Sylvester v. Washington - 215 U.S. 80 (1909)
U.S. Supreme Court
Sylvester v. Washington, 215 U.S. 80 (1909)
Sylvester v. Washington
Argued November 4, 5, 1909
Decided November 15, 1909
215 U.S. 80
Where, in the state court, plaintiff in error set up the invalidity of a deed under the provisions of an act of Congress and judgment could not be rendered against him without sustaining the deed, this Court has jurisdiction under § 709, Rev.Stat. Anderson v. Carkins, 135 U. S. 483; Nutt v. Knut, 200 U. S. 12.
Where Congress appropriates for a territory to erect buildings, the implication is that the territory must control the land on which the buildings are to be erected, and where land is cheap, the implied authority will not be limited to merely leasing the land. Quaere whether an organized territory has not power to purchase land for a seat of government.
Under the Oregon Donation Act of September 27, 1850, c. 76, 9 Stat. 496, as amended July 17, 1850, c. 84, § 2, 10 Stat. 305, no condition except residence for four years was necessary to validate a sale by a settler before a patent.
On a writ of error where the rights of the parties depend upon the validity of a deed under an act of Congress, this Court is confined to the question of validity under the statute and the effect of the deed, if valid, upon the later rights and acquisitions of the grantor is a matter of local law; and, in this case, the Court will not disturb the assumption of the state court that a settler giving a valid deed before patent perfected the title and obtained the patent on behalf of his grantee, or else that the patent enured to the benefit of the grantee.
46 Wash. 585 affirmed.
The facts are stated in the opinion.