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An Act to secure Homesteads to Actual Settlers on the

Public Domain, May 20th, 1862.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any person who is the head of a family, or who ha arrived at the age of twenty-one years, and is a citizen of the United States, or who shall have filed his declaration of intention to berome such, as required by the naturalization laws of the United States, and who has never borne arms against the United States Govern. ment, or given aid and comfort to its enemies, shall, from and after the first January, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, be entitled to enter one quarter section or a less quantity of unappropriated public lands, upon which said person may have filed a preemption claim, or which may, at the time the application is made, be subject to preëmption at one dollar and twenty-five cents, or less, per acre; or eighty acres or less of such unappropriated lands, at two dollars and fifty cents per acre, to be located in a body, in conformity to the legal sub-subdivisions of the public lands, and after the same shall have been surveyed : Provided, That any person owning and residing on land may, under the provisions of this act, enter other land lying contiguous to his or her said land, which shall not, with the land so already owned and occupied, exceed in the aggregate one hundred and sixty

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the person applying for the benefit of this act shall, upon application to the register of the land office in which he or she is about to make such entry, make affidavit before the said register or receiver that he or she is the head of a family, or is twenty-one years or more of age, or shall have performed service in the army or navy of the United States, and that he has never borne arms against the Government of the United States, or given aid and comfort to its enemies, and that such application is made for his or her exclusive use and benefit, and that said entry is made for the purpose of actual settlement and cultivation, and not either directly or indirectly for the use or benefit of any other person or persons whomsoever; and upon filing the said affidavit with the register or receiver, and on payment of ten dollars, he or she shall thereupon be per: mitted to enter the quantity of land specified: Provided, howcver, That no certificate shall be given or patent issued therefor until the expiration of five years from the date of such entry; and if, at the expiration of such time, or at any time within two years thereafter, the person making such entry; or, if he be dead, his widow; or, in case of her death, his heirs or devisee; o in case of a widow making such entry, her heirs or devisee, in case


of her death, shall prove by two credible witnesses that ho, she, or they have resı led upon or cultivated the same for the term of five years immediately succeeding the time of filing the affidavit aforesaid, and siall make aflidavit that no part of said land hae been alicnated, and that he has borne true allegiance to the Gov. ernment of the United States; then, in such case, lie, she, or thcy, if at that time a citizen of the United States, shall be entitled to a patent, as in other cases provided for hy law: And provided, further, That in case of the death of both father and mother, leaving an infant child, or children, under twenty-one years of age, the right and fee shall enure to the benefit of said infant child or children; and the executor, administrator, or guardian may, at any time within two years after the death of the survive ing parent, and in accordance with the laws of the State in which such children for the time being have their domicil, sell said. land for the benefit of said infants, but for no other purpose; and the purchaser shall acquire the absolute title by the purchase, and be entitled to a patent from the United States, on payment of the office fees and sum of money herein specified.

Sac. 3. And le it further enacted, that the register of the land office shall note all such applications on the tract books and plats of his oli e, and keep a register of all such entries, and make return thereof to the General Land Office, together with the proof upon vhich they have been founded.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That no lands acquired under the provisions of this act shall in any event become iiable to the satisfaction of any debt or debts contracted prior to the issuing of the pitent therefor.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted. That if, at any time after the filing of the affidavit, as required in the second section of this act, and before the expiration of the five years aforesaid, it shall be proven, after due notice to the settler, to the satisfaction of the register or the land office, that the person having filcd euch affidavit shall have actually changed his or her residence, or abandoned the said land for more than six months at any time, then and in that event the land so entered shall revert to the government.

SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That no individual shall be permitted to accuire title to more than one quarter section under the provisions of this act; and that the Commissioner of the General Land O'lice is hereby required to prepare and issue such rules and regula ions, consistent with this act, as shall be necess sary and proper to carry its provisions into effect; and that the registers and receivers of the several land offices shall be entitled to receive the same compensation for any lands entered under the provisions of this act that they are now entitled to receive when the same quantity of land is entered with money, ove half

to be paid by the person making the application at the time of so doing, and the other half on the issue of the certificate by the person to whom it may be issued; but this shall not be con strued to enlarge the maximum of compensation now prescribed by law for any register or receiver: Provided, That nothing contained in this act shall be so construed as to impair or interfero in any manner whatever with existing preëmption rights: And provided, further, That all persons who may have filed their applications for a preëmption right prior to the passage of this act, shall be entitled to all privileges of this act: Provided, further, That no person who has served, or may hereafter serve, for A period of not less than fourteen days in the army or navy of the United States, either regular or volunteer, under the laws thereof, during the existence of an actual war, domestic or. foreign shall be deprived of the benefits of this act on account of not having attained the age of twenty-cne years.

