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THE HOMESTEAD LAW.
[From BRIGHTLEY's Digest.)
Sec. 50. Any person who is the head of a administrator, or guardian may at any time family, or who has arrived at the age of 21 years, within two years after the death of the survivand is a citizen of the United States, or who ing parent, and in accordance with the laws of shall have filed his declaration of intention to the State in which such children for the time become such as required by the Naturalization being have their domicil, seil said land for the Laws of the United States, and who has never benefit of said infants, but for no other purpose; borne arms against theUnited StatesGovernment, and the purchaser shall acquire the absolute or given aid and comfort to its enemies, shall, title by the purchase, and be entitled to a patent from and after the first January, 1863, be from the United States, on the payment of the of. entitled to enter one quarter section, or a less fice fees and sum of money herein specified. Proquantity, of unappropriated public lands, upon vided, That until the first day of January, 1867, which said person may have filed a preëmption any person applying for the benefit of this Act, claim, or which may, at the time the application shall, in addition to the oath hereinbefore reis made, be subject to preömption at one dollar quired, also make oath that he has not borne and twenty-five cents or less per acre; or 80 arms against the United States, or given aid and acres or less of such unappropriated lands at comfort to its enemies. two dollars and fifty cents per acre; to be Sec. 52. The Register of the land office shall located in a body in conformity to the legal sub- note all such applications on the tract-books and divisions of the public lands, and after the same plats of his office, and keep a register of all shall have been surveyed. Provided, That any such entries, and make return thereof to the person owning and residing cn land may, under general land office, together with the proof upon the provisions of this act, enter other land lying which they have been founded. contiguous to his or her said lands, which shall SEC. 53. No lands acquired under the pronot, with the land so already owned and oc- visions of this Act shall, in any event, become cupied, exceed in the aggregate 160 acres. liable to the satisfaction of any debt or debts
Sec. 51. The person applying for the benefit contracted prio to the issuing of the patent of this Act shall, upon application to the reg therefor. ister of the land office in which he or she is SEC. 54. If at any time after the filing of the about to make such entry, make affidavit be- affidavit, as required in the second section of fore the said register or receiver that he or she this Act, and before the expiration of the five is the head of a family, or is 21 years or more years aforesaid, it shall be proven after due noof age, or shall have performed service in the tice to the settler to the satisfaction of the reg. army or navy of the United States, and that ister of the land office, that the person having such application is made for his or her exclusive filed such affidavit shall have actually changed use and benefit, and that said entry is made for his or her residence, or abandoned the said land the purpose of actual settlement and cultiva- for more than six months at any time, then and tion, and not either directly or indirectly for in that event the land so entered shall revert to the use or benefit of any other person or per- the Government. sons whomsoever; and upon filing the said af Sec. 55. No individual shall be permitted to fidavit with the register or receiver, and on pay- acquire title to more than one-quarter section, ment of five dollars when the entry is of not under the provisions of this Act, and the Commore than eighty acres, he or she shall there- missioner of the General Land Office is hereby upon be permitted to enter the amount of land required to prepare and issue such rules and specified. Provided, however, that no certificate regulations, consistent with this Act, as shall be shall be given or patent issued therefor, until necessary and proper to carry its provisions inthe expiration of five years from the date of to effect; and the registers and receivers of the such entry; and if, at the expiration of such several land offices shall be entitled to receive time, or at any time within two years thereafter, the same compensation for any lands entered the person making such entry, or if he be dead under the provisions of this Act that they are his widow; or in case of her death, his heirs or now entitled to receive when the same quantity devisee; or in case of a widow making such entry, of land is entered with money, one-half to be her heirs or devisee, in case 01 her death, shall paid by the person making the application, at prove by two credible witnesses, that he, she, or the time of so doing, and the other half on the they have resided upon, or cultivated the same issue of the certificate by the person to whom it for the term of five years immediately succeed may be issued; but this shall not be construed ing the time of filing the affidavit aforesaid, and to enlarge the maximum of compensation now shall make affidavit that no part of said land prescribed by law for any register or receiver. has been alienated, and that he will bear true Provided, That nothing contained in this Act allegiance to the Government of the United shall be so construed as to impair or interfere in Stites; then in such case, he, she, or they, if at any manner whatever with existing preëmption that time a citizen of the United States, shall be rights; and Provided, further, that all persons entitled to a patent as in other cases provided who may have filed their applications for a by law. And Provided further, that in case of preëmption right prior to the passage of this Act, the death of both father and mother leavirg an shall be entitled to all privileges of this Act; infant child orchildren under tewnty-one years of Provided, further, that no person who has age, the right and fee shall enure to the benefit of served, or may hereafter serve,
for a period of said infant child or children ; and the executor, not less than fourteen days in the army or navy
of the United States, either regular or volunteer, May, 1862, entitled " An Act to secure homesteads under the laws thereof, during the existence of to actual settlers on the public domain," and the an actual war, domestic or foreign, shall be de- Act supplemental thereto approved 21st of March, prived of the benefits of this Act, on account of 1864, but with this restriction, that until the exnot having attained the age of twenty-one years. piration of two years from and after the passage
Sec. 56. The fifth section of the Act entitled of this Act no entry shall be made for more than “ An Act in addition to an Act more effectually a half-quarter section, cr cighty acres; and in to provide for the punishment of certain crimes | lieu of the sum of ten árllars required to be paid against the United States, and for other pur- by the second section of said Act, there shall be poses," approved the 3d of March, in the year paid the sum of five dollars at the time of the 1857, shall extend to all oaths, affirmations, and issue of each patent; and the public lands in affidavits, required or authorized by this Act. said States shall be disposed of in no other man
Sec. 57. Nothing in this Act shall be so con- ner after the passage of this Ac Provided, That strued as to prevent any person who has availed no distinction or discrimination shall be made in him or herself of the benefits of the first sec- the construction or execution of this act on action of this Act from paying the minimum price count of race or color; and provided further or the price to which the same may have gradu- that no mineral lands shall be liable to entry and ated, for the quantity of land so entered, at any settlement under its provisions. time before the expiration of the five years, and SEC. 62. All the provisions of the said homeobtaining a patent therefor from the Govery- stead law, and the act amendatory thereof, apment, as in other cases provided by law, on proved March 21, 1864, so far as the same may making proof of settlement and cultivation as be applicable, except so far as the same are Provided by existing laws granting preëmption modified by the preceding sections of this act, rights.
