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§ 15. It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State, immediately after the passage of this Act, to have two thousand copies each, in English and Spanish, printed and sent to the raining districts for circulation among the miners, and also to have the same published for thirty days in the Pacific News at San Francisco, and in some newspaper at Sacramento City and at Stockton.
For the Admission of the State of California into the Union.
I'uspcJ nt the First Session of the 31st Congress.
Whereas the people of California have presented a constitution and asked admission into the Union, which constitution was submitted to Congress by the President of the United States, by message dated February thirteenth, eighteen hundred and fifty, and which, on due examination, is found to be republican in its form of government:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the State of California shall be one, and is hereby declared to be one, of the United States of America, and admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That, until the representatives in Congress shall be appointed according to an actual enumeration of the inhabitants of the United States, the State of California shall be entitled to two representatives in Congress.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the said State of California is admitted into the Union upon the express condition that the people of said State, through their legislature or otherwise, shall never interfere with the primary disposal of the public lands within its limits, and shall pass no law and do no act whereby the title of the United States to, and right to dispose of, the same shall be impaired or questioned; and that they shall never lay any tax or assessment of any description whatsoever upon the public domain of the United States, and in no case shall non-resident proprietors, who are citizens of the United States, be taxed higher than residents; and that all the navigable waters within the said State shall be common highways, and forever free, as well to the inhabitants of said State as to the citizens of the United States, without any tax, impost, or duty therefor: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed as recognizing or rejecting the propositions tendered by the people of California as articles of compact in the ordinance adopted by the convention which formed the constitution of that State.
Approved, September 9, 1850.
To ascertain and Settle the Private Land Claims in the State
Passed at ihe 2d Session of the 31st Congress
Be it enacted by the Senate and Home of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That for the purpose of ascertaining and settling private land claims in the State of California, a commission shall be, and is hereby, constituted, which shall consist of three commissioners, to be appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, which commission shall continue for three years from the date of this act unless sooner discontinued by the President of the United States.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That a secretary, skilled in the Spanish and English languages, shall be appointed by the said commissioners, whose duty it shall he to act as interpreter, and to keep a record of the proceedings of the board in a bound book, to be filed in the office of the Interior ou the termination of the commission.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That such clerks, not to exceed five in number, as may he neccessary, shall be appointed by the said commissioners.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for the President of the United States to appoint an agent learned in the law. and skilled in the Spanish and English languages, whose special duty it shall be to superintend the interests of the United States in the premises, to continue him in such agency as long as the public interest may, in the judgment of the President, require his continuance, and to allow him such compensation as the president shall deem reasonable. It shall be the duty of the said agent to attend the meetings of the board, to collect testimony in behalf of the United States, and to attend on all occasions when the claimant, in any case before the board, shall take depositions; and no deposition taken by or in behalf of any such claimant shall be read in evidence in any case, whether before the commissioners, or before the District or Supreme Court of the United States, unless notico of the time and place of taking the same shall have been given in writing to said agent, or to the district attorney of the proper district, so long before the time of taking the deposition as to enable him to be present at the time and place of taking the same, and like notice shall be given of the- time and place of taking any deposition on the part of the United States.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the sail commissioners shall hold their sessions at such times and places as the President of the United States shall direct, of which they shall give due and public notice; and the marshal of the district in which the board is sitting shall appoint a deputy, whose duty it shall be to attend upon the said board, and who shall receive the same compensation as is allowed to the marshal for his attendance upon the District Court.
Sec. 6. And be it farther enacted, That the said commissioners, when sitting as a board, and each commissioner at his chambers, shall be, and are, and is hereby, authorized to administer oaths, and to examine witnesses in any case pending before the commissioners, that all such testimony shall be taken in writing, and shall be recorded and preserved in bound books to bo provided for that purpose.
Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That the secretary of the board shall be, and he is hereby, authorized and required, on the application of the law agent or district attorney of the United States, or of any claimant or bis counsel, to issue writs of subpoena commanding the attendance of a witness or witnesses before the said board or any commissioner.
Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That each and every person claiming lands in California by virtue of any right or title derived from the Spanish or Mexican government, shall present the same to the said commissioners when sitting as a board, together with such documentary evidence and testimony of witnesses as the said claimant relies upon in support of such claims; and it shall be the duty of the commissioners, when the case is ready for hearing, to proceed promptly to examine the same upon such evidence, and upon the evidence produced in behalf of the United States, and to decide upon the validity of the said claim, and within thirty days after such decision is rendered to certify the same, with the reasons on which it is founded, to the district attorney of the United States in and for the district in which such decision shall be rendered.
Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That in all cases of the rejection or confirmation of any claim by the board of commissioners, it shall and may be lawful for the claimant or the district attorney, in behalf of the United States, to present a petition to the District Court of the district in which the land claimed is situated, praying the said court to review the decision of the. said commissioners, and to decide on the validity of such claim; and such petition, if presented by the claimant, shall set forth fully the nature of the claim and the names of the oiiginal and present claimants, and shall contain a deraignment of the claimant's title, together with a transcript of the report of the board of commissioners, and of the documentary evidence and testimony of the witnesses on which it was founded; and such petition if presented by the district attorney in behalf of the United States, shall be accompanied by a transcript of the report of the board of commissioners, and of the papers and evidence on which it was founded, and shall fully and distinctly set forth the grounds on which the said claim is alleged to bo invalid, a copy of which petition if the same shall be presented by a claimant, shall be served on the district attorney of the United States, and if presented in behalf of the United States, shall be served on the claimant or his attorney; and the party upon whom such service shall be made shall be bound to answer the same within a time to be prescribed by the judge of the District Court; and the answer of the claimant to such petition shall set fortli fully the nature of the claim, and the names of the original and present claimants, and shall contain a deraignment of the claimant's title; and the answer of the district attorney in behalf of the United States shall fully and distinctly set forth the grounds on which the said claim is alleged to be invalid, copies of which aiiswcrs shall be served upon the adverse party thirty days before the meeting of the court, and thereupon, at the first term of the court thereafter, the sail case shall stand for trial, unless, on cause shown, the same shall be continued by the court.
Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That the District Court shall proceed to render judgment upon the pleadings and evidence in the case, and upon such further evidence as may be taken by order of the said court, and shall, on- application of the j arty against whom judgment is rendered, grant an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, on such security for costs in the District and Supreme Court, in case the judgment of the District Court shall be affirmed, as the said court shall prescribe; and if the court shall be satisfied that the party desiring to appeal is unable to give such security, the appeal may be allowed without security.
Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That the commissioners herein provided for, and the District and Supreme Courts, in deciding on the validity of any claim brought before them under the provisions of this act, shall be governed by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the law of nations, the laws, usages, and customs of the government from which the claim is derived, the principles of equity, and the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, so far as they are applicable.
Sec. 12. And be it further enacted, That to entitle either party to a review of the proceedings and decision of the commissioners hereinbefore provided for, notice of the intention of such party to file a petition to the District Court shall be entered on the journal or record of proceedings of the commissioners within sixty days after their decision on the claim has been made and notified to the parties, and such petition shall be filed in the District Court within six months after such decision has been rendered.
Sec. 13. And be it further enacted, That all lands, the claims to which have been finally rejected by the commissioners in manner herein provided, or which shall be finally decided to be invalid by the District or Supreme Court, and all lands the claims to which shall not have been presented to the said commissioners within two years after the date of this act, shall be deemed, held, and considered as part of the public domain of the United States; and for all claims finally confirmed by the said commissioners, or by the said District or Supreme Court, a patent shall issue to the claimant upon his presenting to the general land office an authentic certificate of such confirmation, and a plat or survey of the said land, duly certified and approved by the surveyor-general of California, whose duty it shall be to cause all private claims which shall be finally confirmed to be accurately surveyed, and to furnish plats of the same ; and in the location of the said claims, the said surveyor-general shall have the same power and authority as are. conferred on the register of the land office and receiver of the public moneys of Louisiana, by the sixth section of the act "to create the office of surveyor of the public lands for the State of Louisiana," approved third March, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-one: Provided, always, That if the title of the claimant to such lands shall be contested by any other person, it shall and may be lawful for such person to present a petition to the district judge of the United States for the district in which the lands are situated, plainly and distinctly setting forth his title thereto, and praying the said judge to hear and determine the same, a copy of which petition shall be served upon the adverse party thirty days before the time appointed for hearing the same. And provided, further, That it shall and may be lawful for the district judge of the United States, upon the hearing of such petition, to grant an injunction to restrain the party at whose instance the claim to the said lands has been confirmed, from suing out a patent for the same, until the title thereto shall have been finally decided, a copy of which order shall be transmitted to the commissioner of the general land office, and thereupon no patent shall issue until such decision shall be made, or until sufficient time shall, in the opinion of the said judge, have been allowed for obtaining the same; and thereafter the said injunction shall be dissolved.
Sec. 14. And be it further enacted, That the provisions of this act shall not extend to any town lot, farm lot, or pasture lot, held under a grant from any corporation or town to which lands may have been granted for the establishment of a town by the Spanish or Mexican government, or the lawful authorities thereof, nor to any city, or town, or village lot, which city, town, or village existed on the seventh day of July, eighteen hundred and fortysix; but the claim for the same shall be presented by the corporate authorities of the said town, or where the land on which the said city, town, or village was originally granted to an individual, the claim shall be presented by or in the name of such individual, and the fact of the existence of the said city, town, or village on the said seventh July, eighteen hundred and fortysix, being duly proved, shall be prima facie evidence of a grant to such corporation, or the individual under whom the said lot-holders claim ; and where any city, town, or village shall be in existence at the time of passing this act, the claim for the land embraced within the limits of the same may be made by the corporate authority of the said city, town, or village.
Sec. 15. And be it further enacted, That the final decrees rendered by the said commissioners, or by the District or Supreme Court of the United States, or any patent to be issued under this act, shall be conclusive between