Cherronesus. Polypotamia. REALLY?


The Committee appointed to prepare a plan for the temporary government of the Western territory have agreed to the following resolutions  … the territory ceded or to be ceded shall be formed into distinct states … [and] be established on these principles …

1… forever remain part of the United states of America
2… subject to the government of the United States …
3… subject to pay a part of the federal debts …
4… governments shall be in republican forms …
5…That after the year 1800 of the Christian era, there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude …

[The territories]… shall be called Sylvania … Michigania … Cherronesus … Assenispia … Metropotamia … Illinoia … Saratoga … Washington … Polypotamia … [and] Pelisipia.

Source: Report of a Plan of Government for the Western Territory, March 1, 1784, Merrill Peterson’s The Portable Thomas Jefferson, P. 254-8

Patrick Lee’s Explanation

Even gifted leaders can have impractical ideas.  Dumb ones, too.

The recently-widowed Jefferson served again in the Continental Congress in 1783-4. He chaired a committee to establish governments in the land between the original 13 states and the Mississippi River.

The founding principles are vintage Jefferson nation-building republicanism. The arrangement of his 10 oddly-named territories was logical but impractical, roughly two columns of five rectangles each. Scroll down to the second map on this site. Only Illinoia is similar to the present day Illinois.

Principle # 5, limiting slavery to the original 13 states, was defeated by one vote.  (Jefferson wrote hauntingly about the long-range effect of that fateful loss.) Except for the slavery provision and the odd names, Jefferson’s proposal was adopted.By the time it was found to be unworkable, he was gone from the country as minister to France. His plan was replaced with the smaller scaled, better known, and less republican Northwest Ordinance of 1787.

Thomas Jefferson’s thoughts for your audience will be far more practical. Promise!
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The Moral Liberal Thomas Jefferson Editor, Patrick Lee, is a professional speaker, actor and writer. Since 1990, he has inspired, entertained and educated audiences from Maine to Hawaii with his authentic, first person leadership presentations as President Thomas Jefferson, Frontiersman Daniel Boone, and Lewis & Clark Co-Leader William Clark. He also appears as himself, The Hopeful Humorist™, with a program of motivational humor, patriotism and inspiration.

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