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You will please acknowledge the receipt of this circular, giving the date of reception.

Jos. S. WILSON, Commissioner.


of the U. S. Land Offices.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Washington, D. C., January 29th, 1867.

The foregoing rules are approved.

O. H. BROWNING, Secretary.


The act of September 4th, 1841, grants to settlers upon the public lands a preference right to purchase, known as the preemption right.

The individual claiming the benefits of said act must be— 1st. A citizen of the United States, or have filed his declaration of intention to become a citizen.

2d. Either the head of a family, or a widow, or a single man over the age of twenty-one years.

3d. An inhabitant of the tract sought to be entered, upon which, in person, he has made a settlement and erected a dwelling-house.

4th. The tract claimed to be in compact form, and consist of a regular quarter section or other legal subdivisions of sections.

5th. Claims initiated prior to the surveys will be adjusted by the lines of the surveys when made, in such manner as to cover the improvements of the claimants.

If the lands are surveyed at the date of settlement, only one person on a quarter section is protected by this law, and that is the one who made the first settlement, provided he shall have conformed to the other provisions of the law.

A person who has once availed himself of the provisions of this act cannot, at any future period, or at any other land office, acquire another right under it.

No person who is the proprietor of three hundred and twenty acres of land in any State or Territory of the United States, is entitled to the benefits of this act.

No person who shall quit or abandon his residence on his own

land to reside on the public land in the same State or Territory, is entitled to the benefits of this act.

No pre-emption right exists by reason of a settlement on and inhabitancy of a tract, unless at the date of such settlement the Indian title thereto had been extinguished.

The approval of the plat is the evidence of the legality of the survey; but in accordance with the spirit and intent of the law, and for the purpose of bringing the settler within its provisions, the land is to be construed as surveyed when the requisite lines are run on the field and the corners established by the deputy surveyor.

No assignments or transfer of pre-emption rights are recognized. The patents must issue in the name of the claimants shown to be entitled to the land under the law.

The following description of lands are exempted from the operation of this act:

First. Lands included in any reservation or upon which are situated any known salines.

Second. Mineral lands.

Third. Lands selected for or upon which is situated any town or city.

Persons claiming the benefit of the pre-emption act are required to file in the local land office duplicate affidavits, as required by the law, and to furnish proof by one or more disinterested witnesses of the facts necessary to establish a full compliance with the requirements of the statute, and clearly to satisfy the department of the actual bona fide purpose of the pre-emptor to reside upon and cultivate the land claimed.

Forms for pre-emption affidavits and of proof will be found at all the local United States Land Offices, where the application and proof must be made.

Careful attention to the foregoing brief directions, and compliance with the provisions of the law, will enable parties to avoid conflicts and procure titles without delay.

FORM A. No. LAND OFFICE AT REPORT of proposed selections of lands for School purposes under the provisions of the act of Congress of 20th May, 1826, entitled “An act to appropriate lands for the support of schools in certain townships and fractional townships not before provided for.'

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Section or Number of Number of Number of part. Section. Township.





LIST No. Exhibiting the tracts of public land situated in the district of lands subject to sale at selected for the State of

which have been

under the 8th section of the act of Congress, approved 4th September, 1841, entitled “An act

to appropriate the proceeds of the sales of the public lands and to grant pre-emption rights.'

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This column exhibits the actual area of the tracts which contain 320 acres and upwards, and also cases in which the tracts, though containing a less quantity, are taken as equivalent to 320 acres. NOTE.-The total of this column is the whole area of the selections by this list.



1st. For the support of primary schools, the grant is made of the land in place, being in the older land States, the section 16 in each township; but latterly the policy of the government has been liberalized, and in each township sections 16 and 36 are reserved for the endowment of primary schools. The lands cannot be disposed of by the territorial government, but are held in reserve until the organization of the State and its admission into the Union; when the title to the granted sections in place is vested in the State, and may be disposed of by the State government, the proceeds of sale forming the principal of a primary school fund, the interest of which may be annually applied to the support of public schools.

But in fractional townships, in which there is no granted section, its place being covered by the waters of the ocean, lakes, or rivers, the State under the act of May 20th, 1826, is entitled to indemnity, in the proportions shown in the following form,* in which the indemnity selection list is to be made out. The same to be signed by the State selecting agent, and verified by the local United States land officers of the district in which the lands are situated.

The act of February 26th, 1859, authorizes persons who settle upon the 16th and 36th sections prior to the survey to preempt the same, and in such cases allows indemnity to the State, the following being the form for selecting indemnity, under this provision of the statute:

Grants for seminary or university purposes have been made to each State to the amount of seventy-two sections. These lands may be selected by the Territorial government, in which case they are held in reserve until the admission of the State, when the title is consummated by certified list prepared by the General Land Office, and approved by the Secretary of the Interior.

Grants for agricultural colleges in States containing a sufficient quantity of public lands to satisfy the grant, may be

* See opposite page




EXHIBITING the tracts of Public Lands, situated in the district of lands subject to sale at

, which

have been selected for the support of schools in certain townships and fractional townships where the full amount of school lands to which such townships are entitled have not been granted in place, and which selections are provided for in the act of Congress approved February 26th, 1859, entitled "An act to authorize settlers upon Sixteenth and Thirty sixth sections, who settled before the surveys of the Public Lands, to pre-empt their settlements."

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Town. Range. Town. Range. Town. Range. Town. Range. Description. Sec.








Description. Sec. Town. Range.


, County of

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State of

WE DO HEREBY recommend the above selections, and agree to accept the same in lieu of the deficiency in school lands in certain townships and fractional townships, as shown in the foregoing list.

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*NOTE NO. 1.-The aggregate of columns numbers 11 and 12 must equal the exact area of school land to
which township is entitled.

*NOTE NO. 2.-No Indemnity School Selections are admissible by law for townships covered wholly by a
private claim, or covered wholly or in part by an Indian reservation. Neither can
Indemnity be taken by selections of mineral lands or lands which have been reserved.

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