Hogan v. Page - 69 U.S. 605 (1864)
U.S. Supreme Court
Hogan v. Page, 69 U.S. 2 Wall. 605 605 (1864)
Hogan v. Page
69 U.S. (2 Wall.) 605
1. A patent certificate, or patent issued, or confirmation made to an original grantee or his "legal representatives," embraces representatives of such grantee by contract, as well as by operation of law, leaving the question open in a court of justice as to the party to whom the certificate, patent, or confirmation should enure.
2. The fact that A., many years ago, did present to a board of commissioners appointed by law to pass upon imperfect titles to land a "claim" to certain land, describing it as "formerly" of B., an admitted owner; the fact that the board entered on its minutes that A., "assignee" of B., presented a claim, and that the board granted the land to "the representatives" of B., and the fact that A., with his family, was in possession of the land many years ago and cultivating it are facts which tend to prove an assignment, and as such, in an ejectment where the fact of an assignment is in issue, should be submitted as evidence to the jury.
After the cession, in 1803 by France of Louisiana to the United States, Congress passed an act [Footnote 1] establishing a board of commissioners at St. Louis, for the purpose of settling imperfect French and Spanish claims. The act provided that any person who had, for ten consecutive years prior to the 20th December, 1803, been in possession of a tract of land not owned by any other person &c., "should be confirmed in their titles."
In 1808, one Louis Lamonde presented a claim for a tract of one by forty arpens, "formerly the property of Auguste Conde." The minutes of the board of November 13, 1811, disclosed the following proceedings:
"Louis Lamonde, assignee of Auguste Conde, claiming one by forty acres, situate in the Big Prairie District of St. Louis, produces
a concession from St. Ange and Labuxiere, Lieutenant-Governor, dated 10 January, 1770. [Footnote 2] The board granted to the representatives of Auguste Conde forty arpens, under the provisions of the act of Congress &c., and ordered that the same be surveyed, conformably to possession &c."
The minutes did not record the fact that any assignment of this land from Conde to Lamonde had been presented to the board or that other proof was made of such conveyance.
This decision of the board, among many others, was reported to Congress, and the title made absolute by an Act of 12 April, 1814. In 1825, Lamonde obtained from the recorder of land titles a certificate of the confirmation.
Hogan, claiming through Lamonde, now, A.D. 1850, brought ejectment at St. Louis against Page for a part of this land. Lamonde was an old inhabitant of St. Louis who had died some ten years before the trial at a very advanced age, and there was some evidence on the trial that he and his family cultivated this lot in the Grand Prairie at a very early day, before the change of government under the treaty of 1803, and evidence that by the early laws of the region, these interests passed by parol.
The court below decided that the plaintiff was not entitled to recover upon the evidence in the case.