Book/Printed Material Image 1 of An ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States, North-west of the river Ohio.

About this Item


An ORDINANCE for the GOVERNMENT of the TERRITORY of the UNITED STATES, North-West of the RIVER OHIO.

BE IT ORDAINED by the United States in Congress assembled, That the said territory, for the purposes of temporary government, be one district; subject, however, to be divided into two districts, as future circumstances may, in the opinion of Congress, make it expedient.

Be it ordained by the authority aforesaid, That the estates both of resident and non-resident proprietors in the said territory, dying intestate, shall descend to, and be distributed among their children, and the descendants of a deceased child in equal parts; the descendants of a deceased child or grand-child, to take the share of their deceased parent in equal parts among them: And where there shall be no children or descendants, them in equal parts to the next of kin, in equal degree; and among collaterals, the children of a deceased brother or sister of the intestate, shall have in equal parts among them their deceased parents share; and there shall in no case be a distinction between kindred of the whole and half blood; saving in all cases to the widow of the intestate, her third part of the real estate for life, and one third part of the personal estate; and this law relative to descents and dower, shall remain in full force until altered by the legislature of the district,———And until the governor and judges shall adopt laws as herein after mentioned, estates in the said territory may be devised or bequeathed by wills in writing, signed and sealed by him or her, in whom the estate may be, (being of full age) and attested by three witnesses;—-and real estates may be conveyed by lease and release, or bargain and sale, signed, sealed, and delivered by the person being of full age, in whom the estate may be, and attested by two witnesses, provided such wills be duly proved, and such conveyances be acknowledged, or the execution thereof duly proved, and be recorded within one year after proper magistrates, courts, and registers shall be appointed for that purpose; and personal property may be transferred by delivery, saving, however, to the French and Canadian inhabitants, and other settlers of the Kaskaskies, Saint Vincent's, and the neighbouring villages, who have heretofore professed themselves citizens of Virginia, their laws and customs now in force among them, relative to the descent and conveyance of property.

Be it ordained by the authority aforesaid, That there shall be appointed from time to time, by Congress, a governor, whose commission shall continue in force for the term of three years, unless sooner revoked by Congress; he shall reside in the district, and have a freehold estate therein, in one thousand acres of land, while in the exercise of his office.

There shall be appointed from time to time, by Congress, a secretary, whose commission shall continue in force for four years, unless sooner revoked, he shall reside in the district, and have a freehold estate therein, in five hundred acres of land, while in the exercise of his office; it shall be his duty to keep and preserve the acts and laws passed by the legislature, and the public records of the district, and the proceedings of the governors in his executive department; and transmit authentic copies of such acts and proceedings, every six months, to the secretary of Congress: There shall also be appointed a court to consist of three judges, any two of whom to form a court, who shall have a common law jurisdiction, and reside in the district, and have each therein a freehold estate in five hundred acres of land, while in the exercise of their offices; and their commissions shall continue in force during good behaviour.

The governor and judges, or a majority of them, shall adopt and publish in the district, such laws of the original states, criminal and civil, as may be necessary, and best suited to the circumstances of the district, and report them to Congress, from time to time, which laws shall be in force in the district until the organization of the general assembly therein, unless disapproved of by Congress; but afterwards the legislature shall have authority to alter them as they shall think fit.

The governor for the time being, shall be commander in chief of the militia, appoint and commission all officers in the same, below the rank of general officers; all general officers shall be appointed and commissioned by Congress.

Previous to the organization of the general assembly, the governor shall appoint such magistrates and other civil officers, in each county or township, as he shall find necessary for the preservation of the peace and good order in the same: After the general assembly shall be organized, the powers and duties of magistrates and other civil officers shall be regulated and defined by the said assembly; but all magistrates and other civil officers, not herein otherwise directed, shall, during the continuance of this temporary government, be appointed by the governor.

For the prevention of crimes and injuries, the laws to be adopted or made shall have force in all parts of the district, and for the execution of process, criminal and civil, the governor shall make proper division thereof—-and he shall proceed from time to time, as circumstances may require, to lay out the parts of the district in which the Indian titles shall have been extinguished, into counties and townships, subject, however, to such alterations as may thereafter be made by the legislature.

So soon as there shall be five thousand free male inhabitants, of full age, in the district, upon giving proof thereof to the governor, they shall receive authority, with time and place, to elect representatives from their counties or townships, to represent them in the general assembly; provided that for every five hundred free male inhabitants there shall be one representative, and so on progressively with the number of free male inhabitants, shall the right of representation increase, until the number of representatives shall amount to twenty-five, after which the number and proportion of representatives shall be regulated by the legislature; provided that no person be eligible or qualified to act as a representative, unless he shall have been a citizen of one of the United States three years and be a resident in the district, or unless he shall have resided in the district three years, and in either case shall likewise hold in his own right, in fee simple, two hundred acres of land within the same:—-Provided also, that a freehold in fifty acres of land in the district, having been a citizen of one of the states, and being resident in the district; or the like freehold and two years residence in the district shall be necessary to qualify a man as an elector of a representative.

