U.S. Supreme Court
LaFayette's Heirs v. Carter, 59 U.S. 18 How. 197 197 (1855)
LaFayette's Heirs v. Carter
59 U.S. (18 How.) 197
By acts of congress passed in 1803 and 1805, General Lafayette was authorized to locate land warrants upon any lands which were the property of the United States, to have surveys executed, and to obtain a certificate from the register of the land office that the land surveyed was not rightfully claimed by any other person.
The location was made upon land in the vicinity of New Orleans, and included land which was vacant, and also land which was claimed by individuals. But the entry contained no exterior boundaries.
It was not until 1825 that the location was surveyed, and then there were marked upon the plat such lands as were vacant, and such as were claimed by individuals. The register certified that the lands contained in the survey were vacant, with the exception of the parts designated as private claims, and a patent was issued for such vacancies, having the survey attached to it.
These claims of individuals, having been confirmed by operation of acts of congress, are excepted from the grant of the patent. Apart from the documents which establish the titles of these individual claimants, the patent shows that nothing was granted except the lands which were marked as vacant.