United States v. Pico - 64 U.S. 321 (1859)
U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. Pico, 64 U.S. 23 How. 321 321 (1859)
United States v. Pico
64 U.S. (23 How.) 321
Where the archives of California show that a petition for land was presented to the justice of the peace and military commandant at New Helvetia in 1846; that a favorable report was made on the 1st May, 1846; that the prefect certified, on the 18th May, 1846, that the land was vacant; that the governor, on the 11th of June, 1846, made an order for a titulo in form, and the claimant produced from his custody a titulo dated at Los Angeles on the 20th of July, 1846, there is a departure from the regular and usual mode for securing lands under the colonization laws.
The titulo bears date on the 20th of July, and the 7th of July, 1846, is the epoch established by the act of Congress of 1851 and the decisions of this Court at which the power oŁ the Governor of California, under the authority of Mexico, to alienate the public domain, terminated.
The evidence that the claimant occupied the land in 1847 is not satisfactory, or that he made any assertion of claim or title until the presentation of the claim in 1853 to the board of commissioners.
The nature of the claim is stated in the opinion of the Court.