2d. The filing of the Scrip must be considered in the character of a location, and should such filing not be followed within the time prescribed by our circular of February 22, 1864, relating to the location of this Scrip, by an adjustment to the official plat of survey, you will, immediately thereafter, adjust the same yourselves, as near as may be practicable, from the map and description filed by the party, and forward the same to this Office with regular abstract and reference to your action; or, if you are unable to determine the locality of the land in the public surveys, you will report the fact, forwarding therewith all the papers in the case, for our action.

At the end of each month you will report, in an addendum to your regular abstract of Scrip locations, the number and name of Scrip filed during the month for unsurveyed land, retaining the Scrip and papers on file for future adjustment. You will notify all who may apply either to adjust claims now pending or to present new claims, of the requirements herein.

Acknowledge receipt of this.
Very respectfully,

No. 573.

WILLIS DRUMMOND, Commissioner.


The kind of land upon which S. H. B. scrip may be located.

Where a township has been partly surveyed, S. H. B. scrip may be located upon what will be section sixteen when the remainder of the township shall be surveyed.


GENERAL LAND-OFFICE, Washington, D. C., June 26, 1874.


GENTLEMEN:-I am in receipt, by reference from Hon. T. W. Ferry, of a letter from L. G. Mason, Esq., president of Park Silver Mining Company, under date of the 16th inst., enclosing a diagram of that part of Tp. 2 S., R. 4 E., Utah, which has been surveyed, and stating that your office has rejected the application of said company to locate Sioux Half-Breed scrip on certain lands, on the ground that the same will be in section 16 of said township, a school section, when the survey thereof shall be made.

By act of February 26, 1859, (Stats.-at-Large, vol. 2, p. 385,) it is provided "That where settlements with a view to pre-emption have been made before survey of the lands in the field, which shall be found to have been made on sections sixteen and thirty-six, said sections shall be subject to the pre-emption claim of such settler."

By reference to my circular of February 22, 1864, you will perceive that Sioux Half-Beed scrip may be located upon any unoccupied lands subject to pre-emption or private sale, or upon any unsurveyed lands not mineral or reserved by Government, upon which the half-breed, or some person for him, has made improvements; that where the halfbreed for himself may make actual settlement, his improvements will be notice on the ground to any other settler, and in this respect he will stand on the same basis as a pre-emptor on unsurveyed land, and of course cannot adjust his location until after the return of the township plat to the district land-office.

Now, although said township has been in part surveyed, and it may be surmised that should the remaining part thereof ever be surveyed, the lands in question will be found to be in section 16, yet the fact is patent and undisputed that they are now unsurveyed lands. Therefore, if not mineral, they are subject to S. H. B. scrip location, under the rules and rugulations above referred to.

Very respectfully,

S. S. BURDETT, Commissioner.

No. 574.


Location of Sioux Half-breed Scrip by Heirs of Deceased Scripee.

GENERAL LAND-OFFICE, Washington, D. C., Nov. 12, 1874.


GENTLEMEN: I am in receipt of your letter of the 5th ult., asking for instructions in the matter of the location of Sioux half-breed scrip by the heirs of a deceased scripee.

In reply I bave to say that, where a scripee dies intestate, his legal heirs, if adults, may locate the scrip issued to him either in person or by attorney. If such heirs be minors, they may locate the scrip by a guardian or by an administrator. In the cases both of adults and minors the application to locate must be accompanied by a certificate under seal of a court having probate jurisdiction, to the effect that the scripee died intestate, and that the parties claiming to be heirs are such in fact, and the only heirs.

Where a guardian or administrator locates scrip either in person or by attorney, the application must be accompanied by a certified copy of the letters of guardianship or administration, as the case may be.

Where a scripee dies testate, the scrip may be located for the heirs by the executors or the administrator with the will annexed.

In such cases the application to locate must be accompanied by a certified copy of the will of the deceased scripee.

Very respectfully,

S. S. BURDETT, Commissioner.



The government possesses the exclusive right of granting the soil to individuals, subject only to the Indian right of occupancy. Johnson v. McIntosh, 8 Wh., 543. Mitchel. United States, 9 Pet., 712. United States v. Fernandez, 10 Pet., 303. United States v. Rillieux's Heirs, 14 H., 189. Sparkman v. Porter, 1 Pa., 457.

The Indian title is subordinate to the absolute ultimate title of the government; and no grant from an Indian tribe to an individual is recognized in our courts. Ibid.

The government of the United States succeeded to the exclusive

right of the British government to the lands occupied by the Indians; that right was originally founded on discovery and conquest. Ibid. By the laws of Spain, the Indians had a right of occupancy, but they could not part with this right, except in the mode pointed out by the Spanish laws. Chouteau v. Molony, 16 H., 203.

The Indians have only a right of use, which, however, can only be divested by purchase or war. Godfrey v. Beardsley, 2 McL., 412. A purchaser from an Indian tribe, after proclamation forbidding such purchases, could not acquire even the Indian title of occupancy. Sparkman v. Porter, 1 Pa., 457.

