James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Edward Tiffin, 7 August 1813 (Abstract)

§ From Edward Tiffin

7 August 1813, “Treasury department General Land Office.” “The 7th Section of the Act of Congress of the 25th of April 1812 entitled ‘An Act for ascertaining the titles and claims to Lands in that part of Louisiana which lies east of the River Mississippi and Island of New Orleans.’1 provides that the Land Commissioners shall, under such instructions at [sic] the Secretary of the Treasury may with the approbation of the President of the United States, transmit to them in relation thereto, prepare or cause to be prepared, Abstracts from the records of the claims filed with them—in order to be laid before Congress for their determination thereon, and the Act of the same date, for establishing a General Land Office in the department of the Treasury transferring this duty to the Commissioner,2 I have now the honor to submit for Your approbation, instructions to the Commission[er]s accordingly.”3

RC (DLC). 1 p. Enclosure not found, but see n. 3.

1U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends , 2:713–16.

2Ibid., 2:716–18.

3Tiffin’s 7 Aug. 1813 instructions to Louisiana land commissioners James O. Cosby and William Crawford required that they prepare numbered lists of all documented land claims in their districts which were derived from the French, Spanish, or British governments, classifying those claims based on type of documentation and the commissioners’ opinions as to their validity. Correspondingly numbered reports were to state the particulars of each case. In addition, the commissioners were to compile lists of all settlers in their districts who had no documented land claims (DNA: RG 49, Division C, Misc. Letters Sent).

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