Tennessees First Major Land Law
The Surveyors Districts
~ 1806 ~
An Act directing the division of the State into convenient Districts, for the appointment of principal Surveyors thereof, and for ascertaining the bona fide claims against the same, agreeable to an Act of Congress passed the eighteenth day of April, one thousand eight hundred and six, entitled, An act to authorize the State of Tennessee to issue grants and perfect titles to certain lands thereto described, and to settle the claims to the vacant and unappropriated lands within the same.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That two registers of the land office shall be appointed by joint ballot of both houses of the general assembly; they shall hold their offices during good behavior, and before they enter upon the execution thereof, shall severally, before some one of the judges of the Superior Courts of law and equity, take and subscribe the following oath:
I, A. B. do solemnly swear or affirm that I will faithfully, impartially, and justly perform the duties of my office of register, according to law, and the best of my skill and judgment: And they shall also, before one of the judges aforesaid, enter into bond with ten sufficient securities, in the sum of fifty thousand dollars each, payable to the governor and his successors in office, conditioned for the faithful discharge of all the duties imposed on him by law; which bond the said judge shall lodge in the office of the secretary of state. One of said registers shall keep his office at the seat of government, who shall be denominated the register of the land office of East Tennessee; and one shall keep his office at Nashville, and shall be denominated the register of the land office of West Tennessee.
SEC. 2. Be it enacted, That the state shall be divided into six districts exclusive of the district south of French Broad and Holston in each of which one principal surveyor shall be appointed by joint ballot of both houses of the legislature, whose duty it shall be to engage a sufficient number of skillful surveyors as deputies, who shall be confined to the districts in which they are appointed, and for whose conduct, in all points touching his office, the principal surveyor shall be answerable; each principal shall have authority to frame regulations and instructions for the government of his deputies; to administer the necessary oaths, and to remove them for negligence or misconduct in office: each principal surveyor shall, before he enters upon the duties of his appointment, take and subscribe before one of the judges of the superior courts of law and equity, the following oath, to wit: I, A. B. do solemnly swear or affirm, that I will faithfully, impartially, and justly perform the duties, of my office as principal surveyor, according to law, and the best of my skill and judgment. SO HELP ME GOD.
And he shall also, before one of the said judges enter into bond with ten sufficient securities, in the sum of fifty thousand dollars, payable to the governor and his successors in office, conditioned for the faithful discharge of all the duties imposed on him by law; which bond the said judge shall lodge in the office of the secretary of state; and each deputy surveyor shall likewise, before he enters upon the duties of his appointment, take the oath prescribed by his principal, before some justice of the peace, in presence of such principal, and enter into bond, with such security as his principal shall deem sufficient, for the accurate and faithful discharge of his duty. And each chain-carrier shall, before the principal or deputy surveyor take an oath that he will truly and impartially measure every line, of which he is chain carrier, and render a true account thereof to his surveyor.
SEC 3. Be it enacted, That the several districts hereinbefore directed to be laid off, shall be bounded and distinguished in the following manner, to be laid off, shall be bounded and distinguished in the following manner, to wit: One to be bounded by the lines described in the seventh section of an act of North-Carolina, passed on the seventeenth day of May, in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty three, entitled, an act to amend an act, entitled, an act for the relief of the officers and soldiers in the continental line, and for other purposes, which shall compose a district, and shall be known and distinguished by the name of the first district.
One other district to begin eighteen miles west of the south east corner of the last mentioned district, to run south according to the true meridian, to the southern boundary of the state, for its eastern boundary, and to be bounded on the west and south, by the first district and the boundary of the state; which shall compose one other district, and shall be known and distinguished by the name of the second district.
One other district to begin on the northern boundary of the state at a point which shall divide by six without a fraction, and which shall be nearest to a point due north of the Flat rock on the turnpike road, leading from South-West Point to Nashville, thence south according to the true meridian to the southern boundary of the state, which shall be its eastern boundary, thence west to be bounded by the two first districts, inclusively, which shall compose one other district, and shall be known and distinguished by the name of the third district: and the three districts as above, shall be attached to the land office of West Tennessee.
One other district, to begin at the north east corner of the last mentioned district, to run east with the north boundary of the state, fifty four miles, thence south to the southern boundary of the state, or the district south of French Broad and Holston, (as the case may be) which inclusively, shall compose one other district, and shall be known and distinguished by the name of the fourth district. One other district, to begin at the north east corner of the fourth district, to run east with the north boundary of the state forty eight miles, thence south according to the true meridian, to the district south of French Broad and Holston, which inclusively shall compose one other district, and shall be known and distinguished by the name of the fifth district.
