US President Land Grants


Land Grants signed by United States Presidents

Congress created the office of the Commissioner of the General Land Office on April 25, 1812. The General Land Office was initially a bureau of and subordinate to the Treasury Department. By act of March 3, 1849 the Home (now interior) Department was created and was assigned the supervision of the General Land Office. The Commissioner of the Public Land Office was to perform “… all executive duties appertaining to the surveying and sale of the public lands of the United States …”

Following a list of the early commissioner:

Edward Tiffin                                                   1812-1814

Josiah Meigs                                                    1814-1822

John McLean                                                    1822-1823

George Graham                                               1823-1830

Elijah Hayward                                                 1830-1835

On June 19, 1832, Elijah Haywood, Commissioner of the General Land Office, informed the U.S. Senate that there were 10,590 land patents in his office which had been written and recorded, awaiting the signature of the President. Both the House and the Senate passed resolutions:

"That the Committee on the Public Lands be instructed to inquire into the expediency of relieving the President of the United States from signing patents issued for public lands, and of causing the same to be signed by some other officer of the Government."

On March 2, 1833, the Senate and House passed a bill:

 "… prescribing the mode by which patents for public lands shall be signed and executed”. That same day, President Andrew Jackson sent to the Senate his nomination of his secretary, Andrew J. Donelson to be the Secretary authorized under the act “prescribing the mode by which patents for public lands shall be signed and executed”. Therefore all Land Grants afterthis authorization are signed by a secretary
Authentic signed Land Grant by James Monroe
Authentic signed Land Grant by John Q. Adams

Share this reference

Thursday, 07 August 2014

About the Author

Andreas Wiemer

Andreas Wiemer

I started collecting autographs of famous personalities as a teenager in 1985. During the last 15 years I’m specialized in buying and selling rare historical autographs, documents and manuscripts. My large reference library includes all the standard works with more than 100 books on the subject. I’m a member of all major autograph organizations and the author of several published articles and reference books incl. the standard works: “John F. Kennedy – autograph study” and “Presidents of the United States – AUTOPEN GUIDE”. My slogan has always been: "Think inversely". Before you purchase an autograph you should think along the lines that it is not genuine, then do your research hoping to prove otherwise.