The preemption laws, sections 2257 to 2288, inclusive, of the Revised Statutes, were repealed by section 4 of the act of March 3, 1891 (26 Stat., 1096), except sections 2275, 2276, 2286, and 2288. However, they are here given because of their relation to existing laws.

Revised Statutes-Lands subject to preemption-Qualifica-

tions - Limitation - Settlers Proofs Agricultural Col-
lege scrip-Railroad grants.

206 Act of September 30, 1890 (26 Stat., 684)-Extension of time for payment on homestead and preemption claims...

211 Act of July 26, 1894 (28 Stat., 123)-Extension of time for payment on preemption claims..


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8, 413.

Lands not sub


8., 455.

Lands subject SEC. 2257. AU lands belonging to the United States, to to June 2, 1862, 12 which the Indian title has been or may hereafter be extin

guished, shall be subject to the right of preemption, under the conditions, restrictions, and stipulations provided by law.

SEC. 2258. The following classes of lands, unless otherlich. to preemp. wise specially provided for by law, shall not be subject Sept. 4, 1841, 5 to the rights of preemption, to wit:

First. Lands included in any reservation by any treaty, law, or proclamation of the President, for any purpose.

Second. Lands included within the limits of any incorporated town, or selected as the site of a city or town.

Third. Lands actually settled and occupied for purposes of trade and business, and not for agriculture.

Fourth. Lands on which are situated any known salines or mines.

SEC. 2259. Every person, being the head of a family, tled to preemp or widow, or single person, over the age of twenty-one

years, and a citizen of the United States, or having filed a declaration of intention to become such, as required by the naturalization laws, who has made, or hereafter makes, a settlement in person on the public lands subject to preemption, and who inhabits and improves the same, and who has erected or shall erect a dwelling thereon, is authorized to enter with the register of the land office for the district in which such land lies, by legal subdivisions, any number of acres not exceeding one hundred and sixty, or a quarter section of land, to include the residence of such claimant, upon paying to the United

States the minimum price of such land.



. Ibid.

to preomp

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of preemption right. S.; Mar. 3,



SEC. 2260. The following classes of persons, unless til persones pot canotherwise specially provided for by law, shall not acquire tion. any right of preemption under the provisions of the preceding sections, to wit:

First. No person who is the proprietor of three hundred and twenty acres of land in any State or Territory.

Second. No person who quits or abandons his residence on his own land to reside on the public land in the same State or Territory.

SEC. 2261. No person shall be entitled to more than Limitation one preemptive right by virtue of the provisions of sec- sept. 4, 1841,5 tion twenty-two hundred and fifty-nine; nor where a 1843,6's., 620. party has filed his declaration of intention to claim the benefits of such provisions, for one tract of land, shall he file, at any future time, a second declaration for another tract.

SEC. 2262. Before any person claiming the benefit of mathistoi w porno this chapter is allowed to enter lands, he shall make oath hled; penalty,

Sept. 4, 1841, 5 before the receiver or register of the land district in 8., 486. which the land is situated that he has never had the benefit of any right of preemption under section twentytwo hundred and fifty-nine; that he is not the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of land in any State or Territory; that he has not settled upon and improved such land to sell the same on speculation, but in good faith to appropriate it to his own exclusive use; and that he has not, directly or indirectly, made any agreement or contract, in any way or manner, with any person whatever, by which the title which he might acquire from the Government of the United States should inure in whole or in part to the benefit of any person except himself; and if any person taking such oath swears falsely in the premises, he shall forfeit the money which he may have paid for such land, and all right and title to the same; and any grant or conveyance which he may have made, except in the hands of bona fide purchasers, for a valuable consideration, shall be null and void, except as provided in section twenty-two hundred and eightyeight. And it shall be the duty of the officer administering such oath to file a certificate thereof in the public land office of such district and to transmit a duplicate copy to the General Land Office, either of which shall be good and sufficient evidence that such oath was administered according to law.

SEC. 2263. Prior to any entries being made under and Proof of settle by virtue of the provisions of section twenty-two hundred of preemption

rights. and fifty-nine, proof of the settlement and improvement "ilbid. thereby required shall be made to the satisfaction of the register and receiver of the land district in which such lands lie, agreeably to such rules as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior; and all assignments and


See note at foot of following page.