And one other district, to be bounded by the fifth district on the west, by the Virginia line on the north, and by the district south of French Broad and Holston, and the North-Carolina line on the east and south east, which shall compose one other district, and shall be known and distinguished by the name of the sixth district; and the three last mentioned districts, together with the district south of French Broad and Holston, shall be attached to the land office of East Tennessee.
SEC. 4. Be it enacted, That each of the surveyors by this act appointed and recognized, shall, without delay, cause the part of the land within his district, to which the Indian claim has been extinguished, to be divided by north and south lines, run according to the true meridian, and by others crossing them at right angles, so as to form sections as near six miles square, as the case will admit, unless where the line of the late Indian purchase, or any other exterior boundary may render it practicable, and then this rule shall be departed from no further, than such particular, circumstances may require. The corners of the sections shall be marked with progressive numbers from the beginning--each distance of a mile between the said corners, shall also be distinctly marked, with marks differing from those of the corners--and the lines of the sections distinguishing by marks differing from other lines; and it shall be the duty of the surveyors respectively, to cause to be marked on a tree near each corner made as aforesaid, and within the section, the number of each section; and the said deputies shall carefully note in their respective field books, the names of the corner trees marked, and the numbers so made.
SEC. 5. Be it enacted, That each principal surveyor shall cause to be connected with some line of a section, every survey within his district, upon which a grant has issued, as far as it is practicable; he shall also cause to be surveyed each location made by virtue of a bona fide land warrant legally issued, and which has been located to any particular spot of ground so described as to be ascertained with certainty.
And the surveyor is hereby required to observe the following rules, If the warrant of survey designates any spot of notoriety as a beginning, the calls of which are special, the survey shall conform thereto, and all surveys shall be made agreeable to the laws in force and use in this state at the time, of passing the cession act: Provided, the person claiming right to the same, shall produce to such surveyor, when so made, together with the former surveys which may be ascertained as before required, shall be placed in their proper places in the general plan of the district by this act directed to be made.
SEC. 6. Be it enacted, That after ascertaining the claims as aforesaid, the principal surveyor shall cause to be laid off and surveyed with plain marked lines, six hundred and forty acres of land, in one or more tracts which shall be fit for cultivation and improvement, and which shall be as near the center of each section as existing claims and the quality of the land will admit, which shall be appropriated for the use of schools for the instruction of children forever, agreeably to the provisions of the before recited act of congress; which also shall be placed in their proper places in the general plan. And in any section where it may appear that there is not land sufficient fit for cultivation for the use aforesaid, the surveyor shall certify the truth of the case, to the next general assembly, in order that the legislature may make provision for every such section, which may be in the whole or in part deficient. All surveys shall be closed by lines plainly marked upon trees, and measured with chains containing two perches of sixteen feet and one half each, adjusted to a standard to be kept by the principal surveyor for that purpose. Every surveyor shall note in his field book all water courses and public roads over which the line he runs shall pass, and the quality of the land, and mountains touched or crossed by a line or lines of the sections, and make return thereof to the principal surveyor, who shall there from, together with the division of his district, into sections, and the surveys of appropriated lands whether ancient or new, made as before required, and which may hereafter be made according to law, make out a correct plan or map of his district, to be platted by a scale of four hundred poles to the inch, placing thereon each section, appropriated survey, the public roads, water courses, and number of the sections, corresponding with the numbers directed to be marked on the trees, with a sufficient margin in which he shall distinctly mark the quality of the lands, and upon each line distinguishing the same by colors, descriptive of the quality; one fair plat of which shall always be open in his office, for the inspection of any person who may have interest in obtaining knowledge of the same; and one fair plan thereof he shall cause to be deposited in each of the offices of the registers of the land office, at the seat of government and at Nashville.
