VIRGINIA-PENNSYLVANIA BOUNDARY DISPUTE
IN 1767 Mason and Dixon's line was completed between Maryland and Pennsylvania. In fact, it was continued somewhat beyond the western extremity of Maryland, but not to the western end of Pennsylvania. After the limits of Maryland were passed, the line separated Pennsylvania from Virginia, but Virginia had no part in the running of it. When the proprietors of Pennsylvania in 1768 agreed on an Indian boundary within their province and purchased from the Six Nations the lands that the natives surrendered east of this line, no attempt was made to establish the western boundary between Pennsylvania and Virginia. It was clear enough that the southern limit of the Quaker colony should extend five degrees westward from the Delaware River, and Virginia was never inclined to question seriously the proposition that Mason and Dixon's line should be extended due west to the full extent of five degrees. But the western end of this line had not been determined. No one knew just where it would fall, or whether Pennsylvania's western boundary, which would spring from that point, should run due north or follow the meanders of the Delaware at that distance.1 The crux of the argument was whether Pittsburgh, the trade-center and strategic focus for that whole region, would fall to one colony or the other. There was good reason for doubt on this subject, and both sides at times admitted this to be the case. It will be recalled that during the French and Indian War the governor of Pennsylvania laid claim to the Fort Pitt area as within his province, but the assembly of the colony denied this and, on that ground, at first refused to aid in its protection.
Despite all this uncertainty as to their jurisdiction, the proprietors of Pennsylvania awaited only the demarcation of the Fort Stanwix boundary line in 1769 before surveying and selling lands in the region. Further-____________________