MARKS V. DICKSON, 61 U. S. 501 (1857)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Marks v. Dickson, 61 U.S. 20 How. 501 501 (1857)

Marks v. Dickson

61 U.S. (20 How.) 501


In May, 1830, Congress passed an Act, 4 Stat. 420, which gave the right of preemption to settlers on the public lands, but made null and void all assignments and transfers of the right of preemption prior to the issuance of patents. This act was to remain in force for one year.

In January, 1832, another Act was passed, 4 Stat. 496, supplementary to the former, allowing certificates of purchase to be transferred, and patents to be issued in the name of the assignee.

In June, 1834, another Act was passed, 4 Stat. 678, reviving the act of 1830.

The true construction of this act of 1834 is not that it restored the prohibitory clause of 1830, but that it revived the supplement, together with the original act, and that consequently an assignment was good and legal before a patent was issued.

But it was necessary to enter the land at the land office, before the right of assignment accrued; and, therefore, assignments made before such entry were assignments of floats, and void.

A power, however, although executed before the location, was sufficient to justify an assignment made after the location, there being a tacit affirmance of the power, when it might have been set aside.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the court.

Page 61 U. S. 504

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