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office, under the direction of the secretary of the interior, to make such fair and reasonable allowance as, in his judgment, shall be necessary to insure the accurate and faithful execution of the work.
SEC. 10. That, except where the president of the United States shall see cause otherwise to determine, each officer to be appointed in virtue of this act, and also every other like officer of the United States, may continue in the uninterrupted discharge of his regular official duties, and is hereby authorized accordingly so to act, after the day of expiration of his official commission, and until a new commission shall be issued to him from the same office, or otherwise, until the day when a successor shall enter upon the duties of such office; and the existing offi cial bond of any such officer so acting shall be deemed and held to be good and sufficient, and in force until the date of the approval of a new bond to be given by him if recommissioned, or otherwise, for the additional time wherein he may so continue officially to act, pursuant to authority hereof. And the provision as to bonds to be given by deputy-surveyors for the faithful execution of their duties, in a penalty of double the estimated amount of money accru ing to them under their surveying contracts, as required by the act of March third, one thou sand eight hundred and thirty-one, entitled "An Act to create the Office of Surveyor-General of the Public Lands for the State of Louisiana," referred to in the third section of this act, shall be and the same is hereby made applicable to the public surveys in the state of Califor nia; and the sufficiency of the sureties to all such bonds shall be approved and certified by the proper surveyor-general; and the same provision is hereby extended to all other branches of the public surveying service elsewhere; and all such bonds heretofore required of deputy-surveyors, according to usage in the surveying service, shall be deemed and held to be of the the same validity as if the same had been required by law. And it is hereby made the duty of each of the respective surveyors-general of the public lands of the United States, so far as is compatible with the desk duties of his office, occasionally to inspect the surveying operations while in progress in the field, sufficiently to satisfy himself, from actual inspection, of the fidelity of the execution of the work according to contract, and the actual and necessary expenses incurred by him while so engaged shall be allowed; and where it is incompatible with his other duties for a surveyor-general to devote the time necessary to make a personal inspection of the work in progress, then he shall be and hereby is authorized to depute a confidential agent to make such examination; and the actual and necessary expenses of such person shall be allowed and paid for that service, and five dollars per day during the examination in the field; provided, that such examination shall not be protracted beyond thirty days, and in no case longer than is actually necessary; and when a surveyor-general, or any person employed in his office at a regular salary, shall be engaged in such special service, he or they shall only receive his necessary expenses in addition to his regular salary.
SEC. 11. That the secretary of the interior be and he is hereby authorized and required to cause to be provided for the office of the surveyor-general of Oregon, a seal, with such device as shall be deemed suitable, and copies of any papers on file in his office which may be authen ticated by him under said seal, shall be evidence in all cases in which the originals would be evidence, and from and after the passage of this act the salary of said surveyor shall be three thousand five hundred dollars per annum.
SEC. 12. That the quantity of two entire townships, or seventy-two sections, shall be and the same is hereby granted to the state of California for the use of a seminary of learning, said lands to be selected by the governor of the state, or any person he may designate for that purpose, in legal subdivisions of not less than a quarter-section of any of the unsold, unoccu pied and unappropriated public lands therein, subject to the approval of the secretary of the interior, and to be disposed of as the legislature shall direct; provided, however, that no mineral lands, or lands reserved for any public purpose whatever, or lands to which any settler may be entitled under the provisions of this act, shall be subject to such selection.
SEC. 13. That there shall be and is hereby granted to the state of California the quantity of ten entire sections of land, for the purpose of erecting the public buildings of that state, said lands to be selected by the governor or any persons he may designate, in legal subdivisions of not less than a quarter-section of any of the unsold, unoccupied and unappropriated public lands in that state, and subject to the approval of the secretary of the interior; provided, however, that none of said selections shall be made of mineral lands, or lands reserved for any public purpose whatever, or lands to which any settler may be entitled under the provisions
of this act.
