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Brought forward, § Contingent fund. In Michigan state bank, 1,197 02 State building fund. In Michigan state bank, 449 75 Sinking fund. In o state bank, 75,816 27 “Bank of Michigan, 10,724 71 “Bank of Ypsilanti draft, (secured) 10,000 00 “ Bank of Tecumseh, 4& 1,530 00 * Receiver's certificate of Ypsilantib'k, 303 00 “Other uncurrent bank bills, 37 00 98,410 98 Internal Improvement fund. In Michigan state bank, 364,322 17 “Bank of Michigan, 121,419 09 – 485,738 26 General fund. In Michigan state bank, 6,353 53 “ Cash advanced on $500 warrant not charged, held as cash, 200 00 “ Uncurrent cash, 113 18 6,666 71 $658,371 76 Deduct overdraft of general acc't in Bk of Michigan, 7,969 89 $650,401 87 Recapitulation. 8. deposite in Michigan state bank and other funds unavailable, $526,230 96 On deposite in B'k of Michigan, Int. Imp. fund, $121,416 09 Sinking fund, 10,724 71 132,140 80 Deduct am't of overdraft on general ac't, 7,969 89 Total amount available, $124,170 91 &650,401 87
H. HOWARD, Treasurer. STATE TREASURER's OFFICE, Detroit, April 19, 1839.
Report of the Committee on the subject of purchasing certain Indian lands.
The select committee who were appointed to inquire into the constitutionality and expediency of purchasing of the Indians all the lands laying west of Chocolate and Skonawba rivers, in the state of Michigan, and of extending the jurisdiction of the state over all persons living within the state to the west of said rivers, and of making them citizens of the state, respectfully report. That they have had the subject referred to them under long and deliberate consideration. The importance of the subject demanded that it should be most carefully and seriously examined. Such an examination has led to the opinion expressed in this report. At the formation of the federal government, all the lands not owned by individuals belonged to the states respectively, within whose limits they were situated, for, as the government consisted of a confederation of states, each of which retained its proprietary rights and sovereignty, the United States acquired by the union no property in the soil. The wild lands lying to the west, not yet clearly defined by established boundaries, were claimed by adjoining states mostly, a small portion only being claimed by foreign nations, but all was subject to the acknowledged paramount Indian title of possession. The title, therefore, of the United States to that country, is derived, first, from treaties with foreign nations; second, from treaties with Indian tribes, and third, from cessions by individual states, members of the Union. Virginia, one of the individual states, ceded to the United States all the territory north of the river Ohio, west of Pennsylvania and Virginia, extending northwardly to the northern boundary of the United States, and westwardly to the Mississippi, embracing the now state of Michigan. By this cession, the United States was enabled to extend her jurisdiction over the same. By the compact entered into between Virginia and the United States at the time of the cession, the beforementioned territory was to be divided into several states, as future circumstances should require, which states should hereafter become members of the federal Union, and have the same rights of sovereignty, freedom and independency, in all respects, as the original states, This cession was made in the year 1784. In the year 1787, a convention of the states met and formed the constitution of the United States. The same year congress passed an ordinance for the government of the north-western territory, a part of which relates to the disposition of the public lands.
In the examination of the constitution and ordinance, your committee find the following, that relates to the subject under consideration: In sec. 10, art. 1st of the constitution of the United States, “No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation,” &c. &c. In section 3d, article 4th of constitution of United States, it is stipulated that congress shall have power to dispose of, and make all needsul rules and regulations respecting the territory belong to the United States, and that nothing in said constitution *: be so construed as to prejudice any claim of the United States, or of any other particular state. And in the ordinance beforementioned, it says, “That the legislatures of these districts or now states shall never interfere with the primary disposal of the soil by the United States, nor with any regulation that congress may deem necessary for securing the title in such soil to the bona fide purchasers thereof.” Restrictions of a similar import, are also attached to and make a part of the conditions upon which the state of Michigan was admitted into the Union as an independent state. The foregoing is all that your committee find that relates to the subject under consideration, either in the constitution of the United States, the ordinance of 1787, or laws relating to our admission, and we can find nothing therein that prevents or forbids the said state from purchasing said lands under the circumstances mentioned in the resolution under consideration. That clause in the constitution that says, “No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance or confederation,” which has been before mentioned, your committee think cannot relate to the internal affairs of our own state, but is rather placed there to prevent any dangerous coalition with other states or nations, and most certainly cannot beintended to prevent the state from purchasing the lands from the Indians, more especially after the Indians are made and consent to become citizens of the state. If they are made citizens, as such, they have an undoubted right to sell, and the state to purchase these lands. The portion of the constitution of the United States that says, “That congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory belonging to the United States, and that nothing in said constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claim of the United States, or of any of the individual states,” relates undoubtedly to the unsold lands purchased of the Indians by the United States, and now within the limits of the new states. The same clause is reciprocal in its bearings, and guarantees to the new states, as well as to the old, all the privileges of a state sovereignty, also all the vested rights of the United States. The ordinance of 1787, and the restrictive conditions of our
