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inhabitants northwest of Lake Huron, praying the incorporation of a Company for the purposes of mining, have had the same under consideration, and respectfully report :
That the district of country to which the petitioners have directed their attention, embraces the southern shores of Lake Superior, extending southwest to the tributary streams of Green Bay and the Mississippi. From the earliest discovery of the country by the French, this region has been reported to contain valuable cres of copper and other metals, and the progress of discovery has, from time to time, brought new facts to light, tending, generally, to confirm these reports.
It has long been known that native copper is found upon the head waters of the Wisconsin, the Monomonee, Ontonagon, Chippewa and St. Croix, and recent discoveries prove that other metals are contained in the mineral deposites of this region. The impulse given to mining by the advance of the lead mine settlements on the lower Wisconsin, has also produced its effects upon the country north of it. It is already apparent that the Mindota and Ontonagon mines are only the outskirts of one continuous district, whose northern boundary is the open shores of Lake Superior. Upon these shores evidences of the existence of mineral wealth have recenly been discovered, which lead to the expectation that it is destined to become the seat of important mining operations.
Favorable, however, as its natural features appear to be, for the pursuits of mining, it presents very few attractions for an agricul tural population; and large portions of it are absolutely forbidding, from their rechimable sterility. Other sections are so remote from the principal seats of commerce and civilisation, as to present, to the actual residents, the terrs of Siberian solitude. It is, however, these precluded districts that are most productive in mines and minerals. Population throughout all this region bears scarcely any assignable ratio to the whole number of square miles. And as the fur trade gradually diminishes, the inhabitants are induced to cast their eyes to other sources of productive industry. Scanty as are its means of easy subsistence, and unfavored by local postion, it is however the home of a white population, who are reconciled to its regions by habit, and attached to its scenes by association.
As the eye recedes from these bleak shores, there are, however, secluded vallies, in which a detached population may clustre, and the traveller soon enters the skirts of those plains and forests which stretch on to the Mississippi. We speak particularly of the belt of land lying parallel with Lake Superior, which is penetrated by several streams having a rich border of bottom lands, although they drag along their channels masses of copper, pyrites, and other minerals indicative of a mining country. Graming, however, every advantage which may be claimed for it, as a region suitable for grasses, esculunts, and northern grain, it cannot be expected to furnish subsistence to any considerable amount of civilised population.
The products of its industry must continue to be exchanged, as they now are, for those of the grazing and grain countries south and east of it.
Something is due, in the opinion of the committee, to a people who are thus insolated. They bear some burthens, which are unknown to other portions of the community. They exert a favorable influence upon the relations subsisting between ourselves and the Indian tribes, whose good will it is important to conciliate. And they contribute valuable additions to our items of export and consumption, which are not furnished, of like quality and abundance, by o her sections of the Union. The furs of this quarter are, by themselves, an object of national importance, and the pursuit of this business gives employment to a large number of our citizens, embracing a fair proportion of the enterprise, intelligence, and integrity of community. The fisheries of the Upper Lakes have already been found to be productive, and are destined hereafter, to be more fully known and appreciated. But it is probably to its adaptaton and facilities for mining, that this region will be indebted for its most important and permanent sources of future wealth.
To work the mines, however, requires an application of capital and means, generally beyond those ordinarily possessed by individuals. Difficulties re to be surmounted at almost every stage of the operations. Permanent fixtures and machinery are required. The efforts, which, in the desultory system of mining pursued in the west, are scattered over a large surface, must here be concentrated on fixed points. Considerable capital is required to be expended, before any receipts may be expected to accrue, and the general contingencies which may interpose themselves to a successful prɔsecution of the enter, rise, are of a character to demand the steady and united countenance of an association.
The committee recognise, in this survey of facts, the principles by which they have been led to favor the prayer of the memorialists, so far as the subject is decaned to be fairly within the power of the legislative authority. Doubts have, however, been entertained whether a mining company, endowed with corporate privileges within this Territory, can extend their operations upon the lands referred to, in the memorial. To arrive at a satisfactory conclu sion on this branch of the inquiry, it becomes necessary to advert to the treaty regulations existing between the Indian tribes and the United States,
The whole district of country lying on Lake Superior, and extending to Green Bay and the Mississippi, as general boundaries, is in the possession of the Chippewa nation. This tribe is scattered over an immense tract of country, from Lake Huron to Red River, embracing seven degrees of longitude and five degrees of latitude. The whole basin of Lake Superior is within it; and both banks of the Mississippi for upwards of 600 miles from its most extreme northerly sources. It also includes the large tract of mineral coun try supposed to abound in ores of copper.
By conventions held between the several tribes interested, the uncertainty which usually exists respecting Indian boundaries, has been removed. And the southern and western lines of the Chippewa territories have been settled and defined, and are as well known, at this time, as the boundaries of any large domain, where natural limits and landmarks are called for.
The government of the United States, soon after its organisation, manifested a wish to possess themselves of the Copper Mines, and as early as 1798 took some steps to procure proper information respecting them. They had indeed attracted the attention of our Commissioners at Paris, in adjusting the boundary lines at the treaty of peace, and formed one of the reasons urged by Dr. Franklin, for carrying the line northwest through Lake Superior, instead of a more southerly route. The subject has at various subsequent periods been adverted to, both in Congress, and out of Congress, The expedition sent into the quarter, under the personal direction of Gov. Cass in 1820, had this subject presented to them, as one of the objects respecting which information was desirable. A resolution passed the Senate in 1822, calling on the War Department for the Report submitted as the result of this examination, and for such further information as was then at the command of the department -which was submitted to that body in the following year.
