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Extract from report of the Secretary of the Interior.

During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1866, public lands were disposed of as follows: . Acres sold for cash ......

327, 294. 15 entered under the homestead acts....

1, 92, 516.86 " located with military warrants....

403, 180.00 approved to States as swamp.........

1. 199.638. 27 approved to States for railroads......

94,596.99 " located with agricultural college scrip........

631, 066. 60 4,629, 312.87

During the same period 6,423,981.18 acres were offered for sale. The cash receipts from sales and other sources were $321,645 08. The number of homestead entries exceeded that of the preceding year by more than sixty per cent.

There are sixty-one land districts and ten surveying departments. During the past year surveying operations have been prosecuted with energy in Minnesota, Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, California, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington, but have been deterred, on account of Indian hostilities, in New Mexico aud Arizona. The anomalous cowlition of affairs in Utah has preventid any surveys thero since the year 1857. At that date two and a half million acres had been surveyed. In order that they may be disposed of, it is recome mended that a land district be creuted in thut Territory.

The entire amount of the public domain is 1,463,468,800 acres, of which 474,160,551 acres have been surveyed.

The attention of Congress is again respectfully invited to the expediency of making early provision for the adjustment of claims to land situated in New Mexico and Arizona, arising under the laws of Spain or Mexico. The act of July 22, 1834, directs the surveyor general to ascertain the nature and extent of such claims under the luws, usagi's, and custuins of Spain and Mexico, and to make a full report on all such as originated before the cession of the territory to the United States by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Congress reserved the right to confirm, by its action, bona fille grants, and to give full effect to the stipulations of that treaty. Until such action, the lands covered by those claims are reserved from sale or other disposal by the governnient. The act does not apply to that valuable regiou of country ac. quired by the treaty concluded at Mexico, December 30, 18.33. Good faith and sound policy require the separation from the public domain of private property held by an incipient and unperfected right, or by a complete title, under a grant of the government which preceded us in the exercise of jurisdiction and sovereignty over the soil. The confirmation of a private claim secures to the party a valid title. The location of his land, when ascertained by authentic surveys and noted upon our records, identifies the property of the United States, and facilitates the disposal of it. The authority of the surveyor general should extend to the lands ceded by the later treaty; and by a special tribun crentes for the purpose, or through the action of the courts, all grants of this character could be definitely and finally disposed of.

The boundary between New Mexico and Colornilo, ils well as ihat between California and Nevadu, should be permanently established, and the limits between Florida and Georgia tiually aljusted.

It has been the cherished policy of the government to assure upon the most liberal conditions to the actual settler a title to his lone and improvements. Plis preference right of pure chase is not contined to brinds which were surveyed ut the time of his settlement; nor is he required to pay for them, or for those surveyed but unoffered, until the dny designated by the President's proclamation for the public sale. Diff'rences of opinion exist as to the appli. cability to particular localities of suine of the acts of Congress prescribing the period within which the declaratory statement for umsurveyed lands must be filed. No distinction onght to be madlo in regard to the time allowed for the payment for imofterol Innds, and those which have been offered. I concur in opinion with the Commissioner of the (icneral Land Office is to changes that might be advantageously made in existing pre-emption laws. They also should be greatly simplified and rendered more uniformn in their operation. In this way controversies such as have been occasioned by incongruous and conflicting provisions will be avoided, and the benetits of this wise avel just policy etteetwally secured.

The right of the pre-emptor attaches from the date of his actual personal settlement; that of the homestead seitler from the date of his entry at the local land office. The latter is confined to surveyed lands. In either case the title may be consummated by a full compliance with the terms and conditions imposed by the low imder which it was initiated. A party who has settled, with a view to pre-emption, upon a particular tract, and thus excluded all others from acquiring a right thereto, should not bie permitted to abandon his original claim and enter the land under the homestead law. Such a privilege would, in many in. stances, inevitably lead to great abuse. Tho modes prescribed for acquiring titlu to luud

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