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Mr. Gilpin, for the United States:
But, independent of the strong inferences This is one of a numerous class of cases resulting from these circumstances, the docuwhich has of late years repeatedly claimed the mentary title now set up is inadmissible as consideration of this court. The rule laid down legal evidence. No original paper is exhibited; by the late Chief Justice is one that should be of the concession we have merely a copy recognized whenever they are discussed—that certified by Aguilar, the governor's secretary; of "it would violate the usage of nations, and the certificate of survey we have merely a copy outrage the sense of justice, to annul private certified by the keeper of the public archives. rights." To protect these is the duty of this No evidence is offered to show that either of court; and it was also unquestionably the de. these papers ever existed. Aguilar, the person sire and object of the executive government, who cop.ed the concession, is not produced; when it made the treaty with Spain. The Clarke, the surveyor-general, who is examined, eighth article of that treaty was adopted after does not prove either the concession or his own much discussion and change; and these discus-certificate of the survey; Alvarez, a clerk in sions turned mainly on the provisions which Aguilar's office at the time, never saw or heard were to guard private and existing interests. of the original concession; Cavedo, a clerk in But, on the other hand, fraud is to be pre- the record office, knows nothing of it; no evi. vented; the public domain, of which the ac- dence of its existence, and consequently of its quisition was costly, is to be protected; oppor- loss or destruction, appears throughout the tunities of deception growing out of the change record. of dominion are to be watched; titles are to be To supply the want of this, the claimant at. saved from embarrassment and conflict; and tempts to establish a presumption of loss, by the regulations made imperative on the land alleging that the documents in the record office holder by the Spanish laws are not to be wan- were so carelessly kept as to make the loss of tonly relaxed. The Spanish land law in Flor these papers very probable. But this allegaida was one of great liberality; occupation and tion is quite inconsistent with the testimony cultivation formed the only price which the before this court. The papers are shown, at government required from its grantees; but this all events, to have been carefully kept from price it did absolutely require. While, there 1815 to 1821; yet Alvarez, who kept them and fore, we sacredly uphold every vested right, and constantly examined them, never saw such a reserve to every citizen of Florida the privileges concession; in 1821, the return of the survey he derived under the Spanish law, we must must have led him to recur to it, if in existexact of him proof of a compliance with the ence: the surveyor.general, who was well acconditions that law imposed, before we allow quainted with the office papers, never saw it: him the benefit of its privileges. We have no in a list of documents made soon after the right to tolerate what would facilitate or change of flags, neither the concession nor cer. sanction fraud or unjustifiable negligence. tificate of survey is alluded to. These circum
The Spanish government would not, in its stances, taken in connection with the fact that most liberal spirit, have confirmed to the pres- the concession was never relied on by the claim. ent claimant the grant of land she now seeks ants till 1833, are inconsistent with the preto obtain. Her claim is founded on a conces. sumption of existence and loss. Nor is this sion of three hundred acres, alleged to have all; there is evidence which goes far to raise a been given by Governor Estrada in 1815, and contrary presumption: the loss of no grant to have been surveyed in 1821, but never, as is from these archives has been alleged, except admitted, possessed or cultivated to this day, such as now depend on copies certified by 337*) Two inquiries, therefore, present them- | *Aguilar; and evidence was offered to [*338 selves: first, whether such a concession was prove that, in two cases at least, he had pro. ever made in point of fact; and second, wheth posed to forge, or did actually forge, docuer, if it was not, the acts of the claimant since ments of a similar character; although this evi. have been such as now to authorize its con- dence, being objected to by the claimant, was firmation.
