Blake v. Doherty - 18 U.S. 359 (1820)
U.S. Supreme Court
Blake v. Doherty, 18 U.S. 5 Wheat. 359 359 (1820)
Blake v. Doherty
18 U.S. (5 Wheat.) 359
It is essential to the validity of a grant that the thing granted should be so described as to be capable of being distinguished from other things of the same kind. But it is not necessary that the grant itself should contain such a description as without the aid of extrinsic testimony to ascertain precisely what is conveyed.
Natural objects called for in a grant may be proved by testimony not found in the grant but consistent, with it.
The following description in a patent of the land granted is not void for uncertainty, but may be made certain by extrinsic testimony.
"A tract of land in our Middle District on the west fork of Cane Creek, the waters of Elk River, beginning at a hickory, running north one thousand poles to a white oak, then east eight hundred poles to a stake, then south one thousand poles to a stake, then west eight hundred poles to the beginning, as per plat hereunto annexed doth appear."
The plat and certificate of survey annexed to the patent, and a copy of the entry on which the survey was made, are admissible in evidence for this purpose.
A general plan made by authority conformably to in act of the local legislature may also be submitted with other evidence to the jury to avail, quantum valere potest, in ascertaining boundary.
But a demarcation, or private survey, made by directions of a party interested under the grant is inadmissible evidence because it would enable the grantee to fix a vagrant grant by his own act.