Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Virginia Land Laws (Part III) Treasury Rights

On the payment of five shillings for every fifty acres of land, the receiver-general of the revenues of the Colony was directed to deliver to any person desiring to take up vacant lands a certificate. A surveyor was then to lay off for the claimant the quantity expressed in such treasury warrants. The survey was then returned to the secretary's office so that a patent might be issued. Each claimant was limited to five hundred acres, unless he owned five or more tithable servants or slaves. In this case, he might take up two acres more for every tithable. [Tithable were the inhabitants of the colony upon whom a tax might be levied. In early Virginia a tax was usually imposed upon every male person over sixteen years of age. All white male servants and all imported slaves were included. The rule varied. Each county was divided into several tax precincts and a special commissioner was appointed in each to draw up an accurate list of the resident tithables.] Grants for more than four thousand acres in any one tract were prohibited, except in entries before made for larger quantities. Swamps, marshes and low grounds adjacent to patented high lands could not be taken up till one year after notice, in the presence of two witnesses, to the patentee of the highlands.

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