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7,788, 140,78

Locations of scrip issued under the acts of June 2, 1858, and June 22,

1860, in lieu of lands embraced in private claims, but not taken in place .....

83, 143. 60

7,871, 284.38

Lands patented to States as swamp under act of September 28, 1850, or

approved as such to Louisiana, under the act of March 2, 1849, which
has the effect of a patent .....
Being a decrease as compared with the previous fiscal year of

211,492.51 acres.

202, 925. 85

8,074, 210. 23

Lands certified for railroad purposes ....

....... 606, 340.65 Being a decrease as compared with previous fiscal year of

94,451.31 acres. Lands certified for canal purposes....

....... 5, 628.00

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Total number of acres disposed of during the fiscal year......... 8,686, 178.88 The figures given show a great increase in the quantity of land taken up by the class of actual settlers as homesteads and for the purpose of timber culture.

The moneys received during the year amount to $2,022,532.16, for cash sales, for homestead and timber culture fees and commissions, and other fees paid, being an increase over the previous fiscal year of $569,562.93.

Third. The report gives a statement of the operations of the surveyors general in the sixteen surveying districts during the last fiscal year, in which reference is made to detailed reports from them, which are appended. Under this head is included a statement of the survey of the Dakota and Wyoming boundary line, the survey of the boundary between the State of Arkansas and the Indian Territory, the survey of the Cherokee Indian lands in North Carolina, and the survey of townships 18 and 19 north, of range 1 west, in Michigan, pursuant to special acts of Congress therein mentioned.

Fourth. It gives particulars of the business connected with the disposals of public lands through the registers and receivers of the district land offices-ninety-eight in number—the examining, adjusting, and reporting of their accounts, and incidental business.

Fifth. It shows the work done in connection with the suppression of timber depredations on the public lands, adjusting of private land claims and transferring to parties entitled the land covered thereby, and presents information with regard to abandoned military and Indian reservations and miscellaneous matters.

Sixth. In the course of the report, the Commissioner recommends legislation as follows, viz:

1. That section 2262 of the Revised Statutes be so modified as to admit of the affidavit of the claimant in pre-emption cases, now required to be taken before the register or receiver of the district office, being taken before the judge, or in his absence before the clerk of any court of record in the county in which the land claimed may be situated, as the law now allows of homestead final affidavits and proof being taken.

2. He recommends the repeal of sections 2382, 2383, 2384, and 2385

of the Revised Statutes in regard to town sites, with the provision, however, that the towns, six in number, which have already filed plats according to the principles thereof as formerly embodied in the acts of July 1, 1864, and March 3, 1865, may obtain title to their lots thereunder, or that the lots not yet disposed of in these towns may be sold to the mayor or proper county judge, acting as trustee for the occupants, at a stated price, say one dollar per lot of 4,200 feet.

3. Recommends legislation with regard to certain lapsed railroad grants for either declaring the grants forfeited and laying the lands open to other disposal, or extending the time for the completion of the roads.

4. Recommends an amendment of the law with regard to mineral claims (section 2320 of the Revised Statutes), requiring that the end lines of each mineral claim shall be parallel to each other, such as would admit of disposing of small triangular-shaped portions of mineral land which cannot be embraced entirely in any survey with parallel end lines.

5. Renews recommendation of his last annual report for an amendment of paragraph 2 of section 2238 of the Revised Statutes, which would in express terms limit the commissions of registers and receivers therein provided for to moneys received on account of cash sales.

6. Recommends an amendment of section 2362 of the Revised Statutes to enable the department to extend prompt relief to parties entering public land where the title cannot be confirmed, and also in cases where erroneous and illegal exactions have been made, by refunding to them the money paid in error.

7. Recommends such legislation as will relieve the district land officers from the existing requirement of the law that they account for moneys received by them for reducing to writing testimony adduced for establishing pre-emption, homestead, and mining claims, as public moneys.

8. Recommends legislation whereby this office may be allowed to retain the money received for exemplifications furnished from its records as a fund to provide the necessary clerical labor for the work instead of being required as now to pay it into the Treasury.

9. Renews former recommendation that Congress should pass an act transferring any title the United States may possess in the islands and beds of meandered lakes, sloughs, and ponds to the States in which they respectively lie.

10. Recommends legislation for permitting certain abandoned military reservations, where the lands are unimproved and of no special value, to be disposed of as are public lands generally

11. Recommends legislation for disposing of the remnant of what are known as the Shawnee Absentee Lands in Kansas...

12. Recommends that the surveyors general be all provided with an official seal, and authorized to authenticate copies from the files and records of their respective offices, as the surveyors general of Louisiana, California and Oregon now are in section 2224 Revised Statutes.

