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may be regarded as a matter of congratulation that the plan which was adopted, has worked so well, and with such concurrent satisfaction to the officers of the State and the United States; thus indicating its wisdom and fairness, and exhibiting a history so creditable to its merits, that we could not hope to make a change for the better, by the substitution of any other. The papers which
J. THOMPSON, Secretary. Commissioner of the General Land Office.
Military Bounty Land Warrants.
LOCATION OF BOUNTY LAND WARRANTS.
[When a warrantee presents a warrant for location in his own name, it must be accompanied by his affidavit of identity, (see Form No. 1,) and also a written application to locate his warrant upon the tract of land he desires. (Blanks for which are furnished to each local Office.)
The certificate of location is dated and signed by the local officers and attached to the warrant, and a duplicate certificate of location, issued and signed by the Register and delivered to the locator. If the warrant is presented for location by an agent of the warrantee, the warrant must be accompanied by a power of attorney duly executed, and the identity of the warrantee established by the certificate of the proper officer. (See Forms Nos. 2 and 3.) If an assignee of a warrant presents one for location, the assignment must be in the form presented herein, and the location fee must also be paid upon presentation of the warrant for location. Warrants
The Commissioner of Pensions cannot lawfully issue more than one warrant on a soldier's claim for bounty lands.-(Opinion of Att.-Gen., June 28, 1851, vol, 5, p. 387.)
If, through mistake or fraud, he shall issue more than one warrant upon the same claim, he will have transcended his authority, and performed an act having no legal validity.-16.
If the government issue a land warrant for a claim on which it had granted a former one, the circumstance does not deprive the first warrantee of his rights.(Opinion, March 22, 1815, vol. 5, p. 702.)
A land warrant fraudulently obtained from the Commissioner of Pensions in the name of a person deceased without heirs or widow, or of a fictitious person, is a mere nullity, incapable of lawful assignment, and may be rejected or cancelled by the Commissioner of public lands.--(Opinion, March 15, 1856, vol. 7, p. 657.)
But when the Commissioner has duly issued a military land warrant, valid on its face, to a person in esse, and capable of assigning, and such warrant has passed by lawful assignment to a bona fide purchaser for value without notice, the government cannot cancel such warrant on the ground that the Commissioner issued it in misapprehension, or on imperfect or false evidence.-Ib.
The regulation, established by the Commissioner of the General Land Office, requiring holders of land warrants to make affidavit that there is no settlement on the land intended to be located, is inconsistent with the Act of 11th February, 1847, and void.-(Opinion, Aug. 7, 1852, vol. 5, p. 609.)
Bounty Land Locations.
A question was raised as to the receivability of an assigned land warrant, in which the transfer was acknowledged before one land office, and presented at a different one. This Office on the 23d ultimo replied, referring to the circular of the 3d May, 1855, page 7, excepting the Register and Receiver from the rule requiring certificates of official character, and held as follows:-—but this is to be understood as embracing only cases of acknowledgments taken before the Register and Receiver of the local office at which such assignments may be presented, for the plain reason, that other officers are not
can be located through the General Land Office, by enclosing them and the fees required by law, to the Commissioner.
The location is noted on the plat immediately, by the local land officers, and no location should be allowed without examining the plats to ascertain whether or not the tract proposed to be located has been previously disposed of. The location, in every case, is posted in the tract books on the day on which it was made. An abstract is then made of all locations for each class of warrants, to wit, Acts 1842, 1847, 1850, 1852, and 1855, also a series of Register's and Receiver's numbers for each class of warrants. The locations are then entered in the abstracts in the order in which they were made, and the proper Register's and Receiver's numbers are entered in the proper column, and also on the certificates of location; and at the end of the month the abstracts duly certified, together with the warrants received for location during the month, are mailed to the address of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, Washington, District of Columbia.
After these returns are received at the General Land Office, they are examined as to the correctness of the entry of the locations on the abstracts, and the regularity of the assignments of the warrants. If the assignment of any warrant is irregular and illegal, the location is marked “suspended,” and then the locations are posted in the tract books, and all such locations as conflict with prior dispositions of the land are marked suspended for that reason. After all locations and entries up to the end of the month have been posted, all locations to which no objections appear are patented, and those warrants which have been suspended, are returned to the local offices for correction of assignments, or return to the locators, if the locations have been cancelled.
After the patents have been issued, signed and sealed, they are sent to
in possession of the means of testing the genuineness of the signatures of the officers of other districts. It follows, therefore, that where an assignment acknowledged before one land officer, is proposed to be presented at another and different office, it will be necessary to obtain a further certificate of acknowledgment before an officer, the evidence of whose character, certified under seal, shall accompany the assignment.—(Report of Chief Clerk of the Land Office for November, 1855.)
Compensation of Land Officers.
As inquiry has been made in regard to the amount of commissions to which Registers and Receivers of Land Offices are entitled on the value of land warrants, issued and located under the Act 3d March, 1855, a circular letter was addressed, on the 26th January, 1856, to such of the Registers' and Receivers as come under the general legislation on the subject, apprising them of the decision of the Department, that Registers and Receivers are entitled to no greater compensation for their services in any one official year than $500 as salary, and $2500 as commissions; that any sum they may receive as fees for locating land warrants, over and above the amount sufficient to entitle them to the maximum commissions above mentioned, for all services incident to their offices, they are required to deposit to the credit of the Treasurer of the United States. This restriction, as to maximum compensation, applies to services under all other Acts of Congress.
