UNITED STATES V. HUGHES, 54 U. S. 4 (1851)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Hughes, 54 U.S. 13 How. 4 4 (1851)

United States v. Hughes

54 U.S. (13 How.) 4


The Court again decides, as in the preceding case, that where a Spanish grant was made in 1788 and no evidence was offered that possession was taken under the

Page 54 U. S. 5

grant, nor any claim of right or title made under it until 1837, nor any evidence given to account for the neglect, the presumption is that the claim had been abandoned.

In this case also there was no proof that the persons who purported to convey as heirs were actually the heirs of the party whom they professed to represent.

This was a land case arising under the acts of 1824 and 1844, and came up by appeal from the District Court of the United States for Louisiana.

The parties were the same as in the preceding case.

The petition in this case was filed in the District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on 16 June, 1846.

The petitioner, Hughes, claims under a grant alleged to have been made by Governor Gayoso to Andre Martin on 10 October, 1798, of a tract of land of twenty-eight arpents front, with a depth of one hundred arpents, situated on the west bank of the Atchafalaya, about one league above where the trace or road from Opelousas to Point Coupee crosses the said river. The petitioner alleges further that said Martin took immediate possession &c., and that the board of commissioners made a favorable report on the claim in the year 1840, but that Congress never acted on it, and that he holds a title to one thousand arpents thereof &c. He thereupon prays that his title may be decreed to be good.

The answer of the United States is a general denial of the allegations of the petition.

The evidence of the original title is the petition of Andre Martin to the governor for the said tract of land, and the governor's decree thereon, signed by him in these words: "Granted forever, that he may establish it," and dated "New Orleans, October 10, 1798."

Hughes claimed title under a deed from certain persons who represented themselves to be the heirs of Martin dated 14f July, 1848.

The district court decided in favor of the petitioner, and the United States appealed.

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