United States v. Clarke,
34 U.S. 168 (1835)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Clarke, 34 U.S. 9 Pet. 168 168 (1835)

United States v. Clarke

34 U.S. (9 Pet.) 168


The decree of the Supreme Court of East Florida confirming a concession of land to the appellee granted to him by Governor Coppinger in December, 1817, confirmed.

A concession on condition becomes absolute when the condition is performed.

The original concession by Governor Coppinger on the petition of George J. F. Clarke was made on 17 December, 1817, of twenty-six thousand acres of land in the places he solicited in his petition, and a complete title was made of twenty-two thousand acres, part of the same, in December, 1817. Twenty thousand acres, part of the whole concession, were sold by the appellee. The other four thousand were surveyed in conformity with the decree 17 December, 1817, and a complete title to the same was made by Governor Coppinger on 4 May, 1818.

By the Court:

"The claimant cannot avail himself of the grant of 4 May, 1818, made after 24 January, 1818, the time limited by the Florida treaty. He must rest his claim on the concession made on 17 December, 1817."

The validity of concessions of land by the authorities of Spain in East Florida is expressly recognized in the Florida treaty and in the several acts of Congress.

The eighth article allows the owners of land the same time for fulfilling the conditions of their grants from the date of the treaty, as is allowed in the grant for the date of the instrument. And the Act of 8 May, 1822, requires every person claiming title to lands, under any patent, grant, concession, or order of survey dated previous to 24 January, 1818, to file his claim before the commissioners appointed in pursuance of the act. All the subsequent acts on the subject observe the same language, and the titles under these concessions have been uniformly confirmed when the tract did not exceed a league square.

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