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[ No. 3. ]
AN ACT making a grant of alternate sections of Public Lands to the
State of Michigan, to aid in the construction of certain Railroads in said State, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there be and hereby is granted to the State of Michigan, to aid in the construction of railroads from Little Bay de Noquet to Marquette, and thence to Ontonagon, and from the two last named places to the Wisconsin State line; and also from Amboy, by Hillsdale and Lansing, and from Grand Rapids to some point on or near Traverse Bay; also from Grand Haven and Pere Marquette to Flint, and thence to Port Huron, every alternate section of land designated by odd numbers, for six sections in width on each side of each of said roads; but in case it shall appear that the United States have, when the lines or routes of said roads are definitely fixed, sold any section or any part thereof granted as aforesaid, or that the right of pre-emption has attached to the same, then it shall be lawful for any agent or agents, to be appointed by the Governor of said State, to select, subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, from the lands of the United States nearest to the tiers of sections above specified, so much land in alternate sections or parts of sections as shall be equal to such lands as the United States have sold or otherwise appropriated, or to which the right of pre-emption has attached as aforesaid; which lands (thus selected in lieu of those sold, and to which preemption rights have attached as aforesaid, together with the sections
and parts of sections designated by odd numbers as aforesaid, and appropriated as aforesaid) shall be held by the State of Michigan, for the use and purpose aforesaid: Provided, That the lands to be so located shall in no case be further than fifteen miles from the lines of said roads, and selected for, and on account of each of said roads: Provided further, That the lands hereby granted shall be exclusively applied in the construction of that road for and on account of which such lands are hereby granted, and shall be disposed of only as the work progresses, and the same shall be applied to no other purpose whatsoever: And provided further, That any and all lands heretofore reserved to the United States by any act of Congress, or in any other manner, by competent authority, for the purpose of aiding in any object of internal improvement, or for any other purpose whatsoever, be and the same are hereby reserved to the United States from the operations of this act, except so far as it may be found necessary to locate the routes of said railroads through such reserved lands, in which case, the right of way only sl all be granted, subject to the approval of the President of the United States.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the sections and parts of sections of land which, by such grant, shall remain to the United States within six miles on each side of each of said roads, shall not be sold for less than double the minimum price of the public lands when sold; nor shall any of said lands become subject to private entry until the same have been first offered at public sale at the increased price.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the said lands hereby granted to the said State shall be subject to the disposal of the legislature thereof for the purposes aforesaid, and no other; and the said railroads shall be and remain public highways for the use of the government of he United States free from toll or other charge upon the transportation of any property or troops of the United States.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the lands hereby granted to said State shall be disposed of by said State only in manner following: that is to say, that a quantity of land, not exceeding one hundred and twenty sections, for each of said roads, and included within a continuous length of twenty miles of each of said roads, may be sold; and when the governor of said State shall certify to the Secretary of the Interior that any twenty continuous miles of any of said roads is completed, then another quantity of land hereby granted, not to exceed one hundred and twenty sections for each of said roads having twenty continuous miles completed as aforesaid, and included within a continuous length of twenty miles of each of such roads, may be sold; and so from time to time, until said roads are completed; and if any of said roads is not completed within ten years, no further sale shall be made, and the lands unsold shall revert to the United States.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the United States mail shall be transported over said roads, under the direction of the Post Office Department, at such price as Congresss may by law direct: Provided, That until such price is fixed by law, the Postmaster General shall have the power to determine the same.
Approved June 3, 1856.
[ No. 4. ] REPORT of Special Committee relative to a bill granting the Swamp
Lands in the Upper Peninsula to the counties in which they are situated. The committee to whom was referred
“ A bill granting the Swamp Lands in the Upper Peninsula to the counties in which they are situated,"
Have had the same under consideration, and submit the following report:
The disposition of the Swamp Lancs since the period of the grant by Congress, has been a subject of much consideration and perplexity. From the session of 1851 until the present, each Legislature has devoted no little time to a proper and final dedication of this generous gift to such purpose or purposes as would best sul serve the interests of the State, and at the same time comply with the provisions, and carry out the clear intention of the act of Congress. In each House, at eaeh session, a number of bills have been introduced, as various in the measures proposed, as in numbers. All of these bills have been discussed, duly considered, and acted upon, yet no definite, fixed plan as to the disposal of these lands has met the approval of the Legislature. The Executive has sent in his recommendation, and the public Press fully disclosed public opinion so far as was possible, but each, and all have failed to accomplish their end. The very magnitude of the grant,