SEC. 7. Be it enacted, That it shall be the duty of each principal surveyor to enter into a book kept for that purpose, a list of all warrants, or such other legal evidences of claims to lands as shall be duly certified to be valid by the board of commissioners hereafter appointed by law, to investigate the same, with the names of the assignor or assignors, (if any) expressing also the number of the warrant, the number of acres contained in each warrant, in columns, opposite to the owners names, and leaving one blank column to be filled with the number of the location, which shall be drawn by lot in manner and form following:
SEC. 8. Be it enacted, That the surveyor south of French Broad and Holston, shall keep his office at Sevierville.--The surveyor of the first district shall keep his office at Nashville. The surveyor of the second district shall keep his office at Jefferson. The surveyor of the third district shall keep his office at Alexander's. The surveyor of the fourth district shall keep his office at Kingston. The surveyor of the fifth district shall keep his office at Knoxville. And the surveyor of the sixth district shall keep his office at Jonesborough. And the surveyors herein directed to be appointed, are hereby required and directed to give due attendance at their respective offices at all times, in order to perform the duties by this act imposed upon them.
SEC. 9. Be it enacted, That the drawing for the numbers of the locations, as in manner prescribed by the seventh section of this act, shall commence at the respective offices of the surveyors, in a public manner, on the first Monday of August next, at ten o'clock, ante meridian, the tickets shall be neatly cut, of clean paper, of equal size, and plainly numbered with progressive numbers, beginning at the number one, and equal to the whole number of warrants and other evidences of claims listed as required by the said seventh section; and the said tickets shall be separately and alike folded and promiscuously put into a box, and drawn by some disinterested person, and the numbers so drawn, shall be placed in the blank column against the names of the persons who have listed their claims as above, in the order they and on the said books; and the surveyor shall proceed immediately after the priority of the locations are determined by lot as aforesaid, to enter the same in a book kept for that purpose, in manner herein after directed; Provided, every person having right to a location shall render the same to the surveyor to be entered on his book agreeably to number; otherwise the surveyor shall enter it at the time so rendered.
SEC. 10. Be it enacted, That every person having a land warrant duly certified to be valid as by this act required, and being desirous of locating the same on any particular waste or unappropriated land, shall lodge such warrant with the principal surveyor of the district wherein the said lands may lie, who shall give a receipt for it is required, and shall enter a list of the same, in manner before directed: Provided, the said warrant is lodged with him before the opening of his office for receiving of locations, or at the time of making such location; and the party shall direct the location thereof so specially and precisely beginning on one of the lines of the section, or some part of the existing claims within the same, and therein expressing the number of perches the first line shall extend, so that the surveyor may be enabled to lay the same down with precision, before the survey of the same is actually made, which the said surveyor is hereby required to place in its proper place, without delay, that the vacant residuum may appear, within each section in his district; and it shall be the duty of the surveyor aforesaid, upon application to him made by any person who has a legal warrant, and desirous to enter the same within his district; to give unto the person so applying, the true number of perches required in the first line so given, to include the quantity of acres called for in said warrant, proportioned as the said applicant may require: Provided, that in no case the length of any tract of land shall exceed double its breadth unless the same shall be bounded and confined by existing claims; and the location aforesaid shall bear date, the day on which it shall be made, and shall be entered by the surveyor in a book to be kept for that purpose, in which there shall be left no blank leaves or spaces between the different entries; and if several persons shall apply with their warrants at the office of any principal surveyor, at the same time, the surveyor shall settle the right of priority between such persons, by lot, and it shall not be lawful for any surveyor to admit an entry for land, without a warrant duly certified to be valid by the board of commissioners according to law.
SEC. 11. Be it enacted, That every principal surveyor shall cause without delay, to be surveyed, all lands entered for in his office; and shall, within three months at furthest, after the survey is so made, record the plats and certificates thereof at full length, in a bound book to be kept for that purpose, and shall at any time thereafter, deliver to the person having interest in the same, or his order, a fair and true plat and certificate of the same, the quantity contained, the county, district, and section in which it lies, the kind of warrant and rights it is founded upon, the courses and descriptions of the several boundaries, natural and artificial, ancient and new, and also the name of every person whose former lines make a boundary.
SEC. 12. Be it enacted, That the said plats and certificates of survey shall be examined and tried by the principal surveyor, whether truly make, and legally proportioned as to length and breadth, and if it be in any respects contrary to law, he shall cause the same to be corrected, free from expense to the owner of the same.
SEC. 13. Be it enacted, That any surveyor whether principal or deputy, failing in any of the duties required by this act, shall be liable to be indicted in the court of the district in which he shall reside, and punished by amercement and deprivation of his office, and incapacity to take it again; and shall moreover, be liable to any party injured, for all damages he may sustain by such failure.
