McArthur v. Browder - 17 U.S. 488 (1819)


U.S. Supreme Court

McArthur v. Browder, 17 U.S. 4 Wheat. 488 488 (1819)

McArthur v. Browder

17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 488

Syllabus

The rule which prevails in Kentucky and Ohio as to land titles is that at law the patent is the foundation of title, and neither party can bring his entry before the court. But a junior patentee claiming under an elder entry may in chancery support his equitable title.

A description which will identify the lands is all that is necessary to the validity of a grant, but the law requires that an entry should be, made with such certainty that subsequent purchasers may be enabled to locate the adjacent residuum.

An entry for one thousand acres of land in Ohio on Deer Creek,

"beginning where the upper line of Ralph Morgan's entry crosses the creek, running with Morgan's line on each side of the creek four hundred poles, thence up the creek four hundred poles in a direct line, thence from each side of the given line with the upper line at right angles with the side lines for quantity, held to be a valid entry."

Distinction between amending and withdrawing an entry.

Page 17 U. S. 489

The bill in equity filed in this cause by the appellant, McArthur, stated, that George Mathews, on 19 September, 1799, made the following entry with the surveyor of the Virginia army lands:

"No. 3717, 1799, September 19. George Mathews, assignee, enters 1,000 acres of land, on part of a military warrant, No. 4795, on Deer Creek, beginning where the upper line of Ralph Morgan's entry, No. 3665, crosses the creek, running with Morgan's line, on each side of the creek, 200 poles; thence up the creek 400 poles, on a direct line, thence from each side of the given line, with the upper line, at right angles with the side lines, for quantity."

That afterwards the entry of Ralph Morgan was withdrawn, and that in consequence George Mathews made the following entry:

"No. 3717, 1801, October 26. George Mathews, assignee, enters 1000 acres of land on part of a military warrant, No. 4795, on Deer Creek, beginning at two elms on the southwest bank of the creek, upper corner to Henry Mossies' survey, No. 3925, running south 45 west, 120 poles, north 65 west, 172 poles, north 17 west, 320 poles, north 76 east, 485 poles, thence south 1 west, 292 poles, thence to the beginning."

The bill charged, that the last entry was not intended as a new one, but only as an amendment or explanation of the first. This last entry was surveyed 7

Page 17 U. S. 490

October, 1807, and upon an assignment to the complainant, the land embraced in the survey was patented to the plaintiff July, 1806.

The title of Browder, the respondent, was stated in the bill as follows: that on the 20th of July 1798, Nathaniel Randolph made the following entry:

"No. 3310. July 20, 1798. Nathaniel Randolph assignee, enters 300 acres of land on three military-warrants, Nos. 4165, 4250 and 4664, on the lower side of Deer Creek, beginning at a walnut and two elms, cornered five poles from the bank of the creek, running south 61 west, 200 poles to two white oaks, and two hickories, thence north 7 west, 234 poles, thence north 61 east, 200 poles, thence to the beginning."

That the last entry was surveyed for Randolph and the oldest patent obtained by him, which he conveyed to Browder, who has recovered upon an ejectment.

By the answer and exhibits it appeared, that Randolph's survey was made 1 August, 1798; that a patent was granted to Randolph 29 September, 1800, who conveyed to the respondent. The respondent, Browder, having brought an action of ejectment, recovered the possession of the land in question; and the appellant McArthur filed this bill in equity praying for an injunction; a conveyance of so much of the land claimed by the respondent as interfered with his claim, and for general relief. The bill was dismissed by the circuit court, and the cause brought by appeal to this Court.

Page 17 U. S. 491



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