Lykins v. McGrath - 184 U.S. 169 (1902)
U.S. Supreme Court
Lykins v. McGrath, 184 U.S. 169 (1902)
Lykins v. McGrath
Argued and submitted January 13, 1902
Decided February 21, 1902
184 U.S. 169
It having been settled by Lomax v. Pickering, 173 U. S. 26, that, when the consent of the Secretary of the Interior is necessary to give effect to a deed of public land, that approval may be retroactive, and take effect by way of relation as of the date of the deed, and it appearing from the fact of the approval by the Secretary in this case that the Indian grantor received full payment for his land, and was in no manner imposed upon in the conveyance, and as the plaintiffs have no equitable rights superior to those of the grantee in that deed, held that the title conveyed by the deed must be upheld.
Under and by virtue of the provisions of a treaty between the United States of America and the Kas-kas-kia, Peoria, and other confederated tribes of Indians, concluded on the 30th day of May, 1854, proclaimed August 10, 1854, 10 Stat. 1083, and an act of Congress approved March 3, 1859, 11 Stat. 431, the southeast quarter of section No. fifteen (15), in township No. seventeen (17), south of range No. twenty-three (23) east, in the Territory, now state, of Kansas, and other lands, were on November 1, 1859, conveyed by the United States of America by letters patent to Ma-cha-co-meyah, or David Lykins, a member of the said Peoria tribe of Indians, being "Peoria Reserve No. 14." The patent contained the following provision: "That said tracts shall never be sold or conveyed by the grantee or his heirs without the consent of the Secretary of the Interior for the time being." On June 3, 1864, the patentee, David Lykins, conveyed the land to one Baptiste Peoria, by deed of that date, which deed was on March 10, 1865, presented to the Secretary of the Interior, and by him approved. Intermediate the making of the deed and the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, to-wit, on August 14, 1864, the patentee died, leaving the two plaintiffs in error (plaintiffs below) as his sole
heirs. This action in ejectment was commenced by them on March 18, 1899, in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Kansas against the defendant, in possession and claiming title under the deed to Baptiste Peoria. A demurrer to an amended petition was sustained, and judgment entered in favor of the defendant, whereupon this writ of error was sued out.