SEC. 14. Be in enacted, That the governor for the time being, shall once in every year, and oftener if he see cause, appoint two or more capable persons to examine the books of entries and surveys in possession of the several principal surveyors, and report in what order and condition they are kept, who shall deposit said report in the office of the secretary of state, for the information of the legislature; and on the death or removal of any one of them, shall have power to direct the safe keeping of such books, until a surveyor is appointed. And for preventing fraudulent grants,
SEC. 15. Be it enacted, That the register shall in no case issue a grant to any assignee of a plat and certificate of survey, unless such assignment is upon said plat and certificate of survey, certified by the principal surveyor to be a true copy, and that it is recorded in his office; which said assignment shall be proven in open court of the county where the land lies, by two credible witnesses, with the clerk's certificate of probate annexed thereto.
SEC. 16. Be it enacted, That if any person shall obtain a survey of land to which another hath a claim, the person having such claim may enter a caveat to prevent his obtaining a grant, until the claim can be determined; such caveat shall be entered within three months at furthest, after the receipt of the plat and certificate of survey, at the principal surveyors office, expressing also the nature of the right on which the plaintiff therein claims the land, and the quantity of part of said survey claimed, and shall take from the principal surveyor a certified copy thereof, which, within thirty days thereafter, he shall deliver to the clerk of the court of the county, in which the land, or any part thereof lies; and shall moreover take from the principal surveyor, a certified copy of the survey and plat, which, within thirty days from entering such caveat, he shall in like manner deliver to the clerk of the court, where the suit shall be tried, and in case of failure in either instance the caveat shall be void.
SEC. 17. Be it enacted, That the clerk of such court, on receiving the same, shall enter such copy of the caveat in a book to be kept by him for that purpose, and shall thereupon issue a summon directed to the sheriff of any county where the defendant may reside, reciting the cause for which such caveat is entered, and requiring the defendant to appear on the first day of the next succeeding county court, and defend his right; and on such process being returned, executed on the defendant, his agent or attorney, the court shall proceed to determine the right of the cause in a summary way, without pleadings in writing, be impannelling and swearing a jury for the finding such facts as are material to the cause, and are not agreed by the parties and shall thereupon give judgment; a copy of which judgment, if in favor of the defendant, being delivered into the office of the principal surveyor, within thirty days thereafter, shall vacate the said caveat; and if the said judgment be in favor of the plaintiff, upon delivering the same into the office of the principal surveyor, together with the plat and certificate of survey, within sixty days thereafter, he shall be entitled to a plat and certificate as in other cases; and in any caveat where judgment shall be given for the defendant, the court shall award him his costs, and may compel the plaintiff in any caveat, if they think fit, to give security for costs, or on failure thereof may dismiss the suit; and in case the plaintiff in any caveat shall recover, the court shall award costs against the defendant.
SEC. 18. Be it enacted, That the register of the land office is hereby directed and required to leave a sufficient margin in the Record Books of his office, and whenever any warrant shall be finally carried into execution by a grant, to note the same in the margin opposite to such warrant, with folio references to the grant; and also to note in the margin opposite to each grant, the warrant and survey on which such grant is founded, with proper folio references to the books in which the same are recorded; and when any grant shall have been finally completed, the register shall cause the plat and certificate of survey, on which such grant is founded, with proper folio references to the books in which the same are recorded; and when any grant shall have been finally completed, the register shall cause the plat and certificate of survey, on which such grant is founded, to be exactly entered and recorded in well bound books, to be kept for that purpose. Due returns herein before required being made into the land office, the register shall make out a grant by way of deed poll, to the party having right, in the following form:
The State of Tennessee.
To All to Whom These Presents Shall Come--Greeting.
KNOW YE, that in consideration of (reciting the ground of the claim) there is granted by the said state of Tennessee unto C. D. a certain tract of parcel of land, containing------acres, lying in------county, in------district and------section of the same, (describing the bounds of the land, and date of the survey upon which the grant issued) with the appurtenances: To have and to hold, the said tract or parcel of land, with its appurtenances, to the said C. D. and his heirs forever.
In witness whereof, A. B. Governor of the State of Tennessee, hath hereunto set his hand, and caused the Great Seal of the State to be affixed, at------on the------day of------in the Year of our Lord------, and of the Independence of the United States, the------
By the Governor,
C. D., Secretary.
Upon which grant the said register shall endorse that the party hath title to the same; which having been signed by the governor, countersigned by the secretary, sealed with the great seal of the state, shall then be entered of record at full length by the said register, in good and well bound books, to be provided by him for that purpose; and being so entered, shall be certified by said register, to have been registered, and then be delivered to the party or his order; and where a grant shall be made to the heir or assignee of any person, claiming under the before mentioned rights, the material circumstances of the title shall be recited in such grant.
