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To pre

emption, before the commissioners for the county, to be appointed by virtue of this act within eight months, pay the consideration money, produce the auditor's certificate for the treasurer's receipt for the same, take out their warrants froin the register of the land office within ten months, and enter the same with the surveyor of the county, within twelve months next after the end of this present session of assembly; and thereafter duly comply with the rules and regulations of the land office. All locations made by officers and sol

Locations, diers upon the lands of actual settlers, shall be void, by officers but the said officers, soldiers, or their assignees, may and soldiers, obtain warrants on producing the commissioners cer- on lands of tificate of their several rights, and locate their claims settlers,

void. en other waste and unappropriated lands. vent the locations of those claiming under warrants for preemption, from interfering with such as claim under certificates for settlements, and to give due preference to the latter, so far as respects their rights to tracts of land not exceeding four hundred acres; the register of the land office shall particularly distinguish all preemption warrants by him issued, and no county surveyor shall admit

any

such warrant to be entered or located in his books, before the expiration of ten months as aforesaid. And where any such warrant What loca. shall not be entered and located with the county sur- tions intiveyor, within the before mentioned space of twelve tled to pre

ference. months, the right of preemption shall be forfeited, and the lands therein mentioned may be entered for by any other person holding another land warrant; but such preemption warrant may, nevertheless, be located up- Warrants re un any other waste' or unappropriated lands, or upon entered. the same lạnds where they have not in the mean time been entered for by some other.

VI. And be it farther enacted, That all persons Composition claiming lands, and suing out grants upon any such money in surveys heretofore made; either under entries with the

to be paid. surveyor of any county, or under any order of council, or entry in the council books, for which rights have not formerly been lodged in the secretary's office, and also those suing out grants for tracts of lands

upon

the western waters, not exceeding four hundred acres herein allowed them in consideration of their settlements, or under former entries with the county surveyor, for lands upon the eastern waters, shall be subject to the

F

what cases

VOL. X.

payment of the usual composition money under the former government, at the rate of ten shillings stirling for every hundred acres, to be discharged in current money, at the rate of thirty three and one third per centum exchange, before the grant issues, and to no other charge or imposition whatsoever, save the common office fees.

And to all such persons, their heirs or assigns, who having title to land under the former government, had not only surveyed the same, but had lodged their certificates of survey, together with their rights, in the secretary's office; and although no caveat hath been entered, have not obtained patents, grants shall issue in consideration thereof, upon the

payment of the office fees only. Agreements

VII. And whereas it hath been represented to the between general assembly, that upon lands surveyed for sundry companies

companies by virtue of orders of council, many people claiming un

have settled without specifick agreement, but der orders of

yet

under council, and the faith of the terms of sale publickly offered by the purchasers, said companies or their agents at the time of such setfrom them regulated.

tlements, who have made valuable improvements thereon: Be it enacted and declared, That all persons so settled upon any unpatented lands, surveyed as before mentioned, except only such lands as before the settlement of the same, were notoriously reserved by the respective companies for their own use, shall have their titles confirmed to them by the members of such companies, or their agents, upon payment of the price at which such lands were offered for sale when they were settled, together with interest thereon from the time of the respective settlements, provided they compromise their claims with the said companies, or lay them before the commissioners for their respective counties, to be appointed by virtue of this act, and have the same tried and determined by them, in manner herein after directed: And provided also, that where any such suro vey contains more than four hundred acres, no one seuiler shall be entitled to a greater quantity than three hundred acres, unless he takes the whole survey, to include his settlement, and leave the remainder in one entire and convenient piece where the same is practi

cable. Commission. VIII. And whereas the claims of various persons to ers for ad.

the lands herein allowed to the inhabitants, in considejusting and Jetermining ration of their settlements, and of those who, by this

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according to the best of my skill and judgment, du equal and impartial justice, without fraud, favour, affection, or partiality, So lielp me God.” Which oath shall be administered by any of the said commissioners to the first of them in nomination, who shall be present, and then by him to the others. The said commissioners shall have power to hear and determine all titles claimed in consideration of settlements to lands, to which no person hath any other legal title, and the rights of all persous claiming preemption to any lands within their respective districts, as also the rights of all persons claiming any unpatented lands, surveyed by order of council for sundry companies, by having settled thereon under the faith of the terms of sale publickly offered by such companies or their agents, aud shall immediately upon receipt of their commissions, give at least twenty days previous notice by advertisements at the forts, churches, meetinghouses, and other publick places in their district, of the time and place at which they intend to meet, for

purpose of collecting, hearing, and determining the said claims and titles, requiring all persons interested therein, to attend and put in their claims, and may ad, journ from place to place, and time to time, as their business may require; but if they should fail to meet at any time to which they shall have adjourned, neither their commission nor any matter depending before them shall be thereby discontinued, but they shall proceed to business when they do meet, as if no such failure had liappened. They shall appoint and administer an oath of oflice to their clerk; be attended by the sheriil, or one of the under sherifls of the county; be empowered to administer oaths to witnesses or others, necessary for the discharge of their oflice; ta punish contempts, enforce good behaviour in their presence, and award costs, in the same manner with the county courts; they shall have free access to the coun. ty surveyor's books, and may order the same to be laid before them, at any time or place of their sitting, and shall pay to such surveyor, out of the fees received by them for certificates, the sum of three pounds for every day he shall attend, and to the sheriff for the like attendance, two pounds for each day's attendance. In all cases of disputes upon claims for settlement, the person who made the first actual settlement, his or her

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