How long did a settler have to pay off land purchased via Harrison Act or Congress Lands W of the Miami R Act?

+2 votes

How long did a settler have to pay off land purchased as part of the Harrison Land Act (15 April 15 1800)?

There is also some confusion, as the BLM website says that it was sold under the Harrison act, whereas I have other sources that say it was sold under the Congress Lands West of the Miami River Act of (September) 1796.

The land consisted of 154 acres (160, less land cut off at the corner by Laughery Creek).  That seems inconsistent with the size of Harrison Act land (which needed to be twice that size).

I'm looking for this information because of an anomaly.  Long story short, James Hamilton and Michael Jones made the initial payment on a piece of land in this survey in 1806.  William Ross received the patent in 1812.  On the land patent, it mentions Hamilton and Jones as well as Ross, so I don't believe they defaulted, especially because Ross is not listed as having made an initial application/claim.

What I'm trying to figure out is whether William Ross got an extension, perhaps after buying out Hamilton and Jones.  I haven't been able to find any legislation allowing for an extension, though.

I can't find the exact act in question, though.  I found a similar act: An Act providing for the Sale of the Lands of the United States, in the territory northwest of the river Ohio, and above the mouth of Kentucky river, 1796: ( )

This act indicates that the patentee had 1 years to pay off the land, or else they forfeited their investment (whereas similar acts I've read usually give 3 years):

"...shall deposit, at the time of sale, one twentieth part of the amount of the purchase money; to be forfeited, if a moiety of the sum bid, including the said twentieth part, is not paid within thirty days, to the treasurer of the United States, or to such person as shall be appointed by the President of the United States, to attend the places of sale for that purpose; and upon payment of a moiety of the purchase money, within thirty days, the purchaser shall have one year's credit for the residue; and shall receive from the Secretary of the Treasury, or the governor of the western territory, (as the case may be) a certificate describing the land sold, the sum paid on account, the balance remaining due, the time when such balance becomes payable; and that the whole land sold will be forfeited, if the said balance is not then paid; but that if it shall be duly discharged, the purchaser, or his assignee, or other legal representative, shall be entitled to a patent for the said lands: And on payment of the said balance to the treasurer, within the specified time, and producing to the Secretary of State a receipt for the same, upon the aforesaid certificate, the President of the United States is hereby authorized to grant a patent for the lands to the said purchaser, his heirs or assigns: And all patents shall be countersigned by the Secretary of State, and recorded in his office. But if there should be a failure in any payment, the sale shall be void, all the money theretofore paid on account of the purchase shall be forfeited to the United States, and the lands thus sold shall be again disposed of, in the same manner as if a sale had never been made."

If Hamilton and Jones had defaulted, their names would not have appeared on the patent.  

So I'm trying to figure out whether Ross somehow got an extension, or if he somehow got extra time to pay it off.

I have exact dates: Hamilton and Jones made the initial payment on 10 July 1806.

William Ross received the patent 30 July 1812.

Thanks for any help!

Here is the BLM file on the land patent:

I did just now find this about the Harrison act:

2. One-fourth part of the purchase money shall be within forty days after the day of sale as aforesaid and other fourth part shall be paid within two years, another fourth part within three years; and another fourth part with four years of the day of sale.

6. If any tract shall not be completely paid for within one year after the date of the last payment, the tract shall be advertised for sale by the Register of the land-office within whose district it may lie…; but if the sum due, with interest, by not bidden and paid, then the land shall revert to the United States.  All monies paid therefore shall be forfeited, and the Register of the land-office may proceed to dispose of the same to any purchaser, as in the caseof other lands at private sale…

Under the Harrison Act, not only is this half the minimum amount of land; it's still 20 days shy of 2 extra years to pay it off, without the act allowing for an extension.

This makes me think that the BLM site is wrong and the other sources are correct as to which act this was purchased under.  So unless there is something I'm missing, I probably need the info about the Miami River act, which unfortunately I can't find!

in Genealogy Help by Susannah Rolfes G2G5 (5.8k points)
edited by Susannah Rolfes
A mistake by the BLM? Surely not. I'm now biting my tongue in two and hope my fingers stop...

1 Answer

+1 vote
This should contain all acts of the Fourth Congress:
by T Stanton G2G6 Pilot (155k points)

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