Minter v. Crommelin
59 U.S. 87 (1855)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Minter v. Crommelin, 59 U.S. 18 How. 87 87 (1855)

Minter v. Crommelin*

59 U.S. (18 How.) 87

Syllabus

Where a patent for land is issued by the officers of the United States, the presumption is that it is valid and passes the legal title. But this may be rebutted by proof that the officers had no authority to issue it on account of the land's not being subject to entry and grant.

The Act of March 3, 1817, which was passed to carry into effect the Treaty of August 9, 1814, with the Creek Indians, provided in the 6th section that no land reserved to a Creek warrior should be offered for sale by the register of the land office unless specially directed by the Secretary of the Treasury.

The Secretary was authorized to decide whether or not the Indian had abandoned the land. If abandoned, it became forfeited to the United States.

Hence, where such a reservation was offered for sale and a patent issued for it, the presumption is that the Secretary had decided the fact of abandonment and issued the order for the sale.

The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.

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