BURTON'S LESSEE V. WILLIAMS, 16 U. S. 529 (1818)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Burton's Lessee v. Williams, 16 U.S. 3 Wheat. 529 529 (1818)

Burton's Lessee v. Williams

16 U.S. (3 Wheat.) 529


The State of North Carolina, by her act of cession of the western lands of 1789, ch. 30, recited in the Act of Congress 1790, ch. 33, accepting that cession, and by her act of 1804, ch. 3, ceding to Tennessee the right to issue grants, has parted with her right to issue grants for lands within the State of Tennessee, upon entries made before the cession.

Under the cession act, ratified by the act of Congress, the United States held the domain of the vacant lands in Tennessee subject to the right which North Carolina retained of perfecting the inchoate titles created under her laws.

But it seems that the holder of such a grant may resort to the equity jurisdiction of the United States courts for relief.

This was an action of ejectment, brought by the plaintiff in error to recover the possession of 5,000 acres of land lying in Maury County in the State of Tennessee, and granted to the lessor of the plaintiff by the State of North Carolina on 14 July, 1812. The grant was founded on an entry made on 27 October, 1783, in the land office of North Carolina, commonly called John Armstrong's office, on a warrant of survey issued from the same office on 10 July, 1784, and on a survey made on 26 February, 1812, under an act of the Legislature of North Carolina passed in 1811. The lands lay in that part of Tennessee in which the disposition of the vacant and unappropriated lands is reserved to the United States by the Act of Congress of 18 April, 1806, ch. 31. This title was offered

Page 16 U. S. 530

in evidence by the plaintiff at the trial, and was objected to by the defendant, who claimed under a grant from Tennessee. The evidence was rejected by the court below, on which the plaintiff excepted and the cause was brought by writ of error to this Court.

Page 16 U. S. 533

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