Finley v. Williams - 13 U.S. 164 (1815)
U.S. Supreme Court
Finley v. Williams, 13 U.S. 9 Cranch 164 164 (1815)
Finley v. Williams
13 U.S. (9 Cranch) 164
In Kentucky, the courts of law will not look beyond the patent, but courts of equity will, and will give validity to the elder entry against an elder patent.
Between preemption rights, the prior improvement will hold the land against a prior certificate, entry, survey, and patent.
It is not essential to the dignity of an entry upon a preemption warrant that the entry should in terms call for the improvement, although it must in fact include the improvement.
An entry calling for "the Big Blue Lick" will not support a survey and patent for land at the Upper Blue Lick, the Lower Blue Lick being generally called "the Big Blue Lick," although there may be other calls in the entry which seem to designate the Upper Blue Lick as the place intended.
If a great and prominent object, immovable and durable in itself and of general notoriety, be called for in a location, that object must fix and locate the entry, although other minor and temporary objects, to be discovered only by a strict and successful search, might prove that the locator really intended to take other land.
This was an appeal from the decree of the Circuit Court for the District of Kentucky in a suit in chancery brought by Finley to compel Williams and others, who had the elder patent, to convey certain lands to the complainant which he claimed by virtue of a prior settlement.