Sims’ Big Survey – Private Legislative Acts

Some Private Acts for Hawkins County by the Tennessee Legislature

Published for the Quarterly County Court by the County Technical Assistance Service, University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service, Nashville, TN, 1976. Transcribed by Billie McNamara in 1996. A current, digital version of this information is available on-line.


Contents of Private Acts:

Disposition of Property Known as Sims’ Big Survey

Acts of the Tennessee Legislature 1829. — Chapter 243.

An Act to dispose of certain lands in Hawkins County, commonly called Sims’ Big Survey.

WHEREAS a grant issued to _____ Allison in the year 1795, for about 28,000 acres, by the State of North Carolina, but in the bounds of which upwards of 100,000 acres are supposed to be included, which lies mostly in Hawkins County, and which has been sold for the taxes, and been bought in by the sheriff of said county, for the State, in pursuance of an act of the General Assembly; and whereas the original claimants under said grant have, for a great number of years past, ceased and failed to pay taxes for the same; and whereas the occupant settlers on said land, having no title, are not liable to pay taxes therefor, by reason whereof the State and county are deprived of any revenue arising from taxes on said land; for remedy whereof,

Section 1. Be it enacted, etc., That the heirs of Walter Sims shall have permission to redeem the above described tract of land, till the second Monday of November, 1830, by paying up to the sheriff of Hawkins County, all the taxes, costs and charges that shall have fallen due, or should have been due, had such land never been bought in by the State, upon said lands up to the time of redemption given by this act; and in the event of said heirs so paying and redeeming, then all the title, interest and demand of the State, in and to said lands, shall be forever released to said heirs; but if said heirs fail to redeem within the time above given, said heirs and legatees and each of them, shall be forever barred, and all the title, interest and claim in said lands shall be completely, and entirely, and forever vested in the State, and in the purchasers under the State.

Section 2. In the event said land is not redeemed within the time given by this act, then it shall be the duty of the entry taker appointed under the provisions of this act, at his own house in Hawkins County, on the third Monday of November, 1830, to open his office for the reception of entries on said land, for occupants only, at fifty cents per acre for any number of acres, not less than fifty, nor more than 160 acres, which preference shall continue till the first day of June, 1831; and on the first day of June aforesaid, the office of said entry taker shall be open for general enterers, in the bounds of said grant, at fifty cents per acre, for any quantity not less than eighty, nor more than 160 acres, and said office shall continue open as aforesaid, till the first day of July, 1831; and
said office shall be open for occupants only, at twenty-five cents per acre, for any quantity not less than fifty, nor more than 160 acres, on the first day of July, 1831, and shall continue open as aforesaid till the first day of October, eighteen hundred and thirty-one; and on the first day of October, 1831, said office shall be open for general enterers, at twenty-five cents per acre, for any quantity, not less than eighty, nor more than 160 acres, and said office shall continue open as aforesaid, till the first day of November, 1831; and on the first day of November, 1831, said office shall be open for occupants only, at twelve and one-half cents per acre, for any quantity not less than fifty, nor more than 160 acres, which preference shall continue till the first day of February, 1832, at which time said office shall open for general enterers, at twelve and one-half cents per acre, for any quantity not less than eighty, nor more than 160 acres, and shall continue open as last aforesaid, till the first of March, 1832; and on the first day of March, 1832, said office shall be open for occupants only, at one cent per acre, for any quantity not less than eighty, nor more than 100 acres; and said office shall continue open as aforesaid, till the first day of May, 1832, when said office shall be open, and shall continue open until the first day of July, 1832, for general enterers at the same price, and for the same quantities last above mentioned.

Section 3. From and after the first day of July, 1832, the special office to be opened under the provisions of this act, shall be closed, and the lands remaining in said Sims’ survey not entered under the provisions of this act, shall in all respects become liable and subject to the general laws for entering vacant and unappropriated lands north and east of the Congressional Reservation Line, and as such may be entered in the office of the entry taker of Hawkins County.

Section 4. Where occupants shall be prevented by old lines, natural boundaries, or the interference of other occupants, they shall be entitled to enter a less quantity than fifty acres; Provided always, that they shall be bound to enter at least fifty acres, unless prevented as aforesaid; and the acts of 1823 for the entering of lands, north and east of the Congressional Reservation Line, so far as they define the rights of occupants, and the manner of proceeding, and in all other matters not inconsistent with the provisions of this act, shall be in force with respect to said lands.

