DANE, Nathan, American jurist: b. Ips wich, Mass., 27 Dec. 1752; d. Beverly, 15 Feb. 1835. He was graduated from Harvard in 1778, studied law in Salem, Mass., and began prac tising in the adjoining town of Beverly in 1782, where he resided until his death. In 1812 he was chosen an elector of President of the United States; in 1814 he was a member of the Hartford Convention; and in 1820 he was a member of the convention for revising the constitution of Massachusetts. While he was a delegate from Massachusetts to the Conti nental Congress in 1786, the best method of providing for the government of the vast ter ritory owned by the Confederacy north and west of the Ohio River came into consideration. It was determined to do this by an ordinance which should establish with much detail not only the foundation of that government, but the leading principles which should prevail• in the systems of law and public policy to be.in force
there. The drafting of this instrument was entrusted to Dane, and it was adopted by Congress without a single alteration, 13 July 1787. The name of the "Northwest 'Territory° was given to it ; and it comprehended all the territory at that time belonging to the Con federacy i northwest of the Ohio. He incor porated n this ordinance a prohibition against all laws impairing the obligation of contracts, which the convention that formed the Con stitution of the United States, a few months afterward, extended to all the States of the Union, by making it a part of that Constitu tion. His 'Abridgment and Digest of Ameri can Law' appeared 1823-29. In 1829 hegave to the law school in Harvard University $10,000 (adding $5,000 more in 1831) for the founda tion of the Dane professorship of law.