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regularly made before the 26th day of October, in the year 1763, or on the eastern waters at any time before the end of this present session of assembly, with the surveyor of the county for tracts of land not exceeding four hundred acres, according to act of assembly upon any order of council, or entry in the council books, and made during the time in which it shall appear either from the original or any subsequent order, entry, or proceedings in the council books, that such order or entry remained in force the terms of which have been complied with, or the time for performing the same unexpired, or upon any warrant from the governour for the time being for military service, in virtue of any proclamation either from the king of Great Britain” or any former governour of Virginia, shall be, and are hereby declared good and valid, but that all surveys of waste and unpatented lands made by any other person, or upon any other pretence whatso
ever, shall be, and are hereby declared null and void,
provided that all officers or soldiers, their heirs or as
signs, claiming under the late governour Dinwiddie'sf
proclamation of a bounty in lands to the first Virginia regiment, and having returned to the secretary’s office, surveys made by virtue of a special commission from the president and masters of William and Mary college, shall be entitled to grants thereupon on payment of the common office fees; that all officers and soldiers, their heirs or assigns under proclamation warrants for military service, having located lands by actual surveys made under any such special commission, shall have the benefit of their said locations, by taking out warrants upon such rights, resurveying such lands according to law, and thereafter proceeding according to the rules and regulations of the land office. All and
every person or persons, his, her, or their heirs or as
signs, claiming lands upon any of the before recited rights, and under surveys made as herein before mentioned against which no caveat shall have been legally entered, shall upon the plats and certificates of such surveys being returned into the land office, together with the rights, entry, order, warrant or authentick copy thereof upon which they were respectively found
* See Vol 7, p 663, for the king's proclamation of 1763. f See Vol. 7, p. 661, for governor Dinwiddie's proclamation of 3754. / - - - -
ed, be entitled to a grant or grants for the same in
Under what rights and in whatmanner grants shall be made.
vice, and not having located and fixed such lands by
actual surveys as herein before mentioned, shall be admitted to warrants, entries, and grants for the same, in manner directed by the act of assembly entitled “An act for establishing a land office, and ascertaining the terms and manner of granting waste and unappropriated lands,” upon producing to the register of the land office the proper certificates, proofs, or warrants, as the case may be, for their respective rights within the like space of twelve months after the end of this present session of assembly, and not afterwards. All certificates of importation rights proved before any court of record according to the ancient custom, and before the end of this present session of assembly, are hereby declared good and valid: And all other claims for importation rights not so proved, shall be null and void; and where any person before the end of this present session of assembly, hath made a regular entry according to act of assembly, with the county surveyor for any tract of land not exceeding four hundred acres, upon any of the eastern waters, which hath not been
* See thé next chapter.
surveyed or forfeited, according to the laws and rules
of government in force at the time of making such entry, the surveyor of the county where such land lies, shall after advertising legal notice thereof, proceed to survey the same accordingly, and shall deliver to the proprietor a plat and certificate of survey thereof within three months; and if such person shall fail to attend at the time and place so appointed for making such survey, with chain carriers and a person to mark the lines, or shall fail to deliver such plat and certificate into the land office, according to the rules and regulations of the same, together with the auditors certificate
of the treasurers receipt for the composition money herein after mentioned, and pay the office sees, he or she shall forfeit his or her right and title; but upon performance of these requisitions, shall be entitled to a grant for such tract of land as in other cases. Rightsclaim. Ill. And be it enacted, That all orders of council or ed under entries for land in the council books, except so far as i. Ş., such orders or entries respectively have been carried ers of coun- . e - o e ... . into execution by actual surveys in manner herein beroyal procla- fore mentioned, shall be, and they are hereby declared *.*, void and of no effect; and except also a certain order clared void. ... e. - v- of council for a tract of sunken grounds, commonly Exceptae. called the Dismal Swamp, in the south eastern part of tual surveys; this commonwealth, contiguous to the North Caroliand except na line, which said order of council with the proceedonal ings thereon and the claim derived from it, shall hereafter be laid before the general assembly for their further order therein. No claim to land within this commonwealth for military service founded upon the king of Great Britain's proclamation, shall hereafter be allowed, except a warrant for the same shall have been obtained from the governour of Virginia, during the former government as before mentioned; or where such service was performed by an inhabitant of Virginia, or in some regiment or corps actually raised in the same; in either of which cases the claimant making due proof in any court of record, and producing a certificate