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any State to be erected in this Territory, in which said Bank may be located, shall deem it fit and expedient for the better regulating of a banking operation, to require the deposites in a general safety fund, from this and other banks hereafter to be enacted, with the view to the adoption of a general system in said Territory, similar to that now in operation in the State of New York, and known as the Safety Fund System, that then and in that case the charter shall be subject so far to be amended as to make it conform to such a safety fund system and no further."
The New York safety fund system consists of two parts : one is to set apart a certain portion of its profits for the redemption of ils bills, and this is called the fund; the other part is that which provides for the appointment of bank commissioners. From the wording of the section of the law referred to, it would clearly warrant the action of the Legislative Assembly on this subject.
The Bank of Mineral Point has issued what is denominated post notes, or notes payable at a future day. This is a violation of all judicious banking; it is certainly a dangerous power to be exer. cised by any banking institution. The time of redeeming her notes might be extended to twelve or eighteen months, as well as for three or four months. If a bank is permitted to leave her le. gitimate business and enter the field of speculation, by, dealing in the staple commodity of the country, her capital will always enable her to prostrate individual enterprise, to the great injury of the people. Banks are created for the benefit of the people, and should be confined to the legitimate purposes for which they were chartered. The principle of banking on a large or small capital is precisely the same; the greatest gain at the least expense is the ruling motive of action in both, and sways with the same power the bank of one hundred thousand dollars capital in a country town, as one of millions in a great commercial metropolis: the
whole difference consists in the influence and power of their respec. tive institutions.
Among the subjects of much importance to the people, there is one to which I would respectfully call your attention. That is, the creating corporations and granting charters. Corporations are of two classes : those established for public purposes, and those for purposes of a private nature. The first class consists of those for religious purposes, as churches ; for the promotion of the arts and sciences, as colleges, academies, &c. and for all purposes of public utility, to the attainment of which individual means and exertions are inadequate, under proper and judicious regula. tions, subjecting them to the control of the Legislative Assembly, should be encouraged and sustained. The other class, em bracing those of a private nature, ought not, in my opinion, to be increased in number. Charters for mining companies, ferries, and for other purposes, have been granted to all who have here. tofore applied for them. A few persons collectively have been invested with corporate privileges for a length of time beyond the lives of the present generation, securing to themselves powers and immunities denied to the rest of the community, creating monopolies not only to rival but to put down individual enterprise.
By the first section of an act to provide for aiding in the construction of the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal," approved February 26, 1839," the Government was authorized to borrow
fifty thousand dollars. Accordingly bonds were issued to that, amount, on the 12th of March last, executed by me in the name of the Territory, and under the authority of the act of Congress, for one thousand doilars each, bearing an interest of six per centum per annum, and payable twenty years thereafter, and in conformity to the twentieth section of the act first referred to above,.. Byron Kilbourn, Esq. was appointed the agent of the Territory to make sale of said bonds, and the Bank of America, in the city
of New York, designated as the depository of the funds arising therefrom in the event of a sale. I have not been officially advised by the agent appointed on the part of the Territory, that he has negotiated a loan for the amount authorized by law, or any part thereof. In accordance with the provisions of "An act to amend an act to provide for aiding in the construction of the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal," approved January 11, 1840, it is made the duty of the canal commissioners, in case a loan should not be effected on or before the first day of September, 1840, to apply all moneys on hand belonging to the canal funds for the con. struction of the canal. The register and receiver of the canal made their reports of receipts and expenditures, dated on the third of September last. The receiver had previously made his report of his receipts and expenditures, from November 1, 1839, to Ang. 5, 1840.
These reports are submitted for the information of the Legislative Assembly. '",
I would again respectfully recommend the memorializing Con. gress, asking them to extend the right of pre.emption to the settlers on the even sections of land reserved by Congress, by the third section of the act making appropriations for the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal. I will submit my views on this subject as expressed on a former occasion: “I deem it an act of justice to the settlers on the line of the contemplated canal, that they should be placed on the same ground they would have occupied had they not been located within the limit of the canal lands, and that the right of pre-emption should be granted them at the minimum price of the public lands. When they made their settlements they no doubt believed they would participate, in common with their fellow. citizens, in purchasing their komes at the Government price. They have had, in common with the other settlers on the public lands, to encounter a series of harrassing difficulties, incident to the formation of new settlements ; they have by their energy and
industry enhanced the value of the lands of the United States in the immediate vicinity of the contemplated canal route, and are entitled, upon principles of justice as well as the usage of the Government, to the favorable consideration of Congress. It has been the policy of the Goveroment to extend every possible indul. gence heretofore to occupants of the national domain. This policy is wise and just. The Government lands should be sold to sei. tlers alone, graduating their price according to their value. We would then have a population, owners of the soil, attached to the republican institutions of our country; the desert itself in a few years would become a fruitful field, and where the unsubdued forest now stands we would have a free, enterprising population. Large tracts of country in this Territory have been purchased by individual speculators or by companies that permit them to lay waste until they will command the highest prices, thereby retarding the settlement of the Territory. The true value of the soil can only be explored by labor, and the public lands should cease to be an object of speculation when they are so much required for agricultural purposes."
In conformity to a resolution of the Legislative Assembly, ay. thorizing the appointment of commissioners in the several land: districts for the location of the university lands, granted by Con. grege, at an early period after the adjournment of the last annual session, I appointed three commissioners to make the location. The commissioner from the Green Bay land district made his report on the 17th of April last, which was submitted by me to the Secretary of the Treasury, under the provisions of an act of Congress, approved June 12th, 1838. By a communication received from the Commissioner of the General Land Office, it appears that the locations, as far as they have been made, of the University Lands, have been approved by the Treasury Department, and the land officers at Green Bay have been furnished with
a list of the selected tracts, and have been instructed to withhold them from sale or entry. The aumber of acres selected from that iand district is 10,248. No reports have been received from the commissioners appointed in the Milwaukee and Wisconsin land districts. It is deemed important that the selection of the university lands should be made at an early day, in order that good selections may be made. It is to be expecied that the choice lands will be entered in the different land districts, and the selection of these lands may have to be made from the refuse tracts if the : locations are deferred.
I would respectfully invite the attention of the Legislative As. sembly to the propriety of appointing by law a Territorial Geolo.
gist. Much good, I think, might resuit from the appointment of a 1' competent individual to that office, throughout the Territory, and
particularly in the mining region of countıy. The result of his examinations, reported to the Legislative Assembly annually, and published, would tend to circulate throughout the Union a know. ledge of the great natural advantages and resources of Wisconsin, and would embrace the discoyeries of lead ore which have been made in the mining region, the location of those discoveries, the peculiar formation of the strata above, below, and in which lead or copper ore is found ; and as the information would accumulate from those examinations, they would be extended, the knowledge of the miner would be increased and his labors meet with a sure reward
I have heretofore in my messages expressed my views fully as to the justice and propriety of asking appropriations from Congress for the improvement of the navigation of Rock, river. This river may be made the great connecting link in the chain of water com. munication between the waters of the Mississippi and those of Lake Michigan by the contemplated canal, a work I deem of the first importance, and must have been considered so by Congress, from the liberal appropriations made by that body in land, to aid in its completion; and no good reason can be assigned why Con. gress should not be equally liberal in granting donations in land