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and reserved from sale, out of the public lands within the territory of Michigan, two entire townships, for the use and support of an university within the territory aforesaid.” The consideration, then, inay be of some weight, in the careful and just deliberation of the Senate, whether the whole right, title and interest of the United States, to the quantity of land mentioned, was not, by the passage of the act of 1826, completely parted with by the original proprietor, and vested in the corporation of the university of Michigan. Briefly to illustrate the force of this suggestion: The undersigned would inquire, who was the munificent donor ' The government of the United States. What was the gift ' The land expressed in the grant. And, who was the donee The university, and not the state of Michigan. Has the land thus specified as to its quantity and object, in the act of congress, been legally located and confirmed to the university ? The answer to this inquiry, is to be found in the archives of the state, and is recognized in the first section of the bill under the consideration of the Senate. The undersigned, in behalf of the corporation they represent, forbear the intimation of any opinion, as to the vested right of the university—designing only to place before the Senate those views which have occurred to them, in the cursory consideration they have been able to give the subject; and being consident that the more enlightened and extended examination which the Senate will give to the bill of the House of Representatives, in all its bearings, will assuredly elicit justice to all parties concerned. If “the settlers on the university lands” are entitled by the existing laws of the country, to the right of property in the lands in question, the undersigned, cannot, nor would not, even for the hallowed purposes of educating the children of the people of Michigan, do aught to disturb the enjoyment of said right, or interpose an objection. But, believing that the rights of the corporation they represent, are clearly defined, and legitimately derived from the only source of title; they would deem themselves recreant to every sense of duty to the university, and to the people of Michigan, did they not, most solemnly, but most respectfully, protest against such an invasion of the rights of the corporation, as is assuredly calculated to render it useless, and defeat the object designed by the wise and liberal framers of the act of 1826. All of which is most respectfully submitted to the patient and impartial consideration of the Senate of the state of Michigan. J. KEARSLEY, Z. PITCHER, ROSS WILKINS, Committee of the Board of Regents. Detroit, Feb'y 28, 1839.
C. C. Douglass' Statement.
To the Regents of the University
Pursuant to your inquiries, I here with present to you the following answers : 1st. I located the lands which are described in document, on the 29th of November, 1836. I find in my possession, some estimates of the value of lands on Nottawassippi reservation, fixing them at from five to fifteen dollars per acre. In this estimatei was governed by what lands of a similar character were selling at. All the estimates and facts which I had of the lands on the Niles reservation, have been destroyed, or have been mislaid, so that the estimates of these lands are governed by the recollection of conversation had with people in the vicinity, and by what lands in analagous locations were selling at, at that time. Wild lands of a similar character in the vicinity of Niles, were variously estimated, at from five to twenty dollars per acre. I was informed by Mr. Wheelock, that he had made frequent inquiries as to the value of land, with a view to purchase lands in that vicinity, and that he could get no choice locations short of from fifteen to thirty dollars per acre. When we compare the lands under consideration, to lands in the vicinity of the villages of Kalamazoo, Marshall, Jacksonburgh, and many others that might be mentioned, where lands, not as well situated, have been sold at from fifty to two hundred dollars per acre, I think portions of the lands opposite of Niles and Bertrand, can with propriety, be estimated at from twenty-five to seventy-five dollars per acre. And for farming purposes, there is a considerable portion of this reservation in quality and eligible situation, which is second to none in the western portions of the state. These are among the most valuable lands belonging to the university. I have no data at which I can arrive at any thing accurate, as to the number of settlers on the lands at the time of their location. Suffice it to say, that there was scarcely a desirable location upon which there were not improvements of some character. I was repeatedly informed by persons in the vicinity of the reservation, that many farmers had rented their farms for the purpose of making claims, with the hope there would be a renewal of the pre-emption law. I was also informed, that some of the occupants settled on the lands at a time when they could have purchased land of a good quality, of oak openings, within one or two miles, and in one instance, adjoining the lands they now occupy. I had frequent conversations with the settlers, and informed many of them of my intention to locate the lands which they occupy. In some instances, I was told by them, that they had rather pay the university a fair price for the lands, if they could have reasonable time given them to pay, than to run the risk of getting the same at public sale, as they expected to be obliged to purchase their land in this way, there being no pre-emption law, and it was very doubtful whether there would ever be a renewal of the law. Others also stated, that if they could have the use of the lands to raise a few crops, they would be well paid for their improvements, yet they would much rather have the lands at ten shillings per acre, and were in hopes there would be a renewal of the pre-emption law previous to their land coming into
market. C. C. DOUGLASS.
