To the Senate of the United States:
I communicate herewith a report from the Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting a report from the Commissioner of Public Lands in reply to the resolution of the Senate of the 22d of June, 1846, calling for information of the "progress which has been made in the surveys of the mineral region upon Lake Superior, and within what time such surveys may probably be prepared for the sales of the lands in that country." In answer to that portion of the resolution which calls for the "views" of the Executive "respecting the proper mode of disposing of said lands, keeping in view the interest of the United States and the equitable claims of individuals who, under the authority of the War Department, have made improvements thereon or acquired rights of possession," I recommend that these lands be brought into market and sold at such price and under such regulations as Congress may prescribe, and that the right of preemption be secured to such persons as have, under the authority of the War Department, made improvements or acquired rights of possession thereon. Should Congress deem it proper to authorize the sale of these lands, it will be necessary to attach them to suitable land districts, and that they be placed under the management and control of the General Land Office, as other public lands.
JAMES K. POLK.
James K. Polk, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/201056