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STATE OF MAINE.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, June 22, 1846. Ordered, That 350 copies of the foregoing Bill, reported from the committee on Interior Waters, be printed for the use of the Legislature.
SAMUEL BELCHER, Clerk.
STATE OF MAINE.
LAND OFFICE, June 18, 1846. To the Speaker of the House of Representatives :
In compliance with an order of the House of Representatives, dated yesterday, I have made a hasty examination of the books of this office and of the public documents relating to the subject of inquiry, and submit the following statements.
During the last ten years, the State of Maine has expended in making and repairing roads, $81,455 36, as follows, viz:Military road between Lincoln and Houlton,
14,108 73 Canada road between the N. line of Bingham's Kennebec purchase and Canada line,
3,200 00 Road leading from Blanchard to Moosehead Lake,
500 00 Road leading from Wilson to Moosehead Lake, 1,650 00 Road leading from the N. W. bay of Moosehead Lake to the Canada road,
3,556 63 Road leading from Houlton to township G, R. 2, on the Aroostook river,
845 83 Road leading from G, R. 2, to the Madawaska settlement on the St. John river,
4,997 60 Aroostook road leading from the military road to township No. 11, R. 5, on the Aroostook river,
44,662 92 Fish River road leading from No. 11, R. 5, to Fort Kent on the St. John river,
Wm. T. Jobnson, Printer to the State.
Machias road leading from No. 11, R. 5, to township
500 00 Houlton and Barring Road,
2,700 00 I cannot state definitely what amount Massachusetts has expended, but find satisfactory evidence that she has expended during the same time, $58,950 80.
The State of Maine owns thirty-six townships and parts of seven other townships of the divided lands. How much of the divided lands is now held by Massachusetts, I am unable to state, but she has probably about half as much as Maine.
Of the undivided lands, there are fifty two townships and six parts of townships, unsold; and the unsurveyed territory is estimated to be equal to about seventy townships of six miles square, or about one million, six hundred thousand acres.
The receipts for timber, for the ten years past have been, by the State of Maine, $348,740 57.
The amount received by Massachusetts not known.
The order directs me to give the value of the lands. In regard to the larger portions of the land, it has not been so thoroughly examined as to enable me to forin an opinion of its value, and a mere speculative opinion would be neither satisfactory nor useful to the Legislature. I hope therefore, that I may be excused from the expression of any opinion at present, on this subject.
The question proposed in regard to the policy of Massachusetts, is one of difficult solution. She undoubtedly regards her lands in Maine, merely as a source of revenue, and by the articles of separation, she has secured to herself the protection of her property, without its being subject to taxation. Our courts are open to her, as well as the courts of the United States within our State. Her property enjoys the benefit of government and we look in vain for any provision enabling us to call on her to contribute any portion of the expenses of the government that protects it. It is easy to come to the conclusion that we made a very poor bargain, but not easy to devise a remedy.
It is presumed that the Legislature of Massachusetts know little of the situation of that part of Maine, where their lands are situated, nor of the effect of holding large tracts of land which contribute nothing towards public improvement. Looking upon those lands merely as a source of revenue, she has contributed to the making of such roads as would most clearly enhance the value of her lands and timber; and she has been benefited without doubt, already in her lands and timber sold, to a large amount beyond her expenditures.
The Agent of Massachusetts has recently directed the expenditure of fifteen hundred dollars on roads over the public lands in Aroostook county, provided this State expends an equal suin, and declines doing any more this year, not because a larger expenditure would not be profitable, but because of the difficulty in making a Massachusetts Legislature understand that an expenditure of money here, will increase her resources.
Whatever may appear to us objectionable in the policy of Massachusetts, seems naturally to have grown out of the different relations of the two parties to the lands in question, and I know of no remedy unless Massachusetts will consent to make a new contract.
LEVI BRADLEY, Land Agent.