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Page:Quarterlyoforego10oreg 1.djvu/410

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F. G. Young

were to be found among the river bottom lands along the Willamette and its tributaries and in the foothills and that they were being despoiled of their timber and the trespassing was resistless.[1] The board of commissioners for the sale of school and university lands say in 1868 as to the university lands that "there appears on the record to have been selected and approved 7,494.35 acres (an excess of 1,414.35 acres.")[2] Governor Grover, however, in his biennial message of 1872 makes the astounding statement "Efforts at locating these lands began as early as 1853, but owing to irregularities of the work, and misapprehension of its conditions, the locations remained totally unrecognized by the United States, and consequently open for pre-emption or homestead settlement. From these facts, many of the lands first selected under this grant have been lost to the state, and others of necessarily a poorer quality, had to be located to fill the grant."[3]

Of the selection of its university land, then, it must be said that the territorial authorities in the first instance were not dilatory, but having secured an inchoate title to the lands, they suffered them to be despoiled and in part taken from the state's possession so that lands of a poorer quality had to substituted.

The Agricultural College Lands. Through the conditions of the Morrill Act of July 2, 1862, Oregon became entitled to 90,000 acres for the support of an agricultural college. The selection of these lands under the act of the Legislature of October 15, 1862, providing generally for the selection of state lands, devolved upon the Governor of the state. Two years later in reporting progress with this matter Governor Gibbs in----

  1. University Land Commissioner's Report, 1858.
  2. Report Commissioners for Sale School and University Lands, 1868, pp. 40-41.
  3. Governor's Message, 1872, pp. 10-11.
    A feature of the original grant for university purposes in addition to the two townships was the "Oregon City Claim." This involved cruel injustice to Dr. John McLoughlin, to whom the land of right belonged. Naturally there was resistance to the State in taking possession. The tract comprised the site of Oregon City. After selling a few lots, the State made over its rights to the heirs of Dr. McLoughlin in 1862 for $1000.—General Laws, 1862, p. 90.