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In 1850, Congress passed the Donation Land Law for the Oregon Territory. The Donation Land Law granted land to certain whites or Indians of mixed blood, provided they remain on the land for four years. They would receive 320 acres each (if single and would marry within one year after arrival), 160 acres if single and at least 21 years old, or an additional 320 acres in their wife’s name, if married. Originally designed to expire in December 1853, the law was extended until December 1855 and enabled settlers to purchase their claim for $1.25 per acre after two years of successive residence on the land.
The Washington Territory Donation Land Claims book contains the names of settlers who filed claims between 1852 and 1855 in Oregon Territory, and later Washington Territory when it was created in 1853. James Wickersham, a probate judge in Pierce County Washington from 1884-1888, is credited with transcribing this book in July of 1887.
These records are in English.
These records are open for research.
Transcribed by Roger Easton, Final Proofreading by Andrea Watts, Office of the Secretary of State.
Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Donation Land Claims in Washington Territory, 1852-1855, Office of the Secretary of State, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://digitalarchives.wa.gov, [date accessed].
Source: List of donation land claims in Washington Territory, July 1887. [transcribed by] James Wickersham.
Original material held by the Washington State Library.
To view entire publication at Washington State Library: http://www.sos.wa.gov/history/publications_detail.aspx?p=43
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