When established by Congress in 1798, the Mississippi Territory encompassed the present-day state of Mississippi and seven present-day counties in Alabama. Following the West Florida Revolution of 1810, the Mississippi counties of Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson were added to the territory. For the one hundred years preceding U.S. control, however, France, Spain, and Great Britain exercised authority in the Mississippi Territory.
The work at hand, which derives from “Public Lands” and “Claims” records found in “The American State Papers,” consists of British and Spanish land grants or patents made to Americans and subsequently recorded in the Register’s Office for the Mississippi Territory. Each record gives the name of the original grantee, the present claimant, date of the grant, patent or commissioner’s certificate, acreage, location of the grant, evidence of grant fulfillment, and remarks. Not every record comes with embellishments; however, those that do, provide evidence concerning the age of the grantee, date of original survey, names of relatives, and/or witnesses. Researchers on the trail of 18th-century ancestors in the American southeast will encounter over 1,000 in this work; however, they must consult the name index at the end of each of Mr. Smith’s three original booklets in order to find them.