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IV. AN ACT SUPPLEMENTARY TO THE FOREGOING ACT. APPROVED JUNE 23, 1836.
“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in lieu of the propositions submitted to the Congress of the United States by an ordinance passed by the Convention of delegates at Detroit, assembled for the purpose of making a constitution for the State of Michigan, which are hereby rejected; and that the following propositions be, and the same are hereby offered to the State Legislature of Michigan, for their acceptance or rejection, which if accepted, under the authority conferred on the said Legislature by the Convention which framed the constitution of the said State, shall be obligatory upon the United States.
First. That section numbered sixteen in every township of the public lands, and where such section has been sold or otherwise disposed of, other lands equivalent thereto, and as contiguous as may be, shall be granted to the State for the use of schools.
Second. That the seventy-two sections of land set a part and reserved for the use and support of a university by an act of Congress approved on the twentieth day of May, eighteen hundred and twenty-six, entitled, “An act concerning a seminary of learning in the Territory of Michigan,” are hereby granted to the State, to be appropriated solely to the use and support of such university, in such manner as the Legislature may prescribe ; and provided also, that nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to impair or affect in any way the rights of any person or persons claiming any of said seventy-two sections of lands, under contract or grant from said university.
Third. That five entire sections of land, be selected and located under the direction of the Legislature, in legal divisions of not less than one quarter section, from any of the
unappropriated lands belonging to the United States within the said State, are hereby granted to the State for the purpose of completing the public buildings of the said State, or for the erection of public buildings at the seat of government of the said State, as the Legislature may determine and direct.
Fourth. That all salt springs within the State, not exceeding twelve in number, with six sections of land adjoining or as contiguous as may be to each, shall be granted to the said State for its use, the same to be selected by the Legislature thereof, on or before the first of January, eighteen hundred and forty; and the same, when so selected, to be used on such terms, conditions, and regulations, as the Legislature of the said State shall direct: provided, that no salt spring, the right whereof is now vested in any individual or individuals, or which may hereafter be conferred or adjudged to any individual or individuals shall, by this section, be granted to said State : and provided also, that the General Assembly shall never sell or lease the same, at any one time, for a longer period than ten years, without the consent of Congress.
Fifth. That five per cent of the net proceeds of the sales of all public lands lying within the said State, which have been or shall be sold by Congress, from and after the first day of July, eighteen hundred and thirty-six, after deducting all the expenses incident to the same, shall be appropriated for making public roads and canals within the said State, as the Legislature may direct: provided, that the five foregoing propositions herein offered, are on the condition that the Legislature of the said State, by virtue of the powers conferred upon it by the Convention which framed the constitution of the said State, shall provide, by an ordinance irrevocable without the consent of the United States, that the said State shall never interfere with the primary disposal of the soil within the same by the United States, nor with any regulations Congress may find necessary for securing the title in such soil to
the bona fide purchasers thereof: and that no tax shall be imposed on lands the property of the United States; and that in no case shall non-resident proprietors be taxed higher than residents; and that the bounty lands granted, or hereafter to be granted, for military services during the late war, shall, whilst they continue to be held by the patentees or their heirs, remain exempt from any tax laid by order or under the authority of the State, whether for State, county, township, or other purpose, for the term of three years from and after the date of the patentees respectively.* [U. S. Statutes by Peters, 59.]
V. THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN.
The organic law of Michigan was adopted in a Convention, begun and held at the city of Detroit, on the eleventh day of May, eighteen hundred and thirty-five. As has been intimated, Michigan adopted her Constitution in advance of the act of Congress giving permission, claiming the right of asserting a self-government, under the ordinance of 1787.
It protects real estate from unwarrantable seizure, and makes provision for escheats, yet it leaves the regulation of estates and tenures to the Legislature. [See Appendix.]
VI. LAND TITLES GENERALLY IN THE STATE OF MICH
It has been seen, that as the State of Michigan was erected from the territory of the United States northwest of the river Ohio, the title to her lands was derived from the General Government. And as she came into the Union upon the condition that her laws should be republican, her Legislatures have complied with the terms, by regulating estates in land after the example of New York.
* By an act approved January 26, 1937, Michigan was admitted into the Union, a Convention called for that purpose, having assented to the boundaries assigned her by Congress. She was also declared to be entitled to a share of the surplus revenue of the United States which had been ordered to be distributed, pending the controversy with Ohio concerning the boundary.
Estates of inheritance, estates for life, estates for years, and estates at will, or sufferance, are recognized by statutes, which are nearly literal transcripts of those cited, ante 79.
All estates tail are abolished ; and every estate that would have been adjudged a fee tail, under the territorial laws existing prior to the second day of March, eighteen hundred and twenty-one, is, under the revised statutes, a fee simple. [R. S. Mich., 258, Sec. 3.]
Life estates are defined to be those where the use of lands is given by deed or will to one, and the remainder over to the heir. [Id., Sec. 5.]
All estates created by parol, have the effect of estates at will only, and are determinable by notice. [Id., Sec. 6]
Estates for years exist where the right is limited to a term, and so long as fifty years or more remain unexpired, the interest is regarded as real estate. [Id., Sec. 7.]
The original and ultimate property in all real estate is deemed to be possessed by the people ; and where the title has been vested, and the incumbent of the title dies without heirs to inherit the same, the property escheats. [Id., 268, Sec. 1.]
Estates vest without restrictions as to alienism. In this respect, Michigan has adopted a policy, wise in itself, and well calculated to encourage a speedy settlement of the State. The statute provides that "any alien may acquire and hold lands, or any right thereto, or interest therein, by purchase, devise, or descent, and he may convey, mortgage, or devise the same; and if he shall die intestate, the same shall descend to his heirs; and in all cases, such lands shall be held, conveyed, mortgaged, or devised, or shall descend in like manner and with like effect, as if such alien were a native citizen of this State, or of the United States.” [Id., 266, Sec. 27.]
“The title of any person to any lands heretofore conveyed, shall not be questioned, nor in any manner affected, by reason of
the alienage of any person from or through whom such title may have been derived.” [Id., Sec. 27.]
The same liberality is extended to alien widows. Her alienage is no bar to her right of dower in and to all the lands of which her husband was seized during coverture, not relinquished by her, unless barred by jointure settled before marriage.
Dower, at common law, by non-resident, as well as resident widows, is fully guarantied by the statute; and the power to lease, as well as to convey, is unrestricted.
By a statute passed April 1, 1840, all persons, of lawful age, residing in Michigan, are empowered to convey real estate; and all not residing in, but owning lands in the State, are authorized to convey according to the laws of the State in which such person or persons reside. The exception of idiots and persons of unsound mind, contained in the NewYork statutes, does not occur in this connection, yet it is to be presumed that the statute is to be taken with that qualification, as by common law capacity is requisite to the validity of any act concerning lands. The transmission of estates hy devises and inheritance, is treated of under the appropriate heads.
VII. EXECUTION OF DEEDS AND MORTGAGES OF LANDS
The statutes provide that all conveyances of lands, or of any estate or interest therein, shall be by deed. [R. S., 257, Sec. 1.)
In a former chapter, this species of instrument was defined to be, such an orderly arrangement of written or printed words as clearly evince the purpose of the grantor in respect to the realty in question. The people of the new States are particularly averse to complicated forms of doing business; and in their desire to expunge from their statute books every vestige of fiction, they have dispensed with many require