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One point is noticeable in regard to the northeastern boundary, viz. : that it is for most of its length, the same as the southwestern boundary of Vandalia. Evidently Henderson well understood what the Vandalia boundary was, and planned that his colony should join on the southwest.
But to return to the actual progress of the company. In spite of Governor Dunmore's proclamation, issued March 21, 1775, calling upon all civil and military officers "to use their utmost endeavors to prevent the unwarrantable and illegal designs of the said Henderson and his abettors," and ordering that if he or anyone else should refuse to depart from lands within the limits of Virginia which were held by no other than an Indian title," he or they be immediately fined and imprisoned in the manner the laws in such cases direct" — in spite of this proclamation and opposition also on the part of the governor of North Carolina? the number of Transylvania settlers, already considerable for the time, kept on increasing.
The Indians having shown a hostile disposition, Daniel Boone, who appears to have been looking after Henderson's interests in Transylvania, wrote to him,
My advice to you, sir, is to come or send as soon as possible. Your company is desired greatly, for the people are very uneasy, but are willing to stay and venture their lives with you
But Colonel Henderson was already on his way west and reached Fort Boone (Boonesborough)
It is also shown by the fact that the deed for the “great grant" only was exhibited to the Transylvania legislature, Henderson at the time requesting that an entry of it be made in the journal, showing the extent of Transylvania “including the corners and abutments of the lands or country contained therein, so that the boundaries of our colony may be fully known and kept on record.”- Journal of the Proceedings of the House of Delegates, et cetera. Collins, Kentucky, II., 306; Butler's Kentucky, p. 513.
2 Dunmore's proclamation, 'Draper Colls., Kentucky MSS., I.; 4 Am. Archives, III., 1385; N. C. Col. Records, X., 308. See also Dunmore's letter of same date to William Preston directing that copies of the proclamation be scattered “throughout the Pack Country,” Draper Colls., Preston Papers, IV., No. 6. 2 North Carolina Colonial Records, X., 273, 323. 3 Collins's Kentucky, II., 498.
April 20th.' He had already settled on a form of government for his proprietary. He referred to it in his journal entry for April 4, saying." This plann is exceeding simple and I hope will prove effectual. 'Tis no more than the peoples sending Delegates to act for them in Genl Convention." The need of some kind of civil government was becoming every day more apparent. Before he had been ainong the settlers three weeks Henderson seized a favorable opportunity and addressed them on the subject of government. The following entry in his journal, May 8th, tells us about all we know of what may perhaps be called the constitution of Transylvania, and the manner in which it was adopted and put in operation. "Our plan of Legislation, the evils pointed out— the remedies to be applied, &c., &c., &c, were acceeded to without Hesitation - The plann was plain & simple - 'twas nothing novel in its essence a thousand years ago it was in use, and found by every years' experience since to be unexceptionable - We were in four distinct settlemts Members or delegates from every place by free choice of Individuals they first having entering into writings solemnly binding themselves to obey and carry into Execution such Laws as representatives should from time to time make, concurred with by a Majority of the Proprietors present in the Country - The reception this plann met with from these Gent., as well as a Capt. Floyd, a leading man in Dicks river settlement, gave us great pleasure, and therefore immediately set abt. the business, appointed Tuesday the 234 Instant at Boonsbo'sh, and according made out writings for the different Towns to sign and wrote to Capt. Floyd appointing an Election &c. Harrodsburgh & the Boiling spring settlemts Reca their sum. Verbally by the Gent. afsd.“
By this quasi constitution, the proprietors became the executive branch of the government, with the power of ab
1 See Henderson's "Journal of an expedition to Cantuckey in 1775" in Draper Colls. Kentucky MSS., I, Extracts are printed in Collin's Kentucky, II., pp. 498-501.
solute veto. The company insisted on that point because otherwise "the delegates of any Convention that might be thereafter held would have it in their power to destroy the claim of the proprietors. At least the first legislative apportionment was also in the hands of the proprietors, who gave directions that six members be returned from Boonesborough, three from Harrodsburgh,” four from Boiling Spring, and four from St. Asaph.' The "Convention" met on the day appointed under a great elm tree, and after electing officers who were approved by the proprietors, listened to a speech from Henderson. He declared that laws were 'indispendably necessary," and "we have a right to make such laws without giving offense to Great Britain, or any of the American colonies; without disturbing the repose of any society or community under Heaven." • He then recommended various subjects as suitable for legislation. The following laws were passed :
1. Establishing courts of judicature.
Besides passing these laws, eighteen articles of agreement between the proprietors and the representatives were drawn up and approved by both. They were little more than an elaboration of Henderson's "plann." One article provided for annual election of delegates, and another to add another branch to the legislature; viz.—a council, “after the
1 Daposition of Nathaniel Henderson. Draper Colls., Kentucky MSS., I. ? For some reason four were actually returned from Harrodsburgh.
