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OF INSTRUCTIONS AND REGULATIONS FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF REGISTERS AND RECEIV
ERS OF LAND OFFICES, IN RELATION TO THE SALES OF PUBLIC LANDS, AND RETURNS RELATIVE TO THE PROCEEDS THEREOF, &c., &c. (92.)
1734. The Secretary of the Treasury, in two letters, (93) addressed, one to the Superintion of the business of tendents of Land Sales, and the other to the Receiver at Pittsburg—both dated on the 5th Land Offices :
October, 1796–instructs them as to their several and joint duties in conducting sales of public lands at Pittsburg, according to the ordinance of Congress of the 20th May, 1785; and prescribes the forms of their books of accounts—of land entries and sales, certificates, receipts, and deposites—of weekly and monthly statements to the Treasury, and returns of quarterly accounts current for settlement: S’s cirs. 5th October, 1796; V. 1, pp. 180, 181, 182, 183.
-the same modified.
1735. The purport of the aforesaid letters is repeated, with modifications adapted to certain changes in the organization of Land Offices, in a circular of the Secretary of the Treasury, addressed to Receivers, dated the 26th September, 1800, with which he transmits various forms proper for conducting their official duties: S's cir. 26th September, 1800; V. 1, pp. 180, 186, 187.
1736. The monthly accounts” from Land Offices, for moneys received for lands entered of sales, and receipts, in one month and paid in another, should be kept and stated distinctly, and separate from
those entered and paid for in the same month: S's cir. 21st September, 1819; V. 2, p. 114.
The kind of money
1737. Some Receivers are said to be in the habit of exchanging the moneys received on received is to be endorsed on the receipts, account of lands entered, for other funds of a depreciated value, and depositing the same to as a guard against ex- the credit of the Treasurer; which imputation can only be repelled by endorsing the receipt, changing it.
in future, with a description of the kind of money received: S's cir. 21st September, 1819; V.2, p. 114.
(92.) This Chapter comprises abstracts of a number of Circular Instructions to Receivers and Registers of Land Offices, which, being found in the Office collection of the Circular Instructions of the Secretary of the Treasury, it was deemed inadmissible to pass them over unnoticed here, notwithstanding the plain and rational inference that another work, prepared and published by order of the Senate several years ugo, entitled “General Public Acts of Congress respecting the sales of Public Lands, with Instructions issued from time to time by the Secretary of the Treasury,” &c., must necessarily have included these particular Instructions, with the other matters proper to that compilation ; but the fact is for otherwise ; a very small portion of these Instructions and decisions are to be found in that compilation, however important they be in regard to the fiscal operations of the General Land Office—which fact enhances the importance of giving them a place in this Synopsis.
(93.) These two letters being the basis of organization of the Land Offices, afterwards became circular in fact, by being addressed to others as the Land Offices multiplied, though addressed to individuals at first.
1738. The Receivers of Public Moneys on account of land sales are authorized to re
Specie bills of the
United States Bank, ceive, in addition to the specie bills of the United States Bank, the notes of the incorporated and the notes of other Banks of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Richmond, and the like in specie-paying Banks,
receivable : South Carolina and Georgia, and of the specie-paying Banks in the State where the Land Office is situated, except the City Bank of Baltimore; and this is to supersede former Instructions, with certain modifications: S''s cir. 1st August, 1820; V.2, p. 119.
(Same subject. )
1739. The Receivers of Public Moneys on account of land sales are authorized to receive in payment the bills of the United States Bank and branches, those of incorporated Banks in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Richmond, and of the specie-paying Banks in Louisiana, so long as they pay specie on demand: S's cir. 23d May, 1825; V. 2, p. 147.
1740. The like Instructions as the aforesaid are given to Receivers, enumerating the notes of Banks that are in credit, and receivable by them for public dues: S's cir. 1st August, 1825; V.2, p. 148.
[Same subject. )
1741. Receivers are prohibited receiving any Bank note for a less amount than five dollars : S’s cir. 1st October, 1825; V.2, p. 154.
