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THE ORDINANCE OF 1787

ADDRESS OF HON. CYRUS G. LUCE

It was largely to establish this principle that the war of the rebellion was fought, so that, in this respect, the adoption of the ordinance of 1787 formed an im-portant epoch in our history. In all things that relate to good government and the welfare of our people its importance can hardly be over estimated. Article III. declares that '"general morality and knowledge, being neces-sary to the good of a government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. " A hundred years ago, the men who framed and adopted this ordinance conceived the necessity of morality and education, as the underlying strength of a republic, and expressed it as forcibly and concisely as the most learned patriot of to-day can do. Again, they declared that "the inhabitants of said territory shall always be entitled to the benefits of the writ of habeas corpus, of a trial by jury, of a proportionate representation of the people in the legislature and of judicial proceedings according to the course of common law. No cruel or unjust punishment shall be inflicted, no man shall be deprived of his liberty, or his property, but by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land. " That was good law, good patriotism and essential to the preservation of the freedom of the people and the enjoyment of civil liberty a hundred years ago, and is equally so to-day. The far seeing legislators of that period declared that no tax shall be imposed on lands the property of the United States, and in no case shall non-residents be taxed higher than residents. They seemed to have anticipated many of the conflicts which have from time to time arisen, many of the notions and purposes which have to some extent prevailed in later years and in a more advanced civilization.

Michigan


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