SEC. 19. Be it enacted, That the governor for the time being may, once in every year, and oftener if he see cause, appoint two or more capable persons to examine the record books, and papers in the land office, and report in what condition and order they are kept; who shall compare all warrants of survey returned to the said office executed, with the list of those issued thereupon; an account of which shall be kept by the register, charging therein those issued, and giving credit for those cancelled as aforesaid; but no original warrant shall be burnt or destroyed, but shall be regularly filed in the land office with the title papers; and no original plat and certificate of survey, once received and carried into a grant, shall thereafter be delivered out of the land office, but shall remain amongst the other evidences of the title, and in every case, when a grant is finally completed, the register shall certify upon the face of the warrant, that the same is executed.
SEC. 20. Be it enacted, That it shall be the duty of every principal surveyor and deputy, within this state, when executing the duties by this act required for ascertaining the existing clauses within the same, that if it shall appear to him or them, or if he or they are informed by any other person, that these is contained in any survey or grant, heretofore issued more land than the said survey or grant mentions, then and in that case such surveyor is authorized and required to re-survey such land, after giving notice of the same to the claimant; and if it shall appear that the latter survey does not exceed the former by more than ten acres in the hundred, such shall not be deemed an error; and in all cases, pursuant to the foregoing, where a re-survey shall be made, the surveyor shall proceed by the marked trees, if the same can be found, or by natural bounds if any mentioned; and if there be not marked trees, then he shall follow the courses mentioned in the plat or grant, so as the intention of the party first surveying the same, may be observed as near as may be; and if it shall happen that in any re-survey there shall be more land contained, above the quantity mentioned of ten acres in the hundred, it shall be in the choice of the owner or owners, or claimants, to locate the overplus by legal warrants, as in other cases of taking up vacant land, on paying the surveyor double fees Provided, said overplus does not exceed one fourth part of the contents of the original tract; and in all cases where the overplus does not exceed one fourth part of the grant as aforesaid, such residue shall be adjudged and declared vacant land: And provided also, the same shall be according to law entered with the principal surveyor within three months after the office may be opened for the receiving of entries, or within three months at farthest from the date of the re-survey so made, (as the case may be) otherwise the person or persons so claiming, may leave out the overplus in such part of place as he pleases, in one entire tract by straight lines run to the cardinal points, as near as circumstances will admit; and the overplus so thrown out, shall be considered as vacant land; and if such grantee, assignee, or person claiming such overplus, doth not, within the time specified aforesaid, make his election in the manner as above, either by entering and surveying the same, in the manner herein prescribed for taking up waste and unappropriated lands, or by causing the part he thinks proper to retain, not exceeding the quantity he may be legally entitled to by virtue of his former legal and bona fide grant or survey, to be laid off, and return the same to the principal surveyor to be recorded. It shall be lawful for the surveyor of the district or his deputy, and is hereby authorized and required to ascertain the bounds of said grant, beginning at the corner called for as the beginning corner of said grant or survey, and lay off the quantity therein specified, proportioning the lines of the same as nearly as may be, to those of the original survey; and the overplus is hereby declared to be at the disposal of the legislature, and subject to be taken as other vacant and unappropriated lands within this state, by the person at whose instance the same was surveyed: Provided, he makes said entry within three months after the said surplus land is laid off, or within three months after the office may be opened for the receiving of entries, (as the case may be) or by any other person who shall give notice as aforesaid; and where any grant which heretofore have issued, which does not contain the quantity of acres called for in the warrant upon which it is founded; then and in that case, it shall be lawful for the person owning such grant, to produce the same to the commissioners, who shall, upon sufficient proof, that such error does exist, issue a warrant for such deficiency, which shall entitle the holder thereof to such quantity as said certificate may demand, under the rules of law in similar cases: Provided, such deficiency shall amount to ten acres in the hundred at least.
