Keene v. Whitaker

Keene v. Whitaker by Roger B. Taney
Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

39 U.S. 170

Keene  v.  Whitaker

ON appeal from the Circuit Court of the United States for East Louisiana.

On the 26th November, 1833, the appellant filed a petition in the Circuit Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana, claiming under conveyances to him from Daniel Clarke, deceased, a tract of land, of nine hundred and forty-seven acres, part of thirty thousand arpents, which in 1804 had been granted by the Spanish intendant, Don Juan Ventura Morales, in the name of the Spanish government, to Don Gilberty Andry, who was the vendor of part of the tract to Daniel Clarke. This tract was situated in that part of what was alleged to be a part of Louisiana, by the United States, between the river Perdido, and the river Mississippi, they claiming the same under the cession of France to the United States of Louisiana. The United States had asserted that this country had been trans ferred to France by Spain, by the treaty of St. Ildefonso, of 1800, and under the treaty with France belonged to the United States. Under this claim the United States had caused sales of the land to be made; and the defendants in error had become the purchasers under the United States, of the tract which the petitioner asserted to belong to him under the grant to Don Gilberty Andry.

The petition prays proceedings against those who had purchased from the United States; and all just and legal aid in the premises.

The defendants, in their answer to the petition, allege, that subsequently to the treaty of St. Ildefonso, of 1800, the Spanish government never had any right or title to the property claimed. By that treaty, the whole of the territory lying between Mississippi and the Perdido, including the land claimed by the plaintiff, belonged, under the treaty with France, to the United States. The property of the defendants is held under titles from the United States.

The Circuit Court made a decree against the plaintiff, who, thereupon, prosecuted this writ of error.

The case was submitted to the Court by Messrs. Key and Jones, the counsel for the plaintiff in error, without argument.

Mr. Chief Justice TANEY delivered the opinion of the Court.


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).