no doubt properly rejected, yet it forms o 1. That no such concession was ever grant- strong circumstance, taken in connection with ed by Governor Estrada may be inferred from the rest, to authorize a presumption that there the fact that none was ever produced or ex. never was any original concession. hibited until the year 1833, eighteen years Admitting, however, the facts on which the after it purports to have been made. The claimant presumes this loss, yet they can have claim itself first appears in the report of the no weight, as legal evidence, without previous register and receiver, dated in January, 1827, proof that the document in question did actual. twelve years after the alleged grant. Even !y exist. Satisfactory testimony that the origthen it is sustained only by an alleged certifi- inal existed, is absolutely necessary before the cate of survey, dated on the 230 March, 1821, certified copy can be admitted. In the case of purporting to have been made by the surveyor Goodier v. Lake, 1 Atkyns, 446, Lord Hardgeneral, Clarke, six years after the grant, in wicke required not merely that the existence, face of the Spanish law, which required the but the genuineness of a note, alleged to be possession to be taken within six months after lost, should be shown before a copy was admit. the date of the grant. There was no evidence ted; and in that of Irwin v. Simpson, 7 Bro. of occupation or cultivation; none of the exist- Parl. Cases, 317, an office copy of a bill was reence of the concession now relied on: its exist. jected, though an officer of the court was ready ence was not even alleged till the year 1833; to prove that the original could not be found, the claim up to that time was admitted to rest after a search among the records. In the case on the certificate of survey by Clarke, which, if of Cauffman v. The Congregation of Cedar genuine, was made by him in direct violation Springs, 6 Binney, 63, the Supreme Court of of the Spanish land law.
Pennsylvania held that, in order to prove the
substance of a written agreement, evidence of is evidence without proving the existence of the its existence must be first given, and then that original. No authority has been cited on this it was lost or destroyed. So in the case of point; no law, order, receipt, or judicial de. Meyer v. Barker, 6 Binney, 237, the same court cision to that effect, has been exhibited. The say that before secondary evidence of the con- claimant relies on the parol evidence of a few tents of a written instrument can be given, persons in Florida, to prove what, if it exists, "there must be proof that such instrument once must be a well settled rule in the judicial tribu. existed, and is lost or destroyed." This rule nals of Spain. This is not a matter of mere has been repeatedly recognized by other_ju local usage, which is to be established like an dicial tribunals (Jackson v. Todd, 3 Johns. Rep. ordinary fact. But taking the parol testimony 304; Spencer v. Spencer, 1 Gallison, 624), and, in the record, it will be found that in every in in this court distinct proof that a lost deed had stance where the witnesses speak of a certified been in possession of a person to whom it copy of a concession being of equal validity properly belonged, was regarded as a necessary with the original, they explain themselves as ground for the admission of secondary evi: referring to cases where the original is known dence of its contents. Minor v. Tillotson, .7 or proved to exist. Alvarez, the principal wit. Peters, 101. The present claimant offers no di- ness of the claimant on this point, says that rect testimony whatever of the existence of her "he does not recollect a certified copy of a concession. The only evidence in fact is that a grant being received in evidence in a Spanish copy of it is referred to in the certificate of sur court of justice, where the original was not on yey; but even of that certificate of survey noth- file in the proper office; and from his knowledge ing but a copy is produced. Clearly, the case is of the practice of the government, he does not not brought within the well established rule. believe that such a copy would be received in
It is contended, however, that the rule in evidence in a Spanish court, unless the party question does not apply where the originals could prove that the original was in the office are placed in a public office, and the office is at the time the copy was made." allowed by law to give to the parties certified On these grounds, it is submitted that there copies. To this it is answered in the first is no evidence of this concession ever having place, that this exception does not in any case been made, but a strong presumption against it. dispense with direct proof of the original hav. 2. If, however, the original concession is ing existed; but, in the second place, it is never proved, still the claimant is not entitled to a applicable in a case where the genuineness of confirmation of it, because she performed none the original is contested. In the case of The of the conditions which were required to perUnited States v. Percheman, 7 Peters, 84, fect her title by the Spanish law. where the question arose in regard to the ad Grants of land in Florida, by the Spanish mission of these certificates, it