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been or may be extinguished by the United States at any time during the opera. tion of these acts.
4. Sections of land reserved to the United States, alternate to other sections granted to any of the states for the construction of any canal, railroad, or other public improvement.
5. Sections or fractions of sections included within the limits of any incorporated town.
6. Every portion of the public lands which has been selected as a site for a city or town.
7. Every parcel or lot of land actually settled and occupied for the purposes of trade, and not agriculture.
8. All lands on which are situated any known salines or mines.
Persons claiming the benefits of this act, are required to fie duplicate affidavits such as the law requires, and to furnish proof by one or more disinterested witnesses of the facts necessary to establish the three requisites pointed out in the commencement of these instructions, and that referred to in a succeeding place, in relation to the claimant not having quit or abandoned his residence on his own land.
The witnesses are to be first duly sworn or affirmed to speak the truth and the whole truth, touching the subject of inquiry, by some officer competent to admin. ister oaths and affirmations; and, if not too inconvenient by reason of distance of residence from the land office of the district, or other good cause, must be examined by the register or receiver, and the testimony reduced to writing in their presence, and signed by each witness, and certified by the officer administering the oath or affirmation, who must also join in certifying as to the respectability and credit of each witness.
In case adverse claims shall be made to the same tract, each claimant will be notified of the time and place of taking testimony, and allowed the privilege of cross-examining the opposite witnesses, and of producing counter-proof, which will also be subject to cross-examination.
When, by reason of distance, sickness, or infirmity, the witnesses can not come before the register or receiver, these officers are authorized to receive their depositions, which must be, in all other respects, conformable to the within regu lations.
The proof furnished to the register or receiver, in all cases, should consist of a simple detail of facts merely, and not of statements in broad or general terms, involving conclusions of law. It is the exclusive province of the register or receiver to determine the legal conclusions arising from the facts. For instance, a witness will not be permitted to state that a claimant is the “head of a family," &c., following the words of the law, but must set forth the facts on which he grounds such allegations; because such a mode of testifying substitutes the judg. ment of the witness for that of the register or receiver, and allows him not only to determine the facts, but the law. A witness may possibly conscientiously testify that a minor son, living with a widowed mother, was the head of the family; and, in another case, similar in point of fact, another witness, equally conscien. tious, might testify that the widowed mother was the head of the family. There can not be a uniformí construction given to the law, if it is carelessly left to the opinion of every witness. Registers and receivers have therefore been instructed not to receive as testimony or proof a general statement, which embodies, in general terms, the conclusions of law, without stating the facts specifically.
The witnesses must state, if the pre-emptor be the "head of a family,” the facts which constitute him such ; whether a husband having a wife and children, or a widower, or an unmarried person under twenty-one years of age, having a family, either of relatives or others depending upon him, or hired persons, or slaves.
All the facts respecting the settlement in person, inhabitancy or personal resi. dence, the time of commencement, the manner and extent of continuance, as well as those showing the apparent objects, should be stated.
It must be stated that the claimant made the settlement on the land in person; that he has erected a dwelling upon the land ; that the claimant lived in it, and
made it his home, &c. By this means, the register or receiver will be enabled to determine whether or not the requisites of the law have been complied with in any given case.
The only affidavit required of the claimant is that prescribed by the thirteenth section of the act of 1841. (See form 134.) This affidavit must be taken before the register or receiver of the land district in which the land is situated," before an entry is permitted, and must be of the same date with the certificate of entry. An affidavit before any other person will not justify the entry of the land. Du. plicates thereof must be signed by the claimant.*
A claimant is bound to prove bis right to, and enter, all the land embraced by his declaratory statement, il liable to the operations of the act. No transfer or assignment of his claims can be made by a claimant under the law of 1841. The law declares such “null and void."
The proof filed by every claimant must show the timet of the commencement of the selllement.
