Digital Paxton: Digital Collection, Critical Edition, and Teaching Platform

A Template for Colonization

The Northwest Ordinance (1787) resolved the tension between democratic representation and westward colonization, in favor of both, but at the expense of native sovereignty. The territory was carved out of the trans-Appalachian west, including territories contested by the Paxtons. As those territories secured statehood, they were admitted with equal representation, on the same constitutional footing as the original colonies. By the same token, the Northwest Ordinance formalized the dispossession of native peoples residing in those territories and provided a template for subsequent colonization.
Daniel Paterson, Cantonment of His Majesty’s Forces in N. America (New York, 1766).
Following the Treaty of Paris and the end of the Seven Years’ War, the British government issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which largely affirmed the territorial boundaries of the Treaty of Easton (1758). This 1766 map reflects those boundaries, designating the trans-Appalachian west “Reserved for the Indians.”
Mathew Carey. Plat of the Seven Ranges of Townships being Part of the Territory of the United States N.W. of the River Ohio (Philadelphia, 1814).
Matthew Carey’s atlas illustrates how the territories northwest of the Ohio River were incorporated into the United States following the passage of the Northwest Ordinance. The grid is designed to facilitate the public and private sale of those lands.
The Friendly Association, Message to the Delaware Indians (Philadelphia, August 6, 1772).
Upon learning that the Delaware had set out to “settle in a Country very distant,” a Friendly Association writer fondly recollects their longstanding friendship. The letter ends with a promise of money for resettlement.

Your Friends in Philadelphia often remember the old friendship, which was established between your fathers & ours & hath been maintained between you & us at all times, and even when thick Clouds hung over our heads & it was so dark we could scarce see each other...hold fast the Chain of Friendship

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