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INSTRUCTIONS AND FORMS FOR OBTAINING LAND-WARRANTS. The following instructions and forms are to be observed by persons applying to the pension. office for bounty land. The forms and modes of proof have been made as simple as possible, and every facility will be afforded to applicants to establish their just demands. Certificates of service have been prepared from the rolls on file in the department at Washington, in order that those who have
not received discharges, or have accidentally lost them, may not be disappointed in obtaining their just reward. The frank and confiding soldier is warned against the arts and devices of agents who will seek to exaggerate the difficulties of obtaining the land in order to enhance their own charges. The evidence of service exists among the archives of the country. In nine cases out of ten the only proof required will be of the identity of the applicant, or of marriage and widowhood, or heirship. These are facts readily proved, and, therefore, the difficulties will generally be merely nominal. The policy of this law in all its provisions is to discourage speculation in the claims of soldiers, and aid them in obtaining all its advantages without much expense.
In every application for the benefit of the act aforesaid, whether made by the surviving officer or soldier himself
, or by his widow or minor child or children, a declaration, under oath, must be made as nearly according to the following forms, as the nature of the case will admit.
Such declaration and all affidavits must be sworn to before some justice of the peace or other officer authorized to administer oaths for general purposes, who must certify the same.
The official character and signature of the magistrate who may adizinister the oath, must be certified by the clerk of the proper court of record of his county, under the seal of the court. Such certificate must accompany every case.
In every instance where the certificate of the certifying officer who authenticates the paper, is not written on the same sheet of paper which contains the affidavit or other papers authenticated, the certificate must be attached thereto by a piece of tape or narrow riband, the ends of which must pass under the official seal, so as to prevent any paper from being improperly attached to the certificate.
The third section, in express terms, only provides for the location of a warrant under the law. Thus, the right to locate not being given to an assignee, the department may as well say that no assignments made prior to location will be recognised.
The fourth section declares all sales, &c., going to uffect the title to any land, granted or to be granted, " prior to the issue," shall be null and void, and expressly declares that the land located shall not be charged with or subject to any debt or claim “incurred prior to the issuing of the patent.” It thus appears clear that it was the intention of Congress that the claim of the soldier or his heirs should continue free from every kind of encumbrance until after the issue of the patent, and thus relieve the department from all the evils growing out of conflicting claims under alleged assignments. The object of the law is to confer the right to the land itself on the warrantee or his
heirs. After that purpose is effected, it is of course competent for the grantee to dispose of it as he may think proper.
As numerous inquiries have been directed to the following points, it may be well to state: 1. That where the service has been rendered by a substitute, he is the person entitled to the benefit of the law, and not his employer.
2. That the widow of a soldier who has rendered the service required by the law is entitled to bounty land, provided she was a widow at the passage of the law, although she may have been married a second time; but if not a widow at that time, the benefit of the act enures to the minor children of the deceased soldier.
3. That no person who has received or is entitled to bounty land under a prior law, is entitled to the benefit of the act of the 28th of September, 1850.
4. That no soldier is entitled to more than one warrant under this act, although he may have served several terms; but where a soldier has served several terms, he will receive a warrant for the greatest quantity of land to which those several terms, consolidated, will entitle him.
Applicants for bounty land, or for information in relation thereto, are requested to address their communications on that subject to the “Commissioner of Pensions" direct. Their transmission through the department of the interior proper imposes on it a very great and unnecessary amount of labor, and the additional examination they must thereby necessarily undergo only creates delay, and increases their liability to be lost or mislaid. Whenever new questions arise under the law, the decision of the department will be communicated to the commissioner.
If any officer or soldier who would be entitled to bounty land under said act, if living, has died, leaving no widow who still survives him, but leaving a child or children under the age of majority, at the time of the passage of said act, such minor child or children are entitled to the same quantity of land that the father would be entitled to if living.
