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Corn Writs

Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:13 pm
by bourbonv
I keep hearing about people on distillery tours told that a "Corn Writ" gave away land in Kentucky and helped populate the state with distillers. As a person who knows Kentucky history, I have to say I am appaled by hearing this story. First of all, there was no need for Virginia to go to such lengths to give away land in Kentucky. The truth is the Corn Wris were inacted because of the opposite problem - too many people settled in Kentucky without a clear claim.

Kentucky land was filled by two different land grant companies and only one had a claim recognized by the goverment in Richmond. People had oved to Kentucky after purchasing land from both companies so the government in Virginia had to straighten out the mess as to who had legal claim to what. This was especially important since they wanted to pay their veterans of the Revolutionary war with land grants in Kentucky. The "Corn Writs" were laws that allowed a person ALREADY in Kentucky but had a grant from the Transylvania company (Daniel Boone for one) to make a portion of his claim legal if he could proove he had built a cabin and raised a crop of corn on the land. It did not give away land to people whio were not already in the state.

Re: Corn Writs

Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:11 pm
by EllenJ
A very good point, Mike. But was land in the "wild west" even being offered to folks who didn't already live in Virginia (i.e., Richmond, Jamestown, Fairfield, Culpeper, etc.)? I don't mean others were BARRED from obtaining land in the the wilderness, just that the real estate developers were MOSTLY Virginia-based (including Boone and probably Washington as well).

Re: Corn Writs

Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:49 pm
by bourbonv
The land was mostly in the hands of Virginians who were griven grants for service in the revolution. There were two prior companies that claimed to have negotiated with the native Americans for the land and one was the Transylvania compnay. Virginia did not recognize their claim and many people (including Daniel Boone) had to go to court to keep their land. The corn writ is what the Virginia legislature came up with to prove the claim. Most people who came to Kentucky had to purchase their land from a veteran or a land speculator who bought up many of these grants from veterans for pennies on the dollar.