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from “The Territorial Papers of the United States” Volume VI, The Territory of Mississippi, 1809-1817
PETITION TO CONGRESS BY PURCHASERS OF PUBLIC LANDS EAST OF PEARL RIVER




[No date, 1815]

To the Honourable the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America, in Congress Assembled: the humble petition of certain
purchasers of public lands east of Pearl River Respectfully Showeth.

That when your petitioners made purchase of public lands,-they did believe
that they purchased them under the simple condition of paying for them
in certain instalments, and under the expectation that if they failed to
make payment on the day appointed,-they would be liable, as in all similar
contracts, to pay the interest on their instalments from the time they
became due.

Experience has sadly convinced your petitioners that the receivers of public
monies, insist, on the part of the United States, not only upon the
ordinary, simple, legal interest upon instalments not paid on the day,-but
on a certain forfeiture or penalty, under the name of “back interest”,
founded on the principle that on the failure of payment at the period
appointed,-the government becomes entitled not only to interest from that
time, but to interest from the very day of purchase;-thus raising a charge
against the unfortunate purchaser,-not only of simple interest, but in some
cases of even double or treble compound interest. Your petitioners can
scarcely believe that this was ever the intention of the just and paternal
government of the United States:-and they have a firm hope that the
statement of the existing evil is alone sufficient to insure a remedy.

Some of your petitioners had, perhaps, peculiar reason to deem the existing
practice a severe one. They had purchased land, before they removed to
the territory; and during the state of indian hostility it was impossible
for an inhabitant of Georgia or Carolina to reach the land office in St
Stephens with the instalment due:-and had they reached it; they would have
found the doors of the office shut, and all kinds of civil business utterly
suspended.

Your petitioners therefore humbly hope that a law will pass for refunding
what is called back interest, & forbidding its collection in future: and
your petitioners as in duty bound &c

Warham Easley
Ellingtown Evans
Lovelace Mott
Drury Allen
Darling Perry
Henry Merrick
William Landrum
Jonah Mott
Robert Pugh
John Lowry
Jas L. Phillips
John Easley
Edward Bazer
John Dinan
Elijah Pugh
Jesse B Landrum
Edward M. Fallin
Mathew Hicks
Armstead Hall
William N Robison
William Coate
John Landrum
[ R H Gilmer ] [ This and an illegible name that follows are marked out of the manuscript. ]
Duncan Leach
David Glass
Nathan Perry
Francis Perry
Thos Goodwyn
Jams Thompson
Harris Tilman
William Bradley
John Bradley Senr
John McGrew
A. Kilpatrick
David Smith
William Perkins
William Jones
John Hogg
Jno Deane
Robt Caller
L. Gilmore
R. G. Haden
G. R. Kennerly
Alexr Shaw
James Woods
Russell Jones
John Cox
Jas Daffin
Caleb Bazer
John Braddley
Josiah Wills
John Gilmore
Wm Thornton
Wilson Perry
Moses Hill
Robert Dougals
Duna D C Camble
Joseph Holeman
Abner Turner
U. H. Dent
Edward Evans
John McFarlnd
Wm Eveleigh
Benjamin Hogg
Gerrard W. Creagh
Jas Lawson
Jesse B Irvine
Leonard Pearson
Robert Phillips
John Welch
William Webb
Jonas Spikes
Matthew Brewer
Samuel Hammond
Jno Brown
Joseph Kemp
Jas Braden
John McKinney
Henry Franklin
Hugh Cassity
Vinson Harrison
Richard Cole
Rezin Pugh
Amos Robinson


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