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shall in like manner, as nearly as may be practicable, be subdivided into quar. ter quarter sections, under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the secretary of the treasury: Provided, That this act shall not be construed to alter any special provision made by law for the sale of land in town lots : And provided also, That no person shall be permitted to enter more than one half quarter section of land under this act, in quarter quarter sections, in his own name, or in the name of any other person, and in no case, unless he in. tends it sor cultivation, or for the use of his improvement. And the person mak. ing application to make an entry under this act, shall file his and her affidavit, under such regulations as the secretary of the treasury may prescribe, that he or she makes the entry in his or her own name, for his or her own bene. fit, and not in trust for another: Provided, further, That all actual settlers, being house-keepers, upon the public lands, shall have the right of pre-emption to enter, within six months after the passage of this act, not exceeding the quantity of one half quarter section, under the provisions of this act, to include his or their improvements, under such regulations as have been, or may be prescribed by the secretary of the treasury; and in cases where two persons shall live upon the same quarter section, subject to be entered under the provisions of this act, each shall have the right to enter that quarter quarter section which includes his improvements.(1)
1233. In all cases in which persons were settlers or occupants of the public land prior to the first day of May, one thousand eight hundred and thirty. two, and were authorized to enter under the provisions of the act, entitled, “ An act supplementary to the several laws for the sale of public lands,” approved April fifth, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, and were prevented from making their entries, 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 in consequence of a disputed boundary between two states, or between a state and territory, the said occupants shall be permitted to enter the said lands on the same conditions, in every respect, as were 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 land shall be proclaimed for sale before the expiration of one year as aforesaid, then the said settlers or occupants shall be permitted to enter before the sale thereof.(2)
1234. Whenever the president of the United States has been, or may be authorized to cause the public lands, in any land district, to be offered for sale, it shall be lawful, whenever he shall think it convenient, to offer for sale at first, only a part of the lands contained in such district, and at any subsequent time or times, to offer for sale, in the same manner, any other part, or the remainder of the lands contained in the same.(3)
1235. Every person, making application at any of the land offices of the United States, for the purchase, at private sale, of a tract of land, shall produce to the register a memorandum in writing, describing the tract, which he shall enter by the proper number of the section, half section, quarter, or half quarter (as the case may be,) and of the township and range, subscribing his name thereto; which memorandum the register shall file and preserve in his office.(4)
1236. No tract or tracts of the reserved sections or other public lands of the United States, that have been or may hereafter be sold at public sale, and which may have reverted, or shall, on account of failure to complete the payment of the purchase money, revert to the United States, shall hereafter
(1) Act April 5th, 1832. (2) Act March 2d, 1833.
(3) Act 31st March, 1808, sec. 1.
be sold at private sale, at a price less than that for which the same tract was sold at public sale (1)
1237. From and after the first day of September next, the sections desig. nated by number two, five, twenty, twenty-three, thirty, and thirty-three, in each and every township of the public lands, the sale of which is now, or hereafter may be authorized by law, shall be offered for sale either in quarter sections, or half quarter sections, at the option of the purchaser; and in every case of the division of a quarter section, the portion shall be made by a line running due north and south, and in every other respect the said sections shall be offered, whether at public or private sale, on the same terms and conditions as have been, or may be, by law, provided for the sale of the other public lands of the United States.(2)
1238. In case of a purchaser of public lands, at private sale, having entered, at the land office, a tract different from that he intended to purchase, and being desirous of having the error in his entry corrected, he shall make application to the register of the land office; and if it shall appear, from testimony satisfactory to the register and receiver of public moneys, that an error in the entry has been made, and that it was occasioned by original incorrect marks made by the surveyor, or by the obliteration, or change, of the original marks and numbers at corners of the tract of land; or that it has, in any otherwise, arisen from mistake or error of the surveyor, or offi. cers of the land office; the register and receiver shall report the case, with the testimony, and their opinion thereon, to the secretary of the treasury, who may direct, if he thinks proper, that the purchaser withdraw such entry, and that the moneys paid, shall be applied in the purchase of other lands in the same district, or credited the payment of other lands which shall have been purchased at the same office.(3)
