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House Journal 1822 (30-318937-022B.pdf)

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The Commissioners, appointed on the part of this State under the Act of Separation, have recently had a meeting with those of Massachusetts, to make preliminary arrangements for a division of the property between the two states : Their doings will be laid before you as soon as received.

It gives me anxiety, to be obliged to inform you, that in consequence of the disagreement of the American and British Commissioners under the treaty of Ghent, in relation to the true boundary between the United States and the British Provinces, the final division of the lands, owned in common by this and the parent State, will necessarily be delayed to a period uncertain, though it is to be hoped not distant. In addition to this it is understood that the claims of the British Commissioner cover a tract of country, heretofore confessedly belonging to this State, and over which it has exercised jurisdiction. Although we have no reason to apprehend that there will be any thing like acquiescence in this claim, but on the contrary that it will be resisted throughout as it has been at the threshold, yet I submit to the Legislature, whether it may not be well to request the particular attention of our Senators and Representatives at Washington to this subject, so far at least, as to collect the facts and transmit a statement for our information. I view this as the more important, inasmuch as neither the Commissioner nor agent on the part of the United States belongs to this State, and the subject in controversy is of consequence to us, both as it respects jurisdiction and property.

To a State situated like this, with several hundred miles of seaboard and frontier, whose inhabitants have fresh in recollection the incursions of an enemy, the importance of an energetic, well armed and well disciplined militia, will be duly estimated. To the many experienced members of both branches of the Legislature I refer this subject, in perfect confidence that when viewed in relation to our position in the Union, it will merit and receive all proper consideration.

I feel it my duty to call your attention to sundry resolutions of the legislature of the State of Maryland, relative to the appropriation of public lands for the purposes of education, which resolutions were laid before the last Legislature of this State. By the several acts of Congress, authorizing new States to be formed out of the Territories of the United States, one thirty sixth part of each State so formed has been appropriated for the support of common schools, and an additional quantity for seminaries of a higher grade. The vacant lands in each Territory being the property of the United States, it follows that such appropriations have been made out of the common interest for the benefit of individual States. To this there can be no just reason of complaint, provided a corresponding benefit results to the original States.

But when it is recollected that this common fund was acquired by conquest in the Revolution or by purchase since, and that too, before the new States, which are now reaping its benefit, were in existence as such; that the price, whether of blood or treasure, was paid by the States that effected the Revolution, the reason for this appropriation for the benefit of the new States exclusively, seems wholly to fail. The policy of granting a due proportion of vacant lands for the purposes of education, is unquestionably correct. A diffusion of knowledge being highly important for (the stability of any Government, so necessarily dependent as is ours upon public opinion, no friend of a republican form of Government could doubt the propriety of its encouragement by all proper means. The proposition from the State of Maryland is, by an application to Congress, to procure an appropriation of a corresponding proportion of the public lands to each of the States, to which such an appropriation has not already been made. In the furtherance of this application,. so just and equitable in its nature,in which we are equally interested with Maryland, the Legislature of that State invites us to unite. Taking into view either the claims, the importance of the object, or the benefit that would result from its acquisition to this State, I cannot doubt but the Legislature will consider the subject entitled to their particular attention. I have received from the Governor of the State of New-Jersey a copy of a report and sundry resolutions~ adopted by the Council and General Assembly of that State, expressing their cordial co-operation in the propositions of the. Legislature of Maryland; which report and resolutions will be laid before you by the Secretary.

In connection with this subject, it is proper to add, that our principal literary institutions at Brunswick and Waterville merit, and I have no doubt will receive, the favorable consideration of the Representatives of an enlightened people. The situation of their fiscal concerns will be made known to you by those, who have their immediate superintendance. While knowledge is power of the highest influence and first importance in a free Government, the true friends of that Government must

Description: The journal of the House of Representatives documents the proceedings in the chamber, including actions taken on bills, petitions and reports from committees read, and votes taken. The journals are not transcripts and therefore do not include floor speeches that are found in the modern Legislative Records.

Link to document in Digital Maine

Language: English

Date: 1822

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