Croghan's Lessee v. Nelson
44 U.S. 187

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U.S. Supreme Court

Croghan's Lessee v. Nelson, 44 U.S. 3 How. 187 187 (1845)

Croghan's Lessee v. Nelson

44 U.S. (3 How.) 187


In making an entry of land, where mistakes occur which are occasioned by the impracticability of ascertaining the relative positions of the objects called for, the court will correct those mistakes so as to carry out the intentions of the locator.

The case was this:

On 16 August, 1784, William Croghan, under whom the plaintiff claimed title, made the following entry:

"William Croghan, assignee, enters 1,000 acres of land, part of a military warrant, No. 2023, beginning at a fork of Mayfield Creek, about two miles by water above Fort Jefferson, where a branch, occasioned by the high waters from the Mississippi, runs out of said creek, and at high water empties into the river at the upper end of the iron banks, from said beginning 500 poles, when reduced to a straight line, and then off from the branch towards [the] Mississippi on a line parallel to Mayfield Creek, until a line from the extremity of said line, parallel with the first line, will strike Mayfield Creek, to include the quantity."

On 29 November, 1826, a patent was issued to Croghan by the Governor of Kentucky, which described the land as follows:

"Beginning at a fork of Mayfield Creek, occasioned by high water from the Mississippi River, and which creek or bayou empties into the Mississippi at the upper end of the iron banks, on a walnut, sweet gum, and ash standing on the west bank of the creek; running thence down the bayou or branch aforesaid with the meanders thereof, S. 18

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