The following sentences reports on Virginia’s efforts to establish public financing of education during the early 18th century; such funds were to later be applied to support the establishment of the University of Virginia:

The Act of February 2, 1810, provided that all escheats, confiscations, fines (except militia fines), penalties, forfeitures, and derelict personal property accruing to the state be appropriated for encouragement of learning.

[Source: D. Malone, The Sage of Monticello (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1981), p. 236-7.]

Definition from Wikipedia:  “Escheat is a common law doctrine that operates to ensure that property is not left in limbo and ownerless. It originally referred to a number of situations where a legal interest in land was destroyed by operation of law…The term is often now applied to the transfer of the title to a person’s property to the state when the person dies intestate without any other person capable of taking the property as heir…In some jurisdictions, escheat can also occur when an entity (such as a bank) holds money or property (such as an account in that bank) and the property goes unclaimed. In many jurisdictions, if the owner cannot be located, such property can be revocably escheated to the government.”

This post is part of a series, in which I look up words from my reading.  These entries include foreign phrases, archaic and technical terms, and words for which my understanding is too approximate for my liking.

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