Excerpt from State Claims North-West Territory Speech of Hon. William E. Chilton, of West Virginia, in the Senate of the United States, Wednesday, April 10, 1912, On the bill (S. 6247) to provide for the bringing of suits against the United States by Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. Mr. Chilton said: Mr. President, I introduced, a few moments ago, a bill giving jurisdiction to the Court of Claims in certain matters affecting the thirteen original States as to claims which the people of Virginia and West Virginia believe they have against the Federal Government. I do t desire to take much of the time of the Senate for two reasons, first, because this is t the time to discuss fully the provisions of the bill and to state the reasons why the Senate should pass it; and I have the additional reason that the very attractive subject of the Senator from Washington [Mr. Jones] and his well-kwn ability to handle that or any other subject so as to both entertain and enlighten the Senate constrain me to wish that he should have as much time as possible during the day. The bill which I have introduced has in mind a condition in this country more than a hundred years ago, and it is what might be termed a smasher of idols. Confessedly, the bill and what it purports to do will change what is the common understanding of history. It has always been supposed that the State of Virginia in 1784 conveyed to the Federal Government what is kwn as the Northwest Territory, without reserve and without condition, and that the Federal Government took title to that property as an individual would do, with the absolute right to dispose of the subject matter and also with the right to appropriate the proceeds of the sales. There never was a greater error committed by history, and it is my purpose w simply to review briefly the history of this grant and to put in the Record some of the papers and public documents bearing upon this question so that the proper committee, in the consideration of this bill, of so much importance to the 13 original States, and especially to my State, and of so much importance to the Government, should start off in the investigation that will be made of it in possession of the facts and with a general understanding of the contention of the States of West Virginia and Virginia. It is well kwn that at the time the original Confederation or Federal alliance of the States was made one of them, the State of Maryland, declined to become a party to that compact. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.