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Enclosure: Opinion on Requests Made by John Cleves Symmes, [13 March 1794]


Opinion on requests made by John Cleves Symmes by his Letter of June 8th 17933

1 Point: The Alteration of the Contract pursuant to Act of the 12th of April 1792.4

To be done: Judge Symmes to execute an instrument declaratory of his consent: The President to execute another Act declaratory of his Consent.5

2 Point   Letters Patent agreeably to the Act of May the 5th 1792.6

It appearing by certificates from the Treasury that the party has paid into the Treasury the several sums of 94455 Dollars & 42 Cents and of 71238 Dollars in securities and warrants for military rights it results that Letters patent ought to issue for a correspondent number of acres according to the rate speci[fi]ed.7

To this quantity is to be added a proportional quantity equivalent to the reservations specified in the Contract.8

Also a complete township in trust for the purpose of establishing an academy to be laid out as nearly as may be in the center of the patented tract.9 The location to be made by the Grantee within a term of five years from the date of the Patent with the approbation of the Governor for the time being of the Territory N West of the Ohio. A reservation to be made to the UStates of fifteen acres which shall include Fort Washington to be located by such persons as the President shall appoint.10 But provision to be made for securing to the UStates one Mile Square at or near the Mouth of the Great Miami to be located by such person as the President of the UStates shall appoint for that purpose; provided that a law be passed to authorise it within two years and that the President appoint a person to make the location within one year thereafter.11

The foregoing quantities to form one tract bounded as follows that is to say “to extend from the mouth of the Great Miami to the Mouth of the Little Mimami and to be bounded by the Ohio on the South by the Great Miami on the West by the Little Miami on the East and by a parallel of Latitude on the North extending from the Great Miami to the Little Miami so as [to] comprehend the quantities abovementioned. The line of the said parallel of latitude to be run by the Grantee or his lawful Representative within the term of five years and the survey to be reported within the said term to the Secretary of the Treasury for the time being. The points thereof to be fixed pursuant to a certificate of Israel Ludlow founded upon the survey made by him.”12

Alexander Hamilton

Edm. Randolph

H Knox

2ADf, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford.

3Letter not found.

4“An Act for ascertaining the bounds of a tract of land purchased by John Cleves Symmes” (6 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America [Private Statutes] (Boston, 1856). description ends 7–8).

5These documents, dated September 29 and 30, 1794, are printed in Carter, Territorial Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter, ed., The Territorial Papers of the United States (Washington, 1934– ). description ends , II, 490–95.

6“An Act authorizing the grant and conveyance of certain Lands to John Cleves Symmes, and his Associates” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 266–67). The patent, dated September 30, 1794, is printed in Carter, Territorial Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter, ed., The Territorial Papers of the United States (Washington, 1934– ). description ends , II, 496–98.

7For information concerning the adjustment of these accounts, see note 1.

For earlier correspondence concerning the number of warrants for military bounty land rights which might be applied toward the Symmes purchase, see Dayton to H, May 29, 1790; Edmund Randolph to H, July 9, 1791.

9This was provided for in the act of May 5, 1792.

10This was provided for in the act of April 12, 1792.

11On May 30, 1796, the Senate rejected a bill which had originated in the House of Representatives for this purpose (Journal of the House description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington, 1826), I, II. description ends , II, 596).

12For earlier correspondence concerning Israel Ludlow’s survey of the Symmes purchase, see St. Clair to H, May 25, 1791; Ludlow to H, May 5, 1792. Several letters in H’s correspondence concerning this survey have not been found. See H to Ludlow, November 25, 1792, July 17, 1793; Ludlow to H, May 6, 1792, July 10, 1793. Ludlow had brought the survey of the Miami tract to Philadelphia on October 12, 1793. Between November 20, 1793, and January 8, 1794, Ludlow prepared a map of a tract of 311,682 acres, part of the one million acres. Between March 16 and March 24, 1794, he prepared a certificate of the length of the several boundaries of the same part of the Symmes purchase (D, RG 217, Miscellaneous Treasury Accounts, 1790–1894, Accounts No. 4841 and 5704, National Archives).

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