Here is the land patent for Jesse M. Scott, for land that he purchased in Benton County, Alabama in 1854.

Jesse M Scott Land Patent
Land Patent Certificate No. 16486, General Land Office, 1854.

“Jeſse M. Scott…” Again, Jesse is spelled with the character ſ, an archaic form called the long s once commonly used in words where a double s appeared. And again, I believe this may have given rise to the so far unproven assertion that Jesse’s first name was Jefferson.

“Benton County…” The county was established in 1832 and named for United States Senator Thomas Hart Benton. Though Benton was a slave owner, he gradually grew to believe slavery was immoral and sought to preserve the Union against secession, a threat increasingly made by slavery supporters, including fellow Senator John C. Calhoun. In 1858, four years after Jesse Scott’s land patent was issued, slavery supporters in Alabama changed the name of Benton County to Calhoun County. In 1866, Cleburne County was established from parts of Calhoun, Randolph and Talladega counties. This land patent is now filed under Cleburne County at the General Land Office.

“LAND OFFICE, at Lebanon…” Lebanon was at that time the seat of DeKalb County.

“South west quarter of the South East quarter of Section Nine in Township Fifteen, of Range Twelve, in the District of Lands Subject to sale at Lebanon Alabama, Containing Forty acres and four Hundredths of an acre.”

“Franklin Pierce…” Pierce was the 14th President of the United States who took office in 1853, the year before this patent was issued. Pierce’s most notable achievement as president was the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska act, which fueled public tensions over slavery and led to a series of armed conflicts known as Bleeding Kansas, prelude to the Civil War. Historians generally consider Pierce to be the worst president.

“Fifteenth day of July… one thousand eight hundred and fifty four…” A great day!

“H. E. Baldwin, Aſst. Sec’y…” This was Henry Erastus Baldwin, assistant secretary of the General Land Office. There’s that long s again in “Aſst”!

“J. N. Granger, RECORDER of the General Land Office…” Julius Nelson Granger. He was appointed by President Pierce in 1853 and served as recorder for 28 years.


Bureau of Land Management, “Land Patent Search,” digital images, General Land Office Records ( : accessed 17 February 2020), Jesse M. Scott (Cleburne, Alabama), land patent no. 16486.

Wikipedia contributors. (2020, January 12). Long s. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:20, February 4, 2020, from

Wikipedia contributors. (2020, January 28). Calhoun County, Alabama. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 04:17, February 18, 2020, from,_Alabama&oldid=937952773

Wikipedia contributors. (2020, January 31). Cleburne County, Alabama. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 05:44, February 18, 2020, from,_Alabama&oldid=938423580

Wikipedia contributors. (2020, February 11). Franklin Pierce. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 04:45, February 18, 2020, from

Wikipedia contributors. (2020, February 17). Bleeding Kansas. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 04:47, February 18, 2020, from

Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 17 February 2020), memorial page for Henry Erastus Baldwin (15 Dec 1815–12 Feb 1857), Find A Grave Memorial no. 81150413, citing Maple Street Cemetery, Newport, Sullivan County, New Hampshire, USA ; Maintained by Leslie (contributor 47196198).

Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 17 February 2020), memorial page for Julius Nelson Granger (22 Jun 1810–28 Mar 1884), Find A Grave Memorial no. 116414246, citing Pioneers Cemetery, Manchester, Ontario County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Butterfly~Kisses (contributor 46994799).