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United States Statutes at Large/Volume 2/9th Congress/2nd Session/Chapter 21

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March 2, 1807.
Chap. XXI.—An Act to extend the time for locating Virginia military [land] warrants, for returning surveys thereon to the office of the Secretary of the department of War, and appropriating lands for the use of schools, in the Virginia military reservation, in lieu of those heretofore appropriated.[1]

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the officers and soldiers Act of Aug. 10, 1790, ch. 40.
Act of June 9, 1794, ch. 62.
Act of June 26, 1812, ch. 109.
A further time allowed for completing locations.
1804, ch. 33.
of the Virginia line on continental establishment, their heirs or assigns, entitled to bounty lands within the tract reserved by Virginia, between the little Miami and Scioto rivers, for satisfying the legal bounties to her officers and soldiers upon the continental establishment, shall be allowed a further time of three years, from the twenty-third of March next, to complete their locations, and a further time of five years from the said twenty-third of March next, to return their surveys and warrants, or certified copies of warrants, to the office of the Secretary of the War department, any thing in the act intituled “An act to ascertain the boundary of the lands reserved by the state of Virginia, northwest of the river Ohio, for the satisfaction of her officers and soldiers on continental establishment, and to limit the period for locating the said lands,” to the contrary notwithstanding: Provided,Proviso. that no locations, as aforesaid, within the above mentioned tract, shall, after the passing of this act, be made on tracts of land for which patents had previously been issued, or which had been previously surveyed, and any patent which may nevertheless be obtained for land located contrary to the provisions of this section, shall be considered as null and void.

Secretary of the Treasury to cause a general and connected plat to be made.
Copies thereof, how to be disposed of.
Expense—how defrayed.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of the Treasury be, and he is hereby authorized to obtain copies of all the locations and surveys, which have been, or may be made within the above mentioned tract, and to cause to be run or surveyed, as many straight lines across the same, as he may deem necessary, not exceeding three: and from these and such other documents as may be obtained, to cause to be made a general connected plat of all the lands located and surveyed within the same; a copy of which shall be deposited in the war department, and another copy shall be laid before Congress, together with an estimate of the surplus which may remain, after satisfying the bounties above mentioned. And the expenses incurred in surveying the lines, and obtaining the copies aforesaid, and in preparing the general plat above mentioned, shall be defrayed out of the monies appropriated for completing the surveys of the public lands northwest of the river Ohio.

A portion of the “Virginia military reservation,” to be vested in the state of Ohio, for the use of schools.
Limitation.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That eighteen quarter townships and three sections, to be selected by the Secretary of the Treasury, by lot, in that tract of land in the state of Ohio, lately purchased from the Indians, and lying between the tract commonly called the United States military tract, and the tract commonly called the Connecticut reserve, be, and the same are hereby appropriated for the use of schools, in that tract of land in the state aforesaid, commonly called “Virginia military reservation,” which by a former act had been appropriated and vested as aforesaid, for the use of schools within the same: Provided however, that no quarter townships, including the section number sixteen of such township, shall be selected as aforesaid for the purpose above mentioned. And provided also, and it is hereby understood and declared, that the said eighteen quarter townships and three sections, shall be appropriated and vested, for the purposes aforesaid, only on condition that the legislature of the state of Ohio shall, within one year after the passing of this act, pass a law accepting the said eighteen quarter townships and three sections,Legislature of Ohio to accept this grant in lieu of the part of the Virginia military reservation.
1803, ch. 21.
for the purpose aforesaid, in lieu of the thirty-sixth part of the tract commonly called “the Virginia military reservation,” heretofore appropriated and vested by law for the use of schools within the same; and releasing to the United States, all their claim, right, title, and interest, and all the right, title and interest of the inhabitants of the tract of land last mentioned, to the thirty-sixth part of the said tract heretofore appropriated and vested by law for the use of schools within the same. And if the legislature of the said state shall not pass a law as aforesaid, within one year after the passing of this act, the said eighteen quarter townships and three sections shall not be considered and held as appropriated and vested for the purposes aforesaid, but shall be disposed of in the same manner as is or may be provided by law, for the disposal of other public lands in the same tract.

Approved, March 2, 1807.


  1. Under the reserve contained in the cession act of Virginia, and under the acts of Congress of August 10, 1790, and of June 9, 1794, the whole country lying between the Sciota and Little Miami rivers, was subjected to military warrants, to satisfy which the reserve was made. Doddridge v. Thompson, 9 Wheat. 469; 5 Cond. Rep. 645.

    The territory lying between the two rivers, is the whole country from their sources to their mouths; and if no branch of either of them has acquired the name exclusively of another, the main branch to its source must be considered the true river. Ibid.

    The act of June 26, 1812, to ascertain the western boundary of the tract reserved for military warrants, and which provisionally designates Ludlow’s line, as the western boundary, did not invalidate the title to the land between that line and Robert’s line, acquired under a Virginia military warrant previous to the passage of that act. Ibid.

    The land between Ludlow’s and Robert’s line was not withdrawn from the territory liable to be surveyed for military warrants by an act of Congress passed before the act of June 12, 1812. Ibid.

    The reservation made by the law of Virginia of 1783, ceding to Congress the territory northwest of the river Ohio, is not a reservation of the whole tract of country between the rivers Sciota and Little Miami. It is a reservation of only so much as may be necessary to make up any deficiency of good land in the country set apart for the officers and soldiers of the Virginia line on continental establishment, on the southeast side of the Ohio. The residue of the lands are ceded to the United States as a common fund for those states who come or might become members of the Union; to be disposed of for that purpose. Jackson v. Clarke et al., 1 Peters 635.

    Although the military lands constituted the primary claim upon the trust, that claim was according to the intention of the parties so to be satisfied, as still to keep in view the interests of the Union, which were also vital objects to the trust. This was only to be effected by prescribing the time in which the lands to be appropriated by those claimants should be separated from the general mass, so as to enable the government to apply the residue to the general purposes of the trust. Ibid.

    If the right existed in Congress to prescribe the time in which military warrants should be located, the right to annex conditions to its extension, follows as a necessary consequence. Ibid.

    If it be conceded that the proviso in the act of March 2, 1807, was not intended for the protection of surveys which were in themselves absolutely void, it must be admitted that it was intended to protect those which were defective, and which might be avoided for irregularity. If this effect be denied to the proviso it becomes itself a nullity.

    Lands surveyed are as completely withdrawn from the common mass, as lands patented. It cannot be said that the prohibition that “no location shall be made on tracts of land for which patents have previously been issued, or which had been previously surveyed,” was intended only for valid and regular surveys. They did not require legislative aid. The clause was introduced for the protection of defective entries and surveys, which might be made in quiet times. Ibid.

    Under the peculiar system of the Virginia land law, as it has been settled in Kentucky and the military district in Ohio, by usages adapted to the circumstances of the country, many principles are established, which are unknown to the common law. A long course of adjudication has fixed these principles, and they are considered as the settled rules by which these military titles are to be governed. Galt v. Galloway, 4 Peters, 343.