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REPORT

OF THE

COMMISSIONER OF THE GENERAL LAND OFFICE.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

General Land Office, October 27, 1870. SIR: In accordance with the requirements of the resolution adopted on the 28th July, 1855, by the Senate of the United States, the following is presented as an abstract of the accompanying annual report of this office for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1870:

First. The operations of this branch of the service during the fiscal year ending on the 30th June, 1870, have been coextensive with the whole national domain, except Alaska; the new Territory of Wyoming having been organized into a district for ourveys and disposal of land by the act of Congress of February 5, 1870.

Second. Statement showing that there are now seventeen different surveying districts, extending from Florida on the Atlantic to the Pacific, and eighty different land districts, each having a register and re. ceiver for local convenience in the disposal of the public lands.

Third. Results of operations for the last year in the disposal of public lands, shown as follows, viz:

Acres. Cash sales, including a small amount of military scrip, received as money.

2, 159, 515. 81 Locations of military bounty-land warrants under acts of 1847, 1850, 1852, 1855..

512, 360.00 Homestead entries under acts of 1862 and acts supplemental

3, 698, 910.05 Agricultural college scrip locations

192, 848. 21 Certified for railways under various acts of Congress... 996, 685, 28 Certified for wagon roads under statutory requirements. 36, 628.01 Approved to States as swamp lands, and selected as indemnity for lands covered by adverse rights..

481, 638. 31 Indian scrip locations, Chippewa and Sioux

16, 827.33

Total of lands disposed of during the year.
Aggregate of the previous year..

8,095, 413.00 7, 666, 151.97

Increased disposal.

429, 261. 03

Fourth. The cash receipts for ordinary sales, preëmption, including a small quantity of military scrip received as money;) for the five-dollar and ten-dollar homestead payments; for commissions on homesteads; fees for locating agricultural scrip and military bounty-land warrants; for fees on preëmptions, donations, railroad selections, and for certified transcripts, make up an aggregate of cash receipts during the said fiscal year ending June 30, 1870, of $3,663,513 90, being a decrease from the

preceding year, the reason of which is shown; yet, although the receipts in cash for the last fiscal year are not equal to those of the year previous, the quantity of land disposed of and opened to settlement is consider ably in excess of that disposed of during the year ending June 30, 1869.

Fifth. Influence of the liberal policy in disposing of the public lands on immigration pointed out, and the value of the immigrant to this country in a financial point of view considered.

Sixth. The total area of the public domain stated as 1,834,998,400 acres; quantity disposed of to June 30, 1870, as 447,266,190.16 acres, leaving still in possession of the Government, as unsold and unappropriated, an area of 1,387,732,209.84 acres. A prospective view taken of annual disposals, and an increase anticipated much in excess of the present rates.

NATIONAL DOMAIN-HISTORICAL OUTLINE,

Seventh. Our territorial growth-its origin and progress traced; results presented as to the gradual acquisition by the United States of proprietary rights in the public domain.

Eighth. Liberal policy of our Government shown in regard to titles derived from foreign governments, when the latter were in possession of certain territory now within the limits of the republic. The legislative, judicial, and executive departments concurrent in securing to private individuals such titles of every grade, from complete grants down even to inceptive interests, where held in good faith ; all such are surveyed and finally carried into patents by the United States, which are furnished to the actual owners.

Ninth. Indian usufructuary rights considered rulings referred to of the judicial tribunals.

Tenth. American land titles discussed; allodial tenures; early legis. lation in this respect; effect upon social order and individual prosperity.

Eleventh. United States surveying system described; the ratio shown of the surface surveyed in each political division of the public lands; simplicity and efficiency of the system indicated.

Twelfth. Aggregate area of the public domain, as shown in the tabular statements accompanying report-acres .. 1, 834, 998, 400 Of which there were surveyed during the

last fiscal year ending June 30, 1870, an extent equal to-acres..

18, 165, 278 To, this quantity add the preëxisting surveys

509, 717, 674

Thirteenth. An aggregate surface of..

527,882,952 acres, over which the lines of the United States surveys have been extended from the commencement in the year 1785 to the 30th June, 1870.

Fourteenth. The existing unsurveyed area is equal to— acres...

1, 307, 115, 418

Fifteenth. Astronomical boundary line established under appropriation act of March 2, 1867, between California and Oregon, is 2121 miles in length; sketch given of the topographical features of the country which the line traverses; grandeur of its scenery.

Miles ch, l'ks.

