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rivers, my opinion is, that the grant cannot be regarded as embracing any of the water of the rivers, at the termini, either in place, or for quantity : and with this difference, the proposition should be taken as the basis of adjustment.

Very respectfully,
Your obedient servant.

J. THOMPSON, Secretary. Commissioner of the General Land Office.

No. 560.

Where a road has actually been fixed, the fact that another route had been

surveyed will not entitle a conflicting Claimant of lands within the fixed limits to relief.


March 13, 1858. Sir :-I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the letter from Thomas Todd, of 13th January last, addressed to you, and by you referred to this Office on the 9th ult., “ for a report.” With reference to the subject of said Todd's claim, I have to state, that a letter was addressed to the party on the 10th ult., from this Office, in which the condition of the land, and the reasons why he could not pre-empt it, were set forth. A copy of said letter is herewith inclosed.

The maps on file in this Office, show that the route of the Dubuque and Pacific Railroad was surveyed, marked and staked off” on the ground, on 6th August, 1856, up to and beyond section 15, township 89, range 30, west, and this Office is necessarily guided in its decisions by said maps. Mr. Todd, however, states that the Dubuque and Pacific Railroad Company, prior to the filing the certified map of their route in the Land Office at Fort Dodge, “had run many lines, embracing a section of country extending through a distance of twelve miles, north of my (his) pre-emption, and no person,

thereabouts,' had any idea of the land being chosen within many miles of my (his) claim,” &c. With reference to this, I will state that similar representations have heretofore been made concerning the mode of surveying the aforesaid road, but I do not conceive it to be the duty or power of this Office to take cognizance of such matters. If improper surveys have been returned to this Office, by which private interests are interfered with, the subject is one which belongs to the courts for investigation.

Your obedient servant,

Thos. A. HENDRICKS, Commissioner. Hon. Jacob Thompson, Secretary of the Interior.

The Secretary decided, April 27, 1858, that no relief could be afforded Mr. Todd, in the premises.

No. 561.

In the case of the Cairo and Fulton railroad, for specified reasons it was

decided to adopt the day upon which the Legislature adopted the route, as the period at which the right of the State attached to the selections.


April, 16, 1858. Sir:-I have the honor to return herewith, the letter of Orville Jennings, of 5th August, 1857, addressed to you, and by you filed in this Office for

a report, and with reference to the subject thereof, have to state that the instructions of the 2nd and 14th of February, 1856, to the District Officers, in Arkansas, to which Mr. Jennings, refers, were predicated upon the assumption that the State authorities had filed at the local offices, a map of the route of the Cairo and Fulton railroad simultaneously with the filing of such map in this Office. It was subsequently ascertained, however, that maps had not been filed at each of the offices, and some doubts arose as to the sufficiency of those that had been filed, owing to the fact that they were not traced continuously, but simply on township diagrams, showing the line through each township separately. At one office, such maps had been filed, but no record could be found showing the date of the reception. These maps, or plats were filed by the Governor of the State, at the close of the year 1854.

Subsequently, it was discovered that at the date of the filing aforesaid, at some of the offices, the legislature had not adopted the route of the road, and upon a review of all the facts, and in consideration of the confusion growing out of the difference in dates, &c., I finally decided to adopt the day upon which the legislature affirmed and adopted the route, as the period at which the right of the State attached to the railroad sections. Instructions to that effect were forwarded to the Register and Receiver, at Washington, and the other offices in Arkansas, in a letter from this Office, dated November 25, 1856, and it was upon the principle set forth in that letter, that the entry, No. 10484, in the name of W. D. F. Smith, was cancelled. In my letter of 230 January, 1857, notifying the Register and Receiver at Washington, of the cancellation of said entry, (a copy of which letter is attached to the letter of Orville Jennings,) reference was made to my previous letter of November 25, 1856, and that reference, it would seem, ought to have explained satisfactorily to Mr. Jennings what he regards as a discrepancy between the instructions contained in my letters of 2d and 14th February, 1856, and the action of this Office, communicated to the Register and Receiver in my letter of 230 January, 1857.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

Thos. A. HENDRICKS, Commissioner. Hon. Jacob Thompson, Secretary of Interior.

