Watts v. Lindsey's Heirs
Annotate this Case
20 U.S. 158 (1822)
U.S. Supreme Court
Watts v. Lindsey's Heirs, 20 U.S. 7 Wheat. 158 158 (1822)
Watts v. Lindsey's Heirs
20 U.S. (7 Wheat.) 158
It is a rule at law and in equity that a party must recover on the strength of his own title, and not on the weakness of his adversary's title.
To support an entry, the party claiming under it must show that the objects called for are so described or are so notorious that others, by using reasonable diligence, can readily find them.
The following entry was pronounced under the circumstances, to be void for uncertainty:
"7th of August, 1787. Captain Ferdinand O'Neal enters one thousand acres, &c. on the waters of the Ohio, beginning at the northwest corner of Stephen T. Mason's entry No: 654, thence with his line east four hundred poles, north four hundred poles, west four hundred poles, south four hundred poles."
The entry of Stephen T. Mason referred to, being as follows:
"7th of August, 1787. Stephen T. Mason, assignee &c., enters one thousand acres of land on part of a military, warrant No. 2012 on the waters of the Ohio, beginning six hundred and forty poles north from the mouth of the third creek running into the Ohio above the mouth of the Little Miami River; thence running west one hundred and sixty poles, north four hundred poles, east four hundred poles, thence to the beginning."
The Ohio and Little Miami Rivers are identified and notorious objects.
But the third creek above the mouth of the Little Miami is to be taken according to the numerical order of the creeks unless some other stream ahs by general reputation or notoriety been so considered.
Cross Creek, the stream which the party claiming under O'Neal's entry, assumed for the beginning to run the six hundred and forty poles north from the mouth of the third creek, as called for in Mason's entry, not being in fact numerically the third creek above the mouth of the Little Miami and there being no satisfactory proof that it had acquired that designation by reputation, the claim was pronounced invalid.
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