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the purpose of the bill referred to is to effect the transfer and to enable the board of public instruction to erect a suitable building.
The matter of the conveyance of the Moat, as provided in the bill, was referred by the Committee on Military Affairs to the Secretary of War and by him to the Chief of Engineers, who, in reporting upon it to Lieutenant-General Chaffee, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, under date of February 13, 1904, said:
"I have the honor to submit herewith S. 3478, Fifty-eighth Congress, second session, a bill making provision for conveying in fee the piece or strip of ground in St. Augustine, Fla., known as the • Moat,' for school purposes, which was referred by the Senate Committee on Military Affairs to the Secretary of War with request for information relative to the measure.
“The bill was referred to Capt. Francis R. Shunk, Corps of Engineers, the officer in charge of engineering work in that locality, and a copy of his report thereon, dated the 6th instant, is inclosed.
"The Government land referred to in the bill as the “Moat' is known as the ‘Lines. It is a strip of land 121 feet wide extending from the Fort Marion Military Reservation to San Sebastian River, and it lies to the east as well as to the west of the city gates.
In early times “ The Lines" constituted a portion of the defensive system of the city of St. Augustine, being the site of a series of detached redoubts and a wet ditch or moat. At present the ditch is used for draining the western slope of the Fort Marion Reservation. The strip of land has no military value from a defensive point of view, and, so far as the public interests committed to the charge of the engineer department are concerned, the retention of the land by the Government is not a necessity, provided the drainage for the military reservation be not interfered with and that means of access to and egress from the reservation through said strip of land be maintained as at present existing.
The enactment into law of the bill in its present shape, however, would cause serious embarrassment to the city of St. Augustine, as the southern portion of “The Lines,” for a width of some 45 feet, as shown on a blueprint herewith from a map of a portion of St. Augustine, Fla., drawn under the direction of Capt. W. M. Black, Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army, in May, 1901, has been for many years—about a century, it is alleged-used as a public highway, which is known as Orange street; also, all intersecting streets between the Fort Marion Reservation and San Sebastian River depend entirely upon this portion of “The Lines" for an outlet on the north. Under date of May 23, 1891, the Secretary of War, upon the petition of the city council of the city of St. Augustine, granted permission for the paving of that portion of the Government land used and known as Orange street. In view of the facts herein set forth, it is thought that no rights or interest in the land comprised within “The Lines" which would interfere with its occupation and use by the city of St. Augustine as a public highway should be granted by the United States.
Again, it is understood that gas pipes and sewer pipes have been laid through this strip of Government land, under licenses given by the Secretary of War.
If, in view of the facts herein set forth, Congress should, nevertheless, deem it expedient to donate a portion of the Government land to the board of public in. struction of St. Johns County, Fla., it is recommended that the draft of a bill submitted by Captain Shunk, and herewith inclosed, be substituted for Senate bill 3478. The land as described in this amended form of bill is shown on the map accompanying Captain Shunk's report.
It is further recommended that before final action is taken in the matter by the Department the bill be referred to the commanding general of the Atlantic Division for his views regarding the measure.
The bill was accordingly referred to the commanding general, who indorsed the report of the Chief of Engineers as follows:
“ The objections to the conveyance of the 'Moat,' St. Augustine, Fla., as proposed by Senate bill 3478, Fifty-eighth Congress, second session, are fully set forth herein by the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, and the accompanying report of Capt. F. R. Shunk, Corps of Engineers.
" But I see no reason to object to the conveyance as proposed in the amended form of bill prepared by Captain Shunk, and recommend it as so prepared.”
Accordingly the amended form of bill as prepared by Captain Shunk was adopted by your committee, with one exception, viz, that the bill now intends to convey to the board of public instruction of St. John County that small portion of the “ Lines" west of Malaga street and lying between said street and the San Sebastian River.
Captain Shunk objected to this conveyance for the following reasons:
“ By act of Congress approved July 11, 1890, the Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Halifax Railway Company was granted a right of way across the 'Lines' for the construction, maintenance, and use thereon of one or more tracks or sidings as might be approved by the Secretary of War. · It was likewise provided in the act that the right of way should not exceed 100 feet in width and should be subject to any change, revocation, or removal, at the expense of the railway company, as might be prescribed by the Secretary of War. This railroad has been absorbed by the Florida East Coast Railway Company. From the terms of this act it would seem that the right of way would determine and cease should the reservation cease to be Government property. In this case the parties to whom the reservation was transferred might ask a high price for the land occupied by the railroad. It would seem proper, therefore, to except this land from the transfer. I would recommend the exception from transfer to the school board of all that portion of the reservation lying west of Malaga street."
Your committee did not accept this suggestion of Captain Shunk although in all other respects the bill is drawn in conformity with suggestions made by him. The exception in this respect was made upon the written consent of the vicepresident and general manager of the Florida East Coast Railway Company that the portion of the lines lying west of Malaga street be also conreyed to the board of public instruction of St. John County.
