If a veteran or his widow received a land warrant for service in the War of 1812, they had one of two choices:
- haul their happy self to territory that had unclaimed federal land
- sell the warrant and assign it to someone who did want to haul their happy self to territory that had unclaimed federal land
Then whoever had the warrant would claim the appropriate amount of acreage in the federal domain and surrender the warrant in exchange for title to the property. The warrant was what was used for payment or consideration. After the paperwork was completed, the individual who surrendered the warrant would receive a “first deed” (patent) giving them title to the real estate they had claimed.
The application to get the warrant (filed by the veteran or his widow) is at the National Archives. The surrendered land warrants are as well.