Continental Congress. Report on the Admission of
Kentucky into the Union
[New York, June 2, 1788]1
The Committee report
That the address and resolutions from the district of Kentucke with the acts of the Legislature of Virginia4 therein specified be referred to a Committee of 5 to prepare and report a proper act for acceding to the independence of the said district of Kentucke and for receiving the same into the Union as a member thereof: in a mode conformable to the articles of Confederation.6
AD, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives.
2. For a number of years Kentucky, as the western part of Virginia had come to be called, had petitioned Congress for admission to the Union as an independent state. Virginia, which at first had rejected the idea of independence, finally agreed to it in October, 1785.
On February 29, 1788, representatives of Kentucky again petitioned Congress. The delegates from Virginia made a motion that the district of Kentucky be made “a Separate and Independent Member of the federal Union on the Terms and Conditions proposed in two Acts passed by the Legislature of Virginia” (JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , XXXIV, 72). The Virginia motion was referred to a committee of the whole on May 30, and the committee reported on June 2.
3. The words in brackets are not in H’s writing and are misplaced. They belong in the blank space preceding the words “to prepare.”
4. The acts of the Virginia legislature, which were passed in the October sessions of 1785 and 1786, provided, among other things, that Kentucky should assume a proper proportion of Virginia’s federal obligations.
5. Space left blank in MS. See note 3.
6. On July 3, 1788, Congress decided that it would be “manifestly inexpedient” to admit Kentucky into the Union on the grounds that the question should be decided by the new government established under the Constitution (JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , XXXIV, 289–90).