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districts established for the sale of public lands, in the Illinois territory, which tract is not rightfully claimed by any other person, and who shall not have removed from said territory ; every such person, and his legal representatives, shall be entitled to a preference, in becoming the purchaser from the United States, of such tract of land at private sale, at the same price, and on the same terms and conditions, in every respect, as are or may be provided by law, for the sale of other lands sold at private sale, in said territory, at the time of making such purchase : Provided, That no more than one quarter section of land shall be sold to any one individual, in virtue of this act; and the same shall be bounded by the sectional and divisional lines run, or to be run, under the direction of the surveyor general, for the divi. sion of the public lands: Provided also, That no lands reserved from sale, by former acts, or lands which have been directed to be sold, in town-lots, and out-lots, shall be sold under this act.(1)
1216. Every person claiming a preference in becoming the purchaser of a tract of land, in virtue of this act, shall make known his claim, by deliver. ing a notice, in writing, to the register of the land office, for the district in which the land may lie, wherein he shall particularly designate the quarter section he claims; which notice the register shall file in his office, on receive ing twenty-five cents from the person delivering the same. And in every case where it shall appear to the satisfaction of the register and receiver of public moneys of the land office, that any person, who has delivered his notice of claim, is entitled, according to the provisions of this act, to a preference in becoming the purchaser of a quarter section of land, such person, so entitled, shall have a right to enter the same, with the register of the land office, on producing his receipt from the receiver of public moneys for at least one-twentieth part of the purchase money, as in case of other public lands sold at private sale: Provided, That all lands to be sold under this act shall be entered with the register, at least two weeks before the time of the commencement of the public sales, in the district wherein the land lies; and every person having a right of preference in becoming the purchaser of a tract of land, who shall fail so to make his entry with the register, within the time prescribed, his right shall be forfeited, and the land by him claimed shall be offered at public sale, with the other public lands in the district to which it belongs.(2)
1217. Every person, and the legal representatives of every person, who has actually inhabited and cultivated a tract of land lying in that part of the State of Louisiana which composed the late territory of Orleans, or in the territory of Missouri, which tract is not rightsully claimed by any other per, son, and who shall not have removed from said state or territory, shall be entitled to the right of pre-emption, in the purchase thereof, under the same restrictions, conditions, provisions, and regulations, in every respect, as is directed by the act, entitled, “ An act giving the right of pre-emption in the purchase of lands, to certain settlers in the Illinois territory,” passed Febru. ary fifth, one thousand eight hundred and thirteen (3)
1218. Any person, and the legal representatives of any person, entitled to a preference in becoming the purchaser, from the United States, of a tract of land, at private sale in the State of Louisiana, and in the territories of Missouri and Illinois, according to the foregoing provisions, who is settled on a fraction of a section or fractional quarter section, containing less than one hundred and sixty acres, shall have the privilege of purchasing one or more
(1) Act 5th Feb. 1813, sec. 1. (2) Ibid, sec. 2.
(3) Act 12th April, 1814, sec. 5.
