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Orleans, and the district of Louisiana,' to the best of To meet in my skill and judgment.” It shall be the duty of the their respec. said commissioners to meet in their respective dis. tive districts tricts, at such place as the President shall have direct. at such places
Sed therein, for the residence of the register or record. residence of er, on or before the first day of December next; and the recorders, they shall not adjourn to any other place, nor for a registers, &c. longer time than three days, until the first day of on or before the first De. March, one thousand eight hundred and six, and un. cember, and til they shall have completed the business of their apnot to adjourn pointment. Each board or a majority of each board, till they shall shall in their respective districts, have power to hear their business. and decide in a summary manner, all matters res. Powers of pecting such claims, also to administer oaths, to comthe boards of
of pel the attendance of, and examine witnesses, and commission
such other testimony as may be adduced, to demand and obtain from the proper officer and officers, all public records, in which grants of land, warrants, or orders of survey or any other evidence of claims to land, derived from either the French or Spanish go. vernments, may have been recorded; to take transcripts of such record or records, or of any part there. of; to have access to all other records of a public nature, relative to the granting, sale, transfer or titles of lands, within their respective districts ; and to decide in a suminary way, according to justice and equity, on all claims filed with the register or recorder, in conformity with the provisions of this act, and on all complete French or Spanish grants the evidence of
which, though not thus filed, may be found of record Decisions of on the public records of such grants ; which decisions the boards to shall be laid before Congress in the manner hereinafter be laid before directed, and be subject to their determination thereCongress. on:* Proviiled however, That nothing in this act conProviso.
tained, shall be construed so as to recognize any grant or incomplete title, bearing date subsequent to the first day of October, one thousand eight hundred, or
to authorise the commissioners aforesaid to make any The boards decision thereon. The said boards respectively shall
have power to appoint a clerk, whose duty it shall be clerk.
*The decisions of the commissioners made final, with some ex. ceptions, by the act of third March 1807, in cases of persons residing on thirtieth December 1803, and for tracts not exceeding one league square
d to the se.
to enter in a book to be kept for that purpose, full and correct minutes of their proceedings and decisions, together with the evidence on which such decisions are made, which books and papers, on the dissolution His duties. of the boards, shall be deposited in the respective of. fices of the registers of the land offices, or of the recorder of land titles of the district; and the said clerk shall prepare two transcripts of all the decisions made by the commissioners in favor of the claimants to of decisions land, both of which shall be signed by a majority of in favor of the said commissioners, and one of which shall be claimants, to transmitted to the officer exercising in the district the authority of surveyor general; and the other to the cretary of the secretary of the treasury. It shall likewise be the treasury. duty of the said commissioners, to make to the se. Also report of cretary of the treasury a full report of all the claims rejected
claims, to be filed with the register of the proper land office or re- by him laid corder of land titles, as above directed, which may before Con. have been rejected, together with the substance of gress. the evidence adduced in support thereof, and such remarks thereon as they may think proper; which reports, together with the transcripts of the decisions of the commissioners in favor of the claimants, shall be laid by the secretary of the treasury before Congress, at their next ensuing meeting. When any Spanish or French grant, warrant, or order of survey as aforesaid, shall be produced to either of the said boards, for lands, which were not at the date of such grant, warrant or order of survey, or within one year thereafter, inhabited, cultivated or occupied, by or for the use of the grantee; or whenever either of the said boards shall not be satisfied that such grant, war. rant or order of survey, did issue at the time when Grants ante. the same bears date, but that the same is antedated or dated or otherwise fraudulent; the said commissioners shall
"fective, not not be bound to consider such grant, warrant or or- to be consider of survey, as conclusive evidence of the title, but dered as conmay require such other proof of its validity as they clusive evi..
dence of title. may deem proper. Each of the commissioners and Co clerks aforesaid, shall be allowed a compensation of tions of the two thousand dollars in full for his services as such ; commissionand each of the said clerks shall, previous to his en:
!and their tering on the duties of his office, take and subscribe oaths of ofthe following oath or affirmation, to wit:"I fice, &c.
do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will truly and faithfully discharge the duties of a clerk to the board of commissioners, for examining the claims to land, as enjoined by an act of Congress, entitled “ An act ascertaining and adjusting the titles and claims to land within the territory of Orleans, and the district of Louisiana.” Which oath or affirmation shall be
entered on the minutes of the board. Agents to be
The secret employed for each board of he is hereby authorised to employ three agents, one commission- for each board, and whose compensation shall not ex. ers to oppose ceed one thousand five hundred dollars each, for the fraudulent
purpose of appearing before the commissioners, in claims. Their com- behalf of the United States, to investigate the claims pensations for lands, and to oppose all such as said agents may
deem fraudulent and unfounded. It shall also be Agent for the district of the duty of the said agent for the district of Lou. Louisiana to isiana, to examine into, and investigate the titles and investigate claims, if any there be, to the lead mines within the claims to the
e said district, to collect all the evidence within his Icad mines, &c. and the power, with respect to the claims to, and value of commission. the said mines, and to lay the same before the comers, to make missioners, who shall make a special report thereof, a special reportithered with their opinions thereon, to the secretary of the of to the sec- treasury, to be by him laid before Congress, at their retary of the next ensuing session. The said board of commis. treasury, to : be laid before
sioners shall each be authorised to employ a transla. Congress. tor of the Spanish and French languages, to assist Commission. them in the dispatch of the business which may be ers authorised brought before them, and for the purpose of recor. to employ a translator,&c. ding Spanish and French grants, deeds, or other evi. His fees and dences of claims on the register's books. The said compensation translator shall receive, for the recording done by
him, the fees already provided by law, and may be allowed, not exceeding fifty dollars, for every month he shall be employed; provided, that the whole compensation, other than that arising from fees, shall not exceed six hundred dollars.
