xt712j683d24 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt712j683d24/data/mets.xml Paine, Thomas, 1737-1809. 1780  books b92e309p1417802009 English John Dunlap, Market street : Philadelphia, Pa. Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Public lands --United States. Virginia --Boundaries. Northwest, Old --History. Kentucky --History --To 1792. Public good, being an examination into the claim of Virginia to the vacant western territory, and of the right of the United States to the same. : To which is added, proposals for laying off a new state, to be applied as a fund for carrying on the war, or redeeming the national debt. / by the author of Common sense. text Public good, being an examination into the claim of Virginia to the vacant western territory, and of the right of the United States to the same. : To which is added, proposals for laying off a new state, to be applied as a fund for carrying on the war, or redeeming the national debt. / by the author of Common sense. 1780 2009 true xt712j683d24 section xt712j683d24 



Into the Claim of Virginia to the


Of   the   RIGHT of

The United States to the Same.


Propofals for laying off a new State,



PHILADELPHIA: Printed by JOHN   D U N L A P,  in Market Greet.

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P    R    K    F    A    G E.

TH E following pagffs are On a ftlhject hithertcs little imderllood, but highly intcrelting to the United States.

They contain an inveftigarion of the claims of Virgijfca to the vacant weltern territory, and of the right of the United States to the fame ; with fome outlines of a plan for laying out a new ftate, to be applied as a fund, for carrying on the war, or redeeming the national debt.

The reader, in the courfe of this publication, will find it fludioully plain, and, as far as I can judge, perfectly candid. What materials I could get at I have endeavoured to place in a clear line, and deduce fuch arguments therefrom as the fubjec't required. Inthepro-fecution of it, I have confidered myfelf as sn advocate for the right of the (lates, and taken no other liberty with the fubject than what a counfel would, and ought to do, in behalf of a client.

I freely confefs that the refpect I had conceived, and Still preferve, for the character of Virginia, was a constant check upon thofe fallies of imagination, which are fairly and advantageoufly indulged againit an enemy, but ungenerous when againit a friend.

If there is any thing I have omitted or iniftaken, to the injury of the intentions of Virginia or her claims, f fhall gladly rectify it j or if there is any thing yet to. add, Ihould the fubjee'r. require it, I (hall as chearfully undertake it; being fully convinced, that to have matters fairly difcuiled, ami properly understood, is a principal means of prelerving harmony and perpetuating friendship.

   PUB I I G   GOOD, Sec.

HEN we take into view the mutual happinefs and united interefts of the ft.ites of America, and confider the important confeqiiencc to arife from a ffri   attention of each, and of all, to e-very tiling which is juft, reafonahle and honourable ; or the evils that will follow from an inattention to thofe principles; there cannot, and ought not, to remain a doubt, but that the governing rule of right and mutual good mult in all public cafes finally prefide..

The hand of providence has caff us into one common lot, and accomplifhed the independence of America, by the unanimous content of the teveral parts, concurring at once in time, manner and circumftances. No fuperi-ority of intereil, at the expence of the reft, induced the one, more than the other, into the mcafure. Virginia and Maryland', it is true, might foretee, that their (laple commodity, tobacco, by bcir.s no longer monopolized by Bii-tain, would bring them a better price abroad : for as the tax on it in England was treble its lirft purchate from the planter, ami they being now no longer compelled to fend it under that obligation, and in the reftric'ted manner they formerly were ; ir is eafy to fee, that the article, from the alteration of the circumllanoes of trade, will, and daily does, turn out to them with additional advantages.

