Thursday, December 17, 2009

Abraham Cutter A Canadian Volunteer.


Mr. JENNINGS, from the Committee on the Public Lands, to whom was referred a resolution of the 19th instant, instructing the Committee on Private Land Claims to inquire into the expediency of allowing Minor Thomas to locate four hundred and eighty acres of land, as the assignee of Abraham Cutter, late a second lieutenant in the corps of Canadian volunteers, reported:

That the said Cutter, who obtained for his services a bounty land warrant, No. 93, for the four hundred and eighty acres of land aforesaid, conveyed the same to James Hair, of Ohio, by a deed bearing date the 9th of October, 1817; that said Hair conveyed the said warrant to Abraham McCollock, of Virginia, by deed bearing date the 29th of June, 1818, and that the warrant aforesaid was again conveyed by deed on. the 22d day of May, 1821, by the said Abraham MeCollock to his sons, Ebenezer McCollock and William McCollock, jr., the latter of whom empowered his brother, Ebenezer, to locate the said warrant, which was accordingly done, and a patent thereon issued to the brothers, as assignees, on the 6th of October, 1823.

It likewise appears, from the documents referred to the committee, that the aforesaid Cutter, upon the allegation that the aforesaid land warrant, No. 93, was unlawfully withheld from him by his agent, obtained a certificate signed by Josiah Meigs, late a Commissioner of the General Land Office, dated the 1’lth of July, 1820, purporting to authorize the said Cutter to locate the aforesaid four hundred and eighty acres of land; that notwithstanding the said Gutter had conveyed his laud warrant for the said four hundred and eighty acres on the 9th of October, 1817, he assigned the certificate thus fraudulently obtained to Minor Thomas on the 16th of July, 1825, who now asks, as the assignee of said Cutter, to locate four hundred and eighty acres of land, by virtue of the certificate aforesaid.

The act of Congress approved March 5, 1816, granting bounties in. land and extra pay to certain Canadian volunteers, authorizes the location of such bounties in land only upon warrants issued by the Secretary for the Department of War. The said Minor Thomas asks to be allowed to locate the four hundred and eighty acres of land on the ground that the register of the local land office advised him that a location of the laud could be made upon the aforesaid certificate.

In the opinion of the committee, the unauthorized acts of its agents cannot render the United States government responsible for consequences resulting from individual contracts; nor does it appear that the said Thomas has made any legal exertion to obtain reparation for the fraud practiced upon him by said Cutter.

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