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Finances of Oregon

internal improvement grant after which the state started precipitantly in i860 was fully vested in the state after a period of some fourteen years.[1]

The Public Buildings Grant. As this grant to Oregon amounted to only ten sections (6,400 acres) it was not strange that it should have been overlooked for some time.[2] However, Governor Grover, during his first term, 1870 to 1874, made the securing of title by the state to all public lands granted 10 it the leading object of his administration and was able to report in 1874 concerning this grant that the lands had been selected during the last preceding biennium, the selections approved at the local land offices and were awaiting final approval by the Department of the Interior.[3]

The Salt Springs Grant. Oregon on its admission as a state became entitled to all the salt springs within its borders, "not exceeding twelve in number, with the six sections of land adjoining or as contiguous as may be to each. ... the same to be selected by the Governor thereof within one year after the admission of the state." No selection of these springs or lands was ever made. It was not, however, the fault of the first Governor, John Whiteaker. He made three successive applications to the Commissioner of the General Land Office for instructions in accordance with which the selections might be made. He was not enlightened.[4] Congress extended the time for selection for three years from December 17, 1860, and this period expired without selections having been made.

Governor Grover in 1874 claimed that there were "several salt springs of superior character and great future value already known," and thought others would be discovered. He requested that Congress be memorialized to extend again the time for selecting salt springs and contiguous lands. The

  1. Governor's Message, 1874, p. 10.
  2. Governor's Message, 1872, p. 10.
  3. Governor's Message, 1874, pp. 13-14.
  4. Governor's Message, 1862, p. 5.