Skip to content

James Harrod Trust Releases ‘Mercer County Land Patents’ Historical Book

Photo: Submitted
The James Harrod Trust, a non-profit advocate for historic preservation in Harrodsburg recently announced the avail­ability or “Mercer County Land Patents, A Comprehen­sive Study of Land Appropria­tion in Mercer County, Ken­tucky, from 1779 to 1841.”

Kandie Adkinson
Contributing Writer

The James Harrod Trust, a non-profit advocate for historic preservation in Harrodsburg recently announced the avail­ability of “Mercer County Land Patents, A Comprehen­sive Study of Land Appropria­tion in Mercer County, Ken­tucky, from 1779 to 1841.”

Perhaps a logical follow­up question might be: “What in the world is a land pat­ent?” This article will attempt to provide a brief overview of the land patenting process and the historical significance of the James Harrod Trust pub­lication.

In 1763—13 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed—King George III of England issued a proclamation that addressed two of his major concerns: 1) How should vet­erans of the F1ench and Indian War be compensated–with land or money? and 2) What is the best way to remind sur­veying companjes he was in charge of land appropriation in the western hemisphere?

In his Proclamation of 1763, King George III devel­oped a four-step process by which he (or a royal governor) could transfer property owner­ship to settlers who resided east of the designated proc­lamation line which extended from Canada to present-day Florida. (The Kentucky territory, known as “the Western Waters” was located west of the proclamation line which King George III had reserved for Native Americans. Treaties and exploration associated with westward expansion and “Manifest Destiny” nullified the proclamation line of 1763 after the Revolutionary War.)

For the rest of the story, check out this week’s edition of the Harrodsburg Herald. Click here to subscribe.

Leave a Comment