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The production of the Alleghany coal-field, in 1864, was as
The northern coal-field, embracing about 13,000 square miles, lies wholly within the lower peninsula of Michigan. But little has been done for its development, its annual product not much exceeding 100,000 tons.
The great central coal-field occupies an area of 50,000 square miles in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. Its extreme length is 350 miles, with a breadth varying from 150 to 200 miles. produce of the central coal-field in 1864 was as follews:
The western coal-field in Missouri and Iowa is, properly, a continuation of the great central. It occupies an area of 45,000 square miles, of which 21,000 are in Missouri and 24,000 in Iowa. Its product in 1864 was about 500,000 tons. The coals of Arkansas and Nebraska are but the thin western edges of the great western coal-field, as yet but partially developed. All of these coal-fields are parts of the Appalachian coal, or Mississippi system, embracing a total area of 190,000 square miles, from which were mined in 1864 a total of 11,428,708 tons. The Mississippi basin, embracing an area of 1,500,000 square miles, is eminently available, in all its wondrous agricultural and mineral resources, to the demands of industry and commerce.
GOLD AND SILVER.
Of the quantities of the precious metals already taken from the mines of the United States, different estimates have been formed, some placing the product of California alone, since the commencement of 1848, at over one thousand millions of dollars. The special commissioner for the collection of statistics of gold and silver west of the Rocky mountains estimates the product of
California, from 1848 to the end of 1865, at nine hundred millions, and that of the neighboring states and territories, including the province of British Columbia, at $100,000,000, making an aggregate of $1,000,000,000. To reach this result the manifests at the custom-house at San Francisco have been taken, amounting to $740,832,623, to which was added the sum of $45,000,000 for gold and silver in use as currency on the Pacific, with an estimate of $115,000,000 for jewelry and plate manufactured in California, gold dust carried to the Atlantic states and foreign countries by miners returning home, without passing through the custom-house, and for dust buried or concealed by miners at remote points. It is safe to assume the total yield of Nevada, up to the end of 1867, at $100,000,000; that of Colorado at $30,000,000; of Oregon and Washington Territory, $25,000,000; Idaho and Montana, each, $25,000,000; and Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, $5,000,000. If the product of California, up to the end of the same period, be assumed as equal to $900,000,000, the total product of the western mines up to the first of January, 1868, will amount to $1,110,000,000, or, in round numbers, $1,100,000,000, of which $1,000,000,000 may be set down for gold, and $100,000,000 for silver.
As to the annual product of the mines, opinions are likewise divided, some claiming eighty and others a hundred millions.
In 1865 and 1866 a revenue tax of six-tenths of one per cent. was collected on all gold and silver bullion in lumps, ingots, bars, or otherwise as assayed, which in 1866 amounted to $499,455, indicating a total value of bullion assayed, upon which a tax was paid, of $83,242,551 in paper currency value; equal in gold value to $56,000,000. A considerable quantity of bullion doubtless escaped taxation, but it is not probable the amount was greater than a fifth of the whole quantity subject to a revenue duty.
Considerable quantities of these metals passed into manufactures without being previously assayed, and left the country in the form of dust by miners returning to foreign parts, or was shipped in the form of ore; and $5,000,000 may be set downas a contingent under these heads, making a total of $75.000,000, gold value, for the year 1866, of which $18,000,000 represent the silver product.
The amount deposited at the mints for the year 1866 was less than $32,000,000, gold value, the mint returns exhibiting about four-sevenths of the amount of assayed bullion produced during that year upon which a revenue tax was assessed and paid.
A CASE was before the Commissioner, upon an application to cancel homestead entry, in which the testimony showed it to have been made while the claimant was serving in the army of the United States; that he was mustered out of the service in May, 1866; soon thereafter built a small shanty and commenced work upon the homestead, continuing to occupy the same, with frequent absences, though not at distant intervals.
It was held that the claimant had not abandoned his tract; yet the character of his improvement and manner of residence were not such as the law contemplates. The cancellation of this entry was declined on the evidence adduced, while a more complete compliance was called for under the law. It was insisted that the settler must put upon the land such a house as may answer for permanent residence-not merely a place of temporary resort in order to show his intention to comply with the law-and make the land what the statute intends-his actual homestead. A period of sixty days from the date of notice was allowed within which to complete his house and move therein, it being required at the expiration of that time that he should appear before the register and receiver and show by affidavit, supported by corroborative testimony, compliance with such requirements.
