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8th. Pre-emption entries allowed under one pre-emption law, where it shall have been discovered that said entries are invalid under that act, but where the settlement and improvement is of a character to have entitled the parties to a legal and valid claim, under a subsequent law, provided the land is not embraced by the valid claim of another.
9th. Pre-emption entries in the mineral region, embracing the half of a quarter-section reserved for mineral purposes, where the half-quarter so entered is shown not to have contained mineral; and also entries as “floats," allowed to the claimants, who, by reason of one portion of the quarter-section on which they were settled, containing mineral, were unable to enter more than the half of said quarter-section, provided the claim is otherwise a bona fide one.
10th. Pre-emption entries founded upon a bona fide right of pre-emption, where, as it respects the mode and manner of the entry, there is not a strict conformity with the law, but where such entry does not embrace a quantity exceeding that allowed by law, is in accordance with the wish of the party or parties interested, and does not interfere with the rights or interests of another.
11th. All private sales of tracts which had not been previously offered at public sale, but where the entry appears to have been permitted by the land officers, under the impression that the land was liable to private entry, and there is no reason to presume fraud, or to believe that the purchase was made otherwise than in good faith.
12th. All sales made at one land office, of lands, which were only liable to sale at another, where the proceedings in all other respects were regular.
13th. All bona fide entries on lands which had been only offered, but afterwards temporarily withdrawn from market, and then released from reservation, where such lands are not rightfully claimed by others.
14th. All bona fide entries at private sale, allowed at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, and fully paid for, of lands which were not ascertained or reported to contain lead mineral, until after the date of said entries, where the land is not rightfully claimed by another.
The foregoing regulations are not to embrace any case where the entry has been cancelled or desired by the party, or where a subsequent entry of the same land has been legally made by the claimant himself, or by another person.
JAMES H. PIPER, Acting Commissioner of the General Land Office.
We concur in these rules and regulations, October 3, 1846.
R. J. WALKER
Secretary of the Treasury. J. Y. MASON,
Under the Act of Congress, approved 3d of August, 1846, entitled “ Ain act providing for the adjustment of all suspended pre-emption land claims in the several States and Territories," the following additional rule is established for the government of the Commissioner of the General Land Office:
15th. Where an entry has been improperly allowed by the District Land Officers, upon evidence deemed by them satisfactory, of the right of the party claiming, and upon the faith of the official certificate of entry issued by the Register, such entry has passed into the hands of a bona fide purchaser, a patent shall be issued to such assignee, notwithstanding the subsequent discovery of the improper or irregular allowance to the original claimant, provided the land embraced by such entry is not rightfully claimed by another, and such assignee was, at the time of his purchase, ignorant of the irregular or improper allowance, and in all cases of entries of lands in the Territory of Wisconsin, upon which no lead mines or diggings were known to exist at the time of such entries.
RICHARD M. YOUNG, Commissioner of the General Land Office.
We concur in the above rule, No. 15, March 13, 1847.
Secretary of the Treasury.
Under the Act of Congress, approved 3d of March, 1853, reviving and continuing in force the Act of 3d of August, 1846, entitled " An act providing for the adjustment of all suspended pre-emption land claims in the several States and Territories,” the following rule is established for the government of the Commissioner of the General Land Office :
16th. That all locations under the Act of 14th August, 1848, entitled “ An act in relation to military land warrants,” be confirmed, and patents issued thereon, where the land located lies in one body, and the only objection to the location is, that it consists, technically, of more than one legal subdivision.
JOHN WILSON, Commissioner. We concur in this rule, 16th March, 1854.
Secretary of the Interior. C. CUSHING,
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, December 27, 1858. Sir:-Having examined the papers accompanying your report of the 9th ultimo, submitting for confirmation, under the Act of Congress of 3d August, 1846, (No. 110,) and the laws reviving and extending that Act, the pre-emption entry of Jacob L. Huggins, by location No. 878, on the 8th May, 1857, at the Minneapolis office, I am of the opinion, that said entry should be cancelled, or reported for rejection.
