Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Tree That Owns Itself

I've abstracted tons of deeds, but never one like this. The Athens (Ga.) Weekly Banner of August 12, 1890, reported that one William Jackson had conveyed ownership of an oak tree to itself.

William Jackson was reportedly a professor at the University of Georgia; the nature of his military service and the source of the title colonel is unknown. Jackson cherished childhood memories of the tree and, desiring to protect it, he deeded to the tree ownership of itself and the surrounding land. By various accounts this transaction took place between 1820 and 1832. According to the newspaper article, the deed read:

I, W. H. Jackson, of the county of Clarke, of the one part, and the oak tree… of the county of Clarke, of the other part: Witnesseth, That the said W. H. Jackson for and in consideration of the great affection which he bears said tree, and his great desire to see it protected has conveyed, and by these presents do convey unto the said oak tree entire possession of itself and of all land within eight feet of it on all sides.
[Photo credit: the tree that owns itself by bpmuzik]

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