* "Journal of the Proc. of the House of Delegates or Representatives of the Colony of Transylvania."- 4 Am. Archives, IV., 548; Butler's Ky., p. 506; Collins' Ky., II., 501.
* Journal of the Procoedings. Collins' Kentucky, II., 502; Butler's Kentucky, p. 508.
strength and maturity of the colony will permit." But this council should not exceed "twelve men possessed of landed estate who reside in the colony."! All this was im
! portant business, but five days was all the time required to transact it by this pioneer legislature of the west. It ad. journed May 27, "in good order, everybody pleased."? The adjournment was to the first Thursday of the following September, but the "Convention" never met again.
Henderson remained awhile in Transylvania and then returned home. A meeting of the proprietors was held at Oxford, Granville Co., North Carolina, Sept. 25, 1775. 3
At this meeting, James Hogg was appointed to represent Transylvania in the Continental Congress then sitting at Philadelphia. At the same time a memorial to Congress was drawn up, reciting the impossibility of calling a convention of the settlers in time to elect a delegate to that Congress, but engaging their concurrence in the selection of Mr. Hogg. The memorialists "hope and earnestly request that Transylvania may be added to thə number of the United Colonies, and that James Hogg, Esq., be received as their delegate and admitted to a seat in the honourable the Continental Congress. Mr. Hogg reached Philadelphia, October 22. He soon wrote back, “You would be amazed to see how much in earnest all these speculative gentlemen are about the plan to be adopted by the Transylvanians. They entreat, they pray, that we may make it a free Government.
Samuel and John Adams were friendly to the new colony but feared that it would increase the complications with the King, with whom the Congress hoped to become reconciled, by protecting "a body of people who have acted in de. Journal of the Proceedings, Collins's Kentucky, II., 507; Butler's Kentucky, p.
These eighteen articles might be called the completed Transylvania constitution. ? Henderson's Journal, May 27. * See Minutes of this meeting including the memorial to Congress, in 4. Am. Archives, IV., 553 et seq.; N. C. Col. Records X., 256 et seq.
• Hogg to Henderson, 4. Am. Archives, IV., 545. Hogg adds that “many of them advised a law against nagroes.'
fiance of the King's proclamations,"' Silas Deane of Connecticut said he would send agents to look the country over, and thought, if their report were favorable, many Connecticut people would emigrate to Transylvania; but he would have nothing to do with it unless pleased with the form of government.
To Jefferson and Wythe, Hogg said nothing of his pretentions to seat in Congress, but told them that the Transylvania Company had sent him to announce their "friendly intentions towards the cause of liberty." Hogg reports that Jefferson said it was his wish to see a free government extending back of Virginia to the Mississippi if properly united to that colony, but he would not consent that Transylvania should be acknowledged by Congress until a Virginia Convention had approved of it. He thought, however, that the approval of the next Convention might be obtained if the Company would send one of their number to present the case. That Convention was indeed appealed to, but not in a way that promised well for the company. A petition with eighty-eight signatures came from the inhabitants and "intended settlers" of Transyl. vania. The petitioners complain that they were allured to the country by the easy terms of settlement and the "indefeasible title" which they were assured the Company was able to make. Now they are alarmed by the advance of the purchase price from 20 shillings to 50 shillings per hundred acres, and the fear that his Majesty will not confirm the Company's title in view of the fact that the land had been previously ceded to the crown from the Six Nations, who had claimed to be the sole possessors of the territory as far as the Tennessee river. They "expect and implore to be taken under the protection of the honorable Convention of the
1 Hogg to Henderson, 4. Am. Archives, IV., 544. * Ibid., p. 545.
Ibid., p. 544. *This advance was determined upon by the proprietors at their meeting at Oxford Granville Co., N. C., Sept. 25, 1775.