The May 1779 Land Laws passed by the Virginia General Assembly authorized the sale of treasury warrants to patent "waste and unappropriated land." After proof of payment was established, the Virginia Land Office provided a printed warrant specifying the quantity of land and the rights upon which it was due. No proof of prior military service or residency was required for purchasing a treasury warrant. The initial price was 40 pounds for every 100 acres. Proceeds from the sale of treasury warrants were used "to create a sinking fund in aid of the annual taxes to discharge the public debt." Some treasury warrants were issued by special acts or resolutions of the Virginia General Assembly.
By declaring there was no limit on the number of treasury warrants that could be purchased, the Virginia General Assembly opened the door to land speculators and their agents. Multiple treasury warrants could authorize a single patent for thousands of acres.
This database includes all entries in the Virginia Treasury Warrants Register, Volumes I and II. It includes the names of persons purchasing the warrants, immediate assignees, acreage, cost of warrant (in pounds, shillings and pence) and the date the warrant was purchased. Treasury warrant numbers range from 1 to 23,082. Some warrant numbers were skipped, and some were used more than once.
The database may include references to patent series (Virginia and Old Kentucky) and patent numbers associated with the treasury warrants. An asterisk (*) indicates the actual treasury warrant is recorded in the patent file. Researchers should contact the Library of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia, for information regarding patents in Virginia that may have been authorized by treasury warrants listed on this database.
For more information about Virginia Treasury Warrants, please review the frequently asked questions or contact the Land Office at (502) 564-3490 or via email.