It appears that this entry was admitted by the local officers, on an affidavit made by John J. Bramhall, some days previously, before a notary public. Three days after its admission, Thos. H. Skinner made oath before the Receiver, that he, the affiant, “ wrote the testimony in the case of Jacob L. Huggins," "and that said testimony has been altered since it was sworn to." The alteration named is manifest on a close inspection of the affidavit, and was evidently made, or procured to be made, corruptly; and on the 11th day of May, the local land officers report, that "a fraud had been perpetrated, as set forth in the affidavit of Thos. H. Skinner, a very intelligent and credible witness.”
In this state of facts, the entry of Huggins appears to be entirely wanting in equitable claim to confirmation; and as the 12th section of the Act of Congress, of the 4th September, 1841, (No. 48,) declares “all assignments and transfers of the right hereby secured, prior to the issuing of the patent, shall be null and void,” we cannot regard any parties who come before us, claiming, as purchasers from Huggins, that confirmation shall be made in his name, as a measure to save them from pecuniary loss. The papers in the case, are now returned to your office for proper action.
J. THOMPSON, Secretary. Commissioner of the General Land Office.
No. 527. The Commissioner recommends that certain entries by Mail Contractors be allowed, and his recommendation adopted.
GENERAL LAND OFFICE,
- April 9, 1859. Sir:-In answer to the inquiry concerning the early action of this Office, in regard to the execution of the Pre-emption Postal Route Act, 3d March, 1855, (No. 279,) with a view to ascertain whether the mail pre-emption entries, made prior to the Circular of September 9, 1857, have been in accordance with any instructions, or any construction of the Postal Route Act, by this Office, I have the honor to state, that after a close examination of the files and correspondence, involving repeated enquiries, as to the import and duties arising under said Act, I can find nothing to countenance such an idea.
As early as the 9th October, 1856, the views of this Office were sought by the Hon. H. M. Rice, and in reply, (27th same month, he was informed, " that no pre-emption attached to any mail route stretching lengthwise in a northerly or southerly direction in the Territory. That to entitle a party, the route must form a part of a system stretching laterally across the Territory, being a link in, or part of a connected route from the line of the States west of the Mississippi, to the Pacific.
Copies of this letter, at nearly the same date, were sent in reply to similar inquiries. The views thus early entertained of this mail pre-emption law, are the same as are expressed in the Circular of 1857, and are the same which have governed the action of this Office, in all the cases submitted to its consideration, up to date.
I am not able, therefore, to say that the entries that have been allowed, were in consequence of any more liberal construction of the law by this Office towards the contractors, than that expressed in the circular, 9th September, 1857. Yet, it is proper to add, that prior to the issue of that circular, the Registers and Receivers were not instructed on the subject, for the reason that no actual case had arisen, your predecessor having instructed this Office, under date of May 15, 1835, that the Department prefers that these claims shall come up hereafter, upon their individual merits," and but very few of the contractors were informed by the Office of its construction of the law. And that it may fairly be presumed that the contractors, in making the entries of their stations, and the Registers and Receivers in allowing the entries, did the same in entire confidence that the entries were authorized by the law; and, I may add, that without reference to the general purpose of Congress, and the policy of establishing through postal lines, the letter of the statute might readily have received the construction so put upon it by the parties, and the Registers and Receivers. Where the parties, prior to the issue of the circular, established and improved their stations, and complied with their contracts in the transportation of the mails, and made their entries in good faith, they have a strong equity, and ought to be relieved by the government.
I herewith present two cases, designated as A, and B, on the enclosed list, and am of opinion, that these clearly fall within the equitable principle indicated in the foregoing, and accordingly recommend and submit them for confirmation by the board, under the Acts of 1846 and 1856.
Thos. A. HENDRICKS, Commissioner. Hon. J. Thompson, Secretary of the Interior.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
April 22, 1859. I concur in the adjudication of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, that the entries described in lists “A” and “ B," enclosed, be confirmed, and patents issued thereon. J. THOMPSON, Secretary.
