Monday, February 20, 2017

Land Lotteries

Of The Cherokee Removal: A Brief History with Documents by Theda Purdue and Michael D. Green: "Confronted with Cherokee refusal to negotiate removal, Georgia began awarding Cherokee land to its citizens in an attempt to force the Cherokees out. Thousands of white settlers, who believed that they had legitimate title to land, moved into the Cherokee Nation.
"Georgia had a well-established method for distributing public lands which, the state insisted, included Cherokee territory. Male residents of the state as well as widows and orphans registered for land lotteries, and certain categories of people, such as veterans, could register twice. Surveyors partitioned the land into plots and prepared plats, or maps, for each of these plots. Lottery officials pulled a name out of one hopper and a plat out of another, thereby matching winner and prize. The winner paid only a small filing fee for his or her acreage. Unlike the later federal homestead law that required people to settle the land they claimed, Georgia's lotteries placed no restrictions on the winners...As a result, lottery winners or those who bought land from winners swarmed into the Cherokee Nation." (pg. 92-93.)

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