West v. Cochran - 58 U.S. 403 (1854)
U.S. Supreme Court
West v. Cochran, 58 U.S. 17 How. 403 403 (1854)
West v. Cochran
58 U.S. (17 How.) 403
The Act of Congress passed on the 3d of March, 1807, 2 Stat. 442, appointing commissioners to adjudicate land claims against the United States, required that where titles to tracts of land which had not been previously surveyed were confirmed by the board, they should be surveyed under the directions of the Surveyor General. When a certificate and plat should be filed in the proper office, a patent certificate was to issue which should entitle the claimant to a patent from the United States.
Therefore, where conflicting locations were claimed of two concessions granted by the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Louisiana, and no survey satisfactory to the public officers was made until 1852, when a patent was issued in conformity with a survey directed by the Secretary of the Interior, this patent was conclusive, in a court of law, of the location to which the party was entitled.
He could not, in an action of ejectment, sustain a claim that his patent ought to have had a different location upon the ground that the confirmation by the commissioners conferred a perfect title to different land from that covered by the patent.
This was an action of ejectment brought by West, a citizen of the State of Illinois, against Cochran, a citizen of Missouri, for all that tract or parcel of land situated in the City and County of St. Louis in said district, and which tract or parcel of land is described as follows:
"Lot number one hundred and three, 103, in block number three hundred and twenty-one, as the said lot is laid down and numbered on the map of the said city, and is bounded on the east by Second-street, beginning at the southwest
corner of Chambers and Second Street, thence along the west side of Second Street eighty feet, more or less, from Chambers Street; thence westwardly on a line parallel with Chambers Street, one hundred and fifty feet to an alley; thence northwardly eighty feet to Chambers Street; thence eastwardly along the south side of Chambers Street one hundred and fifty feet, to the place of beginning."
West claimed under the reservation made by Brazeau in his deed to Labeaume, and under the confirmation of Brazeau's title by the board of commissioners on the 22d of September, 1810.
Cochran claimed under a similar confirmation of the same date to Labeaume. The patent for Brazeau's claim did not include the land in dispute, whilst the patent for Labeaume's claim did include it, and the question was whether West, claiming under Brazeau's title, could show that the patent had been erroneously located, and could claim under the confirmation.
The circuit court decided against West, and he brought the case up to this Court by a writ of error. The case is particularly stated in the opinion of the Court.