Stalencat to be filed by settler with



Claim fled by settler

on land


S., 620.

transfers of the right hereby secured, prior to the issuing of the patent, shall be null and void.

SEC. 2264. When any person settles or improves a

to tract of land subject at the time of settlement to private as sul juct to entry, and intends to purchase the same under the preTrivatre iry.

ceding provisions of this chapter, he shall, within thirty days after the date of such settlement, file with the register of the proper district a written statement, describing the land settled upon, and declaring his intention to claim the same under the preemption laws; and he shall, moreover, within twelve months after the date of such settlement, make the proof, affidavit, and payment hereinbefore required. If he fails to file such written statement, or to make such affidavit, proof, and payment within the several periods named above, the tract of land so settled and improved shall be subject to the entry of any other purchaser.

SEC. 2265. Every claimant under the preemption law not proclaimed for land not yet proclaimed for sale is required to make Mar. 3, 1843, 5 known his claim, in writing, to the register of the proper

land office within three months from the time of the settlement, giving the designation of the tract and the time of settlement; otherwise his claim shall be forfeited and the tract awarded to the next settler, in the order of time, on the same tract of land, who has given such notice and otherwise complied with the conditions of the law.

SEC. 2266. In regard to settlements which are authortlers on unsur- ized upon unsurveyed lands, the preemption claimant veyed land, when

shall be in all cases required to file his declaratory stateMay 30, 1862, ment within three months from the date of the receipt 12 S., 410.

at the district land office of the approved plat of the

township embracing such preemption settlement.” Preemption

Sec. 2267. All claimants of preemption rights under of making proof the two preceding sections shall, when no shorter time July 14, 1870, 16 is prescribed by law, make the proper proof and pay379; Mari 3, ment for the land claimed within thirty months after

the date prescribed therein, respectively, for filing their declaratory notices has expired.

SEC. 2268. Where a pre-emptor has taken the initiacases to persons tory steps required by law in regard to actual settle

ment, and is called away from such settlement by being Mar 21, 1864, engaged in the military or naval service of the United 13 S., 35.

States, and by reason of such absence is unable to appear at the district land office to make before the register or receiver the affidavit, proof, and payment, respectively, required by the preceding provisions of this chapter, the time for filing such affidavit and making final proof and entry or location shall be extended six months after the expiration of his term of service, upon satisfactory proof

Declaratory statement of set


claimants; time

and payment.

1871, 16 S., 604.

Extension of time in certain

naval service.

1 Amended by act of June 9, 1880 and by act of May 26, 1890, and by act of March 11, 1902, and by act of March 4, 1904, R. S. 2294.

2 In regard to cases thereafter arising under sections 2264, 2265, and 2266 the act of May 18, 1898 (30 Stat. 418), abolished the distinction between offered and unoffered lands, and enacted that the land in question in such cases shall be treated as unoffered.

Death before consummating





No preemption

by affidavit, or the testimony of witnesses, that such preemptor is so in the service, being filed with the register of the land office for the district in which his settlement is made.

SEC. 2269. Where a party entitled to claim the benefits of the preemption laws dies before consummating his claim who to claim, by filing in due time all the papers essential to the Mar. 3, 1843, 6 establishment of the same, it shall be competent for the S., 620. executor or administrator of the estate of such party, or one of his heirs, to file the necessary papers to complete the same; but the entry in such cases shall be made in favor of the heirs of the deceased pre-emptor, and a patent thereon shall cause the title to inure to such heirs, as if their names had been specially mentioned.

SEC. 2270. Whenever the vacancy of the office either Noncompliance of register or receiver, or of both, renders it impossible by vacancy

office of register for the claimant to comply with any requisition of the or receiver not to preemption laws within the appointed time, such vacancy affecta.

, etc. shall not operate to the detriment of the party claiming, in respect to any matter essential to the establishment of his claim; but such requisition must be complied with within the same period after the disability is removed as would have been allowed had such disability not existed.

