One of the most significant appointments of an early president we can recall reaching the market.
The Northwest Territory consisted of land ceded to the United States by Great Britain in the Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War. It included the land west of Pennsylvania and northwest of the Ohio River, which covered all of the present states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and the northeastern...
The Northwest Territory consisted of land ceded to the United States by Great Britain in the Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War. It included the land west of Pennsylvania and northwest of the Ohio River, which covered all of the present states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and the northeastern part of Minnesota. The Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation enacted the Northwest Ordinance in 1787 to provide for the administration of this vast territory. On August 7, 1789, the new U.S. Congress affirmed the Ordinance under the Constitution.
I "do appoint him Governor in and over the Territory of the said United States north and west of the River Ohio.”
The Northwest Ordinance was the single most important piece of legislation passed by the Continental Congress other than the Declaration of Independence. It accelerated the westward expansion of the United States and established the crucial precedent that, as the nation expanded, the federal government would be sovereign of the new lands which would be admitted as new states rather than appendages of the old.
Arthur St. Clair was a major general in the Continental Army during the Revolution. In 1785 he was named a delegate to the Continental Congress, and on February 2, 1787, the delegates elected him president of Congress, placing him in the chair once filled by John Hancock. During St. Clair’s term the Northwest Ordinance was passed; he himself was appointed Governor, resigning from Congress to accept the post. It shows the importance that Congress attached to the nomination that its president became its nominee. As Governor, St. Clair was responsible for the adoption of Maxwell's Code, the Northwest Territory's first legal code.
President Washington renewed St. Clair’s governorship of the Northwest Territory under the U.S. Constitution. Very soon after, two political parties developed and St. Clair became a Federalist. In the 1796 presidential election he was a strong supporter of John Adams, earning him the gratitude of Adams and the enmity of Thomas Jefferson, head of the opposing Democratic-Republican Party.
Document Signed as President, Washington, December 10, 1797, being the very document with which Adams reappointed St. Clair Governor of the Northwest Territory, countersigned by Secretary of State Timothy Pickering. It states that Adams, “with the advice and consent of the Senate do appoint him Governor in and over the Territory of the said United States north and west of the River Ohio.” In terms of significance, this appointment is at the same level as one to a major Cabinet post, and it is very seldom indeed that such a document for one of the early presidents reaches the market. It is the first we have carried in all these years. It testifies to the importance of America’s Western vision.
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