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reserved for the support of schools; third, lands acquired by either of the last two treaties with the Miami Indians in Indiana, or which may be acquired of the Wyandot Indians in Ohio, or any other Indian reservation, to which the title has been, or may be extinguished at any time during the operation of the Pre-emption Acts, by the United States; fourth, sections of lands reserved to the United States, alternate to other sections granted to any State for the construction of any canal, railroad, or other public improvement; fifth, sections, or fractions of sections, included within the limits of any incorporated town; sixth, every portion of the public lands which has been selected as a site for a city or town; seventh, every parcel or lot of land actually settled and occupied for the purposes of trade and agriculture; and, eighth, all lands in which are situated any known salines or mines.

Persons claiming the benefit of the Pre-emption Acts are required to file duplicate affidavits, such as are specified by law, and to furnish proof, by one or more disinterested witnesses, of the facts necessary to establish the requisites mentioned in the first paragraph of this article; such witnesses having first been duly sworn or affirmed by some competent authority.

If adverse claims are made to the same tract, each claimant is to be notified of the time and place of taking testimony, and allowed to cross-examine the opposite witnesses, and to furnish counter-proof, itself subject to cross-examination. If, by reason of distance, sickness, or infirmity, the witnesses cannot personally appear before the register of the land office, their depositions, taken in conformity with the following regulations, may be received:

The notice to adverse claimants must be in writing, and served in time to allow at least one day for every twenty miles which the party may have to travel in going to the place of taking evidence. The proof, in all cases, should consist of a simple detail of facts merely, and not of broad and general statements. If the pre-emptor be "the head of a family,” the witnesses must state the facts constituting him such; whether

he be a husband having a wife and children, or a widower, or an unmarried person under twenty-one years of age, having a family, either of relatives or others, dependent upon him, or hired persons. All the facts relative to the settlement in person, inhabitancy, or personal residence, the time of its commencement, the manner and extent of its continuance, as also those sharing the apparent objects, must be stated. It must be stated that the claimant made the settlement on the land in person; that he has erected a dwelling upon the land; that he lived in the same, and made it his home, etc. In the event of a decision by the land officer against the claimant, he may appeal to the Commissioner of the Land Office at Washington.

No entry will be permitted until the affidavit required of the claimant is taken. Duplicates thereof must be signed by the claimant, and the fact of the oath being taken must be certified by the register or receiver administering the same; one copy to be filed in the Register's office, and the other to be sent to the Land Office at Washington.

A purchaser of public land is only required to make written application to the Register of the local land office for the tract desired to be entered, and to pay to the Receiver the purchase money therefor. Blank forms of such application are furnished gratuitously at the Land Office where the tract is desired to be entered.


The following is the full text of the Amendatory Soldiers' Homestead Bill, approved by the President on the 3d of April,


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled: That every private soldier and officer who has served in the army of the United States during the recent rebellion for ninety days or more, and who was honorably discharged, and has remained loyal to the government, including the troops mustered into the service of the United States by virtue of the

third section of an act entitled "An act making appropriations for completing the defenses of Washington, and for other purposes," approved February 13th, 1862, and every seaman, marine, and officer who has served in the navy of the United States, or in the marine corps, during the rebellion, for ninety days, and who was honorably discharged, and has remained loyal to the government, shall, on compliance with the provisions of an act entitled "An act to secure homesteads to actual settlers on the public domain, and the acts amendatory thereof, as hereinafter modified, be entitled to enter upon and receive patents for a quantity of public lands (not mineral) not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres, or one quarter-section, to be taken in compact form according to legal subdivision, including the alternate reserved section of public lands along the line of any railroad or other public work not otherwise reserved or appropriated, and other lands subject to entry under the homestead laws of the United States: Provided, the said homestead settler shall be allowed six months after locating his homestead within which to commence his settlement and improvements: And provided also, the time which the homestead settler shall have served in the army, navy, or marine corps aforesaid shall be deducted from the time heretofore required to perfect title, or if discharged on account of wounds received, or disability incurred in the line of duty, then the term of enlistment shall be deducted from the time heretofore required to perfect title, without reference to the length of time he may have served: Provided, however, that no patent shall issue to any homestead settler who has not resided upon, improved and cultivated his said homestead for a period of at least one year after he shall commence his improvements as aforesaid.

SECTION 2. That any person entitled under the provisions of the foregoing section to enter a homestead, who may have heretofore entered under the Homestead law a quantity of land less than one hundred and sixty acres, shall be permitted to enter under the provisions of this act so much land as, when

aded to the quantity previously entered, shail not exceed one hundred and sixty acres.

SECTION 3. That in the case of the death of any person who would be entitled to a homestead under the provisions of the first section of this act, his widow, if unmarried, or in case of her death or marriage, then his minor orphan children, by a guardian duly approved and officially accredited at the Department of the Interior, shall be entitled to all the benefits enumerated in this act, subject to all the provisions as to settleinent and improvements therein contained: Provided, that if such person died during his term of enlistment, the whole term of his enlistment shall be deducted from the time heretofore required to perfect the title.

SECTION 4. That where a party, at the date of his entry of a tract of land under the Homestead laws, or subsequently thereto, was actually enlisted and employed in the army or navy of the United States, his services therein shall, in the administration of said Homestead laws, be construed to be equivalent, to all intents and purposes, to a residence for the same length of time upon the tract so entered: Provided, that if his entry has been canceled by reason of his absence from said tract while in the military or naval service of the United States, and such tract has not been disposed of, his entry shall be restored and confirmed: And provided further, that if such tract has been disposed of, said party may enter another tract subject to the entry under said laws, and his right to a patent therefor shall be determined by the proofs touching his residence and cultıvation of the first tract and his absence therefrom in such service.

SECTION 5. That any soldier, sailor, marine, officer, or other person coming within the provisions of this act may, as well BY AN AGENT as in person, enter upon said homestead : Provided, that the said claimant in person shall, within the time prescribed [SIX MONTHS FROM DATE OF ENTRY] commence settlement and improvement on the same, and thereafter fulfill all the requirements of this act.

SECTION 6. That the commissioner of the General Land Office shall have authority to make all needful rules and regu lations to carry into effect the provisions of this act.”



1. These originated in the desire of the founders of the government to encourage invention, in the belief that the general welfare of the country would be promoted by such a stimulus to genius, and the power to grant patents was expressly bestowed on Congress. That this was a very wise forethought there is no doubt. The hope of reward has given birth to innumerable inventions, among which some have been of incalculable value to the country, increasing its wealth almost beyond our power to estimate. It is, however, worth considering if there may not be a limit to the usefulness of the system, in its present form, in the changed conditions of the country. It is often the case that what accomplished the greatest good in its proper day, is at length outgrown, and becomes an embarrassment, requiring to be either essentially modified or laid aside.

2. A patent right is an exclusive right, granted by an office denominated the Commissioner of Patents, in conformity to law, to the inventor or discoverer of any new and useful article. The exclusive right is conferred by acts of Congress, on compliance of the inventor with certain conditions which are clearly specified in the law. The evidence that such exclusive right has been conferred on any individual, is contained in a document, called "letters patent," issued at the patent office in Washington; signed by the Secretary of the Interior, (formerly by the Secretary of State), countersigned by the Com

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