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No. 15.--An Act changing the mode of surveying the public lands on any river,

lake, bayou, or watercourse.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That whenever, in the opinion of the President of the United States, a departure from the ordinary mode of surveying land on any river, lake, bayou, or watercourse, would promote the public interest, he may direct the surveyor general in whose district such land is situated, and where the change is intended to be made, under such rules and regulations as the President may prescribe, to cause the lands thus situated to be surveyed in tracts of two acres in width, fronting on any river, bayou, lake, or watercourse, and running back the depth of forty acres ; which tracts of land, so surveyed, shall be offered for sale entire, instead of in half-quarter sections, and in the usual manner, and on the same terms, in all respects, as the other public lands of the United States.

Approved, May 24, 1824.

No. 16.–An Act granting to the counties or parishes of each State and Territory

of the United States, in which the public lands are situated, the right of preemption to quarter sections of land, for seats of justice within the same.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there be granted to the several counties or parishes of each State and Territory of the United States where there are public lands, at the minimum price for which public lands of the United States are sold, the right of pre-emption to one quarter section of land, in each of the counties or parishes of said States and Territories, in trust for said counties or parishes, respectively, for the establishment of seats of justice therein : Provided, The proceeds of the sale of each of said quarter sections shall be appropriated for the purpose of erecting public buildings in the county or parish for which it is located, after deducting therefrom the amount originally paid for the same : And provided further, that the seat of justice for said counties or parishes, respectively, shall be fixed previously to a sale of the adjoining lands within the county or parish for which the same is located.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That so much of such acts, heretofore passed, granting to States rights of pre-emption for county or parish purposes, as require said seats of justice to be continued at or near the centre of each of said counties or parishes, be, and the same is hereby, repealed.

Approved, May 26, 1824.

No. 17.-An Act authorizing repayment for land erroneously sold by the United

States. *

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That every person, or the legal representative of every person, who is or may be a purchaser of a tract of land from the United States, the purchase whereof is or may be void, by reason of a prior sale thereof by the United States, or by the con. firmation or other legal establishment of a prior British, French, or Spanish grant thereof, or for want of title thereto in the United States, from any other cause whatsoever, shall be entitled to repayment of any sum or sums of money paid for or on account of such tract of land, on making proof, to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Treasury, that the same was erroneously sold, in manner aforesaid by the United States, who is hereby authorized and required to repay such sum or sums of money paid as aforesaid.

* By the third section of the act of 25th February, 1825, “making appropriations for the support of Government,” &c., it is further provided “that the Secretary of the Treasury be, and he is hereby, authorized to pay, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the sum or sums of money to which any person, or the legal representatives of any person, may be entitled, by virtue of the act authorizing repayment for land erroneously sold by the United States, approved the 12th day of January, in the year 1825, upon such person, or his or her legal representatives, complying with the requisitions of this act."

Approved, January 12, 1825.*

No. 18.--An Act to appropriate lands for the support of schools in certain town

ships and fractional townships not before provided for.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, to make provision for the support of schools in all townships or fractional townships for which no land has been heretofore appropriated for that use, in those States in which section number sixteen, or other land equivalent thereto, is by law directed to be reserved for the support of schools in cach township, there shall be reserved and appropriated, for the use of schools, in each entire township, or fractional township, for which no land has been heretofore appropriated or granted for that purpose, the following quantities of land, to wit: for each township or fractional township, containing a greater quantity of land than three-quarters of an entire township, one section ; for a fractional township, containing a greater quantity of land than onehalf, and not more than three-quarters, of a township, three-quarters of a section ; for a fractional township, containing a greater quantity of land than one-quarter, and not more than one-half, of a township, one-half section; and for a fractional township, containing a greater quantity of land than one entire section, and not more than one-quarter of a township, onequarter section of land.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the aforesaid tracts of land shall be selected, by the Secretary of the Treasury, out of any unappropriated public land within the land district where the township for which any tract is selected may be situated; and, when so selected, shall be held by the same tenure, and upon the same terms, for the support of schools, in such township, as section number sixteen is or may be held, in the State where such township shall be situated.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That there shall be selected, in the manner above mentioned, one section and one quarter section of land, for the support of schools within that tract of country usually called the French grant, in the county of Sciota, and State of Ohio.

Approved, May 20, 1826.

* Extended by Act of February 28, 1859, q. v.

No. 19.-An Act supplementary to an act entitled "An act providing for the cor

rection of errors in making entries of lands at the land offices," passed March third, eighteen hundred and nineteen.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the provisions of the act entitled “ An act providing for the correction of errors in making entries of lands at the land offices, approved March third, one thousand eight hundred and nineteen, are hereby declared to extend to cases where patents have issued or shall hereafter issue; upon condition that the party concerned shall surrender his or her patent to the Commissioner of the General Land Office, with a relinquishment of title thereon, executed in a form to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury.

Approved, May 24, 1828.*

No. 20.--An Act for the relief of the purchasers of public lands, and for the sup

pression of fraudulent practices at the public sales of the lands of the United States.