was declared by authorities, 80 far as "they have come (*340 the court, in admitting them, that the original before this court, appear to have been of three must be produced, if either party should sug- classes. gest the necessity of so doing. In the case of First. Absolute grants, in consideration of Minor v. Tillotson, 7 Peters, 101, it was held services already performed, which were made that wherever suspicion hung over the instru- by the governors, in special cases, either by ment, the copy was not to be admitted without virtue of a special power recognized by the laws 339*] rigid inquiry. *In the case of The of the Indies (2 White's New Recopilacion, 38, United States v. Jones, 8 Peters, 382, it was 40, 52) or by the authority given, in particular held that although a certified treasury tran. degrees, coming directly or indirectly from the script of documents filed in the public offices, is sovereign, as in the case of the grants conmade, by law, of equal validity with the orig. ferred upon Salus, Paulin, and Percheman, in inals, yet the defendant is at liberty to impeach reward for their services. 2 White's New Rec. the evidence thus certified, and, on allegation 280. The very nature of these grants forbids of fraud, require the production of the original. a limitation on the quantity, or on the conIn the case of Owings v. Hull, 9 Peters, 626, sideration that might move them. They are where the copy of a bill of sale in Louisiana recognized by this court in the cases of The was admitted, it was done upon the express i United States v. Percheman, 7 Peters, 97; and ground that the original was in the possession The United States v. Clarke, 8 Peters, 453. of the notary. In the case of Winn v. Patter Second. Grants in consideration of services son, 9 Peters, 675, it was held that there must to be performed, and deemed specially imporbe satisfactory proof of the genuineness and tant for the improvement of the province. due execution of a power of attorney, before a These do not seem to have grown out of any copy from the public office of the recorder could law or royal order, but were not infrequent for be received. In the case of The United States some years before the cession of Florida. They v. Delespine, 12 Peters, 656, the extent to which were established by usage, and recognized as these certificates of Florida concessions were to lawful. 2 White's New Recopilacion, 386, 289, be admitted, as evidence, was discussed; and 290. The services appear to have been of their admission was made to depend upon the three kinds: the erection of saw-mills, facfact that there was positive proof of the exist. tories, or mechanical works; the introduction ence of the original concession, in the office of and rearing of large numbers of cattle, and the the secretary who gave the certificate. This establishment in particular places of large case, therefore, is not excepted from the com- bodies of settlers. The titles to these were, in mon law rule, making proof of the existence of some instances, absolute on their face, and the original necessary, by the fact that its de conveyed a present grant from their date, posit in a public office was required.
though coupled with conditions for the It is, however, contended, that by the usages subsequent performance of the specified serve recognized in the Spanish law, the certificate ices; or they were mere concessions or incipi.
ent grants, securing a future absolute title, on 2 White's New Rec. 276; 1 Clarke's Land Laws, the performance of the conditions. The first 996–998. In 1797, Governor Gayoso, in Louis. are recognized by this court in the cases of The iana, enlarged the allotment to two hundred United States v. Arredondo, 6 Peters, 745, 746; acres for the head of the family, fifty acres The United States v. Clarke, 8 Peters, 441, 467; for each child, and twenty for each negro; he The United States v. Sibbald, 10 Peters, 313; required possession to be taken within one year, and others. The second, in the cases of The and gave an absolute title after three years' United States v. Mills, 12 Peters, 215; and The cultivation. 2 White's New Rec. 233. In 1799 United States v. Kingsley, 12 Peters, 477, 486. Governor Morales declared, explicitly, that not.
Third. But the great class of cases was the withstanding the concession, or first grant, by of gratuitous grants, in moderate quantities, which the settler obtained possession, he was for purposes of actual occupation and cultiva: “not to be regarded as the owner of the land tion. To this class is applicable the general until his royal title was delivered complete.” system of Spanish land law which existed in 2 White's New Rec. 239. In 1803 Governor Florida and Louisiana; and the regulations em- White, in East Florida, reduced the allotment braced under it are as clear and distinct as to fifty acres for the head of the family, twenthose of the land laws of the United States. ty-five acres to each child and slave above the It is true, the grants were gratuitous, but the age of sixteen years, and fifteen acres to each performance of the conditions annexed by that that was younger; he declared that "every con. law was a consideration as explicit as the pay cession, in which no time was specified should ment required by our laws.
