This letter of enquiry was written by George Joseph Tucker (1804-1878), son of Joseph Tucker and Lucy Newell. Tucker graduated from Williams College in 1822, attended the Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1825.
The letter was addressed to George Nixon Briggs (1796-1861). Briggs served in the U.S. Congress as a Massachusetts district Representative from 1831 to 1843. He then served as the 19th Governor of Massachusetts from 1844 to 1851.
The original Land Warrant was issued to Joseph Bassett (1760-1822) who enlisted in the spring of 1776 for 1 year under Capt. Perry in Col. Sargeant’s Reg. Mass. Line. Bassett later served in Capt. Perkin’s Company of Col. Crane’s Regiment in Gen. Knox’s Brigade of artillery for three years. He was discharged at Morristown, N.J. His Pension number was 355770.
[Addressed to Hon. George N. Briggs, Member of Congress, Washington D.C.]
March 21, 1838
Hon. Geo. N. Briggs
Capt. Palmer wishes to trouble you to attend to a small matter of business in his behalf. He is the owner of a Land Warrant granted in pursuance of the Acts of Congress passed on & since May 6, 1812 to “Joseph Bassett, late a private in the Ninth Regiment of Infantry” granting to him “a certain tract of land containing three hundred and twenty acres, being the North half of Section Nineteen of Township Sixteen (North) in Range four (West) in the tract appropriated (by the Acts aforesaid) for the Military Bounty in the Territory of Arkansas.”
He wishes you to ascertain whether lands situated as the above can by law be sold under the Territorial Government for taxes. If not, he wishes you to enquire of the member from Arkansas whether the Territorial Government ever claimed or exercised the right of selling said lands for taxes. The above land is unsettled, or if settled, it has been settled by persons have no title. He wishes you also to ascertain what term of time must elapse after the Territory becomes a State before the State Government can sell such lands for taxes. Also, whether his title under the Warrant can have been lost by lapse of time or in any other manner. The Warrant bears date November 2nd 1820, recorded Vol. 3/p140. The conveyance to Capt. P. is dated August 20, 1821 & is not recorded.
You will recollect that in December last, I wrote you relative to Mrs. Sarah Ross of her application for a Pension. You wrote me that you enquired at the office & that probably an answer would be sent soon. I have since written to the Department but have rec’d no answer. The papers were sent to Washington in October last. Mrs. Ross in very aged, inform & poor, & if she is entitled to a pension, must receive it soon or it will come too late. May I trouble you to ascertain the State of the matter ^ request them to direct any communication they have to make as soon as possible to me.
Very respectfully yours, — George J. Tucker