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«That inscription has been interpreted to read in about the following manner: NIKANDRA DAUGHTER OF DEINODIKES THE NAXIN A MAID BEYOND COMPARE EHT EM ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

WHY BOUSTROPHEDONIC?

The Marshall Amendment

Sec. 2, Act of May 18, 1796

The Ancient Greeks (3000 B.C.-500 B.C.) developed their writing in various methods. One system,

called Boustrophedon, arranged the letters to read from right to left, then left to right and back right to left,

etc. Often the words read left to right then right to left, etc. Boustrophedon is a Greek word, translated as,

"like an oxen plowing a field." An example of boustrophedon, inscribed on a statue on the island of Delos,

in the Cyclades, reads from left to right, then right to left, thus:

That inscription has been interpreted to read in about the following manner:

NIKANDRA DAUGHTER OF DEINODIKES THE NAXIN A MAID BEYOND COMPARE

EHT EM OT DETACIDED SOXARHP FO EFIW WON SENEMONIED FO RETSIS

FARDARTING GODDESS WHO DELIGHTS IN ARROWS

I have no difficulty in believing that, had I been taught, beginning in the first grade to read in that manner it would not be strange at all. But, with the further development of alphabets the system became obsolete, and only a few languages still retain some similarities to the Greek boustrophedon style.

THE LAND BILL

The Congress of the Confederation enacted an Ordnance on May 20, 1785, which provided for the survey and sale of the lands north of the Ohio River and west of Pennsylvania, and instituted the Rectangular Survey System of townships six miles square, divided into 36 "LOTS" of one square mile. The LOTS were

numbered according to the following diagram:

The lands in the "Seven Ranges" and Ohio Company Purchase were surveyed into Townships and Lots in compliance with the Land Ordinance. However, the land sales in the Seven Ranges languished due to lack of dividing lines within the townships and the fear of Indian attacks. The federal government was weak and could not provide protection from the Indians. The Indians were defeated by an army led by General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, in a decisive battle at Fallen Timbers, (near Toledo, Ohio) in August 1794. By the Greenville Treaty of August 3, 1795, the United States acquired undisputed title to about three quarters of Ohio. When the Constitution was ratified, a strong federal government was formed in 1789. The Land Ordinance was obsolete. A new land Law was needed to correct the deficiencies of the Land Ordinance and provide for the survey and sale of the lands acquired by the treaty.

On December 17, 1795, the matter of a land law to dispose of the U.S. lands in the territories was brought up in the House of Representatives and a committee was appointed to draft a bill for consideration.

The committee members were: William Smith, South Carolina; John Nicholas, Virginia; Thomas Hartley, Pennsylvania; Aaron Kitchell, New Jersey; and Henry Glen, New York. Mr. Smith was chairman.Who actually drafted the first proposal is not revealed in the records available. The draft bill was read the first and second times in the House on January 26, 1796, and taken up for debate by the House as a whole on February 15, 1796.

The debates were centered around using a township system (ala Seven Ranges) or indiscriminate location, i.e., let a purchaser select the "best" land, have it surveyed and a patent issued after the survey was approved. That was the system used by all of the states then in the Union. It was prone to gaps, gores and overlaps, thus a fruitful source of income for lawyers in land disputes. The intention was to sell to the highest bidder, with a minimum price fixed by law. The House was about equally divided in the various arguments. Many members wanted it sold in small tracts so that the "small guy" could buy. Others wanted to sell large tracts and let the buyer (speculator) divide it up into individual holdings. All agreed that the land had to be surveyed before patent would issue, but the cost of surveying into small tracts (lots) was a major issue.