are applied to and made part of this act, as fully bec. 58. In case of any person desirous of as if herein enacted and set forth. availing himself of the benefits of the Homestead Act.of 20th of May, 1862, but who, by reason of
GENERAL PROVISIONS. actual service in the military or naval service of Sec. 104. The right of way for the constructhe United States, is unable to do the personal tion of highways over public lands, not reserved preliminary acts at the district land-office which for public uses, is hereby granted. the said Act of 20th May, 1862, requires, and Sec. 105. Whenever, by priority of possession, whose family, or some member thereof, is resid- rights to the use of water for mining, agricultural, ing op the land which he desires to enter, and manufacturing, or other purposes, have vested upon which a bonâ fide improvement and set- and accrued, and the same are recognized and tlement have been made, it shall and may be acknowledged by the local customs, laws, and lawful for such person to make the affidavit re- decisions of courts, the po sessors and owners of quired by said act before the officer commanding such vested rights shall be maintained and proin the branch of the service in which the party tected in the same; and the right of way for the may be engaged, which affidavit shall be as construction of ditches and canals for the purvinding in law, and with like penalties, as if poses aforesaid is hereby acknowledged and contaken before the register or receiver; and upon armed: Provided, however, that whenever after such affidavit being filed with the register by the the passage of the act, any person or persons wife or other representative of the party, the shall, in the construction of any ditch or canal, -same shall become effective from the date of injure or damage the possession of any settler on such filing, provided the said application and the public domain, the party committing such -affidavit are accompanied by the fee and com- injury or damage shall be liable to the party incommissions, as required by law.
jured for such injury or damage. Sec.:59. Besldes the ten-dollar fee exacted by the said Act, the homestead applicant shall here.
PRICE OF PUBLIC LANDS. after pay to the register and receiver, each, as SEC. 36. That an Act entitled “ An Act to gradcommissions, at the time of entry, one per uate (and reduce) the price of the public lands to centum upon the cash price, as fixed by law, of actual settlers and cultivators,” be, and the same the land applied for, and like commissions when is hereby, repealed. the claim is finally established, and the certifi- Sec. 37. Whenever any reservation of public cate therefor issued as the basis of a patent. lands shall be brought into market under exist
SEC. 60. In any case hereafter in which the ing laws, it shall be lawful for the Commissioner applicant for the benefit of the homestead, and of the General Land Office to fix a minimum price, whose family, or some member thereof, is resid- not less than one dollar and twenty-five cents per ing on the land which he desires to enter, and acre, below which such lands shall not be disupon which a bona fide improvement and set- posed of. tlement have been made, i3 prevented by reason of distance, bodily infirmity, or other good cause,
PRE-EMPTION RIGHTS. from personal attendance at the district land Sec. 24. That the eleventh section of the Act of office, it shall and may be lawful for him to make Congress approved Sept. 4, 1841, entitled "An the affidavit required by the original statute be- Act to appropriate the proceeds of the public fore the clerk of the court for the county in which lands, and to grant pre-emption rights," be so the applicart is an actual resident, and to trans- amended, that appeals from the decisions of the mit the same, with the fee and commissions, to district officers, in cases of contest between difthe register and receiver.
ferent settlers for the right of pre-emption, shall Sec. 61. All the public lands in the States of hereafter be decided by the commissioner of the Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and general land office, whose decision shall be final, Florida shall be disposed of according to the unless appeal therefrom be taken to the secretary stipulations of the homestead law of 20th cfl of the interior.
