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Handsomely Printed Texas Preemption Land Grant

An original 1857 Texas Land Grant, signed by Elisha M. Pease, Governor of Texas, after whom the Pease River was named. The Pease, a tributary of the Red River, was named in 1856 by the surveyor Jacob de Córdova of the Galveston, Houston, and Henderson Railroad Company. Pease Park in Austin was also named for Elisha M. Pease, who once owned the land that became the park.

The certificate, which is nicely printed on vellum - including the Lone Star at top - grants to Jasper Weaver certain land in Van Zandt County on Kickapoo Creek. The handwritten description of the land takes up nearly half of the document. It is notable for the continued use of the vara, a Spanish unit of distance, dating from the original Spanish and Mexican surveys and land grants in Texas. One vara was the equivalent to approximately thirty-three and one-third inches. Another interesting aspect of the land description is the mention of various trees to establish the boundaries of the land holding, including a red oak and a Hickory. 

In Nacogdoches District, Van Zandt County on Kickapoo Creek, a tributary of the Neches River, about 9 miles S. E. of the town of Canton, and known as Survey No. 34 by virtue of Preemption Certificate, issued by the Clerk of the County Court of Van Zandt County on the 11th day of December 1856. Beginning 03 varas South of the N.W.  corner of a Survey in the name of J. Boggs for J. J. Carter, and on the W. line of said survey a post from which a Hickory in. dia....

Preemption Land Grant

The Preemption land grant program allowed settlers to claim land in the public domain and provided a process through which settlers could title the land once they qualified for ownership.

The first preemption act was passed by the Republic of Texas in 1845 and allowed for the settlement of up to 320 acres of vacant public land. An 1854 act reduced the preemption amount to 160 acres and the first preemption program was canceled in 1856. Preemption grants of 160 acres were reinstated in 1866 and continued until 1898.


Such original Texas land documents signed by 19th-century Texas governors are scarce in the market.

Condition Description
Printed document on vellum, completed in manuscript. Folded. Signed by the Governor of Texas, Elisha M. Pease, "E. M. Pease." Embossed seals of the State of Texas and the General Land Office of the State of Texas. Counter signed by the Commissioner of the General Land office below his seal. Docketed on verso.