Buchannon v. Upshaw
42 U.S. 56 (1843)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Buchannon v. Upshaw, 42 U.S. 1 How. 56 56 (1843)

Buchannon v. Upshaw

42 U.S. (1 How.) 56


There were two titles to a tract of land, the senior title held by Upshaw and the junior by Buckner, both derived from the same person who had sold to both.

Buckner soon afterwards sold to Buchannon, who paid Buckner and took possession.

Upshaw subsequently agreed to ratify the sale from the original holder to Buckner, upon receiving an assignment of Buckner's bond for the purchase money, not yet due, and other securities.

The bond not being paid, Upshaw brought an ejectment and obtained a judgment. Buckner's assignees filed a bill to obtain a perpetual injunction.

There is a privity of contract between them and Upshaw, and a perpetual injunction will be granted upon their fulfilling the obligations of Buckner, their assignor; it was not their duty, under the circumstances, to have tendered the money to Upshaw.

A power in Buckner to resell, and a sale made under that power, prior to Upshaw's giving his assent to the sale from the original holder to Buckner himself, did not extinguish the equitable right of Upshaw to receive the purchase money, or to proceed against the land.

Upshaw's right not destroyed by lapse of time, because he had brought suit on Buckner's bond and the other securities, and was not in a condition for a long time to make a valid title.

Upshaw, being held bound by his assent to the sale to Buckner, is entitled to the advantage which that paper gave him as to the application of part of the purchase money to one purchase in preference to another.

Interest must begin to run from the time when Upshaw asserted his claim to the land, and what is due to Upshaw must be made up by the present holders of the land, each one contributing in proportion to the price which he paid to Buckner.

The case was this:

John Buchannon and others filed a bill in the Circuit Court of Ohio against Upshaw, stating that Upshaw had obtained a judgment in an action of ejectment against them, and praying for two things:

1. That he, Upshaw, might be perpetually enjoined from proceeding in execution upon said judgment; and

2. That he might be compelled to convey by deed in fee simple, the land

Page 42 U. S. 57

which had been the subject of the suit in ejectment. The circuit court, after various proceedings, decreed that the injunction which had been temporarily granted, restraining Upshaw from suing out executions upon his judgment in ejectment, should be dissolved; that the bill should be dismissed, and that Buchannon and others should pay to Upshaw a certain sum of money for the rents and profits, after deducting the value of the improvements made upon the land. From this decree an appeal was taken to this Court.

On the 11th of December, 1789, Beverly Roy obtained from the Commonwealth of Virginia a patent for one thousand acres of land in the Virginia Military District of Ohio, and within Clermont County. He sold three hundred acres of this tract to one Buchannon, and contracted to convey the remaining seven hundred (the land in controversy in the present suit) to Lyne Shackleford.

On 10 April, 1797, Shackleford sold this tract of seven hundred acres to Upshaw, the defendant in the present appeal; but not having the legal title in himself at that time, he procured it to be made directly from Roy to Upshaw, without passing through himself. On 20 July, 1797, Roy accordingly executed a conveyance to Upshaw for these seven hundred acres, and also a bond for further assurance.

On 16 November, 1797, Shackleford, being thus destitute of the legal title, nevertheless sold to Philip Buckner, the same tract of seven hundred acres which he had previously sold to Upshaw. It was alleged in the bill that this sale was made with Upshaw's consent, but no evidence of it was furnished, except that in the contract of 1801, his consent is stated to be given at some time prior to 1801. At the same time, Shackleford sold also to Buckner another tract of one thousand acres. The price for both tracts was

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