Thomas Jefferson Papers

I. Notes concerning Boundaries, [1784?]

I. Notes concerning Boundaries


Prender of possession, and assumption of boundary, by the Jus gentium of America, gives a right of preemption against all nations and individuals but not of occupation against the native inhabitants.

Charters from the crown, whether to proprietors or people, are fundamental rights, vesting in all, and not alterable but by consent of all parties.

Consent of people, expressed by acquiescence.

In infant state of settlements the Crown was in the practice of curtailing prior grants by subsequent.

A subsequent grant, extending across the whole of a prior grant and thus cutting off territory tho’ not included in 2d grant, implies or is evidence of an intention in the Crown to limit the 1st. state by the 2d. and the 1st. grant is rescinded as to the territory cut off

thus Georgia bounded S. Carola.

Pensylva. bounded Connecticut

MS (DLC); entirely in TJ’s hand. This memorandum is undated, but it presumably represents notes made by TJ during the years 1782–1784 when he was actively investigating the whole question of Virginia’s claim. But its context suggests that it may have been set down early in 1784 when the case of Pennsylvania v. Connecticut came into debate in connection with the petition of Zebulon Butler.

Index Entries