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THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY
The report of J. Ross Browne on the mineral resources of the States and Territories west of the Rocky mountains.
MARCH 5, 1868.-Referred to the Committee on Mines and Mining and ordered to be printed.
Hon. SCHUYLER COLFAX,
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, March 5, 1868.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit to the House of Representatives the report
of J. Ross Browne on the mineral resources of the States and Territories west of the Rocky mountains.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Secretary of the Treasury.
J. ROSS BROWNE,
THE MINERAL RESOURCES OF THE STATES AND TERRITORIES WEST OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 5, 1868.
SIR: In the preliminary report which I had the honor to transmit to you from San Francisco in November, 1866, a general summary was given of the mineral resources of the States and Territories west of the Rocky mountains. It was not anticipated by the department that the information required under letter of instructions dated August 2, 1866, could be obtained in full within the brief period intervening before the next meeting of Congress; but it was hoped that sufficient data might be collected to furnish a general idea of the rise and progress of the mining interest on the Pacific slope. No official document in any department of the government contained accurate information on this subject, and it was considered desirable that special attention should be given to the following points:
1. The origin of gold and silver mining on the Pacific coast and present condition of that interest, as tending to show the progress of settlement and civilization. 2. Geological formation of the great mineral belts and general characteristics of the placer diggings and quartz lodes.
3. Different systems of mining, machinery used, processes of reducing the ores, percentage of waste, and net profits.
4. Population engaged in mining, exclusively and in part, capital and labor employed, value of improvements, number of mills and steam engines in operation, yield of the mines, average of dividends, and losses.
5. Proportion of agricultural and mineral lands in each district, quantity of woodland, facilities for obtaining fuel, number and extent of streams, and water privileges.
6. Salt beds, deposits of soda and borax, and all other valuable mineral deposits. 7. Altitude, character of climate, mode and cost of living, cost of all kinds of material, cost of labor, &c.
8. Population of the mining towns, number of banks and banking institutions in them, facilities for assaying, melting, and refining bullion; charges upon the same for transportation and insurance.
9. Communication with the mines and principal towns, postal and telegraphic lines; stage routes; cost of travel; probable benefits likely to result from construction of the Pacific railroad and its proposed branches.
10. Necessity for assay offices and public depositories; what financial facilities may tend to develop the country and enhance its products.
11. Copies of local mining laws and customs regulating the holding and working of claims.
12. Number of ledges opened, number claimed, character of the soil in the mining districts, and its adaptation to the support of a large population.