PUBLIC LANDS - LAND OFFICES - SETTLING DISPUTES
                  Act of Apr. 2, 1802, P.L. 153, No. 75               Cl. 68
                                  An Act

     An act to settle the controversies arising from contending
     claims to lands within that part of the territory of this
     Commonwealth, north and west of the rivers Ohio and Allegheny,
     and Conewango creek.

        Whereas, by the ninth section of an act of the general
     assembly, passed the third day of April, one thousand seven
     hundred and ninety-two, entitled "An Act for the sale of "the
     vacant lands within this commonwealth," it is enacted, that no
     warrant or survey to be issued or made in pursuance of the said
     act, for lands lying north and west of the rivers Ohio and
     Allegheny, and Conewango creek, shall vest any title in or to
     the lands therein mentioned, unless the grantee has, prior to
     the date of such warrant, made or caused to be made, or shall
     within the space of two years next after the date of the same,
     make or cause to be made an actual settlement thereon, by
     clearing, fencing and cultivating at least two acres for every
     hundred acres contained in one survey, erecting thereon, a
     messuage for the habitation of man, and residing, or causing a
     family to reside thereon for the space of five years next
     following his first settlement of the same, if he or she shall
     so long live; and in default of such actual settling and
     residence, it shall and may be lawful to and for this
     commonwealth to issue new warrants to other actual settlers, for
     the said lands, or any part thereof, reciting the original
     warrants, and that such actual settlements and residence have
     not been made in pursuance thereof, and for as often as defaults
     shall be made for the time and in the manner aforesaid, which
     new grants shall be under and subject to all and every the
     regulations contained in this act; provided that if any such
     actual settlor, or any grantee and any such original or
     succeeding warrant, shall by force of arms of the enemies of the
     United States, be prevented from making such actual settlement,
     or be driven therefrom, and shall persist in his endeavors to
     make such actual settlement as aforesaid, then in either case,
     he and his heirs shall be entitled to have and hold the said
     lands in the same manner as if the actual settlement had been
     made and continued: And whereas applications have been made and
     are making to the land-office for new warrants, in cases where
     the applicants are of opinion that the original warrantees are
     barred from claiming title by their on default, in not complying
     with the conditions required in the section above recited; and
     although it appears from the act aforesaid, that the
     commonwealth regarded a full compliance with those conditions of
     settlement, improvement and residence, as an indispensible part
     of the purchase or consideration of the lands so granted, yet as
     much confusion might arise if the state were to continue to
     grant lands which in consequence of former acts may have become
     the property of others: And whereas it appears on the one hand,
     by the representations of the agents of certain companies called
     the Holland company and the Population company, to the
     legislature of this commonwealth, that they complain of certain
     lawless men having intruded on the lands within the claim of the
     said companies, which claim appears to extend over the greater
     part of the territory of this commonwealth, situate north and
     west of the rivers Ohio and Allegheny, and Conewango creek,
     praying for the interposition of the legislature, and stating
     that the claims of the said companies arise from warrants and
     patents duly applied for and fairly issued and granted by the
     officers of the land-office of this commonwealth, under the
     provisions of the act aforesaid; and on the other hand, it
     appears that petitions and representations have also been made
     to the legislature of this commonwealth, by and on the part of a
     number of persons calling themselves actual settlers, and
     stating that they have settled and improved a considerable part
     of the land lying within the claims of the aforesaid companies,
     in consequence of the act aforesaid inviting them so to do, that
     in most instances when they began their improvements, the lands
     were, to the best of their knowledge, vacant and unoccupied, and
     that since their settlement they have been much harassed and
     threatened by the agents of the companies aforesaid: and whereas
     it is indispensibly necessary that the peace of that part of the
     state should be preserved, and complete justice done to all
     parties interested, as speedily and effectually as possible: And
     whereas it hath been intimated to the legislature, that from the
     present distracted and agitated state of the public mind between
     those conflicting claims in that part of the state, a fair and
     impartial trial cannot be obtained where so many persons are
     directly or indirectly interested in the event of the decision:
     And whereas the companies aforesaid, by their application to the
     supreme court of this commonwealth, for a mandamus to compel the
     secretary of the land-office to complete their titles, did
     endeavor to put the question between them and this commonwealth
     fairly to issue before the judiciary: And whereas it is just and
     proper that the questions both of law and of fact, arising under
     the act aforesaid, should be fully, fairly and speedily heard
     and decided, and the validity of all those titles that have been
     issued under certain certificates of justices of the peace
     within the territory aforesaid, known by the name of prevention
     certificates determined, as well for the direction of the
     officers of the land-office, on behalf of this commonwealth, as
     for settling the existing disputes between such grantees as have
     omitted or neglected to make the settlements, improvements and
     residence enjoined by the act aforesaid, and the persons
     actually in possession of the same lands, and claiming under the
     provisions of the same act: Therefore,

        Section 1.  (Expired.)
        Section 2.  (Expired.)
        Section 3.  (Expired.)
        Section 4.  New warrants not to be issued for land already
     taken up
        In order to prevent the confusion that would arise from
     issuing different warrants for the same land, and to prevent
     lawsuits in future respecting grants from the Land Office, under
     the aforesaid act of April 3, 1792: Be it enacted, That from and
     after the passing of this act, the Secretary of the Land Office
     shall not grant any new warrant for land which he has reason to
     believe hath been already taken up under a former warrant, but
     in all such cases he shall cause a duplicate copy of the
     application to be made, on which duplicate copy he shall write
     his name, with the day and year in which it was presented, and
     he shall file the original in his office, and deliver the copy
     to the party applying: Provided always, That on every
     application so to be made and filed shall be certified, on the
     oath or affirmation of one disinterested witness, that the
     person making such application, or in whose behalf such
     application is made, is in actual possession of the land applied
     for, and such certificate shall mention also the time when such
     possession was taken; and the application so filed in the
     Secretary's office shall be entitled to the same force and
     effect, and the same priority in granting warrants to actual
     settlers, as though the warrants had been granted at the time
     when the applications were filed; and should the decision of the
     court and jury, at the trial aforesaid, be in favor of the
     claims of the actual settlers, the Secretary of the Land Office
     shall proceed to grant the warrants, upon the purchase money
     being paid, according to the priority of the applications filed
     in his office.  1802, April 2, P.L. 153, 3 sm.l. 506, Sec. 4.
        Section 5.  (Obsolete.)