The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927 Page: 52
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
very nature of the miners' trade, and no government title could
keep the miners after the deposit had become unprofitable.7
In an elaborate memorial drawn up at the miners' state con-
vention of January, 1866, and forwarded to Washington, it was
pointed out how the policy of selling the mineral lands would
revolutionize the whole system of mining under which the mines
had been developed to the benefit of the state and the nation.
But in view of the existing situation, argued the memorialists, the
next wisest policy would be to extend the pre-emption system over
the mineral lands; to donate to their possessors the claims which
they held under the miners' regulations.5
Passage of the Act of 1866. The settlement of the mineral
land question came in the first session of the thirty-ninth Con-
gress. On May 28, 1866, Conness of California, Chairman of
the Senate Committee on Mines and Mining, reported a bill favor-
able to the mining interests of the Pacific coast. After a long
discussion the bill passed the Senate. When it came to the House,
Julian succeeded in having it referred to his Committee on Public
Lands. This meant the defeat of the bill, for Julian insisted
on the measure which he had introduced and reported. Finding
their plan thwarted in the I-ouse, Senators Conness and Stewart
called up a House bill entitled an "Act granting the Right of
Way to Ditch and Canal Owners over the Public Lands, and for
Other Purposes," and skillfully managed to carry a motion to
strike out the whole of the House bill except the enacting clause
and insert the mining bill which had been passed in the Senate.
In spite of Julian's opposition, the friends of the measure man-
aged to push it through the House, and it became a law.59
5Cal. Assembly Jour., 1865-1866, 58.
"Sacramento Union, January 6, 1866. Resolutions against selling or
taxing the mineral lands were adopted at the state Democratic Convention
(Davis, Political Conventions in California, 209, 224, 229). But also see
Bulletin, January 19, June 29, July 6, 31, 1866.
"sThe memorial was published in the Sacramento Union, January 31,
"For the several bills and debates see H. Rep., 66, 39 Cong., 1 Sess
(1272) ; Cong. Globe, 39 Cong., 1 Sess., 1844, 2965; H. Rep., 105, 39 Cong.,
1 Sess. (1240); Cong. Globe, 39 Cong., 1 Sess., 3225-3237, 3451-3454, 3951-
3952, 4054. A full account of the history of the passage of the bill was
given by a correspondent in Washington, published in the Alta on May
17, 1867. A different view of the same subject is given by Julian in his
Political Recollections, 286-292. "The clumsy and next to incompre-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927, periodical, 1926; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117142/m1/60/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.