U.S. Supreme Court
Ham v. Missouri, 59 U.S. 18 How. 126 126 (1855)
Ham v. Missouri
59 U.S. (18 How.) 126
The Act of congress passed on the 6th of March, 1820, 3 Stat. 547, accepted by an ordinance declaring the assent of the people of Missouri thereto, adopted on the 19th of July, 1820, granted to the state for the use of schools the sixteenth section of every township in the state, which had not been sold or otherwise disposed of.
This expression, "otherwise disposed of," does not include the case of an imperfect title claimed to be derived from the Spanish governor which had been rejected by the board of commissioners in 1811.
The claim was confirmed in 1828 so far as to relinquish all the title which the United States then had, but at that time the United states had no title, having granted the land to Missouri in 1820, which they had a right to do.
The proviso in the Act of March 3, 1811, which forbade lands claimed before the board of commissioners from being offered for sale until after the decision of congress thereon, did not prevent a donation for schools, and, moreover, contemplated only a temporary suspension for the purposes of investigation.
The case is fully stated in the opinion of the Court. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary