Congressional series of United States public documents

 
9781231730072: Congressional series of United States public documents

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1857 Excerpt: ...supposing that there was no question as to the fact, entered into a contract for the purchase of these lands, at a dollar and a quarter an acre, for the aggregate sum of $1,300,000--the aggregate amount of lands heing estimated at 1,040,000 acres--by which we were to make these improvements in the river at an estimated cost to us of about $3,000,000. Shortly after my accession to the presidency of the company, in a conversation with the Commissioner of the General Land Office, he informed me that he intended to hold that the grant did not extend beyond Fort Des Moines. We had already expended several hundred thousand dollars on this improvement; we had nearly half the work under contract, and were progressing with all the force we could command. I at once instituted an appeal from his decision to the Secretary of the Interior, and from him to the Cabinet. The President referred it, I think, to Attorney General Cushing. Mr. Cushing decided that the grant might be construed to extend to the north line of the State of Iowa, but not beyond that, for the reasons stated by him in his opinion, and recommended to the Secretary of the Interior not to approve any more lands to the State of Iowa unless that State would release the lands in Minnesota, the Territory of Minnesota having been cut off from what was formerly the Territory of Iowa. He recommended further that the parties apply to Congress to cut the " gordian knot"--I think that is the expression used by him--to settle the question. We were, of course, thrown into great embarrassment. Immediately, without consultation even with the company, I presented the matter to the Congress of the United States, requesting of them that the decisions of the department up to this time upon which we had acted, ac...

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