2. The Articles of Agreement and Cession, 24 April 1802
Articles of agreement and cession, entered into on the twenty-fourth day of April, one thousand eight hundred and two, between the commissioners appointed on the part of the United States, by virtue of an act, entitled "An act for the amicable settlement of limits with the State of Georgia, and authorizing the establishment of a Government in the Mississippi territory" and of the act supplemental to the last mentioned act, on the one part, and the commissioners appointed on the part of the State of Georgia, by virtue of an act, entitled "An act to carry the twenty-third section of the first article of the constitution in effect," and of the act to amend the last mentioned act, on the other part.
Article I. The State of Georgia cedes to the United States all the right, title, and claim, which the said State has to the jurisdiction and soil of the lands situated within the boundaries of the united States, south of the State of Tennessee, and west of a line, beginning on the western bank of the Chattahoochee river, where the same crosses the boundary line between the United States and Spain; running thence up the said river Chattahoochee, and along the western bank thereof, to the great bend thereof, next above the place where a certain creek or river, called "Uchee," (being the first considerable stream on the western side, above the Cussetas and Coweta towns) empties into the said Chattahoochee river; thence, in a direct line, to Nickajack, on the Tennessee river; then crossing the said last mentioned river; and thence, running up the said Tennessee river, and along the western bank thereof, to the southern boundary line of the State of Tennessee; upon the following express conditions, and subject thereto; that is to say:
First, That out of the first net proceeds of the sales of the lands thus ceded, which net proceeds shall be estimated by deducting, from the gross amount of sales, the expenses incurred in surveying, and incident to the sale, the United States shall pay, at their treasury, one million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the State of Georgia, as a consideration for the expenses incurred by the said State, in relation to the said territory; and that for the better securing as prompt a payment of the said sum as is practicable, a land office, for the disposition of the vacant lands thus ceded, to which the Indian title has been, or may hereafter be extinguished, shall be opened within a twelvemonth after the assent of the State of Georgia to this agreement, as hereafter stated, shall have been declared.
Secondly, That all persons who, on the twenty-seventh day of October, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five, were actual settlers within the territory thus ceded, shall be confirmed in all the grants legally and fully executed prior to that day, by the former British government of West Florida, or by the Government of Spain, and in the claims which may be derived from any actual survey or settlement made under the act of the State of Georgia. entitled "An act for laying out a district of land, situate on the river Mississippi, and within the bounds of this State, into a country, to be called Bourbon," passed the seventh day of February, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five.
Thirdly, That all lands ceded by this agreement to the United States shall, after satisfying the above mentioned payment of one million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the State of Georgia, and the grants recognized by the preceding condition, be considered as a common fund, for the use and benefit of the United States, Georgia included, and shall be faithfully disposed of for that purpose, and for no other use of purpose whatever; provided, however, that the United States, for the period, and until the end of one year after the assent of Georgia to the boundary established by this agreement shall have been declared, may, in such manner as not to interfere with the abovementioned payment to the State of Georgia, nor with the grants hereinbefore recognized, dispose of or appropriate a proportion of the said lands, not exceeding five millions of acres, or the proceeds of the said five millions of acres, or of any part thereof, for the purpose of satisfying, quieting. or compensating, for any claims other that those hereinbefore recognized, which may be made to the said lands, or to any part thereof. It being fully understood that, if an act of Congress making such disposition or appropriation shall not be passed into a law within the abovementioned period of one year, the United States shall not be at liberty thereafter to cede any part of the said lands on account of claims which may be laid to the same, other than those recognized by the preceding condition, not to compensate for the same; and in case of any such cession or compensation, the present cession of Georgia to the right of soil over the lands thus ceded or compensated for shall be considered as null and void, and the lands thus ceded or compensated for shall revert to the State of Georgia.
Fourthly, That the United States shall, at their own expense, extinguish, for the use of Georgia, as early as the same can be peaceably obtained, on reasonable terms, the Indian title to the country of Talassee, to the lands left out by the line drawn with the Creeks, in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight, which had been previously granted by the State of Georgia, both which tracts had formally been yielded by the Indians; and to the lands within the forks of Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers; for which several objects the President of the United States has directed that a treaty should be immediately held with the Creeks; and that the United States shall, in the same manner, also extinguish the Indian title to all the other lands within the State of Georgia.
Fifthly, That the territory thus ceded shall form a State, and be admitted as such into the Union, as soon as it shall contain sixty thousand free inhabitants, or at an earlier period, if Congress shall think it expedient, on the same conditions and restrictions, with the same privileges, and in the same manner, as is provided in the ordinance of Congress of the thirteenth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, for the Government of the Western territory of the United States; which ordinance shall, in all its parts, extend to the territory contained in the present act of cession, that article only excepted which forbids slavery.
Article II. The United States accept the cession above mentioned, and on the conditions therein expressed: and they cede to the State of Georgia whatever claim, right, or title, they may have to the jurisdiction or soil of any lands lying within the United States, and out of the proper boundaries of any other State, and situated south of the southern boundaries of the States of Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and east of the boundary line hereinabove described, as the eastern boundary of the territory ceded by Georgia to the United States.
Article III. The present act of cession and agreement shall be in full force as soon as the Legislature of Georgia shall have given its assent to the boundaries of this cession: provided, that the said assent shall be given within six months after the date of these presents; and provided, that Congress shall not, during the same period of six months, repeal so much of any former law as authorizes this agreement, and renders it binding and conclusive on the United States: but if either the assent of Georgia shall not be thus given, or if the law of the United States shall be thus repealed, within the said period of six months, then, and in either case, these presents shall become null and void.
In faith whereof the respective commissioners have signed these presents, and affixed hereunto their seals. Done at the city of Washington, in the District of Columbia, this twenty-fourth day of April, one thousand eight hundred and two.
James Madison, Albert Gallatin, Levi Lincoln - Commissioners on the part of the United States
James Jackson, Abraham Baldwin, John Milledge - Commissioners on the part of the State of Georgia
J. Franklin, Senator of the United States for North Carolina; Samuel A. Otis, Secretary of the Senate of the United States; John Beckley, Clerk of the House of Representatives of the United States
1. "The Articles of Agreement and Cession," 24 April 1802, in American State Papers, Public Lands 2 vols. (Washington, 1834), vol. 1, 125-26.