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tion of land for the improvement of the Grant river, at the town of Potosi, in Wisconsin territory,” approved June 15th, 1844, appropriated to the said territory, section number thirty-four, in town three, range three west, for the purpose of improving the Grant River Slough, at the town of Potosi, in said territory, that in pursuance of the intention of congress, as expressed in said act, the territory of Wisconsin have caused said section to be sold, and the nett proceeds arising from said sale after deducting therefrom all expenses, are two thousand seven hundred and twenty-five dollars and odd cents, which sum is now nearly expended. The commissioners appointed by the legislative assembly of Wisconsin, have caused a reconnoisance and survey of the improvement necessary to be made in order to carry out the intention of congress, with reference to the same, under the superintendence of Joshua Barney, from whose report and estimate it appears that the sum of twenty thousand and forty dollars is necessary to perfect and consumate said improvement. The legislative assembly therefore, respectfully ask your honorable bodies to make an additional appropriation of the following described parcels of land, lying in the Mineral Point land district, and now offered for sale by the proclamation of the president of the United States, on the 24th day of May next, to wit: All the reserved portions of sections 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 33, 35, and 36, township three, north of range three, west,of the fourth principal meridian,which your memorialists think will be sufficient to complete said improvement. Your memorialists would suggest the propriety of placing said lands under the direction of the legislative assembly of the territory of Wisconsin. Your memorialists will not enlarge upon the importance of said improvement to the interests of the territory, and the great and rapidly increasing commerce of the Upper Mississippi, but simply remark that the Potosi Landing is the point from which nearly the whole of the vast quantity of lead is shipped from our territory, and that the products of the Upper Mississippi lead mines during the past year, exceeded sixty million pounds, and is yet on the increase Your memorialists will further state that the appropration already made will be entirely useless for the purpose of effect
ing said improvement, without an additional one sufficient to complete it. They therefore repeat their request that congress will, at its present session, make the appropriation herein asked for.
APPRoved February 4, 1847.
To congress relative to the sale of certain lands.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled:
The memorial of the Council and House of Representatives of the Legislative Assembly of Wisconsin, respectfully represents:
That by the late proclamation issued by the president of the United States, for the sale of lands in the Mineral Point land district, in the territory of Wisconsin, to be held at Mineral Point, on the 24th day of May next, a large number of tracts of land are proclaimed for sale, which were entered at the Mineral Point land office several years ago, some of them as early as 1834, in accordance with the laws of the United States regulating the sales of the public lands. Some of the lands were entered by pre-emption, and some were purchased at public sale, at prices varying from one dollar and twenty-five cents to sixty dollars per acre. The principal value of these lands at present has been given to them in many cases by the
labor and improvements of the pioneer settlers of the country, who came to the country at an early day, and were exposed to all the hardships and privations peculiar to the settlement of a new and wild country. Those privations and hardships can be appreciated by those and those only who are acquainted with the nature and character of savage and uncivilized Indian tribes, with which Wisconsin, in the days of the early settlement of this portion of the country was filled. These settlers have, by their own hands, subdued the forests, cultivated the prairies, opened the mines, constructed roads, &c., and have thus done much and every thing towards developing the rich resources of the country, and paving the way for the unparalleled growth and settlement of the richest portion of the hitherto public domain of the United States. In other instances these lands have been sold, and transferred by the original settlers, to other persons, who have purchased, in good faith, and paid large considerations for improvements thereon, and from time to time have made further and other valuable improvements, equal in many instances to five times, at least, the original value of the land. These lands so entered, and transferred from individual to individual, in some cases many times, and by deeds of warranty, are now offered for sale a second time under proclamation. As the most injurious and disastrous consequences would result to a large and respectable portion of the citizens of Wisconsin, if the lands entered and paid for should again be disposed of at public sale, the legislative assembly of the territory of Wisconsin, deem it an act of duty to the people residing in said district, to address your honorable body in their behalf. Your memorialists regard the welfare of any one portion of the territory as intimately connected with the growth and prosperity of the whole, and therefore that whatever concerns the prosperity of the people of the western part of the territory affects more or less all other portions of the territory. Of the highest importance to the settlers of the country is the tenure by which they hold their lands. If the tenure be fixed, stable, and permanent, industry is encourged, permanent and valuable improvements are made, and a settled and thrifty population occupy the soil. If there have been occasional instances of fraud in this entry of lands, offered for sale, it is respectfully suggested that the judicial tribunals of the land are alone the proper tribunals to investigate such matters and apply the proper remedy, and that again to expose to sale the lands embraced in said proclamation, which have been once entered, without such entries having been set aside as fraudulent, by a decree of a competent judicial tribunal, would be making the innocent purchaser suffer from the act of the fraudulent, and would be fraught with injustice and ruin to a large number who have violated no law, and who are not obnoxious to the slightest charge of having wronged or defrauded the government. If the object of the contemplated sale be to reach cases of fraud in the entry of these lands, the result will be, that where the fraud is rebuked by reaching one who really has practised fraud in the entry and purchase of any such land, many persons entirely innocent of any such fraud, who are holding lands as grantees, perhaps five or six transfers remote from the original purchaser at the land office, would be entirely stripped of the property, and who would be left without any remedy whatever, the original purchaser being dead, having removed from the country, or utterly insolvent; such persons having purchased in good faith, relying more for the soundness of their title, and their security in their homes, upon the government, than upon the pecuniary responsibility of their grantors. To expose these lands to sale, then, would be to strip a large number of the settlers of our territory of their dear bought homes, to take from them thousands of dollars of the hard earnings of years of toil and labor, which they have brought upon these lands, and invested in the form of improvements, to invite cupidity and avarice, to take advantage of the poor and necessitous, to open the door to opression and injustice, and to hazard the peace and the welfare of an important portion of our territory. The disastrous effects, and the inevitable ruin [of] a large number of our best and most enterprising citizens consequent upon a resale of the beforementioned lands, and the serious effects upon the pros
perity of our territory, now about emerging from territorial dependence to the position of a sovereign and independent state, cannot fail to be obvious to your honorable body. In view of all these facts urged by the most important considerations of public poliey and public and private justice, and as the only effectual means of protecting and securing the rights of innocent parties, the legislative assembly of the territory of Wisconsin respectfully and most earnestly petition your honorable body, to provide by law, for withholding from sale all lands in the Mineral Point land district heretofore sold, and for the issuing of patents for all lands purchased at said land office, saving such entries as have been, or may hereafter be, declared fraudulent entries, by the proper tribunals.
President of the Council. APPROVED, February 10, 1817.
To the congress of the United States in relation
to the improvement of the Des Moine and Rock River Rapids of the Mississippi river.
To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States :
Your memorialists, the Council and House of Representatives of the Territory of Wisconsin, beg leave again to urge