Act of March 3, 1853, to extend Pre-emption Rights to certain Lands therein mentioned.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That the pre-emption laws of the United States, as they now exist, be and they are hereby extended over the alternate reserved sections of public lands along the lines of all the railroads in the United States, wherever public lands have been or may be granted by acts of congress; and that it shall be the privilege of persons residing on any of the said reserved lands to pay for the same in soldiers' bounty land warrants, estimated at a dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, or in gold and silver, or both together, in preference to any other
person, and at any time before the same shall be offered for sale at auction: provided, that no person shall be entitled to the benefit of this act who has not settled and improved, or shall not settle and improve, such lands prior to the final allotment of the alternate sections to such railroads by the general land office; and, provided further, that the price to be paid shall in all cases be two dollars and fifty cents per acre, or such other minimum price as is now fixed by law, or may be fixed upon lands hereafter granted; and no one person shall have the right of preemption to more than one hundred and sixty acres; and, provided further, that any settler who has settled or may hereafter settle on lands heretofore reserved on account of claims under French, Spanish or other grants which have been or shall be hereafter declared by the supreme court of the United States to be invalid, shall be entitled to all the rights of pre-emption granted by this act and the act of the fourth of September, one thousand eight hundred and forty-one, entitled "An Act to appropriate the Proceeds of Public Lands, and to grant Preemption Rights," after the lands shall have been released from reservation, in the same manner as if no reservation existed.
Act of March 3, 1854, for the extension of the Pre-emption Privilege in the State of California.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That the provisions of the act of the fourth of September, one thousand eight hundred and forty-one, granting pre-emption rights to settlers on public lands, as modified and made applicable to the state of California by the act of the third of March, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-three, shall be further modified by extending the provisions of the third proviso in the sixth section of the aforesaid act of the third of March, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-three, to settlements made prior to and within two years after the passage of this act.
An Act to ascertain and settle the Private Land Claims in the State of California.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House 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. That a secretary, skilled in the Spanish and English languages, shall be appointed by the said commissioners, whose duty it shall be 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 secretary of the interior on the termination of the commission.
SEC. 3. That such clerks, not to exceed five in number, as may be necessary, shall be appointed by the said commissioners.
SEC. 4. 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 notice 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. That the said 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. 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 be provided for that purpose. SEC. 7. 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 his counsel, to issue writs of subpena commanding the attendance of a witness or witnesses before the said board or any commissioner.
SEC. 8. 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 com
missioners 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. 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 original 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 be 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 forth 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 answers 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 said case shall stand for trial, unless, on cause shown, the same shall be continued by the court.
SEC. 10. 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 party 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. 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. That to entitle either party to a review of the proceedings and decision of the commissioners herein-before 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 commis sioners 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. That all lands, the claims to which have been finally rejected by the commission. ers 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 claim ant 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 March third, 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 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 hear
ing 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. 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, one thousand eight hundred and forty-six; 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 day of July, one thousand eight hundred and fortysix, being duly proven, shall be prima facie evidence of a grant to such corporation, or to 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. 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 the United States and the said claimants only, and shall not affect the interests of third persons.
SEC. 16. That it shall be the duty of the commissioners herein provided for, to ascertain and report to the secretary of the interior the tenure by which the mission lands are held, and those held by civilized Indians, and those who are engaged in agriculture or labor of any kind, and also those which are occupied and cultivated by pueblos or rancheros Indians.
SEC. 17. That each commissioner appointed under this act shall be allowed and paid at the rate of six thousand dollars per annum; that the secretary of the commissioners shall be allowed and paid at the rate of four thousand dollars per annum; and the clerks herein provided for shall be allowed and paid at the rate of one thousand five hundred dollars per annum; the aforesaid salaries to commence from the day of the notification by the commissioners of the first meeting of the board.
SEC. 18. That the secretary of the board shall receive no fee, except for furnishing certified copies of any paper or record, and for issuing writs of subpena. For furnishing certified copies of any paper or record, he shall receive twenty cents for every hundred words, and for issuing writs of subpena, fifty cents for each witness; which fees shall be equally divided be tween the said secretary and the assistant clerk.
Appropriation Act of 1852.
SEC. 12. That the president of the United States appoint an associate law-agent for California, learned in the law and skilled in the Spanish and English languages, whose duties and compensation shall be the same as those of the law-agent; provided, that the compensation of the agent and associate shall not exceed five thousand dollars each. And in every case in which the board of commissioners on private land claims in California, shall render a final decision, it shall be their duty to have two certified transcripts prepared of their proceedings and decision, and of the papers and evidence on which the same are founded, one of which transcripts shall be filed with the clerk of the proper district court, and the other shall be transmitted to the attorney-general of the United States, and the filing of such transcript with the clerk aforesaid shall ipso facto operate as an appeal for the party against whom the decis ion shall be rendered; and if such decision shall be against the private claimant, it shall be his duty to file a notice with the clerk aforesaid within six months thereafter, of his intention to prosecute the appeal; and if the decision shall be against the United States, it shall be the duty of the attorney-general within six months after receiving said transcript, to cause a notice to be filed with the clerk aforesaid, that the appeal will be prosecuted by the United States; and on a failure of either party to file such notice with the clerk aforesaid, the appeal shall be regarded as dismissed.
