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The Wisconsin lumberman, devoted to the lumbering interests of the northwest
Volume III. Number 6 (March, 1875)

Alaska timber. Ship building on the Pacific Coast--memorial of San Francisco capitalists to Congress for an extensive rent of timber lands,   pp. 518-519 PDF (659.2 KB)

Page 518

2 he Wisconsin Lumberman.
Senator flager of California has present-
ed to congress the followimn memorial, in
furtherance of the scheme ot certain capit-
alists of San Francisco for a grant of tim-
ber lahid in Alaska for ship-building purpo-
To the Congress of the United States in
senatle and assentibly concerted; petitioners
most respectfully present to h our honor-
able body the followin-g, viz: AlasKa was
purchased by the United States in l8t,5.
At that time the territory was supposed to
have little value except for its proximity to
our possesions oii the Pacific, and the pos-
sibie daniier that it might conie ulder the
control ot some nation less friendly than
Russia to us, and our extension in that
direction should it be deemed a national ne-
cessity at a later period. It is true it was
known that the outlaying Aleutian Illes
had some value for furs (since the impor-
.ant concession has been granted to a com-
mercial company eniaaged  in  the fur
trades) and that its shores and inlets
abounded in fish; but otherwise it was re-
garded as comparatively valueless. The
climate is unfriendly to white population;
the larger part of the year t is deluged in
rains and enveloped in fogs. Though the
temperature is muCh milder than in tile
same latitude on the Atlantic, 't is so far
advanced into the Arctic region  that for
several months out-door labor would be
much emba-ressed.
Explorations of the interior of the terri-
tory have been so limited that very little
can be said of a definite nature of it; but
so much is known of the general character
of its climate that it is reasonably safe to
conclude that for agricultural or pastoral
pursuits it has little to invite settlement.
The tribes of Indians inhabting its shores
and streams are esteemed the most w trlike
of any on the continent, and very little
disposed to cultivate friendly relations with
the whites who have visited them. At
considerable expense an exploring party
has been sent, during the past season, to
examine the shores of the mainland and
some of the islands; to ascertain if good
material for ship building could be obtain-
ed, and in quantities to justify an effort
to re-establish a branch of industry which
has so long languished in the. United
States that an American ship is to be rare
lv seen, either in our own or foriegn ports.
This exploration has revealed the . exist-
alice of considerable bodies of timber
which are regarded as particularly well
adapted to the construction of ships.
The qustion to be considered is: Call cap-
ital be induced to go into such a country
and ingage in the important industry of
ship-building ? Two things are indispensa-
ble requisite to it, which are-first, that the
government shall establish a military post
within at convenient and protecting dis-
tance of where the ship-buitding enterprise
is located, to protect laborers a ainst tile
hostilities of ilie savs-as; and seoiond, that
a portion of the territory, within a radius
siy twenty-five miles shall be set apart
to a corporAtiun formed under the laws of
California, to be called the Alaska Ship-
building and Lumber company. Its sue-
cessors and assigns (or an eq~ual erca, ex-
clusive of all ocean navigalle waters,) to be
se ected by Said corporation; authorizing'
it to make use of the timber theron, aid to
purchalse the whole (r any portion of said
area at any tiiiie within the next tell years
by the payment to the government of onel
dollar and twenty-five cents per acre.
And also graintiug further right to said
corporation to take any other timber-land
outside the reservatio, lby paying to the
.overniinent as aforsaid; the right to cut
the timber to date from the time said cor-
poration notifies the government of its
purpose to take and use land as aforesaid
and tenders payment therefor. Providedi
and upon theexp ess condition that said
crompaily shall within two years of sucn
grant by congress, the establishment of a
military post, establish a ship yard and
buildat least one ship of not less tean 1,-
200 tcns burden, and shall thereafte main-
tain said ship- yard and continue the vig-
orous prosecution of ship-building. On
the presentation herein named, your peti-
tioners humbly pray your honorable body
will take this matter into serious consider-
ation, and pass a bill enacting provisions
which will secure to your petitioners the
objects of their foregoing petion.
(Signed]  II. C. Tichenor, William T.
Coleman, William Burling, Mathias Tur-
ner, Thomas 1I. Selby, Calvin Paige,
W. F. Babcock. II. D. Bacon, John Par-
In presenting this  memorial Senator
ilarer said: "I present the memorial of
certain citizens of California in regard to
Alaska. These memorialists have been
to   considerable  expense   in   fiting

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