Mary 12, 1859. I concur in the adjudication of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, that the entries described in lists “A” and “B,” enclosed, be confirmed, and patents issued thereon.
J. S. BLACK
No. 528. Where lands were entered while they were withdrawn from Market, the
entries cannot be confirmed, unless they were shown to be the result of mistake.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, May 12, 1859. Sir :- I have considered your report of the 28th ult., upon the letter of E. D. Campbell, Esq., of La Crosse, Wisconsin, in regard to certain entries and warrant locations, made by him in 1855, for Thomas Spencer and others, of lands which had been selected by the State as part of the 500,000 acres granted for internal improvements, by the Act of Congress of September 4, 1841, and were withdrawn from market pending the selection. The selections, it appears, were rejected, but the entries were made before the land had been restored to market by any public notice.
You may advise Mr. Campbell that the purchase-money or warrants will be restored to the parties interested, on the proper application being made.
Before the confirmation of such claims by the Board of suspended entries, I think it should be made to appear, to our satisfaction, that the allowance of the entries by the local officers, and the effecting of them by the parties concerned, was purely the result of mistake; for we must regard the withdrawal as an act emanating from an authority which could not be defeated by any action of the local land officers in derogation thereof.
J. THOMPSON, Secretary. Commissioner of the General Land Office.
No. 529. Precipitancy of entry after Settlement, with other circumstances, indicates
fraud. An entry of unoffered Land is not contemplated until after the expiration of three months.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, August 12, 1859. Sir :-I have transmitted to the Attorney-General the report of the General Land Office of 12th February, 1858, and the abstract No.5, of the suspended entries, which were therewith submitted.
I have approved the adjudication of the Commissioner, in favor of the entries at all the land offices, as scheduled, excepting those entries that were made at the land offices at Brownsville and Winona, Minnesota. The papers, receipts, and certificates pertaining to the entries at these two offices, are herewith returned; and I suggest, that you cause a re-examination of them to be made. Many of the entries appear to have been allowed, on proof of a single witness, of a settlement commenced only a few days before the entries were made. The improvements mentioned by the witnesses are of a trifling character, and, of course, no declaratory statements are filed. The precipitancy of the entry, after settlement, leaves 10 time for cultivation or substantial improvement. Other circumstances also indicate fraud. Much of the land thus entered, I infer, has never been offered at public sale, and the apparent result of these short pre-emptions is such as the law forbids, viz., the sale of public land at private entry, before it has been offered at public sale.
I enclose to you a letter addressed to this Department, under date of 27th March, 1858, by E. A. Deslonde, Receiver at Nebraska city, in which, among other things, he says, “I have lately visited the interior of our Territory, and upon townships which are entirely pre-empted, not a single actual settler is found." I refer you also to an editorial in the “Omaha Enterprise," on the subject, which he enclosed.
The allowance of pre-emption, where there has not been a bona fide settlement and cultivation, evidently injures the prosperity of new communities, whilst a proper administration of the pre-emption laws promotes their prosperity.
When unoffered land that is surveyed, is claimed by pre-emption, the law requires a declaratory statement to be filed within three months after settlement; and I therefore am of the opinion that an entry of the land is not contemplated, till after the three months expire, unless it is proclaimed to be offered at public sale, before the three months have elapsed. If therefore, on the re-examination of the entries now returned to you, it is found that the settlements were not made three months or more, before the entries, and a public sale has not been proclaimed by which the three months may have been cut short, such cases should be sent back to the local office for report, after notice to the claimants to show the bona fides of their settlements, and the equitable grounds on which they rely for a confirmation of their entries.
In the case of entry, No. 2741, at the Brownsville Office, I am of the opinion that the same ought not to be confirmed, but should be cancelled as having been made in violation of law. The letter of the Register and Receiver of the 1st November 1857, admits that this entry was made for the benefit of the Register, the same having been effected through his own office, in violation of the provisions of the 10th section of the Act of Congress of the 10th May, 1800. Although proclaimed by the President to