United States v. Huertas
34 U.S. 171 (1835)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Huertas, 34 U.S. 9 Pet. 171 171 (1835)

United States v. Huertas

34 U.S. (9 Pet.) 171

APPEAL FROM THE SUPERIOR

COURT OF EAST FLORIDA

Syllabus

On 15 September, 1817, the appellee, on his petition to the Governor of East Florida for a grant of land for fifteen thousand acres, for services performed by him, obtained a decree of the governor for the same. The land is described in the petition particularly, and its location designated. In December, 1820, an order of survey was obtained for the lands, and they were surveyed. The certificate of survey omits to state that the lands lie at the place described in the petition. The surveys were executed in April, 1821, and full titles to the land were granted in the same month.

By the Court:

"The order of survey, and the full title granted for the land surveyed, could convey nothing not comprehended in the decree of 15 September, 1817. That decree was for fifteen thousand acres of land, lying at the place described in the petition."

The district court decided that the claim was valid and confirmed it according to the surveys.

By the court:

"This Court concurs with the district court so far as respects the validity of the claim, but disapproves of that part of it which confirms the title to the lands described in the surveys made in April, 1821. These surveys do not appear to conform to the concession under which alone the petitioner can claim."

The decree of the district court was affirmed so far as it declared the claim of the petitioner was valid, and reversed so far as it confirmed the title to the land in the surveys. The cause was remanded to the district court, with directions to cause a survey to be made of the lands contained in the concession, according to its terms, and to decree the same to the claimant.

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE MARSHALL delivered the opinion of the Court.

On 15 September, 1817, Antonio Huertas, an inhabitant of East Florida, petitioned the governor of that province for fifteen thousand acres of land, on which the following decree was made.

"In attention to what this petitioner represents, and whereas

Page 34 U. S. 172

the services he mentions are well known, I grant to him, in the name of His Majesty and of his royal justice, which I administer, the fifteen thousand acres of land which he solicits, in order that he may possess and enjoy them in absolute ownership, and in testimony,"

&c.

The land solicited is described in the petition as lying on a stream running west of St. John's River and emptying itself into it at the distance of about twelve miles south of the Lake George, and the survey to begin at about four or five miles west of the River St. John, so that the said stream will divide the tract into two parts.

In December, 1820, an order was obtained for surveying the land in four tracts, one of two thousand five hundred acres, another of one thousand five hundred, a third of six hundred, and the fourth of ten thousand four hundred acres. These surveys were executed in April, 1821, and full titles granted in the same month.

These several tracts adjoin each other, and appear to lie on the stream required in the petition and directed by the decree. But the certificate of the surveyor omits to state that the land lies four or five miles west of the River St. John.

The order of survey and the full title granted for the land surveyed could convey nothing not comprehended in the decree of 15 September, 1817. That decree was for fifteen thousand acres of land lying in the place described in the petition.

The district court decided that the claim was valid, and confirmed it to the claimant

"to the extent, and agreeable to the boundaries, as in the grants for the said land, and the plats for the four surveys thereof made, by Don Andrew Burgevin, and dated 5 April, 1821, and filed herein, as set forth."

This Court concurs with the district court, so far as respects the validity of the claim, but disapproves of that part of it which confirms the title to the lands described in the surveys made in April, 1821. Those surveys do not appear to this Court to conform to the concession made in 1817, under which alone the petitioner can claim. The decree of the district court is

Affirmed so far as it declares the claim of the petitioner to be valid, and is reversed so far as it confirms his title to the

Page 34 U. S. 173

lands described in the several plats of surveys referred to in the decree. And the cause is remanded to the district court with directions to cause a survey to be made of the lands contained in the said concession, according to the terms thereof, and to decree the same to the claimant, so far as he has retained his title thereto.

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