UNITED STATES V. WADDELL, 112 U. S. 76 (1884)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Waddell, 112 U.S. 76 (1884)

United States v. Waddell

Submitted October 14, 1884

Decided November 3, 1884

112 U.S. 76


§ 5508 Rev.Stat. is a constitutional and valid law. Ex Parte Yarbrough, 110 U. S. 651, affirmed.

The exercise by a citizen of the United States of the right to make a homestead entry upon unoccupied public lands which is conferred by § 2289 Rev.Stat. is the exercise of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States within the meaning of § 5508 Rev.Stat.

An information which charges in substance that a citizen of the United States, made, on a given day at a land office of the United States a homestead entry on a quarter section of land subject to entry at that place, and that afterwards, while residing on that land for the purpose of perfecting his right to the same under specified laws of the United States on that subject, the defendants conspired to injure and oppress him and to intimidate and threaten him in the free exercise and enjoyment of that right and because of his having exercised it and to prevent his compliance with those laws, and in the second count that, in pursuance of the conspiracy, they did upon said homestead tract, with force and arms, fire off loaded guns and pistols in his cabin, and did then and there drive him from his home on said homestead entry, and in the third count that the defendants went in disguise on the premises when occupied by him, with intent to prevent and hinder the free exercise of and enjoyment by him of the right and privilege to make said homestead entry on lands of the United States secured to him by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and the right to cultivate and improve said lands and mature his title as provided by the statute, states the facts with precision so as to bring the case within § 5508 Rev.Stat.

The certificate of division contained two questions which this Court decided, and a third whether the demurrer below was well taken. No ground of demurrer was assigned which raised any question except the two decided, but the record disclosed a grave constitutional question which was not argued or suggested by counsel. Held that the case should be remanded with answers to the two questions and for further proceedings.

Information charging a conspiracy to violate a law of the United States. The proceedings, and the facts which make the case, are fully stated in the opinion of the Court.

Page 112 U. S. 77

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