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United States Statutes at Large/Volume 3/15th Congress/2nd Session/Chapter 100

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March 3, 1819.
Chap. C.—An Act for adjusting the claims to land, and establishing land offices, in the districts east of the island of New Orleans.[1]

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all the claims to land, founded on complete grants from the Spanish government, reported to Act of May 11, 1820, ch. 87.
Claims founded on Spanish grants, favourably reported to the Secretary of the Treasury by the commissioners from the districts east and west of Pearl river, confirmed, &c.
Act of April 25, 1812, ch. 67.
Act of May 8, 1822, ch. 122.
And on British grants.
the Secretary of the Treasury, by the commissioners from the districts east and west of Pearl river, appointed under authority of an act, entitled “An act for ascertaining the titles and claims to lands in that part of Louisiana which lies east of the river Mississippi and island of New Orleans,” which are contained in the several reports of the commissioners, and which are, in the opinion of the commissioners, valid, agreeably to the laws, usages, and customs, of the said government, be, and the same are hereby, recognised as valid and complete titles against any claim on the part of the United States, or right derived from the United States: And that all claims founded on British grants, contained in the said report, which have been sold and conveyed, according to the provisions of the treaty of peace, between Great Britain and Spain, of the third of September, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three, by which that part of Louisiana, lying east of the island of Orleans, was ceded to Spain, under the denomination of West Florida, or which were settled and cultivated by the person having the legal title therein, at the date of said treaty, are recognised as valid and complete titles, against any claim on the part of the United States, or right derived from the United States.

Claims under Spanish orders of survey, requette, &c. prior to 20th Dec., 1803, &c. reported favourably, confirmed.
Proviso.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That all claims reported as aforesaid, and contained in the several reports of the said commissioners, founded on any order of survey, requette, permission to settle, or any written evidence of claim, derived from the Spanish authorities, which ought, in the opinion of the commissioners, to be confirmed, and which by the said reports appear to be derived from the Spanish government, before the twentieth day of December, one thousand eight hundred and three, and the land claimed to have been cultivated and inhabited, on or before that day, shall be confirmed in the same manner as if the title had been completed: Provided, That in all such claims, where the plat and certificate of survey, made prior to the fifteenth day of April, one thousand eight hundred and thirteen, under the authority of the Spanish government, in pursuance of such claim, has not been filed with the said commissioners, such claim shall not be confirmed to any one person for more than twelve hundred and eighty acres;Grants as donations, for other claims.
Proviso.
Confirmation of incomplete titles only a relinquishment forever of the title of the United States.
Proviso.
and that for all the other claims to land comprised in the reports aforesaid, and which ought, in the opinion of the commissioners, to be confirmed; the claimant to such lands shall be entitled to grant therefor as a donation: Provided, That such grant, as a donation, shall not be made to any one person for more than twelve hundred and eighty acres; which confirmation of the said incomplete titles and grants of donations, hereby provided to be made, shall amount only to a relinquishment forever, on the part of the United States, of any claim whatever to the tract of land so confirmed or granted: And provided, also, That no such claim shall be confirmed to any person to whom the title to any tract of land shall have been recognised under the preceding provisions.

Grants, as donations, in the case of claims in right of settlers, &c. on or before 15th April, 1813, if comprised in the lists, &c.
Proviso.
No grant for lands recognised by preceding sections.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That every person, or his or her legal representative, whose claim is comprised in the lists, or register of claims, reported by the said commissioners, and the persons embraced in the list of actual settlers, or their legal representatives, not having any written evidence of claim reported as aforesaid, shall, where it appears, by the said reports, or by the said lists, that the land claimed or settled on had been actually inhabited or cultivated, by such person or persons in whose right he claims, on or before the fifteenth day of April, one thousand eight hundred and thirteen, be entitled to a grant for the land so claimed, or settled on, as a donation: Provided, That not more than one tract shall be thus granted to any one person, and the same shall not contain more than six hundred and forty acres; and that no lands shall be thus granted which are claimed or recognised by the preceding sections of this act.

Pre-emption rights to inhabitants and cultivators on the 12th April, 1814, in the case of lands not claimed by preceding sections.
Proviso.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That every person comprised in the said list of actual settlers, not having any written evidence of claim to land in said districts, and who, on the twelfth day of April, one thousand eight hundred and fourteen, shall have inhabited or cultivated a tract of land in either of the said districts, not claimed by virtue of either of the preceding sections of this act, shall be entitled to a preference, on becoming a purchaser, from the United States, of such tract of land, on the same terms and conditions, and at the same price for which the other public lands are sold at private sale: Provided, That the first instalment of the purchase money shall be paid to the receiver of public moneys of the district within which the land lies, within two years after the opening of the land office for such district.

