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timber, with oak openings. It resembles at a distance an old and highlycultivated grazing country, rich in orchards and waving fields; and as the traveller goes onward he expects to see villages behind the clumps, and hamlets by the water-courses. As a grazing country, it has few equals; and its climate is more genial than that of western New York. In support of my opinions as to Racine, I beg leave to enclose a copy of the proceedings and the memorial of a large meeting of settlers held at that place in relation to the subject under consideration. The gentlemen named are men of the highest respectability and intelligence, and their statements may be relied on.
I think I hazard nothing in saying that, for many years to come, more surplus produce will be shipped at Racine than at any other point, it being the termination of the Mississippi road which passes through the counties of Walworth and Racine; which are as fertile as any portion of Wiskonsin, and are cultivated to a considerable extent. I know several individuals who last year had over one hundred acres of wheat, which yield about thirty-five bushels to the acre. Several flour-mills have been built in this section; and herds of cattle are seen scattered over the country in the finest condition imaginable. The wild pea, which is abundant on the prairie, is found sufficient for the support of the herds, in the grazing season, alone.
According to an estimate of the United States engineers, the expense of constructing a harbor at this point would be $30,000 less than at any other place surveyed on the lake. By cutting a channel through the bar formed at the mouth of Root river, and building two seawalls out to deep water, a hundred ships and over might find a shelter under the bluffs of Racine, and be protected from every wind.
In relation to the surveys of the rivers of Wiskonsin, the United States engineer, in his report to Governor Dodge of December 31, 1839, states : “ The results developed are exceedingly satisfactory, far more so than is generally believed by those who have not had the opportunity of a personal examination of them."
Southport has a population of several hundred, and is a place of considerable business. Pike river is another point contiguous, which has been surveyed by Government to be improved. It cannot, however, be expected that harbors will be built at every point at once.
Milwaukie and Racine seem now to be the most important places. Milwaukie from its size, and Racine from its connexion with the great road, its important situation, and the ease and slight expense with which its harbor could be constructed.
The United States have already built light-houses at several of those points, viz: Milwaukie and Racine. They have already made soine appropriations for building roads-one from Milwaukie, and another from Racine, westward, to Sinipee, on the Mississippi. They have also laid out and nearly completed one from Southport north, through Racine, Milwaukie, &c., to Green Bay. Often are the officers of Government delayed at those places, they being the termination of the roads where they must take shipping.
Vessels and steamboats, ready to land or take in freight and passengers, have to fly before the wind, and several days generally elapse before they return if they return at all. Many times I have seen vessels commence discharging their cargo, and in the midst of it, at the approach of a storm, compelled to weigh anchor in confusion, and stand out before the gate. I trust that the committee, over which you preside, will pardon me for bav. ing thus crudely and diffusely given the result of my observations upon this important subject. And should my remarks aid in producing a favor. able report, I shall have the proud satisfaction of feeling that, in this mat. ter, I have had the welfare of the people at heart. That I have advocated no sectional work, for individual benefit, but a great, a national, a democratic work; the effects of which may be apparent when the West shall bloom in gardens; and when time shall number three hundred millions of enlightened freemen under the broad banner of this glorious Republic.
With the greatest respect, I have the honor to be, your most obedient servant,
ORRIN HOLT. Hon. EDWARD CURTIS, Chairman Committee on Commerce,
House of Representatives.
MILWAUKIE, May 9, 1840. My Dear Sir: Three or four steamboats have passed up the lake with many emigrants for our Territory, but the lake was so rough they could not land here, the wind having blown from the northeast for a week. The Erie, Buffalo, Bunker Hill, Constellation, and Illinois, all have gone up in a gale, with no place in our Territory for them to run into. The proprietors of steamboats on the lakes have placed their best boats in the line between Buffalo and Chicago, which makes it the best route for southern gentlemen to New York; and it is a shame that, between Fort Gratiot and Chicago, a distance of 500 miles, the boats have to weather all the storms. There has been property enough lost within the last ten days on Lake Michigan, to have built three good harbors. The steamboat Cham. plain, the brig Queen Charlotte, and fouror five schooners, are ashore, and some of them total wrecks, and what a pity it is that they were not all loaded with Senators and members of Congress. We all have strong hopes that an appropriation for a harbor will be had.
E. STARR. Hon. J. D. Doty.
BUILDING FOR WAR DEPARTMENT.
JUNE 3, 1840.
WAR DEPARTMENT, May 22, 1840. SIR: In compliance with a resolution of the Committee on Public Buildings of the House of Representatives, calling upon the Secretary of War to furnish answers to certain interrogatories relative to the number of buildings rented for the accommodation of the War Department, and ask, ing what would be the cost of a building, made fireproof, which would enable the War Department to dispense with these buildings, I have the honor to submit the accompanying report of the Chief Topographical Engineer, and the plan therein referred to, to which I invite the favorable action of the committee.
1 concur in every part of the plan, excepting, that I would advise the lower and first stories to be built upon groin arches, and the upper part of the building, as proposed in plan No. 3, sustained on iron joists and sinal! arches. I do not believe the cost of such a building would exceed sixty thousand dollars, and it inight be erected and fit for use in the summer of 1841. Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
J. R. POINSETT. Hon. Levi LINCOLN, Chairman Committee m Public Buildings
and Grounds, House of Representatives.
BUREAU OF TOPOGRAPHICAL ENGINEERS,
Washington, May 21, 1840. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge your direction, to report upon a communication from a committee of the House of Representatives, in the following words.
" On motion of Mr. Petrikin,
“ Resolved, That the chairman of the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds, request the Secretary of War to furnish the committee with answers to the following interrogatories:
"1. What number of buildings are rented for the accommodation of the War Department, and what bureaus occupy those buildings?
“2. What is the amount of rent paid annually for those buildings? "3. Are any of them fireproof?
"4. What would be the cost of a building, made fireproof, which would enable the War Department to dispense with those buildings?