No. 562. Where a grant has been made to two States, for the same railroad, the selecting limits of each State will be confined within its own boundaries.


Washington, June 14, 1858. Sir :-Your report of the 2d instant, presents for my consideration, a question arising in the matter of the selection of lands enuring to the State of Alabama, under the provisions of the Act of Congress of May 17, 1856, (No. 289,) granting public lands in alternate sections, in the States of Florida and Alabama, to aid in the construction of certain railroads in said States."

In behalf of the State of Alabama, her agent claims the right to select lands within that State, which lie between the six and fifteen mile limits of the route of the road which has been located within the State of Florida, in view of the grant to the latter State, by the same Act of Congress.

I regard the grants made to the two States, as distinct and several. The grant to Alabama is, to aid in the construction of a railroad “from Montgomery, in said State, to the boundary line between Florida and Alabama, in the direction of Pensacola,” &c. The location of said road within Alabama, determines the extent and location of the grant of lands to that State. The grant is in width along the line of the road, and the selecting limits lie laterally adjacent to the granted lands.

These views, it is understood, when applied to the line of railroad from Montgomery to the boundary line between Alabama and Florida, sustain your decision adverse to the special claim of the State agent, which has been presented for my consideration. I now return to your office, the papers which accompanied your report. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. THOMPSON, Secretary. Commissioner of the General Land Office.

No. 563. The Certificate of the Governor of Wisconsin, that the Route of the Rail

road has been located, in view of the grant to the State, required. His refusal to approve will only delay the adjustment.


August 5, 1858. Your report of the 21st ultimo, has submitted certain maps, exhibiting the route which has been surveyed and approved by the officers of the St. Croix and Lake Superior Railroad Company, for the continuation of a rail. road from the St. Croix river or lake, to the west end of Lake Superior, and to Bayfield; and you submit two propositions for decision. To the second proposition a response will not be necessary at present, as the opinions to be expressed upon the first, will dispose of the entire case now before me.

Your first inquiry is, whether, under the circumstances reported, we may properly dispense with the certificate of the Governor of the State of Wisconsin, that the said route has been located in view of the grant to the State, by the Act of Congress approved June 3, 1856, (No. 292,) and is accepted by the State as located by her authority. My reply is in the negative. The St. Croix and Lake Superior Railroad Company claims to have made the location by the authority of the laws of Wisconsin, and of a compact with the Lacrosse and Milwaukie Railroad Company, entered into pursuant to a special Act of the State legislature; the president of the last mentioned company, protests against the recognition of the authority claimed under the compact; and the Governor of the State has not certified the routes described in the Act of Congress, as he was called upon to, do by your letter of the 19th August, 1856.

Under these circumstances, it appears to me that the Department should adhere to the position taken in the first place, and which properly extended a policy which had its origin under the earlier Acts of Congress, making grants of lands to States, to aid in the construction of railroads, wherein it was more explicitly prescribed that the surveys of the road should be made, and the maps of survey furnished to the General Land Office by State authority. The refusal of the Governor to take official action in regard to the survey, will not necessarily defeat the adjustment of the grant, though an adjustment may thereby be deferred for the present. The longer continuance of the reservation of the lands along the route of the proposed road, is not a necessary consequence of continued delay in taking action under the grant by the State, or its officers. In this case, unless some good cause is shown for continuing longer the reservation of the lands, they should be

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forth with restored to market. A due regard for the interests of the United States, seems to call for this course, and no just complaint can be made by the State of Wisconsin. The early withdrawal of the lands to enable the States to obtain the fullest measure of benefit from the grant, and the long continuance of the reservation, whilst the restoration of the lands to market has been repeatedly urged by citizens of the State, have evinced the liberal spirit of accommodation which directed the action of this Department, and still pervades its policy. Should the State now suffer a diminution in the quantity of lands which she might have obtained under the grant, it could be attributable only to her own neglect or refusal to take the measures necessary to avail herself of the amplest benefits of the liberality of the legislative and executive branches of the General Government.