SEC. 21. Be it enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for any person or persons who may be desirous of establishing the bounds of any lands he, she, or they may claim by virtue of any title derived under a grant from North-Carolina, or which may hereafter be derived from this state, which said title is good and valid in law, to cause the same to be processioned, in the following manner, viz: Such person or persons shall cause notice to be given at several of the most public places within the country, wherein said lines are t be processioned, at least twenty days before the same is to be performed, of the time appointed for processioning, and the corner at which he intends to begin; and he shall also notify the holders or their agents in writing, of such intention as aforesaid, if such holders or their agents reside within said county; and it shall be the duty of any surveyor appointed under the authority of this act, upon application to him made, to run, mark, and describe such tract of land agreeably to the former lines, or natural boundaries, (if any) described in such grant or deed, founded upon a grant; or if such lines have not been marked, to mark new lines agreeably to the calls of said grant or deed: (Provided, such deed or grant may have been recorded in the county where such land lies) and make a correct plat and certificate of the same, as required in other cases, and return the same to the register of said county, to be recorded at the expense of such applicant; and in any case where the lines are contested by adverse claimants, the sheriff of said county shall, upon application of either of the parties, forthwith summon a jury to try the matter in dispute, whose decision shall be a guide to the surveyor in making his return as aforesaid; and the surveyor shall be entitled to the same fees, and be subject to the same penalties as prescribed in other cases; which fees shall be paid by the person or persons at whose instance such processioning shall be made.
SEC. 22. Be it enacted, That every person or persons, or the legal representatives of every person or persons, or the rightful assignee of any of said persons, for whom, or for whose use, an entry was made for any lands within this state, in any office legally established by the laws of North-Carolina, which were not actually located west and south of the line as described in the first section of the act of the Congress of the United States, herein before referred to, on or before the twenty fifth day of February, one thousand seven hundred and ninety, and which said entries, by the laws of North-Carolina were good and valid, and on which a warrant issued on said entry, or which said entry or entries were founded on a good and valid warrant (as the case may be) and on which no grant or grants ever issued by the state of North-Carolina, shall be entitled to receive a grant from this state for such quantity of land as is called for in each of such entries respectively. And if the calls in such entry or entries are not designated in such manner that the same may be identified, such claimant or claimants, or their legal representatives, may be at liberty to remove and enter the same in any office by this act established for receiving of entries: Provided, such evidences of unsatisfied claims shall, in all cases, be adjudged good and valid by the board of commissioners hereinafter appointed.
SEC. 23. Be it enacted, That every person or persons, their legal representatives, or the rightful assignee of such person or persons, who may have fairly and bona fide, obtained from the secretary of North Carolina, any warrant for military services which, by the laws of North Carolina issued to such person or persons, or his or their legal representatives or rightful assignees, by the state of North-Carolina, shall be entitled to receive a grant from this state for the quantity of land called for in such warrant or warrants respectively.
SEC. 24. Be it enacted, That any person or persons, or the legal representatives of any person or persons, or the rightful assignee of such person or persons, who may have procured a warrant or warrants for services performed as a commissioner, or guard. &c. under an act of the state of North Carolina, entitled, An act for raising troops for the protection of Davidson county, or who may have obtained warrants for pre-emption rights, which warrants were good & valid by the laws of North-Carolina, & on which no grants have issued, shall be entitled to a grant from this state, for the quantity of land called for in said warrants respectively.
SEC. 25. Be it enacted, That every person or persons, or the legal representatives of such person or persons; or the rightful assignee of such person or persons, to whom a grant may have issued from the state of North-Carolina on a warrant, which by the laws of North-Carolina was good and valid, and which is taken by the interference of a grant of better title, issued from the state of North-Carolina for the same land, or for any part thereof, shall be entitled to obtain a grant from this state for the same quantity of land called for in such grant of younger title: Provided, the whole of the land in said grant be covered by such grant of better title; and if only a part thereof be covered, he shall be entitled to a grant for whatever quantity of acres which may be deficient, after deducting from the whole quantity called for in said younger title, the number of acres which may remain uncovered by such grant of better title.
SEC. 26. Be it enacted, That any person or persons, or the legal representatives of any person or persons, or the rightful assignee of such person or persons, to whom a grant or grants may have issued from the state of North-Carolina, on a good and valid warrant, the locality of which said grant cannot be ascertained, wither on account of the vagueness of the calls by the surveyor, or from the calls and corners of said survey becoming lost or destroyed, or on account of the surveyors and chain carriers being deceased, so that the marks and corners cannot be established, shall be entitled to obtain a grant for the same quantity of land called for in said grant.
