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rights, from being misled and injured; that the entry was, in fact, the very remedy the law had provided against a previously existing evil. Now, in the present case, supposing suspension of sales at Marietta some how entered into the general provisions of the law—an entry at Marietta would be an " entire equivalent" to an entry at Zanesville; for it is clear, that before sales could begin at Zanesville, notice must be given what tracts had been sold at Marietta. This too, would have been a general notice; general, at any rate, to the extent of the object; not an individual notice merely, which the Court would not, in the case of Wilson v. Mason, suffer to take place of the general rule.
A case may readily be supposed, under the land laws of the United States, offering arguments and objections parallel to those in the case of Wilson v. Mason. Suppose A. purchases in one district land lying in another; discovering his mistake, and that B. is about to enter the same land in its proper district, he gives notice of his previous entry: here A. might say, that as between him and the public, a purchase in one district was the same as in another, and that B. had notice. In such case a court would doubtless say, that to permit entries in one district, of land lying in another, would create confusion; that a person with equal rights would never know when he made a safe entry, and-that a particular exception, notwithstanding personal notice, was inadmissible; but, as just shown, the objection would not lie in the present case; so that whatever the " //*," in the opinion of the Court amounts to, may fairly be placed to our side of the question.
But the point we propose to illustrate principally, 1822. by the case of Wilson v. Mason, is the right to purchase, by considering that case hypothetically. The right of every individual holding a warrant to appropriate to himself waste lands, was not more substantially, or forcibly given, by the laws of Virginia, than the right to purchase any vacant tract of the United States land is given, by the act of May 10, 1800. It is true, that in Virginia, money was advanced on obtaining the warrant, but no priority of claim grew out of the prior date of the warrant, except, in the instance of an accidental competition; and having money to pay, and applying to enter, puts the applicant under the laws of the United States on as good ground in law and equity as he stood on who came forward to enter under the law s of Virginia. Besides, by a provision in the act of May 10th, before noticed, money may be paid to the Treasurer of the United States: this corroborates and strengthens our reasons for this equality of right. The right to appropriate extended also over the whole of the waste lands in the state, though the act of appropriation must be performed in some one county. Now, let it be supposed that the question had been between Wilson and Mason, whether Mason's right to enter, in such county as he thought proper, was to be"'suspended for fifteen months, in consequence of similar legislative provisions to those found in the acts of March 3,1803,and March 26,1804, and with constructions and doings of the proper executive officers, parallel to those in the present case; can it for a moment be imagined, that the better right would have been decreed to Wilson?
1322. The phraseology of the laws for the collection of duties on imports is, that the bays, ports, harbours, &c. within certain limits, shall be districts, with some appropriate denomination; and when any new district is made, that from and after a certain day the harbors, &c. within certain limits, shall be a district by the name of the district of . Here the language precludes all sophistry in relation to the time when the new district is to go into operation; and its effect on the old district; but suppose the language was—there shall be a district to be called the district of A. and from and after a certain day the duties shall, &c.be paid at B. This, one very principle of sound construction, would amount to precisely the same thing; and certainly the words, shall be a district, would not, under this supposition, be construed to stop the power of collection in the old district, until the time they were to be collected in the new one atB.; yet, according to their reasoning, this would take place, for if the verbal repugnance only is to be considered, as before observed, it matters not when the practical repugnance commences.
Mr. Hammond, for the respondents. The first point made for the respondents, is, that this Court has no jurisdiction.
The alleged contract and fraud of Zane constitute the sole ground for the interference of a Court of Equity. They are the gist of the plaintiff's case, and in respect to these, this Court has no supervising control over the State Court. Whether the contract alleged was one, the obligation of which a Court of Chancery should recognize; whether it 1822. created a trust in Zane, which a Court of Equity would compel him to execute; whether the fraud was such, that a Court of Equity would relieve against it; and whether making general propositions of compromise, and delaying more than ten years before a tender of money was made, and a performance specifically required was such diligence, on the part of the plaintiff, as to entitle him to the aid of a Court of Equity, are all questions over which the State Court has complete control. In a Court of Equity the right of the plaintiff to the relief sought depends upon the decision of the questions here enumerated, and not upon the correct construction of the acts of Congress.
Let it be conceded, that the plaintiff's construction of the acts of Congress is correct, and the consequence is, that at the time of the sale at Zanesville, he held a legal right, imperfect to be sure, but purely legal in its character. The allegations in the b'Jl show that the plaintiff lost this right by the msconception, or misconduct of the Secretary of the Treasury, and the officers of the land office at Maretta, and not in consequence of the alleged agreement with Zane. If the plaintiff had a right, and tlat right had been duly regarded by the public officers, neither the alleged contract with Zane, nor Zane's sibsequent purchase could have impaired it. Upon whit principle, then, does he come in equity to set up tlat right against Zane and M'Intire? Is it under colour of an agreement with Zane to impeach the conduct of the Secretary or Register, and
1822. Receiver? Can it be said that a decision against the relief sought, in such a case, is a decision against a right or title claimed under an act of Congress? Is it not a more rational inference that the decision was against the party upon the ground that the contract did not entitle him; or upon the ground that he could not have relief in equity? or that if entitled to redress, it must be against the officer, for damages,^upon the principle suggested by this Court?" - Suppose that this Court, upon an examination of the case, shall adopt the 'plaintiff's construction of the different acts of Congress, does it follow that they must, or can reverse this decree? Can they do it, without examining the obligation and extent of the alleged agreement with Zane? Can they do it without inquiring into the subsequent conduct of Matthews, and determining how far the whole case entitles the party to the aid of a Court of Equity? It seems to us that they cannot. And we insist that in this Court these inquiries cannot be made: th» 25th section of the judiciary act expressly forbids L. Again; upon the construction of the acts of Caigress insisted on by the plaintiff, the certificate of purchase granted to him by the Register of the and office at Marietta, on the 16th of May, 1804, vested in him a legal right to the possession of the laids in dispute. Such certificates have always D^en received in Ohio as evidence of title in ejecment.— The bill shows no reason why this \e«?t remedy was not pursued. If the party by his Jwn laches
o. M'Clung v. Silliman, 6 Wheat. Rej>. 598.