The second section of the act of March 3, 1843, provides for the rights of parties who shall have died before consummating their claims, by the filing, in due time, of all the papers essential to establish the same. If proof of such right shall be filed, and payment therefor be made by the executor, administrator, or one of the heirs, during the period prescribed by the law upon which the claim is founded, the entry may be made in the name of " the heirs" of the deceased claimant. A patent on such an entry will cause the title to inure to said heirs, as if their. names had been specially mentioned. In cases of this kind, the affidavit required of the pre-emptor will be taken by the person so filing the proof; and should such person be one of the heirs, he or she sbould be of age and mind competent to appreciate the nature and obligation of an oath. (See form 135.).
The fourth section of the act of 1843 declares it unlawful for an individual, whic has once filed a declaration for one tract of land, to file at any future time a sec ond declaration for another tract. This has reference to those required, under the fifteenth section of the act of 1841, for land subject at the time of settlemeal to entry at private sale.
The fifth section requires that similar potices or declarations in writing should be filed by settlers, under the act of the 4th of September, 1841, on land not subject to private entry. These declarations are to be filed in the office of the regis. ter or receiver by every such settler within three months after his settlement.
By the sixth section, a claimant is authorized hereafter to file a declaration, under the law of the 4th of September, 1841, or to make an entry of a claim under it, although the time prescribed by the law, for the filing of such declaration, or the making of such entry, shall have expired, provided the claimant was pre. vented, by vacancy in either the receiver's or register's office, from performing said act or acts within such time, and shall perform the duties required by the law within the same period after the disability is removed, as he would have bad if such vacancy had not occurred.
The only things required of a purchaser of public lands are, that he shall make an application in writing to the register for the tract desired to be entered, and pay to the receiver the purchase-money. He will find a blank application at any of the land-offices where such purchase may be desired to be made.
* The law provides that “ if any person shall swear falsely in the premises, he or she shall be subject to all the pains and penalties of perjury, and shall forfeit the money which he or she may have paid for said land, and all right and title to the same; and any grant or con veyance which he or she may have made, except in the hands of bona fide purchasers, for & valuable consideration, shall be null and void."
+ This date is all important for the purpose of determining in all cases whether the settle ment was made within the proper time, and whether the declaratory statement was filed in due season, and the entry made within the legal period after the settlement
No. 131.–Form for Cases where the Land claimed
was subject to Private Entry prior to September 4, 1841. I, JOHN DOE, of the town of Peoria, in the county of Peorin, and state of Illemois, being (the head of a family, or widow, or single muon over the age of twentyone years, as the case may be, and a citizen of the United States, or hnving filed my declaration to become a citizen as required by the naturalization laws, as the case may be), have, since the first day of June, one thousand eight hundred and forty, tv wit: on the fifteenth day of January, one thousand eight hundred and fifiy, settled and improved the northeast quarter of sect. number two, in township number for north, of range inamber eight east, in the district of lands subject to sale at the land-office at Chicago, and containing one hundred and siirty acres, which land was subject to private entry at the passage of the act of the fourth of September, one thousand eight hundred and forty one ; and I do hereby declaro my intention to clain the said tract of land as a pre-emption right under the provisions of said act of the fourth of September, one thousand eight hundred and forty-one.
Given under my hand, this twentieth day of January, one thousand eight hazdred and fifty.
JOHN DOE. Signed in presence of JOHN SMITH.
No. 132.-For Cases where the Land claimed shall
have been rendered subject to Private Entry since Septeni
ber 4, 1841. I, John Doe, of the town of Galena, in the county of Jo Daviess, and state of Illinois, being the hend of a formily, or widow, or single mon over the age of twenty-one yenis, as the case my be, and a citizen of the United States, or kiiv. ing filed niy declaration to become a citizen as regnired by the naturalization laws, as the case may bu), have, since the first day of June, one thousand eight hundred and fifty, settled the southeast quarter of section number three, in town. ship number five north, of range four enet, in the district of lands subject to sale at the land office of Chicago, and containing one hundred and sixty acres, wbich land has been rendered subject to private entry since the passage of the act of the fourth of September, one thousand eight hundred and forty-one, but prior to my settlement thereon; and I do hereby declare my intention to claim the said tract of land as a pre emption right, ander the provisions of said act of the fourth of September, one thousand eight hundred and forty-one.
