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Preamble and resolutions relative to the currency, instructing Senators
and Representatives in Congress, foc.
Whereas, the original States of the Union having, prior to the adoption of the Federal Constitution, fully experienced the evils of a paper currency, intended to provide against the possible recurrence of those evils; and, to this end, they expressly declared in the Constitution, that Congress should have the power to coin money, regulate the value thereof and of foreign coin; to provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States; also, expressly declared that no State should coin money, emit bills of credit, or make any thing, except gold and silver coin, a tender in payment of debts: And whereas, notwithstanding these plain, indisputable, and positive provisions in the Constitution, and the manifest object of, and necessity for them, yet the people and the Government of this Union have ever been exposed to, and at this time are suffering, in the highest degree, the evils against which these wise provisions were intended to protect them: And whereas, the establishment of the first and second Banks of the United States, the receipt of their notes, as also the notes of the State banks, as moneys, in payment of the public dues, and the deposite, by the Government, of its whole revenue thus received, in the custody of those banks, as an additional fund for their traffic, and, by consequence, as an additional stimulus to the increase of their number, and to the expansion of their circulation, have been among the chief and most manifest causes of the exclusion of the precious metals—of the substitution for them of an unmixed paper currency, and far above all, of that fearful connexion of the banks with both the State and National Governments, which has, within the last ten years, prompted those corporations to claim, as irresumable political rights, the privileges which had thus been improvidently granted to them as temporary favors, and even to aspire to the sovereignty of the country; with this view, employing their immense resources and united energies in a general effort to subject men and States, Govern
ment and people, to their absolute dominion : And whereas, these important subjects have recently engaged the full attention of the American peopre, by whom the evils of the banking system are well understood, and the dangers therefrom, to be apprehended, have been amply and generally discuss ed : And whereas, the people of Ohio have, for themselves, once and again decided, in the authentic and solemn form of the ballot, that this connexion ought to be totally and for ever dissolved, and, likewise, that the system itself ought to be fully and radically reformed; Therefore, be it
Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, That our Sena. tors be instructed, and Representatives in Congress be requested, to vote for, and support such measures as have for their object the dissolution of the connexion which has hitherto subsisted between the Federal Government and the banks, and the restoration of the financial action of the Gov. ernment, strictly within the limits of the Constitution, and particularly to vote for, and support the measure which is usually called the Independent Treasury Bill.
Resolved, That his excellency the Governor, be requested to forward a copy of the foregoing resolutions to each of our Senators and Represen: a. tives in Congress; also, to the President and Vice President of the United States, and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
THOMAS J. BUCHANAN, Speaker of the House of Representatives. WILLIAM MCLAUGHLIN,
Speaker of the Senate. JANUARY 31, 1840.
SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE,
Columbus, Ohio, March 19, 1840. I certify the foregoing resolutions to be a true copy from the original roll, on file in this department.
CARTER B. HARLAN,
Secretary of State.
MINERAL LANDS OF THE UNITED STATES.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,
IN REPLY TO
A resolution of the House of Representatives, of the 6th of February last,
concerning the mineral lands of the United States.
JUNE 6, 1840.
To the House of Representatives :
I herewith submit a report from the Secretary of the Treasury, showing the progress made in complying with the requirements of a resolu. tion, passed February 6, 1839, concerning the mineral lands of the United States. The documents he communicates contain much important information on the subject of those lands; and a plan for the sale of them is in a course of preparation, and will be presented as soon as completed.
M. VAN BUREN. JUNE 4, 1840.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, June 4, 1840. SIR: A resolution was adopted by the House of Representatives, on the 6th of February, 1839, “ that the President of the United States be requested to cause to be prepared, and presented to the next Congress, at an early day, a plan for the sale of the public mineral lands, having reference as well to the amount of revenue to be derived from them, and their value as public property, as to the equitable claims of individuals upon them; and that he, at the same time, communicate to Congress all the information in possession of the Treasury Department relative to their location, value, productiveness, and occupancy; and that he cause such further information to be collected, and surveys to be made, as may be necessary for these purposes.” It was sent to this department on the 9th of February, 1839, and referred, on the same day, to the Commissioner of the General Land Office, with instructions to collect the information therein requested, and imbody the same in a report, as well as prepare the plan desired for a sale of the mineral lands. I have the honor herewith to submit the report from the Commissioner of the General Land Office,
stating the measures adopted by him to procure the information called for by said resolution, and the results. To avoid further delay, this communication, accompanied by the report of Dr. David D. Owen, (the gentleman appointed to superintend and conduct the examination and survey,) and the papers connected therewith, imbodying the information called for by the latter branch of the resolution, is presented in advance of the plan for the disposal of the mineral lands, which is now in the course of preparation, and will be laid before you at an early day. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Secretary of the Treasury. The PRESIDENT of the United States.
