« PrejšnjaNaprej »
Thirty-fifth. Grants in the interests of education, common schools, colleges, universities, equal to 78,576,802 acres.
Thirty-sixth. Military services.' Aggregate granted from the close of the Revolution to the 30th June, 1870, being equal to 73,463,961 acres.
Thirty-seventh. Concessions in aid of internal improvements, giving the status of each and the quantity donated under general and special grants, amounting in the aggregate to 13,853,054.93 acres, exclusive of railroads and wagon roads.
Thirty-eighth. Swamp and overflowed lands; aggregate area selected in place under acts of 1819 and 1850, from commencement of operations to 30th June, 1870, equal to 60,459,868,84 acres; quantity certified as indemnity to end of last fiscal year equals 637,261.81 acres; paid over as cash indemnity from commencement of that principle to end of last fiscal year equals $728,491 16.
Thirty-ninth. Sketch of the mineral resources of the United States.
Fortieth. Operations of the mining act shown, with piode of proceeding to obtain title to mines of gold, silver, cinnabar, and copper, as also to placer claims.
Forty-first. Railway and wagon-road grants; results presented.
Forty-second. Town sites; showing the operations under congressional legislation in this respect as to urban settlements.
Forty-third. California titles under Spanish and Mexican grants; also as to donations in Oregon and Washington, inaugurated in the early history of that region to promote settlement.
Forty-fourth. The land ledger system adopted in the General Land Office at an early period, whereby, in condensed form, the whole history of the disposal of all tracts from the foundation of the Government is shown to latest dates.
Forty-fifth. Adaptation of public domain to special branches of agri. cultural productions.
Forty-sixth. Paper on tea culture accompanying annual report.
Forty-eighth. Closing chapter, illustrating the influence of the public land system upon the development of our resources, especially upon our domestic and foreign trade.
Forty-ninth. The annual report, besides the papers on tea culture and silk culture, is accompanied by separate reports from the surveyors general, with tabular statements exhibiting the disposal of the public lands and embracing the details and aggregates. Maps have been prepared, subject to order, indicating the progress of surveys in the public land States and Territories. With the report there are, also, instructions as to the mode of obtaining title under the various laws of Congress to agricultural and mineral lands. Special communications from scientific gentlemen, and a map showing the route of trade from an early period to recent dates.' Our separate, or connected map, prepared under joint resolution approved January 6, 1863, (12 U. S. Stat., p. 822,) accompanies this annual report. Respectfully submitted.
JOS. S. WILSON,
Commissioner General Land Officc. The Honorable SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
General Land Office, October 27, 1870. SIR. The operations of this branch of the service during the fiscal year terminating on the 30th June, 1870, have been coextensive with the whole national domain, except Alaska; the new and last-created Territory of Wyoming having been organized into a district for surveys and disposal of lands by the statute of February 5, 1870. By act of Congress, approved July 9, 1870, Arizona was detached from the jurisdiction of the United States surveyor general of California and erected into a separate surveying district, so that now there are seventeen different surveying departments, extending from Florida, on the Atlantic, to the Pacific Ocean. The public surveys have been established, to a greater or less extent, under the direction of surveyors general, by skillful deputies, in the States of Oregon, California, Nevada, Nebraska, Minnesota, Louisiana, and Florida, and in the Territories of Dakota, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Utah, and Arizona. During the past fiscal year the public surveys have been extended over 18,165,278 acres. The separate reports of the surveyors general, in the appendix herewith, convey much varied and useful information respecting the resources of the different parts of the public domain. There are eighty different land districts established for local convenience and obtaining titles to the public lands, each district having a register and receiver authorized by law to receive and act upon all applications for obtaining titles. The land office formerly at Monroe, Louisiana, has been consolidated with that at New Orleans; the district office at Los Angeles, California, has been restored and reorganized, while new offices have been created for the districts of Springfield and Pembina, in Dakota; Pueblo, in Colorado, and for the two new districts in Kansas—the one with the local office at Augusta, the other at Concordia. A list of all the United States land districts, with the localities of the different local offices, will be found in the appendix.
The officers at the places indicated are ready to accommodate parties desirous of obtaining titles under the laws of Congress.
Results in the disposal of the public lands during the aforesaid last fiscal year may be summed up as follows:
Acres. Cash sale, including a small amount of military scrip.... 2, 159, 515. 81 Locations of military bounty-land warrants..
