The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952 Page: 242
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
These bounty warrants or certificates were issued to the
soldiers of the War of 1812 authorizing holders to locate on un-
surveyed or unappropriated public domain:
Mr. Tarleton said that while Knoxville was then the frontier, most
of the lands there were taken up, and there was practically no public
domain in that section, but that there were millions of acres of land
at that time in Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Southern Illinois,
and other states farther west, which were still unappropriated public
domain; but he said that since the states I have named, as well as
the sections farther west, were considered extremely remote, and
were looked upon as a prairie desert, the settlers around Knoxville
in those days would not think of going west of the Mississippi or
to those prairie sections. These county warrants or certificates were
assignable. They could be transferred, by endorsement, by the
person to whom they were issued, and the assignee, under the law,
was authorized to present them to the surveyor of any Land District
(and the county was then divided into Land Districts) which had
been designated by the government for that particular territory.
On the payment of the surveying fees and the patent fees, which he
said amounted to about fourteen or fifteen dollars, the owner could
have patented to him as many acres as the certificate called for.
He said that the old soldiers owning these certificates were usually
willing to trade them for almost anything in the store, such as a
pair of boots, a horse collar, trace chains, or a scooter plow.
After Tarleton had worked in the store for quite some time,
he began to take week-end vacations to visit lands he had
purchased with the bounties. On these excursions he carried his
blankets and food and hiked to his holdings.
While at work one afternoon Tarleton conversed with a well-
dressed man who said he owned ten thousand acres of land in
Texas which he wished to sell dirt cheap. Tarleton asked what
his definition of "dirt cheap" was and when he learned it meant
121/ cents an acre, Tarleton closed a deal. It was thirty years
before Tarleton saw this land he had purchased "dirt cheap."
In 186o or 1861 he received permission from Dickerson to leave
his job in order to come to Texas. When he first visited the
Erath-Palo Pinto lands, he found Indians camped on part of
his holdings. The newcomer to Texas walked on to Waco, where
he established a mercantile store at 45 Austin Street.8 He boarded
OGeorge, "Tarleton's Will," John Tarleton: A Memorial, 8.
7Undated manuscript in papers of T. O. White.
sWaco City Directory (Waco, 1876).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952, periodical, 1952; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/m1/288/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.