: This letter written by B. Cardiveau to Arthur St. Clair in June 1789 argues that slaves from the Southern states should be allowed to continue their servitude in the Northwest Territory even though slavery was outlawed by the Northwest Ordinance. Cardiveau predicts that if slaves are not allowed to be kept in the territory, southerners will not settle north of the Ohio River, and the area "will infallibly remain for a long time in a state of infancy." Cardiveau also suggests that slavery could be completely repealed if and when Ohio became a state and the citizens had a right to decide for themselves. The seven-page letter measures 9" by 13" (10 by 32 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 History Connection.
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 a large alliance of American Indians, led by Shawnee chief Weyapiersenwah (Blue Jacket) and Miami chief Mishikinakwa (Little Turtle), 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 region's American Indian tribes, 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.
: Om74_1146847_018 Subjects
: Civil Liberties; African American Ohioans; Slavery; Northwest Territory; Governors Places
: Northwest Territory