ADAMS V. HENDERSON, 168 U. S. 573 (1897)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Adams v. Henderson, 168 U.S. 573 (1897)

Adams v. Henderson

No. 70

Argued and submitted November 1, 1897

Decided December 6, 1897

168 U.S. 573


A. & S. owned a tract of land in a township numbered 5 which was within the limits of the Union Pacific Railroad grants and was acquired from that company after the execution of its mortgages, its deed reserving to

Page 168 U. S. 574

the company the exclusive right to prospect for coal and other minerals on the lands. A. & S. contracted to sell this tract to R. & H., representing that they had a good and indefeasible estate in fee simple in it, and agreeing to furnish an abstract of title. R. & H. agreed to buy the tract for a sum named, to be paid partly in cash and partly by notes secured by mortgage on the property. The deed, mortgage, notes, and money payments were accordingly made and exchanged in supposed compliance with the agreement, but no abstract of title was furnished. In the deed and mortgage, the land was by mistake of the scrivener described as township No. 6 instead of township No. 5. A. & S. had no interest in or title to land in township No. 6. No patent was ever issued by the government for land in township No. 5. R. & H., on learning the facts, demanded the return of the money paid, and of the notes, claiming to rescind the contract of sale. A. & S. tendered a deed of the land in township No. 5. Subsequent to the tender, the Union Pacific Company released the land from claim under the coal reservation, but not as to other minerals. Held that R. & H. were not bound to accept the deed tendered, and were entitled to have the contract rescinded, and to receive back the money paid by them.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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