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COAN V. FLAGG, 123 U. S. 117 (1887)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Coan v. Flagg, 123 U.S. 117 (1887)

Coan v. Flagg, 123 U.S. 117 (1887)

Submitted October 20, 1887

Decided October 31, 1887

123 U.S. 117


The entry and survey of lands in the Virginia Military District in Ohio, under which the plaintiff claims title, did not invest the owners of the warrant, or their assignee, with an equitable interest in the lands surveyed as against the United states for the reason that the excess of the land surveyed beyond that covered by the warrant was so great as to make the survey fraudulent and void, and consequently Congress could, by the Act of February 18, 1871, 16 Stat. 416, grant the lands at its pleasure.

It was the purpose of the Act of February 18, 1871, to grant to the State of Ohio all the lands in the Virginia Military District in that state which had not at that time been legally surveyed and sold by the United States, in that sense of the word "sold" which conveys the idea of having parted with the beneficial title, and the lands in controversy, having been surveyed by a survey invalid against the United States, were within that description.

The fourth section of the Act of May 27, 1880, 21 Stat. 142, recognized and ratified the title of the defendant in error to the lands in controversy as a purchaser from the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College for a valuable consideration.

Copies of official letters from the Commissioner of the General Land Office to a person claiming title under a warrant and survey, reciting the date of the filing of the survey in the office, being verified by the oath of the person who was a clerk in that division of the Land Office and at that time had charge of the matters relating to this subject, and in whose letters chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 123 U. S. 118

to the parties interested were contained all the decisions of the Commissioner relating to it, are competent evidence to show the time of the filing.

In equity in a state court in Ohio to quiet title and to restrain waste. The answer set up title in respondent. Judgment for complainant, which was affirmed by the supreme court of the state on appeal. The defendant sued out this writ of error. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.

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