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$1 25; nor does such protection in any event extend beyond the legal subdivisions embracing his improvements.

Where persons have not settled upon the public lands, but desire to do so at once, they can enter lands under the provisions of this act, on making affidavit to that effect before the Register or Receiver, and that they intend to enter the land for the purpose of actual settlement and cultivation. They can enter any legal subdivision, from a half section down to a quarter quarter section; but if they enter less than a half section, then subsequent entries can only be of tracts adjacent to and forming as compact a body of land with that previously entered, as possible. The lands applied for by each of the classes of persons, at any one time, should be embraced in one entry, and not a separate entry for each tract. Where parties apply to enter parts of a regular section (not on the north or west of a township) which contains a few acres more than six hundred and forty acres, the requisite number of legal subdivisions of such section may be taken as would, under ordinary circumstances, make up the quantity of three hundred and twenty acres-that is, two quarter sections, four half quarters, &c., and without paying for the excess above three hundred and twenty acres at any other than the reduced price; but where lots or fractional tracts are taken, the nearest approximation, only, to said three hundred and twenty acres can be taken, not to exceed that quantity.

Where persons desire to enter lands for the use of an adjoining farm or plantation, they can do so, to the extent of three hundred and twenty acres, on making affidavit to that effect, as above directed; but it must be of land contiguous to such farm and forming with it a compact body of land. Where more than one farm is owned by any one person, he or she may enter land adjoining each of said farms, provided the quantity entered does not in the aggregate exceed three hundred and twenty acres.

In cases where two or more persons apply simultaneously to enter the same piece of land, if either has performed such acts as to entitle him to a pre-emption, he will have a preference over the others at the graduated price. If they all apply to enter it under the graduation law, for purposes of settlement and cultivation, or for use of a farm, it will be put up to the highest bidder, subject to the graduated minimum.

If either of said applicants is one who desires to enter land at ordinary entry, with money, scrip, warrant, &c., or as agent of a State or company to which a grant has been made, it will be put up to the highest bidder, subject to the ordinary minimum of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre : and where the successful bidder wishes to locate scrip or warrants in part payment for the land, the excess, per acre, for each and every acre, must be paid for in cash; and where the agent for the State or company is such bidder, he will be allowed to locate the same upon paying for the excess in cash, the area of the tract being debited to the grant.

The law requires the affidavit prescribed by the third section to be taken before the Register or Receiver, and there is no authority in this office to modify this requirement or to authorize any other officer to take it. As no fee is allowed to the Register or Receiver for taking the affidavits, the preparation of them cannot be required of the land officers, nor the expense of furnishing the same imposed on the government. A form therefor is appended to these instructions, and, for the convenience of parties, it is suggested that a printer or other person in your vicinity might have them printed, and reimburse himself by charging parties a small price for the blanks; but you are charged not to have any personal connexion with such undertaking, as parties are to be left free to prepare their own affidavits or to purchase such printed blanks, as they may prefer, so that they follow

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the form prescribed. See Act of 17th July, 1854, chapter 84, prescribing immediate removal from office, of any officer who shall charge or receive fees or other rewards not authorized by law.

As the rights given by this act are personal and because of actual settlement and cultivation already made or contemplated, and as assignments of rights acquired under the second section are expressly prohibited by the " restrictions and limitations” therein referred to, assignments of entries under the third section will be wholly disregarded, and the patents in every instance issued to the original purchasers.

Lands which became subject to private entryBetween July 1, 1840, and July 1, 1845, will come under 1st class, at $1 00 per acre. July 1, 1835, 6 July 1, 1840,

2d class, July 1, 1830, 6 July 1, 1835,

3d class, July 1, 1825, 56 July 1, 1830,

4th class, And those offered prior to July 1, 1825,

5th class, 121 Lands which became subject to private entry between the 1st July, 1845, and the 1st July, 1846, will come within the first class on and after the 1st July, 1855. Those between the 1st July, 1840, and the 1st July, 1841, will come within the second class at the same time; those between the 1st July, 1835, and the 1st July, 1836, will at the same date come within the third class; and so on of all the other classes.

