Hot Springs Cases
92 U.S. 698 (1875)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hot Springs Cases, 92 U.S. 698 (1875)

Hot Springs Cases

92 U.S. 698

Syllabus

1. The third section of an Act of Congress, approved April 20, 1832, 4 Stat. 505, which is still in force, enacts that four sections of land, including the hot springs in Arkansas, shall be reserved for the future disposal of the United States and shall not be entered, located, or appropriated for any other purpose whatever. The Indian title to them was not extinguished until Aug. 24, 1818, nor were the public surveys extended over them until 1838, nor has the sale of them ever been authorized by law. No part of said sections was therefore ever subject to preemption or to location, and no claim thereto has been validated or confirmed by any act of Congress.

2. The "Act for the relief of the inhabitants of the late County of New Madrid in Missouri Territory, who suffered by earthquakes," approved Feb. 17, 1815, 3 Stat. 211, required the following steps to be taken: application to the recorder of land titles, showing the party's claim and praying a certificate of location -- certificate of location issued by the recorder, setting forth the amount of land to which the applicant was entitled -- application to the surveyor, presenting the certificate of location, and designating the lands which the party desired to appropriate -- survey and plat made by the surveyor -- return of the survey and plat to the recorder to be filed and recorded, with a notice designating the tract located and the name of the claimant -- certificate of the recorder, stating the facts, and that the panty was entitled to a patent -- transmission of this certificate to the General Land Office -- the patent. In addition to these requisites, the land thus appropriated must have been a part of the public lands of the territory, the sale of which was authorized by law. A survey, therefore, of part of said four sections made in 1820, if never returned to the recorder's office, did not within the meaning of said act or of the Act of April 26, 1822, 4 Stat. 668,

Page 92 U. S. 699

locate or segregate from the public domain the land thereby covered and so appropriate it to the claimant as to give him a vested right thereto and prevent the operation of the said Act of April 20, 1832.

2. The asserted rights of the respective claimants to the land in controversy discussed and disallowed.

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