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in the year
be his act and deed ; and I certify that the said (here insert the name of the person to whom the certificate of location issued) is the identical person to whom the within certificate of location issued, and who executed the foregoing assignment thereof.
(Officer's signature.) Of acknowledgment where the vendor is not personally known to the officer, and where
his identity has to be proved. State of
County of On this day of
before me, personally came here insert the name of the person to whom the certificate of location issued,) and (here insert the name and residence of a witness,) and the said (here insert the name of the witness,) being well known to me as a credible and disinterested person, was duly sworn by me, and on his oath declared and said that he well knows the said, (here insert the name of the person to whom the certificate of location issued,) and that he is the same person to whom the within certificate of location issued, and who executed the foregoing assignment; and his testimony being satisfactory evidence to me of that fact, the said (here insert the name of the person to whom the certificate of location issued) thereupon acknowledged the said assignment to be his act and deed.
FORM NO. 7.
Of a power of attorney to sell a warrant. Know all men by these presents, that I, (here insert the name of warrantee,) of the county of
and State of
do hereby constitute and appoint
of , my true and lawful attorney, for me, and in my name, to sell and convey the within land warrant No. for acres of land, which issued under the Act of September, 1850, (or March, 1852, as the case may be.) Signed in presence of
GENERAL LAND OFFICE,
February 14, 1854. Gentlemen :-Annexed is a copy of the act of Congress approved February 8, 1854, (No. 230,) extending the Act of July 27, 1842, (No. 55,) authorizing the location of the war of 1812 warrants, for five years, computed from the 26th day of June, 1853.
You will, therefore, permit the location of any warrant of this class filed after the date of this letter, to be governed strictly by the regulations of this Office under the Act of March 22, 1852.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN WILSON, Commissioner. Register and Receiver, Land Office at —
GENERAL LAND OFFICE,
May 3, 1855. Gentlemen :
-By the 4th section of the act of Congress, entitled “ An act in addition to certain acts granting bounty land to certain officers and
soldiers who have been engaged in the military service of the United States," approved 3d March, 1855, (No. 282,) a copy of which act is hereto appended, it is directed, “ that said certificates or warrants may be assigned, transferred, and located by the warrantees, their assignees, or their heirsat-law, according to the provisions of existing laws regulating the assignment, transfer, and location of bounty-land warrants."
Under the proper head, in this circular, full instructions and forms will be found for the assignment or transfer and location of such warrants.
Sec. No. 1.-In regard to the location, the fifth section of the act directs " that no warrant issued under the provisions of this act shall be located on any public lands, except such as shall at the time be subject to sale at either the minimum or lower graduated prices.”
By this provision, all lands, the minimum price of which is more than $1 25 per acre, are excluded from location by warrants under this act of 3d March, 1855; but lands “subject to sale” at the ordinary minimum or at the graduated prices can be so located.* Hence, pre-emptors settled upon lands subject to sale at the ordinary minimum can locate the land to which they have pre-emption rights, with warrants under said Act of 3d March, 1855, whether such lands have or have not been offered at public sale; but this privilege, as to unoffered lands, extends to no other bolders of these warrants, except those who are also pre-emptors.
Sec. No. 2.-Should the area of a tract claimed exceed the number of acres called for in the warrant, the locator of the warrant will have to pay for the excess in cash; but if it should fall short, he must take the tract in full satisfaction of his warrant.
Sec. No. 3.—Each warrant is to be distinctly and separately located upon a compact body of land; consequently the assignee of various warrantees cannot locate a body of land, with a number of warrants, without specifying the particular tract or tracts to which each shall be applied; and for each warrant there must be a distinct location, certificate, and patent. Nor can a pre-emptor, in any case, use more than one warrant in the lucation of the land, pre-empted by him, and the excess, if any, must be paid for by him in cash.
Sec. No. 4.—The 6th section of this act directs, “that the Registers and Receivers of the several land offices shall be severally authorized to charge and receive, for their services in locating all warrants under the provisions of this act, the same compensation or per-centage to which they are entitled by law for sales of the public lands for cash, at the rate of one dollar and twenty five cents per acre; the said compensation to be paid by the assignees or holders of such warrants."
The amount of fees to which the land officers are entitled under this section is specified in the appended instructions, and without the payment of those fees, the warrants cannot be located.
Sec. No. 5.-The 7th section of the act .provides, “that the provisions of this act, and all the bounty-land laws heretofore passed by Congress, shall be extended to Indians in the same manner, and to the same extent, as if the said Indians had been white men.”
