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D. M. Kingly, Loial Meyer, B. W. Ingals, Jas. H. Shepherd Thos. Ecler, J. A. Lands, J. H. Bortwell, J. C. Jones, D. L. Morrris, H. Hay, W. S. Craig, John. R. Clark, A. D. Little, E. S. Chenny, G. O. Vandgriff, L. G. Kind, S. Freedman, S. S. Glover, A. E. Ludley, J. H. Hutevek, T. B. Wheeler, L. S. Galey, W. H. Stone, Wm. L. Miles, A. W. Comstock, S. D. Spalding, W. L. Smith, H. W. Gifford, A. Barnard, Wm. J. Schloss, A. M. Packard, D. Benedict, F. N. Sabine, H. N. Baldwin, J. H. Benedict, Chas. Rafind,

Delos Drew, Jas. Field, G. L. Biddle, Asa L. Baker, T. C. Warner, Wm. C. Aldrid, H. A. Tyler, A. Park, Henry Palmer, Lewis Hubbard, C. H. Buck, Chas. E. Odell, Alfred Cowell, E. Richardson, Henry Morgan, C. Sbandley, John S. Marks, G. Gossman, S. Holberg, M. Livingston, J. W. Hunt, H. Palmer, John Cavender, W. H. Waldby, Robert Parker, Herman & Hart, H. W. Cooper, J. J. Newell, Chas. Bidwell, Thomas Williams, James Tucker, James W. Robinson, Joseph Jones, J. C. Warner, James Johnson, Nathan J. Schloss,

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W. E. Kimball, R. R. Bcecher, W. C. Roth, W. K. Choate, S. E. Graves, H. H. Seaver, B. R. Bradish, D. L. Underwood.

J. B. Dean, 0. D. Smith, Lewis Wagner, M. Kaufman, R. Yeniken, Wm. B. Wilson, George H. Sweet,

1857.

No. 17.

[ No. 17. ]

REPORT of the minority of the committee on Public Lands. The minority of the committee on Public lands, to whom have been referred numerous memorials and petitions, relative to the sale and drainage of the swamp lands, and the disposition of the proceeds arising from such sale,

Have had the same under consideration, together with the numerous bills submitted to the House and referred to your committee, and submit herewith a bill entitled

A bill to provide for the draining and sale of the swamp lands, for the disposition of the proceeds, and for the confirmation of the title of certain purchasers, and recommend the bill to be passed.

The bill provides for the sale of the swamp lands at the minimum price of five dollars, the payments for which are authorized to be made in installments, thereby enabling actual and good faith settlers of limited means, to avail themselves of the sales of these lands on a system of credit; as your committee believe, wisely conceived and well designed to aid in the rapid settlement and consequent cultivation and improvement of a very large portion of these bitherto unavailable lands.

Your committee believe that the early experience of the people of this State has demonstrated fully, the necessity and practical utility, of placing these lands as much as possible, out of the reach of pernicious speculation, hitherto so baneful in its influence, against the rapid growth of permanent and healthy settlement of the interior counties of the State of Michigan.

The many and serious difficulties which environ the subject under consideration, arise chiefly from a want of accurate and statistical information in regard to these lands, the value thereof, the probability of immediate sale, and the best and most practicable means of reclaiming such as in this respect (the good faith of the State) demands Legislative attention.

These lands are scattered through the State, chiefly in the new and unsettled, and in many instances, remote and comparatively unknown counties.

Land of all grades, quality and description, is found in this division: The dense forest, valuable for its timber, and sterile marshes, almost or quite inaccessible to the foot of man, and so much worse than valueless, that a large expenditure must be bestowed upon them, ere they will cease to be a positive nuisance, exhaling from their turbid and murky surface, miasma, sickness and death! unreclaimed and unreclaimable!

To ascertain therefore with any degree of correctness or certainty an average value of these lands, from which estimate the true condition thereof can be understood is at the present time utterly impossible.

By fixing too low a rate as an established minimum price, there is danger of a sacrifice of valuable lands to speculation, without the slightest probability that thereby the inducement to actual settlement of the wild and desolate portions will be promoted or encouraged.

Your committee are of the opinion that the sale of these lands lying contiguous to cultivated farms or in the vicinity of settlements, at a fair and fixed valuation, and the husbanding of the proceeds thereof for the reclamation of less valuable portions, and for such other purposes as a judicious and enlightened policy may dictate is the true plan and correct policy to be adopted by the present Legislature.

This your committee believe will be secured by this bill, as well at least as it can be secured, until more information and practical experirience shall dictate a wiser course.

The minimum price fixed by this bill, it is believed, is none too high as an average price for such of the swamp lands as can be made available, or as at the present time the State would be justified in selling. It is only that class of lands wanted for immediate occupation and use, by contig

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