U.S. Supreme Court
Atherton v. Fowler, 96 U.S. 513 (1877)
Atherton v. Fowler
96 U.S. 513
1. No right of preemption can be established by a settlement and improvement on a tract of public land where the claimant forcibly intruded upon the possession of one who had already settled upon, improved, and enclosed that tract.
2. Such an intrusion, though made under pretense of preempting the land, is but a naked, unlawful trespass, and cannot initiate a right of preemption.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.