512, 360.00 Homestead entries under the act of 1862 and acts supplemental ...
3, 698, 910.05 Agricultural college scrip locations.
192, 818. 21 Certified for railways under various acts of Congress.
996, 685. 28 Certified for wagon roads under statutory requirements..
36, 028. 01 Approved to States as swamp lands and selections in
place 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 fiscal year.. 8,695, 413.00 Aggregate of the previous year..
7, 666, 151.97
The receipts during the year were as follows: Cash and bounty-land scrip treated as cash, for lands at and above the minimum of $1 25 per acre.
. $3, 123, 677 39
Aggregate of homestead fees, 85 and $10, paid pursuant
to the homestead law of 1862.... Amount paid as fees of registers and receivers under the
homestead acts of 1862 and 1864.... Aggregate fees received on locations, selections, and do
nations, fees in preëmption cases, and for certified transcripts .
107, 427 52
Total gross receipts....
3, 663, 513 90
The above figures show a decrease in the aggregate cash receipts compared with the previous fiscal year. The reason of this is sufficiently
. obvious upon inspection of the foregoing statement. Though the gen. eral aggregate of land disposed of during the year has increased nearly half a million of acres, the increase bas been confined to those branches which bring but lit revenue to the Government. While the military bounty-land warrant locations, the liomestead entries, the certificates to railroads, and the approvals under the swamp-land laws have increased, the sales for cash have diminished.
The financial results of the General Land Office operations being quite important to the treasury, the strictest methods of responsibility are adopted to prevent any loss to the Government. It is believed that our system of checks and balances is such as to secure the most economical administration practicable of the public funds arising from the transfer of the landed estate to private ownership. The decrease of revenue from this source, though inviting attention, is, under the circumstances, comparatively a matter of no serious concern, because resulting from the greater appreciation of the liberal features of our landed policy by the uncapitalized classes for whose benefit these provisions were specially drawn.
The relation of the Government to society in this matter is only that of a trustee. In its fiduciary responsibilities, growing out of the trust imposed, the raising of a revenue has much the smaller scope. The enlargement of this idea to the injury of more extensive and vital interests would be extremely injudicious. It would be unwise financial economy to administer this trust in such a manner as to raise a million or so more of dollars, if this involved the necessity of impeding the settlement of the public domain by raising the price, or by withdrawing any of the present facilities for their appropriation which the law holds out to the humblest industry.
The annual increase of proceeds of internal taxation and of duties upon foreign imports secured by a growing civilization would far transcend any enlargement of revenue from the sale of lands that might be secured by abolishing the liberal and beneficent features of our public land system. But the increase of public revenue is but a slight exponent of the bigher functions of this noble system. The enlargement of the area of civilization and the inexpressible relief which has been afforded to the crowded millions of European society, groaning under the evils of a state of transition from feudalism to civil and religious freedom, can be measured by no aggregates of financial value created. The intellectual and spiritual activities of the human soul developed by the extension of free society transcend all moneyed standards. It should be sufficient if, in the management of this trust, the public land system should pay its own expenses without imposing a tax upon the property of the American people. The foregoing statements indicate a still greater acceleration
in the process of settling and civilizing the North American Continent. The increase in the homestead settlements is especially indicative of the increase of smaller freeholds. Of the cash sales and military bounty. land warrant locations, a very large proportion have been made under the preëmption law, awarding tracts not exceeding 160 acres to parties actually occupying and settling the same. The lands already certified to railroads, it is known, have, to a considerable extent, been sold to purchasers in small tracts, exhibiting the prevailing tendency of our social system to the subdivision of land proprietorship. It was obvious last year that temporary causes had for several years previous been stimulating and enlarging the westward movement of our population, producing an increased appropriation of the public lands by private parties. Since then the appreciation of our national securities, the rapid decrease of our public debt, and the relief of the tax-paying part of the nation from an immense burden of taxation, together with good crops throughout the agricultural districts, have very considerably lightened the pressure of financial distress which constrained the westward movement of our population; yet, from the increased appropriation of the public lands during the past fiscal year under the preëmption and homestead laws, we recognize the continuance of that movement in greater force than ever.