J. THOMPSON, Secretary. Commissioner of the General Land Office.

No. 564. Lands within the six mile limits of a Railroad, though they had been sub

ject to entry at the Graduation prices, upon being restored, must be sold at $2 50 per acre.


Gentlemen :I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your joint communication of the 29th ultimo, on the subject of the price of lands within the limits of the railroad grant just made by Congress to the States of Florida and Alabama, and calling my attention to the second section of the Act making the grant.

In reply, I have to state, that these lands were subject to the Graduation Act, of 4th August, 1854, until their withdrawal from market for the railroad grant. The Act, granting lands for railroads, removes the lands from the operation of the Graduation law, (No. 251,) and expressly requires that they shall be sold at double the minimum price;" this can only mean double the minimum price of $1 25 per acre of the public lands; that being the ordinary minimum fixed by law, and not double the price that the lands were selling for under the Graduation Act. Had the latter been intended, the language of the Act would have been double the “graduation price." There is, in fact, nothing to justify the presumption that any such intendment is contemplated in the law, for the plain reason that the provisions of the Graduation Act itself, do not in terms or otherwise, embrace or apply to lands of this class, but, on the contrary, the first section of that Act expressly excludes them, for it declares it “shall not be so construed as to extend to lands reserved to the United States, in Acts granting lands to States for railroads."

This Office therefore decides, that the alternate sections within six miles of the route, will have to be sold at a minimum of $2 50 per acre when again offered and thrown open to sale.

I am, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,

Thos. A. HENDRICKS, Commissioner. To the Hon. D. L. Yulee and W. R. W. Cobb, Washington, D. C.

“ After a most careful consideration (of the foregoing,) I am unable to arrive at different conclusions than those entertained by the Commissioner, &c.

R. M'CLELLAND, Secretary.

No. 565.

It having been decided that the alternate reserved sections along the line

of the Minois Central railroad, were subject to pre-emption at double the minimum price, that policy will be adhered to.


January 18, 1859. The case involving the pre-emption claim of Thos. H. Perry to a certain tract of land in the Springfield, Illinois, District, whose right is contested by James C. Walker, has been examined and considered, and the papers which were received with your letter of the 8th ultimo, are herewith returned. The

pre-emption entry of said Perry, was permitted by the Register and Receiver on the 12th December, 1855, satisfactory proof being presented to them. A rehearing of the case was had in July, 1858, and additional testimony taken, whereupon the Register and Receiver decided that “the pre-emption of Thomas H. Perry, is a valid one. This decision was concurred in by you, and an appeal therefrom was taken to this Department. Upon a revision of the case I am of the opinion that nothing appears therein to vitiate or invalidate the pre-emption entry of said Perry, which will justify the reversal of the action and decision of the local officers. The question of pre-emptibility of the alternate reserved sections, belonging to the United States, within the six mile limits of the Illinois Central railroad, having been decided affirmatively by my predecessor, and that decision having been adopted as the settled rule and policy of this Department, will be adhered to in the determination of claims to this class of lands, and the entry of said Perry, having been admitted pursuant thereto, the same will not be disturbed.

J. THOMPSON, Secretary, Commissioner of the General Land Office.

No. 566.

Persons who had made entries, and can prove that they settled before the loca

tion of the line of the Montgomery and Pensacola railroad, are entitled to have their entries carried into patents, notwithstanding their withdrawal, doc.


February 1, 1859. Having considered your report of the 4th ultimo, and accompanying papers,

relative to the cancellation of certain entries of land in Butler county, Alabama, along the line of the railroad, from Montgomery to the boundary line between Florida and Alabama, in the direction of Pensacola, I propose the following suggestions and conclusions to be carried out by your office.

The withdrawal of the lands along the line of the railroad, before the right of the State attached, under the grant of 17th May, 1856, (No. 289, was in special terms, and not intended to restrict the acquisition of the public lands by actual settlers and cultivators.

The restrictions resulting from the grant, and the law making the grant, must however be sustained by our action, even though the interests of some actual settlers are involved. Whilst administering the law in its meaning and effect, I think the instructions respecting the withdrawal of

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