Tomahawk rights gave the settler no legal title unless followed by occupation or a warrant and a patent secured from the land office. But the Tomahawk rights were quite generally recognized by the early settlers, and many of them were purchased cheaply by other settlers who did not want to enter into a controversy with the claimants who made them.
Building a cabin and raising a crop of grain of any kind, however small, led to cabin rights, which were recognized not only by custom but also by law. The laws of the colonies and states varied in their requirements of the settler. In Virginia the occupant was entitled to 400 acres (1.6 km2) of land and to a pre-emption right to 1,000 acres (4 km2) more adjoining, to be secured in either case by a land-office warrant, the basis of a later patent or grant from colonial or state authorities.
- Doddridge, Joseph (1896). "The Settlement of the Western Country". In Hart, Albert Bushnell. American History Told By Contemporaries. 2. Macmillan. p. 388.
- Albigence Waldo Putnam -History of Middle Tennessee 1859 - Page 62 "Grants known as "cabin-rights" were in that day offered for sale, as land-scrip or warrants are in this. These were bestowed under an act of much liberality passed by the State of Virginia."
- Dictionary of American History by James Truslow Adams, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940