Negroes Excluded From The Public Lands. The Pittsburg Gazette says that about a month ago a company of colored people in that city desired to form a party to emigrate westward, and settle upon and preempt public lands. Their counsel communicated with the Land Department at Washington, and received in reply the following flat refusal:
General Land Office, March 7, ’59 John M. Kirkpatrick, Pittsburg, Penn: Sir – In reply to your letter of the 24th ult., I have to state, that under the now settled ruling of this office, which has been sanctioned by the Secretary, colored persons are not citizens of the United States as contemplated by the preemption law of September, 1841, and are, therefore, not legally entitle to preempt public lands. Very respectfully, your ob’t serv’t, J.S. Wilson, Acting Commissioner.
(Liberator, April 15, 1859, pg 3)