Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

September 24, 1888

To the House of Representatives:

I am unable to give my assent to a joint House resolution No. 14 and entitled "Joint resolution to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to certify lands to the State of Kansas for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts," and I therefore return the same with a statement of my objections thereto.

By an act of Congress passed July 2, 1862, certain public lands were granted to such of the several States as should provide colleges for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts.

Under the terms of this act the State of Kansas was entitled to 90,000 acres of land, subject, however, to the provisions of said statute, which declared that when lands which had been raised to double the minimum price, in consequence of railroad grants, should be selected by a State such lands should be computed at the maximum price and the number of acres proportionately diminished.

Of the lands selected by the State of Kansas, and which have been certified, 7,682.92 acres were within certain limits of a railroad grant, and had therefore been raised to the double minimum in price, so that the number of acres mentioned and thus situated really stood for double that number of acres in filling the grant to which the State of Kansas was entitled.

It is now claimed that after the selection of these lands the route of said railroad was abandoned and another one selected, and that in consequence thereof such lands included within its first location were reduced to the minimum price and restored to public market at that rate. It is supposed upon these allegations that justice and equity require that an additional grant should now be made to the State of Kansas from the public lands equal to the number of acres selected within the limits of the first railroad location.

But an examination discloses that the joint resolution is predicated upon an entire misunderstanding of the facts.

The lands heretofore mentioned as amounting to more than 7,000 acres, selected by the State of Kansas, and charged at double that amount because their price had been raised to the double minimum in consequence of their being within a railroad location, have all except 320 acres remained either in the new or old railroad location up to the present time, and if now vacant would be held by the Government at the double minimum price.

It seems clear to me that the State of Kansas has been granted all the public land to which it can lay any legal or equitable claim under the law of 1862.


Grover Cleveland, Veto Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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