admittance into the Union, we are of opinion, cannot be intended to have reference to any lands not purchased of the Indians. There is nothing mentioned about purchasing any lands within the state, or treating with the Indians for lands. It relates wholly to the disposition of the land they have already acquired by purchase, or that which lays beyond the limits of any of the states. The right of jurisdiction and of purchase was originally, since 1787, in the United States, until we became a state, and since we have become a state, that right is as much ours as it was originally theirs, or as fully as the lands of the original states was theirs, being by our admission made fully equal to them. lf we admit the principle that a vote of a majority of the other states in congress, could take from any of the new states or in anywise diminish these rights, sovereignty or independence, and add to the prerogatives of the United States, or to that of a portion of the states, it would be difficult to determine the bounds it could not be carried to, knowing the many inducements that congress have it in their power to hold out. It probably would, if carried to any considerable extent, bring about or lead to a dissolution of the union of the states. Your committee are of the opinion, that it is not competent for any of the states to dispossess themselves of any of their sovereign powers by any negotiation or compact; neither is it competent for the United States, or any other state to add to their strength or power, by such compact or negotiation. With such state, there are vested rights bestowed by the constitution of the United States on the one to guard the other and intended to be reciprocal in all respects; and any change that may be brought about, either by mutual consent or otherwise, may be attended with dan. gerous consequences to the Union, and we believe to be unconstitutional, unless each and every and all the states agree to such change. Hence, from all the foregoing, we are fully of the opinion, that there is nothing in the constitution or ordinances that would render unconstitutional the purchase of said lands, or that would be a violation of any ordinance or compact. We next come to that part of the subject that relates to the expediency of purchasing said lands, the extending our jurisdiction over all persons living on the same, and of making them citizens of the state. Your committee think it expedient for many reasons. The land here mentioned, is situated in a remote part of the state and adjoining the territory of Great Britain, a powerful and warlike nation, whose policy appears to be to add to the extent of her limits, and who was never known to relinquish any of her territory except by force. This district is supposed to comprise about eight million of
acres, inhabited by Indians altogether, except some few traders. The lands adjoining have been purchased of the Indians by the United States, with a design on the part of the United States of removing them (the Indians) west of the Mississippi river, and in ease an attempt should be made to remove them, they could and would be very apt to move on this tract, in order to remain this side of the Mississippi with their friends and associates. This is common with the Indians; and in many cases the United States have had to pay much larger sums for lands than they otherwise would have had to pay, as all the Indians that are on a piece of land at the time of the treaty or sale by them, have share and share alike with those that were originally there. This is well known to be the Indian custom, and if we should have war with England, they would most likely become our enemies, as is common with those that are receiving no annuities, which is now the case with them, and will be until the lands be purchased. And it would also serve for a rendezvous for all other unfriendly Indians. It is supposed there are now on the land, about two thousand five hundred, of different tribes. There are also three or four tradi posts, Attenawgon, Torch lake, Sandy lake and L'Anse. Should the state construct the canal at St. Mary's, for which an appropriation has been made, this land would, without doubt, soon be settled by the enterprizing emigrants of the east, and become to us what we were a short time since to Buffalo, and in fact, what we are now to Buffalo. Those that are best acquainted with the country, speak of it in very flattering terms, both with respect to its soil, timber and streams of water, mill sites, &c. &c. It is in size, about half as large as the state of Vermont, and we are informed by a highly respectable gentleman who has travelled much over that country, that it is much superior to that state, both in point of timber and soil; its location as to climate is cer. tainly as good, and its minerals supposed to be both rich and extensive. Should it be left for congress to purchase, it may remain many years a nuisance to us before it is purchased, and should it be purchased by congress, they, as is their custom, would ask the same price for it they do for other lands, and its remote situation may prevent its being settled for many years, and leave it inhabited by wild beasts and savages, that would much endanger our lives and property. If on the contrary, the state purchase the lands and open a communication with Lake Superior, it would probably be a matter of policy and profit to reduce the price of the lands that would cause them to settle speedily with a good and wholesome population, increase our revenue, assist our works of internal improvement, create in a few years population enough to defend our frontier, which would be very desirable, as it is proudly said