United States v. Ducros
THIS was an appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
The facts are set forth in the opinion of the court.
It was argued by Mr. Cushing, (Attorney-General,) for the United States.
The following were the points made on behalf of the appellants.
1. That the court below had no jurisdiction, and its decree is, therefore, void. The grant is a complete French grant, and not an incomplete title. See first section of the act of 1824, United States v. Reynes, 9 How. 144, 145; United States v. Power's Heirs, 11 How. 580.
2. That there was no sufficient evidence of the making of the grant produced in the case. The copy certified by the register is not evidence. See 3d section of the act of 1824, and the brief in the case of McCarthey's Heirs, No. 21, of the present term.
3. That even if the court had jurisdiction, and the evidence were sufficient, the grant is void, having been made by the French authorities after Louisiana had been ceded by France to Spain, in 1762. United States v. D'Auterive, 10 How. 610.
4. That the proceedings had before Carondelet, in 1793, operated no confirmation of the grant. They were merely proceedings in the settlement of the estate of Louis Toutant Beauregard, in which in no way was the extent of the plantation in issue. The front of the land was held at this time, under the grant to Le Sassier. Besides, it is to be remembered, that by the 13th article of O'Reilly's regulations, approved at Madrid, it was provided, that 'all grants shall be made in the name of the King, by the Governor-General of the province,' &c. No land could, therefore, be divested out of the King, except by a grant.
5. That from the great lapse of time before the grant was brought forward and insisted on, it must be held that the petitioners and their ancestors had abandoned all claim to the lands embraced within its limits.
6. That the grant is void under the fourteenth section of the act of 26th March, 1804. 1 Land Laws, 114; United States v. D'Auterive, 10 How. 624.
Mr. Justice GRIER delivered the opinion of the court.