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Argument in support of the ruling.
the patent. No new deed appears to have been executed or proceedings instituted to correct a mistake in the deeds and make them correspond with the patent. On the contrary, the grantee came to the United States claiming that his deed and the patent to Egerton were conveyances of the southeast quarter of section 18, and that as the tract had been granted : by an elder patent to Durney, the government should give the legal representative or assignee of Giles Egerton the right to select another quarter-section in lieu thereof. The fact that Durney's patent for the southeast quarter was older than Giles Egertou's must have been ascertained by an examination of the latler patent itself.
4. The act of March 3d, 1827. The act, as a reason and justification for its passage, alleges that the quarter patented to Giles Egerton on the 10th day of January, A.D. 1818, had been previously patented to Durney. The court will not presume that the legislative department declared this to be a fact and gave it: the sanction of a legal enactment without satisfactory proof of its truth. The patent itself, at that time in the possession of Egerton or his grantee, was, doubtless, produced before the committee which examined and recommended the passage of the bill.
The four facts to which we have adverted corroborate each other, and taken together are only reconcilable with the conclusion that no matter what patent should have been and was intended to be issued to Giles Egerton, the patent signed, sealed, and received by him, purported to grant the southeast quarter and not the northeast quarter.
The proof, therefore, shows that
II. The legal title to the northeast quarter remained in the United States until the issue of the patent to Leonarı.
The location of Egerton's bounty warrant upon the land did not convey to him the legal title. It gave him a right to a conveyance, which right he could waive or relinquish. The title of the United States can only pass by patent or by act of Congress in words of present grant.*
* Wilcox v. Jackson, 13 Peters, 499.
Argument in support of the ruling.
III. The plaintiffs in error are estopped from setting up title in Egerton.
They present the issue of a patent to Egerton for the northeast quarter, either as a basis of title in themselves or as an outstanding title in him or in Hart. They can assert for or under him no better title than he could for himself or his grantees.
A person claiming title under one who is estopped, is also bound by the estoppel.*
1st. Egerton, by the deed to Hart of the southeast quarter, and its recitals that his patent granted that tract, and by the successive conveyances from Hart to Shaw, with the acceptance by the latter of another quarter-section from the United States in lieu of that quarter, became estopped from claiming that his patent granted him the northeast quarter.
A person is always estopped by his own deed, and will not be allowed to aver anything in contradiction of what he has once solemnly and deliberately admitted.t Admissions which have been acted upon by others are conclusive against the party making them, in all cases between him and the party whose conduct he has thus influenced. I
20. Egerton's successive grantees, Hart, Hunt, Clemson, and Sbaw, are bound and estopped by the recital and facts that estop Egerton.
A party who executes a deed is estopped from denying not only the deed but every fact which it recites, and all persons claiming under and through the party estopped are bound by the estoppel.
3d. The recitals in the act of Congress of the 3d of March, 1827, and Shaw's entry of a quarter-section under its provisions, also estop him from questioning the truth of the
* McCravey v. Renison, 19 Alabama, 430; Phelps v. Blount, 2 Devereux, 177.
† Lazon v. Peeman, 3 Mississippi, 529; Denn v. Brewer, Coxe, 172; Ridge way o. Morrison, 28 Indiana, 201.
I McClellan v. Kennedy, 8 Maryland, 230; Cummings v. Webster, 43 Maine, 192.
& Stow v. Wyse, 7 Connecticut, 214.
Opinion of the court.
facts recited in the act.* The act asserts that the quarter patented to Egerton on the 10th day of January, A.D. 1818, had been previously patented to Durney. The latter's pat. ent was for the southeast quarter. Egerton's patent, therefore, according to the act, granted that quarter. Shaw, Egerton's remote grantee, availed himself of its provisions; he must be held to admit its statements. The entry was to be in “lieu of” the quarter patented to Egerton, so that it was a relinquishment by Shaw of whatever quarter that patent granted. The act and the entry would estop Shaw, and all parties whose right or title under the patent Shaw had ac. quired, from claiming title under the Egerton patent.
4th. The estoppel is available at law. Equitable matters creating an estoppel have been recognized in many cases as available at law.t.
Mr. S. C. Judd, contra.
Mr. Justice BRADLEY delivered the opinion of the court.
