I first encountered Bounty Land when researching the life of my 4th great grandfather, William Bennett, a Revolutionary War veteran who suffered from wounds received at Bunker Hill for the remainder of his life.
As a new nation, the United States, was short on cash and long on land with which to pay her veteran soldiers in lieu of military pay and in many cases in lieu of pensions.
Enter the Bounty Lands law as a vehicle to pay these veterans. William received property on the frontier as his payment which he cleared and created a farm to support his family.
He wasn’t alone. Bounty lands were the common form of payment for a large percentage of early military veterans. The pension laws and bounty lands laws were on the books for a fairly long time. How do we as genealogy researchers understand the laws and their application in the lives of our ancestors?
The answer lies in the book “Army and Navy pension laws, and bounty land laws of the United States” by Robert Mayo and Ferdinand Moulton.
Thanks to Google, the book is online for us to peruse at any time of the day from home.