An entry has been presented in which the homestead was made and commuted before the expiration of five years from its date, and the point submitted was whether the settler could make another like entry. The sixth section of the homestead act of 1862 is specific in its declaration "that no individual shall be permitted to acquire title to more than one quarter section under the provisions of this act." Therefore it is held that when a party acquires title under any of the provisions of this act, his privilege is thereby exhausted.
Inquiry has been made whether persons employed in the military or naval service of the government may take homesteads under the amendatory act of 21st of March, 1864, and obtain title to the land, supposing their time of service to absorb all of the five-year period for settlement and cultivation.
The ruling is that actual settlement and cultivation of the land
are required by law; hence title cannot be acquired unless the party, immediately upon discharge from service, enters upon the land, makes it his home, and cultivates the same as required by the original act of 20th May, 1862; actual settlement upon and cultivation being required in all cases.
In the second section of the law of 20th May, 1862, it is stipulated in regard to settlers that in the case of the death of both father and mother, leaving an infant child or children under twenty-one years of age, the right and fee shall inure to the benefit of the infant child or children; and that the executor, administrator, or guardian may sell the premises for the benefit of the infant heirs at any time within two years after death of the surviving parent, and in accordance with the law of the domicile. The question has been made as to whether it is imperative the land shall thus be sold under the statute for the benefit of the heirs, or whether they can retain title under the original settlement.
The Commissioner rules that there is no objection under the general provisions of the law to the maintenance of settlement and cultivation on the part of the heirs, and the issue of the patent in their names at the expiration of the required time; yet in such case the minor heirs must continue to reside upon the homestead, and the settlement and cultivation of the same must be continued for their benefit.
In the case of a homestead settler who died unmarried, and whose father applied for preference right to take by ordinary purchase at $1.25 per acre, it is held that although privilege could not be granted, yet on satisfactory showing of the death of the settler, with proof of his previous settlement and cultivation, the land could be paid for at $1.25 per acre by the heirs of the deceased settler, under the eighth section of the act of 20th May, 1862, and entry made under that section in favor of the heirs of the decedent, following in this respect the rule prescribed by the second section of the act of 3d March, 1843, in regard to deceased pre-emptors.
HOMESTEAD COMMUTATIONS WITHIN RAILROAD LIMITS.
In the Secretary's decision of 22d June, 1866, as communicated in our circular of 25th August, 1866, the question discussed was the rights of pre-emption settlers to commute their filings on odd sections after the railroad withdrawal had been made. The Secretary then decided "the homestead settler's right attaches only from the date of entry," the pre-emptor from the date of his actual personal settlement; hence, if the commutation is not made prior to withdrawal, it cannot be made afterward, the railroad grant
taking effect immediately upon the abandonment of the pre-emption for the homestead.
By parity of reasoning this principle will apply to the even sections within the granted limits, in the matter of price; hence, if a party fail to commute prior to the increase from minimum to double minimum, he cannot commute afterward at the rate of $1.25 per acre, because upon the relinquishment of the pre-emption claim, the double minimum immediately attaches, and he will be required either to prove up as an original pre-emptor at $1.25 per acre, or in commuting to restrict the homestead claim to 80
Inquiries have been presented as to what is required of heirs at law desirous of making payment under the 8th section of the
The requirements are the production of evidence of heirship, with proof that the deceased settler had fully met the requirements of the statute by residing upon and cultivating the tract up to the date of decease; and, further, that the improvements had been continued and residence maintained by the heirs upon the homestead after the death of the settler; or, in case residence and cultivation had not been continued, proof that at the date of the application a sufficient time had not elapsed since the decease to work a forfeiture of the claim.
Instances have occurred in which a widow has made a homestead settlement and thereafter marries a person who likewise made a similar settlement on another tract. It is ruled that the parties may elect which tract they will retain for permanent residence, and that on proving up settlement under the 8th section of the act of May 20th, 1862, the title to the remaining entry may be perfected by the original settler.
THE RIGHTS OF FOREIGNERS IN RELATION TO THE ACQUISITION OF TITLE TO PUBLIC LANDS.
As aliens cannot acquire valid titles to real estate under the pre-emption and homestead laws, the privileges of which are restricted to citizens, or those who have declared their intention to become such, it is important that foreigners seeking identification with the American community, should be advised of the legal steps necessary to acquire citizenship. To that end it is submitted that any free white alien, over the age of twenty-one years, may at any time after arrival declare before any court of record having common law jurisdiction (with a clerk or prothonotary and seal) his intention to become a citizen, and to renounce forever all foreign allegiance. The declaration must be