A land office at St. Helena Courthouse, and at Jackson Courthouse.
A register and receiver of public moneys for each, &c.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That for the purpose of adjusting the titles and claims to lands in the districts aforesaid, and for the disposal of the lands which may remain the property of the United States therein, a land office shall be established, in each of the said districts, to be kept, for the western district, at St. Helena Courthouse, and for the eastern district, at Jackson Courthouse; and a register and receiver of public moneys shall be appointed for each of the said land offices, who shall give security in the same manner, and in the same sums, and whose compensation, duties, and authority, shall, in every respect, be the same, in relation to the lands which shall hereafter be disposed of, at their respective offices, as are by law provided in relation to the other registers and receivers of public moneys for the several land offices of the United States.

Claimants allowed till 1st July, 1820, to deliver notices, evidences, &c. to the registers at Jackson and St. Helena Courthouses.
Notices, &c. delivered in time, to be recorded.
Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That every person or persons, claiming lands in either of the said districts, whose claims have not heretofore been filed with the commissioner of the land office, of the district wherein the lands lie, shall be allowed until the first day of July, one thousand eight hundred and twenty, to deliver notices in writing, and the evidences of their claims, in the said districts, respectively, to the register of the land office at Jackson Courthouse and at St. Helena Courthouse; and the notices and evidences so delivered, within the time limited by this act, shall be recorded in the same manner, and on the payment of the same fees, as if the same had been delivered before the commissioners closed their said registers.

Persons who had filed notices with the commissioner of the land office, &c. whose claims have not been recommended, &c., allowed till first of July, 1820, to deliver written evidence and other testimony, &c.
Evidence delivered in time, to be recorded.
Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That every person or persons, who had filed his or their notice of claims to land, within either of the said districts, with the commissioner of the land office, according to the former laws, but have not exhibited sufficient testimony in support of the same, and whose claim has not been recommended for confirmation, shall be allowed until the first day of July, one thousand eight hundred and twenty, to deliver written evidence, or other testimony, in support of his or their claim, the notice of which had been filed as aforesaid, to the register of the land office at St. Helena, for lands lying in the district west of Pearl river, and to the register of the land office at Jackson courthouse, for the lands lying in the district east of Pearl river; and the evidence of claims, the notice whereof had been filed, as aforesaid, for lands lying in the said district, delivered, within the time limited by this section, to the said registers, shall be recorded by them, respectively, in the same manner as was directed by former acts, on receiving the same fees allowed by said acts, for recording evidence of claims to lands in the same districts.

The registers and receivers at Jackson and St. Helena Courthouses to have the same powers, perform the same duties, &c. as the commissioners for the districts east and west of Pearl river would have had, &c.Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That the register and receiver of public moneys of the said respective land offices, at Jackson Courthouse and at St. Helena Courthouse, shall have the same powers, and perform the same duties, in every respect, in relation to the claims that may be filed in virtue of the sixth section of this act, and in relation to the claims, the notices of which had been filed under former acts, as well as to the additional evidence which shall be adduced in support thereof, agreeably to the seventh section of this act, as the commissioners for the districts east and west of Pearl river would have had, or should have performed, if such notices had been filed, and such evidence adduced, before the said commissioners closed their registers.

The register of each of the land offices to report to the commissioner of the general land office.
The commissioner to lay the report, &c. before Congress.
Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the register of each of the said land offices, respectively, to make, to the commissioner of the general land office, a report of all the claims filed with the register aforesaid, with the substance of the evidence in support thereof; and of the claims formerly filed, in support of which additional evidence shall have been received, with the substance of such evidence; and also their opinion and such remarks respecting the claim as they may think property to make; which report, together with a list of the claims, which, in the opinion of the register and receiver, ought to be confirmed, and also a list of actual settlers, prior to the passage of this act, noting the time of their respective settlements, shall be laid, by the commissioner of the general land office, before Congress, at their next session, for their determination thereon.

Registers and receivers may appoint clerks.
1500 dollars a year to each register and receiver.
1000 dollars per annum per clerk.
Proviso; not more than eighteen months’ compensation, &c.
Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That the said registers and receivers shall, respectively, have power to appoint a clerk, who shall be a person capable of translating the French and Spanish languages, and who shall perform the duty of translator, when required by said registers and receivers; and each of the said registers and receivers shall be allowed, as a compensation for their services in relation to the said claims, at the rate of fifteen hundred dollars a year; and each of the clerks at the rate of one thousand dollars a year: Provided, That not more than eighteen months’ compensation be thus allowed to the register, receiver and clerk, for the district east of Pearl river; nor more than eighteen months’ compensation to be allowed to the register, receiver, and clerk, of the district west of Pearl river.

