UNITED STATES V. OSIO, 64 U. S. 273 (1859)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Osio, 64 U.S. 23 How. 273 273 (1859)

United States v. Osio

64 U.S. (23 How.) 273


Where an island in the bay of San Francisco, in California, was claimed not under the colonization law of 1824 or the regulations of 1828, but under certain special orders issued to the governor by the Mexican government, and the governor was alleged to have issued a grant in 1838, the petitioner never took possession or exercised acts of ownership of the island under that decree, which therefore affords no foundation for his claim.

In 1839, a petition was addressed to the governor praying for a new title of possession, and it was alleged that a grant was issued, but it does not appear that it was recorded according to law, nor is the testimony satisfactory to show that it was signed by the governor.

Where no record evidence is exhibited, the mere proof of handwriting by third persons who did not subscribe the instrument as witnesses or see it executed, is not sufficient in this class of cases to establish the validity of the claim without some other confirmatory evidence.

The special orders above mentioned were contained in a dispatch from the Mexican government, giving the power to the governor, in concurrence with the departmental assembly.

This provision differs essentially from the regulations of 1828, under which the action of the assembly was separate and independent, and subsequent to the action of the governor. But the power conferred by this dispatch could not be exercised by the governor without the concurrence of the departmental assembly. Both must participate in the adjudication of the title, and as the assembly did not concur in this grant, it is simply void.

Page 64 U. S. 274

The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.

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