John Lake appears on the Bureau of Land Management's database of land patents as having received a land patent for property in Chariton County, Missouri, in April of 1857. Never having seen a preemption claim, I am curious exactly what it contains. My contact at the National Archives is working on getting me a copy of the file. I'll post more when I know more and will probably use the information from the file for a future Casefile Clues column for Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.
John Lake was in Mercer County, Kentucky, in 1850. I'm hoping there will be something in his preemption claim file that will help me pinpoint his migration into Missouri.