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The glory of a State is derived from the nature of its lands and the spirit of its men. If a country abounds with sublime and beautiful scenes: for this cause alone, it becomes famous among poets and travellers for pleasure, like Switzerland. If it abounds with gold, it inflames the imagination, and attracts crowds of speculators, like California. If it abounds with lovers of art, it is then invested with a refined halo, like Italy. If it abounds with useful metals, and with men who know how to turn those metals into use, it not only gains a brilliant glory of substantial civilization, but wins the honors of art and of gold from other lands, like England.
The State of Missouri possesses the materials of internal wealth, which are the great bases on which the splendor of the prosperity of England is established. Mountains of mineral, and vallies of fertility, adorn the central State of the Union. Beauty and sublimity of scene, soils and mines of wealth, every inanimate material of art are hers. But has she the spirit in her men to appreciate and display the power and the glory she is capable of attaining? Time will tell.
We have heretofore invoked this spirit of her people, and a moderate manifestation of its presence was exhibited.
On the 24th of February, 1853, the Legislature of Missouri made "An act to provide for a geological and mineralogical survey of the State," directing the Governor to appoint a suitable and competent person, State Geologist, and authorizing the Geologist, by and with the consent of the Governor, to appoint four skillful assistants, and any necessary subordinates, and requiring them to discover and examine all beds or deposits of ore, coal, marls, and such other mineral substances and mineral waters as may be useful or valuable, and to perform such other duties pertaining to the survey, as to make it full and complete. Elaborate examinations, assays and analyses, with reports thereon; an annual report of progress, with maps, drawings and specimens; and a final memoir or the whole survey are required to be made. Three complete cabinet collections of specimens of the geology and mineralogy of the State are provided for, one to be given to the State University, one kept in the State Capitol, and one presented to the City of St. Louis, for the purpose of public inspection. Twenty thousand dollars are appropriated for the purpose of carrying the provisions of the act into effect: amount of salaries, cost of chemical apparatus and other out-fit included. A wise provision is added, which, though a temporary annoyance to private speculators, will result in the most permanent and entire satisfaction to the masses of the people throughout the whole State. This provision obligates the chief Geologist and his principal assistants under oath "to abstain from all pecuniary speculations for themselves or others in the objects of their survey during its progress."
This act of the Legislature shows that the spirit of the people ia beginning to stir itself, in behalf of civil progress, and that the representatives of the people are being actuated with motives higher and nobler than those of mere petty, political intrigues—that they are moved with liberal feelings, and guided by enlightened views of a statesman-like public policy.
One year and a month has passed since the passage of the law. In the meantime Prof. G. C. Swallow, of the State University, was appointed State Geologist; and he with his four principal assistants and necessary subordinates, have been engaged fulfilling the provisions of the law. Surveys have been made in the Northwestern, the Southeastern and Southwestern portions, and Prof. Swallow is now out making surveys in the Northeastern quarter of the State. It is fair to presume that large quantities and great varieties of ores, soils, and other valuable substances have been collected from the four quarters of the State; and that the laboratory is busy working out the secrets of the nature of the lands. In regard to the facts of the number, variety and source of specimens, and the result of their analyses: an apparently religious silence is observed by the corps, under a strict construction of their oath; and thus while they are maintaining a barrier against private speculation, and preserving their discoveries of the untold wealth of the State for the public good, the detail of facts and results gained by the corps, over which such a lively civil as well pecuniary interest is suspended, cannot be made known until disclosed to the Legislature.
While thi? survey is progressing under this law, it is well to consider what additional arrangements should be made to prosecute this work with a force, in a style and to an extent, iar beyond that now provided for. Although the Legislature of Missouri, after deliberating on the reports of the State Geologist, to be laid before them next winter, may determine to appropriate additional State funds for a more minute survey than could possibly be made under the present law; and although such a policy might display a liberal and patriotic spirit, yet this is not the only, neither is it the best policy to be pursued.
The State of Missouri has claims on the government of the United States, large claims, founded on principles of equity and good conscience, justified by precedents set by Congress, and capable of being firmly substantiated by sound reasons. These claims are ia behalf of the geological survey of Missouri.
Immense sums of money have been appropriated by the General Government in behalf of the Survey of the Coast, of the Lakes, and of the Atlantic and Pacific ocean; and a respectable fund was lavished on the Dead Sea, while the center of the Union was suffering for aid to begin its own survey. Should not the center of the country receive from Congress equal regard with any one portion of its extremity? — equal regard with any portion of Asia? Is it not equitable to be just before being generous? Is it not according to good conscience to take as much care of the heart as of the outside of the Union?
