Thomas Jefferson Papers

23. A Bill Securing the Rights Derived from Grants to Aliens, 18 June 1779

23. A Bill Securing the Rights Derived from Grants to Aliens

Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that those citizens who heretofore were aliens, and had not been naturalized, shall be deemed to have been able to hold the lands, tenements, or hereditaments granted to them by the crown, or conveyed to them by others, so that all who deriving the rights and titles they claim under such grants or conveyances, either by color of hereditary succession or by purchase, are with good faith and by lawful means in possession of such lands, tenements, or hereditaments, shall, and may continue to hold, or who being out of possession had been deforced by wrong, or kept out by fraud, may recover the same lands, tenements, or hereditaments, in like manner, and by like remedies, as they might have held or recovered the same if they, to whom the grants or conveyances were made, had been citizens of the commonwealth, or had been such as were formerly called natural born subjects.

Report description begins Report of the Committee of Revisors Appointed by the General Assembly of Virginia in MDCCLXXVI, Richmond, 1784 description ends , p. 21–2. MS (ViU); clerk’s copy.

Bill was presented by Madison on 31 Oct. 1785, read twice and committed to a committee of the whole, but no further action was taken on it (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , Oct. 1785, 1828 edn., p. 12–15). See Act of 1776 on this subject (Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends ix, 207–10).

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