St. Paul & P. R. Co. v. Northern Pac. R. Co. - 139 U.S. 1 (1891)
U.S. Supreme Court
St. Paul & P. R. Co. v. Northern Pac. R. Co., 139 U.S. 1 (1891)
St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Company v.
Northern Pacific Railroad Company
Argued November 5-6, 1890
Decided March 2, 1891
139 U.S. 1
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
The grant of public land to the Northern Pacific Railroad Company in the Act of July 2, 1564, 13 Stat. c. 217, p. 360, was a grant in praesenti, in the nature of a float until the route should be determined, and, after that, attaching to specific sections, capable of identification, except as to sections which were specifically reserved.
The force of such grant was in no respect impaired or its construction affected by the provision in section four of that act that patents for the land should be issued as sections of twenty-five miles of the road should be completed; but the company was not at liberty to dispose of its land not patented without the consent of Congress.