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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Davenport's Heirs, 56 U.S. 15 How. 1 1 (1853)

United States v. Davenport's Heirs

56 U.S. (15 How.) 1


Two grants of land in the country known as the neutral territory lying between the Sac River and the Arroyo Hondo confirmed, namely one for La Nana granted in 1798 and the other for Los Ormegas granted in 1795.

These grants were made by the commandant of the Spanish post of Nacogdoches, who at that time had power to make inchoate grants.

In both cases, the grants had defined metes and bounds, and the grantees were placed in possession by a public officer and exercised many acts of ownership.

The evidence of the grants was copies made by the commandant of the post and also copies made by the land office in Texas. These copies, under the circumstances, are sufficient.

At the date of these grants, it was necessary to obtain the ratification of the civil and military governor before the title became perfected. This not having been done in the present case, the title was imperfect, although the petition alleges that it was perfect, and the district court had jurisdiction under the acts of 1824 and 1844.

But the district court ought not to have decreed that floats should issue where the United States had sold portions of the land, because these vendees were not made parties to the proceedings.

This was an appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Louisiana under the acts of 1824 and 1844 so often referred to in cases previously reported.

The facts of the case are recited in the opinion of the Court.

Page 56 U. S. 4

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