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That the establishment of the above mail routes would be a very great convenience to numerous settlers and residents, in a prosperous and rapidly improving section of country, in affording them mail facilities of which they are now entirely destitute, short of traveling from five to fifteen miles to reach the nearest existing post offices. And your memorialists will ever pray.
MASON C. DARLING,
President of the Council. APPROVED February 11, 1847.
To congress for the reduction of the price of even
section lands on the Milwaukee and Rock river canal district.
The memorial of the Council and House of Representatives of the Territory of Wisconsin to the Congress of the United States, respectfully sheweth:
That congress, by an act approved February 18th, 1838, granted to the territory of Wisconsin, to aid in the construction of the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal, one half of a strip of land, ten miles wide, along the route of said canal, consisting of the odd numbered sections and embracing about one hundred and forty thousand acres.
This grant seems to have been induced by the belief that by the aid thus given the canal would be speedily construct
ed, and thereby the value of the public lands in its vicinity would be largely increased.
Accordingly the minimum price of these lands, as well of the odd sections granted to the territory, as of the even sections retained by the government, was fixed by the act of congress at two dollars and fifty cents per acre. ject of constructing the canal, however, was found to be far beyond the available resources of the company and of the territory, and has long since been abandoned by both. In the mean time, however, large numbers of settlers, invited by the prospective improvement of the country by the construction of the canal, located upon these lands, and made valuable improvements thereon, awaiting the time when they should be offered in market at the enhanced price placed on them as aforesaid.
The abandonment of the work has been to all these enterprising and meritorious individuals a source of deep disappointment and irreparable injury after many years of anxious suspense, the legislative assembly of the territory, at its present session has given relief to the settlers on the odd sections by passing an act authorizing the sale of all the unsold
por• tions of the lands granted to the territory, at the minimum price of one dollar and thenty-five cents per acre. It is believed that a large portion of these sections will be sold during the ensuing year.
The settlers on the even sections present equal claims to the interposition of congress for their relief. No reason seems to exist why these lands should be held at a higher price per acre than the adjacent portions of the public domain. On the the contrary, after many years of delay and suspense, it would seem that the government ought not to add to the disappointment arising from the abandonment of the canal, the further injury of demanding double the ordinary price of the public lands. The restoration of the even sections to the price imposed on them before the illusive promise of a public improvement to enhance their value, was held out, would seem to be the dictate equally of true equity and sound policy.
Many of these lands were occupied by settlers prior to the act of 1838, by which they were taken out of the market and the settlers cut off from the ordinary pre-emption rights then existing by the laws of the United States. Justice requires that these settlers, and especially those who located before the act of 1838 should be restored to the rights enjoyed by settlers on all the other public lands.
Your memorialists therefore ask that the even sections belonging to the canal tract aforesaid shall be placed in market at the same price and on the same terms and conditions in all respects as all the other public lands in the Milwaukee land district.
They also respectfully represent that all such persons as may have heretofore purchased lands in said sections at the minimum price of two dollars and fifty cents per acre, being an increase of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, in consequence of the proposed improvements now abandoned, should be repaid the amount of such increased rates, on making due proof of the facts to the proper land officers. And your memorialists pray that provision may be made by law for the relief of purchasers in all such cases, by giving the actual settlers of the said even section lands one year preemption to the same.
President of the Council. APPROVED, February 11, 1847.
In the law to organize the county of La fayette, on the 63d page, seetion 20, 2d line, the word “ Highland" should read Richland.
In the law to incorporate the Fond du Lac and Beaver Dam Rail Road Company, on the 166b page, in sec. 16, the seventh line is prinied as the nin:h. The language (commencing with the seventh line) should be,
not exceeding three times the amount of damages caused by such offence, which may be recovered in the name of the said company, by action of debt, in any court having competent jurisdiction,” &c.
TERRITORY OF WISCONSIN,
SECRETARY'S OFFICE, Madison, April 21, 1847. I hereby certify that the acts, resolutions, and memorials, contained in this pamphlet, have been compared with the originals in this office, and that they appear to have been correctly printed, except as noted in the errata.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto affixed the seal of