Where an assignment is made by an Indian residing among the whites, the prescribed forms will be adopted, with this single addition, that the officer taking the acknowledgment shall certify that the Indian is capable of contracting, also to the amount paid to him for the warrant, and that he saw the same paid to the Indian.
Where it is made by an Indian holding his tribal relations, his identity and ability to contract must be certified by the superintendent, or Indian agent, either of his own knowledge, or on the testimony of the chiefs, specifying which, and certifying, as above required, to the amount paid for said warrant, that the same was paid in his presence, and that the transaction was fair and regular. In either case, if the amount paid is not a fair consideration, the assignment will be disregarded.
* The Act of June 3, 1858, (No. 335,) authorizes location upon $2 50 lands. See also Circular, (No. 617.)
Where a warrant for the services of an Indian is issued or descends to minors who no longer retain their tribal relations, it must be located or sold by a guardian, duly appointed and authorized by the proper court for
Where the minor or minors retain their tribal relations, the agent or superintendent must certify that they are entitled to the warrant under the laws, usages, and customs of the tribe ; and when sold or located, that it was done by the guardian or such proper representative as, according to said laws, usages and customs, was fully authorized to do so.
In all cases where the signature of the superintendent or Indian agent is herein required, the genuineness of the signature of that officer must be attested by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
Sec. No. 6.-In ordinary cases, the forms and instructions for assignments of warrants issued under the Acts of 1850 and 1852 will govern; and as those instructions are very full, and have been extensively circulated for nearly three years, assignments under this act will not be certified or examined until the warrants are returned to this Office located, and are taken up for patenting. The necessity for such examination is obviated further by the fact, that, from the experience had by this Office under the Acts of 1847, 1850, and 1852, the following embrace every casc, it is believed, that can arise, of difficulty, in assigning or locating warrants, to wit:
Sec. No. 7.—Under those acts, warrants have been returned to this Office, located
1st. Upon assignments not written on the back of said warrants, or by virtue of powers of attorney not so written, as required by instructions.
2d. Where, by reason of prior assignments, no further room exists on the warrants, subsequent assignments appear on separate pieces of paper, instead of being attached thereto in such a way as to show their execution to have been effected with the warrants before the proper officers certifying to the acknowledgments thereof.
3d. Upon assignments by minor warrantees, without proof of the time when they attained their majority.
4th. Upon assignments by guardians of minor warrantees, or of minor heirs of deceased warrantees or assignees, without proof of guardianship, or of authority from the proper court for the sale of the real estate of their wards, and in case of the heirs of such deceased warrantees or assignees, without proof of such death, the time when, and that the persons named are the heirs, and only heirs-at-law, of the decedent.
5th. Upon assignments executed by administrators or widows of deceased warrantees, neither of whom has any right to assign the same, except in the States where the administrator of an intestate is invested, by statutory provision, with power to alienate the real estate of his intestate, and then only for division and not for the payment of debts contracted prior to the issue of the patent.
6th. Upon assignments unattested by two witnesses, or, without the proper certificate that the assignor was well known to the justice of the peace, or notary public, or other officer taking the acknowledgment, or without the proper evidence that the justice of the peace, or notary, or such other officer, was such at the time, and that his signature is genuine.
7th. Upon assignments executed by females, without evidence, when femes sole, that they were twenty-one years of age, and when femes covert, without a union in such assignments by their husbands.
8th. Where two assignments exist—one made to one person, but before a perfection of the acknowledgment thereof, a second assignment is executed to another, without any satisfactory explanation as to the first.
9th. Upon assignments where the blank is not filled with the name of the assignee who locates.
10th. Upon assignments where the name of the assignee is inserted in the place occupied by the erased name of a prior assignee, or by an interlineation thereof above such erasure.
11th. Upon assignments executed by a commissioner, or other designated person, alleged to be acting under a decree of a court, without the requisite evidence of his authority as such, and that the decree embraced the property assigned.
12th. Upon assignments by executors, without a duly certified copy of the will, showing that power to sell was conferred on such executor.
13th. Where certificates of location are unsigned by the parties locating.
14th. Without oaths of identity where warrantees or guardians of minors locate for their wards.
15th. Locations by attorneys of assignees, without the powers of attorney accompanying the location.
16th. The locations made by a person whose name entirely differs from that in the assignment, sometimes in the christian name, at others, in the orthography of the surname, and at others, in the presence or absence of an initial letter in a middle name, or otherwise.
