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CONGRESS

WILLIAM CRAIG.
[To accompany bill H. R. No. 765.]

FEBRUARY 23, 1855.

Mr. Dawson, from the Committee on Revolutionary Claims, made the

following REPORT.

The Committee on Revolutionary Claims, to whom was referred the petition of William Craig for restoration of his pension, and for back pay as a soldier in the war of 1812, report :

That the petitioner entered into the service of the United States as a trumpeter, in Captain Markle's company of dragoons from Pennvania, in September, 1812, and was present at the battle of Mississinewa, on the 18th of December of that year. Subsequently to the said battle he was, by exposure to extreme cold weather, so severely frozen in his feet as to be unable to accompany the march of the army. During the time he was in that condition, Captain Markle was on a visit to his home in Pennsylvania, and when he rejoined the army—it having advanced from the place where he had left it—the petitioner being found missing, was reported by Captain Markle on the rolls of the company as a deserter. From the effects of that exposure, as appears by the testimony, he is a cripple until the present day. Upon the application of the petitioner a certificate of pension, a bounty-land warrant, and an order for his back pay as a private in the army, have been issued to him ; but all of them have recently been revoked and recalled, upon the ground of his alleged desertion; which, if true, would debar him of compensation from government. The testimony furnished the committee upon that subject is of the most conclusive character. The affidavits of Captain Markle, of Hon. John C. Plumer, first lieutenant, and of Jacob Markle, second lieutenant, of the company, show that the entry upon the rolls previously narrated was made under mistake, and that so far from the petitioner being unfaithful in his service to the country, he has sacrificed the health and comfort of his whole life to it. The several witnesses spoken of are men of the very first character for truth, integrity, and respectability, about whose word there can be no doubt.

Your committee, under these circumstances, cannot hesitate to recommend the renewal of the pension certificate, the granting of a bounty-land warrant, and of the pay of the petitioner, such as he would be entitled to if no such allegation of desertion had been made.

The evidence that the entry of a charge of desertion was erroneously made is of the most unmistakable character, and to allow an error of that kind to preclude the claims of a faithful and gallant soldier, would seem to the committee to be very unjust. They, therefore, beg leave to report a bill in his favor, with a recommendation that it do

pass, &c.

JAMES M. LINDSAY.
[To accompany bill H. R. No. 766.]

FEBRUARY 23, 1855.

Mr. NICHOLS, from the Committee on Private Land Claims, made the

following

REPORT,

The Committee on Private Land Claims, to whom was referred the petition

of James M. Lindsay, of the State of Alabama, praying for the confirmation of his claim to certain lands embraced within the limits of an Indian reservation in that State, submit the following report :

By the 1st article of the treaty of August 9, 1814, between the United States and hostile Creeks, it was provided, among other things, " That where any possession of any chief or warrior of the Creek nation who shall have been friendly to the United States during the war, and taken an active part therein, shall be within the territory ceded by these articles to the United States, every such person shall he entitled to a reservation of land within the said territory of one mile square, to include his improvements as near the centre thereof as may be, which shall inure to the said chief or warrior and his descendants, so long as he or they shall continue to occupy the same, who shall be protected by and subject to the laws of the United States; but upon the voluntary abandonment thereof by such possessor or his descendants, the right of occupancy or possession of said lands shall devolve to the United States and be identified with the right of property ceded thereby.”

Under the provisions of this trust, Samuel and David Hale, Creek chiefs, obtained a cession of fractional section twenty-one, (21,) township six, (6,) range five, (5,) west of the Alabama river, and continued to hold the same until the year 1826, when they sold their claim to the same to one Adam Carson.

The certificate of reservation held by the Hales were assigned to Carson, but no other method of securing the title of said lands to Carson appears to have been resorted to by the parties, and petitioner asserts that said certificates cannot be found after diligent search.

In 1840 the lands aforesaid were levied upon and sold on execution as the property of said Carson, and purchased by one Lyman Gibbons, with the exception of 160 acres on the south side of said location. Gibbons sold to one Henry Centre; Henry Centre died in the undisputed possession of said lands, and Edward C. Centre, his sole heir and executor, sold to petitioner.

The cession to the Hales is proved by the certificate of the Commissioner of the General Land Office submitted with the petition.

The sale by the Hales to Carson, clearly substantiated by the oaths of numerous respectable witnesses, whose credibility, certified by judicial officers of the State, places the transaction in a fair light. The witnesses swear that the consideration paid by Carson was at the time of the sale the full value of the lands sold by the Hales.

The sheriff-deed to the purchaser at his sale of the lands, the deeds attending the subsequent transfers, authenticated by a certified transcript of the records of Clarke county, Alabama, show that the equity of the petitioner and his claim for relief are based upon the strongest grounds.

Your committee, therefore, report a bill for the relief of petitioner, confirming his title to so much of said fractional section as is now held and occupied by him. (See Little & Brown's Statutes, pages 346 to 762, for acts relative to same class of lands.)

2d Session.

No. 104.

WILLIAM DEMPSEY.
[To accompany bill H. R. No. 768.]

FEBRUARY 23, 1855.

Mr. NICHOLS, from the Committee on Private Land Claims, made the

following REPORT.

The Committee on Private Land Claims, to whom was referred the pe

tition of William Dempsey, of the State of Florida, make the following report:

That some two years since the petitioner employed a friend to locate for him forty acres of land in the Tallahassee (Florida) land district. The tract petitioner designed to enter is described as follows; the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 32, township 2, range 13, north and east in said district; but, by mistake, the person employed to make the entry for him entered the northeast quarter of section 32, township 2, of range 12, north and east. The petitioner, not being aware of the error, entered upon the tract first described, and which he supposed he had located, and has since resided upon it, and improved it to the extent of his ability. Subsequently discovering his error, he applied to the land office to have it corrected, but was informed that there was no authority by law to change the entry:

The committee, deeming the equities of the case of the highest character, report a bill for his relief.

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