Ohio History Journal

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64 Ohio Arch

64         Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.    [VoL. 4








Previous to 1783 Virginia never laid any claim to the Ohio

River--or, in fact, to any territory west of the Alleghenies,

because, "this region was originally a part of the vast district

claimed by the French, and known as Louisiana. The Missis-

sippi River was discovered by French missionaries, and was

subsequently explored to its mouth by LaSalle, who, according

to the customs of the nations of that day, took possession in the

name of his sovereign, Louis XIV, of the vast region drained by

its waters. After the French war, France, by the treaty of

peace of 1763, ceded to Great Britain all her possessions east of

the Mississippi River. When the war of the American Revolu-

tion broke out, the whole of the eastern part of the great Missis-

sippi valley was claimed by Great Britain, and by the treaty of

1783 between that power and the United States this region was

relinquished to our nation. It is true that various States of the

Union laid claim during the Revolutionary war to large tracts

west of the Alleghenies on the ground of old English charters,

but their claims were conflicting, and it was the policy of Con-

gress not to decide between them. Eventually all these States

made concessions of their claims, some with and some without

reservations; but the probabilities.are that the nation as a whole,


*In 1877 the Fish Commission of Ohio in their report concerning the

Fish Culture in the State, considered also the subject of the territory over

which Ohio laws, incident to this topic, could be enforced. This involved

the question of the boundary line between Ohio and Virginia and between

Ohio and Kentucky. The Commission suggested that the Legislatures

of Ohio, Virginia and Kentucky respectively appoint Commissioners to fix

the boundary lines of the State of Ohio along the middle of the navigable

channel of the Ohio. The report then gives a statement of the history of

this matter as given in the above Introductory. Then follows the argument

of Mr. Vinton. Probably no one, certainly no Ohioan, ever gave such

thought and study to this question. This matter was all incorporated in

the report of the State Board of Agriculture for 1877, which report is now

out of print and practically inaccessible.           E. 0. R.