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This volume was prepared by the codification committee of the Public Land Commission, which was created by an act of Congress approved March 3, 1879 (Statutes at Large, Vol. 20, p. 394), and continued by an act of Congress approved June 16, 1880 (Statutes at Large, Vol. 21, p. 245).

It contains the existing legislation of Congress of a general and permanent nature concerning the disposition and survey of the public domain. The present laws have been compiled in an orderly manner, but without changing either their substance or text. Each general subject of legislation is collated in a separate chapter, but the sections are, for convenient reference, numbered consecutively throughout the volume. Under each section complete references are given to the antecedent legislation upon the same subject and out of which said section has grown. Copious citations are also made under each section of all decisions construing the same in any manner, and embracing decisions by the Federal courts, the supreme courts of the several public land States and Territories, the Department of Justice, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Commissioner of the General Land Office.

All legislation of a local or temporary character has been omitted from this volume. The same appears in a second volume, wherein the entire chain of Congressional land acts is arranged chronologically for each State and Territory, and properly connected. It contains a table of authorities, wherein all judicial and executive decisions bearing upon each subject matter are cited.


Commissioners. WASHINGTON, December 1, 1880.




Sec. 1. Supervisory authority of Secretary. 17. Location of land warrants free of ex2. Power to grant military bounty-land pense. warrants.

18. May authorize issue of patents on lost 3. Exemplifications of papers.

land warrants. 4. Authority to take bonds of surveyors-- 19. May issue new land warrants in lieu eneral.

of those lost. 5. Shall require public land surveys to 20. May issue patents to the heirs of warbe completed.

rantees. 6. Power to discontinue land offices. 21. Board of equitable adjudication. 7. Power to make allowances for office 22. Shall have control of Yellowstone rent and clerk hire.

Park. 8. Repayment of purchase money, &c. 23. Duties relative to swamp lands. 9. Remedial authority under treaty of 24. Shall approve accounts of indemnity 1854.

for swamp lands. 10. Correction of erroneous land entries. 25. To give notice of completion of sur11. Appraisement and sale of town-site veys in Minnesota and Oregon. reservations.

26. Required to sign requisitions on Treas12. Authority to survey and plat a city or ury for moneys. town.

27. To prescribe the duties of Assistant 13. Authority to vary subdivisional sur- Secretary. veys in Nevada.

28. To designate and set apart agricul. 14. Geodetic surveys in Oregon and Cali

tural from mineral lands. fornia.

29. Shall prescribe regulations for subdi15. Departure from rectangular surveys

vision of fractional sections. in California.

30. Designation of newspapers for publi16. May pay surveyors by the day in Ore- cation of proclamations of sales of gon and California.


SECTION 1. The Secretary of the Interior is charged with Supervisory authe supervision of public business relating to the following thority of Sécresubjects:

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Second. The public lands, including mines.
2 Stat. 716; 5 id. 107; 9 id. 395; R. S. 441. Wilcox v. Jackson,

13 Pet. 498; Maguire v. Tyler, 1 Black, 195; Snyder v. Sickles,
8 Otto, 203 ; Wolsey v. Chapman, S. C., Oct. T., 1879, in manu-
script; Patterson v. Tatum, 3 Saw. C. C. 164. 3 Op. Att. Gen.
137; 12 id. 250. 2 Laws, Instructions and Opinions, 104; 1 Lester,

681. Hesters v. Brennan, 50 Cal. 211. SEC. 2. He shall grant warrants to parties entitled to land Power to grant heretofore or hereafter given by the United States for mili- land warrants.

military bounty. tary services.

2 Stat. 717 ; R. S. 456. SEC. 3. Copies of papers filed in the Interior Department. Exemplifica. and remaining therein shall be authenticated under the hand of the Secretary and the seal of the General Land Office.

3 Stat. 721; 5 id. 111; R. S. 460.




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Allowances to

Authority to SEC. 4. The bonds of surveyors-general shall be executed take bonds from and delivered to the Secretary of the Interior. Burveyors.gen.

3 Stat. 697; R. S. 2215. U. S. v. Tingey, 5 Pet. 115; U. S. v. Ste

phenson, 1 McLean, C. C. 462; Farrar v. U. S., 5 Pet. 373. Shall complete SEC. 5. He shall take the necessary measures for the compublic land sur.

pletion of the public-land surveys.

5 Stat. 384; 19 id: 121; R. S. 2218. Power to dis- SEC. 6. He shall discontinue the land office in


district continuo land of- wherein the public lands are reduced to less than one hun

dred thousand acres, and shall give notice at what convenient existing land office such residue shall be subject to sale.

5 Stat. 455; R. S. 2249; Mathews v. Zane's Lessee, 5 Cranch, 95;

same case, 7 Wheat. 164.

SEC. 7. He shall make a reasonable allowance for office local offices.

rent for consolidated land offices, and may approve the employment of clerks by the register.

12 Stat. 131 ; R. S. 2255. Repayment of SEC. 8. He is authorized to repay the purchase money, purchase money. fees, commissions, and excess payments in cases where the

lands have been erroneously sold and the title cannot be confirmed.