Your committee quote the following from a letter from Mr. J. R. Parrott, vice-president and general manager of the railroad, to Senator James P. Taliaferro under date of January 9, 1905 :
“I would suggest that instead of excepting that part of the Moat lying west of Malaga street, that the bill should be allowed to convey that portion to the school board, for we can, by an understanding with the school board, protect ourselves in this matter and save further consideration by the Government at a later time for our use and benefit."
The letter of Mr. Parrott referred to is submitted herewith as a part of this report.
Your committee therefore recommend that the bill as amended do pass, and that the title be amended to read as follows: "A bill making provision for conveying in fee the piece or strip in St. Augustine, Fla., known as “The Lines,' for school purposes.”
CONGRESS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. No.
GRANT OF LANDS TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA.
JANUARY 28, 1907.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
state of the Union and ordered to be printed.
Mr. McGUIRE, from the Committee on the Territories, submitted the
[To accompany H. R. 25013.)
The Committee on the Territories, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 25013) granting to the regents of the University of Oklahoma section No. 36, in township No. 9 north, of range No. 3 west of the Indian meridian, in Cleveland County, Okla., having had the same under consideration, report it back to the House with the recommendation that it do pass.
The proposed legislation was first presented in the form of H. R. 11589.
This bill (H. R. 11589) was referred to the honorable Secretary of the Interior, who, by letter under date of February 21, 1906, reported thereon and, inclosing letter of date February 17, 1906, from the honorable Commissioner of the General Land Office, suggested certain amendments to the bill, making the same conform to the local laws of the Territory of Oklahoma, and, to meet the suggestions of the honorable Secretary of the Interior, Mr. McGuire introduced into the House of Representatives a bill (H. R. 25013) granting to the regents of the University of Oklahoma section 36, in township No. 9 north, of range No. 3 west of the Indian meridian, in Cleveland County, Okla.
The Secretary of the Interior and the Commissioner of the General Land Office state that, with the amendments suggested by the Commissioner, no reason is known why the proposed legislation should not be enacted. It is believed that the bill (H. R. 25013) fully covers the suggestions of the Department.
Section 36 is a part of the lands reserved by the Congress to be granted to the State of Oklahoma for common school purposes. The University of the Territory of Oklahoma is a Territorial institution, corresponding to the State universities of the States. It has had a wonderful growth and development and much to do toward educating the youth of the State. It now has an enrollment in its various departments of something over five hundred, and is in every way for its age a very creditable institution of learning.
The section of land proposed to be granted to the university lies in close proximity to the institution, and similar grants have been made by the Congress to other institutions in the Territory.
Your committee believes that the grant of this section of land to this institution will be of more benefit to the educational interests of the State than to hold the same reserved for common school purposes, and therefore recommend the passage of H. R. 25013.
PENSIONS TO CERTAIN ENLISTED MEN, SOLDIERS, AND OFFICERS WHO SERVED IN THE CIVIL WAR AND THE WAR WITH MEXICO.
JANTABY 29, 1907.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
state of the Union and ordered to be printed.
Messrs. SULLOWAY and LOUDENSLAGER, from the Committee on Inva
lid Pensions and the Committee on Pensions, sitting as one committee, submitted the following
[To accompany S. 976.]
The Committee on Invalid Pensions and Committee on Pensions, sitting as one committee by authority of the House, having had under consideration the bill (S. 976) granting pensions to certain enlisted men, soldiers, and officers who served in the civil war and the war with Mexico, respectfully report as follows:
Said bill is accompanied by Senate Report No. 2210, first session, and from the same the following statement of facts is taken and made a part of this report:
Under the rules of the Pension Bureau the fact that the soldier has reached the age of 62 years is regarded as presumptive evidence that he is disabled onehalf in ability to perform manual labor. The effect of this rule is to insure to any soldier who has reached that age the sum of $6 per month, under the provisions of the act of June 27, 1890. It may be said, therefore, that we have in effect a general-service pension law, allowing $6 per month to all survivors of the civil war who have reached the age of 62 years.
The act of January 29, 1887, gave a service pension of $8 per month to soldiers of the war with Mexico who had reached the age of 62 years and had served sixty days, which amount was increased to $12 per month by act of January 5, 1893; and a bill recommending an increase to $20 per month is now on the Senate Calendar.
By act of date July 27, 1892, service pensions were granted to survivors of the Indian wars, known as the Black Hawk, Creek, Cherokee, and Seminole wars, at $8 per month. This act required but thirty days' service, and included such other officers and soldiers as may have been recommended by resolution of Congress for any specific service, although their term of service may have been less than thirty days.
It is the opinion of your committee that the time has arrived when the Government should consider more liberally the claims of those aged veterans, wbo, as the years advance, find themselves growing less able to earn their support. The great number of special pension bills constantly on the calendars of botb Houses of Congress, growing greater each year, is a constant reminder of this enfeebled condition of the older veterans of the civil war.
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