The court below instructed the jury, that the defendants had not shown outstanding title to the lot in question, either in Giles Egerton, or in any one claiming under him, and that the plaintiff was entitled to recover. To this charge the defendants excepted.
The court did not state the ground on which the charge. to the jury was based; whether on the ground that the original pateut of Giles Egerton was in fact given for the southeast quarter-section, and not for the northeast quarter; or on the ground that Egerton and those in privity with him were estopped on that point.
We will first consider the ground of estoppel, on the supposition that the patent was, or may have been, in fact given for the lot in question, but that the supposed estoppel prevented Egerton, and those in privity with him, from alleg.
* Cary o. Whitney, 48 Maine, 516.
+ French v. Spencer, 21 Howard, 228; Brown v. Wheeler, 17 Connecticut, 345; Corbett v. Norcross, 35 New Hampshire, 99.
Opinion of the court.
ing that fact. What, then, was this estoppel ? Who was bound by it? and who can set it up?
The supposed estoppel is founded on the deed given by Egerton to Hart, in July, 1819, for a lot described as the southeast quarter of section 18, and as granted to Egerton by his patent of January 10th, 1818.
Now if the patent thus referred to was, in fact, for the northeast quarter, there was a mere mistake in the deed which might have been rectified in equity, or, perhaps, by a reference to the patent itself. But standing as it did, without being reformed, what at most was the estoppel which it created ? and who could have taken advantage of it at that time? First, Egerton was technically estopped, at law, to deny that his patent covered the southeast quarter, which the deed, in terms, conveyed; secondly, this estoppel related only to the southeast quarter; thirdly, it existed only as between Egerton on the one side, and Hart on the other, and their respective privies. Thus far, it did not bind the government, nor could the government take advantage of it, being a stranger to the estoppel. It did not impair the title of the government, or of its patentee, to the southeast quarter, assumed to be conveyed; nor did it reinvest the government with the title to the northeast quarter. If the original patent was in fact for the northeast quarter, the government could not have reclaimed that quarter against its own patent, whatever deed Egerton may have given to a third party for a different lot. And Egerton's heirs, or, his grantees of the northeast quarter, would have stood in his place. And the defendants in this case, coming into possession of that quarter under a tax sale, are to be regarded in the same light (at least that is the plaintiff's claim) as Egerton himself would be if he were in possession of it.
Such was the position of the parties at the giving of the deed to Hart in 1819. Has anything since occurred to change that position, and to divest the title of the lot in question out of Egerton, or his legal assigns, by estoppel ? We think not.
The assumed title to the southeast quarter conveyed to
Opinion of the court.
Hart passed from hand to hand by several mesne conveyances until, in 1827, the then grantee procured the act of Congress, authorizing him to enter another lot in lieu of the southeast quarter, which the act supposes to have been patented to Egerton, but previously patented to James Dur. ney. It is contended that this act and the subsequent entry of another lot in pursuance of it, operated to estop Egerton and his grantees from claiming the northeast quarter.
But the legal estoppel which affected Egerton and his grantees, was not changed by that act. And in speaking of the grantees of Egerton, we must distinguish between those claiming under the deed to Hart, which assumed to convey the southeast quarter, and those claining (as the defendants do) as grantees of the northeast quarter. The former class are those who are entitled to claim the benefit of the estoppel; the latter we are supposing to be bound by the estoppel. The act of Congress was procured in 1827 by the grantee under the deed to Hart, eight years after the date of that deed; and it recites that the patent was for the southeast quarter. Now it is well settled that recitals in a private act bind none but those who apply for it.* The act in question was made for the benefit of the grantee under Hart's deed. He claimed the southeast quarter, but found that it had been patented to Durney; and he applied for leave to enter another lot. How can his act change or enlarge the estoppel by which Egerton and his grantees of the lot in question were bound before? A person entitled to the benefit of an estoppel may transfer it by transferring the estate, but he cannot change it or enlarge it. Every grantee of the southeast quarter, through Hart, to the end of time, may estop Egerton and his assigns from denying that his patent was for the southeast quarter. But the government is not a grantee of that quarter under or through Hart. The gove ernment is still, in law, a stranger to the estoppel.
It is supposed that Egerton and his assigns are estopped by the fact that the government was induced to give to Eger
* Elmondorff v. Carmichael, 3 Littell, 472, 480. 2 Cowen & Hill's Notes,