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ation of a work of some description, which will afford such facilities as will enable the people of the territory to send their various products cheaply to market, receive groceries and heavy commodities of all kinds entering into the trade and necessary consumption of the country in return, and improve the means of all the commercial operations of the country in which the whole people of every grade and pursuits are more or less directly interested.
Such was the design when the grant of land was sought for at the hands of Congress; and such was the object of the grant when made and let me here add, such has been constantly and is now the great and leading objects of the canal company.
That such has hitherto been the wish of the company will be seen by reference to my response to certain resolutions of inquiry made by the House of Representatives, Dec. 28, 1839, and that such is still their wish, will be satisfactorily seen by the report of the company to the Legislature at its present session, and by the suggestions herein contained. In my reply to those resolutions in 1839, on behalf of the company, it was proposed that the company surrender all their privileges by simply being refunded the amount which they had expended, and having proper assurance that the canal should be completed agreeably to the act making the grant. And I now renew that proposition in all its parts, and adopt the communication, thus made to the House, as a part of this commnnication, and submit it to the committec, and to the Legislature as the specific proposition as the basis of an arrangement into which the canal company are willing to enter, if adopted by the Legislature. Here then, is a clear and distinct proposal of which the Legislature may avail itself with all the benefits to be derived from the grant of land, and obtain an entire « divorce” from the canal company, by simply paying their expenditure agrecably to the charter, and agreeing to finish the canal-should the Legislature not think it expedient to accept this proposal, as on a former occasion, but should think it more conducive to the interest of the country to change the policy of improvement by the adoption of a railroad instead of a canal, then and in that case, acting on behalf of the canal company, I am prepared to so vary the former proposition as to make it applicable to that end, but in other respects in substance the same as that proposition.
It is assumed that the Legislature do not desire the canal company to surender unconditionally, the rights vested in them, with a view to the total abandonment of all improvement, and it is also assumed that the Legislature would not desire to apply the proceeds of those lands to the construction of any public work in other portions of the country whereby the settlers on those lands would be compelled to pay for improvements in which they had no direct interest. The sense of justice which I know pervades the Legislature, would recoil from an infliction of palpable wrong on a citizen of the territory—and the sound policy of that enlightened body, would certainly prevent them from taking a backward march, and refusing to avail themselves and the country of a valuable improvement, the means of accomplishing which successfully are entirely within their control.
Assuming thus much then, as self-evident, the canal company are willing to surrender their right to construct the canal beyond the point where the line leaves the Milsvaukee river, provided that the Legislature adopt such measures as will secure the construction of a railroad through the same tract of country. This is the general propositions the details of which I am satisfied may be so filled up as to meet the wishes of all parties concerned. I trust the details herein submitted will be found satisfactory, but if they should not be, the company will be ready to adopt any modifications which the Legislature may desirc, and which may be deemed more expedient, conditioned at all times, and under all modifications, that either a canal or railroad is to be constructed, and not abandoned until completed and carried into full operation.
My convction is clear that a railroad may be so constructed, not only through that part of the country in which the canal grant lics, but also entirely across the Territory to the Mississippi, without involving the Territory in any liability whatever-not to the amount of a dollar--and at the same time relieve itself from liabilities already incurred by its connection with the canal--and not only so, but also relieve the purchasers entirely and without condition, from the payment of interest first due on their purchases, and from the payment of future interest except to a small amount, until a large portion of the railroad should be completed. If this can be done, as I feel assured it can, and thus all parties be mutually relieved and benefitted, I feel a strong assurance that no enlightened statesman and friend of the country, would raise his voice against it. The plan which I would propose, in connection with the proposal of the canal company to relinquish their privilege west of the Milwaukee river, and to attain the several ends above stated, is that a company be incorporated with the general powers to construct a railroad from Milwaukee to the Mississippi, clothed with such privileges as the Legislature may deem prudent and advisable, guarding against abuses, but sufficiently liberal in its provisions to secure investments by our citizens generally in its stock, and also by capitalists from abroad—such an act having been passed and become a law, would furnish a basis on which to found the provisions of another act providing for the transfer of the lands to that object, and a general adjustment of all other matters involved, in which the public and individuals are alike concerned — such an act appears to me indispensably necessary as a first step in the proceeding; but it may be possible that the Legislature can devir some other and better mode, and if so, it will of course, meet the concurrence of the other parties interested.
