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LAND OFFICE, Dec. 31, 1845. To the Governor and Executive Council:
HEREWITH I have the honor to lay before you an account of the land department for the past year.
I have sold of the lands held by the state of Maine in severalty, forty nine thousand seven hundred and ten acres, for $25,041 64, a schedule of which is herereunto annexed, marked A.
One fourth part of the purchase money has, in all cases, been received ; and in some instances, where small lots have been sold, they have been fully paid for.
It will be perceived by reference to the schedule, that no whole township has been sold, but detached parcels, not reckoned among the most valuable lands.
Of lands once sold and reverted to the state, I have sold ten thousand nine hundred and seven acres, for $4,798 96, as per schedule marked B.
of the lands held in common with Massachusetts, I have sold twenty one thousand five hundred and fifty eight and a half acres, amounting to $23,767 88, agreeably to schedule marked C.
The lands set off by the commissioners, to settlers upon the undivided lands on the St. John river, have been conveyed by the agents of Maine and Massachusetts jointly, and the deeds, after being recorded in the land offices of both states, have been delivered, through the agency of Gen. Webber, to the respective claimants.
In June 1843, I sold to Hiram Hall, Esq., lot number three, in township letter H, range 2, containing 157 acres, for one dollar an acre. Alexander Cochran occupied at the time, two lots adjoining said lot No. 3, and had for some years resided thereon. He had, unknown to me, cut a few trees on said lot No. 3, before the lines of the lots were run, but I never heard of his making any claim to it before the summer of 1844.
It does not appear to have been understood by the commissioners, that this lot had been sold, and as Cochran was an ancient settler, they set this off to him with the two lots which he occupied. The joint commission expired before the report of the commissioners was made in this state; and it was too late for them to make any alteration.
I have endeavored to get some proposition from Cochran for an adjustment of the difficulty and release of his claim, but without success. Hall has some ten or twelve acres nearly cleared on said lot, intended for crops next season. Cochran has threatened to use violence, if Hall attempts to occupy it further.
Under the circumstances, I suggest that some person might be appointed to settle the difficulty, by purchasing the claim of the one or the other. At the time this lot was sold, there was no road within ten miles of it, and but one family besides Cochran's, in the township. A road was opened in the summer and autumn of the same year, to and through this township and upon the line of this lot. There has also been built on an adjoining lot, an excellent saw and grist mill, which has very much enhanced the value of this lot.
It is very desirable that the question of title should be settled, that some one put the land in crop, without molestation.
It is the only difficulty which has occurred of the kind, in the settlement of the claims by the commissioners.
There has been expended on the military road, under the superintendence of John Rollins, Esq., $930 23. On the Moosehead Lake road, under the superintendence of Philip S. Lowell, Esq., $500. On the Houlton and Baring road, under the superintendence of David Dow, Esq., $300. On the Aroostook road, under the superintendence of John Rollins and Ira Fish, $455 82, one half of wbich last sum, has been paid by Massachusetts.
By a resolve of Feb. 12, 1844, I was authorized to expend $3,000 in improving the eastern Aroostook road, provided Massachusetts should expend an equal amount. Massachusetts authorized her agent to expend $1,500 when in funds. The work was delayed for want of agreement between the agents, until last January, when a contract was made with Reuben Whittier, Jr., of Palermo, to build a bridge across the Little Madawaska river-open 12 miles of road between the Little Madawaska and the St. John river, by cutting it three rods wide, and grubbing and leveling twenty feet. The bridge has been built, the road opened, and about six hundred rods of causeway built. Mr. Whittier's accounts are not settled, but the expense will be about $3,800, chargeable to both states.
One thousand dollars, chargeable one half to Maine and one half to Massachusetts, have been expended on the road leading from the Presque Isle of the Aroostuok, to No. 11, range 5.
This is a very important thoroughfare, and our legislature authorized a much more generous expenditure, but Massachusetts would not consent to a larger expenditure. With this however, we were enabled to causeway such parts of the road as were before impassable.
The lumbering operations of the past year have terminated generally very successfully, and arrangements were early made for extensive operations the ensuing year ; but the extravagant prices of stumpage, on the St. John waters, and subsequent rise of those articles which are largely consumed by lumbermen, will considerably lessen the operations in that quarter; and the receipts on account of timber will probably be considerably less the ensuing year, than they have been the past.
I have formerly urged the importance of a liberal expenditure upon the main roads leading through the public lands in the county of Aroostook. It is unnecessary for me to repeat the reasons heretofore urged in favor of the policy. The public lands north of the monument line, extend from north to south, about one hundred miles, and from east to west, about the same distance.
A large portion of this territory is more easy of access from the province of New Brunswick, thau from the settled parts of Maine; and it cannot be doubted that the interest of the state will be promoted by a liberal and judicious expenditure of money on the great leading roads.
A survey of undivided lands in the north part of the state, bas been made during the past summer and autumn. It was commenced at the north west corner of township numbered 15, in the 7th range, from which a line was extended west to the boundary line ; and all of the territory north of said line surveyed into twenty one townships. Seven townships south of said line extending up the river St. John, have been partially surveyed, leaving about seventy townships of the undivided lands unsurveyed. The season has been very unfavorable for surveying in consequence of the frequent and long continued rains through the summer and autumn; yet it is believed that the expenses have not exceeded that of foriner surveys in more favorable seasons. I recommend (if Massachusetts concur) a continuance of the survey next season.
The new boundary line crosses some of the townships surveyed on the head branches of the Penobscot, Moose and Dead rivers, leaving parts of them in the province of Lower Canada. I recommend that such of these townships as belong to Maine, be resurveyed, and the quantity remaining to us, determined.
I have paid into the treasury, during the year, $155,048 03, and there remains a balance in my hand, of $3,042 60.
LEVI BRADLEY, Land Agent.
Dr. STATE OF MAINE, in account with LEVI BRADLEY, Land
Agent for the Year ending December 31, 1845. For amount paid for postage,
See sheet No. 1. For amount paid for Office rent at Bangor,
See sheet No. 2. For amount paid for Bills of Cost,
See sheet No. 3. For amount paid for incidental expenses,
See sheet No.4. For amount paid Assistant Land Agent,
1,000 00 See sheet No. 5.
1,567 13 For amount paid for surveying timber on the public lands,
See sheet No. 6.
See sheet No. 7.
3,638 04 For amount endorsed on notes given for settling
lands, having been received in labor opening and
2,944 46 For half amount expended on the Aroostook Road, per Resolve approved
See sheet No. 10.
took Road, per Resolve approved February 12,
See sheet No. 11. For amount expended on the Military Road, per Re
solve approved April 4, 1845, and Act approved March 22, 1844,
930 23 See sheet No. 12.
1,200 33 For amount paid " Commissioners to locate grants,
and determine the extent of possessory claims under the late treaty with Great Britain, per Resolve approved February 21, 1843,
4,041 46 See sheet No. 13.
4,041 46 For amount paid into the Treasury on account of
the permanent School Fund, under the provisions of the Act of February 23, 1828,
21,088 70 For other money paid into the Treasury,
133,959 33 See sheet No. 14.
155,048 03 For amount of notes given up per Resolve approved March 17, 1845,
121 00 For amount 'allowed and abated on J. G. Folsom's
note, being for timber cut on his land in 1842, which was erroneously credited to timber,
For amount of cash expended on the Madaceunk]