GENERAL LAND OFFICE, June 3, 1840. Sir: In reply to the resolution of the House of Representatives, passed on the 6th of February, 1839, in the following words: “ Resolved, That the President of the United States be requested to cause to be prepared, and presented to the next Congress, at an early day, a plan for the disposal of the public mineral lands, having reference as well to the amount of revenue to be derived from them, and their value as public property, as to the equitable claims of individuals upon them; and that he at the same time communicate to Congress all the information in possession of the Treasury Department relative to their location, value, productiveness, and occupancy; and that he cause such further information to be collected. and surveys to be made, as may be necessary for these purposes;" and which was referred by you to this office on the 9th of the same month, with instructions to collect the information, and prepare the report, &c.: I have the honor to state, that on examination of the files of this office they were not found to afford any satisfactory information on the subject of the resolution, other than what is imbodied in the report of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, communicated by the President to the House of Representatives on the 28th March, 1824, pursuant to a call of that House bearing date 8th February, 1823, and which report forms document No. 128 of the 1st session of the 18th Congress, and to which I would beg leave respectfully to refer. But in view of the very extensive regions of country abounding in mineral resources to which the United States have acquired title, and over which the public surveys have been extended subsequent to the date of that report, the information which it affords was deemed insufficient to meet the enlarged requirements of the resolution now referred to ; and the application which was immediately made to the Department of War, which has hitherto had special charge of the selection and management of the mineral lands under the existing laws, having resulted only in a reference to former reports on the subject from the Ordnance Department, and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, heretofore communicated to Congress, and printed among the public documents, (none of which were found to afford the desired information.) it was deemed indispensably necessary to appoint a special agent, under the authority given in the last clause of the resolution, to cause further information to be collected and surveys to be made.
In pursuance of your directions, and as early in July last as practicable, after the appointment of Dr. David Dale Owen, (a gentleman of extensive attainments in geological and mineralogical science, and former geologist of the State of Indiana,) the instructions to him for the examination and survey were prepared at this office, in accordance with the general plan of operations which I had the honor to recommend in my communication to you of the 28th of June last. T'hese instructions were despatched to Dr. Owen on the 8th of August last; and in the anxious desire to afford an opportunity to those whose interests are most deeply concerned in any plans which may be adopted by Congress for the disposal of the lands in question, as also for the purpose of procuring such additional lights as would aid in furthering the objects of the resolution, a circular letter was on the same day addressed to the Governors of Iowa and Wiskonsin Territories, and of the State of Illinois, covering a copy of the resolution, and inviting them to communicate plans for disposing of the lands as contemplated by the resolution, to be laid before the President. In addition to which, the registers and receivers of the land offices at Mineral Point, Dubuque, and Galena, and the Surveyor General at Dubuque, (in whose districts the public mineral lands containing lead ore are chiefly situated,) were respectively requested to submit plans, accompanied with every information in their power to give, touching all the objects of the resolution. Likewise a letter was addressed to the Hon. Secretary of the Department of War, accompanied by copies of the resolution and of the above instructions to Dr. Owen and the land officers, with a view of obtaining any information on file in that department, and such additional information and plans as might be procured through the medium of its officers and agents whose official duties connected them with the mineral lands. The responses to these calls are proposed to be made the subject of a special report, separate from that of the geologist. which I have now the honor to submit for your consideration.
The report of Dr. Owen, and the documents which accompany it, contain highly valuable information as sought for by the resolution; and, considering the very short time allowed him for completing the examinations in the field before the setting in of winter, he has exceeded the most sanguine expectations of the department, in the prompt and satisfactory manner in which he has discharged the important duties which were confided to bim; and should Congress be pleased to order the publication of the report, with its illustrations and accompanying maps, I feel assured that it will greatly subserve the public interests, by promoting the early sale and settlement of the lands of which it treats, and, at the same time, prove a highly valuable acquisition to the cause of science.
The country examined by Dr. Owen embraces an extent of eleven thousand square miles, which he represents to be, upon the whole, “one of the richest mineral regions (compared to its extent) yet known in the world.” From the statistics of this report, it appears that all Europe produces 131,700,000 lbs. of lead per annum; of which amount Great Britain alone furnishes about three-fourths. That this part of the lead region of the United States produced, under all present disadvantages in working the · mines, arising from the want of sufficient capital and adequate machinery, - thirty millions of pounds of lead in the year 1839; but is capable of pro
ducing annually one hundred and fifty millions of pounds, and furnishing employment to ten thousand miners.