Campbell v. Laclede Gas Company,
119 U.S. 445 (1886)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Campbell v. Laclede Gas Company, 119 U.S. 445 (1886)

Campbell v. Laclede Gas Company

Submitted November 15, 1886

Decided December 13, 1886

119 U.S. 445


A statute of Missouri authorized United States patents for lands within the state to be recorded, and provided that a certified copy of the patent should be received as prima facie evidence of the contents of the patent. In the record of a patent recorded under the provisions of this act, it appeared that there was a seal in due form, and that the instrument was perfect in every respect. No seal appeared in the record of the same patent in the General Land Office in Washington. The original patent not being in the possession or under the control of either party to the action, held that the presumption of law is that all that is found in either copy was in the original, that any important matter found in one which was not in the other was due to an accidental omission, and that the prima facie case made by the record from Missouri was not overcome by the record from the General Land Office.

Section 891 of the Revised Statutes providing that authenticated copies of records in the General Land Office shall be "evidence equally with the originals thereof" does not mean that in all cases the copy should have the same probative force as the original instrument, but that it should be regarded as of the same class, in the grades of evidence, as to written or parol, and primary and secondary.

This was an action to try the title to real estate in Missouri. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.

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