Virginia Compacts

Virginia Compacts
3/29/2017

Virginia-Tennessee Boundary Agreement of 1803

ACTS OF ASSEMBLY, 1802-03 CHAPTER 39

An ACT for confirming and establishing the boundary line between this state and the state of Tennassee, as ascertained and adjusted by certain commissioners.

Passed January 22, 1803

1. Whereas the commissioners appointed to ascertain and adjust the boundary line between this state and the state of Tennassee, in conformity to the resolution passed by the legislature of this state, for that purpose, have proceeded to the execution of the said business, and made a report thereof, in the words following, to wit: ""The commissioners for ascertaining and adjusting the boundary line between the states of Virginia and Tennassee, appointed pursuant to public authority on the part of each, namely: General Joseph Martin, Creed Taylor and Peter Johnston, for the former, and Moses Fisk, general John Sevier and general George Rutledge, for the latter, having met at the place previously appointed for that purpose, and not uniting, from the general result of their astronomical observations, to establish either of the former lines called Walker's and Henderson's, unanimously agreed, in order to end all controversy respecting the subject, to run a due west line equally distant from both beginning on the summit of the mountain generally known by the name of the White-top mountain, where the north-eastern corner of Tennassee terminates, to the top of the Cumberland mountain, where the south-western corner of Virginia terminates, which is hereby declared to be the true boundary line between the said states, and has been accordingly run by Brice Martin and Nathan B. Markland, the surveyors duly appointed for that purpose, and marked under the directions of the said commissioners, as will more at large appear by the report of the said surveyors, hereto annexed, and bearing equal date herewith.

2. The commissioners do further unanimously agree, to recommend to their respective states, that individuals having claims or titles to lands on either side of the state line, as now fixed and agreed on, and between the lines aforesaid, shall not in consequence thereof in any wise be prejudiced or affected thereby; and that the legislatures of their respective states should pass mutual laws to render all such claims or titles secure to the owners thereof.

3. And the said commissioners do further unanimously agree, to recommend to their states respectively, that reciprocal laws should be passed, confirming the acts of all public officers, whether magistrates, sheriffs, coroners, surveyors or constables, between the said lines, which would have been legal in either of the said states, had no difference of opinion existed about the true boundary line.

4. This agreement shall be of no effect, until ratified by the legislatures of the states aforesaid, respectively, and until they shall pass mutual laws for the purposes aforesaid. Given under our hands and seals at William Robertson's near Cumberland gap, December the eighth, eighteen hundred and two.

JOS. MARTIN, ( L. S.)

CREED TAYLOR, ( L. S.)

PETER JOHNSTON, ( L. S.)

JOHN SEVIER, ( L. S.)

GEORGE RUTLEDGE, ( L. S.)''

5. And whereas Brice Martin and Nathan B. Markland, the surveyors duly appointed to run and mark the said line, have granted their certificate of the execution of their duties, which certificate is in the words following, to: ""The undersigned surveyors, having been duly appointed to run the boundary line between the states of Virginia and Tennassee, as directed by the commissioners for that purpose, have agreeably to their orders, run the same, beginning on the summit of the White-top mountain at the termination of the north-eastern comer of the state of Tennassee, a due west course to the top of the Cumberland mountain, where the south-western comer of the state of Virginia terminates, keeping at an equal distance from the lines called Walker's and Henderson's, and have had the new line run as aforesaid, marked with five chops in the form of a diamond, as directed by the said commissioners. Given under our hands and seals, this eighth day of December, eighteen hundred and two.

B. MARTIN, ( L. S.)

NAT B. MARKLAND, ( L. S.)"

And it is deemed proper and expedient, that the said boundary line so fixed and ascertained as aforesaid, should be established and confirmed on the part of this commonwealth:

6. Be it therefore enacted by the general assembly of the commonwealth of Virginia, That the said boundary line between this state and the state of Tennassee, as laid down, fixed and ascertained by the said commissioners above named, in their said report above recited, shall be, and is hereby fully and absolutely, to all intents and purposes whatsoever, ratified, established and confirmed on the part of this commonwealth, as the true, certain and real boundary line between the said states.

7. All claims or titles to lands derived from the government of North Carolina or Tennassee, which said lands by the adjustment and establishment of the line aforesaid, have fallen into this state, shall remain as secure to the owners thereof, as if derived from the government of Virginia, and shall not be in any wise prejudiced or affected in consequence of the establishment of the said line.

8. The acts of all public officers, whether magistrates, sheriffs, coroners, surveyors or constables, heretofore done or performed in that portion of territory between the lines called Walker's and Henderson's lines, which has fallen into this state by the adjustment of the present line, and which would have been legal if done or performed in the states of North Carolina or Tennassee, are hereby recognized and confirmed.

9. This act shall commence and be in force from and after the passing of a like law on the part of the state of Tennassee.