Sec. 3. So much of the act, intituled, ** An act for ascertaining and adjusting the titles and claims
* Viz: The preceding act of 26 March, 1804.
toland within the territory of Orleans, and the district Part of a of Louisiana,” as makes it the duty of every claim. former act
respecting ant to lands, within the territory of Louisiana, to de. the liver to the recorder of land titles a plot of the tract, ing of plots or tracts, claimed by him, is hereby repealed, so far of land to the
recorder reas relates to claimants whose tracts had not been sur.
pealed. veyed by the proper officer, under the Spanish government, prior to the twentieth day of December one thousand eight hundred and three. And the commissioners appointed for ascertaining the titles ers authorised and claims to lands, within either the territory of to direct such Louisiana, or that of Orleans, are hereby authorised surveys as
they may to direct the officer exercising the powers of surveyor h general, within the same, to execute such surveys as sary for the they may think necessary, for the purpose of deciding ascertain. on claims presented for their decision : Provided, That the expense of executing such surveys shall be defrayed by the parties claiming the land, unless the same be claimed by a legal French or Spanish grant, made and completed before the first day of October, one thousand eight hundred: And provided also, To be held and it is hereby further enacted, that every such survey, as well as every other survey, by whatever authority heretofore executed, those of the above men.. tioned legal and complete titles only excepted, shall be held and considered as private surveys only ; and all the tracts of land, the titles to which may be ulti. mately confirmed by Congress, in conformity with the provisions of the act above mentioned, shall, prior to the issuing of patents, be re-surveyed, if judged necessary, under the authority of the person exercising the powers of surveyor general, and at the ex. pense oi the parties.
1806. Sec. 1. Every person or persons claiming a tract of what shall land by virtue of the second section of the act,* to be consider. . which this act is a supplement, and who had commenc, ed an actual
settlement ed an actual settlement on such tract prior to the first se
according to day of October, one thousand eight hundred, and had the secondcontinued actually to inhabit and cultivate the same, section of the
act to which during the term of three years from the time when such
plement. • Viz. Act of 26 March, 1804.
this is a sup
actual settlement had commenced, and prior to the twentieth day of December, eighteen hundred and three, shall be considered as having made such settle. ment with the permission of the proper Spanish officer, although it may not be in the power of such person or persons to produce sufficient evidence of such per.
mission. , Claimants to Sec. 2. Every person or persons rightfully claimland under ing a tract of land, not exceeding six hundred and persons who forty acres, by virtue of the act to which this act is a were not of
1 supplement, shall be confirmed in his or their claims,
een the age of 21 years, con." if otherwise embraced by the provisions of the said firmed in their act, although the person or persons, under whom the
their claim or claims originated, were not at the time when claims are in
respects the same originated, above the age of twenty.one regular. years: Provided, That the tract of land thus claimed, Proviso.
had been for the space of ten consecutive years, prior to the twentieth day of December, eighteen hundred and three, in the quiet possession of, and actually inhabited and cultivated by such person or persons, or
for his or their use. Times for de. Sec. 3. The time fixed by the act to which this act livering no- is a supplement, for delivering to the register of the tices in writ. nonner land office notice ing of claims P
· proper land office notices in writing, and the written to land in the evidences of claims to land in the territory of Orleans, territory of is hereby extended, till the first day of January next; Orleans ex. and persons delivering such notices and evidences, tended.
shall be entitled to the same benefits as if the same
had been delivered prior to the first day of March Righ's barred last; but the rights of such persons, as shall neglect on failure to so doing within the time limited by this act, shall be deliver them according to
o barred, and the evidences of their claims never after this act.
admitted as evidence, in the same manner as had been provided by the fourth section of the act, to which this act is a supplement, in relation to claims, notices and written evidences of which, should not be deliver. ed prior to the said first day of March last.
Sec. 4. The registers of the land offices in the ter
ritory of Orleans, respectively, are hereby authorised the land offfices to ap. to appoint so many deputies, not exceeding one for point depu- each county in their respective districts, as they may
think necessary, whose duty it shall be to receive, en. Their duty.
ter and file notices, and to receive and record written evidences of claims to lands lying in the county of