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Charles Thomson served as secretary of the Continental Congress for 14 years. At Princeton, the first seat of Congress after the Revolution, he wrote this letter informing his wife Hannah (ca. 1729–1807) that Virginia had ceded its claims to land beyond the Ohio River to the newly sovereign United States. This territory, he says, “will give a great weight to the authority of Congress. It gives them the sovereignty and property of a country at least five hundred miles square.” Charles Thomson Letters, Manuscripts Division.