But this being a natural confequence, produced by that common freedom and independence of which all are partakers, is therefore an advantage they are intitled to, and on which the reft of the (tates can congratulate them without feeling a wifli to leiTen, but rather to extend it. To contribute to the entreated profperity of another, by "the fame means which occafion our own, is an agreeable reflection ; and the more valuable any article of export becomes, the more riches will be introduced into and fpread over the continent* Yet 
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Yet tl>is is an advantage Which thofe two Hates derive from the independence of America fuperior to the local eireumftances of the reft ; and of the two it more particularly belongs to Virginia than Maryland, becaufe the ftaple commodity of a confiderable part of Maryland is flour, which, as it is an article that is the growth of Europe as Well as of America, cannot obtain a foreign market but by under felling, or at leaft by limiting it to t he current price abroad. But tobacco commands its own price.   Jt is not a plant of almoft univerfal growth, like wheat.   There are but few foils and climes that produce it to advantage, and before the cultivation of it in Virginia and Maryland, the price was from four to Sixteen millings (lerling a pound in England. *

But thecnnditiiin of the vacant weftern territory of America makes a very different cafe to that of the circumstances of trade in any of the dates. Thofe very lands, formed, in contemplation, the fund by which the 

Tins patent differed from the former in this eflential point, that it had limits, whereas the other had none : the former was intended to promote discoveries where e-ver they could be made, which accounts why no limits were affixed, and tin's to fettle difcoveri.es already made, which likewifc aifigns a reafon why limits fhoukl be de-fcribed.

In this patent were incorporated two companies, called the South-Virginia company, and the North-Virginia

f Oldmixon's hiliory. of Virginia. ,

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fompany, and fomctimes the London company, and the Plymouth company. <

The South-Virginia or London company was compofed chiefly of London adventurers ; the North-Virginia or Plymouth company was made up of adventurers from Plymouth in Devonfhire, and other perfons of the weft-ern parts of England.

Tho' they were not to fix together, yet they were allowed to chufe their places of fettlement any where on the coait of America, then called Virginia, between the latitudes of 34 and 45 degrees, which was a range of 760 miles: the fouth company was not to go below 34 degrees, nor the north company above 45 degrees. But the patent expreffed, that as foon as they had made their choice, each was to become limited to 50 miles each way on the coaft, and 100 up the country ; fo that the grant to each company was a ftjnare of 100 miles, and no more. The North-Virginia or Plymouth company fettled to the eaft-ward, and in the year 1614 changed the name, aud called that part New-England. The South,-Virginia or Loudon company fettled near cape Henry.

This then cannot be the patent of boundlefs extent, and that for two reafons; fir ft, becaufe the limits are defcri-bed, namely, a fquare of 100 miles; and fecondly, becaufe there were two companies of equal rights included in the fame patent.

Three years after this, that is, in the year 1609, the South-Virginia company applied for new powers from the Crown of England, which were granted them in a new-patent, and the boundaries of the grant enlarged ; and this is the charter or patent on which fome of the prefenr Virginians ground their pretention to boundlefs territory.

The firft reflection that prefer.ts itfelf on this enlargement of the grant is, that it mult be fuppofed to bear fome intended degree of reafonable comparison to that which it fuperceded. The former could not be greater than a fquare of one hundred miles; and this new one being granted in the lieu of that, and that within the fpace of three years, and by the fame perlon, James the firft, who was never famed either for profufiuu or gene-

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rofity, cannot, on a review of the time ami   ircumftances of the grant, be fuppofed n very extravagant or very extraordinary one. If a fqnare of one hundred miles was not futHciently large, twice that quantity was as much as could well be expected or folicited : but to fuppofe that he, who had caution enough to confine the firft grant within moderate bounds, mould in fo fhort a fpace as three years, iupercede it by another grant of many million times greater content, is, on the face of the affair, a cir-cumftantial nullity.

Whether this patent or charter was in exiftence or not at the time the revolution commenced, is a matter I fliall hereafter (peak to, and confine myfelf in this place to the limits whichthc faid patent or charter lays down.

The words are as follow :

" Beginning from the cape or point of land called cape or point Comfort, thence all along the lea coaft to the " M o r t h w a r    200 miles ; and from the faid point: " or cape Comfort all along the fea coaft to the foulhward '' 200 miles; and all that (pace or circuit of land lying " from the fea coall of the precinct aforefaid up into the " land throughout, from fea to fea, West and north-" weft."

The firft remark I fliall offer on the words of this grant is, that they are uncertain, obfeure and unintelligible, and may be conftrued into fuch a variety of contradictory meanings as to leave at laft no meaning at all.

Whether the zoo miles each way, from cape Comfort, were to be on a Jlruight line, or afcertained by following the indented