On the question of a geological survey of a State, Congress has set precedents. The report of the Geological Survey of Wisconsin, Iowa nnd Minnesota, by David Dale Owen, U. S. Geologist, dated 20th October, 1851, published in an elegant and costly style, and with its elaborate maps, drawings and hundreds of illustrations, is one of the results of a liberal appropriation made by Congress for this object. This expensive printed report, issuing from the press "by Authority Of Congress," has been spread throughout the United States, and has found its way in various foreign lands, and thereby another and more glorious result has occurred to Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota, flowing from this munificent act of the General Government. Their population, labor, capital and prosperity have increased with a rapidity which excites the wonder and astonishment and even confounds the power of calculation of causes of those who do not consider the effect of this authorative record evidence of tho beautiful scenes and vast resources of the land where the rivers of North America arise.
We are far from finding fault with the policy pursued by the General Government, in making appropriations from an overflowing treasury to discover and display the scenes and resources of the country, for we consider it one of the surest and most effective means of stimulating the industry, enterprise and independence of the people—of printing the beautiful and useful impressions of their country on their minds—of filling their hearts with a glow of love, of admiration and of reverence, for their benevolent Government.
We approve of the precedents, and advocate the continuance of this policy in behalf of every portion of the Union, and furthermore we declare, and hope to maintain our declaration by sound reasons, that the General Government should grant a quantity of land, equal to one township in each land district of the States containing public lands, to each of said States, for the purpose, first of making a minute, accurate and complete geological survey of the State, and second, for the perpetual endowment of a Farming and Mining College, in each one of such States.
The claims of the State of Missouri to such a grant are strong; and we will here present some of the reasons on which they are founded.
On an examination of the report of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, dated 30th November, 1853, it is shown that the "Total unsold and unappropriated of offered and unoffered lands on the 30th of June, 1853, belonging to the United States, within the State of Missouri, was 22,722,801.41 acres." At the rate of $1,25 per acre, this quantity of land amounts to $28,403,501.
An equivalent to one township in each land district in Missouri, there being eight districts in the State, amounts to only 184,820 acres, and at the rate of $1.25 per acre, this quantity of land amounts to only $230,400, which leaves to the United States 22,588,481 acres, amounting in value, at the minimum Government price, to $28,173,100, making scarcely a perceptible deduction. from the quantity and value of Government lands in Missouri. Scarcely a perceptible deduction from the value, did we say! The value of the remainder will be increased far beyond that of the quantity granted. The Government will make money by the operation. The State of Missouri, as above shown, has already appropriated $20,000 for the purpose, and is prosecuting the work of this survey, which will enhance the value of the lands of the United States more than those of the people; as the lands which are settled are better known than those which are wild.
The settlement of the country by the pioneers, enhanced the value of Government lands by their improvements. For this service the people of Missouri should receive satisfaction. The grant claimed is less than the value of this civil service. The military is required to be subordinate to the civil authority. Then, why should civil service in subduing the wilderness, go unrewarded, while the military is not only paid, but also receives land warrants as a bounty? Why should the Public Domain* be given away like a vast inheritance, often is to spendthrift children, when a portion of it may be wisely appropriated for their perpetual prosperity? Why should the cause of intellectual education receive endowments from the Government, and the cause of material education for useful, farming and mining purposes be suffered to languish in want and ignorance'! The farmers and the miners want colleges for the study of their profession in life, as well as the lawyers and doctors. "Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts are the basis of civilization." This basis should be well founded in order to sustain the most perfect superstructure of Civil Government.
The Department of Manufactures so vital to the prosperity and independence of a country, would be quickly built up from the elements collected in the geological survey, and would be brightened by the prosperity of the farmers and miners.
The prosperity of each individual State adds luster to the general splendor of the Union. The prosperity of Missouri may relieve the United States from its present material dependence on England, especially for railroad iron which has now beoome an item of great national interest. The Geologioal Survey will hasten that glorious event. And although iron is a prominent and vast article in the wealth of Missouri, yet the coal, lead, cobalt, copper, nickle, manganese, emery, zinc, granite, porphyry, marble, alum earth, pipe and pottery clays, kaolin and glass sand, together