Description

    An Act to Establish a General Land Office, for the Republic of Texas. Passed December the 22nd, 1836. (Columbia: G. & T.H. Borden, Public Printers, 1836). First edition. Octavo (8" x 5.5"). 11 pages. Sewn self-wrappers. Foxed, soft creases, else a very good example. Housed in a cloth chemise and quarter green morocco slipcase. "The General Land Office was established on December 22, 1836, by the First Congress of the Republic of Texas.qv John P. Borden,qv the first commissioner, opened the office in Houston on October 1, 1837. He was enjoined by law to "superintend, execute, and perform all acts touching or respecting the public lands of Texas." The Constitution of the Republic of Texas honored all grants made by Spain and Mexico that were deemed valid by the republic; later, the state followed suit. The commissioner assembled from the archives of the former governments a record of valid land grants and translated them. The Spanish archives section of the Land Office is the depository of records of 4,200 Spanish and Mexican land grants. Valid Spanish and Mexican grants cover 26,280,000 acres within the present boundaries of Texas. Some of these grants have received special confirmation by the state legislature, but most of them stand on the original titles from the governments of Spain and Mexico. Borden moved the land archives from Houston to Austin in 1839. Borden also began to survey and register the new grants that the republic was issuing. Those from the public domain were made to colonists who had failed to receive their titles from Mexico, to new settlers, and to all soldiers who had rendered service in the Texas army. Headrights, military bounties, homestead preemptions, and veteran donations, issued by Borden and successive commissioners, brought the total number of acres granted to 75,647,668. Sales for the purpose of paying the public debt added 2,990,136 acres." -The Handbook of Texas online. Sabin 94986. From the collection of Darrel Brown.

    Reference: Streeter 168


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