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OF THE

UNITED STATES

OF A

GENERAL AND PERMANENT CHARACTER,

AND RELATING TO THE

SURVEY AND DISPOSITION OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN,

DECEMBER 1, 1880.

EMBRACING REFERENCES TO PREVIOUS LEGISLATION, AND CITATIONS
OF DECISIONS FROM THE FEDERAL AND THE STATE COURTS AND

FROM THE EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES.

PREPARED PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY OF AN ACT OF CONGRESS AND
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE “COMMISSION ON THE CODIFI.
CATION OF EXISTING LAWS RELATING TO THE SURVEY

AND DISPOSITION OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN."

With Supplement, embracing the laws of like character passed at the Third Session
of the Fort;-sixth and First Session of the Forty-seventh Congresses,
and a Digest of late Decisions under the Land Laws, in con-
tinuation of the Citation of Decisions of the Land
Commission, prepared under the direction of the

Commissioner of the General Land Office.

WASHINGTON:
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.

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ORGANIZATION.

COMMITTEES AND PUBLICATIONS

OF

THE PUBLIC LAND COMMISSION. .

ACTS OF CONGRESS OF MARCH 3, 1879, AND JUNE 16, 1880.

PRESIDENT, JAMES A. WILLIAMS, Commissioner General Land Office.

CLARENCE KING, U. S. Geologist.
ALEXANDER T. BRITTON.
JOHN W. POWELL.

THOMAS DONALDSON.
SECRETARY, CLARENCE E. DUTTON, Capt. Ordnance, U. S. A.

COMMITTEES OF THE COMMISSION.

Committee on Classification :
JAMES A. WILLIAMSON, Chairman, ex officio.
CLARENCE KING.
JOHN W. POWELL.

Committee on Codification :
JAMES A. WILLIAMSON, Chairman, ex officio.
ALEXANDER T. BRITTON.
THOMAS DONALDSON.

PUBLICATIONS OF THE COMMISSION.

Prepared and compiled by the Commission :

Preliminary report, with testimony, February 24, 1880, 1 vol.

7-11-28 m. r.P.

By the Committee on Codification.
Prepared and compiled by Mr. Alexander T. Britton:

United States Land Laws, General and Permanent, 1 vol.

United States Land Laws, Local and Temporary, 2 vols. Prepared and executed by Mr. Thomas Donaldson :

The Public Domain, its History, with Statistics, 1 vol.

III

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FINAL REPORT OF THE PUBLIC LAND COMMISSION.

To the Senate and House of Representatives :

I have the honor to submit herewith a report of the Public Land Commission, embracing the history and a codification of the public land laws, and I desire earnestly to invite the attention of Congress to this important subject.

R. B. HAYES. EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 18, 1881.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States :

On the 25th of February, 1880, the Public Land Commission transmitted its preliminary report, in accordance with the act of Congress, approved March 3, 1879, making appropriation for the sundry civil ex. penses of the Government for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1880. Such report was restricted to recommendations of new legislation, and concluded that branch of the duty with which this commission was charged. It embodied the aggregate labor and judgment of all its members.

A subsequent act of Congress, approved June 16, 1880 (Statutes at Large, vol. 21, p. 245), contained the following clause :

For the expenses of the commission on the codification of existing laws relating to the survey and disposition of the public domain, and for the completion of such codification, the sum of fifteen thousand dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary for that purpose, provided that said commission shall complete the same and make their final report on all the public lands in the United States on or before January first, eighteen hundred and eighty-one.

The official duties of Commissioners Clarence King and J. W. Powell in connection with the work of the geological survey necessitated their absence in the field during the summer months. They were consequently unable to give personal attention to the work of codification, and hence the execution of that duty was submitted by the commission to a committee consisting of J. A. Williamson, Thomas Donaldson, and A. T. Britton. The duties of Mr. Williamson, as Commissioner of the General Land Office, have prevented his continuous attention to the work of this committee; but he has generally aided the completion of the work with his experience, and has largely assisted its more immediate compilers with all the facilities within his personal or official command. An earnest expression of the obligations of the committee is tendered to the numerous gentlemen comprising his official staff, and to the able gentle

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