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United States Statutes at Large/Volume 3/13th Congress/3rd Session/Chapter 45

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Feb. 17, 1815.
Chap. XLV.—An Act for the relief of the inhabitants of the late county of New Madrid, in the Missouri territory, who suffered by earthquakes.[1]

Act of April 26, 1822, ch. 40.
Lands granted to persons having lands in the county of New Madrid, which were injured by earthquakes, on the 10th Nov., 1812.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any person or persons owning lands in the county of New Madrid, in the Missouri territory, with the extent the said county had on the tenth day of November, one thousand eight hundred and twelve, and whose lands have been materially injured by earthquakes, shall be, and they hereby are authorized to locate the like quantity of land on any of the public lands of the said territory, the sale of which is authorized by law: Provided, That no person shall be permitted to locate a greater quantity of land under this act, than the quantity confirmed to him, except the owners of lots of ground or tracts of land of less quantity than one hundred and sixty acres, who are hereby authorized to locate and obtain any quantity of land not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres, nor shall any person be entitled to locate more than six hundred and forty acres, nor shall any such location include any lead mine or salt spring: And provided also, That in every case where such location shall be made according to the provisions of this act, the title of the person or persons to the land injured as aforesaid, shall revert to, and become absolutely vested in, the United States.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That whenever it shall appear to the recorder of land titles for the territory of Missouri, by the oath of affirmation of a competent witness, or witnesses, that any person or persons are entitled to a tract or tracts of land under the provisions of this act, it shall be the duty of the said recorder to issue a certificate thereof to the claimant or claimants; and upon such certificate being issued, and the location made on the application of the claimants, by the principal deputy surveyor for said territory, or under his direction, whose duty it Manner in which lands shall be located.shall be, to cause a survey thereof to be made, and to return a plat of each location made to the said recorder, together with a notice in writing, designating the tract or tracts thus located, and the name of the claimant on whose behalf the same shall be made; which notice and plat the said recorder shall cause to be recorded in his office, and shall receive from the claimant for his services on each claim, the sum of two dollars, for receiving the proof, issuing the certificate, and recording the notice and plat as aforesaid; and the surveyor shall be entitled to the same compensation for his services from the party applying, as is allowed for surveying the public lands of the United States.

A report of his proceedings shall be made to the land office by the recorder.Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the recorder of land titles, to transmit a report of the claims allowed, and locations made under this act, to the commissioner of the general land office, and shall deliver to the party a certificate, stating the circumstances of the case, and that he is entitled to a patent for the tract therein designated, which certificate shall be filed with the said recorder within twelve months after date, and the recorder shall thereupon issue a certificate in favour of the party, which certificate being transmitted to the commissioner of the general land office, shall entitle the party to a patent, to be issued in like manner as is provided by law for other public lands of the United States.

Approved, February 17, 1815.


  1. The holder of a New Madrid certificate had a right to locate it on “public lands which had been authorized to be sold.” As it was located on lands reserved from sale at the time of issuing of the patent, the patent is void. Stoddard et al. v. Chambers, 2 Howard, 284.