Thomas Paine Transmits Act for Resolution
of the PA-VA Border
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Paine, as Clerk of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly, transmits a resolution to the state’s Supreme Executive Council [no longer enclosed- but about the boundary with Virginia] and requests that it be forwarded to the governor of that state. After years of wrangling, the two states had finally agreed that summer to settle their dispute by extending the Mason-Dixon line.
Paine was involved in Pennsylvania politics for several years after his arrival in America in 1774 - he was associated with the men who drafted the state's new constitution in 1776, and Paine wrote a series of letters in local newspapers supporting the constitution. In 1777 Paine was elected to the Committee of Correspondence of the Whig Society in Pennsylvania. Needing other employment in order to supplement his income as a writer, he was appointed clerk of the Pennsylvania Assembly in November, 1779, shortly after resigning his position as secretary of foreign affairs for the Continental Congress. Any manuscript material from Thomas Paine, especially during the era of the American Revolution, is rare. THOMAS PAINE (1737-1809).
Manuscript Document Signed, as Clerk of the General Assembly, [Philadelphia?], Pennsylvania, November 19, 1779. To Joseph Reed, as President of the Supreme Executive Council. 1 p.
In Assembly Novr 19th 1779
On Motion Resolved. That the above (enclosed) Ratification be copied and sent to the Supreme Executive Council requesting that honorable board to transmit the same to the Government of Virginia.
Extract from the Minutes
Clerk of the Genl Assembly
Supreme Executive Council
His Excellency Joseph Reed Esq
President of the Supreme Executive Council
Resolve of Genl Assembly/ Nov 19 1779
Boundary of Virginia [inserted in another hand]
Read in Council Nov. 24/ 1779/ TM Secy [Timothy Matlack]