« AnteriorContinuar »
ers, for convict labor, as reported by the agent, amounting to six thousand nine hundred and twenty-two dollars, and seventy cents. Total expenditure, twenty thousand and fifty-five dollars, and ninetyone cents. The receipts from this source have been as follows, viz : Receipts from contractors and others, for convict labor, six thousand, nine hundred and twenty-two dollars, and seventy cents; value of labor of persons on the walls and buildings, as estimated by the agent, four thousand, four hundred and twenty-five dollars, and thirty-seven cents, making the whole sum of receipt, eleven thousand, three hundred and forty-eight dollars and seven cents. The excess of expenditure over income is thus shown to be eight thousand, seven hundred and seven dollars, and eighty-four cents. The prison wall has been completed within the past year, and the basement story of the centre building of the main prisan, has been erected according 10 the plan heretofore adopted. It is expected that this building will be nearly completed during the present year, and that little further expenditure on the prison buildir.gs will be required for several years.
The annual reports of the Adjutant General and Quartermaster General, are herewith transmitted. The total number of men enrolled in the militia of Michigan, including officers, privates, and musicians, is sixty thousand nine hundred and five. The quota of arms apportioned to the state for the past year by the federal government, amounting in value to seven thousand nine hundred and sixty dollars, has been received. The apportionment of former years, from the same source, to the amount of thirty thousand dollars in value, have been distributed, according to law, among the volunteer companies of the state. Some further provisions for the safe keeping and preservation of the arms furnished by the United States, and for the return of those already distributed, may be found necessary.
The enactments now in force, providing for the organization and discipline of the militia, are believed to be so confused and imperfect as to require careful rovision. The provision which requires of the rank and file of the militia, the duties of general muster and training, while imposing a heavy tax, is believed to lead to the acquisition of little or no military skill. Many of the states have already abolished the system.
The principal objects to be attained by legislation on this subject, appear to me to be, first, to secure the enrollment of every person in the state, liable to do military duty; secondly, to impose the least possible duty in time of peace, on the persons enrolled ; thirdly, to provide a system by which they may be armed and equipped and called out for discipline or service in case of necessity; and finally, to encourage by liberal and judicious provisions of law, the organization and discipline of volunteer companies. By a system embracing these simple objects, it is believed, an efficient organization may be established; one which shall be in strict accordance with our peaceful habils, and at the same time securing the patriotic services of the citizen soldiery of the state, if unfortunately any emergency should demand them.
The annual report of the Commissioner of the State Land Office will be laid before you by that officer. The lands belonging to the state, and those under its control as a trust fund, consist of the primary school lands, the university lands, state building lands, internal improvement lands, and asset lands. All these lands, excepting the last mentioned, were bestowed by the United States government, for the purposes indicated by their several designations. The asset lands are such as have been received in payment by the state from sundry debtors. The total amount received for lands of all these descriptions sold during the last fiscal year, was one hundred and eighty-four thousand eight hundred and two dollars and seven cents. Of the as set lands, sales have been made amounting to five thousand and twenty-four dollars and seventy-two cents. The unsold lands of this class are scattered through many of the counties of the state, and are offered for sale at an appraisal, evidences of state indebtedness being received in payment for them. The total appraised value of these lands remaing unsold, is twenty-eight thousand one hundred and seventytwo dollars and forty-one cents. The internal improvement lands comprise a grant of five hundred thousand acres by Congress. Of these lands, there have been sold during the last fiscal year, 80,562.7-100th acres, for the sum of $100,702 73, principally in land war
There still remain to be selected by the state on the grant above mentioned, 7,495.59-100th acres. Of the quantity selected, there have been sold in all 206,832.90-100th acres, and there remain The report
unsold 285,671.51-100th acres. There have also been sold during the last fiscal year, primary school lands, to the amount of $33,162 60, university lands to the amount of $27,381, and state building lands, amounting to $10,722 60.
An act of the Legislature, approved March 24, 1845, provides for the sale of the salt spring lands, when Congress shall authorize the slate to make such a disposition of them. No such authority having as yet been given, nothing has been realized from this source.
The subject of common schools is universally acknowledged to be one of vital interest in every free government. The liberal reser. pation by the general government of section sixteen in each of the townships of the state, for that purpose, has enabled us to secure a fund that will do much in support of our common schools, and for the diffusion of knowledge among the youth of the state. of the superintendent of public instruction, will give the necessary irformation on the important subjects coming within his supervision. The whole number of scholars that have attended the common schools during the past year, is 75,770. Of these, 69,253 are between the nges of four and eighteen years, 2,289 under four years, and 4,228 over eighteen years. There are also in the state, 20,753 persons between the
of four and eighteen years, who have not attended the common schools; the whole number of children between four and
eighteen, being 90,006. The amount of school interest money dis. tributed in the last year, for the support of the schools, was $22,113.