STATE of MICHIGAN,
ruary, 1839. - HENRY N. WALKER, Notary Public, Wayne Co., Michigan.
Lands for University and Public Buildings.
No.ef Section. |No. of township. No. of * Acres. | 100ths. Fractional 21 7 S 17.w 606 50 do 22 7 17 450 50 28 7 17 640 33 7 17 640 do 34 7 17 629 20 do 12 8 18 598 56 14 8 18 640 do 17 8 18 639 65 do 25 7 18 387 95 do 26 7 18 635 50 do 3 8 17 504 93 17 8 17 640 do 18 8 17 559 do 21 8 17 392 36 NOTTAWASSIPPi—UNIVERSITY. do 18 5 10 641 92 do 25 5 10 584 55 do 30 5 10 670 60 36 5 10 640 do 30 5 9 591 43 13 4 10 640 do 19 4 10 658 48 21 4 10 640 29 4 10 640 Niles-public buildings. S half of 15 8 17 225 22 Frac. 22 8 17 216 E half of 27 7 17 280 95 N frac. 3 of 35 7 17 89 95
Major Kearsley's Statement.
To the Honorable the Committee on State Affairs, to whom was referred the bill from the House of Representatives, (No. 41.) entitled “A bill for the relief of certain settlers on the university and state lands, dated Feb. 20, 1839.
The undersigned, in behalf of a committee appointed by the Regents of the university of Michigan, begs leave most respecto submit the following view of the principles involved in said bill.
A reference to the report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, dated December 27th, 1837, shows that 6,583 acres were sold in that year for $150,447 90, and that there remained unsold 38,867 acres. By his report dated January 11th, 1839, it appears that 527 72-100 acres were sold in 1838.
Total sold up to this time, 7,110 72 $166,152 30 Total unsold, 38,329 28 868,625 25 38,329 28 acres at $1 25, bring $47,911 60–difference $820713 75. If, then, the whole of the unsold university lands were subject to the contemplated pre-emption law, there may be a loss to the university fund of $820,713 75, provided the lands bring $20 00 per acre. The committee of the Senate are, perhaps, not aware of the extent to which pre-emption claims may be made. If it be supposed that these claims are confined to Niles, Nottawassippi and Grand river, very incorrect inferences will be drawn. The fact is, that there are few university sections to which preemption claims will not be preferred. Admitting then, for the purpose of argument, that the legislature have the power, is it expedient to pass a law which will deprive this fund of $820,713 75 ! Again: By the report of the superintendent, it appears that the interest upon the university fund for 1837, amounts to $14,399 42, of which $5,228 00 remains unpaid, leaving it to be inferred that about one-third of the lands heretofore sold will revert. The instalments of the principal due in 1838, is $14,998 00, yet only $7,698 00 of this sum has been paid, or about one half. There was due in 1837, on notes for use of improved lands $2,000 00: on the same in 1838, for same, $1,910 00. Such are the discouragements respecting that part of the university fund, on lands already sold, that the greatest economy and circumspection becomes necessary, even now, to meet the interest upon the loan of $100,000 00; and how are the Regents to meet the payment of the principal sum, should the bill now before the Senate become a law The regents, upon the receipt of $9,171 42 from the Superintendent, with the expected receipt of at