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shall, in addition to the oath hereinbefore required, also make oath that he has not borne arms against the United States, or given aid and comfort to its enemies.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That all the provisions of the said homestead law, and the act amendatory thereof, approved March twentyfirst, eighteen hundred and sixty-four, so far as the same may be applicable, except so far as the same are modified by the preceding sections of this act, are applied to and made part of this act as fully as if herein enacted and set forth.
Approved June 21st, 1866.
By the terms of the Amendatory Act of June 21st, 1866, the restriction which prohibits persons who have borne arms against the United States or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof, ceased to be operative on the 1st of January, 1867, and any citizen of the United States possessing the other qualifications requisite may now enter land under the Homestead Law.
Mineral lands in the States named in the act of 21st June, 1866, do not fall under the restrictions of that act, and may therefore be entered under the general laws.
The Homestead Law being now of general application over the whole of the surveyed public lands, and the law under which a large majority of actual settlers will acquire titles to their homes, it is of the utmost importance that its provisions should be fully understood. For this reason the law with the amendments of 1864 and 1866 are here given.
AN ACT to secure homesteads to actual settlers on the public domain.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any person who is the head of a family, or who has arrived at the age of twenty-one years, and is a citizen of the United States, or who shall have filed his declaration of intention to become such, as required by the naturalization laws of the United States, and who has never borne arms against the United States government or given aid and comfort to its enemies, shall, from and after the first January, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, be entitled to enter one quarter section or a less quantity of unappropriated public lands, upon which said person may have filed a pre-emption claim, or which may, at the time the application is made, be subject to pre-emption at one dollar and twenty-five cents, or less, per acre; or eighty acres or less of such unappropriated lands, at two dollars and fifty cents per acre, to be located in a body, in conformity to the legal subdivisions of the public lands, and after the same shall have been surveyed: Provided, That any person owning and residing on land may, under the provisions of this act, enter other land lying contiguous to his or her said land, which shall not, with the land so already owned and occupied, exceed in the aggregate one hundred and sixty acres.
SEC 2. And be it further enacted, That the person applying for the benefit of this act shall, upon application to the register of the land office in which he or she is about to make such entry, make affidavit before the said register or receiver that he or she is the head of a family, or is twenty-one or more years of age, or shall have performed service in the army or navy of the United States, and that he has never borne arms against the government of the United States or given aid and comfort to its enemies, and that such application is made for his or her exclusive use and benefit, and that said entry is made for the purpose of actual settlement and cultivation, and not, either directly or indirectly, for the use or benefit of any other person or persons whomsoever; and upon filing the said affidavit with the register or receiver, and on payment of ten dollars, he or she shall thereupon be permitted to enter the quantity of land specified: Provided, however, That no certificate shall be given or patent issued therefor until the expiration of five years from the date of such entry: and if, at the expiration of such time, or at any time within two years thereafter, the person making such entry—or if he be dead, his widow: or in case of her death, his heirs or devisee: or in case of a widow making such entry, her heirs or devisee, in case of her death-shall prove by two credible witnesses that he, she, or they have resided upon or cultivated the same for the term of five years immediately succeeding the time of filing the affidavit aforesaid, and shall make affidavit that no part of said land has been alienated, and that he has borne true allegiance to the government of the United States; then, in such case, he, she, or they, if at that time a citizen of the United States, shall be entitled to a patent, as in other cases provided for by law: And provided, further, That in case of the death of both father and mother, leaving an infant child or children under twenty-one years of age, the right and fee shall inure to the benefit of said infant child or children; and the executor, administrator, or guardian may, at any time within two years after the death of the surviving parent, and in accordance with the laws of the State in which such children for the time being have their domicile, sell said land for the benefit of said infants, but for no other purpose and the purchaser shall acquire the absolute title by the purchase, and be entitled to a patent from the United States, on payment of the office fees and sum of money herein specified.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the register of the land office shall note all such applications on the tract books and plats of his office, and keep a register of all such entries, and make return thereof to the General Land Office, together with the proof upon which they have been founded.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That no lands acquired under the provisions of this act shall in any event become liable to the satisfaction of any debt or debts contracted prior to the issuing of the patent therefor.
SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That, if at any time after the filing of the affidavit, as required in the second section of this act and before the expiration of the five years aforesaid, it shall be proven, after due notice to the settler, to the satisfaction of the register of the land office, that the person having filed such affidavit shall have actually changed his or her residence, or abandoned the said land for more than six months at any time, then and in that event the land so entered shall revert to the government.
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That no individual shall be permitted to acquire title to more than one quarter section under the provisions of this act; and that the Commissioner of the General Land Office is hereby required to prepare and issue such rules and regulations, consistent with this act, as shall be necessary and proper to carry its provisions into effect, and that the registers and receivers of the several land offices shall be entitled to receive the same compensation for any lands entered under the provisions of this act that they are now entitled to receive when the same quantity of land is entered with money, onehalf to be paid by the person making the application at the time of so doing, and the other half on the issue of the certificate by the person to whom it may be issued; but this shall not be construed to enlarge the maximum of compensation now prescribed by law for any register or receiver: Provided, That nothing contained in this act shall be so construed as to impair or interfere in any manner whatever with existing preemption rights: And provided further, That all persons who may have filed their applications for a pre-emption right prior to the passage of this act shall be entitled to all privileges of this act: Provided further, That no person who has served, or may hereafter serve, for a period of not less than fourteen days in the army or navy of the United States, either regular or volunteer, under the laws thereof, during the existence of an actual war, domestic or foreign, shall be deprived of the benefits of this act on account of not having attained the age of twenty-one years. SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That the fifth section of the act entitled "An act in addition to an act more effectually to provide for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States, and for other purposes," approved the third of March, in the year eighteen hundred and fifty-seven, shall extend to all oaths, affirmations, and affidavits required or authorized by this act.
SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That nothing in this act shall be so construed as to prevent any person who has availed him or herself of the benefits of the first section of this act from paying the minimum price, or the price to which the same may have graduated, for the quantity of land so entered at any time before the expiration of the five years, and obtaining a patent therefor from the government, as in other cases provided by law, on making proof of settlement and cultivation as provided by existing laws granting pre-emption right. Approved May 20th, 1862.
AN ACT amendatory of the Homestead Law, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in case of any person desirous of availing himself of the benefits of the Homestead Act of twentieth May, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, but who, by reason of actual service in the military or naval service of the United States, is unable to do the personal preliminary acts at the district land office which the said act of twentieth May, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, requires, and whose family, or some member thereof, is residing on the land which he desires to enter, and upon which a bona fide improvement and settlement have been made, it shall and may be lawful for such person to make the affidavit required by said act before the officer commanding in the branch of the service in which the party may be engaged,
which affidavit shall be as binding in law, and with like penalties, as if taken before the Register or Receiver; and upon such affidavit being filed with the Register by the wife or other representative of the party, the same shall become effective from the date of such filing, provided the said application and affidavit are accompanied by the fee and commissions as required by law.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That, besides the ten-dollar fee exacted by the said act, the homestead applicant shall hereafter pay to the Register and Receiver each, as commissions, at the time of entry, one per centum upon the cash price as fixed by law of the land applied for, and like commissions when the claim is finally established and the certificate therefor issued as the basis of a patent.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That in any case hereafter in which the applicant for the benefit of the homestead, and whose family, or some member thereof, is residing on the land which he desires to enter, and upon which a bona fide improvement and settlement have been made, is prevented, by reason of distance, bodily infirmity, or other good cause, from personal attendance at the district land office, it shall and may be lawful for him to make the affidavit required by the original statute before the clerk of the court for the county in which the applicant is an actual resident, and to transmit the same, with the fee and commissions, to the Register and Receiver.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That in lieu of the fee allowed by the twelfth section of the pre-emption act of fourth September, eighteen hundred and forty-one, the Register and Receiver shall each be entitled to one dollar for their services in acting upon pre-emption claims, and shall be allowed, jointly, at the rate of fifteen cents per hundred words, for the testimony which may be reduced by them to writing for claimants, in establishing pre-emption or homestead rights; the regulations for giving proper effect to the provisions of this act to be prescribed by the Commissioner of the General Land Office.
SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That where a pre-emptor has taken the initiatory steps required by existing laws in regard to actual settlement, and is called away from such settlement by being actually engaged in the military or naval service of the United States, and by reason of such absence is unable to appear at the district land office to make, before the Register or Receiver, the affidavits required by the thirteenth section of the pre-emption act of fourth September, eighteen hundred and forty-one, the time for filing such affidavit and making final proof and entry of location shall be extended six months after the expiration of his term of service, upon satisfactory proof, by affidavit or the testimony of witnesses, that the said pre-emptor is so in the service, being filed with the Register of the Land Office for the district in which his settlement is made.
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That the Registers and Receivers in the State of California, in the State of Oregon, and in the Territories of Washington, Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, and Arizona, shall be entitled to collect and receive, in addition to the fees and allowances provided by this act, fifty per centum of said fees and allowances as compensation for their services: Provided, That the salary and fees allowed any Register and Receiver shall not exceed in the aggregate the sum of three thousand dollars per annum.
Approved March 21st, 1864.
MILITARY BOUNTY LAND WARRANTS.
This class of land warrants has been issued under various acts of Congress; but most of the warrants in circulation are authorized by the acts 1847, 1850, 1852, or 1855, all of which by subsequent legislation have been made to assimilate in character, and are now locatable under the same general rules and regulations of the department, which are as follows:
1st. These warrants are now assignable, and properly transferred, carry all the rights of the original warrantee. To make the transfer valid the assignee must be named, as the department will not recognize assignments in blank. The assignment must in all cases be verified by two witnesses. Assignments by Indians must be executed before the United States Indian Agent for the tribe of which the assignee is a member. If not a member of any tribe, the Indian may assign as other parties.
Warrants cannot be located upon occupied land, except it be subject to any legal right to which such occupant may prove to be entitled.
ASSIGNMENT OF LAND WARRANTS AND LOCATIONS.
By the first section of the act of Congress entitled "An act making land warrants assignable, and for other purposes," approved March 22d, 1852, it is provided: "That all warrants for military bounty land which have been, or may hereafter be issued, under any law of the United States, and all valid locations of the same, which have been, or may hereafter be made, are hereby declared to be assignable, by deed or instrument of writing, made and executed after the taking effect of this act, according to such form and pursuant to such regulations as may be prescribed by the Commissioner of the General Land Office, so as to vest the assignee with all the rights of the original owners of the warrant or location."
In accordance with the provisions of this section, the following forms are prescribed by said commissioner for the assignment of the warrants and locations referred to, to wit:
FORM FOR THE ASSIGNMENT OF THE WARRANT-NO. 1. For value received, I, A. B., to whom the within warrant, No. was issued, do hereby sell and assign unto C. D., of
and to his