where the Ohio is intersected by the western bounda­ry of the seventh range of townships, and runs due north on that boundary 1306 chains and 25 links; thence due west to the western boundary of the 17th range of townships; thence due south to the Ohio, and up that river to the beginning; the whole area containing 1,781,760 acres of land, whereof 281,760 acres, consisting of various lots and townships, are reserved to the United States.

4. The purchase by the same Cutler and Sargent on behalf also of themselves and others.Scioto company This begins at the north-eastern angle of the tract of their pur­chase before described, and runs due north to the northern boundary of the tenth township from the Ohio; thence due west, to the Sioto; thence down the same, and up the Ohio to the south-western angle of the said purchase be­fore described, and along the western and northern boundaries thereof to the beginning; the whole area containing 4,901,480 acres of land, out of which, however, five lots, to wit, Nos. 8, 11, 16, 26, and 29 of every township, of six miles square, are retained by the United States, and out of the whole are retained the three townships of Gnadenhutten, Schoenbrun, and Salem; and certain lands around them, as will be hereafter mentioned.

5. The purchase of John Cleves Symmes,Symmes. bounded on the west by the Great Miami; on the south by the Ohio; on the east by a line which is to begin on the bank of the Ohio, 2 [...] miles from the mouth of the Great Miami, as mea­sured along the several courses of the Ohio, and to run parallel with the general [Page 8] course of the said Great Miami; and on the north by an east▪ and west line, so run as to include a million of acres in the whole area, whereof five lots, num­bered as before mentioned, are reserved out of every township by the United States.

It is suggested that this purchaser, under colour of a first and larger propo­sition to the board of treasury, which was never closed, (but pending that pro­sition) sold sundry parcels of land, between his eastern boundary before men­tioned, and the Little Miami; and that the purchasers have settled thereon. If these suggestions prove true, the settlers will, perhaps, be thought to merit the favor of the legislature, as purchasers for valuable consideration, and with­out notice of the defect of title.

The contracts for lands, which were at one time under consideration with Messrs. Flint and Parker,Flint & Parker. Morgan. and with Colonel Morgan, were never so far prosecu­ted as to bring either party under any obligation. All proceedings thereon were discontinued at a very early stage, and it is supposed that no further views exist with any party. These, therefore, are not to be enumerated among exist­ing claims.

6. Three townships were reserved by the ordinance of May 20, 1785, adja­cent to Lake Erie,Canadian refu­gees. for refugees from Canada and Nova-Scotia, and for other purposes, according to resolutions of Congress, made or to be made on that subject. These would of course contain 69,120 acres.

Christian In­dians.7. The same ordinance of May 20, 1785, appropriated the three towns of Gnadenhutten, Schoenbrun, and Salem, on the Muskingum, for the christian Indians formerly settled there, or the remains of that society, with the grounds round about them, and the quantity of the said circumjacent grounds, for each of the said towns, was determined by the resolution of Congress of September 3d, 1788, to be so much as, with the plat of its respective town, should make up 4000 acres; so that the three towns and their circumjacent lands were to a­mount to 12,000 acres. This reservation was accordingly made out of the larger purchase of Cutler and Sargent, which comprehended them. The Indians, however, for whom the reservation was made, have chosen to emigrate beyond the limits of the United States, so that the lands reserved for them, still remain to the United States.

On the whole, it appears that the United States may rightfully dispose of all the lands between the Wabash,Connecticut, about2,500,000Kaskaskians, &c. abt.100,000Clark's regt,150,000Virginia line,2, [...]45,03 [...]Continental army, [...], [...]51,800Purchasers at N. Y.150,8 [...]Ohio company,1,500,000Sioto Co. [...]36 of 4,00 [...]. [...]0-12,0004,208,720Symmes,1,000,000 13, [...]06,450 35, [...]00, [...]0 21, [...]93,550 the Ohio, Pennsylvania, the forty-first pa­rallel of latitude, and the Indian lines described in the treaties of the Great Miami, and Fort M'Intosh, with exceptions only of the rights saved by the deed of cession of Virginia, [...] of all rights legally derived from the govern­ment of the United States, [...] supposing the parts south of the Indian lines, to contain as before conjectured, about 35 millions of acres, and that the claims of citizens before enumerated may amount to between thirteen and fourteen millions, there remain at the disposal of the United States upwards of twenty-one millions of acres, in this north-western quarter.

And though the want of actual surveys of some parts, and of a general deli­neation of the whole on paper, so as to exhibit to the eye the locations, forms, and relative positions of the rights before described, may prevent our forming a well defined idea of them at this distance, yet, on the spot these difficulties ex­ist but in a small degree: The individuals there employed in the details of buying, selling, and locating, possess local informations of the parts which con­cern them, so as to be able to keep clear of each others rights; or, if in some instances a conflict of claims should arise, from any want of certainty in their definition, a local judge will doubtless be provided to decide them without delay, at least provisionally. Time, instead of clearing up these incertainties, will cloud them the more, by the death or removal of witnesses, the disappear­ance of lines and marks, change of parties, and other casualties.

TH. JEFFERSON, Secretary of State.
November 8, 1791.

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