SEC. 2271. The provisions of this chapter shall be so of Nansesend that construed as not to confer on anyone a right of pre- not confirmed by emption by reason of a settlement made on a tract Aug. 26,9 1842, theretofore disposed of, when such disposal has not 58., 834. been confirmed by the General Land Office, on account of any alleged defect therein.

SEC. 2272. Nothing in the provisions of this chapter Purchase by shall be construed to preclude any person, who may after expiration have filed a notice of intention to claim any tract of right.

of preemption land by preemption, from the right allowed by law to Mar. 3, 1843, 5 others to purchase such tract by private entry after the expiration of the right of preemption. Sec. 2273. When two or more persons settle on the

than one settler, same tract of land, the right of preemption shall be in rights of appeals him who made the first settlement, provided such per- Sept. 4, 1841, 5 son conforms to the other provision of the law; and its 158: June 12,

1858, 11 8., 326. all questions as to the right of preemption arising between different settlers shall be determined by the register and receiver of the district within which the land is situated; and appeals from the decision of district officers, in cases of contest for the right of preemption, shall be made to the Commissioner of the General Land Office, whose decision shall be final, unless appeal therefrom be taken to the Secretary of Interior.

SEC. 2274. When settlements have been made upon two or more peragricultural public lands of the United States prior to sons on same subthe

survey thereof, and it has been or shall be ascer- survey. tained after the public surveys have been extended over such lands, that two or more settlers have improvements upon the same legal subdivision, it shall be lawful

61002°–S. Doc. 547, 64-1-14


S., 621.



to Commissioner.


Mar. 3, 1873, 17 S., 609.

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for such settlers to make joint entry of their lands at the local land office, or for either of said settlers to enter into contract with his co-settlers to convey to them their portion of said land after a patent is issued to him, and, after making such contract, to file a declaratory statement in his own name, and prove up and pay for said land, and proof of joint occupation by himself and others, and of such contact with them made, shall be equivalent to proof of sole occupation and preemption by the applicant: Provided, That in no case shall the amount patented under this section exceed one hundred and sixty acres, nor shall this section apply to lands not subject to homestead or preemption entry.

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Military bountyland warrants receivable

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10 S., 3.

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S., 186.

road lines.

S., 244.

SEC. 2277. All warrants for military bounty lands,

for which are issued under any law of the United States, predemption shall be received in payment of preemption rights at the

. Mars, 22, 1852, rate of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, for the

quantity of land therein specified; but where the land is rated at one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, and does not exceed the area specified in the warrant, it must

be taken in full satisfaction thereof. Agriculturalcollege scriprem

SEC. 2278. Agricultural-college scrip, issued to any ceivable in pay- State under the act approved July second, eighteen ment of preemp. hundred and sixty-two, or acts amendatory thereof, shall uly 1, 1870, 16 be received from actual settlers in payment of preemp

tion claims in the same manner and to the same extent as authorized in case of military bounty-land warrants

by the preceding section. Proemption Sec. 2279. No person shall have the right of preemplimit along rail

tion to more than one hundred and sixty acres along Mar. 3, 1853, 10 the line of railroads within the limits granted by any

act of Congress. Preemption

SEC. 2280. Any settler on lands heretofore reserved rights on

or on account of claims under French, Spanish, or other grants found in

grants which have been or may be hereafter declared by the Supreme Court of the United States to be inválid, shall be entitled to all the rights of preemption granted by the preceding provisions of this chapter, after the lands have been released from reservation, in

the same manner as if no reservation had existed. Preemption SEC. 2281. All settlers on public lands which have rights on lands reserved for rail- been or may be withdrawn from market in consequence watar

. 27, 1854, 10 of proposed railroads, and who had settled thereon prior s. 289; July 14, to such withdrawal, shall be entitled to preemption at Mar 31875, 18 the ordinary minimum to the lands settled on and cul

tivated by them; but they shall file the proper notices of

their claims and make proof and payment as in other to be delayed, etc.

SEC. 2282. Nothing contained in this chapter shall Sept; 4, 1841, 5 delay the sale of any of the public lands beyond the time

appointed by the proclamation of the President.






1870, 16 S. 279;


cases Sale of land not

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