Imatges de pÓgina

house bonds, made by Edward Andariese to the United States, for the payment of duties in New York.

The first bond, No. 8928, May 10, 1839, due November 10, 1839, was for $3,083; the second, No. 12404, July 10, 1839, due January 10, 1840, was for $657. These bonds not having been paid, suit was brought and judgment obtained against all the parties, except Joseph Ridgway, who was absent, and could not, therefore, be served with process. Judgment was rendered upon the first bond for $3,095 01 and costs, $59 59—total $3,154 60; and upon the second, for $689 86 and costs, $61 11-total, $750 97.

It does not appear that either of these judgments were ever satisfied, and the fact of the existence of the aforesaid suits having come to the knowledge of Mr. Ridgway, he expressed a desire that, so far as he is concerned, the matter might be closed up. On behalf of Mr. Ridgway (who is the partner of the undersigned in the Island of St. Thomas, West Indies, where he has resided for the last ten or twelve years,) the undersigned begs leave, most respectfully, to offer the United States although no execution can be issued or judgment procured against the said Ridgway on account of his residence in a foreign country, and although the said Ridgway derived no pecuniary advantage from his association with said Edward Andariese, but rather suffered many losses thereby—twenty per cent. on the said bonds, judgments and costs, viz: 20 per cent. on $3,154 60 and $750 97, total $3,909 57— the United States giving the said Ridgway, for the said twenty per cent., a full and complete discharge from all demands on said bonds, of balances, interest, expenses, &c.

The undersigned requests an early reply; and is, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Solicitor of the Treasury, Il'ashington.


South rn District of New York, July 15, 1853. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 12th instant, enclosing copy of a letter from F. H. Whitmore.

I have carefully examined the matter therein mentioned, and believe the statements contained in Mr. Whitmore's letter are correct.

I have also (as requested) inquired into and ascertained, as far as practicable, the present situation of William E. Andariese, Joseph Cunningham, and Edward Andariese, against whom the judgments (mentioned in Mr. Whitmore's letter) were entered, and find that William E. Andariese took the benefit of the bankrupt act, and that Joseph H. Cunningham is insolvent. Edward Andariese is in this city, engaged in business, and is thought to have the ability to pay the judgments. He has nothing, however, upon which an execution could be levied, and his property could only be reached by proceedings supplementary to execution, which I incline to think would be effectual.

If deemed expedient by you, I will cause the necessary proceedings to be instituted immediately.

In view of all the circumstances, I should think it wise to accept the proposition contained in Mr. Whitemore's leiter. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


United States Attorney. F. B. STREETER, Esq.,

Solicitor of the Treasury, Washington.


[To accompany bill H. R. No. 620 ]

JANUARY 5, 1855.

Mr. WESTBROOK, from the Committee on Private Land Claims, made

the following

REPORT. The Committee on Private Land Claims, to whom was referred the petition

of Roswell Minard, made the following report : That the committee have had the petition under consideration, and that they concur in the report made by a previous committee, hereto annexed, and concur in recommending the passage of the bill then reported by said committee.

The Committee on Private Land Claims, to whom was referred the petition

of Rosuell Minard, the father of Theodore Minard, deceased, submit the following report :

It appears from the petition, that Theodore Minard enlisted in the army of the United States, at Governor's Island, N. Y., during the late war with Mexico, as a soldier ; that he served during the war-was in several battles, and finally discharged at Jefferson barracks after the close of that war ; that ihe said Theodore was a man of robust constitution and good habits; but was taken ill in Mexico at about the time when the capital of that republic was taken possession of by the army of the United States, and.continued in ill health until he reached the residence of his father, in the county of Sullivan and State of New York, where he lingered until his death, which took place December 16, 1848; that said Theodore was never married. The petitioner being the father of the deceased, applied for the bounty land io which his son would have been entitled if living; in answer to this application the following letter was received from the Commissioner of Pensions :