In such case, the guardian of such minor child or children must make a declaration 88 nearly corresponding with the foregoing forms as the nature of the case will admit. He must state the time of the father's death; the fact that no widow survives him; and must state the name or names, and exact age or ages of his surviving minor child
or children. This declaration must be accompanied by satisfactory proof of the father's death, that no widow survives him; of the ages of the minor children; of his own appointment, by competent authority, as guardian. If there is any family record, showing the ages of the children, it, or a certified copy of the same, should be forwarded, with the affidavit of some disinterested person, proving the genuineness of the original, and that the copy certified is a true and correct copy of it.
Homestead-Exemption Law. FROM and after the first day of January, A. D., 1852, the family homestead of the head of each family shall be exempt from attachment and levy or sale on execution on any judg. ment rendered on any cause of action accruing after the taking effect of this act: provided such homestead shall not exceed in vakie five hundred dollars. Such homestead shall not be assets in the hands of an administrator for the payment of
debts, nor subject to the laws of distribution or devise, so long as the widow or minor children, or any or either of them, shall occupy the same; and the release or wajver of such exemption shall be valid unless made by deed executed by the husband and wife, with all the formalities required by law for the conveyance of real estate; or if the wife be dead, and there be minor children, by such deed executed by the husband, with the consent of the jadge of probate for the county in which the land is, indorsed on said deed.
Such exemption sliall extend to any interest which the debtor may own in such homestead, and to any interest in any building occupied by him as a homestead, standing on land not owned by him to an amount not exceeding five hundred dollars.
The sheriff executing any writ of execution, founded on any judgment such as is mentioned above, on application of the debtor or his wife, if such debtor shall have a family, and if the lands and tentments about to be levied on, or any part thereof, shall be the homestead or estate thereof, shall cause a homestead such as the debtor may select, not exceeding five hundred dollars in value, to be set off to the debter in the manner following, to wit: le shall cause three appreisers to be appointed, one by the creditor, one by the debtor, and one by himself, who shall be discreet and disinterested men, residents in the county, and shall be sworn by a justice of the peace impartially to appraise and set oft by metes and bounds a homestead of the estate of the debtor, such as he may select, not exceeding five hundred dollars in value; and the set-off and assignment so made as aforesaid by the appraisers shall be returned by the sheriff, along with the writ, for record in coart; and if no complaint shall be made by either party, no further proceedings shall be had against the homestead : but the remainder of the debtor's land and tenements, if any more he shall have, shall be liable to levy or sale on execution in the same manner as heretofore provided by law; provided that upon good cause shown, the court out of which the writ issued may order a re-appraisement and re-assignment of the homestead, either by the same appraisers or others appointed by the court, and under such instructions as the court may give; and such appraisement shall be made and returned to said court as aforesaid.
When the homestead of any head of a family, being a debtor in execution, shall consist of a house, or a house and lot of land, which in the upinion of the appraisers can not be divided without injury and inconvenience, they shall make and sign an appraisal of the whole value thereof, and deliver the same to the officer having the execution, who shall deliver a copy thereof to the execution-debtor, or some member of his family of sufficient age to understand the nature thereof, with a notice thereof attached, that unless the executiun-debter shall pay to said officer the surplus over and above the five hundred dollars, within sixty days thereafter, sad premises will be sold; and in case such surplus shall not be paid within the said sixty days it shall be lawful for the officer to advertise and sell the same at auction, by posting up notices of the time and place of sale, with a description of the premises, in two or more of the most public places in the town where the same is situate, and a like notice in the next adjoining town, thirty days prior to the sale; and out of the proceeds of such sale to pay the said execution-debtor, with the written consent of his wife, the sum of five hundred dodars; provided, however, if the wife of such debtor shall not consent to suchi payment, the sheriff or officer having such proceeds shall deposite said sum of five haudred dollars in some savings institution in this state, to the credit of said deblor and wife, and the same may be withdrawn therefrom only by the joint order of the husband and wife, or by the surviver in case one should decease; and the same shall be exempt from attachment and levy of execation for the term of one year from the time it shall be paid or deposited as aforesaid. And the said sheriff or officer shall apply the balance of suid proceeds on the execution, or so much thereof as shall be necessary to satisfy the same; provided that no such sale shall be made unless a greater sam than five hundred dollars shall be bid therefor, in which case the officer shall return the execution for want of property, with a certificate thereon of his proceedings.
