This paper examines the early accounting practices that were used to administer the United States' national land system. These practices are of significance because they provide insights on early governmental accounting and they facilitated an orderly settlement of the western territories.

The analysis focuses on the record-keeping and control practices that were developed to meet the provisions of the Land Act of 1800 and to account for land office transactions. These accounting procedures were extracted from the correspondence between the Department of the Treasury and the various land officers.

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