The decree of the Superior Court of East Florida, confirming a
concession of land by Governor Coppinger to the appellee,
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE MARSHALL delivered the opinion of the
This is an appeal from a decree of the judge of the Superior
Court for the Eastern District of Florida, declaring the claim of
the appellee to 20,000 acres of land to be valid.
His title commences with the following decree, made by Governor
Coppinger on 18 November, 1817.
"In attention to what the interested party sets forth and
represents, and in virtue of the powers which are annexed to my
authority, also conforming to the laws and royal dispositions on
the distribution of lands, the memorialist being one of those
settlers who most contributes to the improvement of this province,
I grant him, in the name of his Majesty and of his royal justice
which I administer, the 20,000 acres of land which he requests in
the places which he points out in his memorial, that he may possess
them in absolute property and dominion. And for confirmation, and
his security until titles in form be delivered him, which will be
as soon as he shall have accomplished the survey and demarcation of
said lands by a surveyor, let the proceedings be lodged in the
archives of the notary, and an authenticated copy given to the
The order of survey was made on 5 December, 1820, and executed
by Don Andrew Burgevin in three surveys, on 4 and 5 April, 1821.
The full title was granted on the 9th of the same month.
The court decreed that the claim was valid, and confirmed
Page 33 U. S. 486
the same to the claimant to the extent and agreeably to the
boundaries, as in the three surveys of the said land made by Don
Andrew Burgevin, and dated the 4 and 5 April, 1821, and filed as
herein is set forth.
As the surveys and full title were made after 24 January, 1818,
the claim of the petitioner depends entirely on the concession of
18 November, 1817, and such was the opinion of the district court.
That concession having been unconditional, and the power of the
governor to make it having been decided in the case of G. J. F.
the only remaining question is whether the land
contained in the surveys is also contained in the concession.
The decree of the governor refers to the petition on which it
was made, for a description of the property conveyed.
The petitioner, after setting forth his services and meritorious
"Wherefore he prays your Excellency to be pleased to grant him
in absolute property and dominion, 20,000 acres of land: to-wit,
10,000 on both banks of the River St. John's, between the place
known by the name of Buffalo's Bluff and another place named Mount
Tucker, and the remaining 10,000 on the west side of Lake St.
George, the land to be divided into two parts by a brook or creek
which discharges itself into said lake, named Salt Spring, about
ten miles more or less to the north of another creek, named Silver
The 10,000 acres on both banks of the River St. John's, are laid
off in two surveys of 5,000 acres each. One on the east side of the
river, between Buffalo's Bluff and Mount Tucker, and the other on
the west side of that river.
These tracts appear to have been properly surveyed.
The other survey for ten thousand acres, is laid down on the
west side of Lake St. George, and is divided into two parts, by a
brook which discharges itself into the lake, and is in the decree
named Salt Spring. In the certificate of the surveyor, it is called
White Spring. The decree of the court corresponds precisely with
the concession, as does the figure of the plat. No other
discrepancy is found, than in the name of the spring. As no notice
was taken of this discrepancy in the district court where the
locality of the survey was understood, we suppose
Page 33 U. S. 487
that the spring may have been known by both names, or that some
error may have taken place in transcribing the record.
The decree of the district court is
This cause came on to be heard on the transcript of the record
from the Superior Court for the Eastern District of Florida, and
was argued by counsel, on consideration whereof, it is ordered,
adjudged, and decreed by this Court that the decree of the said
superior court confirming the title of the petitioner in this cause
be, and the same is hereby affirmed in all respects.