thereof to the register of the land office within the said time of twelve months, shall be admitted to a warrant, entry, and grant for the same, in the manner herein before mentioned; but nothing herein contained shall be construed or extend to give any person a title to land for service performed in any company or detachment of militia. settlement IV, And whereas great numbers of people have setrights, upon tied in the country upon the western waters, upon the western waste and unappropriated lands, for which they have waters. been hitherto prevented from suing out patents or obtaining legal titles by the king of Great Britain's proclamations or instructions to his governours, or by the late change of government, and the present war having delayed until now, the opening of a land office, and the establishment of any certain terms for granting lands, and it is just that those settling under such circumstances should have some reasonable allowance for
the charge and risk they have incurred, and that the property so acquired should be secured to them: Be it therefore enacted, That all persons who, at any time o: o before the first day of January, in the year one thou- onjie sand seven hundred and seventy eight, have really and 24, 1776—& boma fide settled themselves or their families, or at his, .* her, or their charge, have settled others upon any waste §ol. or unappropriated lands on the said western waters, to so vol. 9, p. which no other person hath any legal right or claim, 355,356.] shall be allowed for every family so settled, four hulldred acres of land, or such smaller quantity as the party chooses, to include such settlement. And where any such settler hath had any survey made for him or her, under any order of the former government, since the twenty sixth day of October, in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty three, in consideration of such settlement for less than four hundred acres of land, such settler, his or her heirs, may claim and be allowed as much adjoining waste and unappropriated land, as together with the land so surveyed will make up the quantity of four hundred acres. W. And whereas several families for their greater Provision for safety have settled themselves in villages or townships, milie” or under some agreement between the inhabitants of layo. ing off the same into town lots, to be divided among hips, them, and have, from present necessity, cultivated a piece of ground adjoining thereto in common: Be it enacted, That six hundred and forty acres of land whereon such villages and towns are situate, and to which no other person hath a previous legal claim, shall not be entered for or surveyed, but shall be reserved for the use and benefit of the said inhabitants until a true representation of their case can be made to the general assembly, that right and justice may be done therein; and in the mean time there shall be allowed to every such family, in consideration of their settlement, the like quantity of land as is herein allowed to other settlers adjacent, or convenient to their respective village or town, and to which no other person hath, by this act, the right of preemption, for which said quantities to be adjusted, ascertained, and certified by the commissioners to be appointed by virtue of this act, in manner herein after directed. The proper claimants shall be respectively entitled to entries with the surveyor of the county wherein the land lies,
Settlement, and preemption rights defined.
Grants for, how obtained.
upon producing to him certificates of their rights from the said commissioners of the county, duly attested, within twelve months next after the end of this present session of assembly, and not afterwards; which certificate the said surveyor shall record in his books, and then return them to the parties, and shall proceed to survey the lands so entered, according to law. And
upon due return to the land office of the plats and cer
tificates of survey, together with the certificates from the said commissioners of the rights, by settlement upon which the entries were founded, grants may and shall issue to them and their heirs or assigns, in manner before directed. And if any such settlers shall desire to take up a greater quantity of land than is herein allowed them, they shall on payment to the treasurer of the eonsideration money, required from other purchasers, be entitled to the preemption of any greater quantity of land adjoining to that allowed them in consideration of settlement, not exceeding one thouSand acres, and to which no other person hath any legal right or claim. And to prevent doubts cencerning settlements, It is hereby declared, That no family shall be entitled to the allowance granted to settlers by this act, unless they have made a crop of corn in that country, or resided there at least one year since the time of their settlement. All persons who, since the said first day of January, in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy eight, have actually settled on any waste or unappropriated lands on the said, western waters, to which no other person hath a just or legal right or claim, shall be entitled to the preemption of any quantity of land, not exceeding four hundred acres, to include such settlement at the state price to other purchasers. And all those who, before the said
first day of January, in the year one thousand seven
hundred and seventy eight, had marked out or chosen for themselves, any waste or unappropriated lands, and built any house or hut, or made other improvements thereon, shall also be entitled to the preemption upon the like terms, of any quantity of land, to include such improvements, not exceeding one thousand acres, and to which no other person hath any legal right or elaim; but no person shall have the right of preemption for more than one such improvement; provided they respectively demand and prove their right to such pre