Soulard v. United States,
29 U.S. 511 (1830)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Soulard v. United States, 29 U.S. 4 Pet. 511 511 (1830)

Soulard v. United States

29 U.S. (4 Pet.) 511


In the treaty by which Louisiana was acquired, the United States stipulated that the inhabitants of the ceded territory should be protected in the free enjoyment of their property. The United States, as a just nation, regard this stipulation as the avowal of a principle which would have been held equally sacred, though it had not been inserted in the contract.

The term " property," as applied to lands, comprehends every species of title inchoate or complete. It is supposed to embrace those rights which lie in contract, those which are executory as well as those which are executed. In this respect, the relations of the inhabitants of Louisiana to their government is not changed. The new government takes the place of that which has passed away.

In the District Court of Missouri, the appellants, under the Act of Congress of 26 May, 1824, instituted proceedings to try the validity of their claims to certain lands in Missouri, the titles to which they claimed to derive under the former Spanish government.

The district court gave a decree against the claimants.

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