Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

Ist Session.

NANCY DAVIS.

MARCH 22,

1830.

Mr. Young, from the Committee on Revolutionary Claims, to which was

referred the case of Nancy Davis, made the following

REPORT:

The Committee on Revolutionary Claims, to whom was referred the petition of Nancy Davis, have had the same under consideration, and report:

That the petitioner states, that she is the widow of Jesse Davis, late a Captain in the Revolutionary army, on the continental establishment; that he served faithfully and honorably, from the year 1775, to 1779, or 80, when he was returned as a supernumerary, and retired from service; and she prays commutation for half pay for life, for his services.

The exact time when Captain Davis retired from service, is not stated or shown, but, in the certificates used in his application in Virginia, for bounty lands, and in the affidavits used in his application for the commutation now sought, it is stated that he retired from service in 1778, or the beginning of the year 1779; and in his own affidavit, heretofore used, he states the time of his retiring to have been soon after the battle of Monmouth, which was in June, 1778; leaving no proof or room to infer that he continued in service after the year 1779 at farthest.

No resolution of Congress, prior to that of October 21, 1780, promised half-pay for life, to any officer who did not serve to the end of the war; and that to those supernumeraries only, who should become so by future arrangements in the army, then in contemplation.

The committee, therefore, though duly appreciating the services of Capt. Davis, and observing the near approach of his time of service to that of those who do receive commutation, do not feel themselves authorized to recommend payment for services as in this case, for which no resolution of Congress has promised it; and therefore report the following resolution:

Resolved, that the prayer of the petitioner ought not to be granted

[ocr errors]

st CONGRESS

JUDGE PECK.

MARCH 23, 1830. Read, and committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union.

Mr. BUCŅANAN, from the Committee on the Judiciary, to which had been

referred the memorial of Luke E. Lawless, complaining of the official conduct of James H. Peck, Judge of the District Court of the United States for the District of Missouri, made the following

REPORT:

The Committee on the Judiciary, to which was referred the memorial of

Luke E. Lawless, complaining of the official conduct of James #. Peck, Judge of the District Court of the United States for the district of Missouri, report:

That, in consequence of the evidence collected by them, in virtue of the powers with which they have been invested by the House, and which is hereunto subjoined, they are of opinion, that James H. Peck, Judge of the District Court of the United States for the district of Missouri, be impeached of high misdemeanors in office.

AN ABSTRACT OF THE CASE OF Julie Soulard, widow, James G. Soul-) ard, and others, heirs and legal representatives of Antoine Soulard, In the District Court of Missouri. deceased,

V9.

The United States. (In which the opinion of Judge Peck, referred to and printed as part of the evidence, was pronounced. Prepared from the record, by C. A. Wickliffe, under the direction of the committee.)

The petition of Soulard's heirs was filed on the 22d August, 1824, against the United States, in the District Court of Missouri, claiming ten thousand arpents of land, under a Spanish concession, which petition was amended at the November term, 1824, by leave of the court.

At the March term, 1825, the United States, by her attorney, filed in court their answer to the said petition. And at the same term, an issue of fact was submitted 10 the jury in these words:

1

"Was there such concession made to Antoine Soulard as in complainants' bill alleged?” The jury found there was a concession, as alleged in complainants' bill. The cause was then heard in chief upon the depositions and documents filed, which are spread at length upon the record.

On the fourth Monday in December, 1825, the Judge of the District Court pronounced the following decree:

“ And thereupon this cause was continued under advisement, from term to term, until the December term of said court, being the fourth Monday of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twentyfive, at which day the said cause coming on to be debated and heard in the presence of the counsel for the petitioners, and of the attorney of the United States for the District of Missouri, on the petition, the answer and the testimony which is embodied in the record, it appears that the petition sets forth, in substance, that, some time in the month of April, one thousand seven hundred and ninety six, Antoine Soulard, the ancestor of the present petitioners, being then a resident of the province of Upper Louisiana, and Surveyor General of the same under the Spanish Government, presented his petition to the then Lieutenant Governor of said province, Don Zenon Trudeau, praying the grant of a tract of ten thousand arpents of land, to be located on any vacant part of the royal domain. That, in compliance with the said petition, and in order to remunerate the services of said petitioner, the said Don Zenon Trudeau, Lieutenant Governor, did, about the time aforesaid, grant to the said petitioner ten thousand arpents of land, and by said decree of concession, did order the said quantity to be located, surveyed on any vacant part of the royal domain in said province, at the election of said petitioner. That the said quantity of land was, afterwards, on the twentieth day of February, one thousand eight hundred and four, surveyed and located by the deputy surveyor, Don Santiago Rankin, on a vacant part of the public land, situate about fifteen miles West of the Mississippi river, and scventy miles North of the town of St. Louis, on a branch of the river Cuivre, and bounded as fol. lows: commencing at a point in the Northeast quarter of section twentyfive, township fifty-one North, range three West, runs thence North, sixtyeight East, three hundred and seventeen chains eight links, to a point in the Northeast quarter of section fourteen, township fifty-one North, range two West; thence, North twenty-two West, two hundred and fourteen chains and sixteen links, to a point in the Southeast quarter of section thirty-four, township fifty-two North, range two West; thence, South sixty-eight West, three hundred and seventeen chains and eight links, to a point in the Southeast quarter of section eleven, township fifty-one North, range three West; thence, South twenty-two East, two hundred and fourteen chains sixteen links, to the place of beginning. And that a certificate of said survey was duly made and recorded in the book of record of surveys kept by the said petitioner, as surveyor as aforesaid. That before the time when claims should have been filed, pursuant to the act of Congress of the second of March, one thousand eight hundred and five, the said decree of concession and certificate of survey were, by mistake, thrown into the fire and destroyed. That, in

consequence of the destruction of said concession and certificate of survey, the said petitioner considered that he was excluded from the benefit of the act of Congress passed for the relief of land claimants, and omitted to file any notice of his claim, and has thereby been deprived of the benefit of the laws heretofore passed by Congress. That, of the said tract of land,

one thousand nine hundred and forty-seven acres and thirty-five hundredths of an acre have been sold by the United States, and that the residue of the said tract is not claimed or possessed by any person other tha: the petitioner: and that the same has been reserved from public sale until the final adjudication thereon, by the proper tribunal. The petitioner prays that the validity of his said claim may be inquired into and decided, and that his claim and title may be confirmed to all that part of the said tract which has not been sold as aforesaid by the United States; and that he be authorized to enter, in any of the land offices in the State of Missouri, the quantity of one thousand nine hundred and forty-seven acres and thirty-five-hundredths of an acre of land, the quantity sold as aforesaid by the United States. It appears also, that, on the seventeenth day of March, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five, Julie Soulard, widow of the said petitioner, and James G. Soulard, Henry G. Soulard, Eliza Soulard, and Benjamin A. Soulard, childen and heirs at law of the said petitioner, filed their petition, setting forth that the said Antoine Soulard, after having filed and prosecuted his said petition, died, leaving the said widow and children his only heirs and legal representatives, and praying that the said cause might be revived and stand in their names against the United Staies; and the attorney of the United States freely admitting all the facts set forth in the petition of the said widow and children, the said cause was revived accordingly.

And it also appearing that the answer of the attorney of the United States, sets forth, in substar.ce,that he is wholly uninformed of all the matters and things in the said petition of Antoine Soulard, revived as aforesaid, contained, and therefore that he does not admit the same to be true, and that he prays the court, that the said petitioners may be held and required to prove all such facts, matters, and things, the existence whereof is or may be deemed necessary to the confirmation of the said claims. And, moreover, that the said petitioners may be required and compelled to produce and show to the court the law, usage, or custom, by force and virtue whereof the said claim can or ought to be confirmed. And it further appearing, by the finding of the jury impanneled to try the issue directed in this cause, that such concession was niade to the said Antoine Soulard, as in the said petition is stated: and it also appearing in evidence offered on the part of the said petitioners, that a survey of the said land was made, and a plat thereof re. corded as in the said petition is stated, and that it was the practice of the Lieutenant Governors of Upper Louisiana to make concessions of land, in virtue of their office as such Governors, and not in virtue of any commission as sub-delegate. And after debate of the matters aforesaid, and the court having inquired in the validity of the title of the said petitioners; and for

appears to the court, that no grant of the King's domain could have been legally made, unless made in virtue of some law or authority from him; and for that the regulations of Count O'Reily, of the eighteenth

of February, in the year one thousand seven hundred und seventy, and of Governor Gayoso of the ninth of September, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven, and of Morales, the Intendant, of the seventeenth of July, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine, exhibit a general intention and policy on the part of the Spanish Government, in relation to the disposition of the public domain, which excludes every reasonable supposition of the existence of any law, usage, or custom, under and in conformity 'o which the alleged concession might have been perfected into a complete title, had not the sovereignty of the country been transferred to the United States; and for that the princi

that it

« AnteriorContinua »