Extraordinary Federal Certificate for a Bounty of 160 Acres of Land for Service in the War of 1812. Issued by the Office of the Commissioner of Pensions, Department of the Interior. George Washington, J. C. Dobbin (Secretary of the Navy), left. The partially completed Capital Building, center. At right, President Franklin Pierce, and a sailor holding a glorious U.S. flag. In the upper corners are two counters with “160 ACRES” in white letters against ornately engraved circular backgrounds. At the center is a brilliant red underprint stating “BOUNTY LAND / 160 / ACRES” and a large Federal shield. Embossed seal of the Department of the Interior, with eagle, lower left. February 23, 1857. Issued to Samuel McDowell Reid, Adjutant, Virginia Militia, War of 1812. Printed by Rawdon, Wright, Hatch and Edson, New York. Very Fine condition. A few trivial ink stains on the back.
The Act of March 3, 1855 included the provision for bounties of land to be issued as part of the compensation promised to sailors and soldiers who served in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. One very progressive paragraph of the Act even entitled Indians to the bounty land “…in the same manner, and to the same extent, as if the said Indians had been white men.”
I’ve seen only of about a half dozen of these pieces over the years. One was an unissued proof; three were absolute dogs, missing pieces, one was issued to a widow, one was in a Heritage auction graded PCGS Extremely Fine 40. That piece sold for $2,180 in April of 2018, and the owner is now asking $2,850.