13. Refers to former representations made by him regarding the need of an increase of the number of clerks and a reorganization of the office. Respect fully submitted.

J. A. WILLIAMSON,

Commissioner.

ANNUAL REPORT.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
GENERAL LAND OFFICE,

October 28, 1878. SIR: The following is presented as a report of the business of this office in dealing with the matters committed to its charge in connection with the survey, the sale, or other disposal of the public lands of the United States during the fiscal year which expired with the 30th June, 1878. It has in these operations followed the methods and employed the agencies prescribed by law, including the surveyors general, with their deputies, in sixteen surveying districts, and the registers and receivers of the district land offices in ninety-eight land districts. Congress hav. ing abolished the district offices in the States of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, by its act of July 31, 1876, it has devolved upon the Commissioner of this office to act as register and receiver ex officio in regard to the remnant of lands therein, under the act of March 3, 1877.

The surveys during the fiscal year reach the aggregate of 8,041,011.83 acres, making the total area surveyed since the beginning of public surveys 724,311,477 acres, and leaving as unsurveyed area of the States and Territories containing public lands 1,090,461,171 acres. This is exclusive of private claims, of which 4,356,377.45 acres were surveyed during the fiscal year.

The number of acres entered under the laws for the disposal of the public lands during the fiscal year ending with the 30th June, 1878, include the following:

Acres. Cash entries....

. 877, 555, 14 Being an increase over the previous fiscal year of 136,868.57 acres. Homestead entries.......

4, 418, 344.92 Being an increase over the previous fiscal year of 2,240,336.75 acres. Timber-culture entries ...

... 1,870, 434. 18 Being an increase over the fiscal year of 1,349,760.79 acres. Desert land entries, under act of March 3, 1877, this being the first entire year of its operation.....

310, 553, 05 Agricultural-college scrip locations .....

640.00 Being a decrease of 640 acres as compared with the previous fiscal year. Locations with military bounty land warrants, under acts of 1847, 1850, 1852, and 1855.....

84,720.00 Being a decrease of 12,480 acres as compared with the previous fiscal year.

State selections approved : For school indemnity .......

50, 142. 59 For internal improvements..

17, 420.39 For agricultural colleges ..

24, 097. 40 For universities ......

44, 844. 43 For salt springs .......

24, 114.56 For public buildings...

29, 146.33 For penitentiary.....

... 25, 226. 83

214,992. 53 Being an increase over the previous fiscal year of 59,354.80 acres.

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Locations of scrip issued under the acts of June 2, 1858, and June 22,

1860, in lieu of lands embraced in private claims, but not taken in place .............................................................

83, 143, 60

7,871, 284. 38

Lands patented to States as swamp under act of September 28, 1850, or

approved as such to Louisiana under act of March 2, 1849, which has
the effect of a patent...........
Being a decrease as compared with the previous fiscal year of 211,492.51
acres.

202, 925. 85

8,074, 210, 23

606, 340. 65

Lands certified for railroad purposes .............. ......
Being a decrease as compared with the previous fiscal

year of 94,451.31 acres.
Lands certified for canal purposes...

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Total number of acres disposed of during the fiscal year ........ 8,686, 178.88 Being an increase of 3,836,411.18 acres over the previous fiscal year.

The total amount of moneys received during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878, is $2,022,532.16, derived from the following sources, viz : Purchase money of lands sold.....

$1, 130, 752 00 Homestead fees and commissions..................................... 556, 526 32 Timber culture fees and commissions ................................. 181, 535 00 Agricultural-college scrip fees .......................................

24 00 Fees on pre-emption and homestead filings ...................

87, 190 00 Fees on coal filings ..................................................

147 00 Fees on military bounty-land warrant locations...

2, 121 00 Fees for transcripts of records furnished by district land officers....

891 05 Fees for reducing testimony to writing by district land officers ........ 27, 664 45 Fees on railroad and wagon-road selections...........................

7,149 15 Fees on mineral filings and protests .................................. 10, 610 00

4, 035 44 Donation fees .......................................................

1, 460 00 Fees on Valentine scrip..............................................

28 00 Fees for certified copies furnished by this office under sec. 461, Revised Statutes ....................

12, 101 75 Fees from miscellaneous sources

297 00

Fees on state selections..............................................

2,022, 532 16 There were received in this office during the fiscal year a total of 82,295 letters, and there were written and recorded during the same period, 57,421.

SURVEYING OPERATIONS.

I here invite attention to the surveying operations of the fiscal year, the results of which are above indicated. By the act of Congress of March 3, 1877 (19 Stat., p. 348), the sum of $300,000 was appropriated for surveys of public lands and private claims for the fiscal year ending June

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