Arthur St. Clair Letter to Judges Parsons and Varnum   Save
Arthur St. Clair Letter to Judges Parsons and Varnum
Description: This rough draft of a letter written by Arthur St. Clair to judges Parsons and Varnum (the judges for the Northwest Territory) gives his objections to a law that would allow the Ohio Company proprietors to make laws to be upheld on the company's parcel of land. St. Clair argues that to allow the proprietors to make laws without the consent of the territorial government would be at variance with the ordinance. Incidentally, the proposed law would put more power into the hands of St. Clair and his government instead of the landowners living in the territory. The three-page letter measures 9" by 13" (22 by 34 cm) and is part of a larger collection of Arthur St. Clair letters that is owned by the State Library of Ohio and on permanent deposit at the Ohio Historical Society. Arthur St. Clair (1734-1818) was governor of the Northwest Territory and administrator of Indian affairs for the western territories from 1787 to 1802. St. Clair led an army against the American Indians, who threatened war after their land was given to the U. S. government without their authorization, in November 1791. St. Clair suffered a disastrous defeat, losing half of his men. In response, President George Washington appointed General Anthony Wayne to defeat the Indians, which he did in 1794 at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. St. Clair also had many disagreements with the territorial legislature. He supported the division of the territory into different states that would be admitted separately to the Union despite the opposition of members of the legislature, including Thomas Worthington, who wished to hasten Ohio's admission for statehood. In 1802, Worthington and others asked President Thomas Jefferson to dismiss St. Clair from office, which he did on November 22, thus clearing the way for the legislature to begin drafting Ohio's constitution. St. Clair retired to his home in Lingonier, Pennsylvania and died there in 1818. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: Om74_1146927_025
Subjects: Business and Labor; Presidents and Politics; Ohio Government; Justice--Administration of; Northwest Territory; Governors
Places: Northwest Territory