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bad been neglected by the preceding administration in the hurry and shurry of skinning out the files, selecting cases, easiest adjudicated before the Democratic administration came in.
This in brief is the Democaatic record, upon which it is proposed to appeal to the duty soldier, who fought the battles of his country, has a record to be proud of, and courts investigation, that it might go down to future generations of his countrymen that he was a REAL soldier.
Fraudulent pensioners can be relied upon to support the party that would shield them from investigation and exposure, and above all from the danger of losing the gains of their perfidy.
It is believed that the time has come when the real soldiers and taxpayers of the land will sustain the men whose courage and honesty impelled them to the patriotic effort to save the pension roll from dishonor and the taxpayer from pillage.
Through the wise statesmanship and patriotic exertion of different Democratic administrations the territory of the United States was extended froni the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean and made three times as large as it was at the organization of the Government. It wisely husbanded the public lands for homestead settlement and encouraged the use of it in this way. It regarded the public lands for homestead settlement as one of the greatest heritages of the people. The public is sufficiently familiar with this fact to make the quotation of statutes unnecessary.
But when the Republican party got control of the Government it reverse 1 this policy and gave away about 200,000,000 acres to railroad and other corporations. With the facts of these transactions, the public are also sufficiently posted as to make it unnecessary to give the statutes. by which the donations were made.
Many of the lands were not earned according to contract, and therefore forfeited to the Government. The reclamation of these lands has been il constant care of every Democratic Congress and administration. They succeeded in reclaiming a very large per cent of them and restoring them to the use of homestead settlement. The following letter from the chief of the General Land Office shows that the work of that office is well in hand and up to date:
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, GENERAL LAND OFFICE,
WASHINGTON, D. C., August 27, 1896. “Hon. HOKE SMITH,
“Secretary of the Interior: "Sir: The administration of the General Land Office since March, 1893, considering the force engaged and the amount of work accomplished as compared with previous administrations, is without a rival.
“The previous administration under the liberal construction given to the act of March 3, 1891, under which it was held that a large number of entries then pending before the office were confirmed, enabled the office to reduce the amount of work then pending so far that a reduction of sixtyeight of the force then engaged was made, which took effect July 1, 1893. Notwithstanding the office since that date has worked with a reduced force, the amount of work accomplished in nearly all, if not all, the divisions has been much greater and the work has been so far reduced that the office is now so far up with the work in every division that it is practically current.
"The following statement of the work of some of the principal divisions will illustrate:
“At the beginning of this administration there were pending in the preemption division more than five thousand unadjudicated final proofs in preemption, timber-culture, and desert-land claims, about five hundred contest cases involving pre-emption and townsite claims, besides a considerable amount of miscellaneous matters, such as correspondence, ex parte appeals, etc. There were also pending at the time in the Private Land Claims Division which was abolished July 1, 1895, and the work transferred to the preemption division more than four thousand private land claims which had not been patented, besides a large number of Indian allotments awaiting issue of patent. The pre-emption division has not only disposed of the current work as it came into the office, but it is now practically up to date in all classes of work, except private land claims, and a large number of patents have been issued during the past year on such claims.
“In the division charged with the adjustment of grants to aid in the construction of railroads and the decision of cases involving questions as to the respective rights of the railroad companies and settlers on lands within railroad limits, the work has been efficient and expeditious. I submit the following summary of the work of that division between March 4, 1893, and August 26, 1896:
DOCKET CASES. Pending March 4, 1893, not acted on........
2,560 Received and docketed since that date.....
Decided by the division.....
Balance undecided .............
Involving Railroad Questions.
Balance unanswered July 1, 1896. ........
.. 45 "The first grants to aid in the construction of railroads were made by tle act of September 20, 1850, for the Illinois Central and Mobile and Ohio River Railroads, and the last grants for such purposes by acts of March 3, 1871, on which dates grants for several roads were made.
"Prior to March 3, 1893, there had been certified and patented under these grants 58,161,894.06 acres of land, and since that date there have been ces tified and patented thereunder 24,000,734.17, which, with something ove 990,000 acres examined and submitted for approval and now pending before the Department, will make in round numbers twenty-five million acres
“In addition to this a number of these grants have been adjusted and nu merous suits for the recovery of erroneously certified and patented lani recommended and instituted.
“These grants have been estimated to embrace 197,203,807.97 acres of land, and in addition to the 83,000,000 patented, there are pending selections and listings under railroad and wagon-road grants, not acted on, corvering 14,415,816.82 acres of land.
“In so far as the docket cases, entries, and applications are concerned, the work of the division is practically on a current basis, but the adjustment of the grants remaining unadjudicated will require considerable time.
"At the commencement of this administration there were pending in the mineral division upwards of 2,500 mineral entries; at present but 694 cases are pending, and these are being acted upon as rapidly as the claimants take the necessary steps under the rules providing for the adjudication of such cases. The permanent records have been written up since the discontinuance in 1889 to about August, 1895.
"Since March, 1893, the office has issued 140,826 agricultural patents, approximating 22,532,160 acres of land, and the work of the patent division is up to date.
“In the drafting division also the work has been rapidly and economically accomplished. During the four years prior to June 30, 1893, the total compensation of the force engaged in this division was $21,200 per annum. During the four years of my predecessor's incumbency, the office issued annually fifteen State and Territorial maps, besides the General Land Office map of the United States, making an average of three and three-quarter maps per year. For the past three years the total compensation of this division has been $14,000 per annum, showing a reduction of $7,200 in the cost of maintaining the division, and during that time there have been issued sixteen State and Territorial maps, besides the United States map, making an average of five and one-third inaps per year. The rate of increase of the work performed by this division, with reference to miscellaneous work, such as copies of maps and diagrams for official as well as public use, tracings of township plats, etc., will bear the same ratio as that having reference to State and Territorial maps.
"Prior to this administration and before the system was adopted of issuing the several State maps with a constant scale of twelve miles to one inch, it was necessary only to add accumulated topographical data to the then existing tracings of the various States and Territories. Since the inauguration of the above-mentioned reform it has been found necessary with reference to the majority of the State and Territorial maps issued during the past three years to recompile such maps, such recompilation necessitating much more time than was required by the former prevailing methods.
“During the present administration new and important features have been added to the General Land Office map of the United States, its scale has been enlarged, and the price thereof has been reduced one-half.
"I will not go into a detailed report of all the divisions of the office, as they bear about the same relation as those above referred to; especially is this so with reference to the surveying division. Surveying contracts are now let and the work thereunder performed during the same year, while heretofore from two to five years were required to complete a contract and have the same approved.
"It is with great pleasure that I submit for your consideration the work accomplished by the General Land Office during the time you have so ably presided over the Department, and while it is natural that I point with pride to it, it is with equal sincerity that I acknowledge that I have been en. abled to perform this work througn the wise supervision which you have exercised over this bureau and the generous encouragement and support that you have always given it.
“With great respect, I remain,
"Yours most obediently,
“S. W. LAMOREUX,