Washington Petitions for Land Law separate from Oregon

Last Updated on August 16, 2013 by Dennis

The most important matter to which the attention of the national legislature was called was a change in the land law, to effect which congress was memorialized to grant them a surveyor-general of their own, and a land system “separate from, and wholly disconnected with, that of Oregon territory.”

  1. To be relieved from the prohibition preventing the holders of donation certificates from selling any portion of their claims before they received a patent; their certificates to be prima facie evidence of title. Suggestions were given as to the manner of establishing a claim by witnesses before the surveyor-general.
  2. That persons entitled to a donation should be permitted to take irregular fractions of land.
  3. That town proprietors should be authorized to convey lots by valid deeds, the same as if a patent had been issued.
  4. That when either parent of a child or children should have died upon the road to Washington, the survivor should be entitled to as much land as both together would have been entitled to; provided the land taken in the name of the deceased should be held in trust for the children. Or when either parent should have started for or arrived in the territory, and the other, though not yet started, should die, having a child or children, the surviving parent should be entitled, by complying with the provisions of the law, to the full amount that both parents and such child or children would have been entitled to had they all arrived in the territory. Or that when both parents should die after having begun their journey to Washington, or before locating a claim, having a child or children, such child or children should, by guardian, be entitled to locate as much land as both parents would have taken under the law had they lived.
  5. That widows immigrating to and settling in the territory should be allowed to take the same amount of land as unmarried men, by compliance with the law.
  6. That all persons who should have located claims under the provisions of the donation law prior to the 1st of Jan., 1852, should be entitled to their patents as soon as the land should have been surveyed, and they have obtained a certificate from the surveyor-general. And that all persons NI ho should have located claims subsequent to the 1st day of Jan., 1832, should be entitled to patents by residing thereon for the term of two years, or by having made improvements to the amount of four hundred dollars; provided, that the removal of timber from the public lands without intention to reside thereon should be regarded as trespass; the improvements to be estimated by the increased value of the lands by clearing, cultivating, fencing, and building.
  7. That all American citizens, or those who had declared their intention to become such, including American half-breeds, on arriving at the age of twenty-one, should be entitled to the benefit of the donation act. 8. That the provisions of the law be extended to an indefinite period. 9. That each single person should be entitled to receive 160 acres, and a man and wife double that amount; provided, that the estate of the wife should be sole and separate, and not alienable for the debts or liabilities of the husband. 10. That all persons who had failed or neglected to take claims within the time prescribed by law should be permitted to take claims as if they had but just arrived in the country. Wash. Jour. Council, 1834, 179-81.


Bancroft, Hubert H. Bancroft Works, Volume 31, History Of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, 1845-1889. San Francisco: The History Company. 1890.

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