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PASSED BY CONGRESS
FROM MARCH 4, 1869, TO MARCH 3, 1875,
SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AND
OF THE ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, AND
ISSUED FROM THE GENERAL LAND-OFFICE TO THE SURVEYORS
HENRY N. COPP.
GENERAL LAND OFFICE,
Editor of Copp's U. S. Mining Decisions, and Proprietor of Copp's Land-Owner.
PUBLISHED BY THE COMPILER:
A. L. BANCROFT & CO.,
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875,
By HENRY N. COPP,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
Printed by the
The many radical changes in the laws of Congress, the decisions of the Interior Department and the instructions of the General Land-Office during the past five years, have created an urgent demand for a reliable authority on public Land Law. In seeking to furnish such an authority, this question presented itself: Shall the proposed work include all that is valuable since 1838, the date of the official compilation, or resume the subject at 1860, where Lester's first volume left it, or embrace only the laws, instructions and decisions promulgated since 1870, beyond which year Zabriskie and Lester's second volume do not go? Owing to the mass of valuable materials accumulated since 1870, it was finally determined to include only new matter, rather than what was already published and otherwise readily obtainable. The third course is the one herein pursued.
DESIGN OF THE WORK.
This work resumes the subject where it was left by previous compilations in 1870, and brings it down to April, 1875, the beginning of the second volume of Copp's Land Owner, a monthly publication. Owing to their importance several circulars and decisions of a later date have been included, and a few instructions issued prior to 1870 have been added to render certain subdivisions of the book more complete. All branches of the public land system are presented, except mining claims, which are made the subject of a separate volume.
The work is divided into three parts. 1st, The Revised Statutes; 2d, Land Laws; 3d, Decisions, Opinions and Instructions.
THE FIRST PART-REVISED STATUTES
includes the revision relating to the General Land-Office and the public lands, and in order to show the date of the revision and how far it effects prior laws, the repeal provisions are added.
To section 2236 should be added a note from section 3639 to the effect that the President is authorized to increase the sums for which bonds of Registers and Receivers are given, when he deems it expedient.
THE SECOND PART-LAND LAWS
embraces all laws affecting the public lands passed by Congress from March 4, 1869, to March 3, 1875, inclusive. Those of a general character or embracing large tracts of country, are given in full, while those of a private or local character, are presented by an abstract. As the boundaries of land
districts are frequently changed by the Executive or Congress, the several laws establishing land districts are given in the abstract or second subdivision.
THE THIRD PART-DECISIONS, OPINIONS AND INSTRUCTIONS—
embraces the decisions of the Secretary of the Interior in leading cases and of the Commissioner of the General Land-Office affirmed on appeal or established by acquiescence; the opinions of Hon. Walter H. Smith, Assistant Attorney General, and a few opinions by the Attorney General: and the instructions of the Commissioner of the General Land-Office to carry into effect acts of Congress or decisions of the Department. It is believed that every circular issued since January 1, 1870, has been included, or, in case of reprints, referred to. The decisions published are only those which set forth guiding principles as the necessarily limited space compelled the exclusion of many rulings slightly varying in application to particular cases.
The digest of judicial decisions contained herein is from Brightly's Federal Digest, published by Kay & Brother of Philadelphia, a work that should be in every lawyer's library. It is brought down to 1873.
In the preparation of this work I am indebted to several gentlemen whose assistance I desire to acknowledge.
To Commissioner S. S. Burdett, for valuable advice during the progress of the work and for unusual facilities in its preparation.
To Assistant Attorney General W. H. Smith, for many favors, especially for transcripts from his private papers and memoranda.
To Z. B. Sturgus, of the Secretary's office, J. K. Redington and M. M. Kaighn, of General Smith's office, and W. W. Curtis, L. K. Lippincott, M. Mobley, E. A. Fiske, S. J. Dallas, U. J. Baxter, C. W. Holcomb, D. McCarty, E. Killpatrick, B. T. Reilly, Willis Drummond, jr., D. K. Sickles and J. Ä. Patterson, of the General Land-Office, for advice and assistance.
To W. K. Mendenhall, John S. Hauke and L. A. Luce, Land Attorneys, Washington, D. C., and P. B. Johnson, Register at Walla Walla, W. T., for valuable suggestions embodied herein.
This opportunity is taken to state that I have, in course of preparation, a new work on Mining Law, which will embrace the local as well as the United States mining laws, with a digest of judicial decisions relating thereto.
HENRY N. COPP.
Washington, August, 1875.