Owners of tracts on a river, &c. not exceeding 40 arpens in depth, entitled to pre-emption of back tract, &c.Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That every person, who, either by virtue of a French or Spanish grant, recognised by the laws of the United States, or under a claim confirmed by the commissioners appointed for the purpose of ascertaining the rights of persons claiming lands in the state of Louisiana, or by virtue of any title derived from the United States, owns a tract of land bordering on any river, creek, bayou or watercourse, in the said territory, and not exceeding in depth forty arpens, French measure, shall be entitled to a preference in becoming the purchaser of any vacant tract of land adjacent to, and back of, his own tract, not exceeding forty arpens, French measure, in depth, nor in quantity of land, that which is contained in his own tract; at the same price and on the same terms and conditions, as are, or may be, provided by law for the other public lands in the said state.Surveys of such back tracts and division in certain cases. And the surveyor general for the state of Louisiana shall be, and he is hereby, authorized to cause to be surveyed the tracts claimed by virtue of this section; and in all cases where, by reason of bends in the river, lake, creek, bayou, or water-course, bordering on the tract, and of adjacent claims of a similar nature, each claimant cannot obtain a tract equal in quantity to the adjacent tract already owned by him, to divide the vacant land applicable to that object between the several claimants, in such manner as to him will appear most equitable:Proviso: pre-emption not to embrace, &c.
Time for using pre-emption right. Provided, however, That the right of pre-emption granted by this section, shall not extend so far in depth as to include lands fit for cultivation, bordering on another river, creek, bayou or water-course. And every person entitled to the benefit of this section shall, within three years after the date of this act, deliver to the register of the proper land office, a notice, in writing, stating the situation and extent of the tract of land he wishes to purchase; and shall also make the paymentTime extended by act of Feb. 24, 1835, ch. 24. and payments for the same for the same at the time and times which are or may be prescribed by law for the disposal of the other public lands in the said state, the time of his delivering the notice aforesaid being considered as the date of the purchase: Provided, also, That all notices of claims shall be entered, and the money paid thereon, at least three weeks before such period as may be designated by the President of the United States, for the public sale of the lands in the township in which such claims may be situated, and all claims not so entered shall be liable to be sold as other public lands.Re-surveys, at whose expense. Whenever it shall be necessary to re-survey the public lands, in order to enable persons entitled to avail themselves of the provisions of this act, the expenses of such re-survey shall be paid by the person or persons, who shall enter the lands so re-surveyed under this act, at the time he or they shall pay the price of such land to the receiver of public money.On the failure of notice, &c. pre-emption right to be void. And if any such person shall fail to deliver such notice within the said period of three years, or to make such payment or payments at the time above mentioned, his right of pre-emption shall cease, and become void; and the land may, thereafter, be purchased by any other person, in the same manner, and on the same terms, as are, or may be provided by law for the sale of other public lands in said state.
Approved, June 15, 1832.