Newhall v. Sanger
92 U.S. 761 (1875)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Newhall v. Sanger, 92 U.S. 761 (1875)

Newhall v. Sanger, 92 U.S. 761 (1875)

92 U.S. 761

Syllabus

1. The Act of July 1, 1862, 12 Stat. 492, grants to the Western Pacific Railroad Company every alternate section of public land designated by odd numbers within the limits of ten miles on each aide of its road, not sold, reserved, or otherwise disposed of by the United States, and to which a homestead or preemption claim may not have attached at the time the line of the road is definitely fixed. The act of 1884, 13 Stat. 358, enlarges those limits, and declares that the grant by it, or the act to which it is an amendment,

"shall not defeat or impair any preemption, homestead, swampland, or other lawful claim, nor include any government reservation or mineral lands, or the improvements of any bona fide settler."

Held that lands within the boundaries of an alleged Mexican or Spanish grant, which was sub judice at the time the Secretary of the Interior ordered a withdrawal of lands along the route of the road, are not embraced by the grant to the company.

2. The words "public lands" are used in our legislation to describe such lands as are subject to sale or other disposition under general laws.

3. The fiction of law, that a term consists of but one day, cannot be invoked to antedate the judicial rejection of a claim, so as to render operative a grant which would otherwise be without effect.

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