They were required to make an entry of this decision accordingly, on their records, and immediately acknowledge the receipt of it.-(Report of Chief Clerk of Land Office for January, 1856.)
The Supreme Court of Alabama has decided, that the proviso to the Act of Congress of 1847, conferring bounty lands on soldiers, was intended to protect not only pre-emption claimants, but also those who were in the actual settlement and cultivation of public lands without a pre-emption right.-( Cruise v. Riddle, 21 Ala. Reports, 791.)
Land-warrants on Pre-emptions.
More than one warrant may be located on a pre-emption claim, but each warrant must be located on a specific subdivision.--(Commissioner's letter to the Secretary of the Interior, June 12, 1858, and reply of June 16, 1858.)
the local office at which the location was made, for delivery, if the office is open; if it has been closed, then they are retained in the General Land Office and sent direct to the patentees upon the receipt of the duplicate certificates of location. If the duplicate certificate is sent to the General Land Office before the patent is sent to the local office, the patent will be sent to the patentee.
If a duplicate certificate of location, is duly assigned and received at the General Land Office before the issue of the patent, the patent will be issued in the name of the assignee of the locator.]
Circular to the Registers and Receivers of the United States Land Offices.
GENERAL LAND OFFICE,
June 3, 1847. Gentlemen :-By the 9th section of the Act of Congress, approved 11th February, 1847, entitled “ An act to raise for a limited time an additional military force and for other purposes, the Interior) War Department is authorized to issue for military services, certificates or warrants, in two classes of cases, one of one hundred and sixty acres each, the other of forty acres each.
Herewith you will receive a document containing a form of the warrant certificate issued by the War Department, a copy of the 9th section of said act, and some suggestions in relation to locating, accompanied by a form of affidavit and of an assignment.
The law authorizes these certificates or warrants to be located at any land office of the United States, and in order to facilitate the reception and proper location of them, I have to draw your attention to the following:
1st. The location of the certificate or warrant must be made on lands “subject to private entry,” according to "legal subdivisions," and " in one body.”
In the one hundred and sixty acre warrants, the party may take either a whole “quarter section” of that area, or two adjoining eighty acre tracts, or may even select the smallest legal subdivisions, if in “one body," and the selection does not exceed one hundred and sixty acres. The selection always to be in as compact a form as possible.
2d. The law expressly forbids the location of a warrant upon any lands to which there shall be “a pre-emption right,” or upon which there shall be an actual settlement and cultivation."
3d. No location must be allowed on any lands which are reserved or withdrawn from market for any purpose whatever, nor is the location admissible upon any lands where the minimum is greater than $1 25*
per acre, as the law intends to confine the location to the general class of unclaimed, unsettled public lands, subject to private entry at the usual mini
4th. On the presentation of the warrant certificate, you will note on it the date when, and from whom received. If presented by an assignee, you will see that the assignment bears date subsequent to the warrant,—that it is substantially in form, and duly acknowledged—where not acknowledged before an officer, using a seal, or before the Register or Receiver, a certifi
* $2 50, may now be located. See circular August 28, 1848, and circular 23d March, 1852.
cate of magistracy, under seal, must be produced. If presented by an attorney of the warrantee or assignee-his power of attorney must be filed, properly authenticated, and such power should always be sent on with the papers, and on the party designating the land wanted in satisfaction of said warrant, you will examine the tract and plat books, and if the tract is of the class authorized to be located, no adverse right is ascertained, and an affidavit is filed that, at the time of selection, there was not "an actual settlement and cultivation upon any part of the said land,” &c., (see form of affidavit annexed, A,) you will require the party to endorse on the warrant certificate, (B,)
an application to the following effect :*I, A. B., of —, hereby locate the containing
acres, in satisfaction of the warrant herein mentioned.
To be attested by the Register and Receiver.
(A) LAND WARRANT CERTIFICATE, NO. —. I, being desirous of locating the , quarter of section No. in township No.
of range No.
in the district of lands subject to sale at the land office at with the attached military land warrant certificate No. issued under the provisions of the ninth section of the Act of Congress, approved February 11, 1847, do solemnly
that from my own knowledge of the fact, after actual inspection of the said tract of land, on or about the day of - A. D. 18—, there was not at that time an actual settlement and cultivation upon any part of said land, nor was there any person or persons residing upon it; And I do verily believe that there is no actual settlement and cultivation
or any person or persons residing upon any part of said land at this time. Subscribed and sworn to before me, this
A. D. 18
- Register of the Land Office. I request my patent to be sent to
If before the expiration of thirty days from the date, a pre-emption declaration or other prior claim is ascertained to exist to the land, you will apprize the party, so that a new selection may be made. If no such prior right appears, you will append, under the application of the party, your certificate to the following effect :
(B) LAND WARRANT, NO.
18. We hereby certify, That the attached military bounty land warrant, No. was on this day received at this Office, from of
county, State of
I, tion No.
county, State of -, in township No.
hereby locate the of range No.
-, in the district
* For locating warrants, see circular, March 31, 1851, (No. 608.) For assignments, &c., see circulars, March 23, 1852, (No. 609,) October 17, 1853, (No. 613) May 3, 1855, (No. 615,) and November 1, 1858, (No. 617.)