Mitchel v. United States,
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40 U.S. 52 (1841)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Mitchel v. United States, 40 U.S. 15 Pet. 52 52 (1841)
Mitchel v. United States
40 U.S. (15 Pet.) 52
APPEAL FROM THE SUPERIOR COURT
OF THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
In the Supreme Court, at January term 1835, 34 U. S. 9 Pet. 711, the case of Colin Mitchel and others, appellants, against the United States was argued and determined, on an appeal from the Superior Court of East Florida. It was a claim to lands in East Florida, the title to which was derived from grants from the Creek and Seminole Indians, ratified by the authorities of Spain, before the cession of Florida to the United States. The claim was confirmed by the Court, with the exception of so much of the tract surveyed between the Rivers Wakulla and St. Marks, conveyed to John Forbes &
Company in 1811, as included the fortress of St. Marks, and the territory directly and immediately adjacent and appurtenant thereto, which was reserved to the United States.
On 30 January 1836, Collin Mitchel and others, the appellants in the Supreme Court, filed in the Superior Court of Middle Florida the decree and mandate of the Supreme Court as follows:
"This cause came on to be heard, on the transcript of the record from the Superior Court for the Middle District of Florida, and was argued by counsel, on full consideration whereof this Court is unanimously of opinion that the title of the petitioners to so much of the lands in controversy as is embraced within the lines and boundaries of the tract granted by the deeds, grants and acts of confirmation, to Panton, Leslie & Co., in 1804 and 1806; also to the island in the River Appalachicola, ceded, granted, and confirmed to John Forbes in 1811; also the lands and islands at and west of the mouth of said river, which were ceded, granted, and confirmed to John Forbes & Co. in 1811, is valid, by the law of nations, the treaty between the United States and Spain, by which the territory of the Floridas were ceded to the former, the laws and ordinances of Spain, under whose government the title originated, the proceedings under said treaty and the acts of Congress relating thereto, and do finally order, decree and determine and adjudge accordingly. And this Court doth in like manner order, adjudge, determine and decree that the title of the petitioner to so much of the tract of land which lies east of the firstmentioned tract, between the Rivers Wakulla and St. Marks, which was conveyed to John Forbes & Co. in 1811 as shall not be included in the exception hereinafter made is valid by the laws, treaty, and proceedings as aforesaid, with the exception of so much of the lastmentioned tract as includes the fortress St. Marks and the territory directly and immediately adjacent and appurtenant thereto, which are hereby reserved for the use of the United States. And it is further ordered and decreed that the territory thus described shall be that which was ceded by the Indian proprietors to the Crown of Spain for the purpose of erecting the said fort, provided the boundaries of the said cession can be ascertained."