Where parties since the date of the law have proved up and paid for pre-emption claims at the rate of $1 25 per acre, they will be entitled to have the difference, between the amount paid and that of the tract entered at the graduation price, refunded, upon application through the land officers, as in other cases of repayment; so also in cases of entries under the third section of the act, where parties have been required to pay more than the legally graduated price from want of information at the local land office; but where an entry has been made at ordinary private sale at $1 25, the party entering cannot subsequently claim the right to avail himself of the benefit of the third section of this act.

Where lands have been temporarily withdrawn from sale for projected railroads, &c., and subsequently restored to market, such withdrawal is not to be regarded as affecting the period said lands have been in market, but they are to be treated as if such withdrawal had not been made.

Great care and attention must be given to prevent errors; and all entries claimed under this act since its passage, must be adjusted as above directed.

The testimony and affidavits of claimants, in all cases, under this act, will be transmitted to this Office with the certificates of entry.

Very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,

JOHN WILSON, Commissioner. Register and Receiver at

FORMS FOR AFFIDAVITS UNDER THE THIRD SECTION OF THE ACT.

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For one who was settled at the date of the law, (without a pre-emption right,) and for one

desiring land for immediate settlement and cultivation. I of

county, having applied to enter the under the Act entitled “ An act to graduate and reduce the price of the public lands to actual settlers and cultivators," approved 4th August, 1854, do solemnly swear that I enter the same for my own use, for the purpose of actual settlement and cultivation, and that, together with said entry, I have not acquired from the United States, under the provisions of said Act, more than three hundred and twenty acres, according to the established surveys; and further, that the said land is not now in the occupancy of any actual settler whose settlement thereon existed at the date of said law. Sworn to and subscribed before me on the

18Register (or Receiver.)

day of

such person.

For one who desires to enter land adjoining a farm or plantation, owned or occupied by

. I- of

county, -, having applied to enter the under the Act entitled “ An act to graduate and reduce the price of the public lands to actual settlers and cultivators," approved 4th August, 1854, do solemnly swear that I enter the same for the use of an adjoining farm owned by me, situated on the and that, together with said entry, I have not acquired from the United States, under the provisions of said act, more than three hundred and twenty acres, according to the established surveys; and further, that the said land is not now in the occupancy of any actual settler whose settlement thereon existed at the date of said law. Sworn to and subscribed before me on the

18% Register (or Receiver.)

day of

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No. 514. Circular under Act 3d March, 1855, (No. 283,) amendatory of the Gra

duation Act of 4th August, 1854, (No. 251,) and certain other acts relating thereto.

GENERAL LAND OFFICE,

May 1, 1855. Gentlemen :-By the act of Congress approved 3d March, 1855, entitled “An act to amend an act approved the 4th of August, 1854, entitled • An act to graduate and reduce the price of the public lands to actual settlers and cultivators,'” it is directed that “said act shall be so construed, that the affidavits required by the third section of that act may be made before any officer duly authorized by law to administer oaths, according to such forms, and pursuant to such regulations, as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior.

The only object of this law is to afford relief to those residing in the State or Territory in which the land is situated which they desire to enter,

be prevented by any serious impediment, such as physicial infirmity, or other disability, from attending in person at the local land office, to make the affidavit which the 3d section of the Act of 4th August, 1854, requires to be made " before the Register and Receiver.” To this class of persons, and none others, is the relaxation in the said Act of 3d March, 1855, to apply.

These "regulations,” then, allow you to receive from such persons their affidavits, when “ made before any officer duly authorized by law to administer oaths ;” but you will require all others strictly to conform to the requirements of the aforesaid 3d section of the Act of 4th August, 1854.

For persons prevented by causes alluded to from attending at the local land office to make the affidavit exacted by the 3d section aforesaid, the following “forms" are prescribed, and which must be strictly adhered to.

who may

(Note.—The following forms designated as Nos. 3 and 4, as those in circular of October 30, 1854, are to be treated as Nos. 1 and 2, in the order in which they are printed.)

FORM NO. 3.

For affidavits under the third section of the act for those desiring land for immediate settle

ment and cultivation.

