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ture means for these objects is to be made dependant on our assuming State Government.
“ Ten per centum of the nett proceeds of the sales of the public lands owned by the United States within our limits,” is the next pecuniary advantage” set forth in the message. Although it does not appear clearly and beyond dispute that we shall, on entering the Union, be entitled to demand imperatively this sum, by virtue of the act referred to, yet as it is claimed, and seems fairly deducible from the general principles of the act, the committee proceed to consider it.
No data exists on which to base any precise calculations. The committee can therefore only give probable and approximate estimates. His Excellency has stated the average amount of sales for the years 1837, 1838, and 1839, at the sum of 5,925,900 dollars each year. This, however, would be an uncertain datum for the future. Public lands are now, and will doubtless for many years, be sold to actual settlers only; and many of these are now purchasing select lands of former purchasers, and often below the minimum Congress price. The sales in the United States for 43 years previous to 1839, inclusive, amounted to $106,863,751; equal to $2,485,203 per annum.
This period included the most rapid sales of the Government, and is believed by the committee to fornish an average at least fully equal to what that of the next five or ten years would amount to. The amount of sales for the three first quarters of the year 1840, was $2,252,202 07—probably less than 3,000,000 for the whole year. Mr. Senator Webster, in the year 1830, computed the annual amount of the land sales at one million of dollars. Senator Clay, chairman of the Senate's committee on Finance, at the late extra session of Congress, estimated the amount of revenue for the first half of the year from lands, at $826,669,96, and for the last half of the year at the same rate: equal to $1,653,389,90 for the year 1841.
But the Secretary of the Treasury states in his late report to Congress the amount of receipts into the Treasury, for the three first quarters of the year 1841 from lands, at $1,104,063; and estimates that for the last quarter at $350,000; equal to $1,454,063 for the year 1841. If to this sum we add 20 per cent. for incidental expenses—$290,000 we shall have the probable amount of sales for the present year at $1,744,063.
The above sum may by many, notwithstanding its high authority, be deemed too low.
The committee willing to conduct the inquiry in a spirit of liberality towards the views set forth in the message, have supposed the sales may possibly reach two and a half milions per annum, for the next five years, and on this assumption have based their calculations.
The "act (to appropriate the proceeds of the public sales, &c.)” it is supposed may be construed to give the new States coming into the Union ten per centum of the nett proceeds of sales within their limits. The salaries and expenses of the General Land Office; Surveying; salaries and expenses of Surveyor General's Offices, and of the several Land Offices must then first be deducted.
The following statement of these expenses, derived from appropriation bills, and such other sources as the committee find accessible, is submitted, to wit: For and on account of the General Land Office, in
including salaries, stationery, printing, and contin
gent expenses, per annum, - - - - $124,170 For and on account of the several Surveyor General's Offices, - -
47,400 For the public surveys, - - - - - 70.000* Salaries of the officers of the (60) Land Offices, 60,000 Five per cent. commission on sales of 2,500,000, 125,000 Extra allowances to said officers, - - - 10,000
Total expenses, per annum, - Gross amount of sales per annum, Deduct the expenses, - -
$436,570 $2,500,000 - 436,570
· Leaves the nett proceeds per annum,
* The Distribution Act provides for an appropriation of $150,000 per annum for his object.
The message informs us that in the years 1837, 1838, 1839, of the $5,925,900 received from sales in each year, the sum of $384,268 was taken in this Territory, equal to a little less than one-fifteenth of the whole amount received from sales in the United States.
Assuming this proportion to be nearly correct, the amount per annum to be received from sales in Wisconsin would be equal to - - - - - - - - $137,562 Ten per cent. on this sum, is - - - - - 13,756 10
The “five per centum,” next alluded to in the message of all the public lands in her (our) boundaries to place us on equal footing with the other new States, and to be applied to the making of roads, harbors, &c. &c.” will, upon the principles of the above calculation, amount to $6,878 05 per annnm.
The last of the “ pecuniary advantages” enumerated by his Excellency is our “proportion of the nett proceeds of all the public lands in the United States, sold after the 31st of Dec. next,” in the general distribution with all the other States, Territories, and District of Columbia:—this sum is to depend upon our federal representative population as ascertained by the last census. Nett proceeds per annum on gross amonnt of sales, $2,063,430 10 Deduct ten per cent. to new States; also 5 per cent. by
virtue of the compacts, equal to 15 per cent., - 309,514 50
Leaves the sum of, - - - - - - $1,773,915 50 to be distributed among the several States, Territories, and the District of Columbia according to the federal population: and being divided among 17 millions of inhabitants, gives $103 20 cents to every thousand inhabitants; and supposing us to have 30,000 will amount per annum to the sum of - - - - - $3,096 00 To which, if we add the ten per cent. - - - 13,756 10
Will give us the sum of - - - - - $16,852 10 as the sum total of all that could be expected to accrue to us from this act which can be set apart annually for the ordinary expenses of State Government. Adding the 5 per cent. expected under the compact to
Will give the sum total of - - - - - $23,730 15 which we can receive in cash for all purposes under this act.
If to this we add the 360,000 acres of land, and suppose the whole to be sold at the minimum Congress price, and the sum invested at 6 per cent. per annnm we should from this source derive $27,000 00 per annum, Making an aggregate of - - - - - $50,730 15 as the sum total that can under the most favorable circumstances bé expected from this act for all purposes whatever.
$33,878 10 cents of this sum (of which $27,000 is supposed to acerue from interest of our sales of 360,000 acres of landi $6,878 05 to accrue from the 5 per cent. fund under compact) must be applied to purposes of internal improvement, and the sum of $16,842 10 only can be applied at the discretion of the Legislature to the ordinary expenses of State Government.
Such then constitutes, upon the estimates and calculations of your committee, the “ pecuniary advantages” which the provisions of the act to appropriate the proceeds of the sales of public lands and grant pre-emption rights,” hold out to induce us “ to change our form of government.”
The committee now turn to consider the advantages which we shall have to surrender on taking the step advised by the Executive, together with the additional burdens to be assumed.
Under the present Territorial government, Congress has appropriated and paid for the expenses of the Legislative Assembly, the sum of $180,358 for the six years of our existence, (including the year 1841) equal to the sum per annum of - .. $30,075 The appropriations annually for the same term for our Executive and Judicial departments, have equaled - - - $10,500 And for the exepnses of courts and jurors, - - - 10,000
Total appropriations per annum, - - - - $50,575
It is but reasonable to suppose that like sums will be appropriated for us in time to come.
Various estimates are put forth as to the expenses of a State Government; on this point the committee can only give their opinion, which must on a candid consideration of the whole matter, be made up, not as to what such expenses might, in a spirit of rigid economy be made ; but upon what they will in all probability in the issue, really come up to. They submit them, the following, to wit: A Legislative Assembly with 48 members in the lower, and
26 in the upper branch—74 in all, with a per diem
allowance of $2 50, and a session of sixty days, is $11,100 Mileage for the same at an average of $30 for each member, 2,220 Printing and stationery, - - - - - - 8,500 Officers of the two Houses, say 7 to each House, at $2 00
per diem, - - - - - - - - 1,680 Fire, lights, and contingent expenses, - - - - 3,500
Judicial Department. Four Judges at salaries of $1,500 each, is One Chancellor with a salary of . - Expenses of Court and Jurors, - -
Total, - - - - - - - - . $50,050
The above, it is believed, is the least sum on which it would be possible to effect a State organization. It seems then that the sum of - - - - $50,575 00
in specie or its equivalent is now paid us per annum by the General Government; and after banishing this