Given under my hand, this first day of July, one thousand eight hundred and fifty.
JOHN DOE. Signed in presence
No. 133.- Declaratory Statement for Cases where
the Land is not subject to Private Entry. I, JOHN DOE, of the city of Detroit, in the county of Wayne, and state of Michigan, being, &c. (ns in Nos. 131 and 133), have, on the first day of October, one thousand eight bundred and fifty, settled and improved the northerst quarter of section number ten, in township number eight norih, of range number six enst, in the district of lands subject to sale at the land office at Detroit, and containing one hundred and sixty acres, which land has not yet been offered at public sale, and thus rendered subject to private entry; and I do hereby declare my intention to claim the said tract of land as a pre-emption right, under the provisions of said act of the fourth of September, one thousand eight hundred and forty-one.
Given under my hand, this tenth day of October, one thousand eight hundred and fifty.
JOHN DOE. Signed in presence of John SMITH.
No. 134.-Affidavit required of Pre-emption Claim
ant. I, John Doe, claiming the right of pre-emption under the provisions of the act of Congress, entitled " An act to appropriate the proceeds of the sale of the pub. lic lands, and to grant pre-emption rights," approved September 4, 1841, to the northwest quarter of section number tuo, of township number six north, of range number two west, subject to sale at Chicago, do solemnly swear for affirni, as the case may be), that I have never had the benefit of any right of pre-emption under this act; that I am not the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of land in any state or territory of the United States, por have I settled upon and improved said land to sell the same on speculation, but in good faith to appropriate it to my own exclusive use and benefit; and that I have not, directly or indi rectly, made any agreement or contract, in any way or manner, with any person or persons whatsoever, by which the title which I may acquire from the govern ment of the United States should enare, in whole or in part, to the benefit of any person except myself.
JOHN DOE. I, JOHN SMITH, register for John Jones, receiver), of the land-office at Chi cago, do hereby certify tbat the above affidavit was taken and subscribed before me, this first day of November, one thousand eight hundred and fifty.
JOHN SMITH, Register. Or, JOHN JONES, Receiver.
No. 135.-Form of Affidavit to be filed in Cases,
under the Act of the 4th of September, 1841, where the Settler
shall have died before proving up and entering his Claim. I JOHN DOE [executor of the estate of Richard Roe, or administrator of the estate of RICHARD ROE, or one of the heirs of RICHARD ROE, aged forty years, as the case may be), do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be], that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, the said RICHARD ROE, who was a settler on the north Ralf of the northeast quarter of section number seven, of township number three north, of range number one east, subject to sale at Chicago, bas never had the benefit of any right of pre-emption, under the act entitled “An act to appropriate the proceeds of the sales of the public lands, and to grant preemption rights," approved September 4, 2841; that he was not, at the time of his death, the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of land in any state or terri. tory of the United States ; that he did not settle upon and improve the above tract of land on speculation, but in good faith to appropriate it to his own exclu. sive use and benefit; and that he has not, directly or indirectly, made any agreement or contract, in any way or manner, with any person or persons whatsoever, by which the title which he might have acquired from the government of the United States should enure, in whole or in part, to the benefit of any person except himself.
JOHN DOE, Executor, [Or administrator, or one of the heirs of RICHARD ROE, as the case may be). I, JOHN SMITH, register for JOHN JONES, receiver) of the land-office at Cha cago, do hereby certify that the above affidavit was taken and subscribed before me, this fifth day of December, one thousand eight hundred and fifty.
JOHN SMITH, Register. Or JOHN JONES, Receiver
MILITARY BOUNTY LAND-BILL.