PENSION OFFICE, March 10, 1852. Sir: I have the honor to return herewith, the letter from the Adjutant General's office of the 1st instant, together with that of your correspondent, A. C. Nevins, esq., of the 25th ultimo, relative to the application for bounty land of Roswell Minard, father, &c., of Theodore Minard, of Captain Sheppard's company, Sth United States infantry, and to remark

that, upon a more thorough examination of the papers, subsequently to your call in person this morning, I find that the death of the soldier did not occur until the 16th of December, 1848, some two months, nearly, after the issue, in the name of the soldier, of the warrant for 160 acres, numbered 34754, which had been by his direction addressed to him, in care of Ava Durrin, or Durvin, at Galena, Illinois. The certificate would, of course, be valueless, unless regularly assigned by the warrantee; and if it can be established to the satisfaction of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, who is the appropriate judge of questions affecting the validity of transfers, that the assignment of the certificate in question is illegal or fraudulent, that officer will take such steps as will put the party properly entitled in possession of his rights.

For further information as to the proper course to be observed under the circumstances, you are respectfully referred to that office.

I may add that, the case having been disposed of in accordance with the law, the usage of the office, and the claimant's request, we have no further control in the matter. I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. HEATH, Commissioner. Hon. WILLIAM MURRAY,

House of Representatives. Upon the receipt of this letter, application was made to the Commissioner of the General Land Office for the land to which the deceased soldier was entitled, and the following letter was received by Hon. William Murray, member of Congress representing the district in New York in which the petitioner resides, in answer to this application, to wit :


August 6, 1852. Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I have fully examined the case of Theodore Minard, late a private in the 8th regiment United States infantry, in the Mexican war, in whose name land warrant No. 34754 was issued.

From the papers it appears that this warrant was issued and transmitted to Minard's agent, in accordance with his direction, at Galena, Illinois, on the 31st October, 1848, and that the patent was issued on the 10th July, 1851, to George W. Voris, as assignee, the assignment being endorsed on the warrant, and bearing date November 19, 1849.

It is now alleged that the warrantee died about one year before the date of the assignment, to which his name appears signed in full

, while to the papers in the Pension Office he makes his mark. In fact, it appears that the assignment is false and fraudulent.

It also appears that, in a similar case, it was held by the Commissioner, that where the patent has issued, the case is beyond the control of this office, and that the only recourse of the claimant was against the land. In this opinion the Secretary of the Department of the Interior concurred, and therefore the decision is binding on this office.

I regret the delay which has occurred in this case, notwithstanding

your frequent and urgent applications for action. It was caused chiefly by the absence of the Commissioner, whose return was daily expected, and who was the proper person to review his own decision. Finding, however, that his return is still delayed by severe sickness, I have deemed it expedient to address you this communication. lam, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Acting Commissioner. Hon. WILLIAM MURRAY,

House of Representatives. From this letter of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, it appears that by means of a forged assignment of the land warrant, bearing date about a year after the decease of the soldier, one George W. Voris, on the 19th day of November, 1851, located the land and obtained a patent therefor. This warrant is, of course, on file with the Commissioner of the Land Office, with the forged assignment endorsed thereon. The question arises, is the father of the deceased soldier to be deprived of the benefits of this land warrant by means of this forged assignment? It is one of the clearest principles of law, that no man can acquire a good title by means of forged papers. Even a bona fide purchaser cannot hold ihe fruits of a grant obtained by the commission of a felony. The Commissioner of the Land Office seems to be of the opinion that the petitioner must resort to a court of law for redress against the forger, or his grantees. This committee by no means agree with the Commissioner in opinion. If this were so, then the petitioner would be bound by the act of the forger in making the location of the land warrant. Such a proposition is absurd. Surely the forger, or his assignees could do no act of any binding effect either against the government or the petitioner. The petitioner, therefore, is entitled to locate the warrant in question precisely as if no such forgery had been committed. The committee therefore report a bill for the relief of the petitioner.

The perpetrators of this felony should be punished, and the holder of the lot, obtained by means of this forgery, should be required to give up the lot to the general government. The committee have therefore added a second section to the bill, intended to effect this object.

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