McKinney v. Saviego - 59 U.S. 235 (1855)
U.S. Supreme Court
McKinney v. Saviego, 59 U.S. 18 How. 235 235 (1855)
McKinney v. Saviego
59 U.S. (18 How.) 235
Where a person who owned land in Texas whilst it was a part of Mexico removed into Mexico prior to the declaration of independence by Texas, and continued to reside in Mexico until her death, her daughter, who was also a citizen of Mexico, could not, as heir, recover the land in Texas.
By the laws which governed Texas before the revolution, the proprietor of land must have resided within the jurisdiction of the Mexican government, and foreigners could not inherit land.
The Constitution of Texas considered as aliens all those who did not reside there at the time of the declaration of independence, unless they were afterwards naturalized, and also decreed that no alien should hold land in Texas except by titles emanating directly from the government of that republic.
The Legislature of Texas had power to modify these rules, but did not change them in this respect when it introduced the common law by statute. Upon the death of the ancestor, the estate was cast upon the state without the necessity of an inquest of office.
The Constitution and laws of Texas provide for the case of an alien heir who may inherit from a citizen, but not for an alien heir inheriting from an alien.
The Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo provides for those Mexicans who inhabited territories ceded to the United States, but had no relation to Texas.
The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.