adjoining fractional quarter sections, or the adjoining quarter section, includ. ing their improvements, or the fraction improved by them, at their option; and the provisions of the said articles are hereby made applicable to them, so far as they are consistent with the provisions of this act.(1)
1219. In cases where two or more persons, entitled to the right of preemption, shall be settled upon one quarter or fractional quarter section of land, each person shall be authorized to purchase one or more quarter sec. tions, or fractional quarter sections, of the section or fractional section of land upon which they are so settled; and the section or fractional section upon which such persons are settled, shall be equally divided between them, in such manner as the register and receiver, within whose district the land lies, shall determine and direct, so as to secure, as far as may be practicable, to every such person, their improvements, respectively, and where the im. provement of such person shall be upon two or more quarter sections, such person shall be entitled to purchase the quarter sections upon which his im. provement shall be.(2)
1220. Every person, or the legal representatives of any person, who, being either the head of a family, or twenty-one years of age, did, on or before the first day of January, in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty. five, actually inhabit and cultivate a tract of land situated in the territory of Florida, which tract is not rightfully claimed by any other person, and who shall not have removed from the said territory, shall be entitled to the right of pre-emption in the purchase thereof, under the same terms, restrictions, conditions, provisions, and regulations, in every respect, as are directed by the act, entitled, “ An act giving the right of pre-emption, in the purchase of lands, to certain settlers in the Illinois territory," passed February the fifth, one thousand eight hundred and thirteen : Provided, That no person shall be entitled to the provisions of this section, who claims any traci of land in said territory, by virtue of a confirmation of the commissioners, or by vir. tue of any act of congress (3)
Any person, or the legal representatives of any person, entitled to a pre. ference in becoming the purchaser of a tract of land at private sale, accord. ing to the provisions of this act, who is settled on a fractional quarter sec. tion, shall have the privilege of purchasing an adjoining quarter section, or the fractional quarter section, improved by them, at their option.(4)
In cases where two or more persons entitled to the right of pre-emption shall be settled on one quarter, or fractional quarter section of land, they shall be authorized to purchase one or more quarter sections, which, with the quarter section, or fractional quarter upon which such persons are settled, shall be equally divided between them, in such manner, as the register and receiver shall direct, so as to secure, as far as may be practicable, to each person, their improvements, respectively: Provided, That in no instance shall any person be entitled to a preference in the purchase for more than one quarter section of land, in addition to his portion of the fractional quarter section on which he is settled.(5)
Any person, or persons, who have settled on and improved any of the lands in the said territory, reserved for the use of schools, and who would have had the right of pre-emption thereto by this law, had not the same been so reserved, shall have the right of pre-emption under the same terms and conditions, and subject to the same restrictions, provided for in other cases of a right of pre-emption in said territory to a quarter section of unappropriated
(1) Act 29th April, 1816, sec. 1.
(4) Ibid. sec. 2.
lands in the same township, and as near adjacent as lands of like quantity can be obtained.(1)
1221. Every person, or his or her legal representative, comprised in the list of actual settlers, reported to the commissioner of the general land office, by the register and receiver for the district of Jackson court-house, in the State of Mississippi, under the authority of an act of congress, entitled, “ An act for adjusting the claims to land, and establishing land offices in the districts east of the island of New Orleans," approved the third day of March, one thousand eight hundred and nineteen, not having any written evidence of claim to land, in said district, and who, on the third day of March, one thousand eight hundred and nineteen, did actually inhabit and cultivate a tract of land in said district, not claimed by virtue of any written evidence of claim, legally derived from either the French, British, or Spanish govern. ments, or granted as a donation by virtue of any act of congress heretofore passed, shall be entitled to a right of preference, on becoming the purchaser from the United States of such tract of land, at the same price for which other public lands are sold at private sale: Provided, That such tract of land shall not contain more than one hundred and sixty acres, to be located by sectional lines, and that the same shall be duly entered with the register of the proper office, within the term of two years, or before, if the same shall be offered at public sale: And provided also, where any person is settled on, and has improved any school lands in said district, he, she or they, shall be governed by the provisions of the fourth section of this act.(2)
1222. 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.(3)
1223. 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 pre-emption of eighty acres of land elsewhere in said land district, so as not to interfere with other settlers having a right of preference.(4)
1224. 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 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.(5)
(4) Ibid. sec. 2. 15) Ibid. sec. 3.
(1) Act 22d April, 1826, sec. 4.
1225. 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 10 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.(1)* . .