1742. Further instructions are given respecting the notes of Banks that are receivable at Instability of all
notes except those of different Land Offices, reciting the actual instability of all, except those of the United States the United
Bank-the kinds reand its branches, and requiring a description of the kind of money received or paid to be
ceivable-monthly destated on the receipts; also directing where to deposite the public money, and at what pe- posites, &c.
with other directions: S's cir. 22d February, 1826; V. 2, p. 158.
1743. In pursuance of the act of 220 May, 1826, authorizing the Secretary of the Trea- Compensation
Receivers for expense sury to make a reasonable allowance or compensation to Receivers for travelling expenses, of travel, &c., in maklabor, &c., incurred in making deposites of public moneys, the Secretary requests of them ing deposites. a statement and estimate of the same for his information: S’s cir. 31st May, 1826; V.2,
Certain local Bank
1744. Certain local Bank notes, within the States and Territories in which Land Offices are situated, (with proper temporary exceptions,) may be received in payments; but, in ad- notes, in nae amelipe dition to the instructions of the 22d February, 1826, public Receivers are directed to dis- ceivable: continue the receipt of notes of State Banks not within such limits corresponding with those of the Land Offices respectively: S's cir. 22d August, 1827; V. 2, p. 189.
1745. The instructions of the 22d February, 1826, and of the 22d August, 1827, are so at the option of Ro
ceivers, if deemed safe; modified, in relation to the receivability of the notes of local Banks, as to permit them to be otherwise, not. refused at the option of the Receivers, when in their opinion they cannot longer be safely received: S's cir. 22d February, 1828; V.2, p. 195.
1746. Receivers of public moneys for land sales in Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas, are Deposites instructed to make their deposites in the office of the Unied States Bank at St. Louis: S's office at St. Louis.
made in U.S. Bank cir. 6th May, 1829; V.2, p. 211.
Former instructions 1747. Several of the provisions of the circular of the 22d February, 1826, having been remodelled, as notes receivable,' deposites, changed by subsequent instructions, and others having become obsolete, new regulations expenses of travel, are hereby prescribed to govern Receivers of public moneys, until otherwise directed, being &c., &c.
a remodelling of the old in regard to the Bank notes that are receivable, the endorsement on receipts what kind of moneys were received, and the Banks in which deposites are to be made to the credit of the Treasurer—which deposites are required to be made monthly in all cases exceeding $10,000, and in three months in cases of smaller amounts, at certain rates of allowance for risk, travelling expenses, &c.: S's cir. 1st May, 1831; V.
V.2, p. 264.
Duplicate receipts 1748. Duplicate receipts for deposites are to be taken, one of which is to be immediately and quarterly returns to be transmitted to transmitted to the Secretary of the Treasury; and quarterly returns of said deposites are to the Treasury, &c.
be made by Receivers—one copy to the Secretary, and one to the Commissioner of the Land Office: S's cir. 1st May, 1831; V. 2, p. 265.
Traffic by Receivers in exchanges, &c., forbid.
1749. The imputation of traffic by Receivers, in exchanges and land scrip, being made on credible authority, the practice is disapproved and interdicted: S’s cir. 14th May, 1833; V. 2, p. 316.
The preservation of 1750. (Officers of the Customs, and Land Officers, in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and
, agency of Collectors Louisiana, are required to execute the law of the 20 March, 1830,“ providing for the gradual and Receivers.
improvement of the Navy," so far as it relates to the preservation of, and the prevention of depredations on, live oak timber on the public lands: S's cir. 28th December, 1833; V.2,
1751. Receivers having neglected the instructions of the 1st May, 1831, (No. 1748,) in the instructions of lst relation to endorsements therein required to be made on the receipts given by them for payMay, 1831, insisted
ments on land sales, and having omitted to furnish a statement of the aggregate amount received of each description of funds in each month, a compliance with the same is insisted upon, as well as a rigid execution of other particulars of the said instructions: S's cir. 15th January, 1834; V.3, p. 2.
