Seneca Nation v. Christy,
162 U.S. 283 (1896)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Seneca Nation v. Christy, 162 U.S. 283 (1896)

Seneca Nation v. Christy

No. 180

Argued March 28, 1896

Decided April 18, 1896

162 U.S. 283


On the 31st day of August, 18?6, the Seneca Nation by treaty and conveyance conveyed away the lands sued for in this action for a valuable consideration, the receipt of which was acknowledged, but the treaty was not ratified by the Senate or proclaimed by the President. On the 13th of October, 1885, this action was commenced in the Supreme Court of New York to recover a portion of the lands so conveyed. It was brought under the provisions of the Act of May 8, 1845, c. 150, of the Laws of New York for that year, entitled "An act for the protection and improvement of the Seneca Indians," etc. The trial court gave judgment for defendant, which judgment was sustained by the Court of Appeals of the state on two grounds: (1) that the grant of August, 1826, was a valid transaction, not in contravention of the Constitution of the United States, or of the Indian Intercourse Act of 1802, and, (2) that

Page 162 U. S. 284

the right of recovery under the New York Act of 1845 was barred by the statute of limitations. Held that as the judgment could be maintained upon the second ground, which involved no federal question, this Court, under the well established rule, must be held to be without jurisdiction, and the writ of error must be dismissed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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