You are strictly enjoined to refuse any location where either of the foregoing objections, or others of a like character, exist, requiring every applicant to have his warrant perfected in every respect, so that no subsequent action may be necessary for that purpose.
Should errors or irregularities, such as those above mentioned, occur under this act, in all the instances herein enumerated, except the 8th and 10th, the mere statement of the defect carries with it the requisite knowledge of the method of amendment, viz: by supplying the omission.
In reference to the first of said exceptions, No. 8, the assignor should, in the subsequent assignment, refer to the first one executed, and specify a satisfactory reason for the execution of the second. In reference to the latter of said exceptions, No. 10, there should be an acknowledgment from the person whose name was erased, that it had been erroneously inserted therein, and erased with his knowledge and consent, and that he claimed no right or interest in the warrant; when such person cannot be found, an assignment possessing the defect under consideration, will not be respected by this Office, unless the validity thereof is satisfactorily affirmed by a court of competent jurisdiction. No such erasure and substitution should be made in any case, but the chain of title perfected by a regular assignment; and land officers are therefore prohibited from sanctioning, as heretofore, such alterations in their presence by the parties interested, it being easier and entirely free from objections which may be urged to the other course, for the parties to perfect the chain of title desired, in the regular mode, than first to commit the error referred to, and then furnish the requisite evidence of its correction, amounting in fact to a regular assignment.
Sec. No. 8. Where military warrants under this act shall issue to persons who died before or after the date of the warrant, the following general principles governing in such cases are given :
1st. Where a soldier shall have died before the date of the warrant, it is a nullity, and should be surrendered to the Pension Office, with a view to the issue of a new one to the widow, if one exists, and if not, to the minor children of the soldier, in whom alone exists the right to such warrant, in the respective instances cited.
2d. Where the soldier shall have died after the date of the warrant, and before its location or sale, the property therein descends to his heirs-at law, who alone have the right to locate or dispose of the same, unless express provision is made in the will of said decedent; in which case it follows, of course, the special devise so made. Proof must be submitted of the demise of the warrantee, and the date when, and a certified copy of the will making the devise in question, either in specific terms, or by a devise of his real estate generally, which would of course include such warrant. Where no will has been made, in addition to proof of the demise and the period thereof, it should be shown who are the heirs, and only heirs; and if any of them are minors, they must act through their guardians, whose appointment is to be proven; and if such action is for the sale of the warrant, express authority to that effect must be shown to have been given by the proper probate court. Where the warrant may issue to minor children, or where persons shown to be heirs-at-law of a deceased warrantee or assignee, unite personally in an assignment, it must be shown that at the date thereof they had each attained the age of twenty-one years; and where the said heirs, or any portion of them, are femes covert, their husbands must unite in the assignment.
The proof herein referred to, must be attached to the warrant, and should be such as has been taken before the probate court, or other legal tribunal having jurisdiction over the estates of deceased persons, and consist not of the mere certificate of the ministerial officer of such court of the facts referred to, but of transcripts from the records of such courts, duly certified and under seal; which transcripts of themselves evidence such facts.
3d. Where the warrant may have been assigned, and the last assignee dies without having located or disposed thereof, the same rules apply in reference to its devise or descent to his heirs-at-law, except that in such case it is liable for the debts of the assignee, the exception in this particular applying to the warrant, or the land located therewith, only while such warrant or land belongs to the warrantee.
4th. These warrants being regarded as real estate, are to be treated as such, and hence such action in relation thereto by the local courts as would be applicable to mere chattel property, under the law of the particular State in which the decedent had his domicil, will not be sufficient, and cannot be respected.
5th. Where the heirs are scattered, or other causes render it difficult or impracticable to obtain their individual assignments, then, on a decree of the proper court, in a proceeding similar to a petition for partition, the assignment may be made by the commissioner appointed for that purpose, and a certified transcript of the proceedings of the court should be appended to the warrant.
6th. Where the assignment of a warrant is executed by the warrantee or an assignee, or by any of the heirs of either, in a foreign country, it should be done in accordance with the laws of that country authorizing the sale and transfer of real estate, and the attestation of the American consul in such foreign country should be obtained as to the official character and genuineness of the signature of the persons before whom the acknowledgment of the assignment was taken; or, if the official character, &c., of such foreign functionary is attested by a consular agent of such foreign government residing in this country, his official character must be