Since the discussion here is about the 2nd section of the final act; the following is the original section

that was submitted by the committee:

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, that the part of the faid land which has not already been difpofed of and which has not already been divided, in purfuance of an ordinance of Congrefs paffed the twenieth day of May, in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty five, shall be divided by parallel lines, running at right angles to each other, fo as to form townships of fix miles fquare, where the nature of the country will admit of fuch divifion; and all fractional parts of townfhips occafioned by the irreqularity of the exterior lines, or by water courfes, fhall be annexed to and fold with the entire townships or tracts of fections to which they may be contiguous, and the corners of the faid townfhips fhall be marked with progreffive numbers from the beginning;

and each diftance of a mile between the faid corners, fhall alfo be diftinctly marked; and that one half of the faid townships, taking them alternately, fhall be fubdivided into tracts, containing as nearly as may be, fix hundred and forty acres each: and that one half of the faid fix hundred and forty acre tracts, taking them alternately, fhall be fubdivided into tracts of one hundred and fixty acres each, by marking lines on each fide of the lots, at every half mile distance, and drawing lines through thofe points, on the maps of the land: that all lines fhall be meafured by chains, containing two poles or perches of fixteen and a half feet each, fubdivided into twenty-five equal links; and the chains fhall be adjufted to a ftandard to be kept for that pur-pofe: that four fair plats fhall be made of the townfhips and parts of townfhips contained in the faid lands, defcribing the fubdivifions therof, and the marks of the feveral corners; and the lines of the faid plats fhall be reported, according to the true and not the magnetic courfes; and two of the faid plats fhall be sent to the Secretary of the Treafury.





After debating the bill and making a great many amendments, the full house passed their version and sent it

to the Senate on April 6, 1796. Section 2, as sent to the Senate, read as follows:

5.2 Be it further enacted, That the part of the said lands which has not been already conveyed by letters Patent, or divided in pursuance of an Ordinance of Congresf pafsed on May 20th of May 1785, or which has not been heretofore, and during the present sefsion of Congrefs may not be appropriated for satisfying military land bounties, shall be divided by North & South lines run according to the true meridian, and by others crofsing them at right angles so as to form townshipes of six miles square, unlesf where the line of the late Indian purchase, or the courfe of Navigable rivers may render it impracticable & then this rule shall be departed from no farther than such particular circumstances may require. The corners of the Townships shall be marked with progresfive numbers fom the beginning; each distance of a mile between the said corners shall be also distinctly marked with marks different from those of the corners. One Half of the said Townships, taking them alternately shall be subdivided into Sections, containing as nearly as maybe six hundred and forty acres each by delineating throughout the same, upon the platt herein after directed to be made, parallel lines at the end of each mile. The fractional parts of townships shall be divided into Sections in manner aforesaid, and the fractions of Sections shall be annexed to and sold with the adjacent entire Sections. All lines shall be plainly marked by blazes upon trees, & measurerd with chains containing two perches of sixteen feet & one half each subdivided into twenty five equal links & the chains shall be adjusted to a standard to be kept for that purpose. Every surveyor shall note in a field book the true situations of all mines, salt licks, salt springs, & millseats which shall come to his knowledge, all watercourses over which the line he runs shall pafs, & also the quality of the lands. These field books shall be returned to the Surveyor General who shall therefrom cause a description of the Whole lands Surveyed to be made out and transmitted to the officers who may superintend the sales. He shall also cause a fair platt to be made of the Townships and fractional parts of the townships contained in the said lands, describing the subdivisions thereof & the marks of the corners. This platt shall be recorded in books to be kept for that purpose, a copy thereof shall be kept open at the Surveyor Generals office for public information, and other copies be sent to the places of sale and to the Secretary of the Treasurey.

It will be noted that the term"lots" or "tracts" has been changed to "SECTIONS". The available record does not indicate why or by whom that change in terminology was made. The section calls for alternate townships to be fully subdivided into thirty six "sections", instead of 160 acre "tracts", thus bowing to the economists in the House The House Clerk hand carried the House bill to the Senate on April 6th and it was read for the first time in that body. The bill was read in the Senate the second time on April 7th. On April 8th the Senate referred the bill to a Committee, composed of James Ross of Pennsylvania; Rufus King of New York; John Brown and Humphrey Marshall of Kentucky, and Caleb Strong from Massachusetts. Ross was Chairman of the Committee.

