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Record Group Number: 000599
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Creator: Spanish Archives
Title, Dates: Spanish Archives record group.
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Biographical/Historical Note:     The Spanish Archives record group contains materials from the Second Spanish Period (1783 to 1821), primarily papers concerning the settlement of claims of individuals who held land grants or land titles from the Spanish government.  In 1786, by Royal Order of the King of Spain, British subjects were permitted to remain in Florida provided they would take an oath of allegiance to Spain.  In 1790, a Royal Order invited aliens to Florida regardless of their religious affiliations provided they hold and cultivate the land for a period of ten years.
    In 1821, Spain ceded East and West Florida to the United States.  On May 8, 1822, Congress passed the first Acts designed to carry out the provisions of Article VIII of the treaty of cession. It directed that three commissioners be appointed to ascertain and make final disposition of all previous title and claims to the land in the territory of Florida.  Persons claiming title to lands under any patent, grant, concession, or order of survey dated prior to January 24, 1818 were instructed to file their claims with supporting evidence, before the United States Board of Land Commissioners at St. Augustine for East Florida lands and Pensacola for West Florida lands.  The Board met from 1823 to 1827.

    After 1827, the outstanding claims were handled by the United States Land Offices in St. Augustine and Tallahassee.  The land parcels of all the approved claims were surveyed by the Surveyor General of the United States for the Territory of Florida and the State of Florida in the East and West Districts.
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