1226. 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, any thing in the act aforesaid to the contrary notwithstanding.(2)
1227. All the occupants and settlers upon the public lands of the United States, who are entitled to a pre-emption according to the provisions of the act of congress, approved the twenty-ninth day of May, eighteen hundred and thirty, and who have not been, or shall not be, enabled to make proof and enter the same within the time limited in said act, in consequence of the public surveys not having been made and returned, or where the land was not attached to any land district, or where the same has been reserved from sale on account of a disputed boundary between any state and territory, the said occupants shall be permitted to enter the said lands on the same conditions, in every respect, as are prescribed in said act, within one year after the surveys are made, or the land attached to a land district, or the boundary line established ; and, if the said lands shall be proclaimed for sale before the expiration of one year as aforesaid, then they shall be entered before the sale thereof.(3)
The occupants upon fractions shall be permitted, in like manner, to enter the same, so as not to exceed in quantity one quarter section; and, if the fractions exceed a quarter section, the occupant shall be permitted to enter one hundred and sixty acres, to include his or their improvement, at the price aforesaid.(4)
1228. 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 thirty-three, shall be entitled to all the benefits and privileges provided by the act, entitled, “An act to grant pre. emption rights to settlers on the public lands,” approved, May twenty-nine, one thousand eight hundred and thirty; and the said act is hereby revived and shall continue in force two years from the passage of this act and no longer.(5)
1229. Where a person inhabits one quarter section and cultivates another, he shall be permitted to enter the one or the other at his discretion : Provid. ed, Such occupant shall designate within six months from the passage of this act, the quarter section of which he claims the pre-emption under the same.(6)
(1) Act 29th May, 1830, sec. 4.
(4) Ibid. sec. 2.
• The Act of 29th May, 1830, was limited to one year, but has been continued to 1836,
1230. All persons residing on the public lands, and cultivating the same, prior to the year eighteen hundred and twenty-nine, and who were deprived of the advantages of the law passed on the twenty-ninth May, eighteen hun. dred and thirty, by the constructions placed on said law by the secretary of the treasury, are hereby authorized to enter at the minimum price of the government, one quarter section of the public lands, within said land district.(1)
OF THE SALE OF PUBLIC LANDS, AND THE MODE OF PAYMENT THEREFOR.
Fractional sections-how sold 1231 Provision for sale of lands reverting
private sale in fractions-provi. Duration of public sales-compen-
· 1243 settlers
1232 Time for advertising public sales 1244 Pre-emption right extended 1233 Bargains to restrain biddings at President may direct the sale of public sales prohibited
1245 lands in portions
1234' Bargains to pay purchasers at such Application for purchase-how
sales a premium on bids, voidmade
1235 premium paid may be recovered Certain lands not to be sold at pri.. -discovery may be enforced 1246
vate sale for less than at public Certain irregular sales confirmed 1247 sale
1236 Lands sold to U. S. for forts, &c. Manner in which certain lands shall may be resold—when
1248 be offered for sale
1237 President to procure assent of state Provision for correcting erroneous legislatures to purchases, and entries
1238 right of exclusive legislation 1249 Credit prohibited on sales of public Release to be obtained from indi. landssale, how made
viduals to whom lands have been Price of lands
1240 conveyed for U. S.
Art. 1231. Fractional sections of the public lands of the United States, either north of the river Ohio, or south of the State of Tennessee, shall, under the directions of the secretary of the treasury, be either sold singly, or by uniting two or more together; any act to the contrary notwithstanding: Provided, That no fractional sections shall be sold in that manner until they shall have been offered for sale to the highest bidder, in the manner herein. after directed.(2)
1232. All the public lands of the United States, when offered at private sale, may be purchased at the option of the purchaser, either in entire sections, half sections, quarter sections, half quarter sections, or quarter quarter Sections, and in every case of a division of a half quarter section, the line for the division thereof shall run east and west, and the corners and contents of quarter quarter sections, which may thereafter be sold, shall be ascertained as nearly as may be, in the manner, and on the principles, directed and prescribed by the second section of an act, entitled, “ An act concerning the mode of surveying the public lands of the United States," passed on the eleventh day of February, eighteen hundred and five, (art. 1209, supra ;) and fractional sections, containing fewer or more than one hundred and sixty acres,
(1) Act 19th June, 1834, sec. 3.
(2) Act 26th May, 1804, sec. 9.