United States v. Peralta,
60 U.S. 343 (1856)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Peralta, 60 U.S. 19 How. 343 343 (1856)

United States v. Peralta

60 U.S. (19 How.) 343


Where a claimant of land in California produced documentary evidence in his favor copied from the archives in the office of the Surveyor General and other original grants by Spanish officers, the presumption is in favor of the power of those officers to make the grants.

Page 60 U. S. 344

If the power be denied, the burden of proof is upon the party who denies it.

The history of California with respect to the power of its governors to grant land examined.

The boundaries of the tract of land, as decreed by the district court, affirmed.

The nature of the claim, and a list of the documents in support of it, are given in the opinion of the Court.

The decree of the district court was as follows, viz.:

"That the claim presented in the petition filed in this case for the place called San Antonio is valid to the whole extent of its bounds, to-wit, having for its northern boundary a line commencing on the Bay of San Francisco at a point where there are close to the said bay the two cerritos, as described in the first possession given by Martinez to Louis Peralta on the 16th of August, 1820, running from the said bay eastwardly along by the southern base of the cerritos of San Antonio up a ravine, at the head of which there is a large rock or monument looking to the north, described in evidence as the Sugarloaf Rock; thence by the southern base of said rock to the comb or crest of the coast range of mountains, or the Sierra; thence for the western boundary a line running along the comb of the said Sierra until it reaches the eastern extremity of a line, beginning on the said Bay of San Francisco at the mouth of the deep creek of San Leandro, and running eastwardly up the said creek to its head or source in the Sierra, and to the comb or crest thereof, which last line is the southern boundary of the land of San Antonio; and by the said Bay of San Francisco, from the mouth of the said deep creek of San Leandro up to the beginning of the said line, which has been described as the northern boundary of said tract, which line along the bay constitutes its western boundary."

"And it is hereby further adjudged, ordered, and decreed that there be confirmed to the said Domingo and Vicente Peralta the northern portion of said land of San Antonio, bounded as follows: on the north by the northern boundary of said tract of San Antonio as above described, on the east by the comb of the said Sierra, on the west by the Bay of San Francisco, and on the south by a ravine a short distance south of the buildings in the Town of Oakland, on the north of which ravine there is a small house in sight of the public road, being the line of division between this land and the land of Antonio Peralta, which line extends from the said bay to the most eastern boundary of the rancho of San Antonio."

The United States appealed from this decree.

Page 60 U. S. 345

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