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Application of Ohio for a Grant of Land
For Construction of What Would Become National Road



22D CONGRESS                                                   No. . 972                                                        1st Session







To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

     The memorial of the legislature of the State of Ohio respectfully represents: That by a resolution of the general assembly of Ohio, passed the 19 day of January, 1828, commissioners were appointed to examine a route for a turnpike road, commencing at Gallipolis, on the Ohio river, by way of Jackson, to Chilicothe, in the county of Ross; in pursuance of which resolution the said commissioners, accompanied by a competent engineer, detailed for that purpose,  proceeded to view the route for the proposed road, and have reported their proceedings together with a report of the engineer, to this general assembly.

      It will be seen, from a view of the map of the country through which the contemplated road will pass, that a line of connexion is designed to be formed with Chilicothe and Charleston, on the Great Kanawha river, the western termination of the turnpike road leading from the city of Richmond, in Virginia.  From Gallipolis to Charleston, in Virginia, a distance of twenty-five miles intervenes.  Little doubt is entertained that, should the proposed road be constructed by the State of Ohio, a branch of the Kanawha turnpike will be made conducting that road to the Virginia bank of the Ohio river; returning to Chilicothe, a continuation,  at some future day, of this road will intersect in a direct line at Springfield or Dayton the great national turnpike from Cumberland west.  The advantages resulting from this extensive line of communication, now broken, but which will be entire by the extension of the proposed road to Dayton or Springfield, when the means of the State will admit, present themselves forcibly to the view of an enlightened policy.  An entire chain of connexion will thus be formed from the great national thoroughfare, the Miami and Ohio canals, through the southern region of the State traversing the valley of the Great Kanawha, thence by the capital of Virginia to the Carolinas; and, in addition, intercourse will thus be opened with a rich and fertile region of Kentucky, by a road already located by the authorities of that State from the mouth of the Great Sandy to Charleston, on the Kanawha.  The distance between the two points proposed to be connected at his time, viz: Galllipolis and Chilicothe, is about sixty-one miles; the cost of the contemplated road, including culverts and bridges, is estimated by Thomas B. Adams, esq., the engineer, at $75,513.33.  In presenting this subject to the consideration of Congress, with a view to obtaining their assistance, the legislature of Ohio have acted under the entire conviction that the representatives of this extended republic feel the importance of fostering the interests of every part as conducive to the welfare of the whole, and that they will afford such aid as may be justified by a due regard to the general good.

     Your memorialists would respectfully suggest that most of the land, important in value, lying within the land district through which the desired road will pass, has been selected and sold.  The lands lying immediately on the line of location are thin and unpromising, have been long in the market, and will in all probability remain unsold, unless some event, like that in contemplation, shall give them additional value.  They therefore pray your honorable bodies to grant a donation of land to the State of Ohio, to be appropriated under the direction of the legislature to the construction of the proposed road, equal to every alternate section on the line, to be selected out of such lands undisposed of in the Marietta and Chilicothe land districts as the governor of this State may think most conducive to the end proposed.  And your memorialists, as in duty bound, &c.

     Resolved, That our senators and representatives in Congress be requested to use their endeavors to procure the passage of a law granting to the State of Ohio a donation of land agreeably to the prayer of the above memorial.

     Resolved, That his excellency the governor of this State be requested to forward to each of our senators and representatives in Congress a copy of the foregoing memorial and resolution.

                                                              THOMAS L. HAMER, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

                                                              ROBERT LUCAS, Speaker of the Senate.

February 22, 1830.