Surveyor of the lands south of Tennessee to appoint a principal deputy, with a salary of 500 dollars and fees.
Amount of fees.
Duty of deputy surveyor.
Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That the surveyor for the lands south of the state of Tennessee shall, with the consent and approbation of the President of the United States, appoint a principal deputy surveyor or for the lands within the said districts, who shall receive an annual salary, of five hundred dollars, and, in addition thereto, the following fees; that is to say: for examining and recording the surveys executed by any of the deputies, at the rate of twenty-five{ cents for every mile of the boundary line of such survey; and for a certified copy of any plat of a survey in the office, twenty-five cents; and whose duty it shall be to survey, or cause to be surveyed, by his other deputies, the lands, the claims to which are confirmed, and that are directed to be granted as donations, where the same have not been already surveyed, and the lands which may be claimed by right of pre-emption, whenever directed by the register and receiver, and to execute such other surveys as may be necessary for the ascertainment of the lands, the title or claim to which is embraced in the report of the commissioners aforesaid. And the said principal deputy surveyor shall make outExpense of surveying paid by the United States.
Proviso.
particular plats of the surveys directed by this act, which he shall return to the register of the proper district; and also, a general and connected plat, which he shall return to the surveyor of the lands south of the state of Tennessee; and the expense of surveying shall be paid by the United States: Provided, The same shall not exceed, in the whole, four dollars a mile, for every mile which shall be actually surveyed and marked.

Books of former commissioners to be lodged with the registers, &c.
Register and receiver empowered to examine claims, &c.
A certificate to each claimant, entitled, &c.
The certificate having been fairly obtained, a patent to issue.
Sec. 12. And be it further enacted, That the books of the former commissioners, in which the claims, and evidence of claims, are recorded, shall be lodged with the registers of the land office, for the respective districts; and the register and receiver of public moneys, in each respective district, shall have power to examine the claims recognised, confirmed, or provided to be granted, by the provisions of this act, as also, claims to the right of pre-emption; and they shall make out to each claimant, entitled, in their opinion, thereto, a certificate, according to the nature of the case, under such instructions as they may receive from the commissioner of the general land office; and on presentation at the general land office, of such certificate for a confirmed claim, or for a donation, according to the provisions of this act; and where it shall appear, to the satisfaction of the commissioner of the general land office, that the certificate has been fairly obtained, according to the true intent and meaning of this act, then, and in that case, a patent shall be granted, in like manner as for other lands of the United States.

The President may appoint the registers and receivers in the recess, &c.Sec. 13. And be it further enacted, That the President shall have power to appoint the register and receiver of public moneys for the said districts in the recess of the Senate, who shall be nominated to them at their next meeting.

Approved, March 3, 1819.


  1. Acts relating to the adjustment of land claims in Louisiana:

    An act erecting Louisiana into two territories, and providing for the temporary government thereof, March 26, 1804, ch. 38.

    An act for ascertaining and adjusting the titles and claims to land within the territory of Orleans, and the district of Louisiana, March 2, 1805, ch. 26.

    An act supplementary to an act, entitled “An act for ascertaining and adjusting titles and claims to lands within the territory of Orleans, and the district of Louisiana,” April 21, 1806, ch. 39.

    An act respecting claims to lands, in the territories of Orleans and Louisiana, March 3, 1807, ch. 36.

    An act for the final adjustment of claims to lands, and for the sale of the public lands in the territories of Orleans and Louisiana, [repealed,] February 15, 1811, ch. 14.

    An act providing for the final adjustment of claims to lands, and for the sale of the public lands in the territories of Orleans and Louisiana, and to repeal the act passed for the same purposes, approved Feb. 16, 1811, March 3, 1811, ch. 46.

    An act giving further time for registering claims to lands in the western district of the territory of Orleans, March 10, 1812, ch. 38.

    An act for ascertaining the titles and claims to lands in that part of Louisiana which lies east of the river Mississippi, and the island of New Orleans, April 25, 1812, ch. 67.

    An act giving validity to the sale of certain tracts of public land, sold in the western district of the territory of Orleans, now state of Louisiana, July 1, 1812, ch. 118.

    An act giving further time for registering claims to lands in the eastern and western districts of the territory of Orleans, now state of Louisiana, Feb. 27, 1813, ch. 38.

