Maine public lands 1781-1795, claims, trespassers, and sales
Bridgham, Lawrence Donald
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In 1781 the General Court of the new State of Massachusetts launched a program for the administration of its unappropriated land in the District of Maine, a program which encompassed three main phases: the clarification of pre-Revolutionary claims, the quieting of squatters, and the sale of the land that still belonged to the Commonwealth. Fourteen years later it ended a period by ordering the Land Committee which had been appointed in 1783 to stop selling those lands. During this period the Legislature and the Committees it appointed made significant progress in each of these fields. Despite the fact that the Province Government had devised a particularly efficient land grant system, 1781 found claims in Maine confused - authorities which controlled the area before Massachusetts bought it had not always handled these grants well, and Massachusetts itself had not followed its own system closely immediately before the Revolution. The Land Committees and the General Court settled some claim disputes during this period, but some remained to be resolved in later years. A 1791 act, not tested thoroughly before the period ended, established a method of restoring improperly claimed land to the State. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University
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