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2d Session.

No. 1.


[To accompany bill H. R. No. 547.]

DECEMBER 13, 1854.

Mr. LATHAM, from the Committee on Public Lands, made the following

REPORT, The Committee on Public Lands, to whom was referred a bill to continue in

furce, for a limited time, the provisions of the act of Congress of 3d March, 1851, and the 2d section of its supplement of 18th January, 1854, so as to enable the board of land commissioners in California to close their adjudicutions of private land titles in that Stute, and for other purposes, hure

harc had the same under consideration, and respectfully beg leave to present the following facts for the consideration of the House :

The above bill contains two provisions : First, to continue the California Land Commission for one year from the 4th March, 1855; and next, to allow the United States district attorney for the northern district an assistant counsel, at a salary of $3,600 per annum, and two clerks at a salary of $1,800 per annum each, for the period of one year from the time of their several appointments. The assistant counsel and said two clerks to co-operate with the United States attorney in guarding and protecting the government's interests in the prosecution of the land cases on appeal from the land commissioners to the United States district court.

To a proper understanding of this bill, we propose first to give a brief history of this California land commission, in order that the House may properly understand the difficulties with which it has had to contend, and how much time, since its organization, has been lost by the disability of its inembers from vacancies, resignations, sickness, &c.

The act organizing the California land commission, and which this bill proposes to extend by its first section, passed Congress March 3, 1851.

“On the 27th of May, in that year, President Fillmore appointed Harry I. Thornton, of Alabama, one of the commissioners, and Mr. T. took the oath of office on the 11th of September. James Wilson, of New Hampshire, was appointed a commissioner on the 16th of June, and took the oath of office on the 25th of October; and the remaining place was filled on the 5th of September, by the appointment of Hiland Hall, of Vermont, who took the oath of office on the 8th of the same month. On the 16th of September J. B. Carr was appointed secretary,

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