Act of Jan. 18, 1854, to continue in force the Act entitled "An Act to Ascertain and Settle the Private Land Claims in the State of California," and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That an act entitled "An Act to ascertain and settle the Private Land Claims in the State of California," passed March third, one thousand eight hundred and fiftyone, be, and the same is hereby, continued in force for one year from and after the third day of March, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty-four, for the purpose of enabling the
board of commissioners appointed under said act to determine the claims presented to said board under the act aforesaid.
SEC. 2. That the said board of commissioners may appoint one or more, not exceeding three, competent persons to act as commissioners in the taking of testimony to be used before said board, who shall receive a compensation to be fixed by said board, but not to exceed ten dollars per diem.
Act of March 3, 1855, in addition to certain Acts granting Bounty Lands to certain Officers and Solim who have been engaged in the Military Service of the United States.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of Amen in Congress assembled, That each of the surviving commissioned and non-commissioned s musicians and privates, whether of regulars, volunteers, rangers, or militia, who were re larly mustered into the service of the United States, and every officer, commissioned or commissioned, seaman, ordinary seaman, marine, clerk and landsman in the navy, in any d the wars in which this country has been engaged since one thousand seven hundred and ninety, and each of the survivors of the militia, or volunteers, or state troops of any state or tema, called into military service, and regularly mustered therein, and whose services have been paid by the United States, shall be entitled to receive a certificate or warrant from the department of the interior for one hundred and sixty acres of land; and where any of those who have been so mustered into service and paid shall have received a certificate or warrant, he shal be entitled to a certificate or warrant for such quantity of land as will make, in the who, with what he may have heretofore received, one hundred and sixty acres to each such person having served as aforesaid; provided, the person so having been in service shall not receive said land warrant if it shall appear by the muster rolls of his regiment or corps that he deser ed, or was dishonorably discharged from service; provided, further, that the benefits of this section shall be held to extend to wagon-masters and teamsters who may have been employed, under the direction of competent authority, in time of war, in the transportation of military stores and supplies.
SEC. 2. That, in case of the death of any person who, if living, would be entitled to a cr tificate or warrant as aforesaid, under this act, leaving a widow, or, if no widow, a minr or children, such widow, or, if no widow, such minor child or children, shall be entitled to receive a certificate or warrant for the same quantity of land that such deceased person wond be entitled to receive under the provisions of this act, if now living; provided, that a subsequent marriage shall not impair the right of any such widow to such warrant, if so be a widow at the time of making her application; and, provided further, that those shall be considered minors who are so at the time this act shall take effect.
SEC. 3. That in no case shall any such certificate or warrant be issued for any service less than fourteen days, except where the person shall actually have been engaged in batti unless the party claiming such certificate or warrant shall establish his or her right theretə by record evidence of said service.
SEC. 4. That said certificates or warrants may be assigned, transferred and located by the warrantees, their assignees, or their heirs-at-law, according to the provisions of existing laws regulating the assignment, transfer and location of bounty land warrants.
SEC. 5. That no warrant issued under the provisions of this act shall be located on any public lands, except such as shall at the time be subject to sale at either the minimum or lower graduated prices.
SEC. 6. That the registers and receivers of the several land offices shall be severally sutborized to charge and receive for their services in locating all warrants under the provisions of this act the same compensation or per, centage to which they are entitled by law for sues of the public lands, for cash, at the rate of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre; the said compensation to be paid by the assignees or holders of such warrants.
SEC. 7. That the provisions of this act, and all the bounty land laws heretofore passed by congress, shall be extended to Indians, in the same manner and to the same extent as if the said Indians had been white men.
SEC. 8. That the officers and soldiers of the revolutionary war, or their widows or minor children, shall be entitled to the benefits of this act.
SEC. 9. That the benefits of this act shall be applied to and embrace those who served as volunteers at the invasion of Plattsburg, in September, one thousand eight hundred and form teen; also at the battle of King's Mountain, in the revolutionary war, and the battle of Nickojack against the confederated savages of the south.
SEC. 10. That the provisions of this act shall apply to the chaplains who served with the army in the several wars of the country.
SEC. 11. That the provisions of this act be applied to flotilla-men, and to those who served as volunteers at the attack on Lewistown, in Delaware, by the British fleet, in the war of one thousand eight hundred and twelve-fifteen.