Caution to Receiv
1752. Reports unfavorable to the credit of particular State Banks give occasion to renew ers, respecting State former admonitions of caution in the receipt of the notes of those Banks: S's cir. 26th
March, 1834; V.3, p. 3.
Extra authority in
1753. Receivers of public moneys are authorized to pay public creditors in their neighpaying, bu supposed borhood, and take an assignment of their supposed claims on the Treasury, to be forwarded before auditing, by to the Department; on receipt of which WARRANTs in their own behalf will be returned diting is left without to them for the sums due—all which warrants will be deemed as ample vouchers in the setdiscretion.
tlement of their accounts—alleging that great convenience is anticipated from this arrangement, as, among other benefits, "it will save the Receivers making frequent deposites": S's cir. 6th August, 1834; V. 3, pp. 19, 20.
1754. (By order of the Secretary of the Treasury, the Commissioner of the Land Office ing Pre-emption issues circular instructions to Registers and Receivers, supplementary to the instructions of Claims.
the 22d July last (not in this collection) respecting pre-emption claims, under the Pre-emption act of the 19th June, 1834, with a copy of the act: Commissioner's cir. 220 October, 1834; V.3, p. 24.
1753. “An unauthorized and highly reprehensible practice, which prevails at some of the Sales without payLand Offices, of permitting entries and issuing certificates of purchases of lands without ment of purchase
money reprehended, the payment of the purchase money,” is peremptorily required to be discontinued, and a and forbid. punctual compliance with the instructions heretofore enjoined is demanded in regard to making deposites and transmitting the returns thereof: S's cir. 28th February, 1835; V.3, p. 74.
1756. For the purpose of encouraging the circulation of specie, public Receivers are
Receivers forbid to forbid to receive Bank notes of a less denomination than five dollars; and they are informed receive notes of less that it is contemplated successively to require Deposite Banks to forbear issuing notes for less than five dollars, and at a reasonable interval to forbear issuing notes for less than ten dollars: S's cir. 6th April, 1835; V.3, p. 77.
Receivers required to renew and increase their official bonds.
1757. (In pursuance of instructions from the Secretary of the Treasury, the Commissioner of the Land Office prescribes rules to Receivers for renewing their bonds, with increased securities, proportioned to the great increase of land sales: Commissioner's cir. 25th May, 1836; V.3, p. 94.)
1758. Receivers and Deposite Banks are required, in order to correct and obviate frauds
The Specie circular practised by speculators in public lands, to conform to certain modifications of former in- -requiring purchase
money to be paid in structions respecting the proper restrictions on the facilities that are obtained through their specie, and making agency and means; and particularly they are forbid to receive any thing but gold or silver facilities to frauds of currency, or Virginia land scrip, in payment or deposite on account of entries of public speculators. lands, [commonly called the Specie circular, afterwards rescinded by order of Congress]: S's cir. 11th July, 1836; V.3, p. 106.
1759. Registers and Receivers are required to credit, as evidence of payment, the receipts,
Receipt of the Treaaccording to form transmitted, of the Treasurer, countersigned by the Register of the Trea- surer is evidence to
Receiver of payments sury, with the seal of the Department affixed, for lands sold at private entry: S's cir. 27th on private sales. September, 1836; V.3, p. 112.
1760. Counterfeits being apprehended of certificates of land scrip, measures of precau- Counterfeit of land tion and scrutiny are required of Receivers and Registers of Land Offices: S's cir. 27th scrip apprehended. December, 1836; V.3, p. 117.
1761. Receivers of public moneys are instructed, in case of the suspension of specie payments by Deposite Banks in their neighborhood, to retain the public moneys in their own hands until further instructed: S's cir. 12th March, 1837; V.3, p. 130.
On the suspension of specie payments by Banks, Receivers are their own Depositories.
