Ch[arles] Aug[us]t[us] Davis, "A plan for reallizing the public domain . . . " [12 March 1833]
A plan for reallizing the public Domain & which whilst it enables the present generation to enjoy its advantages will enable it to transmit almost an equal value to posterity.
First. Let Congress grant an issue of scrips to the amount of One hundred millions of Dollars, having an interest of four per Cent. per annum, redeemable in fifty years, or sooner at the <word> of Government.
Second. The entire public domain to be <pledged> for the payment of this debt, the <gradual> sales of said to meet the interest, to be regulated by Congress.
Third. The president of the U.S. & with the consent of the Senate to appoint three boards of Commissioners. Each board to consist of One individual from each state. One board to be called Commissioners for Internal Improvement, another, Commissioners for Colonization & another of general Education.
Fourth. The whole amount of this Scrips of 100 millions to be applied as follows—
Twenty five millions to be placed at the disposal of the board of Commissioners for internal improvement for purposes of a system of National intercommunications Connecting the Atlantic Seaboard with the <illegible> of Country where the public lands are created and other national objects to this end.
Five millions—to be placed at the disposal of the board of Commissioners for purposes of Colonization of Negroes.
Twenty millions—to be placed at the disposal of the board of Commissioners for purposes of general education, and the ballance of Fifty millions to be divided among the States pro rata with representation.
Fifth. These several boards to be appointed for three years, & to cast lots at their first meeting to determine their continuance in office 1/3 of this number to go out at the termination of One year, 1/3 at the termination of two years & 1/3d. at the terminating of 3 years, the vacancies to be filled by new appointments or reappointments by the President & Senate aforesaid.
Sixth—An annual report of their proceedings to be made to Congress whose duty it shall be to pass such Laws regulating in the <promises> as its wisdom shall dictate without annulling or destroying the main object for which said boards were created.
Editorial Note: Enclosed in Charles Augustus Davis to MVB, 12 March 1833.