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rivers seems to have been regarded as the southern boundary of the cession, as indeed one would naturally suppose from the phrase "including all its waters." It is however, undeniable, that the Cumberland River was, in 1785 and afterwards, officially recognized as "the southern boundary of the lands sold to Richard Henderson & Co.;" but in mapping the outlines of the territory over which the Transylvania Company claimed, and (as much as any civilized government of the time) exercised jurisdiction, and which was called Transylvania, it seems more reasonable to take the natural interpretation of the deed' supported as it is by the depositions of men present at the treaty, and the plain. statement of Richard Henderson's brother. The so-called "path-deed" was secured by Henderson and Company at the same time, so that they might have territorial connection with the old colonies, but as the comparatively small piece of land thus obtained was not considered a part of Transylvania proper and was not called Transylvania' it need not be considered here.
Delegates, Oct. 8, 1776, described the territory as extending "from the southernmost waters of the Cumberland river." Journal of Virginia House of Delegates, Oct. 8, 1776, (Copy in Draper Colls., Clark MSS., XIV., p. 162.)
1C. C. Royce (Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1883-4, p. 149) says: "Although a literal reading of these boundaries would include all the territory watered by the Cumberland River and its branches, the general understanding seems to have been that Henderson's purchase did not extend south of the Cumberland River proper."
ร Report of treaty commissioners to Richard Henry Lee, Pres. of Cong., Dec. 2, 1785; and later, letter of Gen. Knox, Sec. of War, to Pres. of the U. S.-Am. State Papers, Indian Affairs, I., 39.
See, in this connection, the complaint of James Davis,- Draper Colls., Kentucky MSS., II.
Those who have taken the other view have failed to map correctly that part of the southern boundary of Transylvania, which is less ambiguous in the deed, viz., the line running along the ridge of "Powels' Mountain . . unto a point from which a northwest course will hit or strike the head spring of the most Southwardly branch of the Cumberland River." C. C. Royce (map accompanying Rep. of Bureau of Ethnology, 1883-4) evidently assumes the boundary as conceded later by the U. S. treaty commissioners. Professor Turner (map accompanying his article in Am. Hist. Rev., Oct., 1895, appears to have followed Royce. Why the U. S. treaty commissioners should have conceded so much to the Cherokees does not appear. There is some doubt as to what range was referred to by "Powels' mountain." Royce admits that this is uncertain. The range that is called the Clinch Mountains best accords with the boundary description, and was not unlikely the range referred to.
'Deposition of Nathaniel Henderson, Oct. 27, 1778, Draper Colls., Kentucky MSS., I.
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 2 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., 506; Butler's Kentucky, p. 513.
1 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 Gen1 Convention." The need of some kind of civil government was becoming every day more apparent. Before he had been among 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 23d Instant at Boonsbo'gh, 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 Recd 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.
2. Regulating a militia.
3. To punish criminals.
4. Against swearing and Sabbath breaking.
5. For writs of attachment.
6. Ascertaining clerk's and sheriff's fees.
7. To preserve the range.
8. To improve the breed of horses.
9. For preserving game.
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 Deposition 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 Proceedings. Collins' Kentucky, II., 502; Butler's Kentucky, p. 508.