The foregoing provisions are extended to cases where patents have issued, or shall hereafter issue; upon condition that the party concerned shall surrender his 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 (4)
Where any mistake, in relation to the correct numbers of any tract of land, not exceeding in quantity one half section, may have been heretofore made by any purchaser of the public lands at private sale, and where one or more payments shall have been made by the person making the entry, on any tract entered by mistake, and such payment has not been forfeited, viously to the passing of this act, for a failure to coinplete the payments on such tract; and where the purchaser may not, in relation to such tract, have in any way taken advantage of the provisions of the act of the second of March, eighteen hundred and twenty-one, entitled, “An act for the relief of the purchasers of the public lands prior to the first day of July, eighteen hundred and twenty," or of the acts supplementary thereto, or the act con. tinuing in force such supplementary act, and where the person making the purchase has not, in any way, transferred his right to the certificate of purchase; or the tract so purchased, and where no patent shall have issued for the tract so erroneously purchased; and, also, in all cases of an entry hereafter made, of a tract of land not intended to be entered, by a mistake of the true numbers of the tract intended to be entered, where the tract, thus erroneously entered, does not, in quantity, exceed one half section; and where the certificate of the original purchaser has not been assigned, or the right of the original purchaser in any way transferred, and where six months,
(1) Act 14th Jan. 1812, sec. 1. (2) Act 22d Feb. 1817, sec. 1.
(3) Act March 3d, 1819.
(4) Act 24th May, 1828.
from the time the entry shall have been made, may not have elapsed, or the patent issued for the tract erroneously entered, the purchaser, or in case of his death, the legal representatives, (not being assignees or transferees,) may, either, in the cases of entry before or after the passing of this act, and in any case coming within its provisions, file his own affidavit, with such additional evidence as can be procured, showing the mistake of the numbers of the tract intended to be entered, and that every reasonable precaution and exertion had been used to avoid the error, with the register and receiver of the land district within which such tract of land is situated, who shall transmit the evidence submitted to them in each case, together with their written opinion or opinions, both as to (the) existence of the mistake, and the credibility of each person testifying thereto, to the commissioner of the general land office, who, if he be entirely satisfied (that) the mistake has been made, and that every reasonable precaution and exertion had been made avoid it, shall be authorized to change the entry, and transfer the payment from the tract erroneously entered, to that intended to be entered, if unsold; but, if sold, to any other tract liable to entry: Provided, That the oath of the person interested shall, in no case, be sufficient, in the absence of corroborating testimony, to authorize such change of entry: And provided also, That nothing herein contained shall affect the right of third persons.(1)
Either the register or receiver may administer all oaths to be made under the above provisions, and every person, knowingly, wilfully, and corruptly swearing falsely, on any oath administered to him under the provisions of this act, shall, on indictment and conviction for such offence, before any court having competent jurisdiction to try the same, suffer the pains and penalties of wilful and corrupt perjury.(2)
For every oath administered under the provisions of the last article, the register and receiver shall be allowed the sum of twenty-five cents, and twenty-five cents for every hundred words of the evidence received and transmitted to the commissioner of the general land office, to be paid by the party making the application for a change of entry.(3)
1239. Credit shall not be allowed for the purchase money on the sale of any of the public lands which shall be sold after the first day of July, 1820, but every purchaser of land sold at public sale shall, on the day of purchase, make complete payment therefor; and the purchaser at private sale shall produce, to the register of the land office, a receipt from the treasurer of the United States, or from the receiver of public moneys of the district, for the amount of the purchase money on any tract, before he shall enter the same at the land office; and if any person, being the highest bidder, at public sale, for a tract of land, shall fail to make payment therefor, on the day on which it was purchased, it shall be again offered at public sale, on the next day of sale, and such person shall not be the purchaser of that or any other tract offered at such public sales.(4) · 1240. The price at which the public lands shall be offered for sale, shall be one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre; and at every public sale, the highest bidder, who shall make payment as aforesaid, shall be the purchaser; but no lands shall be sold, either at public or private sale, for a less price than one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre; and all the public lands which shall have been offered at public sale before the first day of July, 1820, and which shall then remain unsold, as well as the lands that shall thereafter be offered at public sale, according to law, and remain unsold at the close of such public sale, may be sold at private sale, by entry at the land office, at
(1) Act 24th May, 1824, sec. 1. (2) Ibid. sec. 2.
