Be it enacted by and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled, That the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall be, and he is hereby, authorized to appoint a Surveyor-General for New Mexico, whose annual salary shall be three thousand dollars, and whose power, authority, and duties shall be the same as those provided by law for the Surveyor-General of Oregon; he shall have proper allowances for clerk hire, office rent, and fuel, not exceeding what now is or hereafter may be allowed by law to the said Surveyor General of Oregon; and he shall locate his office from time to time at such places as may be directed by the President of the United States.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, that, to every white male citizen of the United States, or every white male above the age of twenty-one years who has declared his intention to become a citizen, and who was residing in said Territory prior to the first day of January, eighteen hundred and fifty-three, and who may be still residing there, there shall be, and hereby is, donated one quarter section, or one hundred and sixty acres of land. And to every white male citizen of the United States, or every white male above the age of twenty-one years, who has declared his intention to become a citizen, and who shall have removed or shall remove to and settle in said Territory between the first day of January, eighteen hundred and fifty-three, and the first day of January, eighteen hundred and fifty-eight, there shall in like manner be donated one quarter-section, or one hundred and sixty acres, on condition of actual settlement and cultivation for not less than four years: Provided, however, that each of said donations shall include the actual settlement and improvement of the donee, and shall be selected by legal subdivisions, within three months after the survey of the land where the settlement was made before the survey; and where the settlement was made after the survey, then within three months after the settlement has been made and all persons failing to designate the boundaries of their claims within that time, shall forfeit all right to the same.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, that, on proof of the settlement and cultivation required by this act, to the satisfaction of the surveyor-general, or other officer designated by law for that purpose, subject to the supervision of the Secretary of the Interior, a certificate shall be issued to the party entitled, on presentation of which, if approved by the Secretary of the Interior, a patent shall issue thereon: Provided, however, that on the death of any such settler before the completion of the four years' occupancy and cultivation required by this act, the right shall descend to his heirs at law, who shall be entitled to a certificate and patent, as aforesaid, on proof, as before provided, of continued occupancy and cultivation by such settler to the time of his death: Provided , however, that when lands are claimed under any of the provisions of this act by persons who are not citizens of the United States, patents shall not issue therefore until they become citizens.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, that none of the provisions of this act shall extend to mineral or school lands, salines, military or other reservations, or lands settled on and occupied for purposes of trade and commerce, and not for agriculture, and all legal subdivisions settled on and occupied, in whole or in part, for purposes of trade and commerce, and not for agriculture, shall be subject to the provisions of the act of twenty-third of May, eighteen hundred and forty-four, in relation to town sites on the public lands, whether so settled and occupied before or after the survey of said lands, except that said lands shall be donated instead of being sold.
SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, that when the lands in the said Territory shall be surveyed, under the direction of the Government of the United States, preparatory to bringing the same into market, sections numbered sixteen and thirty-six in each township, in said Territory, shall be, and the same are hereby, reserved for the purpose of being applied to schools in said Territory, and in the States and Territories hereafter to be created out of the same.
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, that when the lands in said Territory shall be surveyed as aforesaid, a quantity of land equal to two townships shall be, and the same is hereby, reserved for the establishment of a University in said Territory, and in the State hereafter to be created out of the same, to be selected, under the direction of the legislature, in legal subdivisions of not less than one halfsection.
SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, that any of the lands not taken under the provisions of this act shall be subject to the operation of the Preemption Act of fourth September, eighteen hundred and forty-one, whether settled upon before or after the survey; and, in all cases where the settlement was made before the survey the settler shall file his declaration within three months after the survey is made and returned; and any person claiming a donation under this act. shall be permitted to enter the land claimed by him at any time prior to the four years' occupancy and cultivation required, by paying therefore at the rate of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, and proving occupancy and cultivation up to the time of such payment.
SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, that it shall be the duty of the Surveyor-General, under such instructions as may be given by the Secretary of the Interior, to ascertain the origin, nature, character, and extent of all claims to lands under the laws, usages, and customs of Spain and Mexico; and, for this purpose, may issue notices, summons witnesses, administer oaths, and do and perform all other necessary acts in the premises. He shall make a full report on all such claims as originated before the cession of the territory to the United States by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, of eighteen hundred and forty-eight, denoting the various grades of title, with his decision as to the validity or invalidity of each of the same under the laws, usages, and customs of the country before its cession to the United States; and shall also make a report in regard to all pueblos existing in the Territory, showing the extent and locality of each, stating the number of inhabitants in the said pueblos, respectively, and the nature of their titles to the land. Such report to be made according to the form which may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior; which report shall be laid before Congress for such action thereon as may be deemed just and proper, with a view to confirm bona fide grants, and give full effect to the treaty of eighteen hundred and forty-eight between the United States and Mexico; and, until the final action of Congress on such claims, all lands covered thereby shall be reserved from sale or other disposal by the government, and shall not be subject to the donations granted by the previous provisions of this act.
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, that full power and authority are hereby given the Secretary of the Interior to issue all needful rules and regulations for fully carrying into effect the several provisions of this act.
SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, that the President of the United States shall be and he is hereby, authorized to appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, a Surveyor-General for the Territories of Nebraska and Kansas, who shall locate his office at such place as the President of the United States shall from time to time direct, and whose duties, powers, obligations and responsibilities and compensation shall be the same as those of the SurveyorGeneral of Wisconsin and Iowa and who shall be allowed the same amount for office rent, fuel, incidental expenses, and clerk hire, as is allowed to said Surveyor-General of Wisconsin and Iowa.
SEC. 11. And be it further enacted, that said Surveyor-General shall cause the necessary surveys to be made in said Territories of standard meridian, base, and parallel lines, and of township and subdivisional lines, under such rules and regulations as shall be prescribed by the Commissioner of the General Land Office.
SEC. 12. And be it further enacted, that all the lands to which the Indian title has been or shall be extinguished within said Territories of Nebraska and Kansas, shall be subject to the operations of the Preemption Act of fourth September, eighteen hundred and forty-one, and under the conditions, restrictions, and stipulations therein mentioned; Provided, however that where unsurveyed lands are claimed by preemption notice of the specific tracts claimed shall be filed within three months after the survey has been made in the field, and on failure to file such notice or to pay for the tracts claimed before the day fixed for the public sale of the lands by the proclamation of the President of the United States, the parties claiming such lands shall forfeit all right thereto: Provided, said notices may be filed with the Surveyor-General, and to be noted by him on the township plats, until other arrangements shall have been made by law for that purpose.
SEC. 13. And be it further enacted, that the public lands in the Territory of Nebraska, to which the Indian title shall have been extinguished, shall constitute a new land district to be called the Omaha District; and the public lands in the Territory of' Kansas to which the Indian title shall have been extinguished, shall constitute a new land district, to be called the Pawnee District: the offices for each of which districts shall be established at such points, as the President may deem expedient; and he is hereby authorized to appoint, by and with the advice and consent of, the Senate, a Register and Receiver of Public Moneys for each of said districts, who shall each be required to reside at the site of their respective offices, and they shall have the same powers, perform the same duties, and be entitled to the same compensation as are or may be prescribed by law in relation to other land offices of the United States. And the President is hereby authorized to cause the surveyed lands to be exposed for sale from time to time, in the same manner and upon the same terms and conditions as the other public lands of the United States.
APPROVED, July 22, 1854.