The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Texas Bounty Land Grants, 1835-1888

record the number and date of each warrant, the quantity of land
called for in each one, whether it was bounty warrant or dona-
tion certificate, and the military service rendered to receive it.4o
The act of August 1, 1856, as amended, required that all un-
surveyed warrants be presented to the court of claims and be ap-
proved before December 31, 1861; otherwise they were to become
invalid on that date. Some warrants, however, were not presented
by December 31, 1861, and as late as the 188o's, surveys using
these unapproved warrants for their authorization were still com-
ing in to the Land Office. They were not recognized, but their
retention by the General Land Office helped to establish a more
complete record of warrants issued before October lo, 1855.41
Following the burning of the adjutant general's office on Octo-
ber lo, 1855, the issuing of warrants was suspended until after the
creation of the court of claims which began to issue original
bounty warrants in 1857. The court issued its first bounty warrant
(again a new series of numbers was started) on July lo, 1857, to
Franklin Swoap for 320 acres.42 The court's last bounty warrant,
number 367, was issued to the heirs of Lewis C. Gibbs on Decem-
ber 30, 1861, by Commissioner of Claims W. S. Hotchkiss.43
After the court of claims went out of existence on December 31,
1861, no more original bounty warrants were issued under gen-
eral law. The commissioner of the General Land Office continued
to issue duplicate warrants in cases where proof was submitted as
to the loss of the original warrants. Also the legislature continued,
by special acts, to authorize the issuance of warrants to specific
persons. These special act warrants were issued by the commis-
sioner of the General Land Office from the end of December, 1861,
40This register was also found in the warehouse. It is at present labelled
(incorrectly) "Bounty Register. Wnts. 1-4499, 1-11-87 to 12-4-38."
41A combination of the information from the register of the court of claims and
from the register made by the land office in 1859 provided an account of every
bounty warrant surveyed up to 1859 and all those presented to the court for
approval up to 1861. By examining the General Land Office files of bounty warrants
which had been surveyed and presented to the court after 1861, a record of those
warrants could be added. Therefore, the record of bounty warrants and grants
compiled by the writer should be complete except for warrants which have never
been surveyed or presented to the court of claims for approval.
42Record of Certificates Issued from July 8, 1857, to December 31, 1861 (Bounty
and Donation) by Court of Claims (MSS., General Land Office, Austin), 2.
43Ibid., 22.

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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 July 10, 2014.