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(NOTE BY THE REPORTER. The first forty-seven rules in Admiralty are printed in 3 Howard, and four additional ones in 10 Howard. The following were added at December Term, 1851.]
Ordered, that further proof, taken in a Circuit Court upon an admiralty appeal, shall be by deposition, taken before some commissioner appointed by a Circuit Court, pursuant to the acts of Congress in that behalf, or before some officer authorized to take depositions by the thirtieth section of the act of Congress of the 24th of September, 1789, upon an oral examination and cross-examination, unless the court in which such appeal shall be pending, or one of the judges thereof, shall, upon motion, allow a commission to issue to take such deposition upon written interrogatories and cross-interrogatories. When such deposition shall be taken by oral examination, a notification from the magistrate before whom it is to be taken, or from the clerk of the court in which such appeal shall be pending, to the adverse party, to be present at the taking of the same, and to put interrogatories if he think fit, shall be served on the adverse party or his attorney, allowing time for their attend: ance after being notified, not less than twenty-four hours, and, in addition thereto, one day, Sundays exclusive, for every twenty miles' travel.
Provided, that the court in which such appeal may be pend. ing, or either of the judges thereof, may, upon motion, increase or diminish the length of notice above required.
Ordered, that, when oral evidence shall be taken down by the clerk of the District Court, pursuant to the above-mentioned section of the act of Congress, and shall be transmitted to the Circuit Court, the same may be used in evidence on the appeal, saving to each party the right to take the depositions of the same witnesses, or either of them, if he should so elect.
LIST OF CASES REPORTED.
Adams v. Tremlett
18 12 101 54 25 231
57' 150 151
Campbell et al. v. Doe
George et al, v: Weems
Same v. Samo
Same v. Same
173 381 307
488 274 315
LIST OF CASES REPORTED.
Lindsley et al. v. Rogers
Same v. Same
27 216 •150 151 218 115 498 212 92
Neves et al. v. Scott et al.
Parish et al. v. Murphree et al.
92 519 307
9 472 . 183
Richmond &c. Railroad Company v. Louisa Railroad Company
71 472 441 283 173
Walsh et al. v. Rogers et al.
519 . 101
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES,
DECEMBER TERM, 1851
The UNITED STATES, Appellants, v. Joseph Hughes.
Where a grant of land, in Louisiana, was made by the Spanish governor, in Febru
ary 1799, but no possession was ever taken by the grantee, during the existence of the Spanish government, or since the cession to the United States; and no proof of the existence of the grant until 1835, when the grantee sold his interest to a third person; the presumption arising from this neglect is, that the grant, if
made, had been abandoned. The regulations of Gayoso, who made the grant, were, that the settler should forfeit
the land, if he failed to establish himself upon it within one year, and put ander labor ten arpents in every hundred within three years.
This was a land case, arising under the acts of 1824 and 1844, and brought up by appeal from the District Court of the United States, for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
The petition in this case was filed in the District Court of the United States, for the Eastern District of Louisiana, on the 16th day of June, 1846.
Hughes, the petitioner, represented therein that, on the petition of Joseph Guidry, the Spanish governor of Louisiana, Gayoso granted to him, (said Guidry,) on the 1st of February, 1799, a tract of land, having a front of 40 arpents on the Atchafalaya, with a depth of 40 arpents, adjoining the land of Andrè Martin, on the west bank of the said river, near where the Point Coupée trace from Opelousas, crosses said river. Petitioner further alleges that the said claim was presented to the board of commissioners, under the act of Congress of 6th of February, 1835, and reported on favorably, but never acted on by Congress; that the United States have sold none of said land, except a small part to John L. Daniel ; and that he, Hughes, has
The United States v. Hughes.
become owner of one thousand arpents of said grant by a chain of conveyances, &c.; he therefore prays for a decree confirming his title, &c.
The answer of the United States denies all the allegations of the petition.
Depositions to prove the genuineness of Gayoso's signature were given in evidence.
The chain of title to the petition was a conveyance from Guidry to Andrè Martin, on the 19th of April, 1837, and conveyance by Martin to Hughes, on the 1st of March, 1846.
The District Court confirmed the claim, and the United States appealed.
It was argued by Mr. Crittenden, (Attorney-General,) for the United States, and by Messrs. Janin and Taylor, for the appellee.
Mr. Justice NELSON delivered the opinion of the court.
This is an appeal from the decree of the District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana. The plaintiff
, Hughes, in the court below, filed a petition, founded upon a Spanish claim, under the act of 17th of June, 1844, which revived the act of 26th of May, 1824, for the purpose of recovering a tract of sixteen hundred arpents of land, situate in Louisiana, on the Atchafalaya river, near where the Point Coupée road crosses the said river.
The petition states that the concession was made to one Joseph Guidry, on the 1st of February, 1799, by Governor Gayoso, under whom the plaintiff derives title.
The proofs in the case show, that the grant was made on the application of Guidry at the date mentioned; that he sold and assigned his interest in the same to one Andrè Martin, at the risk of the purchaser, 19th of April, 1835, who assigned the same to the plaintiff, 1st of March, 1846, in pursuance of a contract made with his agent in 1840. The latter purchase was also made at the risk of the purchasei.
This concession was an incomplete grant, and did not vest a perfect title to the property in the grantee, according to the Spanish usages and regulations, until a survey was made by the proper official authority, and the party thus put in possession, together, also, with a compliance with other conditions, if contained in the grant, or in any general regulations respecting the disposition of the public domain. Possession, with definite and fixed boundaries, was essential to enable him to procure from the proper Spanish authority a complete title. If, however, the concession itself contained a description of the land sufficient to enable