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I, of

and now residing in the of county, State of aged years, (here insert a full description of the age, sex, and, if a female, whether she is single, married, widow, or head of a family,) being desirous of entering the — under the act entitled “ An act to graduate and reduce the price of the public lands to actual settlers and cultivators,” approved 4th August, 1854, do solemnly swear, that I enter the same for my own use, for the purpose of actual settlement and cultivation; that I will remove in person, and with my family, on said land within not exceeding two months from the date of the entry of the same; that, together with said entry, I have not acquired from the United States, under the provisions of said act, more than three hundred and twenty acres, according to the returns of surveys, and that said land is not now in the occupancy of

any

actual settler; and further, that if there shall be an actual settler residing upon said land at the date of my entry of the same, I hereby relinquish all claim to the same.

(The affiant's signature.) City (or county) of

State of On this

, personally appeared before me, A. B., a justice of the peace within and for the aforesaid, C. D., to me well known as the person described in, and who has signed the foregoing affidavit, who, having been duly sworn, deposes and says, that the statements contained in said affidavit are correct and true.

E. F., Justice of the Peace.

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FORM NO. 4.

For those who wish to enter land adjoining a farm or plantation owned or occupied by the

applicant. I, of and now residing in the

of

county, State of

aged years, (here insert a full description of the age, sex, and, if a female, whether she is single, married, widow, or head of a family,) being desirous of entering the under the act entitled “ An act to graduate and reduce the price of the public lands to actual settlers and cultivators," approved 4th August, 1854, do solemnly swear, that I enter the same for the use of an adjoining farm owned by me, situated on the

; of said farm, about acres are now in cultivation, and there are (here describe the improvements ;) and, together with the entry now applied for, I have not acquired from the United States, under the provisions of said act, more than three hundred and twenty acres, according to the returns of surveys. I further testify, that said land is not now in the occupancy of any actual settler; and further, that if there shall be an actual settler residing upon said land at the date of my entry of the same, I hereby relinquish all claim to the same.

(The affiant's signature.)

The form of the officer's certificate will be precisely like that prescribed in Form No. 3; and where any of the statements made in either affidavit are known to him personally, he should so state in his certificate. Where he has doubts on any point, he should require satisfactory evidence before certifying, and state the nature of the testimony, and the names of the

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witnesses. Wild or unoccupied lands are not regarded as farms or plantations within the meaning of this law.

The official character of the magistrate, or other officer who may administer the oath, and the genuineness of his signature, in each and every case, must be certified, under seal, by the proper officer. The periods and principles of graduation fixed by the i circular instructions” from this office of 30th October, 1854, are confirmed by a clause in the first section of the general appropriation act of 3d March, 1855, and you will, therefore, be guided by them accordingly.

The affidavit in the form prescribed in the foregoing must be accompanied, in every instance, by an application, in writing, from the settler, specifying the particular tract or tracts claimed, as required by the Act of 24th February, 1810. (2 United States Statutes at Large, p. 556, , chap. xi.)

On the application and affidavit thus made and presented, you will endorse the date when presented, giving to each, and the certificate that may be issued for the entry, the same number.

In view of the numerous allegations of fraud under the Graduation law, great care must be taken by you to see that the proceedings in every case are perfectly fair and regular.

Where, through error or inadvertence, persons have paid more than the proper price for the graduated lands, the Receiver will be directed “ to refund the excess out of any money in his hands derived from the sales of public lands,” under authority of a proviso in the last general appropriation act; but the Register and Receiver must, in the first instance, report the applications of the parties, which, in all cases, should be done as promptly as possible. By order of the Secretary of the Interior.

JOHN WILSON, Commissioner. Register and Receiver at

No. 515.

GENERAL LAND OFFICE,

May 19, 1855. Gentlemen :—We despatched to you yesterday the circular bearing date the 1st May, 1855, with a view that proper effect shall be given to the provisions of the Act of 3d March, 1855, (No. 283,) amendatory of the Graduation Act of 4th August, 1854.

This Act of 3d March, 1855, is designed to afford relief only to those persons resident in the State or Territory in which the land they may wish to enter is situated, who may be prevented by any serious impediment from attending in person at the local land office to make the affidavit required by the third section of said Act of 4th August, 1854. If you have permitted

any

entries to be made inconsistent with the requirements of the circular above mentioned, you are directed to make an immediate report of the same to this Office; setting forth the particular tract, the date of entry, number of certificate, and all other facts requisite to our full understanding in each case, with your reasons for allowing any such entries, in order that proper action may be had in regard to the same.

Very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,

JOSEPH S. WILSON, Acting Commissioner.
Register and Receiver at

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