A provision having been made by Congress, May 20, 1826, by which the state was authorized, when the school section in a township was fractional merely, or entirely wanting, to select other lands to supply the deficiency, the state geologist was by act of March 1, 1845, authorized and required to ascertain the quantity thus deficient, and to report the same to the Legislature, at the present session. This duty has been performed under the direction of the state geologist, and the result will be reported to you by the topographer, to whose charge, since the death of the geologist, the documents relating to the same were committed. These returns contain maps, and complete descriptions of all the fractional sections of common school lands in the lower peninsula, and of lands which have been located to supply such deficiency. The quantity of land to which
the state is entitled, for such deficiency in the lower peninsula, is 20,729.68-100 acres. This, added to the quantity of entire sections in the several townships, and also of the fractional sections, gives for the whole amount of school lands in the lower peninsula, 759,518 69-100 acres. The quantity of school lands in the upper peninsula, is estimated at 380,481 31-100 acres. The whole number of acres of school lands in the state, is 1.140.000. The minimum value of these lands, as fixed by law, would be 35,700,000, yielding an annual interest, at seven per cent, of $399,000. A sale of all these lands, at the present minimum price of five dollars per acre, is certainly not at present anticipated, and may not take place for many years, yet the statement exhibits a noble fund, from which the amount actually realized is now very considerable, and must continue greatly to increase.
A wise provision of the school law, in connection with a requirement of the constitution, designed to promote the same object, has laid the foundation for valuable township and district school libraries, and during the past year, many such libraries have been established. A more effectual method of fostering a taste for reading, and a thirs: for knowledge, and of diffusing intelligence and enlarged views of mo. rals and patriotism, could scarcely be devised. Their influence is at the fire-side, and in silence, yet it is an influence that will do much to elevate the people of Michigan.
Our State University, although it has been in actual operation less than five years, has already given promise of great usefulness, and assumed a rank as a literary institution, of which Michigan may well be proud. There are now connected with the University, seventy students. The ability of its professors, the extensive library and cabinets, and the liberal principles upon which it is conducted, are constantly attracting students to its halls. The fact that no tuition fee is charged to any resident of the state opens its door to all, and makes knowledge literally free.
The University fund, at an early day of its existence, became indebted to the State for laoan of $100,000, and the interest of this debt has been liquidated from the interest received annually on the fund. The acts of the Legislature, approved February 28, 1844, and March 11, 1844, authorized the State Treasurer to receive cer
tain property, and State Warrants belonging to the University fund, and to credit the same on this loan, and also authorized the sale of University lands for Internal Improvement warrants, which were to be paid into the State Treasury, and credited in like manner. The effect of these provisions have been materially to aid in relieving the fund from its embarrassments. The amount received by the State, under these provisions, and credited to the University fund, is 856,774 14, leaving due to the State from that fund, for principal, $43,225 86. The amount received on this fund during the past fiscal year, for interest on account of lands sold, and on loans, was $9,724 74. Deducting from this sum the interest due the State on the loan before mentoned, above the interest allowed on warrants paid in, the available income for the past year is found to be $6,138 39, while in 1843, it was but little over $1,100. The embarrassment of the fund has occasioned a withdrawal of pecuniary aid from most of the branches of the University. Six of these branches have been continued in operation, three of which are supported entirely by the avails of private tuition ; to each of the others, the sum of $200 has been allowed during the year. The number of students in these branches, and in the preparatory department of the University, is 396. It is to be hoped that returning prosperity may again enable the Regents to afford them such aid as necessity and good policy shall demand.
The Geological survey of the lower peninsula, having been completed some time since, the final report of the State Geologist, upon this portion of the work, it is understood, was nearly ready at the last session of the Legislature. The labors of that officer for the last two or three years, have been devoted chiefly to the
of that portion of our state which borders upon the waters of Lake Superior, known as the upper peninsula. The geological survey of this region, was so connected with a lineal survey, made by the geologist under a contract with the United States, as to occasion little expense to the treasury. The recent melancholy dispensation of Divine Providence, in the sudden death, in the midsı of his labors and his usefulness, of The faithful and efficient officer, who has held this appointment from the first organization of the department, will, it is feared, throw many difficulties in the way of making available all the valuable information acquired in the various surveys and examinations.