SEC. 27. Be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for any person or persons, or the legal representative of such person or persons, or their rightful assignees, who may have obtained a grant from the state of North-Carolina, for any land south of French Broad & Holston, & west of Big Pigeon rivers, on any good and valid warrant, for which a bona vide consideration was actually paid, and never refunded, and on which no other grant ever issued upon the same warrant, to obtain a grant from this state, for the quantity of land called for in the warrant on which said grant issued, in any part of this state, except within the tract of country south of French Broad and Holston aforesaid, or within the military reservation; and when any person is desirous of procuring title to any vacant land, in consequence of a grant having issued for lands in that tract herein before names, it shall be his duty to exhibit his said grant within eight months, to the board of commissioners for East Tennessee, and shall therewith adduce such evidence as is required in similar cases, that said warrant is good and valid, and that the consideration thereof was actually paid and never refunded, and that no other grant hath issued on the same warrant; and if said commissioners adjudge his claim to be valid, he shall be entitled to a certificate in such form as the commissioners may deem proper.
Whereas it appears there is deposited in the secretary's office of North-Carolina, a file of military warrants, &c. accompanied with plats and certificates of survey marked No. 29, on which plats and certificates it is believed no grants have issued, which said file was examined and copied by John Overton, Esquire, late agent from this state to North-Carolina. Therefore:
SEC. 28. Be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for each person for whom any of said surveys were made, on producing a transcript of the copy taken from said file by the agent to the state of North-Carolina, or other copies of said warrants and plats, and certificates of survey, to obtain a grant from this state for the same land called for in said surveys: Provided however, that no grant shall have previously issued on said warrants, and that said warrants be good and valid, the validity of which shall be ascertained by the commissioners as in other cases.
SEC. 29. Be it enacted, That there shall be appointed by joint ballot of both houses of the general assembly, two persons, who, together with the register of the land office, for East Tennessee, shall be a board of commissioners in East Tennessee; and that there shall be appointed, in manner aforesaid, two persons, who, together with the register of the land office of West Tennessee, shall be a board of commissioner in West Tennessee, for the purpose of judging and ascertaining the validity of warrants, and other legal evidences of unsatisfied claims to lands within this state, which by this act are to be perfected into grants, under the provisions of an act of the state of North-Carolina, entitled, An act for the purpose of ceding to the United States of America, certain western lands therein described, and of an act of the congress of the United States, entitled, An act to authorize the state of Tennessee to issue grants and perfect titles to certain lands therein described, and to settle the claims to the vacant and unappropriated lands within the same. The said commissioners shall, previous to entering on the duties of their office, before one of the judges of the superior courts of law and equity, take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation, to wit: I A. B. do solemnly swear or affirm, that I will faithfully, impartially and justly perform the duty of my office, as commissioner for------Tennessee, according to law, and to the best of my skill and judgment. SO HELP ME GOD. It shall be the duty of the commissioners for East Tennessee, to meet at Knoxville, on the first Monday of December next; and at Jonesborough on the first Monday of January next; and for the board of commissioners for West Tennessee, to meet at Nashville on the first Monday of December nest, and after taking the oath aforesaid, each board shall appoint a clerk, who shall be a man of probity, and of competent abilities to discharge the duties enjoined on him, and who shall, previous to his entering on the duties of his office, give bond with approved security, to the governor and his successors in office, in the sum of ten thousand dollars, conditioned for the faithful and accurate discharge of all the duties imposed on him as clerk of the board of commissioners, for examining claims to lands, to which he may be appointed clerk, and shall, previous to his making any entries on the books of the board, take and subscribe the following oath, to wit: I, A. B. do solemnly swear or affirm, that I will faithfully, impartially, and justly perform the duty of my office as clerk for the board of commissioners, for------Tennessee, according to the best of my skill and judgment. SO HELP ME GOD. And the commissioners aforesaid, shall meet on their own adjournments, those of West Tennessee at Nashville, and those of East Tennessee, at Knoxville and Jonesborough, alternately.
SEC. 30. Be it enacted, That it shall be the duty of each of the clerks aforesaid, to file in his office, in regular files, all warrants and other evidences of claims to lands which may be exhibited by any person desiring a decision on the same, either during the time said board of commissioners are in session, or during the recess, and shall number the same in the order in which they were presented; and he shall enter in a book to be kept by him for that purpose, full and correct minutes of the proceedings and decisions of the said commissioners, in determining on any claim, and whether such claim be good and valid, or otherwise; and he shall preserve said record until the provisions of this act be complied with, and he shall then deliver the same to the register of the land office, for the district in which he may act.