Sixteenth. Boundary in like manner established between Nebraska and Colorado under appropriation act of July 20, 1868. Line running east and west equal to..

104 72 07 Seventeenth. That running north and south, in length equal to...

68 79 59 Eighteenth. The line between Nebraska and Wyoming running north and south, in length...

138 22 67 Making an aggregate length of these lines of .

312 14 33

which have been astronomically established.

Nineteenth. Boundary between Colorado and Kansas estimated in length at 210 miles; survey not yet made; appropriation inadequate. The sum now required is $7,350, that heretofore appropriated having become inapplicable by operation of law.

Twentieth. Eastern boundary of Nevada, being a line on the west common to Utah and Arizona, and of an estimated length of 425 miles. A contract has been made for this survey by the surveyor general of Nevada, under appropriation act of July 20, 1868. Surveyors are in the field and the survey will be prosecuted to early completion.

SURVEYS OF INDIAN RESERVATIONS.

Twenty-first. Pursuant to the directions of the Secretary of the Interior, in order to meet the requirements of the treaty of February 19, 1867, with the Sisseton, Wahpeton, and Cut-Head bands of Indians of Dakota, a contract has been made for the survey of their reservation, equal to 918,352.70 acres, payable out of Indian appropriations.

Trenty-second. Yankton Indian reservation in Dakota under treaty of April 19, 1858. In accordance with departmental orders, the survey of a portion of this reservation into 80-acre tracts fronting the Missouri River has been contracted for, the work completed, the returns whereof are soon expected.

Twenty-third. The Navajo Indian reservation, part in New Mexico, and part in Arizona ; contract has been made pursuant to departmental instructions under the provisions of the treaty concluded June 1, 1868, with those Indians, the reservation embracing over three millions of acres.

Twenty-fourth. Reservation in Idaho Territory for the Nez Percés; under treaty of August 13, 1868, with those Indians, a contract has been made for the survey of their reservation.

Twenty-fifth. Chickasaw lands in the Indian Territory. A contract has been made by order of the Department of the Interior for the survey of these lands into 160-acre tracts, and the surveyors have departed for the theater of their operations.

Twenty sixth. Outlines given of the public-land States and Territories, with reference to their several chorographic peculiarities; grand openings to individual enterprise now developing in the Great West ; attractions for European emigrants, and for our citizens residing in the older States; sketches given of the several States and Territories according to the following order:

THE ATLANTIC SLOPE. Twenty-seventh. Public-land States in this classification are situated on the Gulf of Mexico. Florida, (with a long line of Atlantic coast,) Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. (The larger portion of the lastnamed falling in the valley of the Mississippi.) These four States embrace an area nearly equal to that of France. Climate, soil, and productions bear a general similarity, having a semi-tropical type, yet verging upon the more decided peculiarities of the temperate zone. Their most important staples are cotton, sugar, rice, and great variety of delicious and semi-tropical fruits.

Twenty-eighth. States in the valley of the Mississippi, east of that river-Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin.

THE GREAT REGION OF WHEAT, CORN, AND STAPLE ESCULENTS

SKETCH OF THEIR RESOURCES.

Twenty-ninth. States and Territories west of the river in the Mississippi Valley-Minnesota, (a small part east of the river,) Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska. General descriptions given of these political divisions, rich in varied and staple products.

Thirtieth. Territories traversed by the Rocky Mountains, beginning in the south, with New Mexico, Arizona, advancing to Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and Utah; outlines given of these political divisions in regard to their natural resources.

Thirty-first. Political divisions on the Pacific slope: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada. Brief descriptions given of their resources.

Thirty-second. Public sales during the last fiscal year. There have been offered at public sale, pursuant to proclamation of the President, in

Acres. New Mexico

1,644, 388 Colorado...

143, 000

Total...

1,787,388

And there have been restored to market of lands heretofore withdrawn for railroad grants in

Acres. Kansas.

660,000 California

201,000 Making of lands restored a total of....

861, 000

Thirty-third. Preëmption privileges in obtaining titles to the public lands fully explained, and the effect of the recent provision in the act of July 14, 1870, (U. S. Stat. for 1870, p. 279, chap. 272,) pointed out, by which, in respect to surveyed and unoffered land, preëmption, proof, and settlement are required to be made within eighteen months after expiration of the time prescribed for filing declaratory statements; such statements to be filed within three months after settlement upon this class of lands, and within three months from the filing of plat of survey in the district land office where settlement is made before survey.

Thirty-fourth. Benefits suggested as resulting from the operations of the homestead laws.

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