Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Tench Coxe, 8 March 1793

To Tench Coxe

Mar. 8. 93

Th: Jefferson presents his compliments and thanks to Mr. Coxe for the paper sent him yesterday. It fixes a conjecture that the East and West line run from the intersection of the Pensylva. boundary with the Ohio, forms the head line of the ranges of townships. But there surely was a partial survey of those ranges of townships. It is presumed that the sales made at New York must have been on an inspection of this partial survey. If there be such a one, Th:J. will be much obliged to Mr. Coxe for it, immediately, as he is at this time finishing what he was to prepare on the subject. Th:J. has the large chequer-board map, but this was a conjectural thing, and not done on actual survey.

RC (CtY); addressed “Mr. Coxe”; endorsed by Coxe. Not recorded in SJL.

Under the Land Ordinance of 1785, seven ranges of townships west of the Ohio River were to be laid out before any of these lands were sold. Impatient at the slow pace of the surveying, Congress voted on 21 Apr. 1787 to begin sales of land situated in the four ranges already surveyed at that point, the notes and plats for which had been received from Thomas Hutchins, geographer to the United States, earlier that year. Between 21 Sep. and 9 Oct. 1787, 72,934 acres of this land were sold in the sales made at New York. The surveying of the seven ranges was completed by 26 July 1788, but no further sales affecting them had occurred since then (Terr. Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter and John Porter Bloom, eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1934–, 28 vols. description ends , ii 12–18, 24–25; ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Public Lands, iii, 459; William D. Pattison, “The Survey of the Seven Ranges,” Ohio Historical Quarterly, lxviii [1959], 131n, 132, 134n, 137). See also Report on Boundaries with the Western Indians, 10 Mch. 1793.

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