In 1825 a bill was reported to the Senate, authorising the preli minary steps for a purchase of the Copper lands, but was not reached, in the ordinary course of business, during that session. In 1826, Commissioners were appointed by the President to meet the Chippewa nation, on affairs of moment to both parties, at Fond du Lac, the extreme northwestern arm of Lake Superior. The treaty which resulted from this conference also contained an article, ceding to the United States all the claim of the Chippewas to the mines and minerals within their territories, together with the temperary use of such lands as might be required to render the grant available. This treaty bears date August 9th, 1826, and was confirmed by the Senate during the following winter, and the ratification announced by the President's proclamation. The right of the United States thus became complete, and may be exercised at such time, and in such manner, as the government may deem proper.
From the policy heretofore pursued by government, there is no reason to believe that they will ever consent to involve themselves in the details of mining. And the late law of Congress ordering the reserved Lead Mines and Salt Springs of Missouri and Illinois to be sold to individuals, may be looked upon as deciding their po licy upon this subject. The committee are of opinion, that an ap plication to explore and work the mines, whether by individuals, or by a company, would meet with a favorable consideration; but that any a tempt to undertake such operations, without such previous sanction and authority, would be improper, inexpedient, and unjust. And they love therefore, in reporting a bill, inserted a provision
requiring such previous authority for any operations which it may be deemed suitable to commence, in that quarter,
A bill to incorporate the President and Directors of the Lake Superior Copper Mine Company, (accompanying the above re port,) was then read the first time; and, on motion of Mr. Schoolcraft, said bill was read the second time by its title and laid on the table.
The bill for the relief of John Curtis, was taken up and read the second time--and having been considered in committee of the whole; said bill, on motion of Mr. Rumsey, was ordered to be en. grossed and read the third time to-morrow.
Mr. Schoolcraft moved that the question taken yesterday on the passage of the "bill to organise the county of Galilee, and for other purposes," be reconsidered; and the motion was decided in the affirmative:
And said bill then being before the Council,
Mr. Irwin moved that the word "Galilee," be stricken out wherever it occurs in the bill; and,
Mr. Schoolcraft requiring the ayes and nays on the question to strike out, they were taken as full xs:
Ayes-Messrs. Durocher, Irwin, M'Donell, Rumsey, Stockton, Trowbridge-6.
Nays-Messrs. Brown, Connor, Edwards, Lawrence, Noble, Schoolcraft-6.
So the motion was lost;
And the bill was then laid on the table.
The bill for the relief of Lucy Berthelet, was taken up and read the third time, whereupon,
Mr. Durocher moved that the bill be laid on the table, and that the further consideration thereof be postponed until Wednesday the 21st inst. ;
And Mr. Noble requiring the ayes and nays on the motion, they were taken as follows:
Ayes-Messrs. Brown, Connor, Durocher, Edwards, Irwin, Lawrence, M'Donell, Rumsey, Stockton, Schoolcraft, Trowbridge
The resolution relative to the ear marks and brands of cattle, submitted yesterday by Mr. Connor, was taken up and adopted.
Mr. Irwin moved that the question taken yesterday on the adoption of the resolution relative to naming counties in the recent surveys in the St. Joseph country, be reconsidered, and the motion was agreed to;
And said resolution then being before the Council, Mr. Irwin, on motion, had leave to withdraw the same; and be then submitted the following, which,
On motion of Mr. Schoolcraft, was adopted, viz:
Resolved, That the committee on Territorial Affairs be instructed to assign the names of Jackson, Calhoun, Van Buren, Ingham, Eaton, Branch, Barry, and Berrien, to eight of the new counties proposed to be established by the bill to establish certain new counties; and that as soon as the said bill shall have passed, the Governor of the Territory be requested to communicate to the Fresident and Vice President of the United States, to the Secretaries of the Department of State, of the Treasury, of War, and of the Navy, and to the Post-Master General and the Attorney General, this mrk of respect for their character and services.
Mr. Schoolcraft moved that the proceedings of the Council, yesterday, relative to the adoption of a resolution for naming certain counties, and the resolution itself, be expunged from the journal; and the motion was agreed to.
On motion of Mr. Lawrence, the Council then adjourned.
THURSDAY, Oct. 8, 1829.
Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Brown.
Mr. Irwin presented the petition of Augustin Grignor, Amable Grignor, and Brisque Hyott, of the county of Brown, praying, for reasons set forth in said petition, that a new appointment of Sheriff in said county may take place, so that the petitioners may be discharged from liability as sureties for the present Sheriff. Read and referred to the committee on the Judiciary.
Mr. Drake presented the petition of Susanna Hutchinson, of the County of Oakland, (accompanied by sundry depositions,) praying that a law may be passed to dissolve the marriage contract existing between the petitioner and William C. Hutchinson. Read and re ferred (with the depositions) to the committee on the Judiciary.
Mr. Drake also presented the petition of Luther N. Webster, and others, of the county of Oakland, (accompanied by sundry depositions,) praying, on behalf of Peter Schoonover, of said county, that a law may be passed to dissolve the mariage contract existing between said Schoonover and Affee, his wife. Referred to the committee on the Judiciary.
Mr. Durocher presented the claim of Joseph Loranger, for ser vi es as Commissioner, and of Alexander Jones, as axe-man, in laying out a Territorial Road from Monroe to Detroit. Referred to the committee on Claims.
Mr. Schoolcraft presented the claims of Stephen Wells, David Cooper, and W. L. Newberry & Co. for stationery and other arti cles frnished the Council during the present session; which claims wer severally referred to the committee on Expenditures.
Mr Brown presented the claims of David H. Brown, Jonathan T. Allen, and Joseph Fairbanks, for services as axe-men, and of Joseph Johns, jr. as packman, in laying out the Territorial Road from the city of Detroit to the Clinton River. Referred to the committee on Claims.