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United States Supreme Court

69 U.S. 605

Hogan  v.  Page

ERROR to the Supreme Court of Missouri; the case being thus:

After the cession, in 1803, by France, of Louisiana, to the United States, Congress passed an act [1] establishing a board of commissioners at St. Louis, for the purpose of settling imperfect French and Spanish claims. The act provided that any person who had, for ten consecutive years prior to the 20th December, 1803, been in possession of a tract of land not owned by any other person, &c., 'should be confirmed in their titles.'

In 1808, one Louis Lamonde presented a claim for a tract of one by forty arpens, 'formerly the property of Auguste Conde.' The minutes of the board, of November 13th, 1811, disclosed the following proceedings:

'Louis Lamonde, assignee of Auguste Conde, claiming one by forty acres, situate in the Big Prairie district of St. Louis, produces a concession from St. Ange and Labuxi ere, Lieutenant-Governor, dated 10th January, 1770. [2] The board granted to the representatives of Auguste Conde forty arpens, under the provisions of the act of Congress, &c., and ordered that the same be surveyed, conformably to possession, &c.'

The minutes did not record the fact that any assignment of this land from Conde to Lamonde had been presented to the board, or that other proof was made of such conveyance.

This decision of the board, among many others, was reported to Congress, and the title made absolute by an act of 12th April, 1814. In 1825, Lamonde obtained from the recorder of land titles a certificate of the confirmation.

Hogan, claiming through Lamonde, now, A. D. 1850, brought ejectment at St. Louis against Page for a part of this land. Lamonde was an old inhabitant of St. Louis, who had died some ten years before the trial at a very advanced age; and there was some evidence on the trial that he and his family cultivated this lot in the Grand Prairie at a very early day, before the change of government under the treaty of 1803; and evidence that by the early laws of the region these interests passed by parol.

The court below decided that the plaintiff was not entitled to recover upon the evidence in the case.

Mr. Gantt, for the defendant here and below, in support of this ruling, insisted here that, as no assignment or transfer of Conde's interest in the concession was proved before the land board or at the trial, the confirmation could not enure to the benefit of Lamonde, so as to invest him with the title; and that, in the absence of the assignment, the confirmation 'to the representatives of Auguste Conde' enured to the benefit of his heirs.

Messrs. Browning, Hill, and Ewing, argued contra for the plaintiff, that, as Lamonde presented his claim to the board, as assignee of Conde, and as such set up a title in his notice of the application, the act of the board should be regarded as a confirmation of his right or claim to the land; and the cases of Strother v. Lucas, 3 this court, were referred to as supporting this view of the confirmation.

Mr. Justice NELSON delivered the opinion of the court.

NotesEdit

^1  Act of 3d March, 1807, 2 Stat. at Large, 440.

^2  This concession, about which there was no dispute, was to Conde.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).