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Yellowstone National Park Congressional History


Senate Bill S. 392 Purposing the Creation of Yellowstone
S. 392 First Proposal S. 392 Second Proposal S. 392 Third Proposal



484                                        THE CONGRESSIONAL GLOBE.                                        January 22,
     Mr. POMEROY. I am instructed by the Committee on Public Lands to report back and recommend the passage of bill (S. No. 392) to set apart a contain track of land lying near the headwaters of the Yellowstone river as a public park. It will be remembered that an appropriation was made last year of about ten thousand dollars to explore that country. Professor Hayden and party have been there, and this bill is drawn on the recommendation of that gentleman to consecrate for public uses this country for a public park. It contains about forty miles square. It embraces those geysers, those great natural curiosities which have attracted so much attention. It is thought that it ought to be set apart for public uses. I would like to have the bill acted on now. The committee felt that if we were going to set it apart at all, it ought to be done before individual preemptions or homestead claims attach.
     The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Massachusetts and the Senator from Kentucky both gave way only for current morning business, but the Senator from Kansas now asks unanimous consent for the consideration of the bill which he has just reported.
     Several Senators objected.
     Mr. POMEROY. Then I withdraw the report for the present.


Yellowstone Congressional History - First Proposal of Senate Bill S. 392 - January 22, 1872

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520                                        THE CONGRESSIONAL GLOBE.                                        January 23,
     Mr. POMEROY. The Committee on Public Lands, to whom was referred the bill (S. No. 392) to set apart a contain track of land lying near the headwaters of the Yellowstone as a public park, have directed me to report it back without amendment, to recommend its passage, and to ask that it have the present consideration of the Senate.
     THE VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Kansas asks unanimous consent of the Senate for the present consideration of the bill reported by him. It will be reported in full, subject to objection.
     The Chief Clerk read the bill.
     The Committee on Public Lands reported the bill with an amendment in line nineteen to strike out the words "after the passage of this act," and in line twenty, after the word "upon" to insert the words "or occupying a part of;" so as to make the clause read, "and all persons who shall locate or settle upon or occupy any part of the same, or any part thereof, except as hereinafter provided, shall be considered as trespassers and removed therefrom."
     The VICE PRESIDENT. Is there objection to the present consideration of this bill?
     Mr. CAMERON. I should like to know from somebody having charge of the bill, in the first place, how many miles square are to be set apart, or how many acres, for this purpose, and what is the necessity for the park belonging to the United States.
     Mr. POMEROY. This bill originated as the result of the exploration, made by Professor Hayden, under appropriation of Congress of last year. With a party he explored the headwaters of the Yellowstone and found it to be a great natural curiosity, great geysers, as they are termed, water-spouts, and hot springs, and having platted the ground himself, and having given me the dimensions of it, the bill was drawn up, as it was thought best to consecrate and set apart this great place of national resort, as it may be in the future, for the purposes of public enjoyment.
     Mr. MORTON. How many square miles are there in it?
     Mr. POMEROY. It is substantially forty miles square. It is north and south forty-four miles, and east and west forty miles. He was careful to make a survey so as to include all the basin where the Yellowstone has its source.
     Mr. CAMERON. That is several times larger that the District of Columbia.
     Mr. POMEROY. Yes, sir. There are no arable lands; no agricultural lands there. It is the highest elevation from which our springs descend, and as it cannot interfere with any settlement for legitimate agricultural purposes, it was thought that it ought to be set apart early for this purpose. We found when we set apart the Yosemite valley that there were one or two persons who had made claims there, and there has been a contest, and it has finally gone to the Supreme Court to decide whether persons who settle on unsurveyed lands before the Government takes possession of them by any special act of Congress have rights as against the Government. The court has held that settlers on unsurveyed lands have no rights as against the Government. The Government can make an appropriation of any unsurveyed lands, notwithstanding settlers may be upon them. As this region would be attractive only on account of preempting a hot spring or some valuable mineral, it was thought such claims had better be excluded from the bill.
     There are several Senators whose attention has been called to this matter, and there are photographs of the valley and the curiosities, which Senators can see. The only object of the bill is to take early possession of it by the United States and set it apart, so that it cannot be included in any claims or occupied by any settlers.
     Mr. TRUMBULL. Mr. President--
     The VICE PRESIDENT. The Chair must state that the Senate have not yet given their consent to the present consideration of the bill. The Senator from Pennsylvania desired some explanation in regard to it. Does he reserve the right to object?
     Mr. CAMERON. I make no objection.
     Mr. THURMAN. I object.
     Mr. SHERMAN. I will not object if it is not going to lead to debate.
     Mr. TRUMBULL. It can be disposed of in a minute.
     Mr. THURBULL. I object to the consideration of this bill in the morning hour. I am willing to take it up when we can attend to it, but not now.

Yellowstone Congressional History - Second Proposal of Senate Bill S. 392 - January 23, 1872

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Yellowstone Congressional History Pages
Letter on Capt Reynolds Exploration Public Lands Report on H. R. 764
Maj Reynolds report on 1859-60 Exploration House Vote on S. 392
Printing of Gen Reynolds Exploration S. 392 Truly Enrolled and Signed by the Speaker
Lt Doane's 1870 Expedition Report S. 392 Duly Enrolled, Signed by Vice President
Printing of Lt Doane's 1870 Expedition Report S. 392 Presented to President for Signature
Extra Printing of Lt Doane's 1870 Expedition Report Report of President Signing S. 392
H. R. 764 Presented by Mr. Clagett S. 392 the Signed Bill
House of Representatives Bill 764 Notification of Senate S. 392 Approved & Signed
S. 392 by Mr. Pomeroy Index of Senate Bills 1872
Senate Bill 392 Reconnaissance Report of Yellowstone River 1871
Public Lands Report with Amendments on S. 392 Secretary of Interior Amendment Recommendation
S. 392 Pass and Concurrence of House Requested Superintendent's 1872 Report
S. 392 Passed, ask for Concurrence of House S. 581 Amendment to S. 392
Public Lands Report on S. 392 H. R. 2781 Amendment to S. 392

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