Southwestern Historical Quarterly
warrants, with a few exceptions,84 testing them for validity and
approving such warrants as seemed to have been properly issued
while rejecting all others and (2) issuing of original bounty war-
rants in cases where persons entitled to them had not yet received
The "audit" of warrants already issued made up by far the
greatest part of the work of the court of claims. To facilitate the
audit an act passed on August 1, 1856, directed the commissioner
of the General Land Office, as soon as practicable, to furnish the
commissioner of claims with a list of all certificates6 which had
been returned with surveys to his office. This list was to include
the number and date of each warrant, by whom and to whom it
was issued, the quantity of land granted, the class of the warrant,
and if a bounty or donation grant, the military service for which
it had been issued."7 The commissioner of the General Land
Office had not furnished this register to the court of claims by
September 1, 1858, when Commissioner of Claims Edward Clark
stated in his report, "It is much to be lamented in this behalf
that a Register of Bounty and Donation Warrants returned to
the General Land Office has not as required, been furnished this
office.""88 The register evidently was given to the court soon after,
for it is labeled, "Marginal Register, Bounty and Donation War-
rants. File Nos. by Districts. Court of Claims Originals. 1859."39
The act of August 1, 1856, provided that with some excep-
tions, all unsurveyed bounty warrants had to be presented to the
commissioner of claims for his approval. He also was required to
keep a register of all such warrants presented to him and to
38The "excepted warrants" included warrants upon which surveys had already
been returned and patented (presently on file in the General Land Office) and
unlocated warrants which had been issued pursuant to special acts.
85Gammel, Laws of Texas, IV, 436.
86The correct name for the document which granted bounty lands is "warrant."
The document which granted donation lands is properly called a "certificate."
The two words, however, are often used interchangeably.
88Report of the Commissioner of the Court of Claims. September x, 2858 (Austin,
39At first the register could not be found in the present General Land Office
files. It was known, however, that the report was required by law, and that another
act required it to be kept in the land office. The register was finally discovered in
a warehouse belonging to the land office.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed August 5, 2015.