On April 27, 1796, Ross reported back with amendments, which were read, and were ordered printed for Senate use. The Senate resumed discussion on the bill on May 4, 5 and 6th. A vote was taken on the 6th of May and resulted in a tie vote, 11 yea and 11 nay. John Adams (President of the Senate) voted for the amended bill and it passed. The amended bill was sent back to the House. The House subsequently concurred and the "Land Bill" became law on May 18, 1796. Section 2 of the bill, as enacted, reads as

follows, with the Senate amendment(s) highlighted in dark type:

Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That the part of the said lands, which has not been already conveyed by letters patent, or divided, in pursuance of an ordinance in Congress, passed on the twentieth of May, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five, or which has not been heretofore, and during the present session of Congress may not be appropriated for satisfying military land bounties, and for other purposes, shall be divided by north and south lines run according to the true meridian, and by others crossing them at right angles, so as to form townships of six miles square, unless where the line of the late Indian purchase, or of tracts of land heretofore surveyed or patented, or the course of navigable rivers may render it impracticable; and then this rule shall be departed from no further than such particular circumstances may require. The corners of the townships shall be marked with progressive numbers from the beginning;

each distance of a mile between the said corners shall be also distinctly marked with marks different from those of the corners. One half of the said townships, taking them alternately, shall be subdivided into sections, containing, as nearly as may be, six hundred and forty acres each, by running through the same, each way, parallel lines, at the end of every two miles; and by marking a corner, on each of the said lines, at the end of every mile; the sections shall be numbered respectively, beginning with the number one, in the northeast section, and proceeding west and east alternately, through the township with progressive numbers, till the thirty-sixth be completed. And it shall be the duty of the deputy surveyors, respectively, to cause to be marked, on a tree near each corner made, as aforesaid, and within the section, the number of such section, and over it, the number of the township, within which such section may be; and the said deputies shall carefully note, in their respective field-books, the names of the corner trees marked, and the numbers so made: The fractional parts of townships shall be divided into sections, in manner aforesaid, and the fractions of sections shall be annexed to, and sold with, the adjacent entire sections. All lines shall be plainly marked upon trees, and measured with chains, containing two perches of sixteen feet and one half each, subdivided into twenty-five equal links, and the chain shall be adjusted to a standard to be kept for that purpose. Every surveyor shall note in his field-book the true situations of all mines, salt licks, salt springs and mill seats, which shall come to his knowledge; all water courses, over which the line he runs shall pass; and also the quality of the lands. These field-books shall be returned to the Surveyor General, who shall therefrom cause a description of the whole lands surveyed, to be made out and transmitted to the officers who may superintend the sales: He shall also cause a fair plat to be made of the townships, and fractional parts of townships, contained in the said lands, describing the subdivisions thereof, and the marks of the corners. This plat shall be recorded in books to be kept for that purpose; a copy thereof shall be kept open at the Surveyor General's office, for public information; and other copies sent to the places of the sale, and to the Secretary of the Treasury.

The highlighted portion of the section is attributed to Humphrey Marshall, hence the "Marshall Amendment", which changed the numbering of the sections in a township to a BOUSTROPHEDONIC system, still in use today. WHY??

–  –  –

Thomas Marshall had an estate in Westmoreland County, Virginia, which was left (upon his death) to his eldest son William. His second son, John, married Elizabeth Markham and they had four sons: Thomas, John, William and Markham.

Thomas married and became the father of John Marshall; (who became Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court) Louis; Alexander, Mary and Nancy.

John married Mary Quisenberry and became the father of Humphrey Marshall, and many more children.

Thomas and John moved to Fauquier County, Virginia, where their children were born. Humphrey Marshall was born in 1760 and raised with all of his siblings and cousins as a "Marshall Clan" (my term). There were no "public schools", (as we know them today) so all of the Marshall children were "home schooled", though they may have had an occasional tutor.



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