U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. Pendell, 185 U.S. 189 (1902)
United States v. Pendell
Submitted March 20, 1902
Decided April 21, 1902
185 U.S. 189
This was an appeal from a decree of the Court of Private Land Claims, confirming the title of the appellees to a tract of land in New Mexico. Held that, in the absence of any sufficient attack upon the record or of any evidence on the part of the government going to disprove or discredit the averments therein, it formed enough of a basis for the finding of the court below that there was a grant made as stated in its findings, and that such grant and the record thereof in the archives had been destroyed under the circumstances stated.
The Treaty of December 30, 1853, between the United States and Mexico, and the act of Congress in support of it, were not intended to debar parol proof of the existence and of the contents of a grant which had been destroyed under the circumstances detailed, or that, under such circumstances, a presumption that the grant had been recorded could not be indulged.
In this case, the evidence of possession was sufficient, in connection with the other evidence, upon which to base a presumption that the petitioner had a title to the land, which should be confirmed.
The case is stated in the opinion of the court.