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The object in all the laws directing patents to issue is to
pass the fee from the government, and to consolidate the evidence
of title. So far from the object in reference to the title being
accomplished by this patent, the party who wishes to use it,
is entirely afloat, and must so back through all the title
papers anterior to the patent. I judge it however suf

ficient for me to say, that Merriwether LewisLewis and his as

signess are entitled to expect from the officiers of the government,
the document which is directed to be issued by the act of
3 march 1807, and that they are also entitled to claim that no
ambiguity shall appear upon the face of the document when issued.

If the commissioner of the Genl. Land office would enter into any con

sideration of the value of the two confirmations, and be influenced
in the made of issuing the patents by their legal value, then there can
be no difficulty in showing that the second confirmation, although
by act of congress, is a mere nullity.

The act of 3 march 1807 in the 3 sec. provides that the decision
of the Commissioners, when in favor of the claimant, shall be final
against the United StatesUnited States, any act of CongressCongress to the contrary not
withstanding. Each claimant of land was required to file with the
Recorder and have recorded, not only the original concession under
which he claimed, but all conveyances by which the title was derived
to himself, and thus the title original and derivative was before
the commissioners and was passed upon by them. When the
claim of Merriwether LewisLewis was confirmed by the commissioners,
the confirmation was for his benefit, not for the benefit of any other
person. How then shall the confirmation be final against the
United states, if any officer of the government, or the government
itself can confer any right to the same land upon any other

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person? The value of Conflicting confirmations has been several
times considered both in the courts of MissouriMissouri and in the SupremeSupreme Court
CourtSupreme Court of the United StatesUnited States and it has been Uniformly held that
the first confirmation must prevail. In Chouteau V Eckert
2 Thousand 344 and LeBois V Brammell 4 HowardHoward at page 464
the Supreme CourtSupreme Court recognises the principle as generally applicable
to confirmations, that the first passes the legal title from the
government. In this case the effect of the confirmation to LewisLewis
is declared by the act of 1807 to be "final against the United StatesUnited States"

Again, it is proper to observe that the Supreme CourtSupreme Court in the
case of Strother V Lucas had under consideration two confirmations
precisely like those made in this case- One by the Board of Com

missioners- the other by the act of April 1816 confirming the claims
contained in the report of the Recorder of land titles. In that case
at page 453 of 12 PetersPeters , the Court examines the powers of the
Recorder of land titles in passing upon the claims which were
embraced in his report, and shows that he had no authority
to act upon claims to land where the title had been previously
confirmed by the commissioners. In such cases, the court
pronounces his action "either merely cumulative and so in

operative or if adverse, merely void as an assumption or
" of power in a case in which he had not juris

diction and his action must be a mere nullity."

I think, sir, that the commissioner will not hesitate to
cancel this patent, as made out in an improper form, and to
issue one to Merriwether LewisLewis as is required by the act of 1807.

Your . (Signed)


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