Section 5. For the prevention of law suits, it is hereby declared, that all persons who are in possession of any of said lands, claiming the same by, and under a valid grant, made before the passage of this act, are hereby confirmed in their titles.

Section 6. An entry taker for the lands lying in Sims’ Big Survey, shall be appointed by the joint ballot of both houses of this General Assembly, who shall give bond and security for the faithful performance of his duty, for the same amount, and in the same way that entry takers north and east of the Congressional Reservation Line are now bound by law to do, and shall be liable for, and account for moneys received, under the same penalties.

Section 7. The proceeds of the entries under this act shall be applied in the following manner: first, the entry taker shall pay over the sum of fifteen hundred dollars, the amount of the State tax due on said lands, to the treasurer of East Tennessee, who shall proceed to loan the same on notes with good and sufficient security, on which he shall collect annually at least the interest, and re-loan the same in like manner, until the same shall be demanded by such of the heirs, legatees, or their heirs, of Walter Sims, as shall be vested with the claim of Walter Sims in said lands, and upon such demand, and also upon such legatee or heir filing with said treasurer a properly executed, proved and registered deed of release to the State, of all his claim and interest in said lands, it shall be the duty of such treasurer to pay over to such legatee or heir, such portion of said money and interest, as such legatee or heir shall show himself or herself to be legally entitled to under said Walter Sims; and in the second place, the entry taker shall pay over to the trustee of Hawkins County one thousand dollars, which shall be in full discharge of all taxes due to said county on said lands, and the trustee of Hawkins County shall be liable and account for all moneys received under this act, as he is now bound for other county moneys; and in the third place, all the balance of money received under this act by the entry taker, shall be paid over by
him to the treasurer of East Tennessee, by him to be loaned out, and paid over to the legatees and heirs of Walter Sims, as provided and directed in the first clause of this section.

Section 8. In the event of Sims’ legatees and heirs executing a release to the State as provided in the seventh section of this act, then all claims of the State for taxes now due on said lands shall be released to said heirs.

Section 9. The receipts of the treasurer of East Tennessee, and trustee of Hawkins County, for all payments made under the directions of this act, shall be good and sufficient vouchers for the entry taker in the settlement of his accounts.

Acts of the Tennessee Legislature 1831. — Chapter 83.

An Act to amend an act, entitled, “An Act to dispose of certain lands in Hawkins County, commonly called Sims’ Big Survey” — Passed, Nov. 28.

Section 1. Be it enacted, etc., That the third section of the above recited act be, and the same is hereby repealed.

Section 2. That the lands remaining in said Sim’s survey not entered under the provisions of the above recited act, on the first day of July, 1832, shall in all respects become liable and subject to the general laws for entering vacant and unappropriated lands north and east of the Congressional Reservation Line, and as such may be entered in said special office, and the entry taker of said special office is hereby required to pay over all moneys by him collected for entries made in said office in manner as pointed out in the above recited act.

Acts of the Tennessee Legislature 1846. — Chapter 191.

An Act for the relief of certain enterers of land in Hawkins County, in what is commonly called Sims’ Big Survey. — Passed Feb. 2.

WHEREAS, by an act passed January 7th, 1830, a special entry taker’s office was opened in Hawkins County for the entry of land, lying in said county, in Sim’s Big Survey, of which John Mitchell, of said county, was appointed entry taker, which said office was, by the provisions of said act, to be closed on the first day of July, 1832, and all lands thereafter remaining in said survey not entered, was by said act declared to be subject to the general laws for entering vacant and unappropriated lands north and east of the Congressional Reservation Line, and as such subject to entry in the office of the entry taker of Hawkins County.

And whereas, it is represented to this General Assembly that after the said first day of July, 1832, certain persons, by mistake, made entries of land within the bounds of said Sims’ Big Survey, in the said special entry taker’s office, which entries should have been made in the office of the entry taker of Hawkins County; for remedy whereof,

Section 1. Be it enacted, etc., That all entries of land, lying within the bounds of Sims’ Big Survey, in Hawkins County, made after the first day of July, 1832, in the special entry taker’s office opened in said county, under the provisions of an act, passed January 7th, 1830, and all certificates of survey and grants already issued, or which may hereafter be issued, founded on entries made as aforesaid shall be legal and valid to all intents in purposes, and shall vest in the enterers aforesaid, and all persons claiming under them, as good and valid a title as if said entries had been made in the office of the entry taker of Hawkins County.

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