An occupant under an Indian grant, the Indians having afterwards resumed the title, and granted it to the crown, was a mere tenant at will of the king, whose occupancy no length of time could ripen into a title, by adverse possession. Ibid.

Purchases made at Indian treaties, held under the authority of the government, are rendered valid by their ratification, without any patent from the United States. Mitchel v. United States, 9 Pet., 713.

An unextinguished Indian title to lands, is not inconsistent with a seisin in fee by a State. Fletcher v. Peck, 6 Cr., 87.

(For other references see case of Pine and Wood, No. 558.)


No. 579.*



GENERAL LAND-OFFICE, July 20, 1875. GENTLEMEN:-Section 2414 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, which Statutes embrace all laws, general and permanent in their nature, in force on the first day of December, 1873, provides that "All warrants for military bounty lands which have been or may bereafter 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 declared to be assignable by deed or instrument of writing, made and executed 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 owner of the warrant or location."

Under the authority conferred by the said section, the following compilation of rules and regulations governing the assignment of bounty-land warrants is prepared for the guidance of Registers and Receivers of District Offices in ascertaining the titles to such warrants, when the same are presented in payment of entries of public lands, and for the information of all concerned.

To avoid, as far as possible, complications of land titles arising in consequence of the location of fraudulent or imperfectly assigned warrants, Registers and Receivers are peremptorily enjoined to refuse all warrants presented when the assignments thereof do not accord in every essential particular with the rules herein prescribed; and in all cases, when the question of title is in doubt, they must decline to receive the warrants until the holders thereof have submitted the same to this Office for examination, and have obtained a favorable decision thereon.


1. No assignment of a warrant executed prior to the date of the issue thereof can be recognized by this Office.-Revised Statutes, Section 2436.

2. The assignment is required to be indorsed, as far as practicable, upon the warrant transferred. Should it be found necessary, in any

*[No. 579 embraces, in addition to much new matter, the circulars dated March 30, 1870, August 2, 1871 and April 30, 1872, which it is deemed unnecessary to republish in this work. Circular of March 30, 1870, related to assignment and location of Bounty-Land Warrants; August 2, 1871, sought to prevent the assignment of warrants prior to their issuance; April 30, 1872, furnished a number of forms.-Ed.]

case, to write the entire assignment on a separate paper, which can only occur when prior assignments have filled entirely the blank space on the warrant, it must be so attached as to show unmistakably that the warrant assigned was in the hands of the party making the transfer. In such cases the signature of the assignor must be affixed in the presence of the officer before whom it is acknowledged, who must certify that, at the date of the assignment, the warrant was presented by and in possession of the assignor. (See Form No. 5.)

3. The same requirement must be observed in the preparation and acknowledgement of powers of attorney to sell or locate bounty-land warrants.

4. Blank assignments are void, and will not be recognized by this Office. The name of an assignee should be written in the assignment before the warrant is sent to the local or General Land-Office.

5. Each assignment must be attested by two subscribing witnesses: the mark of a witness will not be respected.

6. Parties in interest as assignees are not recognized as legal attesting witnesses to an assignment; neither can an officer take an acknowledgment of an assignment to himself.

7. The execution of assignments is required to be acknowledged by the assignor, in the presence of a register or receiver of a land-office, a judge or clerk of a court of record-when authorized to take acknowledgments-a notary public, justice of the peace, a commissioner of deeds resident in the State from which he derives his appointment, or a commissioner of a circuit court of the United States, who shall certify to the fact of the acknowledgment, and to the identity of the assignor; and the official seal of said court, notary public, or commissioner shall be affixed to the certificate. When the acknowledgment is taken before a justice of the peace, or other officer without an official seal, (except a register or receiver of a land office,) it must be accompanied by an additional certificate, under seal of the proper authority, establishing the official character of the person before whom the acknowledgment was made, and the genuineness of his signature. (See Form No. 15.)

Powers of attorney must be acknowledged in like manner.

8. Assignments executed by unmarried females must be accompanied by evidence that they have attained the age of twenty-one years; and when married women assign, their husbands must unite with them in making the transfer.

9. Assignments executed by a commissioner, or other designated person, alleged to be acting under a decree of court, must be accompanied by a duly certified copy of such decree, in which all the proceedings had in the case should be recited, and from which it must appear that due notice of the pending suit had been given, by publication or otherwise, to all the parties interested.

10. Where two assignments exist, executed by the same party but made in favor of different individuals, the person first named as assignee must execute a transfer in favor of the second grantee, whether the assignment to him had been completed or not.

11. When the name of a person has been inadvertently inserted in an assignment of a warrant, and erased therefrom, there should be filed an affidavit, duly authenticated, from such person, stating that his name had been erroneously written in said transfer, and erased with his knowledge and consent, and that he claims no right or interest in the warrant; when such person cannot be found, the title of the party

« ForrigeFortsett »