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2d. Attorney General Taney, now Chief Justice of the United States, in an opinion of 22d August, 1833, cites this opinion of Mr. Wirt, and concurs in it.

Attorney General Mason, in a communication of 16th July, 1845, refers to the opinion of Attorney General Nelson, of the 11th August, 1843, and, in concurring in it, states that, "when the right of preemption exists, the settler who has complied with the provisions of the act of 4th September, 1841, has a right of occupancy for twelve months, within which he may perfect his title by paying the minimum price of the land. Like the settlers under the armed occupation act, his right is inchoate only; and he has only those rights of property which are necessary to the perfecting of his title. He may clear the land, build on it, and inclose it with a view to cultivation. For these purposes he may use or destroy any trees which may be necessary, but within these restrictions, and necessary fire-wood, he is confined."

The penal act of 2d March, 1831, provides "for the punishment of offences committed in cutting, destroying, or removing live-oaks and other timber or trees preserved for naval purposes."

This act of 2d March, 1831, you will find fully considered in the case of the United States v. Ephraim Briggs, (9 Howard, p. 351,) in which the Supreme Court decided that the said act authorized the prosecution and punishment of all trespassers on public lands by cutting timber, whether such timber was fit for naval purposes or not.

4th. Under no circumstances will you compound or compromise with any such trespassers, or receive any pay or compensation from them as acquittal or discharge therefrom, or in any other manner; neither will you give any permission to cut timber or otherwise trespass on the public lands, as there is no authority for any such proceeding; but all such offences against the law must be prosecuted and tried by the authorities duly constituted for that purpose.

5th. Should you find such trespass committed on swamp lands, or those which are rendered unfit for cultivation by overflow, you will take no further action than to notify the Governor of the State, as all such lands inure to the State under the act of 28th September, 1850.

6th. In the enforcement of the said act of 1831, you should be careful not to interfere with pre-emption rights under the act of 4th September, 1841, the settler, with a view to cultivation, having the right, as herein before indicated, to use or destroy trees in clearing roads and constructing bridges, or for any other purpose connected with the improvement of his homestead.

7th. While thus liberal to the honest settler, you should be vigilant to detect and arrest the speculator, who, in the guise of a settler, and under the sanction of a declaratory statement, may contemplate the spoliation of timber, and unless arrested, might seriously injure the public interest.

8th. Where the trespassers are unknown or known, and timber has been cut or removed off the public lands, you will cause it to be seized and sold at auction to the highest bidder, under such regulations as sound discretion may suggest.

9th. All moneys, the proceeds of the sale of timber, received by you, must be deposited in some one of the United States depositories, to the credit of the judiciary fund, without abatement, and an immediate report made of the same to this office, with a full statement of all particulars, duly verified.

10th. In the prosecution of your duties you may, upon any pressing emergency, deputize a reliable person to investigate and report the facts involved in any supposed case of trespass, and allow a per diem of three dollars and a mileage at the rate of ten cents per mile.

In making any such appointment you will report the fact instanter, and the necessity for it, and will require, in the affidavit of the employé, a statement of the time actually occupied in the service, and the distance traveled. An account verified by the party and certified by you should be reported to this office for payment.

Where there is no pressing emergency for the appointment of an agent, you will refer the facts to this office for consideration, and await instruction.

11th. In returns to this office of sales of timber, you will be careful to designate the places of seizure, the quantity and kind of timber, whether in logs or manufactured, the price per foot, with the names and residences of purchasers, and cause the same to be verified by a certificate from the party making the seizure and sale.

12th. You are directed to make a report at the end of each quarter, the first to be rendered on 1st April next, of the proceedings of your office pursuant to these instructions, and showing the operation of this system as preventive means; also the number of acres entered by trespassers through its constraining influence.

You are requested to acknowledge the receipt of this, and advise me of such preliminary steps as you may take with a view to a compliance with the foregoing instructions.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS A. HENDRICKS, Commissioner.

REGISTER AND RECEIVER.

TITLE VIII.-COAL LANDS.

No. 532.

INSTRUCTIONS.

Instructions to give effect to the act of Congress approved July 1, 1864, for the disposal of "COAL LANDS" and of "TowN PROPERTY" in the public domain.

INTERIOR DEPARTMENT,
GENERAL LAND OFFICE,

August 20, 1864.

GENTLEMEN:-Annexed is the act of Congress approved July 1, 1864,

for the disposal of "Coal Land" and of "Town Property on the public domain."

It will be observed that the word "mines," as used in the pre-emption act of 1841, is recognized in the first section of this law as importing any tracts of the public domain embracing " coal beds or coal fields," which are to be treated as mineral lands, and not subject to ordinary private entry.

2. That said tracts are to be disposed of at public sale, on not less than three months' public notice, to the highest bidder, in such "suitable legal sub-divisions" as the President may direct, at the minimum price of $20 per acre; all tracts not thus disposed of are hereafter to be liable to private entry at said minimum.

3d. In order that this office may have reliable information as to what lands embrace "coal beds or coal fields," it will be your duty to institute proper inquiries, directed to reliable sources, as to the mineral character of the lands in your district; to ascertain what tracts of land come within the meaning of the terms "coal beds or coal fields," and make a prompt report of all such lands to this office.

4th. In reference to this matter, special orders will be given to the United States Surveyors-General to require their Deputy Surveyors, in executing the public surveys, carefully to designate in their field notes all localities of coal beds or coal fields in the smallest legal sub-division ; and thereafter to have the same properly delineated on the official township plats returned to the General and District Land-Offices.

