"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson drafted the Northwest Ordinance of 1785, also known as the Freedom Ordinance providing the means by which the territories to the northwest of the orginal 13 states (south of the great lakes, north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi, later OH, MI, IN, IL & WISCONSIN) would enter the union.
The ordinance declared the area to be free of slavery and provided for a layout of townships of 36 square miles, 6 miles on a side with a north and south orientation, divided into one-square-mile lots of 640 acres, to be sold at $1 per acre.
One section was set aside to be sold for income supporting public schools (the first national education law written anywhere), which reflected Jefferson’s commitment to public education as essential to democracy.