Blackwell v. Patton and Erwin's Lessee
11 U.S. 471

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U.S. Supreme Court

Blackwell v. Patton and Erwin's Lessee, 11 U.S. 7 Cranch 471 471 (1813)

Blackwell v. Patton and Erwin's Lessee

11 U.S. (7 Cranch) 471

Syllabus

By the laws of North Carolina and Tennessee, a deed for land in Tennessee, executed in North Carolina, by grantors residing there in the year 1794, proved in 1797 by one of the subscribing witnesses before a judge in North Carolina, and recorded in 1808 in the proper county in Tennessee, is valid, and may be given in evidence in ejectment. In ejectment, the date of the demise in the declaration may be amended during the trial so as to conform to the title.

The first grant from the State of North Carolina upon an entry is valid although issued upon a duplicate warrant, the original being in the hands of the surveyor general, although a subsequent grant issue upon the original warrant for other lands.

Error to the Circuit Court for the District of Tennessee in an action of ejectment brought by the lessee of Patton and Erwin against Blackwell for 5,000 acres of land in Bedford County in the State of Tennessee.

At the trial, the defendant took three bills of exceptions.

The first stated that the plaintiff produced in evidence at the trial a deed of bargain and sale from I. G. and Thomas Blount, to whom it was alleged

Page 11 U. S. 472

the land had been granted by the State of North Carolina while it was a part of that state. The deed from I. G. and T. Blount was executed on 9 October, 1794, to David Allison. On 29 September, 1797, it was proved by one of the subscribing witnesses before John Heywood, a judge of the Supreme Court of Law and Equity for the State of North Carolina, and registered in Stoke's County.

On 9 December, 1807, the handwriting of the subscribing witnesses, who were dead, and of the grantors was proved before Samuel Powell, one of the judges of the Supreme Court of Law and Equity of the State of Tennessee, who ordered it to be registered. At November term, 1808, in the Supreme Court of Tennessee for Mero District (in which the land lies), the handwriting of the grantors and of the subscribing witnesses was again proved, and on 28 December, 1808, the deed was recorded in the proper county. On the trial (which was in June term, 1810), the plaintiff offered parol evidence to prove the handwriting of the subscribing witnesses and their death before the month of December, 1807, and also to prove the handwriting of the grantors.

To the admission of this evidence the defendant below objected, but the court overruled the objection and admitted the deed in evidence.

The 2d bill of exceptions stated that the plaintiff also offered in evidence a deed to his lessors bearing date after the demise laid in the declaration, to the admission of which deed the defendant objected, but the court admitted it to be read in evidence, saying the date of the demise was immaterial, or the plaintiff might amend his declaration, which he did, before the jury retired from the bar, by altering the date of the demise.

The 3d bill of exceptions stated that the defendant offered evidence to prove that the original grant or patent from the State of North Carolina to I. G. and Thomas Blount was issued upon a duplicate warrant, while the original warrant was in the hands of the surveyor general, and that I. G. and Thomas Blount afterwards obtained another grant or patent from the state

Page 11 U. S. 473

of North Carolina for other lands upon the original warrant. To the admission of this evidence, the plaintiff objected, and the court rejected it.

Page 11 U. S. 475

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