United States v. CambustonAnnotate this Case
61 U.S. 59 (1857)
U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. Cambuston, 61 U.S. 20 How. 59 59 (1857)
United States v. Cambuston
61 U.S. (20 How.) 59
The regulations for the colonization of the territories of the government of Mexico, made 21st November, 1828, in pursuance of the act of the General Congress, August 18, 1824, provided:
1st. That the governors of the territories should be empowered to grant vacant lands, among others, to private persons who may ask for them, for the purpose of cultivating and inhabiting the same.
2d. That every person soliciting lands shall address to the governor a petition, expressing his name, country, and religion, and describing as distinctly as possible, by means of a map, the land asked for.
3d. The governor shall proceed to obtain the necessary information, whether the petition contains the proper conditions required by the law of the 18th August, 1824, both as regards the land and the petitioner, in order that the application may be at once attended to; or, if it be preferred, the municipal authority may be consulted, whether there be any objection to the making of the grant.
4th. This being done, the governor will accede or not to such petition, in conformity to the laws on the subject.
5th. The definitive grant asked for being made, a document, signed by the governor, shall be given, to serve as a title to the party interested, wherein it must be stated that the grant is made in exact conformity with the provisions of the law; in virtue of which, possession shall be given.
6th. The necessary record shall be kept, in a book provided for the purpose, of all the petitions presented and grants made, with maps of the lands granted, and a circumstantial report shall be forwarded quarterly to the supreme government.
Where there was no evidence, with respect to a grant of land in California, that anyone of these preliminary steps had been taken, this Court cannot confirm the claim.
The decisions of this Court in cases of claims to land in Louisiana and Florida are not applicable where precise and recent regulations exist, directing the manner in which land shall be granted.
There are also strong grounds of suspicion with respect to the bona fides of the grant in question; but as the claimant may not have had an opportunity of producing evidence in the court below, the case will be remanded to that court for further proceedings.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.