Sec. 25. Where settlements, with a view to pre- sons who have declared their intention to become eroption, have been made before the survey of citizens, which homesteads have been made, imthe lands in the field, which shall be found to proved, and used for agriculiural purposes, and have been made on sections sixteen or thirty-six, upon which there have been no valuable mines of said sections shall be subject to the pre-emption gold, silver, cinnabar, or copper discovered, and claim of such settler; and if they, or either of which are properly agricultural lands, the said them, shall have been or shall be reserved or settlers or owners of such homesteads shall have pledged for the use of schools or colleges in the a right of pre-emption thereto, and shall be enState or territory in which the lands lie, other titled to purchase the same at the price of one lands of like quantity are hereby appropriated dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, and in in lieu of such as may be patented by pre-emp- quantity not to exceed one hundred and sixty tors; and other lands are also hereby appropri. acres; or said parties may avail themselves of ated' to compensate deficiencies for school pur- the provisions of the Act of Congress approved poses, where said sections sixteen or thirty-six May 20, 1862, entitled “ An Act to secure homeare fractional in quantity, or where one or both steads to actual settlers on the public domain," are wanting by reason of the township being and Acts amendatory thereof. fractional, or from any natural cause whatever: Sec. 30. Upon the survey of the lands aforeProrided, That the lands by this section appro- said, the secretary of the interior may designate priated, shall be selected and appropriated in and set apart such portions of the said lands as accordance with the principles of adjustment are clearly agricultural lands, which lands shall and the provisions of the act of Congress of thereafter be subject to pre-emption and sale as May 20, 1826, entitled “ An Act to appropriate other public lands of the United States, and lands for the support of schools, in certain town. subject to all the laws and regulations applical le ships and fractional townships not before pro- to the same. vided for."
Sec. 31. In the case of such islands in the SEC. 26. In regard to settlements which by ex- Great Miami River, in the State of Ohio, as are isting laws are authorized in certain States and undisposed of, or any vacant public lands adjeterritories upon unsurveyed lands (which privi- cent thereto, which are in the actual and exclulege is hereby extended to California), the pre- sive occupancy of any persons who have made emption claimant shall be and is hereby in all improvements thereon, or of their heirs or ascases required, from and after the first day of signs, such occupants thereof shall have the September, 1862, to file his declaratory statement preference right to enter the same at two dellars within three months from the date of the receipt, and fifty cents per acre, on making proof of the at the district land office, of the approved plat of facts to the satisfaction of the commissioner of the township embracing such pre-emption settle the general land osilce, and paying for the land ment: Provided, The provisions of this action within twelve months from the passage of this shall not be held to authorize pre-emption and Act; and patents shall issue for the tracts so ensettlement of mineral lands, which are hereby tered as usual in entries of public lands. exempted from the provisions of this act.
Sec. 32. Nothing in the Act approved July 1, Sec. 27. In lieu of the fee allowed by the 12th 1862, entitled “ An Act to aid in the construction section of the pre-emption act of 4th September, of a railroad and telegraph line from the dis1841, the register and receiver shall each be en- souri River to the Pacific Ocean, and to secure titled to one dollar for their services in acting to the Government the use of the same for posupon pre-emption claims, and shall be allowed tal, military, and other purposes," and the Acts jointly at the rate of fiftee cents per hundred amendatory thereof, shal be held to authorize words for the testimony which may be reduced the withdrawal or exclusion from settlement and by them to writing for claimants, in establishing entry, under the provisions of the pre-emption pre-emption or homestead rights; the regulations or homestead laws, the even-numbered sections for giving proper effect to the provisions of this along the routes of the several roads therein act to be prescribed by the commissioner of the mentioned, which have been or may be hereafter general land office.
located: Provided, That such sections shall be Sec. 28. Where a pre-emptor has taken the ini-rated at two dollars and fifty cents per acre, and tiatory steps required by existing laws in regard subject only to entry under those laws; and the to actual settlement, and is called away fro secretary of the interior be, and is hereby, ausuch settlement by being actually engaged in the thorized and directed to restore to homesteail military or naval service of the United States, settlement, pre-emption or entry, according to and by reason of such absence is unable to ap existing laws, all the even-numberı d sections of pear at the district land office to make, before the land belonging to the Government, and now register or receiver, the affidavits required by withdrawn from market, on both sides of the the 13th section of the pre-emption act of 4th Pacific Railroad and branches, wherever said September, 1841, the time for filing such affida- road and branches have been definitely located. vit and making final proof and entry or location, SEJ. 33. All actual settlers who have duly filed shall be extended six months after the expira- their declaratory statements under the pre-emption of his term of service, upon satisfactory tion laws with the register of the proper local proof by affidavit, or the testimony of witnesses, land office, upon the unsold lands now included that the said pre-emptor is so in the service, within the limits of the late Sioux Indian reserbeing filed with the register of the land office for vation, in the State of Minnesota, shall be althe district in which his settlement is made. lowed two years, from and after the passage of
Sec. 29. Wherever, prior to the passage of this this Act, within which to make proof and payAct, upon the lands heretofore designated as ment for their claims, in accordance with the mineral lands, which have been excluded from provisions of the second and third sections of survey and sale, there have been homesteads ihe 2.ct approved March 3, 1863, providing for made by citizens of the United States, or per- the disposal of said reservation.