Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 2.djvu/749

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TWELFTH CONGRESS. Sess. I. Ch. 66, 67. 1812. 713 _ _ S·r.a·ru·rr: I. CHA?. LXVI.——An dc! ic cwlitmve m force for a limited time, an act entitukd APH124 18,2 “.£n acl crmlinui for a limited lime Ute salaries 0 the mm; .. -. .- ’- Q. therein mentionedé; f (fum if govern Act of Feb. _ 20 1804 ch. 12. Bc et enacted by the Smale and Hmzsc of Representatives of the United Ah °r’lP'u 27· States df AIIIBTICG ITL CONgTC$S GSS8mb18d, That 3.Il 8.Cl. p3.SS€d OI] l,l'lG 18g%¤cl;}• l(gb twentieth day of February, one thousand eight hundred and four, enti- 20, 1819,ch.15: ruled “An act continuing for a limited time the salaries of the officers **5* °" ISM of government therein mentioned," shall be and continue in force for :::;°:::,.,r°r the term of three years, and to the end of the next session of Congress · thereafter, and no longer. Sec. And be tt further enacted, That for paying the salaries of the Additional . secretaries of state, treasury, war and navy, the comptroller, auditor and l;’°P"i‘“°“ 3P register of the treasury, the treasurer of the United States, the account- .0752 w' ants of the war and navy departments, the postmaster-general and the first assistant postmasterrgeneral, in addition to the sums already appropriated by the "Act making appropriations for the support of government 1812, ch. 33. for the year one thousand eight hundred and twelve," there be lappropriated the further sum of even thousand seven hundred and fifty-two dollars land fifty cents, to be paid out of any monies in the treasury not otherwise appropriated. Approved, April 24, 1812. .. Srnwm I. CHAP. LXVII.-:8n Act for ascertaining the title: and claims to Lands in that April 25, 1812. part of the Louzswmz which has cast of the river ilhsmszppa and tsltmdqfllkw Act of April Orleans-(al is, 1814, en. sa. Bc it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 18;;t:,?’{;§8’ States of America m Congress assembled, That for the purpose of ascer- ' (a) On the 12th February,l813, Congress passed an “ act authorizing the President of the United States to talrc possession of a tract of country lying south of the Mississippi territory, and west of the river Perdido." This act was not promulgated until the publication of the “Session acts ’> of the first session of the fifteenth Congress, which terminated April 20, 1818. See " resolution and acts relative to the occupation gr? Flgridzhy the United States,” Appendix to the acts of that first session of the fifteenth Congress, 1818, 0 . ,p. . C Upon the titles to lands in this country, the following decisions have been made by the Supreme 0urt;——- By the treaty of St. Ildefonso, made on the Ist of October, 1800, Spain ceded Louisiana to France; and France, by the treaty of Paris, signed the 30th of April, 1803, ceded it to the United States. Under this treaty, the United States claimed the countries between the Ibcrville and the Perdido. Spain contended that her cession to France comprehended only that territory which at the time of the eession was denominated Louisiana, con isting of the island of New Orleans, and the country which had been origin. ally ceded to her by France, west of the Mississippi. The land claimed by the plaintiffs in error, under a grant from the crown of Spain, made after the treaty of St. Ildefonso, lies within the disputed territory; and this case presents the question, to whom did the country between the Iberville and Perdido belozg after the treaty of St. Ildefonso 1 Had France and Spain agreed upon the boundaries of the retroced territory before Louisiana was acquired by the United States; that agreement would undoubtedly have ascertained its limits. But the declarations of France, made after parting with the province, cannot be admitted as conclusive. In questions of this character, political considerations have too much influence 0V6k" the conduct of nations, to permit their declarations to decide the course of an independent government, in a matter vitally interesting to itselil Foster et al. v. Neilson, 2 Peters, 306. lf a Spanish grantee had obtained possession of the land in dispute so as to be the defendant, would a court of the United States maintain his title under a S anish grant, made subsequent to the acquisition of Louisiana, singly on the principle that the Spanish construction of the treaty of St. lldefonso was right, and the American construction wrong? Such s. decision would subvert those principles which gggvrn the relations between the legislative and judicial departments, and mark the limits of each. I Ind. 'Ilhe Sound construction of the Sth article of the treaty between the United States and Spain, of the 22d of February, 1829, will not enable the court to apply its proyisions tho case of the plaintiill Ibnd 314. The article does not declare that all the grants made by his Catholic Majesty before the 24th_Januar{, 1818, shall be valid to the same extent as if the ceded territories had remained under his dominion. t does not say that those grants are hereby confirmed. Had such been its language, it would have acted directly on the subject, and it would have repealed those acts of Congress which were repugnant to it; bil! its language is, that those grants shall be ratified and confirmed to the persons m p0saession,Qq. By whom hall they be ratified and condrmed 2 This seems to be the language of contract; and if it in, the ratification and confirmation which are promised must be the act of the egnslature, Until such not shall be passed, the court is not at liberty to disregard the existing laws on the subject. Ibid. Von. II.—90 3 o 2