be null, if possession and cultivation were not The regulations in regard to these grants are commenced within six months.” He also refirst found in the compilation of the laws of the quired ten years' possession before an absolute Indies, promulgated by the Spanish sovereign or royal title was granted, and decreed that if in 1682. By those laws, grants were distribu in any case the land was abandoned for two ted by the governors to settlers, on condition years, the title should be absolutely void. 2 that they should take actual possession of the White's New Rec. 259, 277, 278, 281. In 1811, lands granted in three months, and build upon Governor Estrada solicited permission to change and cultivate them; and after four years of these regulations, and to be allowed to sell the such occupation, they were entitled to hold the lands absolutely for money, in lieu of granting land in absolute property. 2 White's New Rec. them gratuitously *on conditions of culti-(* 343 48, 50, 51. The incipient grant, termed a con- vation and settlement; but all change in the 341*j cession, was deposited in the office of system was explicitly refused. 2 White's New the governor's secretary; but, on proof of the Rec. 266, 267. In 1813 the Cortes, under the necessary occupation and cultivation, the set-new Spanish constitution, passed an ordinance tler received an absolute grant, or, as it was authorizing such sales, but this was repealed called, a royal title, which was recorded in the the next year, and the previous laws and reguoffice of the escribano, or notary of the prov- lations were restored. Clarke's Land Laws, ince. 2 White's New Rec. 283. The quan. 1007, 1010; 8 Peters, 455. With this partial tity to be given to each settler is not prescribed exception (which does not appear to have been in the laws of the Indies, but the governors are acted on in practice), the regulations of Gov. directed to graduate it. These regulations are ernor White continued in full force till 1815, subsequently recognized by the King of Spain, when Governor Kindelan, on account of the in his royal orders of 1735, 1754, and 1768, 2 Indian disturbance, relaxed them so far as to White's New Rec. 62, 64, 71, and in the lato grant absolute titles to settlers, who had acter it is declared that “where any shall not ap tually built houses and improved their lands, ply themselves in a proper manner to improve though the ten years' settlement was not comthe lands allotted to them, the same shall be plete. 2 White's New Rec. 288. In 1818 Gov. taken from them (which I do without mercy) ernor Coppinger, at the instance of Garrido, an and granted to others who shall fulfil the con agent of the Duke of Alagon, directed a full in. ditions." In 1770, O'Reilly, the Governor of vestigation and review of the land system of Louisiana, promulgated his regulations, fixing Florida to be made; and the report of Saavedra, two hundred and forty arpents as the quantity which was sanctioned by the governor, fully of a concession for a family, and allowing an establishes the regulations which have been absolute title, in the name of the king, after cited as then in existence; whether they rethree years' cultivation and improvement, to be late to the absolute grants, the grants upon exascertained after strict inquiry. 2 White's press condition, or the gratuitous concessions New Rec. 229, 230. In 1790, under the adminis- for purposes of settlement and cultivation. 2 tration of Governor Quesada, in East Florida, White's New Rec. 282, 288. and pursuant to a royal order, dated the 29th The claimant's title in this case rests on a November, 1789, we have the quantity allotted concession of Governor Estrada of three hun. to the settlers in that province specifically des- dred acres; not asked or granted for any serv: ignated; one hundred acres are assigned to each ices, but because “she has five children and head of a family, and fifty to each other person five slaves, with herself.” This entitled her to composing it, whether white or black; provi. three hundred acres. At that time the sion is also made that foreign emigrants shall regulations of Governor White were in full first take an oath of allegiance to Spain; the force. She never occupied the land or culti. surveyor-general is required to inform the set. vated it, at any time from the date of the con. tlers that they will obtain their concessions or cession to the present day. It cannot be doubt. incipient titles from the governor's secretary; ed but that under the Spanish law, "her conces. and also, to give them express notice that the sion is of no value or effect, the prescribed conconditions prescribed by law must be com- ditions not having been complied with, nor can pleted before they can receive an absolute title. I she by means of it claim any right to the land
granted, which should now be considered va- | the proof of the existence of the original concant.” These are the words of Saavedra. 2 cession is sufficient. White's New Rec. 283.