On the 28th September, 1850, Congress passed an act granting bounty land to certain officers and soldiers who have been engaged in the military service of the United States, of to their widows or minor children. To enable the numerous class who are affected by the privileges of the law, to avail themselves of its benefits, we insert the law with the instructions and forms issued by the department for its execution.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That each of the surviving, or the widow or minor children of deceased commissioned and non-commissioned officers, musicians, or privates, whether of regulars, volunteers, rangers, or militia, who performed military service in any regiment, company, or detachment, in the service of the United States, in the war with Great Britain, declared by the United States on the eighteenth day of June, eighteen hundred and twelve, or in any of the Indian wars since seventeen hundred and ninety, and each of the commissioned officers who was engaged in the military service of the United States in the late war with Mexico, shall be entitled to lands as follows: Those who engaged to serve twelve months, or during the war, and actually served nine months, shall receive one hundred and sixty acres; and those who engaged to serve six months, and actually served four months, shail receive eighty acres; and those who engaged to serve for any, or an indefinite period, and actually served one month, shall receive forty acres: Provided, That whenever any officer or soldier was honorably discharged in consequence of disability in the service before the expiration of his period of service, he shall receive the amount to which he would have been entitled if he had served the full period for which he had engaged to serve: Provided, The person so having been in service shall not receive said lands, or any part thereof, if it shall appear by the muster-rolls of his regiment or corps that he deserted, or was dishonorably discharged from service, or if he has received or is entitled to any military land bounty under any act of Congress heretofore passed.
Sect. 2. And be it further enacted, That the period during which any officer or soldier may have remained in captivity with the enemy shall be estimated and added to the period of his actual service, and the person so detained in captivity shall receive land under the provisions of this act in the same manner that he would be entitled in case he had entered the service for the whole term made up by the addition of the time of his captivity, and had served during such term.
SECT. 3. And be it further enacted. That each commissioned and non-commissioned officer, musician, and private, for whom provision is made by the first section hereof, shall receive a certificaie or warrant from the department of the interior for the quantity of land to which he may be entitled, and which may be located by the warrantee, or his heirs-at-law, at any land-office of the United States, in one body, and in conformity to the legal subdivisions of the public lands, upon any of the public lands in such district then subject to private entry; and upon the return of such certificate or warrant, with evidence of the location thereof having been legally made, to the general land-office, a patent shall be issued therefor. In the event of the death of any commissioned or non-commissioned officer, musician, or private, prior or subsequent to the passage of this act, who shall have served as aforesaid, and who shall not have received bounty land for said services, a like certificate or warrant shall be issued in favor and enure to the benefit of his widow, who shall receive one hundred and sixty acres of land, in case her husband was killed in battle, but not to her heirs: Provided, She is unmarried at the date of her application: Provided further, That no land warrant'issued under the provisions of this act shall be laid upon any land of the United States to which there shall be a pre-emption right, or upon which there shall be an actual settlement and cultivation, except with the consent of such settler, to be satisfactorily proven to the proper land-officer.
Sect. 4. And be it further enacted, That all sales, mortgages, letters of attorney, or other instruments of writing going to affect the title or claim to any warrant or certificate issued, or to be issued, or any land granted, or to be granted, under the provisions of this act, made or executed prior to the issue, shall be null and void to all intents and purposes whatsoever; nor shall such certificate or warrant, or the land obtained thereby, be in any wise affected by, or charged with, or subject to, the payment of any debt or claim incur. red by such officer or soldier prior to the issuing of the patent: Provided, That the benefits of this act shall not accrue to any person who is a member of the present Congress: Provided further, That it shall be the duty of the commissioner of the general land-office, under such regulations as may be prescribed by, the secretary of the interior, to cause to be located, free of expense, any warrant which the holder may transmit to the general land-office for that purpose, in such state and land-district as the said holder or warrantee may designate, and upon good farming land, so far as the same can be ascertained from the maps, plats, and field-notes of the surveyor, or from any other information in the possession of the local office; and upon the location being made, as aforesaid, the secretary shall cause a patent to be transmitted to such warrantee: And provided further, That no patent issued under this act shall be delivered upon any power of attorney or agreement
the passage of this act; and that all such powers of attorney or agreements be considered and treats ed as null and void.