As I sit and read an advance copy of Anarchist Prisoner Sean Swain‘s book Ohio, I frequently see that the powers that be are full of crap and the power that the governments of the worlds base their authority on is often as vaporous as air.
Case in point: The state of Ohio doesn’t legally exist.
But isn’t it one of the fifty stars on the flag? Doesn’t it have nice signs that say “Welcome to Ohio! The heart of it all!? Doesn’t it send senators and representives to Congress? And isn’t it, as its state quarter suggests, the home of aviation pioneers?
Yes, but the land they occupy doesn’t belong to them. It’s unceded Indian territory, and always has been.
In 1763, King George issued a proclamation prohibited English settlement past the Allegheny mountains, leaving that land in possession of the native peoples, which included Ohio. In 1783, England signed the Treaty of Paris and the end of the American Revolution, it gave the United States the original 13 colonies, but this did not include lands west of the Allegheny mountains because that was sovereign Native American territory.
In 1787, Congress issued the Northwest Territory Ordinance, which in part stated “The utmost good faith shall always be observed toward the Indian; their land shall never be taken from them without consent; and in their property, rights, and liberty, they shall never be invaded or disturbed–but laws shall from time to time be made, for wrongs done to them, and for preserving peace and friendship with them.” Well, we know how that turned out.
Are you following me? Maybe we should take a break.
How have you been doing?
How’s the family?
What are you plans for this evening?
You should really dump that boyfriend or girlfriend of yours.
You deserve better than him or her.
You are a great person who deserves the best in life.
Ready? Ok, now back to Ohio.
The passage of the Northwest Territory Ordinance did not stop the settlers moving west past the Alleghenies, who flooded in by the thousands every year. This inevitably lead to violence, and the U.S. sent General “Mad Anthony” Wayne in to keep the peace–and by keep the peace I mean carry out a systematic extermination of tribal people. On August 3rd, 1795, the Treaty of Greeneville was signed, which ended the fighting and set aside the vast amount of Ohio as Indian Territory.
Any treaty signed by the U.S. becomes the supreme law of the land as defined by the U.S. Constitution. (Go ahead. Look it up. I dare you.) This means that no state, fictional or otherwise, can supercede the Treaty of Greeneville. Seven years later…
In November 1802, a group of unelected white guys got together and drafted the Ohio Constitution. After exhaustive research(meaning I read a book containing someone else’s exhaustive research), I found that these guys based their authority on absolutely nothing. On December 22, 1802, Thomas Worthington took this nothing called the Ohio Constitution to the U.S Congress. Two months later on February 22, 1802, Congress approved this nothing and made nothing into the something called Ohio.
So what did we learn today? 1) Ohio isn’t a state. 2) Anarchist Prisoner Sean Swain is awesome for pointing that out.
And 3) I’m probably going to be put in his FBI file.