(3) Ibid. sec. 3.
one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre, to be paid at the time of making such entry; with the exception, however, of the lands which may have reverted to the United States, for failure in payment, and of the heretofore reserved sections for the future disposal of congress, in the states of Ohio and Indiana, which shall be offered at public sale, as hereinafter directed.(1)
1241. No lands which have reverted, or which shall revert, to the United States, for failure in any manner to make payment, shall be subject to entry at private sale, nor until they shall have been first offered to the highest bid. der at public sale; and all such lands which shall have reverted before the said first day of July, 1820, and which shall then belong to the United States, together with the sections, and parts of sections, heretofore reserved for the future disposal of congress, which shall, at the time aforesaid, remain unsold, shall be offered at public sale to the highest bidder, who shall make payment therefor, in half quarter sections, at the land office for the respective districts, on such day or days as shall, by proclamation of the president, be designated for the purpose. No such lands shall be sold at public sales for a less price than one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre, nor on any other terms than that of cash payment; and all the lands offered at such public sales, and which shall remain unsold at the close thereof, shall be subject to entry at private sale, in the same manner, and at the same price, with the other lands sold at private sale at the respective land offices.(2) (See article 1236.)
1242. The several public sales above authorized shall, respectively, be kept open for two weeks, and no longer; and the registers of the land office and the receivers of public money shall, each, respectively, be entitled to five dollars for each day's attendance thereon.(3)
1243. Where two or more persons shall apply for the purchase, at private sale, of the same tract, at the same time, the register shall determine the preference, by forthwith offering the tract to the highest bidder.(4)
1244. The public lands which shall be exposed to public sale by order of the president, shall be advertised for a period of not less than three, nor more than six months, prior to the day of sale, any thing in any law heretofore enacted to the contrary notwithstanding.(5)
1245. 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, com. bination, 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 abettors, 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.(6)
1246. 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, bare gain, agreement, or secret understanding with any other person or persons, proposing to purchase such land, to pay or give to such purchasers for such land, a sum of money, or other article 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
(1) Act 24th April, 1820, sec. 3.
(4) Ibid. sec. 6.
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 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.(1)
1247. In all cases where public lands, taken from the bounds of a former land district, and included within the bounds of a new district, have been sold by the officers of such former district, under the pre-emption laws or otherwise, at any time prior to the opening of the land office in such new district, and in which the commissioner of the general land office shall be satisfied that the proceedings in other respects have been fair and regular, such entries and sales shall be, and are hereby confirmed; and patents shall be issued thereupon, as in other cases.(2)
In all cases where any entry has been made under the pre-emption laws, pursuant to instructions sent to the register and receiver from the treasury department, and the proceedings have been in all other respects fair and regular, such entries and sales are hereby confirmed, and patents shall be issued thereon, as in other cases.(3)
1248. In all cases where lands have been, or shall hereafter be, conveyed to, or for, the United States, for forts, arsenals, dock-yards, light-houses, or any
like purpose, or in payment of debts due the United States, which shall not be used, or necessary for the purposes for which they were purchased, or other authorized purpose, it shall be lawful for the president to cause the same to be sold, for the best price to be obtained, and to convey the same to the purchaser.(4)
1249. The president is authorized to procure the assent of the legislature of any state, within which any purchase of land has been made, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings, without such consent having been obtained; and also to obtain exclusive legislation over any such tract as is provided for in the sixteenth clause of the eighth section of the first article of the constitution ; and he is authorized to procure the like consent and exclusive legislation as to all future purchases of land for either of those purposes.(5)
1250. The president, in all cases where lands have been conveyed for the United States to individuals or officers, is authorized to obtain from the person or persons to whom the conveyance has been made, a release of their interest to the United States (6)
(1) Act 31st March, 1830, sec. 5, (2) Act July 2d, 1836, sec. 1.
Ibid. sec. 2.
(4) Act 28th April, 1828, sec. 1.