Log In Register

Source & Citation Info

title:“Resolutions on the Virginia-Pennsylvania Boundary Settlement”
date written:1776-12-17

permanent link
to this version:
last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 7:56 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Oct. 20, 2021, 8:31 p.m. UTC

"Resolutions on the Virginia-Pennsylvania Boundary Settlement." The Papers of George Mason. Vol. 1. Ed. Bernard Bailyn and James Morton Smith. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1970. 319-21. Print.
Manuscript, Virginia State Library, Richmond, Va.

Resolutions on the Virginia-Pennsylvania Boundary Settlement (December 17, 1776)

[17 December 1776]
The Committee to whom the Answer of the Committee of the Convention of the State of Pensilvania to the Proposals formerly made by the Virginia Convention, for the Settlement of a temporary Boundaries between the two Countries & sundrie other Papers concerning the same, were referred, have had the same under their Consideration, & have come to the following Resolutions thereon—
Resolved, that it is the mutual Interest of the Common-Wealths of Virginia and Pensilvania that the Bounderies between them be speedily setled & ascertained, in the most amicable & indisputable Manner, by the joint Agreement and Concurrence of both; but that this desirable End being unattainable by Diffidence or Reserve [or Evasion], your Committee are concerned to find that the Committee of the Pensilvania Convention have confined themselves to general Observations on the Cession and Release made by the Common- Wealth of Virginia, without attempting to shew that the temporary- Bounderie proposed was really inconsistent with the same, or offering any thing with Certainty, on the Part of Pensilvania in it's Stead, until the true Limits of their Charter cou'd be authenticly ascertained & setled.
Resolved, that as the Bounderies expressed in the Pensilvania Charter may admit of great Doubt, & Variety of Opinion may arise on the Construction, and it is expedient & wise to remove, as much as possible, all Cause of future Controversy (the great Principle upon which the Virginia Convention acted in making the aforesaid Cession & Release) to quiet the Minds of the People who may be affected thereby, & to take from our common Enemies an Opportunity of fomenting mutual Distrust & Jealousy, this Common-Wealth ought to offer such reasonable terms of Accommodation (even if the Loss of some Territory is incurred thereby) as may be cordially accepted by our Sister-State, & an End put to all future Dispute, by a firm & permanent Agreement & Settlement.
Resolved therefore, that the Virginia Delegates in Congress be empowered & instructed to propose to the Common-Wealth of Pensilvania a final Accommodation of our disputed Bounderies, in the following Manner.
That the meredian Line drawn from the Fountain or Head of Potomack River shall be extended, from the Intersection of the Line run between the Proprietors of Maryland & Pensilvania (commonly called Mason & Dixon's Line) due North, until it intersects the Latitude of forty Degrees, & from thence the Southern Bounderie of Pensilvania shall be extended, on the said fortieth Degree of Latitude, until the Distance of five Degrees of west Longitude, from Delaware River, shall be compleated thereon; the same to be ascertained by proper astronomical Observations; that from the Completion of the said five Degrees of Longitude, upon the said fortieth Degree of Latitude, the Western Bounderie of Pensilvania shall be fixed at five Degrees of Longitude from it's Eastern, either in every Point thereof, according to the Meanders of Delaware River, or (which is perhaps easier & better for both) from proper Points or Angles on the said Delaware River, with intermediate streight Lines between; and whenever the said western Bounderie shall be run, that the Degrees of Longitude be also fixed by astronomical Observations, at proper Points and Angles, on the said western Bounderie, answering to the Points or Angles on the said River Delaware, and from these, that there be streight Lines run, corresponding as near as may be, with the beforementioned streight Lines, or reduced Courses of the said River. For which Purpose, if the Common- Wealth of Pensilvania shall accept this Offer, and whensoever they shall have signified their Agreement to the Bounderies herein proposed, the Governour & Council are empowered & desired to appoint Commissioners, to proceed with a proper Mathematical Apparatus, & in Conjunction with Commissioners to be appointed on the Part of the Common-Wealth of Pensilvania, to ascertain & run the said Southern, or Southern & Western Bounderie, until the same shall strike the Ohio or Alleghany River; which it is apprehended is as far as they can yet be extended, with Safety, on account of the Indians. Saving their private Property & Rights to all Persons who may have acquired Titles under either Country respectively, previous to the ascertaining & running such Bounderie; altho' they shou'd be found to fall within the other.

Resource Metadata





  • Unknown


Annotations (0)