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The Ontonagon And Brule River Road

The Ontonagon And Brule River Road image
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To the Editor uf the Ann Arlmr üemocrat : I have just read with much surprise your editorial under the head of "The Greatest Steal on Record," and caiinot desist from correcting the false impresion your valuable paper may uniulentionally spread before the commucity. In the flrst place you state that a "powerful lobby from Wisconsin, and an untold expeaditure of money, aidcd by free whiskey, have succeedud in pushiug through the house the Ontonagon land grant swindle." to the powerful lobby froui Wisconsin, it siinply consisted of two of the most reputable citizens of Milwaukee, which was offset by two land grabbers opposing the bilt. As for the untold expenditure of money, I will say that the most virulent eneiny of the bilí has never even inlimated in the house or out of it that oue singla dollar was spent by the friends of the bill in pushing it through, but to the contrary it is openTy aud publicly stated that the opponents moved heaven and earth to deteat this most worthy bill, by any mtaiit ivit liin their power, honorable or dishouorable, to carry their nefarious design into effect, even the running olí of the friends of the bill in buggies when the vote was about to be taken. The opponents of this bill had better keep out of the press and save an exposition of the most corruptly opposed bill of this session. You again make the charge of "land grant swindle." You evidently cannot understand the real inerits of the bill, or you would never give voice to such an untrue statement in your muoh esleemud paper. This grant was at the earncat eolicitation of the people of Oiitonagon, given by congress to the state, June 8d 1850, to build a railroad from üntonagon to the Wisconsin slate line. The people have never been able to induce capitalista to build the road until thiscompany , composed of some of the most worlhy citizens of the Saginaw Valley, began woik last fall, wheu, for the ftrüt time they discovered that the most valuable part of the grant was ïllegallyand surreptitiously taken possession of liy a party of wealthy pine and mineral speculators, hended by the notoriously corrupt Portage Lake Sínp Canal Companj ; and when they were caught in their infamous act with their ill-gotten gains in their hands, they rushed to congress and with their man "Friday," congressmau Stone, canie within an ace of forever snatchiug from Micliinan this valuable grant, and thereby eftectually üefeating the peoplu of isolated Onlonagon of their long-cherished hope, a railroad. Talk about swindle! It is this nfamous canal company and these Boston and Milwaukee pine and mineral speculators that have attempted the ;reatest swindle that was ever perpetrat;d on the people of the state of Michigan, ïiot one of these original land gharks de nies the f act that they knew that these lands were railroad lands ; and every one of :hem that slepped into the land office at Munjuette saw as soon as the books were opeued to them, and the flrst words that met their eyes were "'railroad lands," yet n the face of that fact, by corrupt means or otherwisc, they got a certifícate to purchase, and then hastened to Washington, and umler the notoriously corrupt ad in i nstration of Columbus Delano, came back with a patent in their pockets. These ands were wilhdrawn from maiket in 1857 and have never been in the inarket sincü ; cousequcutly the U. S. officials had no more legal right to patent these lands to private individuals than I have to give a deed of any ether man's farm in Washtenaw county. I say without fear of suc . cessful contradictiou. that there is uot a single innocent purchaner on the grant. The railroad company, sooner than have any trouble, offered to pay every dollar these parties paid the U. S. for the land, and every dollar paid for taxes, with inerest at seven per cent on both, from time of payment to date, if they would withdraw. But no, they are after their )lunder, and now let them get it, if they an. If sixty nine men out of ninetytwo, who voted for this bill, are lo be jointed out to remain at home the next lection for that uonest act, I would not je surprised if their places were fllled by more easily purchasable material. I for one feel proud of the part I took and the vote I gave for the bill . Very Truly Yours, JAMES S. GORMAN, Lansiug, June 3, 1881. An immense crowd is expected at VVhitmore Lake Sunday. The jolored people are to have a grand ubilee in tuis city August 1. The assault and battery case against )aniel Barry will be heard Saturday. The members of the Germán Odd fel - ows lodge of Toledo, will excursión to his city Tuesday, and have a picnic iu he turner's park. The pay of policeinen Millinan and 'orter last month was $93. The aniouut lae from the couuty for tirrcsts made, and which will De turned into the city exchequer is $74. It will thus be seim that all the pólice cost the city for the mouih of May was $18.


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Ann Arbor Democrat