Imágenes de páginas

were no doubt mutual aggressors, should be regarded as foreign and not pertinent to the issue before your honorable committee; neither can the modes of proceedure at law, practised some years since in Manitou county, whether just or unjust, be regarded as affecting this issue-much less should we be made responsible if the defendant has suffered injury in former times from some of the inhabitants of Manitou. If this legal right exists (ex-judicial,) we desire to place no bar to the just maintenance of his cause. There is no doubt that great and serious wrongs were committed by both parties in the early settlement of Manitou county, at that time attached to Mackinac county, many of which underwent judicial investigation at Mackinac, Detroit, &c.; but we cannot conceive that the introduction of this extraneous matter would in any way affect the legal issue of residence or non-residence involved in this contest, but would only serve to occupy unnecessary time, and possibly prejudice a candid and just consideration of the case.

If, however, your honorable committee determine otherwise, and consider such testimony to be in accordance with law and worthy of consideration, we would demand a full investigation of the whole matter, pro and con. Mr. McKinley gives a full admission that he was not a legal resident of the county by declining to vote the county ticket in November last, as has been proved, and this is prima facie evidence of the fact, afforded by himself. It is also further strengthened by the testimony of his having previously voted the county ticket of Mackinac county. If the defendant had a legal right to vote in Manitou, and had not lost his residence there, he violated his duties as a citizen and the obligations of the constitution of this State by voting in Mackinac county for years past.

With great respect,



No. 2.

[ No. 2.]

MEMORIAL for the disposition of the Swamp Lands.

To the Honorable the Legislature of the State of Michigan:

Your Memorialists, inhabitants of the County of Jackson, respectfully ask leave to address you on the subject of the Swamp Lands of this State.

By the munificence of the General Government, lands to the amount of nearly six million of acres have been donated to the State, and necessarily placed under the care and disposition of the Legislature.

Many of these lands are among the first quality of lands in the State, and for Agricultural purposes are equally valuable by the acre with the adjoining lands, and in many instances are more desirable, on account of affording a better quality of pasture and meadow lands.

Your memorialists believe no one subject is of such vital importance to the interests of the people of this State, as the proper disposition of these lands-a disposition in which all will acquiesce, on account of its superior equity and justice, and leave no ground of complaint that all are not equally benefitted by the income on parting with the fee of the lands.

We hold these lands to be strictly the public property of the State, and that in their disposition, any preferences or favors shown to individuals, associations, bodies corporate or politic, would be at the expense of the great mass of the people, and a practical denial of their rights to an equal participation in their benefits.

Various propositions have been already agitated for the partial dispo sition of these lands, prominent among which are appropriations for the benefit of the University-the various Literary Institutions in the State already in existence, and the endowment of one or more Female Colleges.

While your memorialists rejoice with the people of this State, in the high character and prosperity of these institutions of learning, as well as the proud position taken by both the Legislature and the people to establish a universal system of Education at the public expense-they are firmly of the opinion that no general system of education can shed its blessings upon and benefit the whole mass of the people of this State, except through the system of common schools, now already established throughout the State; any other application must of necessity be partial, and not general in its benefits and effects.

If our public means are inadequate to sustain both our higher institutions and our common school system, and a discrimination becomes necessary, such discrimination should be in favor of the universality of the benefits to be derived, and especially in the present instance, is this consideration the more weighty, when the means upon which we propose such support is equally the property of all, and being so, have the same right to insist on the universal application, as they have to provide that the taxes and burthens of Government should be uniform and bear all.

equally upon

Many of these institutions, equal in standing and character and whose benefits to the public are equally universal with the rest, would be denied any share in this fund by the provisions of our Constitution, on account of their sectarian character, or for the reason that they have an established theological department. After reviewing the whole subject, your memorialists are unable to discover any disposition that can be made of the proceeds of the Swamp lands, so just in itself, and of such universal benefit as to appropriate them exclusively to the support of common schools, and pray that your Honorable body will make such disposition of them and none other.

Your memorialists believe that the net proceeds cf these lands, properly husbanded would eventually amount to at least the sum of six millions of dollars, the interest of which ad led to the present and prospective school fuud, would place it in the power of the State to educate

every child within its borders at the public expense, and that within the life-time of those who saw us emerge from a dependent Territory, to a sovereign State, and all without a property taxation except to erect the necessary buildings-an achievment without a parallel in the history of political associations.

Many a valuable patrimony to individuals and to Governments has been lost or rendered useless by being frittered away injudiciously or by too great haste to dispose of it in order to enjoy its avails, and in this connection it may not be improper to advert to past history, showing the eagerness of the new States to get rid of donations of lands granted by the General Government; sometimes from the very little estimate made of their value, and at others by the influence of individuals who were willing to take them off the hands of the State and patiently await the enhancement of their value. In every instance these lands have advanced rapidly, and as universally have the benefits of such advancement been secured by individuals instead of the State.

Where these grants have been made to individuals, (as in the case of the Illinois Central Railroad Company) different results have followed, under a different financial policy, and it seems to us that if the State would adopt the policy of a prudent individual, the same results would follow.

With due deference to the wisdom of the Legislature, your memorialists would suggest the following points in the disposition of the Swamp Lands:

1. That their proceeds be exclusively appropriated to the support of Common Schools; the principal to be made a perpetual fund for that purpose, using only the interest.

2d. That the lands, especially in the Lower Peninsula, be examined by competent persons, who neither own or have any interest in them, and the prices be graduated according to their quality and location.

3d. That they be sold, after being graduated, at private sale as well as public auction, nor in advance of the actual wants of the country for settlement and civilization.

4th. That they be sold free from all claim upon the State for drainage; or that a certain portion be set aside for that purpose, to which the purchaser must look, and that without claim upon the State.

Your memorialists believe that if such disposition be made of the pro

« AnteriorContinuar »