George Washington Papers

Deed to the Erie Triangle, 3 March 1792

Deed to the Erie Triangle

[Philadelphia, 3 March 1792]

In the name of the United States!
To all, to whom these presents shall come.

Whereas by an act of congress, intituled an act “for carrying into effect a contract between the United States and the state of Pennsylvania,”1 it was provided, that for duly conveying to the said state a certain tract of land, the right to the government and jurisdiction whereof was relinquished to the said state by a resolution of congress of the fourth day of September in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty eight, and, whereof the right of soil has been sold by virtue of a previous resolution of congress of the sixth day of June in the said year,2 the President of the United States be authorized, on fulfilment of the terms, stipulated on the part of the said state, to issue letters patent, in the name and under the seal of the United States, granting and conveying to the said state for ever the said tract of land, as the same was ascertained by a survey, made in pursuance of the resolution of congress, of the 6th of June 1788; Now Know Ye, that inasmuch as it appears by a certificate from the comptroller of the treasury, that the terms, stipulated On the part of the said state concerning the tract of land aforesaid, have been fulfilled, according to the true intent and meaning of the said contract; I do by these presents, in pursuance of the above-recited act of congress, grant and convey to the said state of Pennsylvania for ever the said tract of land, as the same was ascertained by the survey aforesaid, a copy whereof is herewith annexed.3

In testimony whereof I have caused these letters to be made patent; and have hereunto subscribed my name, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed, at Philadelphia, this 3rd day of March in the year of our lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety two, and of the Independence of the United States of America sixteenth.

George Washington

By the President
Thomas Jefferson

Df, in Edmund Randolph’s writing, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters. Randolph endorsed the document’s cover: “Rough deed to Pennsylvania. This deed has been Submitted to Mr [Alexander J.] Dallas, who approves it—It is therefore sent to Mr J[efferson] to be transcribed in form at his office, and presented to the Prest for Signature, according to what passed yesterday between Mr J. & myself. Will he see, if there be any error. E.R.”

For the background to the sale of federal land in the Erie Triangle to the state of Pennsylvania, see Thomas Mifflin to GW, 15 Dec. 1791, source note. Dallas was Governor Mifflin’s secretary.

1GW had signed this act on 3 Jan. 1792 (see GW to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, 20 Dec. 1791, note 1).

2For the two resolutions of the Confederation Congress, see JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 34:203, 499–500.

3The survey, which may not have been enclosed in Randolph’s draft, has not been found. Alexander Hamilton transmitted the official copy of it to Thomas Jefferson on 6 Mar. 1792 and asked that it be returned to the Treasury Department files after the secretary of state had copied it (Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends 23:228).

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