2 Replies Latest reply on Sep 16, 2021 12:00 PM by Phil Agee

    Looking for statistics on defaults/forfeitures for public land purchases

    Phil Agee Newbie

      Hello, I am interested in accessing any summary statistics of defaults, forfeitures, and relinquishments on public land purchases between 1800 and 1830 in states and territories in the Old Southwest (Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri). I would also be interested in locating statistics of land patents during this time broken down by land office or geographically, by size of purchase, and by form of payment.  If such statistics exist, how might I access them?  If such statistics do not exist, what would be the best approach to access the richest sampling of pertinent records in one of these territories and states during this time period?  Thank you in advance for your assistance.

        • Re: Looking for statistics on defaults/forfeitures for public land purchases
          Zachary Dabbs Scout

          Dear Mr. Agee,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Land Patents, 1789 - 2012 for Eastern States Land Office in the Records of the Bureau of Land Management (Record Group 49) that document transfers of public lands in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Missouri to individuals and organizations. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at Kansas City (RM-KC) at kansascity.archives@nara.gov. We were unable to locate the statistical information you seek.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RM-KC. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          We also suggest that you review the NARA Land Records website and the finding aid titled Research in the Land Entry Files of the General Land Office (Record Group 49) for more information.


          For tract books regarding public lands in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Missouri, please contact the Eastern States Office, Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior, 20 M Street, Suite 950, Washington, DC 20003 and they may have statistical records of land forfeitures or defaults.


          Tennessee and Kentucky are not considered public land states. We suggest contacting the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives for information about land forfeitures or defaults.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!


            • Re: Looking for statistics on defaults/forfeitures for public land purchases
              Phil Agee Newbie

              Thank you very much for your reply. The references and links you shared have been very helpful.


              As a quick follow-up, do you know of any compilation of statistics summarizing the online records of the BLM, particularly the digitized land patents on the website of the BLM (glorecords.blm.gov)?


              A few simple database queries would help quantify the frequencies of land patents issued by date, location, and possibly by acreage. This would be of immense help to researchers.  We reached out to the BLM at records@blm.gov and are awaiting a reply.


              Thank you again in advance and if you know of any other specialists we can contact we would be very appreciative for any further references.