Jones v. Johnston,
59 U.S. 150 (1855)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Jones v. Johnston, 59 U.S. 18 How. 150 150 (1855)

Jones v. Johnston

59 U.S. (18 How.) 150


Where reference was made in deeds to a recorded plat, and in an ejectment suit evidence was offered to show that this plat differed from the original plat, the evidence ought not to have been admitted. If an error existed, the proper remedy was in chancery to reform the deeds.

And where the deeds under which both parties claimed referred to this plat, it was of no consequence, whether or not the plat was recorded precisely according to the requisitions of a statute of the state.

The true rule for the jury would have been to ascertain whether the lot claimed by the plaintiff had any waterfront at the time the deed under which he claimed was executed, and not whether it had a waterfront at the time when the lot was originally laid out.

In case it should be found that the lot in question was entitled to a waterfront at the time of the execution of the deed to the plaintiff, then the rule adopted by the court below for dividing the made ground was not a correct rule.

The true rule pointed out.

The case is stated in the opinion of the Court, but it is difficult for the reader to understand the points unless with the assistance of an explanatory map. Many of these were used during the argument, but the sketch here presented, may convey some idea of the locality.


Johnston, who brought the ejectment in the court below, was the owner of lot No. 34. Jones and Marsh claimed that lot No. 35 was entitled to the whole benefit of the alluvion. There

Page 59 U. S. 151

were three trials in the court below, the last of which resulted in a verdict and judgment for the plaintiff as follows:

"Beginning at a point on the line between lots thirty-four and thirty-five, in Kinzie's addition to Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, three hundred feet southerly of the south line of North Water Street, measuring on that line for distance; thence south, eleven degrees and thirty minutes, east, one hundred and thirty-five feet, to the north pier; thence easterly along the north pier to the shore of Lake Michigan; thence northwardly along the lake shore two hundred and twenty-two feet; thence westerly in a straight line to the place of beginning."

The instructions given to the jury by the circuit court are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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