Proceedings of Commissioners to Settle the Pennsylvania-Virginia Boundary
Baltimore, 27–31 Aug. 1779. After presenting their respective powers, the commissioners for Virginia (Rev. James Madison and Rev. Robert Andrews; the third commissioner, Thomas Lewis, was absent) exchanged on the following days with the commissioners for Pennsylvania (George Bryan, Rev. John Ewing, and David Rittenhouse) a series of letters proposing and rejecting various lines as the southern boundary of the state of Pennsylvania beyond Maryland. The agreement at length reached on 31 Aug. and signed by the five commissioners proposed “To extend Mason’s and Dixon’s line due west five degrees of longitude, to be computed from the river Delaware, for the southern boundary of Pennsylvania, and that a meridian drawn from the western extremity thereof to the northern limit of the said state be the western boundary of Pennsylvania forever.”
Tr (DLC); 8 p.; printed in Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends x, 521–33. (The agreement as signed by all the commissioners, quoted above, is not in Tr, but follows the text of the Proceedings in Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends x, 533.)
For the background of the Pennsylvania-Virginia boundary controversy, see several documents printed above, especially Virginia and Pennsylvania Delegates to Inhabitants West of Laurel Hill, 25 July 1775, and TJ’s Memoranda on the Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland Boundaries, printed under 5 Nov. 1776, with references there. On 18 Dec. 1776 the Virginia Assembly proposed a line yielding the Forks of the Ohio, and for more than two years there was desultory correspondence between the two states on the subject. In Dec. 1778 Virginia proposed that a mixed commission meet to settle the question. Pennsylvania agreed and nominated commissioners on its part. On 24 June 1779 Thomas Lewis, James Madison, and Robert Andrews were appointed commissioners by the Virginia Assembly. See Penna. Archives, 1st ser., v-vii, indexes under Virginia; JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , Oct. 1777, p. 116; same, Oct. 1778, p. 111–12; same, May 1779, p. 15–16, 35, 64 (all references are to the 1827 reprints); Paullin and Wright, Atlas, p. 77–8, and pl. 97G. For further developments on the boundary dispute during TJ’s governorship, see Joseph Reed to TJ, 25 Nov.; Huntington to TJ, 30 Dec. 1779; and TJ to Huntington, 9 Feb. 1780.