An Act for granting lands to the Inhabitants and settlers at Vincennes and the Illinois country, in the territory northwest of the Ohio, and for confirming them in their possessions, 1791


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Statute III, CHAP. XXVII.—An Act for granting lands to the Inhabitants and settlers at Vincennes and the Illinois country, in the territory northwest of the Ohio, and for confirming them in their possessions.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That four hundred acres of land be given to each of those persons, who in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three, were heads of families at Vincennes or in the Illinois country, on the Mississippi, and who since that time have removed from one of the said places to the other. And the governor of the territory northwest of the Ohio is hereby directed, to cause the same to be laid out for them, at their own expense, either at Vincennes or in the Illinois country, as they shall severally elect.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted and declared, That the heads of families at Vincennes or in the Illinois country in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three, who afterwards removed without the limits of the said territory, are notwithstanding, entitled to the donation of four hundred acres of land made by the resolve of Congress of the twenty-ninth of August, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight; and the governor of the said territory, upon application to him for that purpose, is hereby directed to cause the same to be laid out for such heads of families or their heirs; and shall also cause to be laid off and confirmed to such persons the several tracts of land which they may have possessed, and which before the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three may have been allotted to them according to the laws and usages of the government under which they had respectively settled: Provided nevertheless, That if such persons or their heirs do not return and occupy the said lands within five years, such lands shall be considered as forfeited to the United States.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That one hundred and fifty acres of land, heretofore in possession of the Piankeshaw Indians, and now under actual improvement, and constituting a part of the village of Vincennes, be given to the persons who are severally in possession of the said land.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That where lands have been actually improved and cultivated at Vincennes, or in the Illinois country, under a supposed grant of the same, by any commandant or court claiming authority to make such grant, the governor of the said territory be, and he hereby is empowered to confirm to the persons who made such improvements, their heirs or assigns, the lands supposed to have been granted as aforesaid, or such parts thereof as he, in his discretion, may judge reasonable, not exceeding to any one person, four hundred acres.

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That a tract of land, containing about five thousand four hundred acres, which for many years has been fenced and used by the inhabitants of Vincennes as a common, also a tract of land including the villages of Cohos and Prairie du Pont, and heretofore used by the inhabitants of the said villages as a common, be, and the same are hereby appropriated to the use of the inhabitants of Vincennes and of the said villages respectively, to be used by them as a common, until otherwise disposed of by law.

SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That the governor of the said territory be authorized to make a grant of land not exceeding one hundred acres, to each person who hath not obtained any donation of land from the United States, and who, on the first day of August, one thousand seven hundred and ninety, was enrolled in the militia at Vincennes or in the Illinois country, and has done militia duty, the said land to be laid out at the expense of the grantees, and in such form and place as the said governor shall direct. Provided nevertlseless, That no claim founded upon purchase or otherwise, shall be admitted within a tract of land heretofore occupied by the Kaskaskia nation of Indians, and including their village, which is hereby appropriated to the use of the said Indians.

SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That two lots of land heretofore in the occupation of the priests at Cahokia, and situated near that village, be, and the same is hereby granted in fee to P. Gibault; and that a tract of land at Kaskaskia, formerly occupied by the Jesuits, be laid off and confirmed to St. Jam Beouvais, who claims the same in virtue of a purchase thereof.

SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That so much of the act of Congress of the twenty-eighth of August, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, as refers to the locations of certain tracts of land directed to be run out and reserved for donations, to the ancient settlers in the Illinois country, be, and the same is hereby repealed, and the governor of the said territory is directed to lay out the same, agreeably to the act of Congress of the twentieth of June, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight.

APPROVED, March 3, 1791.

1 Stat. 221

 
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