Wright v. Mattison - 59 U.S. 50 (1855)
U.S. Supreme Court
Wright v. Mattison, 59 U.S. 18 How. 50 50 (1855)
Wright v. Mattison
59 U.S. (18 How.) 50
A statute of the State of Illinois, passed in 1839, declared
"That hereafter every person in the actual possession of land or tenements under claim and color of title made in good faith, and who shall, for seven successive years after the passage of this act, continue in such possession, and shall also, during said time, pay all taxes legally assessed on such land or tenements, shall be held and adjudged to be the legal owner of said land or tenements to the extent and according to the purport of his or her paper title."
What constitutes color of title explained.
What is color of title is matter of law, and when the facts exhibiting the title are shown, the court will determine whether they amount to color of title.
But good faith in the party in claiming under such color is a question of fact for the jury.
Hence, where the court decided that the color of title was not made in good faith, such decision was erroneous. It should have been left to the jury.
An act of 1835 upon the same subject, passed by the State of Illinois, also examined and explained.
The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.