The Cherokee Land Lottery

1832 Georgia Land Lottery Deed
1832 Georgia Land Lottery Deed

The Cherokee Land Lottery contains the names and residence of all the fortunate drawers in the Land Lottery of the Cherokee country, arranged by districts in numerical order, all carefully copied from the originals in the Executive Department and the office of the Surveyor General, designating also the lots which have been granted. We have given the quality of the lots in some instances, but not generally, deeming it altogether unimportant, from the well known inaccuracy of the surveyors in classing their value, and from the additional fact that very few individuals engage in contracts for real estate until they are enabled by personal observation to place a proper estimate upon the premises. By reference to the numerical list, the drawer’s name and residence can be readily ascertained.

To descendants of those who drew land in the Cherokee land lottery — who are desirous of obtaining locations of the settlements in that section of the state — and more particularly to those who are extensively engaged in research of the purchase and sale of early land lots, this work is particularly recommended.

The fact of the existence of a record in the Cherokee land lottery, does not ascertain the fact that the grant was ever issued.

Explanation of Abbreviations for the Cherokee Land Lottery:

  • sol., soldier.
  • a. i. w., soldier of Indian war.
  • s. 1. w., soldier of late war.
  • r. s., revolutionary soldier.
  • s. s., soldier by substitute.
  • m.s., militia soldier.
  • wid’r., widower.
  • w., widow.
  • w.r. s., widow of revolutionary soldier.
  • w.s. i. w., widow of soldier of Indian war.
  • w.s. 1. w., widow of soldier of late war.
  • w.of aol., widow of soldier
  • h. d. 1. w., husband died last war.
  • f. d. 1. w., father died last war.
  • d. sol. I. w., daughter of soldier of late war.
  • or., orphan.
  • ors., orphans.
  • mi., minor.
  • lun., lunatic.
  • id., idiot.
  • h. a., husband absent.
  • f. a., father absent.
  • h. of f., head of family.
  • d. and d., deaf and dumb.
  • (fr.), fractional lots.
  • Cher., Cherokee.
  • b. m., by mother.
  • f. in p., father in penitentiary.
  • c. r., cross roads.
  • sol. 1784—97, soldier between the years 1784 and 1797.
Finding your ancestor in the following list probably indicates that they were NOT Native American.

The 1832 Cherokee Land Lottery by Section

1st Section

2nd Section

3rd Section

4th Section

Description of the 1832 Cherokee Land Lottery

Land area of the 1832 Cherokee Land Lottery
Land area of the 1832 Cherokee Land Lottery

The last, or 1832 Land Lottery of Georgia, made available for distribution and settlement that part of the Cherokee Indian Nation which was in Georgia. This was a large area generally north of the Chattahoochee River in the north west and north central parts of the state. There were two distinct areas involved in this Lottery. One part was the area referred to as the gold lots, lying along the south boundary of the subject area, and the other part was referred to as the land lots. This book deals only with the land lots as shown on the map.

Georgia’s western and northern boundary had been established in 1802 by the cession of her western territory, from the Chattahoochee River to the Mississippi, to the United States. Although this cession had provided for the peaceful removal of all Indians within these boundaries, in 1828, the Cherokee still remained. Despite the fact the Cherokee were a peaceful and agricultural people, in that year Georgia extended her jurisdiction over them and named the area Cherokee County. Shortly thereafter, the General Assembly, by the Acts of December 21, 1830 and December 24, 1831, authorized the land to be surveyed and distributed by Lottery to citizens of Georgia. In 1832 the surveyors laid off the area in four sections, the sections into land districts about nine miles square, and the land districts into land lots of 40 and 160 acres respectively.

While the surveying was being carried out, those persons who had lived in Georgia three years immediately prior to the Acts of the General Assembly, registered to draw in the Lottery in their counties of residence. Their names, together with the numbers of the lots and districts, were sent to Milledgeville, then the capital of the state, and on specified days tickets from two wheels or drums were drawn simultaneously, one from the wheel holding the name tickets and one from the drum holding the land lot tickets. In this way, a person knew which lot he had drawn and if he subsequently paid to the state a grant fee of $18.00, a grant was issued to the lot he had drawn. This grant from the State of Georgia was his title to the lot and from that time he could do whatever he wished with his property, although the state did not require that he live on it or cultivate it.

Revolutionary War veterans were given extra draws and were indicated by the letters “R.S.” written after their names. Many other classifications are indicated by initials, such as widows, insane, orphans, idiots, illegitimates, etc. Ordinary married men with their families, or bachelors, etc, are not designated by any initial. AM citizens participating in this and other Lotteries had to take only an ORAL oath when they registered to draw. Consequently, there are no written records as to what they may have said about themselves and their families.

Immediately after the Lottery of 1832 was held, the whole area of Cherokee County was divided into ten counties, i.e., Cass (which was renamed Bartow in 1861), Cherokee, Cobb, Floyd, Forsyth, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Murray, Paulding and Union, all of which were created in 1832. However, the original survey and grant records in the Surveyor General Department of the Office of the Secretary of State, always use the name of the original county — Cherokee.

The 1832 Land Lottery opened up the last area within the present boundaries of Georgia, which heretofore had not been available to the white settlers and was participated in by more persons than any other Lottery.

In spite of the distributing of the lands in the area, it was not fully settled at first. It was not until a Treaty with the United States and the Cherokee Nation on December 29, 1835 held at New Echota in Georgia, that the Cherokee finally agreed to leave their lands and move west beyond the Mississippi River. Soon after Georgians came in in large numbers and not an Indian was left within her boundaries.

Land, Land Lottery,

Smith, James F. The Cherokee Land Lottery: containing a numerical list of the names of the fortunate Drawers in said Lottery, With an Engraved Map of Each District. New York.

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