Mr. Downing, for the appellee, contended, But it is said the eighth article of the treaty 1. That this copy is full and sufficient proof between Spain and the United States, ceding of the grant: First, by the Spanish laws and Florida, recognizes this as a valid and existing usages; and, second, by the common law of title, because there is no condition expressed in England, adopted in Florida, as primary evi. it. The treaty declares that "Spanish grants, dence before the Spanish Court-as secondary made before the 24th January, 1818, shall be and sufficient before ours. ratified and confirmed to the persons in posses 2. That the absence of the original from the sion of the lands, to the same extent that the archives is accounted for by the carelessness same grants would be valid if the territories with which the papers were kept, and does not had remained under the dominion of Spain.” furnish a presumption that it never existed. 6 Laws of the United States, 618; 2 White's The appellee may safely rest her case on the New Rec. 210. The meaning of this article authority of the cases decided by this court, as has been fully canvassed and settled by this to the proof of the grant from Governor Es. court. In the case of The United States v. trada. A certified copy of the grant is preArredondo, 6 Peters, 741, it was held that un sented, and this is the only paper a claimant of der the treaty, and without the necessity of land in East Florida can have. The petition any further act by the United States, all com for the grant, and the order of the Governor of plete and absolute titles then existing "stood Florida upon it are office papers, and always confirmed;" and this decision was repeated in on file in the office of the secretary *of (*344 the case of The United States v. Percheman, 7 the government. Certified copies, which serve Peters, 89. But all grants which were not com as titles, are issued by the government. This plete and absolute, could only be made valid was the practice in all such cases. by the legislation of the United States. The The question before the court is upon the question, then, resolves itself into this: has validity of the certificate of title. any legislation, in pursuance of this treaty, As to the performance of the condition of 343'] *given validity to a concession or im- settlement, it has been repeatedly held by this perfect title, where the grantee had not per court, it is a condition subsequent, and does formed the conditions required by the Spanish not affect the validity of the grant. 10 Peters, law, to make the grant valid? The first Act, 321. But in the grant to Elizabeth Wiggins, that of 8th May, 1822, 3 Story's Laws, 1870, there is no condition of settlement. directs an examination by commissioners into It has always been contended in Florida, the fact whether the claim presented was valid, that even if there is a condition of settlement “agreeably to the laws and ordinances pre- in the grant, the forfeiture is to be enforced by viously existing of the governments making the government; and until this is done, the the grant.” The Act of 3d March, 1823, 3 grant is in full operation. No case is known Story's Laws, 1907, recognizes and directs the in which the forfeiture has been claimed. same inquiry. The Act of 28th February, 1824, Grants of this description were made as in3 Story's Laws, 1935, makes it incumbent on ducements to settlements and improvements. the claimants to establish that "the conditions The government required an agricultural popurequired by the laws and ordinances of the lation, to increase the safety of the whole com. Spanish government” shall have been complied munity from Indian depredations. Grants of with. And the Act of 23d May, 1828, 4 Story's land were freely given, when offers of settlement Laws, 2124, which finally submits the claims were made, but no rigid exaction of penalties to a judicial decision, restricts them by the rule followed the failure of the grantee to execute prescribed in the Act of the 26th May, 1824, 3 the purposes of improvement and settlement. Story's Laws, 1959, to such as "might have This court, in the case of Percheman, have been perfected into a complete title under and decided upon the legality of the certified copy in conformity to the laws, usages, and customs of the petition and grant as evidence. In other of the government, under which the same orig cases, the same decision has been made. 12 inated." While, therefore, a complete and per. Peters, 655. lect grant is recognized as valid, without in. Cited, also, in support of the general princi. quiring into the fact how far it had been duly ples on which the title of the appellee rested, 6 nade, it is apparent that neither by the treaty Peters, 727–731, 738; 2 Peters's Digest, 313; nor by the legislation of Congress, is an in- Sibbald's case, 10 Peters, 322; 6 Peters, 735. ceptive or imperfect grant confirmed, unless it It is considered as having been settled by the night have been perfected under the laws and decrees of this court, in the Florida cases, that usages of Spain. *It has been shown that the all other conditions but those in mill grants are present claim could not have been so perfected, conditions subsequent. but that it was, and is, absolutely null, and
Mr. Justice Catron delivered the opinion of “the land granted should now be considered as
the court: vacant." Nor can any decision of this court be shown in evidence of the memorial of Mrs. Wiggins,
The first question arises upon the admission which goes to establish such a claim; no case exactly similar has come before it, but so far and the decree thereon by the governor, Esas the principles heretofore laid down are ap: lar. They are as follows:
trada, on the certificate of the secretary, Aguiplicable to it, it submitted that they sustain the ground now taken, on behalf of the United
Memorial for Grant. States. If so, the decision of the court below
Translation. was erroneous, and the claim of the appellee "His Excellency the Governor: should be rejected; even if it be admitted that "Isabel Wiggins, an inhabitant of the towa
of Fernandina, with the greatest respect ap. 1 in the form pursued in Mrs. Wiggins' case: pears before your Excellency, and states that that the decree of the governor was filed in the she has never importuned the attention of the secretary's office, and constantly retained there government with petitions for lands, as she unless, in cases where a royal title was ordered procured to support her family with the fruits to be issued, when the decree was transferred of her industry, in this town; but owing to the 'to the escribano's office. Mrs. Wig. (*346 diminution of trade, she considers that she gins's is a case of the first class, and the peti. will have to devote herself to the pursuits of tion and decree could not be removed from the the country; and wishing to establish herself government secretary's office.