Suppose such an act to have become a law, I would propose that an act be then passed providing
1st. That the beneficial interest which this Territory has or may have, and the prospective interest which any state to be hereaster erected within the limits of this Territory, may have, in the grant of lands made by Congress to aid in the construction of the Milwaukee and Rock river Canal, be and the same is hereby relinquished on the condition that said lands may be granted by Congress as a bonus or bounty to the Milwaukee and Mississippi railroad company, 10 aid in the construction of said railroad, which grant Congress is hereby requested to make, with a promise that the title to said lands shall vest in said company as soon as said road shall be completed as far as Rock river, and not until so much of said road shall have been completed.
2nd. That the proceeds of the sales of lands now due or hereafter
to become duc, (except interest moneys as herein otherwise provided) and all monies belonging to the canal fund shall be transferred and paid to said railroad company, and all the work constructed by the Milwaukee and Rock river canal company on said canal, so far as the Territory have an interest therein, shall be transferred to and vested in said railroad company, whenever an act shall be passed by Congress granting the canal lands to said railroad company, and the canal commissioners are hereby authorized and required to transfer to the proper officers of said railroad company, all bonds, mortgages, moneys, property and evidences of debt which may be in their keeping or charge, and anywise belonging to the canal fund, provided however, that no such works on the canal, bonds, mortgages, moneys, properties and evidence of debt, shall be transferred to, or vest in said railroad company, until said company shall have settled and liquidated all the expenditures which have been made, by the Milwaukee and Rock river canal company incident to the commencement and prosecution of the canal, and moreover shall have discharged all debts and liabilities which have accrued against the Territory by any loan which has been negotiated for and on account of said canal, all contracts which have been given out and approved by the commissioners for the construction of work on said canal, and all liabilities which shall in any manner be due or owing by the Territory for and on account of said canal.
3rd. That in consideration of relinquishment by the Territory of the lands aforesaid, the location of said road shall conform to the following points between Milwaukee and Rock river, as nearly as may be, viz: beginning at some point in Third strect, in the town of Milwaukce, and thence along said street to the base of the hill near Cherry street, and thence by the most feasible route to a point near the termination of Walnut strect; thence by the most feasible route to a point on the canal line as located by the canal company's first survey, (that being the line presented to the Secretary of the Treasury as the centre line on which the canal grant was set off,) said point of intersection between the railroad line and canal line, to be ncar the southwest corner of section cighteen, townsnip seven, and range twenty-two; thence pursuing the most feasible line to the point where the canal crosses the Menomonee river; thence pursuing the most feasible line through section thirty-five, in township eight, and range nineteen, to a point on the canal line near the residence of Samuel Dougherty, Esq.; thence pursuing the most feasible line to a point on the located line of canal within section thirty-three, in township eight and range seventeen; thence pursuing the most feasible line to a point near which the canal line crosses Battle Creek; thence pursuing the most feasible line to Rock river, crossing that stream at such point as may be selected by said railroad company; and any violation of the provisions of this section shall be a forfeiture of all the benefits, rights and privileges conferred by the first and second sections of this act on the said railroad company.
4th. The Milwaukee and Rock river canal company are hereby authorized and empowered to improve the navigation of the Milwaukee river on so much of the line as located for the Milwaukee and Rock river canal, as extends along that river to the point where said line leaves said river in section five, township seven, and range twenty-two, and also to continue said improvements, by canal or slack water navigation to the head of the Milwaukee Falls, in town ten and range twenty-two; and for the purpose of making said improvement the provisions of “An act to incorporate the Milwaukee and Rock river canal company,” approved Jan. 5, 1838, are hereby extended to said company for the construction of said work with all the rights, privileges, powers, immunities, and liabilities, conferred upon and required of said company by said act of incorporation relative to the Milwaukee and Rock river canal, and the same are hereby conferred upon and required of said company relative to the improvement of said Milwaukee river.
5th. That in consideration of the surrender by the said Milwaukee and Rock river canal company of all right to construct any portion of said canal, except as is provided by the fourth section of this act, and in consideration of the abandonment by said company of certain real estate by them acquired on condition that the canal should be constructed on the line as located for said canal, and further to aid and facilitate the operations of said canal company in extending and perfecting the navigation of the Milwaukee river, it is hereby enacted