5th. The second section of this act relates to "TOWN PROPERTY," or the founding of cities or towns on the public domain, and limits the extent of the area of the city or town to 640 acres, to be laid off into lots, and which, after filing in the General Land-Office the transcript, statement, and testimony required by the act, are to be offered at public sale, to the highest bidder, at a minimum of ten dollars for each lot. Lots not thus disposed of are made thereafter liable to private entry at said minimum, or at such reasonable price as the Secretary of the Interior may order from time to time, as the municipal property may increase or decrease, after at least three months' notice.

A privilege, however, is granted to any actual settler upon any one lot of pre-empting that, and any additional lot on which he may have "substantial improvements," at said minimum, at any time before the day fixed for the public sale.

There are, however, certain preliminary conditions to be complied with, in order to the enjoyment of the privileges granted in this section. Parties who have already founded or may hereafter found a city or town, are required

6th. To file with the recorder of the county in which the town or city is situate a plat thereof, not exceeding 640 acres, describing its exterior boundaries according to the lines of the public surveys, where such surveys have been executed.

7th. Also the plat or map of such city or town must exhibit the name of the city or town, the streets, squares, blocks, lots, and alleys; the size of the same, with measurement and area of each municipal subdivision, the lots in which shall each not exceed 4,200 square feet, with a statement of the extent and general character of improvements.

8th. Further, the said map and statement to be verified by oath by the party acting for and in the behalf of the founders of the city or town.

9th. Within one month after filing the map or plat with the recorder of the county, a verified copy of said map and statement is to be sent to the General Land-Office, accompanied by the testimony of two witnesses that such city or town has been established in good faith.

10th. Where the city or town is within the limits of an organized land district, a similar copy of the map and statement must be filed with the register and receiver.

11th. The third section provides for cities or towns founded on unsurveyed lands, and directs that it may be lawful to adjust the exterior limits of the premises with the lines of the public surveys, where it can be done without impairing the rights of others.

Patents are to issue for all lots sold under the provisions of this act as in ordinary cases.

12th. Section four authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, in case the parties interested shall fail or refuse, within twelve months of the founding of a city or town on the public domain, to file in the General LandOffice a copy of the map with the statement and testimony called for by the second section, to cause a survey and plat to be made of the said city or town, and thereafter the lots to be sold as provided, at an increase of fifty per cent. on the minimum price of ten dollars per lot.

13th. The fifth section repeals the act for the relief of the citizens of towns on the public lands, approved 23d May, 1844, and all other acts or parts of acts inconsistent with this act.

You are requested to acknowledge the receipt of this circular.

Very respectfully,

JOS. S. WILSON, Acting Commissioner.

REGISTERS AND RECEIVERS, U. S. LAND OFFICES.

An act for the disposal of Coal Lands and of Town Property in the Public Domain.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That where any tracts embracing coal beds, or coal fields, constituting portions of the public domain, and

which, as "mines," are excluded from the pre-emption act of eighteen hundred and forty-one, and which, under past legislation, are not liable to ordinary private entry, it shall and may be lawful for the President to cause such tracts, in suitable legal subdivisions, to be offered at public sale to the highest bidder, after public notice of not less than three months, at a minimum price of twenty dollars per acre; and any lands not thus disposed of shall thereafter be liable to private entry at said minimum.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That in any case in which parties have already founded, or may hereafter desire to found, a city or town on the public lands, it shall and may be lawful for them to cause to be filed with the recorder for the county in which the same is situated, a plat thereof for not exceeding six hundred and forty acres, describing its exterior boundaries according to the lines of the public surveys, where such surveys have been executed; also giving the name of such city or town, and exhibiting the streets, squares, blocks, lots, and alleys, the size of the same, with measurements and area of each municipal subdivision, the lots in which shall each not exceed four thousand two hundred square feet, with a statement of the extent and general character of the improvements; the said map and statement to be verified under oath by the party acting for and in behalf of the persons proposing to establish such city or town; and within one month after such filing there shall be transmitted to the General Land-Office a verified transcript of such map and statement, accompanied by the testimony of two witnesses that such city or town has been established in good faith; and when the premises are within the limits of an organized land district, a similar map and statement shall be filed with the register and receiver; and at any time after the filing of such map, statement, and testimony in the General Land-Office, it shall and may be lawful for the President to cause the lots embraced within the limits of such city or town to be offered at public sale to the highest bidder, subject to a minimum of ten dollars for each lot; and such lots as may not be disposed of at public sale shall thereafter be liable to private entry at said minimum, or at such reasonable increase or dimininution thereafter as the Secretary of the Interior may order from time to time, after at least three months' notice, in view of the increase or decrease in the value of the municipal property: Provided, That any actual settler upon any one lot as aforesaid, and upon any additional lot in which he may have substantial improvements, shall be entitled to prove up and purchase the same as a pre-emption, at said minimum, at any time before the day fixed for the public sale.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That when such cities or towns are established upon unsurveyed lands, it shall and may be lawful, after the extension thereto of the public surveys, to adjust the extension limits of the premises according to those lines, where it can be done without interference with rights which may be vested by sale; and patents for all lots so disposed of at public or private sale shall issue as in ordinary cases.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That if, within twelve months from the establishment of a city or town, as aforesaid, in the public domain, the parties interested shall refuse or fail to file in the General Land-Office transcript map, with the statement and testimony called for by the provisions of the second section of this act, it shall and may be lawful for the Secretary of the Interior to cause a survey and plat

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