These papers en the eastern side of the Pond of St. George, were not recorded in books there, but kept in she supplicates your excellency to be pleased files or bundles. to grant to her three hundred acres in the said The evidence given to the grantee was ! 848*) place, as she has five children and five certified copy of the decree, or of the memorial slaves, with herself; which favor_she begs of and decree, by the government secretary; and the just administration of your Excellency: that it was one of the ordinary duties of the
"Ísabel Wiggins." secretary to make certified copies of memorials "Fernandina, 1st August, 1816. and decrees for the use of the parties. GenDecree.
erally, the decree of the governor directed "St. Augustine, 6th August, one thousand eight the copy to be made for the use of the party, hundred and fifteen.
and that copies made by the government secre"The tract which the interested party solicits tary, and certified by him, were generally reis granted to her without prejudice to a third ceived as evidence of title in the Spanish party; and for the security thereof, let a cer- courts of justice; the copies were made immedi. tified copy of this instance and decree be is. ately after making the decree, and delivered sued to her from the secretary's office. to the party when he called for them. No seal
“Estrada." was affixed to the secretary's certificate, which Certificate of Aguilar.
was evidence of the facts to which it certified, "I, Don Tomas de Aguilar, sub-lieutenant of in a case like this. From the evidences of the the army, and secretary of the government of duties incumbent on the government secretary the place and province of East Florida, for his of Florida, derived from this record and other majesty, do certify that the preceding copy is sources, we have no doubt the duties were faithfully drawn from the original which exists such as proved; that the secretary was the in the secretary's office, under my charge, and proper officer appointed by law to give copies; pursuant to the order I give the present, in and that the law trusted him, for this particuŝt. Augustine of Florida, on the sixth of Au- lar purpose, so far as he acted under its au. gust, one thousand eight hundred and fifteen. thority. It follows, in this case, as in all
“Tomas De Aguilar." others where the originals are confined to a Before the memorial and concession were of public office, and copies are introduced, that fered in evidence, Elizabeth Wiggins made afti- the copy is (first) competent evidence by audavit: “That, in August, 1815, she petitioned thority of the certificate of the proper officer; for the grant; that she received shortly after and (second) that it proves, prima facie, the from the secretary of the government, a cer- original to have been of file in the office, when tified copy of the petition and decree; that she the copy was made. And for this plain reason: never had had possession or control of the the officer's certificate has accorded to it the original; that she always understood that it sanctity of a deposition; he certifies that the was, at the date thereof, placed in the proper preceding copy is faithfully drawn from the public office, as was usual in such cases; that original, which exista in the secretary's office, she understood from her counsel the same could under my charge." not be found, and that she is ignorant what The same doctrine was holden in this court has become of the same."
in Owings v. Hull, 9 Peters, 624, 625. The copy The affidavit was objected to, on the part of of a bill of sale for slaves, made and of record the United States, and rejected by the court, in a notary's office, in New Orleans, was ofand the evidence offered received without its fered in evidence, without accounting for the aid, on proof being made of the handwriting original, and objected to for this reason. By of Aguilar, the government secretary.
the laws of Louisiana, the original could not Much evidence was introduced to prove the be removed from the notary's office, and he was practice and rules in use in the offices of the authorized to give a copy. This was received Spanish government, from which titles to lands and deemed evidence of what was contained in issued. We think the evidence was admissible; the original, and, of course, that it existed the existence of a foreign law, especially when when the copy was made. unwritten, is a fact to be proved, like any Again, in Percheman's case, 7 Peters, 85, it other fact, by appropriate evidence. The was decided by this court that a copy of a Spanish province of Florida was foreign to this Spanish grant, certified by the government country in 1815, when the transaction referred secretary, could be given in evidence without to purports to have taken place.
accounting for the nonproduction of the orig. A principal witness to prove the practice in inal; and this, on general principles, which did the government secretary's office, was Alvarez, not require the aid of legislation: much reliwho had been a clerk in it from 1807 to the ance in that case having been placed upon acts time of the change of government, in 1821. of Congress to give effect to the certificate. He and others establish beyond controversy This court, in The United States v. Deles. that persons wishing grants of lands from the pine, 12 Peters, 655, recognized the principle Spanish government, presented a memorial to that a certified copy, such as the one before us, the governor, and he decreed on the memorial,' was evidence, for there a copy of the first copy