A very large and important element in this influx of population into the public domain is from Europe Germany, the British Isles, and the Scandinavian Peninsula being the leading countries from which it comes. It is in place here to renew the testimony of this office last year in favor of the noble policy of naturalization which has given to this nation its magnificent career of development. The United States is the favorite land of the emigrant. Other countries present equal attractions in the natural advantages of soil, climate, and position, but have never yet attracted immigration. The thinly populated regions ofthe Crimea, the north shore of the Black Sea, the valley of the Danube, Algiers, Mexico, Central and South America, all present especial advantages to the emigrant. Canada lies in much closer proximity to Europe, offering advantages for settlement to its northern races, perhaps, equal to those of some of our Northwestern States; but in spite of every effort of the British Government, the large majority of the immigrants directed to this point are soon attracted to the more genial nationality of the United States of America. The reason of this preference is found in the freedom of our political and
stems, and the superior development of natural resources which that freedom secures. Our Government contines itself to the narrowest limits consistent with the maintenance of public order. It everywhere causes its influence to be respected, not as the master, but as the servant of the people. It thus appeals to the self-reliance of the citizen, calling forth all his latent energies, the exercise of which upon the obstacles of external nature do not fail to result in the accumulation of wealth and in the development of personal independence of character. Our policy thus unmasks those immense capabilities of human nature which in the Old World are overlain by caste and proscription, utilizing what would otherwise either go to waste or remain paralyzed in chronic inaction.
The value of foreign immigration to this country has been estimated from a purely financial point of view with very remarkable results. In my last report it was mentioned that an estimate had been made of the average sum of money imported by each foreign immigrant at $68 per capita. It is now believed by parties more thoroughly conversant with the facts that this estimate is entirely too small, being founded on a very imperfect range of inquiry. One of the New York commissioners of immigration estimates the true average at $150 per capita, making the amount received from the 250,000 immigrants arriving at the port of New York in 1869 to be $37,500,000. It is not at all improbable that the aggregate contribution to the cash capital of the nation since the inauguration of our naturalization policy will reach a thousand millions of dollars.
But the money brought into the country by the immigrant is a small part of the financial value he has added to the country. This question of the economic value of the immigrant has been treated with considerable ingenuity by late writers. An intelligent and comprehensive estimate is found in the able treatise of Dr. Engel, of Berlin, director of the Prussian Statistical Bureau, on the price of labor. This writer distinguishes three periods in the economic life of man, two unproductive and one productive.
The first comprises the years of childhood and education up to the fifteenth year. The productive period of fifty years, from fifteen up to sixty-five, is fraught with the economic results of the entire lifetime. The subsequent period brings but small additions to these results. The accumulations of the active period, in a true adjustment of the economic forces of society, should be sufficient to meet the expenses of the prior state of pupilage, to maintain the productive power of the physical and intellectual machinery by a proper outlay, and, finally, to accumulate a sufficient surplus to meet the wants of the period of decline. The writer referred to estimates that in Germany the cost of raising a manual laborer for the first five years of his life is 40 thalers per annum; for the next five years, 50 thalers per annum; and for the next five years, 60 thalers per annum; amounting to 750 thalers.
Mr. Kapp, in applying these estimates to America, considers that in this country the aggregate cost is about double what it is in Germany, making the average expense of raising and educating an American unskilled laborer 1,500 thalers, almost equal to $1,500 in currency. The cost of the female laborer he places at about $750, or one-half the cost of the male. The value of the immigrants, then, is to be estimated at the cost of raising native laborers.
About one-fifth of the immigrants are under fifteen, but this deficiency is more than compensated by the immense preponderance of the males over the females. But averaging the cost, by equalizing the proportion of males and females, we have a final estimate of $1,125 as the average economic value of immigrants to this country; and we can easily arrive at the conclusion that the additions of value created by foreign immigration amount to at least five billions of dollars, or more than double of what remains of our national debt. The total annual immigration being about 300,000 per annum, the aggregate resulting benefit is not less than $400,000,000, or a million of dollars per day. In the report of last year were presented statistics to show that at least one fourth of the present population is due to the influx of foreigners. The readiness with which they have adapted themselves to the requirements of our democratic civilization is an ample justification of the policy of naturalization.
But a feature of the case which should not be neglected in an estimate of its advantages is found in the wonderful progress which has been made in the disposal of the public domain-a progress which could never have been realized had the increase of our population been confined to the excess of births over deaths from the commencement of our history.
The grand total area of our public domain from its organization is