4 Stat. 80 ; 11 id. 387; act June 16, 1880; R. S. 2362. 4 Op. Att. Gen. 277. Decisions Sec. Int., Aug. 17, 1849; July 23, 1864; April 15, 1878; Aug. 5, 1878; May 7, 1879; Nov. 20, 1878; July 1, 1879;

July 29, 1879; Aug. 12, 1878; Jan. 8, 1880. Remedial au- SEC. 9. He is authorized to permit innocent parties who thority under treaty of 1854. purchased and located claims arising under the treaty of

September thirty, eighteen hundred and fifty-four, to perfect their entries with cash or military bounty-land warrants.

17 Stat. 340 ; R. S. 2368. Decisions Sec. Int., July 6, 1876; July 19,

1879; May 6, 1880. Correction of SEC. 10. He is authorized to allow erroneous entries of

lands sold at private sale and warrant locations to be corrected; and this authority extends to patented cases upon surrender of the patent with satisfactory relinquishment of title indorsed thereon.

3 Stat. 526 : 4 id. 301; 10 id. 257; R. S. 2369, 2370, 2371. Appraisement SEC. 11. When, in the opinion of the President, the pubsite reservations. lic interests require it, he shall cause town-site reservations

to be surveyed into lóts; shall fix their cash value by ap praisement of disinterested persons; and, after offering same at public entry to the highest bidder, shall prescribe regulations for sale of the residue at private entry at not less than the appraised values. All such sales shall be conducted by the register and receiver of the proper land district.

12 Stat. 754; R. S. 2381. U. S. v. Hare, 4 Saw. C. C. 653. Authority to SEC. 12. He may. cause a survey and plat to be made of survey and plat a city or town. a city or town, if within twelve months from its establish

ment on the public domain the parties interested do not file in the General Land Office the showing required by law; and thereafter the minimum price of lots included therein shall be increased fifty per centum.

13 Stat. 344; R. S. 2384. 1 LO


erroneous entries.

and sale of town.

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veys in Califor.


on lost land war. rants.

land warrants in lieu of those lost.

SEC. 13. He may vary the subdivisional surveys in the Authority to

subdivis. State of Nevada from a rectangular form to suit the circum-ionaty

ional surveys in stances of the country.

Nevada. 14 Stat. 86; R. S. 2408. Heydenfeldt v. Mining Co., 3 Otto, 634. SEC. 14. He may authorize the geodetic method of sur- Geodetic survey in Oregon and California.

veys in Oregon

and California. 9 Stat. 496; 10 id. 245; R. S. 2409. SEC. 15. He may direct a departure from the rectangular Departure from mode of survey in the State of California.

rectangular sur 10 Stat. 245; R. S. 2410.

nia. SEC. 16. He may direct compensation by the day for sur. Pay for surveys reys in Oregon and California.

by day in Oregon

and California. 10 Stat. 247; R. S. 2411. SEC. 17. He may prescribe regulations for the location Location of and patenting, free of expense, of any military bounty-land warrants free of warrant transmitted for that purpose to the General Land Office.

9 Stat. 521 ; R. S. 2437. Decision Sec. Int., March 1, 1876. SEC. 18. He may authorize issue of patents in cases of Patents to issue lost military bounty-land warrants.

3 Stat. 317; R. S. 2439. SEC. 19. He shall cause new bounty-land warrants to be May issue new issued in lieu of lost or destroyed warrants, and shall prescribe regulations for the prevention of frauds.

12 Stat. 90 ; 18 id. 111; R. S. 2441, 2442. SEC. 20. He shall issue patents to the heirs of persons en- Patents to heirs titled to bounty lands.

5 Stat. 650; R. S. 2443. SEC. 21. Conjointly with the Attorney-General and the Board of adjaCommissioner of the General Land Office, he shall prescribe regulations for the equitable decision of suspended entries of public lands and of suspended pre-emption claims, and adjudicate in what cases patents shall issue upon the same.

9 Stat. 51; 10 id. 258; 11 id. 22; 18 id. 50; 19 id. 244; R. S. 2450,

2451. SEC. 22. He shall have exclusive control of the Yellow- Yellowstone stone Park, with authority to lease portions thereof.

17 Stat. 33; R. S. 2475. SEC. 23. He shall make accurate lists and plats of the

Swamp and swamp and overflowed lands granted to the several States overflowed lands. and transmit same to the governors thereof; and at the request of the governor of any State in which such lands are situate, he shall cause patents to be issued conveying to said State the fee-simple of said lands. 9 Stat. 519; R. S. 2479, 2480. Railroad Co. v. Smith, 9 Wall. 95;

French v. Fyan, 3 Otto, 169; Martin v. Marks, 7 id. 345.
Op. Att. Gen. 253. Clarkson v. Buchanan, 53 Mo. 563; Master-
son v. Marshall, 65 id. 94; Funkhouser v. Peck, 67 id. 20; Busch
v. Donohue, 31 Mich. 481 ; Kile v. Tubbs, 23 Cal. 431 ; Kernan v.
Griffith, 27 id. 87; Fremont Co. v. R. R. Co., 22 Iowa, 91; R. R.
Co. v. Brown, 40 id. 333; Page Co. v. R. R. Co., 40 id. 520; Ed-

of warrantees.



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