SEC. 31. Be it enacted, That said board of commissioners shall choose one of their own body to act as president, and in case of death, resignation, or refusal to act, during the recess of the legislature, the governor for the time being shall fill such vacancy, until the next meeting of the general assembly.
SEC. 32. Be it enacted, That when said commissioners determine that the claim of any person founded on an entry or a warrant, which was not perfected into a grant, is a bona fide and valid claim, it shall be the duty of the clerk to record the same in a book to be kept for that purpose, and the warrant on which such claim is founded, shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the board of commissioners, together with the evidences thereof; and the person entitled to the benefit thereof, shall be furnished with a duplicate, which shall be signed by the president, and attested by the clerk; and it shall be the duty of said commissioners to examine that said evidences of claims are correctly recorded, and sign their names to said book of records.
SEC. 33. Be it enacted, That it shall be the duty of said president to endorse on each warrant or evidence of claim, which may be rejected, that the same is invalid which shall be signed by the president, and attested by the clerk, and of which a record shall also be kept in a separate book; a copy of which books shall be taken by said clerk, and deposited with the register of the land office, and the originals shall be deposited in the office of the secretary of state.
SEC. 34. Be it enacted, That it shall be the duty of each person who may hereafter be desirous of obtaining a title to any land in consequence of a grant of better title covering the land called for in his patent, or any part of said land, to exhibit to said board of commissioners for the district in which such land may lie, the said grant under which he claims title, together with the mesne conveyances vesting the title, in himself, (if he be not the grantee) together with a certified copy of such better title, which may interfere with the lines of the survey of his grant or title, which shall be accompanied by a connected plat of the said tracts, shewing the interference, which shall have been actually surveyed and platted by some sworn surveyor. And the said commissioners shall have power to call upon said claimants if they think it necessary, to prove by the oath of said surveyor, the said facts respecting said interference, and the quantity of land which will be deficient of that called for in said grant under which he claims in consequences of said interference of said better title; and the said claimant shall produce to said commissioners such other evidence and documents as is hereafter provided, to prove to said commissioners, and establish the validity of said grants or titles, and of the warrants on which they were issued; and if the claim of such be considered valid by said board of commissioners, and sufficient to entitle him to a claim for as much land as is called for in his grants, or any lesser quantity, it shall be the duty of said commissioners to issue to said claimant a certificate in the following form, and signed by the president of said board, and attested by the clerk, to wit: This is to certify, that A. B. is entitled to enter and obtain a grant for------acres of land, (within this state) in consequence of so much of a tract granted to------by grant number------dated------day of------which issued for------acres from the state of North-Carolina, being taken by the interference of grant, number------dated------day of------from said state, for------acres, to------. Given under the band and seal of the president of the board of commissioners, for (East Tennessee, or West Tennessee, as the case may be) this------day of------in the year------.
President of the Board of Commissioners.J. J., Clerk.
C. D., President, &c.
E. F., Clerk.
To the Register,
For each day he attends the commissioners, three dollars per day, and for copying the records of said commissioners, at the rate of three dollars per day for each day he may be engaged therein, to be paid in the manner pointed out by this act for paying the commissioners, and all other services rendered by said clerk, as such, shall be done by virtue of his office.
For receiving a plat and certificate, and giving a receipt for the same, fifty cents.To the Surveyor,
For issuing and recording a grant, one dollar.
For recording a plat and certificate of survey, fifty cents.
For a copy of any grant of land, twenty-five cents.
For every search for any thing, or for reading the same, if a copy be not required, twelve and one half cents.
For every survey by him plainly bounded, as this act directs, where the survey shall not exceed three hundred acres, two dollars.
For every hundred acres exceeding that quantity in the same tract, fifty cents.
For every re-survey of lands, upon which a grant has issued, the beginning whereof can be established, and lines thereof not closed, or more than two corners made, the same fees as for an original survey. For recording a plat and certificate, as by this act directed, fifty cents.
For a copy thereof, duly certified to be recorded according to law, fifty cents.
For information to any applicant, as required by the tenth section of this act, twelve and one half cents.
For running dividing line between any counties, to be paid by such respective counties equally, if ten miles or under, twenty dollars.
For every mile above ten, two dollars.
For receiving and listing a warrant, as by the seventh section of this act required, and giving a receipt for the same, twelve and one half cents.
For making entry for land, fifty cents; or for a copy thereof, twenty-five cents.