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There remains sixty-eight outstanding unsatisfied certificates, for two hundred acres each, and nine certificates unsatisfied, the holders of which, are entitled to six hundred acres each-all requiring nineteen thousand acres of land to satisfy them. Of the former townships appropriated for this object, there remains in No. 4, Indian Township, thirty-nine lots of two hundred acres each, and in Indian purchase No. 2, nineteen lots of same number of acres each; and three lots of six hundred acres each, in Letter E, Range two, from the east line of the State, undrawn and are said to be land of poor quality.
The pay for lumber cut under permits, did not become due till September, for that taken from the undivided lands, and not till November, for that taken from lands belonging to Maine. The extraordinary embarrassments in business, since September, have prevented the anticipated receipts from this source of revenue, but it is believed, no losses will arise from this failure. The lien on the lumber now piled up for that object, and the bonds and acceptances taken, are thought to be sufficient to secure, ultimately, all that is due.
The whole amount of revenue accrued under permits, is twenty-four thousand one hundred and seventy-seven dollars and seventy cents, of which the sum of seven thousand and seventy-three dollars and twenty-seven cents has been paid.
The same embarrassments have caused much disappointment, in the small amount of receipts from the old debts due to the State for land and timber. Early in the season notice was given to all persons indebted to the State, both public and by letter, to make payments. Many indebted for land conveyed by conditional deed, and held by mortgage to the State, claimed indulgence till March next, because the Legislature by Act of March 23d, 1838, saved the forfeiture to the purchaser, if paid within two years from that date. Suits have been brought in some cases, where there was a prospect of securing debts, that would otherwise be lost. Possession has been taken to foreclose mortgages, in one hundred and four cases, in the towns of Enfield, Chester, Passadumkeag, Bradley, Springfield, Lowell, Burlington, Greenbush, Lincoln, Orient and Topsfield, and in a few other cases, in other places. The prospect is, most of the debts due on these mortgages, will ultimately be paid, and where not, the land will sell again without much loss, except the interest on the notes. Notes to the amount of twenty-two thousand and thirtyfour dollars and forty-four cents, have been placed in the hands of Attorneys for collection.
In many cases where lands have been conveyed by conditional deeds, if these deeds should be legally adjudged to be constitutional, technically so called, they would have reverted to the State ere this, but for the legislative indulgence before alluded to, which expires on the 23d day of March next. Should these conveyances, with condition in the decd, be decided to enure as mortgages only, payment will not be so prompt. Still if mortgages, it is not perceived how they can be so, beyond the payment of the consideration in money. If the settling duties have been neglected, they cannot now be performed, as the time of doing so, seems to be the essential part of it.
In a great many cases, the purchasers are dead or have left the country, and nothing has been done on the land, but to strip off every thing worth taking off, and in other cases the purchasers have done little or nothing, and are unable to pay. When these lands revert, they can be again sold, and without much loss, except the interest on
the notes. From information obtained of the actual condition of these lands, I would not recommend any further general extension to save the forfeitures. It operates to encourage speculation, and to discourage settlement and improvement, by keeping out actual settlers, unless they submit to extortionate prices. To encourage actual settlers, and prevent monopolies and speculation, a rigid enforcement of settling duties is required. In the report of the Land Agent in Dec. 31, 1835, he remarks, “I would here distinctly state, to prevent any further misunderstanding, that where settling duties have been required, the land has on that account, been sold for a less price, and unless performed within the time stipulated, the penalty should be rigorously exacted, and no extension should in any case be given.” The speculator who interposes between the State and the pioneer of the forest, to extort from the latter a portion of his scanty means, deserves no great indulgence.
The whole amount of money received for principal and interest, on notes in the Land Office, from former sales, is twenty thousand, five hundred and thirty dollars and seventy-five cents, exclusive of what may have been paid on notes, in the hands of Attorneys for collection, if any, and from whom returns have not been received
The quantity of timber cut last year on the Public Lands, by trespassers, cannot be ascertained, though much labor and pains have been taken to do so. The timber is cut and hewed in the autumn and winter, in the woods, at the stump, and on the first light snows, is drawn together in lots, or yarded, as it is termed, when at a distance from the streams, and when the snow becomes deep, is drawn to the banks of the streams and browed. The trespass operation having been early arrested, the timber was left scattered in the woods or in the yards, and part on the banks of the streams. That on the Aroostook, above the boom, not on its banks, is still in the woods. Part of that on the banks of the tributary streams was turned in, much of which is still in the Little Madawaska, in a jamb at the the head of an Island; some is at the boom, and some has been sold. The timber was advertised for sale, and when sold the water was so low, but little could be floated down. Bonds were taken for what has passed the boom, to the amount of three thousand, five hundred and twentyfive dollars and thirty-two cents, being small lots sold to the settlers, who had not the money to advance, and the cash required of others to be paid before the timber passes, was not exacted. The quantity still above the boom, in the water and woods, cannot be less than ten thousand tons. A portion of the timber cut in that vicinity, was drawn across the line, into the Province, and some into the De Chute, and has been floated off. It is estimated that sixteen thousand tons have been cut in the whole, in the disputed territory, in the vicinity of the Aroostook the past year, before the posse expelled the trespassers. A part of that cut on letter F, by Benj. Smith, who had a permit on a neighboring tract, has been settled for. Some cut on No. 8, range 3, by a Mr. Upham, of the Province, who had, a permit on an adjoining township, from Massachusetts, has been settled for. Another trespass by Webster and Packard, of Houlton, on No. 10, range 3, who had a like permit on an adjoining township, is not yet settled for, but as they profess to have gone there by mistake, and promise payment, no suit has yet been commenced against them, from a good prospect of satisfactory adjustment. That in the St. John's, at the mouth of Fish River, is partly sold to some of the settlers, and bonds taken, and the residue bargained for, and waiting for security of the amount before it is permitted to be removed. That in the Fish River was also contracted for, but I have yet had no returns whether the required security has been furnished or not. All that was cut in Fish River was stopped. The party did not go to the St. John's in season, and had not the means of stopping but a few hundred tons. What the quantity cut above was, has not been ascertained, but it has nearly all been carried off-only a small quantity is left in the woods.
I have had no means of ascertaining the quantity of timber that was cut by trespassers on the disputed territory, north and east of the St. John's, below Fish River.
At Fish River, Capt. Rines, with a party of thirty-five men, is stationed, to guard the forests in that quarter from depredations. They are employed, when not exploring the woods, in strengthening and extending the boom in the St. John's, to secure any timber that may be attempted to be floated from above, and from the Fish River; in making a house for quarters, and defence against mobs of trespassers. I have also directed Capt. Rines, to employ spare hands in preparing some of the forest for a crop, so necessary for the comfort and support of the men, should it be necessary to keep them there the coming season.
At Fort Fairfield, Capt. Geo. W. Towle has the charge of about the same number of men, and are similarly employed, varying only according to circumstances.
Capt. Rines and Towle, I am confident, will keep their men profitably employed.
The expenses of the posse in protecting the Public Lands from depredation, and in opening the roads to sustain it, have been great, the exact amount of which, cannot be now ascertained. The report of Mr. Jarvis will show what portion of it has been expended in opening