1762. The Secretary of the Treasury transmits to Coilectors and Receivers a form of
Treasurer's drafts Treasurer's draft, by which he will draw on them in sums suitable for claimants, and to make to make paymenis,
and advances io ag'ts. advances to disbursing agents of the Government, under the authority of the Secretary's WARRANT, which he will retain in his office as his voucher: S's cir. 17th May, 1837; V. 3, p. 134.
Detail of duties de- 1763. Receivers and Collectors, who are instructed to retain the public moneys in their volving on Receivers and Collectors as pub own hands in consequence of the failure of their respective Deposite Banks, are required to lic depositaries, in carry to the credit of the Treasurer of the United States, in a separate account on the books consequence of the insolvency of Depo- of their office, the sums they would have deposited to his credit in the Bank, which sums, site Banks.
they are informed, will be drawn for by the Treasurer in certain modes; which drafts they will pay under formalities prescribed, as in like cases of Deposite Banks, according to form transmitted, making like returns in duplicate weekly of their account with the Treasurer, and observing to make their monthly returns as usual, according to former instructions: S's cir. 9th June, 1837; V.3, p. 139.
Scrip issued in dis- 1764. (Holders of land warrants granted to officers and soldiers of the Revolution are nocharge of land war- tified that scrip will be issued in satisfaction of such warrants: S’s cir. 15th June, 1837; V.
3, p. 144.)
---said scrip receivable in payment for lands.
1765. Receivers of public moneys are informed that scrip issued in satisfaction of land warrants granted to officers and soldiers of the Revolution will be receivable in payment for public lands: S’s cir. 15th June, 1837; V.3, p. 144.
Weekly returns, in duplicate, to the Treasurer, neglected.
1766. Receivers are reminded of the instructions of the 9th June last, requiring a duplicate of their weekly returns to the Secretary of the Treasury to be also transmitted to the Treasurer, which has been neglected to be done: S's cir. 7th August, 1837; V. 3, p. 147.
Registers are to ex
1767. Registers of Land Offices are requested to call on Receivers of their respective Disamine Receivers' ac- tricts to make an examination of the public moneys, &c., in their possession, and report 10 on hand, and report the Department the amounts in gold, silver, scrip, forfeited land stock, and Bank notes, and monthly to the Treasury.
repeat the same examination, and report the result, at the end of every month thereafter: S's cir. 30th September, 1837; V.3, p. 149. (94.)
Weekly returns to 1768. Many Receivers having failed to comply with the instructions of the 9th June last, the Treasurer still ne- requesting weekly returns of the Treasurer's account in duplicate, &c., another copy of
said circular is transmitted for their government, with an admonition that further neglect of the same will be reported to the President: S's cir. 13th October, 1837; V.3, p. 150.
(94.) This circular of 30th September, 1837, is referred to in a subsequent circular of 16th April, 1839; which, not being in place when this Synopsis was prepared, but having been since reclaimed, its importance requires its insertion here entire:
“TREASURY DEPARTMENT, April 16, 1839. “Sir: By a regulation of the Department, communicated in a circular dated September 30, 1837, addressed to many of the Registers of the most important Land Offices, it is made their duty, at the end of each month, to examine the public moneys, &c., in the possession of Receivers, and report the result to the Department, specifying the amount in each description of funds. It is deemed proper to establish the provisions of the circular referred to as a general regulation ; and, accordingly, all Registers and Receivers are directed to observe its requirements—the latter by submitting the funds to examination, and the former by making report of the same in the mode required.
“For the sake of convenience and uniformity in the discharge of this duty, it is required that the results of such examination shall be ondorsed on the monthly duplicate returns of the Receivers ; and to secure these objects I transmit, for your information and for the government of Receivers, a form in which their monthly duplicate returns are to be made, showing, under distinct heads, the various exhibits desired.
“ Among the duties imposed on Receivers of public money, there is none more important than the punctual transmission of their quarterly accounts and vouchers for settlement, and a strict compliance with the instructions of the Department in regard to the monthly duplicate returns, and the disposition of the public money. Of such essential consequence are these duties regarded, that other business must yield to their performance; and as the omission of one officer will be no excuse for the default of the other, the duty in respect to returns