“THE NEW NATION’S GRADUAL AND ORDERLY EXPANSION TO THE WEST”: A RARE ASSOCIATION COPY OF THE 1800 CONGRESSIONAL REPORT THAT ULTIMATELY AIDED WESTERN EXPANSION AND OHIO STATEHOOD
(UNITED STATES CONGRESS). Report of the Committee To whom it was referred, on the 26th ultimo, the Consideration Of the Expediencey of Accepting from the State of Connecticut, A cession of jurisdiction of the territory west of Pennsylvania, commonly called the Western Reserve of Connecticut. 21st March, 1800. [Philadelphia]: Published by Order of the House of Representatives, . Slim octavo, disbound; pp. 31. $850.
First official printing of the House of Representative report on Connecticut’s cession of the Western Reserve territory to the federal government, thereby resolving state disputes and initiating a key step toward Ohio statehood, this association copy from the library of Stephen Row Bradley, a leading Jeffersonian and a powerful New England senator in the United States Congress.
Conceding defeat in the Revolution, “the British transferred theoretical control of the Old Northwest to the Americans,” and Connecticut ceded its claims to the region while retaining “economic but not political control over the Western Reserve,” a portion of what is now northeastern Ohio (Lamar, 811). In the same period Jefferson “laid the foundation for the new nation’s gradual and orderly expansion to the west” through his proposal “that the Old Northwest be divided into distinct republican states” (Randall, 359-63). Subsequently a bill was introduced in Congress in 1799 authorizing Connecticut’s acceptance of cession to the federal government of that same territory “commonly called the Western Reserve.” Upon referral to a committee this report was published, summarizing the complex history of royal grants and recommending that the lands be accepted by the federal government for incorporation into the Northwest Territory, and that all land titles previously granted by Connecticut be recognized. This so elevated the region’s population that soon the eastern portion of the Northwestern Territory was able to apply for statehood and Ohio “officially became the 17th state in the American Union on March 1, 1803” (Lamar, 811). Evans 38873. Howes C683. Thomson 974. This especially rare association copy is from the library of one of the first United States senators from Vermont, Stephen Row Bradley (1791-4, 1801-13), “the leading Democratic-Republican senator from New England during his day” (ANB).
A fine copy with a distinguished and memorable association.