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SEC. 1. And be it further enacted, That if any person or persons shall

, before or at the time of the public sale of any of the lands of the United States, bargain, contract, or agree, or shall attempt to bargain, contract, or agree, with any other person or persons, that the last-named person or persons shall not bid upon or purchase the land so offered for sale, or any parcel thereof, or shall, by intimidation, combination, or unfair management, hinder or prevent, or attempt to hinder or prevent, any person or persons from bidding upon or purchasing any tract or tracts of land so offered for sale, every such offender, his, her, or their aiders and abetters, being thereof duly convicted, shall, for every such offence, be fined not exceeding one thousand dollars, or imprisoned not exceeding two years, or both, in the discretion of the court.

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That if any person or persons shall, before or at the time of the public sale of any of the lands of the United States, enter into any contract, bargain, agreement, or secret understanding, with any other person or persons, proposing to purchase such land, to pay of property, over and above the price at which the land may or shall be bid off by such purchasers, every such contract, bargain, agreement, or secret understanding, and every bond, obligation, or writing, of any kind whatsoever, founded upon or growing out of the same, shall be utterly null and void. And any person or persons, being a party to such contract, bargain, agreement, or secret understanding, who shall or may pay to such purchasers any sum of money or other article of property, as aforesaid, over and above the purchase-money of such land, may sue for and recover such excess from such purchasers in any court having jurisdiction of the same. And if the party aggrieved, have no legal evidence of such contract, bargain, agreement, or secret understanding, or of the payment of the excess aforesaid, he may, by bill in equity, compel such purchasers to make discovery thereof; and if in such case the complainant shall ask for relief, the court in which the bill is pending may proceed to final decree between

On

* See No. 11.

the parties to the same: Provided, Every such suit, either in law or equity, shall be commenced within six years next after the sale of said land by the United States.

Approved, March 31, 1830.

No. 21.-An Act to protect the surveyors of the public lands of the United States,

and to punish persons guilty of interrupting and hindering, by force, surveyors in the discharge of their duty.

Be it cnacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any person, who shall hereafter, in any manner, by threats or force, interrupt, hinder, or prevent, the surveying of the public lands of the United States, or of any private land claim which has or may be confirmed by the United States, or the authority thereof, by the persons authorized to survey the same, in conformity with the instructions of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, or the principal surveyors in any of the districts, in any State or Territory, shall be considered and adjudged to be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction in any district or circuit court of the United States, in any State or Territory, having jurisdiction of the same, shall be fined á sum not less than fifty dollars, nor more than three thousand dollars, and be imprisoned for a period of time not less than one nor more than three years.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That, whenever the President of the United States shall be satisfied that forcible opposition has been offered, or will likely be offered, to any surveyor, or deputy surveyor, or assistant surveyor, in the discharge of his or their duties, in surveying the public lands of the United States, it shall and may be lawful for the President to order the marshal of the State or district, by himself or deputy, to attend such surveyor, deputy, or assistant surveyor, with sufficient force to protect such officer in the execution of his duty as surveyor, and to remove force should any be offered.

Approved, May 29, 1830.

No. 22.-An Act to grant pre-emption rights to settlers on the public lands.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That every settler or occupant of the public lands, prior to the passage of this act, who is now in possession, and cultivated any part thereof in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine, shall be, and he is hereby, authorized to enter, with the register of the land office for the district in which such lands may lie, by legal subdivisions, any number of acres, not more than one hundred and sixty, or a quarter section, to include his improvement, upon paying to the United States the then minimum price of said land : Provided however, That no entry or sale of any land shall be made, under the provisions of this act, which shall have been reserved for the use of the United States, or either of the several States, in which any of the public lands may be situated.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That if two or more persons be settled upon the same quarter section, the same may be divided between the two first actual settlers, if, by a north and south or east and west line, the settlement or improvement of each can be included in a half-quarter section, and in such case the said settlers shall each be entitled to a preemption of eighty acres of land elsewhere in said land district, so as not to interfere with other settlers having a right of preference.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That, prior to any entries being made under the privileges given by this act, proof of settlement or improvement shall be made, to the satisfaction of the register and receiver of the land district in which such lands may lie, agreeably to the rules to be prescribed by the Commissioner of the General Land Office for that purpose, which register and receiver shall each be entitled to receive fifty cents for his services therein. And that all assignments and transfers of the right of pre-emption given by this act, prior to the issuance of patents, shall be null and void.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That this act shall not delay the sale of any of the public lands of the United States beyond the time which has been or may be appointed, for that purpose, by the President's proclamation; nor shall any of the provisions of this act be available to any person or persons who shall fail to make the proof and payment required before the day appointed for the commencement of the sales of lands including the tract or tracts on which the right of pre-emption is claimed; nor shall the right of pre-emption, contemplated by this act, extend to any land which is reserved from sale, by act of Congress, or by order of the President, or which may have been appropriated for any purpose whatsoever.

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That this act shall be and remain in force for one year from and after its passage.

Approved, May 29, 1830.

No. 23.-An Act supplementary to an act to grant pre-emption rights to settlers

on public lands.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, from and after the passage of this act, all persons who have purchased under an act entitled "An act to grant pre-emption rights to settlers on the public lands," approved the twenty-ninth of May, one thousand eight hundred and thirty, may assign and transfer their certificates of purchase, or final receipts, and patents may issue in the name of such assignee, anything in the act aforesaid to the contrary notwithstanding.

Approved, January 23, 1832.

No. 24.–An Act supplementary to the several laws for the sale of the public lands.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, from and after the first day of May next, all the public lands of the United States, when

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