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That the fifth section of the act entitled “ An act in addition to an act more effectually to provide for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States, and for other purposes,'' approved the third of March, in the year eighteen hundred and fifty-seven, shall extend to all oaths, affirmations and affidavits, required or authorized by this act.

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That nothing in this act shall be so construed as to prevent any person who has availed him or herself of the benefits of the first section of this act, from paying the minimum price, or the price to which the same may have graduated, for the quantity of land so eatered at any time before the expiration of the five years, and obtaining a patent therefor from the government, as in other cases provided by law, on joaking proof of settlement and cultivatioa as provided by existing laws granting preemption righte.

Approved, Muy 20th, 1862.


A promise of a debtor to give "satisfactory security” for the pny ment of a portion of his debt, is a sufficient consideration for release of the residue by his creditor.

Administrators are liable to account for interest on funds in their hands, althongh no profit shall have been made upon them, unless the exigencies of the estate rendered it prudent that they should hold the funds thus invested.

Any person who voluntarily becomes an agent for another, and in that capacity obtains information to which as a stranger he could have had no access, is bound, in subsequent dealing with his principal, as purchaser of the property that formed the subject of his agency, to communicate such information.

Whon a house is rendered untenantable in consequence of improve aents made on the adjoining lot, the owner of such cannot recoro: damages, because it is presumed that he had knowledge of the approaching danger in time to protect himself from it.

When a merchant ship i abandoned by order of the master, for the purpose of saving lif3, and a part of the crew subsequently meet the vessel so abandoned, and bring her safe into port, they will be entitled to salvage.

A person who has been led to sell goods by means of false pretences, cannot recover them from one who has purchased them in good faith from the fraudulent vender.

An agreement by the holder of a note to give the principal debtor time for payment without depriving himself of the right to sue, does not discharge the surety.

A seller of goods who accepts, at the time of sale, the note of a third party, not endorsed by the buyer, in payment, cannot, in case the note is not paid, hold the buyer responsible for the value of the goods.

day book copied from a blotterin which cł urges are first made, will not be received in evidence as a book ( i original entries.

Common carriers are not liable for extraordinary results of neg. ligence that could not have been foreseen by ordinary skill and foresight.

A bidder at a Sheriff's sale may retract his bid at any time before the property is knocked down to him, whatever may be the condiLions of the sale.

Acknowledgment of debt to a stranger does not preclude the operation of the statute.

The fruils and grass on the farm or garden of an intestato dos oend to tho heir.

Agents are solely liable to their principals.

A deposit of money in bank by a husband in the name of his wife survives to her.

Money paid on Sunday contracts may be recovered.

A debtor may give preference to one creditor over another, unless fraud or special legislation can be proved.

A court cannot give judgment for a larger sum than that specified in the verdict.

In.becility on the part of either the husband or the wife invalid ates the marriage.

An action for malicious prosecution will lie, though nothing fur. ther was done than suing out warrants.

An agreement not to continue the practice of a profession or business in any specified town, if the party so agreeing has received a consideration for the same, is valid.

When A. consigns goods to B. to sell on commission, and B. delivers them to C. in payment of his own antecedent debts, A. can recover their value.

A finder of property is compelled to make diligent inquiry for the owner thereof, and to restore the same. If, on finding such property, he attempts to conceal such fact, he



prosecuted for larceny.

A private person may obtain an injunction to prevent a public wischief by which he is affected in common with others.

Any person interested may obtain an injunction to restrain the state or a municipal corporation from maintaining a nuisance on 8 lands.

A discharge under the insolvent laws of one State will not dis aharge the insolvent from a contract made with a citizen of another State.

To prosecute a party with any other motive than to bring him to justice, is a malicious prosecution, and actionable as such.

Ministers of the gospel, residing in any incorporated town, are not exempt from jury, military, or fire service.

When a person contracts to build a house, and is prevented by sickness from finishing it, he can recover for the part performed if such part is beneficial to the other party.

In a suit for enticing away a man's wife, actual proof of the mar riage is not necessary. Cohabitation, reputation, and the admis. sion of marriage by the parties, are sufficient.

Permanent erections . nd fixtures, made by a mortgagor after the execution of the mortgage upon the land conveyed by it, become a part of the mortgaged premises.

When a marriuge is denied, and plaintiff has given sufficient evi. donce to establish it, the defendant cannot examine the wifo to disprove the marriage.

T'he annount of an express debt cannot be enlargod by applioation

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