The representatives thus elected, shall serve for the term of two years, and in case of the death of a representative, or removal from office, the governor shall issue a writ to the county or township for which he was a member, to elect another in his stead, to serve for the residue of the term.

The general assembly, or legislature, shall consist of the governor, legislative council, and a house of representatives. The legislative council shall consist of five members, to continue in office five years, unless sooner removed by Congress, any three of whom to be a quorum, and the members of the council shall be nominated and appointed in the following manner, to wit: As soon as representatives shall be elected, the governor shall appoint a time and place for them to meet together, and, when met, they shall nominate ten persons, residents in the district, and each possessed of a freehold in five hundred acres of land, and return their names to Congress; five of whom Congress shall appoint and commission to serve as aforesaid; and whenever a vacancy shall happen in the council, by death or removal from office, the house of representatives shall nominate two persons, qualified as aforesaid, for each vacancy, and return their names to Congress; one of whom Congress shall appoint and commission for the residue of the term; and every five years, four months at least before the expiration of the time of service of the members of council, the said house shall nominate ten persons, qualified as aforesaid, and return their names to Congress, five of whom Congress shall appoint and commission to serve as members of the council five years, unless sooner removed. And the governor, legislative council, and house of

About this Item

Title
An ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States, North-west of the river Ohio.
Contributor Names
United States.
Thomson, Charles, 1729-1824, signer.
United States. Continental Congress.
Continental Congress Broadside Collection (Library of Congress)
Created / Published
[New York : s.n., 1787]
Subject Headings
-  Northwest, Old--Politics and government
-  United States--Territories and possessions
-  United States--New York--New York
Genre
Laws--United States--1787
Autographs (Provenance)--Statesmen--United States--1787
Notes
-  The ordinance as passed July 13, 1787. Cf. Journals of the Continental Congress, v. 32, p. 334-343.
-  Imprint from Evans. Former attribution to the press of John Dunlap rejected in the Journals of the Continental Congress, v. 33, p. 753.
-  Evans 20779
-  Journals of the Continental Congress, 584
-  ESTC W14328
-  Also available in digital form on the Library of Congress Web site.
-  LC copy signed in ms.: Chas Thomson, secy.
-  Cont Cong Bside no. 225 Copy 2 filmed as Cont Cong Bside no. 224b. qr03 06-01-90
-  LAC sba 2021-06-01 no edits (1 card)
-  Scanned card stamped as no. 2781. LAC sba 2021-06-01.
Medium
[4] p. (p. [2-4] blank) ; 33 cm.
Call Number/Physical Location
Cont Cong no. 225
Cont Cong no. 225 Copy 2 Copy 2. Signed in ms.: Chas Thomson. Annotated by another hand to show revisions of the ordinance. Cf. JCC, v. 33, p. 757.
Cont Cong no. 225 Copy 3
Cont Cong no. 225 Copy 4
Library of Congress Control Number
90898154
Online Format
image
online text
LCCN Permalink
https://lccn.loc.gov/90898154
Additional Metadata Formats
MARCXML Record
MODS Record
Dublin Core Record

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright or any other restrictions in the documents in this collection. However, some of the content may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) and/or by the copyright or neighboring-rights laws of other nations. Additionally, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by privacy and/or publicity rights. The determination of the status of an item ultimately rests with the person desiring to reproduce or use the item.

Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Continental Congress & Constitutional Convention Broadsides Collection

Availability of Reproductions

To inquire about copies of Rare Book and Special Collections Division items, contact the Photoduplication Service (telephone: 202-707-5640). Orders are accepted by mail and by fax.

The Photoduplication Service estimates that it takes 3-6 weeks to complete an order.

For Further Information

If you have comments or additional questions, please contact us.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

United States, Charles Thomson, United States Continental Congress, and Continental Congress Broadside Collection. An ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States, North-west of the river Ohio. [New York: s.n, 1787] Online Text. https://www.loc.gov/item/90898154/.

APA citation style:

United States, Thomson, C., United States Continental Congress & Continental Congress Broadside Collection. (1787) An ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States, North-west of the river Ohio. [New York: s.n] [Online Text] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/90898154/.

MLA citation style:

United States, et al. An ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States, North-west of the river Ohio. [New York: s.n, 1787] Online Text. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/90898154/>.

More Books/Printed Material like this