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Session Laws, 1840
Volume 592, Page 377   View pdf image
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No. 2.

Passed Mar. 9

Report and Resolutions in relation to the Public Lands.

The committee to whom so much of the Governor's mes-
sage, as relates to the Public Lands, was referred, beg
leave to report:
That in ignorance of any constitutional rule, imposing
upon His Excellency the duty of forestalling legislative
action, upon a claim of infinite importance to the State we
represent, by denying, in his executive capacity, the jus-
tice of such claim, and impairing the power with which it
might be prosecuted, by division between two departments
of the State Government, we confess the surprise with
which we listened to his communication, so far as relates
to the subject committed to us.
We should have supposed that in our present exigencies,
His Excellency might have permitted that department of
the State to which its financial interests are entrusted, to
act upon any subject connected with those interests, unob-
structed by volunteer opposition from the executive, even
if we were forbid to rely upon its efficient aid. This sup-
position has been delusive; Maryland, in the assertion of
claims, memorized by the circumstances attending their
origin, has not merely, it seems, to contend with those,
whom local and sectional feelings move to opposition, but
from the high place of authority where she has in her con-
fidence reposed the protection, in part, of her interests,
she is doomed to hear the voice of denial of their justice,
and a denunciation of their prosecution.
The peculiar condition in which, from these circumstan-
ces, your committee has been placed, renders it necessary
that in justice to the character of our good old State, and
to relieve ourselves from the reproach of an unjust aim, we
should enter upon a more detailed history of the public
lands than would have been otherwise necessary.

Between the period of Cabot's discovery and the strug-

gle with Great Britain, which terminated in her recogni-
tion of the independence of the United States, the whole
territory now comprised within their limits, north of the
Florida's and east of the Mississippi, was ceiled, at differ-
ent periods, by the Crown of Great Britain, to companies
and individuals adventuring a discovery, and settlements of
the lands.
The grants thus made, were in several instances resumed
by the Crown, and made the subjects of the creation of

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Session Laws, 1840
Volume 592, Page 377   View pdf image
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