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precedent, for that is established; nor for the want of general utility, for of that there can be no doubt; nor upon the ground of any cost or loss to the government, for experi ence proves it will be a source of profit.
Government stretches forth an arm over the sea, and sends her fleets to the remotest corners of the earth, in behalf of the commercial business of the country, and opens new avenues of commerce,-and why not stretch forth an arm over the wilderness, to open avenues whereby the agricultural and industrial business of the country may join themselves in closeer bonds with commerce, and thus extend the interest of both. The business of the country, upon the land and upon the ocean, must govern the nation. The business of the world must govern the world; and the sooner we, as a people, unconditionally, unreservedly surrender and yield obedience to this principle, the more the highest interests and true prosperity of the country will be promoted.
There is a special reason why this measure should be pressed upon the consideration of Congress at the ensuing session. The sentiment seems to prevail that the public lands are no longer to be husbanded as a source of revenue. In accordance with this sentiment, a bill was, at the last session of Congress, introduced into the House of Representatives, and passed the House, and is now in the Senate, and will come up for consideration as unfinished business, known as the Bennett Bill, for the distribution of 60,000,000 of acres of public lands among the several States-to each State in the ratio of her representation in Congress. These lands are to be granted to the old States for the purposes of education, and to the new States for internal improvement. It provides that such Railroad grants as are passed during the session that that bill is passed, shall be deducted from the lands to be donated by that bill.
This measure is highly favored by the old States.Should it become a law, the land donated to the new States will be subject to be specially appropriated by the respective Legislatures. Experience in Western State legislation proves, or at least gives much reason to fear, that if this bill should pass, the lands will, in the scramble, be frittered away. Every township will want an appropriation. Every member will have a favorite object, and the lands will be devoted to minor objects, and the construction of no great, important national work, will be secured. But let Congress make the grant in a separate bill, or by amendment to that bill, appropriating lands to this particular object, and no other—the ultimate construction of the work will be secured-and there can be no question but that its construction will be hastened by such a grant. This course will do no injury to the State or the Nation. No more lands will be appropriated to the new States than will be given by the Bennett Bill. Wisdom dictates the lands should be appropriated, if at all, to objects of general, national utility. In so doing, the interest of the States, new and old, will be promoted, and no one injured. Respectfully, your ob't serv't,
MORGAN L. DRAKE.
HON. LEWIS CASS.
A BILL making a grant of land to the States of Michigan and Wisconsin in aid of the coi struction of a Rail Road line from Pontiac to Lake Superior.
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled, That there be and is hereby granted to the States of Mich igan and Wisconsin respectively, for the purpose of aiding in making a railroad fro Pontiac, in the State of Michigan, by the way of the Town of Flint, to a point at or ne the shore of Lake Michigan, in the county of Mason in said state, and from a point a or near the shore of said lake, in the county of Manitowoc, in the State of Wisconsin, t a point to be selected upon Kewana Point, at or near the shore of Lake Superior, with branch to some point at or near the mouth of the Ontonagon River; and also a branch t some point at or near Iron Bay upon Lake Superior, every alternate section of land des ignated by odd numbers, for seven sectious in width on each side of said road and bran ches; But in case it shall appear that the United States have, when the line or route & said road and branches is definitely fixed, sold any section or part of any section hereb ̧ granted, or that the right of pre-emption has attached to the same, then it shall be lawfu for any agent or agents, to be appointed by the Governor of the said respective states, to select from the lands of the United States most contiguous to the lands which may hav been sold, or to which the right of pre-emption may have attached as aforesaid, so much land in alternate sections or part of sections on the route of said road and branches. shall be equal to such lands as the United States have sold or to which the right of pre emption may have attached, which lands being equal in quantity to every alternate sec tion for seven sections in width, on each side of said road and branches for the whole length thereof, the said respective states within their several and respective jurisdiction shall have and hold and may dispose of for the uses and purposes aforesaid: Provide 'That the lands to be so located shall in no case be further than fifteen miles from the lin of the said road, or branches, as the case may be: And Provided That the lands hereby granted shall be applied in the construction of said road and branches respectively, in quantities corresponding with the grant for each, by the respective states, and withir their several and respective jurisdictions; And that said road from Manitowoc to Ke wana Point, shall be made in a continuous line: And Provided further, That it shall bʊ competent to alter and re-locate any portion of the line of said road and branches, it necessary to its economical construction, but not so as to materially change the route.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted. that a copy of the survey of said road and branches, shall be forwarded to the proper local land offices respectively, and to the General Land Office in Washington City, within ninety days after the completion of the same.
SEC. 3.—And be it further enacted, that the sections and parts of sections, which by such grant shall remain to the United States, within seven miles on each side of said road, and branches, shall not be sold for less than double the minimum price of the public lands when sold; which lands shall from time to time be offered at public sale, to the highest bidder, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior; and shall not be subject to entry until they shall have been so offered at public sale
SEC. 4,-And be it further enacted, that the said lauds hereby granted to the said respective States, shall be subject to the disposal of the respective legislatures thereof, so far as the same shall be within the boundaries of the said states respectively, for the purposes aforesaid, and no other. And the said rail road and branches shall remain a public highway, for the use of the Government of the United States, free from toll or any other charge for the transportation of any property or troops of the United States.
SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, that the said lands shall not be disposed of, or sold. otherwise than in trust for the purposes aforesaid, faster than the construction of said road shall progress. And as to so much of said road a id branches as shall not be constructed within fifteen years from the passage of this act, the said respective states shall take nothing by this grant, and the title to said lands hereby granted, for the unfinished portion of said road and branches, shall reinvest in the United States, to have and hold the same, in the same manner as if this act had not been passed.
SEC 6.-And be it further enacted, that the United States Mail shall be at all times transported on said railroad and branches, under the direction of the Post Office deparîment, at such price as Congress shall by law direct, unless the authorities having controi of said rond, can otherwise agree.