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Gentlemon of the Senate and House of Representatives :
It is a pleasing duty to mark the progress of the noble State of which we are citizens; its increase in population, and growth in material wealth and prosperity, which have been steady and substantial.
The first census of Michigan, as a State, made by the general government, was that of 1840, at which time it was the twenty-third State of the Union in point of population, and contained 212,267 inhabitants.
The second was in 1850, when the State, having gained 185,387, ranked twentieth, and numbered 397,654.
In 1860, with a gain of 351,437, the population numbered 749,113, and the State claimed the sixteenth place.
The fourth census was in 1870, when the population was found to be 1,184,059, an advance of 434,946 in the last decade, making Michigan thirteenth in the rank of States.
The growth of Michigan in material wealth has fully kept pace with the increase of its population. The assessed valuation of real and personal property in 1840 was $37,833,024.13. The valuations, as equalized by the State Board, were : in 1851, $120,362,474.35; in 1856, $137,663,000 ; in 1861, $172,055,808.89; in 1866, $307,965,842.92; and in 1871, $630,000,000.
The representation of the State in the lower branch of the National Legislature, has advanced as follows: From 1836 to 18 we had but one member; from 1843 to 1853, three; from 1853 to 1863, four; from 1863 to the present time, six; and according to the ninth censas, Michigan is entitled to nine members of the House of Representatives.
The apportionment of the State into Congressional districts is a most important duty. It is required that the districts be composed of contiguous territory, and, as nearly as practicable of the same number of inhabitants. Due regard, however, should be had to the fact that the growth of population will be more rapid and much greater in some of the districts than in others. I bespeak for this duty that careful consideration required by the magnitude of the interests involved.
Pursuant to the provisions of Act No. 67, Session Laws of 1871, the Board of State Building Commissioners prepared plans, and solicited designs and estimates, for a building for the use of the several State departments during the construction of the new Capitol. The building was put under contract to the lowest bidder, has been completed, and is now occupied for the use of the Supreme Court, the State Library, and other purposes for which it was designed. The edifice is convenient in its arrangements and has been completed at a cost of $30,693.94, exceeding the appropriation in the sum of $693.94. The entire building, including furnaces and sidewalks, was placed under contract and would have been completed at a cost within the appropriation ; but after full consultation with the State officers, it was determined that the security of the vault of the State Treasurer was of such importance as to require a larger expenditure than had been allowed for that purpose. And I recommend an appropriation for the additional amount thus expended.
By the same act it was made the duty of the Board to procure plans, specifications, and estimates for a New Capitol, not to cost over one million of dollars. The Commissioners were authorized to proceed to the erection of a building in accordance with such plans as might be adopted, but with the proviso,