Herron v. Dater,
120 U.S. 464 (1887)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Herron v. Dater, 120 U.S. 464 (1887)

Herron v. Dater

Argued January 19-20, 1887

Decided March 7, 1887

120 U.S. 464


In Pennsylvania, a warrant and survey and payment of the purchase money confer a legal estate as against all but the Commonwealth, together with a legal right of entry which will support ejectment, and this action of ejectment may be maintained by the owner who paid the purchase money, without any conveyance from the person in whose name the application was made and the warrant issued.

The plaintiff in an action of ejectment in Pennsylvania, to prove title, offered in evidence certified copies of (1) an application numbered 12,969, in the names of six separate persons for six separate tracts of four hundred acres each, adjoining lands of A; (2) of old purchase voucher, dated November 26, 1793, also numbered 12,969, in the same names, with like quantities of land also adjoining lands of A; (3) of old purchase blotter dated June 14, 1794, also numbered 18,969 at the side of which were

Page 120 U. S. 465

written the words: "A gen'l rec't wrote" and in the body of which, after the number and date and the name of A, were the words "6 W'r'ts of 400 a's Am't, 2400 a's 50s p. c't p'd specie ch. �60 ==. Fees 60s p'd, rem'r charge of 168 D's. Rec't d'd." Held, (1) that these documents were competent evidence to prove the payment of the money and by whom it was paid; (2) that the money for the six tracts was all paid in full by A; (3) that he was the owner of the warrant by virtue thereof; (4) that notwithstanding the differences between the date of the application and warrant (November 26, 1793), and the date of the receipt of the purchase money (June 14, 1794), the issue of the warrant was, in view of the settled practice in Pennsylvania, evidence of the payment of the purchase money sufficient to establish prima facie a legal title in A, which was not liable to be overcome by a subsequent patent from the commonwealth purporting on its face, but not otherwise proved, to be connected with the warrant and survey, and under which no claim of title had been asserted for more than seventy-five years.

When the Orphans' Court in Pennsylvania has jurisdiction of a subject matter, its orders, judgments, and decrees therein cannot be impeached collaterally.

The plaintiff in ejectment in Pennsylvania having proved title to the premises by establishing a warrant and survey and payment of the purchase money perfected by return of the deputy surveyor into the land office, evidence on the part of the defendant of a subsequent patent from the commonwealth, with no proof of its connection with the warrant and survey except recitals to that effect in it is inadmissible.

Ejectment. Plea, the general issue. Judgment for plaintiff. Defendant sued out this writ of error. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.

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