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BEING AN EXAMINATION INTO THE CLAIM OF VIRGINIA TO THE
VACANT WESTERN TERRITORY,
AND OF THE RIGHT OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE SAME: TO WHICH IS ADDED PROPOSALS FOR
LAYING OFF A NEW STATE,
TO BE APPLIED AS A FUND FOR CARRYING ON THE WAR, OR REDEEMING THE NATIONAL DEBT.
Written in 1780.
THE following pages are on a subject hitherto little understood but highly interesting to the United States.
They contain an investigation of the claims of Virginia to the vacant Western territory, and of the right of the United States to the same; with some outlines of a plan for laying out a new state, to be applied as a fund, for carrying on the war, or redeeming the national debt.
The reader, in the course of this publication, will find it studiously plain, and, as far as I can judge, perfectly candid. What materials I could get at I have endeavored to place in a clear line, and deduce such arguments therefrom as the subject required. In the prosecution of it, I have considered myself as an advocate for the right of the states, and taken no other liberty with the subject than what a counsel would, and ought to do, in behalf of a client.
I freely confess that the respect I had conceived, and still preserve, for the character of Virginia, was a constant check upon those sallies of imagination, which are fairly and advantageously indulged against an enemy, but ungenerous when against a friend.
If there is any thing I have omitted or mistaken, to the injury of the intentions of Virginia or her claims, I shall gladly rectify it, or if there is any thing yet to add, should the subject require it, I shall as cheerfully undertake it ; being fully convinced, that to have matters fairly discussed, and properly understood, is a principal means of preserving harmony and perpetuating friendship.