Tue provis ons ef this act shall not extend to any judgment rendered on any contract mude before the taking effect of this act, or judyment rendered on any note or mortgage executed by the debtor and his wife, nor any claim for labor less than one trandred dollara, nor to impair the lien by mortgage of the vender for the purchase-money of the homestead in question, nor of any mechanic or other person, under any statute of this state, for any debt contracted for or in aid of the erection of the buildinys, nor from the payment of taxes due thereon.
No conveyance or alienation by the hssband of any property exempt and set off as aforesaid, shall be valid unless the wife join in the deed of conveyance provided, however, that such Inasband may without the consent of his wife, worty age such homestead, at the time of the purchase thereof, for the payment of the purchase-money.
The provisions of this act shall not be so construed as to affeet any property fraudulendy purchased by the debtor, when in insolvent circumstances.
NEW HAMPSHIRE, approved July 4, 1852.
Norrados o camdeno)
SPECIAL STATE LAWS.
Exemptions. THERE is exempt from sale on execution the debtor's wearing-apparel, beds, bedsteads, bedding, and household utensils necessary for himself, his wife and children, provided that the beds and bedding so ex. empted sliall not exceed one bed, bedstead, and neces sary bedding for every two persons, nor the other household furniture the value of fifty dollars; the tools of any debtor necessary for his trade or occupation ; all bibles and schoolbooks in actual use in the family, and one copy of the statutes of the state; all cast-iron and sheet-iron stoves used exclusively for warming build.
ings; one cow, and one beifer till she shall become three years old; two swine, one of which shall not weigh more than one hundred pounds; and when he owns a cow, and a heifer more than three years old, or iwo swine, each weighing more than one hundred pounds, he may elect the cow, or the heifer, or either of the swine, to be exempt as aforesaid ; ten sheep, and the wool that may be sheared from them, and thirty hundred weight of hay for the use of said cow, and two tons for the use of said sheep, and a sufficient quantity for said heifer according to its age; all produce of farms while standing and growing, until harvested, and corn and grain necessary and sufficient for the sustenance of the debtor and his family, not exceeding thirty bushels ; one pew in any meetinghouse where he and his family statedly worship; all potatoes raised or purchased for the consumption of himself and family; all firewood conveyed to the debtor's house for the use of himself and family, not exceeding twelve cords ; one boat, not exceeding two tons' burden. usually employed in fishing business, belonging wholly to an inhabitant of this state : one plough, of the value of ten dollars; one cari, of the value of twenty-five dollars; one larrow, of the value of five dollars ; and one cooking-stove, of the value of thirty-five dollars ; and all an thracite and bituminous coal and charcoal conveyed to any person's house to be consumed in the family of such person, not exceeding five tons of anthracite and fifty bushels of bituminous; one pair of bulls, steers, or oxen, raised by the owner from his own cows, or purchased by him before the said bulls or steers were one year old, or by him at any time obtained by exchange of said bulls, steers, or oxen, for others of the same age, with a sufficient quantity of hay to keep the same through the winter season, provided that the owner began to raise or pur chased said stock after the 24th day of April, 1839 ; one ox-yoke, with bows ring, and staple, value of three dollars ; two chains value of three dollars ; one ox sled value of ten dollars ; one pair of oxen, steers, or bulls, purchased or obtained legally, the same as if raised; one or two borses, instead of oxen, not to exceed one hundred dollars in value; one barrel of flour, and ten dollars worth of lumber Wood, or bark; also, any piece of land, not exceeding half an acre, appropriated by any number of individuals as a place of burial, constantly enclosed with a fence, and not used for the purposes of cultivation ; a description of which, under the hands of individuals who appropriated the same, attested by two disintereste ed witnesses, shall have been recorded in the registry of deeds in the county or registry district where the land lies.