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For the Establishment of a Land District.
To the Senate and Ilouse of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled : Your Memorialists, the Legislature of Colorado Territory, by leave would respectfully represent :
That the establishment of a Land District of Colorado Territory, and the location of a Land Office at the town of Del Norte, in the County of Conejos, of this Territory, would greatly promote the interests of the people of the Counties of Conejos, Costilla, Saguache, and the large mining district now being opened in the San Juan and La Plata Mountains, and that portion of territory lately acquired by purchase from the Ute Indians. The said counties and mining district, now contain a population of about twenty thousand inhabitants, whose occupation is farming and mining, and who are directly interested in the location of a Land Office at the town of Del Norte, for the pre-emption and entry of their respective land and mineral claims. Your Memorialists further represent :
That the Sangre de Christo Range of Mountains separates the inhabitants of the aforesaid counties, from the town of Pueblo, now the nearest Land Office, where the residents of said counties can enter their respective claims, and said range of mountains being impassable generally from the month of November to the month of May.
In evidence of these facts, and in view of the great injustice, expense, and delay, to permanent residents of these counties, by compelling them to travel two hundred and fifty miles, or more, to the said town of Pueblo, over a range of mountains impassable during a large period of each year, we, your Memorialists, beg leave to urge the object of this Memorial, and in duty bound will ever pray.
Resolved, That copies of this Memorial be forwarded by the the Secretary of this Territory to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the Ilouse of Representatives of the United States, in Congress assembled, and to our Delegate in Congress.
Approved February 10th, 1874.
To the Honorable, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled : Your memorialists, the Council and House of Representatives of Colorado Territory, most respectfully represent:
That the portion of Colorado lying easterly from the base of the Rocky Mountains, is arid, and generally incapable of cultivation, except by means of irrigation.
That the soils of this section are remarkable for their produc. tiveness, when subjected to irrigation.
That the water supply of its rivers and smaller streams is abundant to reclaim a very large portion of this region.
That a system of irrigation that will meet the wants of our Territory will be too expensive and costly for either individuals, private corporations, Territorial or State governments, to successfully construct.
That the present agriculture of this region is confined to the immediate valleys of the water courses, where irrigating canals are of easy construction, and comparatively inexpensive, and it will remain so confined to these narrow limits, unless some extensive system of irrigation can be established.
That for these reasons this great area of land will remain musold by the government for years to come, or perhaps forever, unless it can be made available to the agriculturist by irrigation.
That so remaining it will afford a comparatively safe refuge for depredating savages, and a “ Dead Sea," between the armies of civilization.
That the public domain outside of the arid region subject to the homestead and pre-emption laws, is comparatively exhausted, and the tides of immigration westward, annually increasing in volume, are unable to make available, under these beneficent laws, the millions of acres of rich lands embraced in this region, by reason of the aridity of the climate, and their financial inability to construct adequate irrigating canals.
That no interest is more important to the nation than the development of its mineral resources.
Thousands of gold and silver mines are now unworked for lack of water to drive machinery to crush the ore.
This can be sccured only by government aid. Reservoirs constructed near the sources of mountain streams will furnish the necessary supply, and the water, after driving the stamp-mills at the mives, will flow onward, to enrich and fertilize the arid plains we are now seeking to reclaim for cultivation.
The policy of the government has always been one of liberality toward internal improvements.
The last Congress appropriated over six millions of dollars for river and harbor improvements, for the States east of the Mississippi.
That the aid we ask is an absolute necessity to this Territory, and will contribute largely to the general prosperity of the whole nation.
That the control of the water supply of this Territory, and its distribution for irrigation, should forever remain in the hands of the people, through their representatives, and should in no case or degree, be surrendered to individuals, or corporations.
Therefore your memorialists would most respectfully pray that a law be enacted by your Honorable Body, embracing the following general provisions :
First—To grant to our Territory either the proceeds of the sales of the public lands lying within the limits of our Territory, or a direct cash appropriation, to be devoted to the construction of irrigating canals and reservoirs for the reclamation of said arid and waste lands.
Second--That the construction and maintenance of irrigating canals and reservoirs shall be under the exclusive contro and direction of the Territory, or State, as sole owner thereof under such laws, rules and regulations as the legislature thereof shall from time to time provide.
Third–That the Territorial or State legislatures shall have power to make all needful rules and regulations, and take al needful steps for the proper construction and maintenance of such canals.
Approved February 12th, 1874.
To the Honorable, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled : Your Memorialists, the Council and House of Representatives of Colorado Territory, would respectfully represent to your Honorable Bodies,the necessity of the establishment of a new postal route and postoffices, as follows: Commencing and running from Trinidad, in Las Animas County, Colorado, down the Purgatoire river, by the way of William Hornis' and W. T. Buras' ranches, to the head of Purgatoire Cañon, in said County of Las Animas, to the store of T. B. Collier, with postoffices at Wm. lIornis', W. T. Burns' and the said T. B. Collier.
Your Memorialists would represent that there is along said proposed route a large and prosperous population, with heavy settlements at each of the above mentioned points, aggregating at least two hundred (200) families, and most of them from the States, and the nearest postoffice at present at Trinidad, twenty-five (25) miles away. It ought to be apparent at once to your Honorable Bodies the trouble and hardship that this want of postal facilities occasions, and the establishment of said route and officers (offices], with weekly mail service, would greatly relieve and benefit them. We therefore beg leave to urge the object of this Memorial for your most favorable and early consideration.
Resolved, Therefore, that copies of this Memorial be for warded by the Secretary of the Territory to the presiding officers of the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, and to our Delegate in Congress.
Approved February 12th, 1874.
In relation to Irrigation
To the Senate und Ilouse of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled : Your Memorialists, the Council and lIouse of Representatives of Colorado Territory, would most respectfully represent to your IIonorable Bodies
First-That there are throughout this Territory, many tracts of rich land, belonging to the Government, worthless without irrigation, yet so situated that water cannot be procured without expenditures beyond the means of ordinary settlers, and that the improvement and settlement of such lands would be alike beneficial to the Territory and to the Government of the United States.
Second—That your Memorialists believe that such improvement and settlement can only be generally secured by a donation of a portion of the lands benefited to such persons, or companies, as will supply water for their irrigation.
Third-For the purpose of securing the reclamation of such lande, your Memorialists respectfully ask that a law be enacted, granting to such person, persons, or company, undersuch restrictions as may seem just and proper, alternate sections of the land that can be irrigated by any ditch, or canal hereafter constructed, to the extent of six miles in width along the line of such ditch, or canal; that such ditch or canal to entitle it to receive a donation of land as aforesaid should be not less than ten miles in length, ten feet in width on the bottom, and three feet deep, with a fall of not less than one foot to the mile, and should be taken out from a stream affording sufficient water, over and above that previously appropriated, to fill such ditch, or canal, during the season in which water is required for irrigating purposes all of which should be fully proven, or properly certified, by some competent officer before title shall be given for the land granted. Provided, That this Memorial shall only apply to Southern Colorado, embracing the Counties of El Paso, Fremont, Pueblo, Bent, Iluerfano, Las Animas, Costilla, Conejos, Saguache, Rio Grande, Ilinsdale and La Plata.
Approved February 6th, 1874.
For additional daily mail from Denver to Golden City, Black Hawk,
and Central City, Colorado, and return. To the Honorable the Postmaster General of the United States : Your memorialists, the Council and House of Representatives of Colorado Territory, would respectfully represent: