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IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, January 29, 1867. Resolved, That there be printed for the use of the Treasury Department one thousand copies of the Report of J. Ross Browne upon the Mineral Resources of the States and Territories west of the Rocky muuntains.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, February 12, 1867. Resolved, That ten thousand copies of the Report of J. Ross Browne on the Mineral Resources, &c., in addition to those already ordered, be printed for the use of the members of this House; and that a copy of the rules prepared at the General Land Office to aid in the disposal of the mineral lan-ls, under law, approved February 26, 1866, for that purpose, be added to each copy of such report; and that one thousand copies of the same be priuted for the use of the Treasury Department.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, February 25, 1897. Resolved, That the same number of copies of the "Letter of the Secretary of the Treasury of February 13, 1867, with the Report of the Special Commissioner for the Collection of Mining Statistics east of the Rocky mountains," be ordered to be printed as were of the “Report of J. Ross Browne on the Mineral Resources," &c.; and that the same be bound together for the use of the House. Attest:


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES, February 6, 1867. Resoloed, That ten thousand copies of the Report of J. Ross Browne to the Treasury Department on the Statistics of Mines and Mining be printed and bound for the use of the Senate, with a title-page and index.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES, February 27, 1867. Resolved, That ten thousand copies of the letter of the Secretary of the Treasury of February thirteenth, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, transmitting to the House of Representatives a Report by James W. Taylor upon Gold and Silver Mines and Mining cast of the Rocky mountains, be printed for the use of the Senate, and that one thousand of said extra copies be placed at the disposal of the Secretary of the Treasury. Attest:

J. W. FORNEY, Secretary.





A report upon the mineral resources of the States and Territories west of the

Rocky Mountains.

JANUARY 8, 1867.-Referred to the Committee on Mines and Mining and ordered to be


TREASURY DEPARTMENT, January 8, 1867. Sır: I have the honor to transmit a preliminary report upon the mineral resources of the States and Territories west of the Rocky mountains by Mr. J. Ross Browne, who was appointed special commissioner under a provision of the appropriation act of July 28, 1866, authorizing the collection by the Secretary of the Treasury of “ reliable statistical information concerning the gold and silver mines of the western States and Territories."

An introductory communication from Mr. Browne is also enclosed, which will indicate the scope of the report, with some suggestions in regard to the future prosecution of the inquiry into the situation and prospects of gold and silver mining in the United States.

The commissioner has evidently availed himself of the best experience of the State of California, especially in the department of geological and mineralogical observation; and the present compilation of its results cannot fail to be a welcome contribution to the public information.

If Congress shall make the necessary appropriation for this object, it is the purpose of the Secretary to secure a similar body of scientific and statistical information in regard to the mining districts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Montana. A report upon the production of gold and silver in those Territories, and in the Vermillion and Alleghany districts of the United States, by Mr. James W. Taylor, will be forwarded from this department to the House of Representatives at an early day. I am, very truly, your obedient servant,


Secretary of the Treasury. Hon. SCHYLER COLFAX,

Speaker of the House of Representatives.


TREASURY DEPARTMENT, August 2, 1866. Sir: In entering upon your duties as special commissioner to collect mining statistics in the States and Territories west of the Rocky mountains, it is important that you should clearly understand the objects designed to be accomplished by this department and by Congress.

T'he absence of reliable statistics in any department of the government on the subject of mines and mining in our new mineral regions, and the inconvenience resulting from it, induced Congress at its last session to appropriate the sum of : ten thousand dollars for the collection of information of all kinds tending to show the extent and character of our mineral resources in the far west.

The special points of inquiry to which your attention will necessarily be directed are so varied, and embrace so large a scope of country, that it will scarcely be practicable for you to report upon them in full by the next session of Congress.

I entertain the hope, however, that you will be enabled by that time to collect sufficient data to furnish, in the form of a preliminary report, the basis of a plan of operations by which we can in future procure information of a more detailed and comprehensive character.

The success of your visit to the mineral regions, in carrying out the objects contemplated, must depend in a great measure upon the judicious exercise of your own judgment, and upon your long practical acquaintance with the country, your thorough experience of mining operations, and your knowledge of the best and most economical means of procuring reliable information.

The department will not, therefore, undertake to give you detailed instructions upon every point that may arise in the course of your investigations. It desires to impress upon you in general terms a few important considerations for your guidance, leaving the rest to your own judgment and sense of duty.

1. All statistics should be obtained from such sources as can be relied upon. Their value will depend upon their accuracy and authenticity. All statements not based upon actual data should be free from prejudice or exaggeration.

2. In your preliminary report, a brief historical review of the origin of gold and silver mining on the Pacific coast would be interesting in connection with a statement of the present condition of the country, as tending to show the progress of settlement and civilization.

3. The geological formation of the great mineral belts and the general characteristics of the placer diggings and quartz ledges should be given in a concise form.

4. The different systems of mining in operation since 1848, showing the machinery used, the various processes of reducing the ores, the percentage of waste, and the net profits.

5. The population engaged in mining, exclusively and in part; the capital and labor employed; the value of improvements; the number of mills and steam-engines in operation; the yield of the mines worked; the average of dividends and average of losses, in all the operations of mining.

6. The proportion of agricultural and mineral lands in each district; the quantity of wood land; facilities for obtaining fuel; number and extent of streams and water privileges.

7. Salt beds, deposits of soda and borax, and all other valuable mineral deposits.

8. The altitude, character of the climate, mode and cost of living; cost of all kinds of material; cost of labor, &c.

9. The population of the various mining towns; the number of banks and banking institutions in them; the modes of assaying, melting, and refining bullion; the charges upon the same for transportation and insurance

10. Facilities in the way of communication; postal and telegraphic lines ; stage routes in operation ; cost of travel ; probable benefits likely to result from the construction of the Pacific railroad and its proposed branches.

11. The necessity for assay offices and pubiic depositories ; what financial facilities may tend to develop the country and enhance its products.

12. Copies of all local mining laws and customs now regulating the holding and working of claims.

13. The number of ledges opened and the number claimed; the character of the soil and its adaptation to the support of a large population.

Upon all these points it is very desirable that we should possess reliable information. Whatever tends to develop the vast resources of our new States and Territories must add to the wealth of the whole country.

I am extremely solicitous that the information collected should be ample and authentic.

Trusting that you may be enabled to make such a report as will be of great public utility, and at the same time promote the interests of the miners to whose industry and energy so much is due, I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of the Treasury. J. Ross BBOWNE, Esq.,

Washington, D. C.

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