    An act for the final adjustment of land titles, in the state of Louisiana, and territory of Missouri, April 12, 1814, ch. 52.

    An act supplemental to an act, entitled “An act for ascertaining the titles and claims to lands in that part of Louisiana, which lies east of the Mississippi and island of New Orleans,[”] April 18, 1814, ch. 85.

    An act concerning certificates of confirmation of claims to lands in the state of Louisiana, April 18, 1814, ch. 93.

    An act to provide for the appointment of a surveyor of public lands, in the territories of Illinois and Missouri, April 29, 1816, ch. 151. sec. 3.

    An act for the confirmation of certain claims to land in the western district of the state of Louisiana, and in the territory of Missouri, April 29, 1816, ch. 159.

    An act explanatory of the act, entitled “An act for the final adjustment of land titles, in the state of Louisiana, and territory of Missouri,” act of March 3, 1819, ch. 85.

    An act for adjusting the claims to land, and establishing land offices in the district east of the island of New Orleans, March 3, 1819, ch. 99.

    An act confirming claims to lots in the town of Mobile, and to land in the former province of west Florida, which claims have been reported favourably on by the commissioners appointed by the United States, May 8, 1822, ch. 122.

    An act supplementary to the several acts for adjusting claims to land, and establishing land offices in the district east of the island of New Orleans, May 8, 1822, ch. 128.

    An act supplementary to the several acts for the adjustment of land claims in the state of Louisiana, Feb. 28, 1823, ch. 15.

    An act to revive and continue in force the seventh section of an act, entitled “An act supplementary to the several acts for the adjustment of land claims in the state of Louisiana,” approved the eleventh May, and for other purposes, Feb. 28, 1823, ch. 18.

    An act to provide for the examination of titles to land in that part of the state of Louisiana, situate between the river Hondo and the Sabine river, March 3, 1823, ch. 30.

    An act supplementary to the several acts providing for ascertaining and adjusting the titles and claims to land in the St. Helena, and Jackson Courthouse districts, May 26, 1824, ch. 175.

    An act supplementary to an act providing for the examination of titles to land in that part of the state of Louisiana, situated between the Rio Hondo and the Sabine rivers, May 26, 1824, ch. 182.

    An act confirming certain claims to lands in the western district of Louisiana, Feb. 5, 1824, ch. 7.

    An act to confirm the supplementary report of the commissioners of the western district of Louisiana, March 31, 1826, ch. 18.

    An act to confirm certain certain claims to lands in the district of Opelousas in Louisiana, May 16, 1826, ch. 62.

    An act granting the right of preference in the purchase of certain lands to certain settlers, in St. Helena land district, in the state of Louisiana, March 19, 1828, ch. 19.

    An act to confirm the claims to lands in the district between Rio Hondo and Sabine rivers, founded on habitation and cultivation, May 24, 1828, ch. 92.

    An act to authorize the registers of the several land offices in Louisiana to receive entries of land in certain cases, and give to the purchasers thereof, certificates for the same, May 5, 1830, ch. 86.

    An act for the final adjustment of claims to lands in the south-eastern land district, of the state of Louisiana, July 4, 1832, ch. 166.

    An act in reference to pre-emption rights in the south-eastern land district, of the state of Louisiana, June 28, 1834, ch. 18.

    An act supplementary to the act of the fourth of July, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, entitled “An act for the final adjustment to claims in the south-eastern district of Louisiana,” March 3, 1835, ch. 46.

    An act confirming claims to lands in the state of Louisiana, July 4, 1836, ch. 358.

    An act to authorize the inhabitants of the state of Louisiana to enter the back lands, June 15, 1832, ch. 140.

    An act supplementary to the act, entitled “An act to authorize the inhabitants of the state of Louisiana to enter the back lands,” Feb. 24, 1835, ch. 24.

    An act for the relief of the inhabitants of Terre aux Bœufs, June 25, 1832, ch. 149.

    An act to confirm certain entries of lands, in the state of Louisiana, and to authorize the issuing of patents for the same, April 14, 1842, ch. 21.

    An act confirming certain land claims in Louisiana, July 6, 1842, ch. 50.

    An act relating to lands sold in the Greensburgh, late St. Helena land district, in the state of Louisiana, and authorizing the resurvey of certain lands in that district, August 29, 1842, ch. 258.

    An act to provide for the adjustment of land claims within the states of Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana, and in those parts of the states of Mississippi and Alabama south of the thirty-first degree of north latitude, and between the Mississippi and Perdido rivers, June 17, 1844, ch. 95.