Grover Cleveland

Proclamation 271—Ordering the Immediate Removal of Any and Every Unlawful Enclosure of Public Lands

August 07, 1885

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Whereas public policy demands that the public domain shall be reserved for the occupancy of actual settlers in good faith, and that our people who seek homes upon such domain shall in no wise be prevented by any wrongful interference from the safe and free entry, thereon to which they may be entitled; and

Whereas, to secure and maintain this beneficent policy, a statute was passed by the Congress of the United States on the 25th day of February, in the year 1885, which declared to be unlawful all inclosures of any public lands in any State or Territory to any of which land included within said inclosure the person, party, association, or corporation making or controlling such inclosure had no claim or color of title made or acquired in good faith, or an asserted right thereto by or under claim made in good faith with a view to entry thereof at the proper land office; and which statute also prohibited any person, by force, threats, intimidation, or by any fencing or inclosure or other unlawful means, from preventing or obstructing any person from peaceably entering upon or establishing a settlement or residence on any tract of public land subject to settlement or entry under the public-land laws of the United States, and from preventing or obstructing free passage and transit over or through the public lands; and

Whereas it is by the fifth section of said act provided as follows:

That the president is hereby authorized to take such means as shall be necessary to remove and destroy any unlawful inclosure of any of said lands, and to employ civil or military force as may be necessary for that purpose.

And whereas it has been brought to my knowledge that unlawful inclosures, and such as are prohibited by the terms of the aforesaid statute, exist upon the public domain, and that actual legal settlement thereon is prevented and obstructed by such inclosures and by force, threats, and intimidation:

Now, therefore, I, Grover Cleveland, President of the United States, do hereby order and direct that any and every unlawful inclosure of the public lands maintained by any person, association, or corporation be immediately removed; and I do hereby forbid any person, association, or corporation from preventing or obstructing by means of such inclosures, or by force, threats, or intimidation, any person entitled thereto from peaceably entering upon and establishing a settlement or residence on any part of such public land which is subject to entry and settlement under the laws of the United States.

And I command and require each and every officer of the United States upon whom the duty is legally devolved to cause this order to be obeyed and all the provisions of the act of Congress herein mentioned to be faithfully enforced.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 7th day of August, 1885, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and tenth.


By the President:

T. F. BAYARD, Secretary of State .

Grover Cleveland, Proclamation 271—Ordering the Immediate Removal of Any and Every Unlawful Enclosure of Public Lands Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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