This collection contains over six dozen letters patent issued by the United States General Land Office, which enabled the grantees to obtain tracts of public land. Many of the grantees had received bounty land for military service. The letters patent in this collection document land grants in the Midwest, primarily in Illinois. In addition, the collection contains a photocopy of a Commonwealth of Kentucky land grant of 1793. The letters patent typically include the grantee's name and current county of residence or military rank and company, a description of the location and quantity of land, the act of Congress under which the land was granted, the district land office responsible for the sale of the land, and the associated certificate or warrant number. They were signed in the name of the president at the time the land was granted (in 1833, Congress authorized a secretary to sign land grants in the name of the president, but prior to that the president signed them himself).
This collection was organized in 1967 from letters patent in the "Land Settlement in the Middle West" collection. Supplementary materials were donated by Walter DeVolld of St. Helena, California; Harold Felty of Champaign, Illinois; Jerry Hasselburg of Loda, Illinois; Ethel W. Ijams of Champaign, Illinois; Sharen Kloster of St. Joseph, Illinois; Steve Lozanoff of St. Petersburg, Florida; and Eula Rose Martin of Lizton, Indiana. Material also was added from the William E. Lodge Collection. The collection was reorganized in December 1989 and January 2015.