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THE MICHIGAN AND OHIO BOUNDARY LINE

BY FRANK E. ROBSON ESQ.

The authorities of Ohio claimed this to be an implied assent on the part of congress to the boundary proposed in the proviso of the article of their constitution already cited. They further based their claims on a supposed preference of the people residing in the territory in contest for the government of the state of Ohio; and a supposed intention of congress to give Ohio the entire southern shore of Lake Erie, based probably on a further supposition that congress, in selecting the line passing due east through the southern extreme of Lake Michigan, believed it to intersect Lake Erie above the mouth of the Maumee, and thus laid it out under a mistake. Judge Campbell in speaking of this "latter claim says: "It is a mere assumption to claim that the congress of 1787 laid it out under a mistake, or intended to give the eastern state the entire southern shore of Lake Erie, or any specific part of it. " And farther on says: "There is no evidence that congress paid any attention to this question or cared where the line fell; inasmuch as it was subject to their future discretion whether to run the line at all or not. "
The territory which was in dispute extends the entire length of the northern boundary of Ohio, until it meets Lake Erie, being about five miles wide at the west end and eight miles wide at the east end; and within its bounds is the mouth of the Maumee, now a valuable and important harbor, and the flourishing city of Toledo.
It is probable that the possible importance of this harbor had much to do in influencing the action of the Ohio authorities. Quoting from an address of W. W. Way, of Perrysburg, Ohio, read at Tecumseh, Michigan, in 1868 "The state of Ohio as early as 1825, contemplated the construction of a navigable canal from the Ohio river at Cincinnati to the navigable waters of the Maumee. The canal was constructed as far north as Piqua and there terminated for a number of years, * * * In 1835 * * * * the people in the northwest became clamorous for the extension of the canal north to its completion.

MICHIGAN


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