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title:“Resolutions Asserting the Jurisdiction of Virginia over Western Lands”
authors:George Mason
date written:1779-6-9

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:15 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Feb. 29, 2024, 7:34 p.m. UTC

Mason, George. "Resolutions Asserting the Jurisdiction of Virginia over Western Lands." The Papers of George Mason. Vol. 2. Ed. Robert A. Rutland. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1970. 509-13. Print.

Resolutions Asserting the Jurisdiction of Virginia over Western Lands (June 9, 1779)

[9 June 1779]
Resolved, That the Commonwealth of Virginia has the exclusive right of a pre-emption, from the Indians, of all lands within the limits of its own chartered territory, as declared by the act and constitution of government in 1776, that no person or persons whatsoever have, or ever had, a right to purchase any lands within the same from any Indian nation, except only persons duly authorised to make such purchases on the public account, formerly for the use and benefit of the colony, and lately of the Commonwealth; and that such exclusive right of pre-emption will, and ought to be, maintained by this Commonwealth to the utmost of its power.
Resolved, That every purchase of lands heretofore made by the King of Great Britain from any Indian nation or nations, within the before-mentioned limits, doth and ought to enure for ever to and for the use and benefit of this Commonwealth, and to and for no other use or purpose whatsoever.
Resolved, therefore, That the deed from the six united nations of Indians, bearing date on the third day of November, 1768, for certain lands between the Alleghany mountains and the river Ohio, above the mouth of the little Kanawha creek, to and for the use and benefit of a certain William Trent, gentleman, in his own right, and as attorney for sundry persons in the said deed named, as well as all other deeds which have been or shall be made by any Indian or Indians, or by any Indian nation or nations, for lands within the limits of the charter and territory of Virginia as aforesaid, to or for the use or benefit of any private person or persons, shall be, and the same are hereby declared utterly void, and of no effect.

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