United States v. John Wilson - United States Supreme Court

United States v. John Wilson

By United States Supreme Court

  • Release Date: 1861-12-01
  • Genre: Law
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Mr. Black, of Pennsylvania, for the United States. No confirmation can be had under the grant by Pico, because its execution and delivery before the conquest is not shown. Camberton, (21 How., 59;) Fuentes, (22 How., 443;) Pico, (22 How., 406;) Teschmaker, (22 How., 392;) Vallejo, (22 How., 416;) Bolton, (23 How., 341;) Osio, (23 How., 273;) Luco, (23 How., 515;) Pico, (23 How., 321;) Palmer, (24 How., 125;) Castro, (24 How., 346.) The claim must rest upon the testimony of Bonilla and the fact of possession, and it is submitted to the court to say whether that be sufficient. The title is good if it was made according to the laws, customs, and usages of Mexico. There certainly was a custom to distribute lands near the missions among the neophytes. If the history of the country as ascertained from the numerous records which this court has seen shows that the custom existed long enough and was sufficiently uniform to give it the force of law, and if this record proves that it was strictly observed in the present case, then, perhaps, there is no sound objection to the affirmance of the decree of confirmation. The honesty of the claim is not denied, and it has been, as this court knows, the constant policy of the United States not to interpose far-fetched or capricious objections against claims which seemed to be made in good faith for small quantities of land, especially where the claimant was in actual possession himself at the time of the revolution in the government. No counsel appeared for the claimant.

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