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Headrights, Grants

Headrights (Republic of Texas, 1836-1845)
Headright grants were issued to individuals by Boards of Land Commissioners in each county.

First Class Headright
Issued to those who arrived before March 2, 1836. Heads of families received one league (4,428 acres) and one labor (177.1 acres), while single men received 1/3 league (1,476.1 acres).

Second Class Headright
 Issued to those who arrived between March 2, 1836 and October 1, 1837. Heads of families received 1,280 acres, while single men received 640 acres.

Third Class Headright

Issued to those who arrived between October 1, 1837 and January 1,
1840. Heads of families received 640 acres, while single men received 320 acres. Fourth Class Headright
Issued to those who arrived between January 1, 1840 and January 1, 1842. The amounts issued were the same as for third class headrights, plus the requirement of cultivation of 10 acres.

Pre-emption Grant
Similar to the headright grants, pre-emption grants were made after statehood. From 1845 to 1854, homesteaders could claim 320 acres. From 1854 to 1856, and 1866 to 1898, up to 160 acres could be claimed. Homesteaders were required to live on the land for three years and make improvements (such as building a barn) in order to qualify for a pre-emption grant of 160 acres.

Impresario Colonies In The Republic Of Texas

Four colonies were established under contracts with the Republic of Texas:

Peters' Colony (1841),
Fisher and Miller's Colony (1842),
Castro's Colony (1842)

Mercer's Colony (1844).

Heads of families were eligible for land grants of 640 acres while single men were eligible for 320 acres. Settlers were required to cultivate at least fifteen acres in order to receive the patent.

Military Land Grant

Bounty Grant
Grants for military service during the Texas Revolution were provided by the Republic of Texas. Each three months of service provided 320 acres up to a maximum of 1,280 acres. Bounty grants for guarding the frontier (1838-1842) were issued by the Republic of Texas. Soldiers were issued certificates for 240 acres. 7,469 bounty grants were issued for 5,354,250 acres.

Donation Grant

Special headrights of one league were provided by the Republic of Texas to: 1.soldiers who arrived in Texas between March 2 and August 1, 1836, 2.the heirs of soldiers who fell with Fannin, Travis, Grant and Johnson, and 3.soldiers who were permanently disabled.

Republic Veterans Donation Grant

A grant was provided by the state of Texas to veterans of the Texas Revolution and signers of the Declaration of Independence. The veteran was required to have received a bounty grant or to be eligible for one. A donation law in 1879 provided 640 acres and required proof of indigence. A donation law passed in 1881 provided 1,280 acres and dropped the indigency requirement. This grant was repealed in 1887 with 1,278 certificates issued for 1,377,920 acres.

Confederate Script

Certificates for 1280 acres were provided to confederate soldiers who were permanently disabled or to the widows of confederate soldiers. Passed in 1881, it was repealed in 1883 with 2,068 certificates issued.

Loan And Sales Script

Loan scrip was a land certificate issued to provide for or repay loans made to the government of Texas. Sales scrip was a land certificate directly sold to raise money for Texas. Most of this scrip was issued to cover costs of the war. The following is a list of the categories of scrip indicated with the name by which they were known.

Bryan Script

Land scrip was issued to William Bryan equal to the amount of debts owed to him for loans made during the war for independence. December 6, 1836.

Sam Houston Scrip

The president (Sam Houston) was authorized to negotiate a loan for $20,000 for the purpose of purchasing ammunition and munitions of war. To do this, he was authorized to sell a sufficient amount of land scrip at a minimum of $0.50 per acre to raise money for the loan. December 10, 1836.

Toby Script

The president was authorized to issue scrip to the amount of five hundred thousand acres of land. This scrip was to be transmitted to Thomas Toby of New Orleans and sold at a minimum of $0.50 per acre. December 10, 1836.

White Scrip

An agency was established in the city of Mobile, and David White was authorized as an agent of Texas to sell land scrip at a minimum rate of $0.50 per acre for the benefit of the government. December 10, 1836.

James Erwin Scrip

On January 20, 1836, Stephen F. Austin, Branch T. Archer and William Warton contracted with James Erwin and others in New Orleans for a loan of $50,000. June 3, 1837.

First Loan Script

The president of the Republic was authorized to issue land scrip to the stockholders as payment for the first loan to Texas ". To fulfill and carry into effect the contract of compromise made on April 1, 1836 between (the interim Texas government) and the stockholders in the first loan (for $200,000) negotiated in New Orleans on January 11, 1836." May 24, 1838.

Funded Debt Scrip

Any holder of promissory notes, bonds, funded debt or any other liquidated claims against the government could "surrender the same, and receive in lieu thereof, land scrip." The scrip was issued at a rate equal to $2.00 per acre. February 5, 1841.

General Land Office Script

The Commissioner of the General Land Office was authorized to issue land scrip at $0.50 per acre for the liquidation of the public debt of the late Republic of Texas. February 11, 1850.

Sales Script

The Commissioner of the General Land Office was authorized to issue land scrip in certificates of not less than 160 acres at $1.00 per acre for the sale of the public domain. February 11, 1858.


Internal Improvement Script

Central National Road

Under a law passed in 1844, various amounts were issued to road commissioners, surveyors and contractors for building a road from the Red River to the Trinity River in what is now Dallas. Certificates were issued for 27,716 acres.
Scrip for Building Steamboats, Steamships and Other Vessels
Certificates for 320 acres were issued for building a vessel of at least 50 tons, with 320 acres for each additional 25 tons. Sixteen ships were built taking advantage of this 1854 law.

Railroad Script

Several laws were passed beginning in 1854. The exact provisions varied, but generally, an amount of land was offered for each mile of rail constructed. The Constitution of 1876 provided 16 sections per mile. Railroads were required to survey an equal amount of land to be set aside for the public school fund. Certificates were issued for 35,777,038 acres.

Industry Scrip

For building factories. 320 acres were offered for each $1,000 valuation. 1863 law. Certificates were issued for 111,360 acres.

Navigation Scrip

Several acts were passed beginning in 1854 for building ship channels, and improving rivers and harbors for navigation. Certificates were issued for various amounts of land for each mile completed. (For example, 320 certificates for 640 acres each were issued for building a ship channel 8 feet deep and 100 feet wide across Mustang Island). Certificates were issued for 4,261,760 acres.

Irrigation Canal Script

Sections of land were provided based on the class of ditch as specified by acts passed in 1874, 1875 and 1876. Certificates were issued for 584,000 acres.
School Land Sale of the school lands began in 1874. Until 1905, the price, amount of land available, method of purchase, and eligibility requirements varied greatly. Legislation passed in 1905 required that the school lands be sold through competitive bidding. Purchasers could buy a maximum of 4 sections with residence required in most counties, or 8 sections with no residence required in other designated (western) counties