PETITION OF SAMUEL A. LAWRENCE AND OTHERS, CITIZENS OF NEW-YORK, FOR CONFIRMATION OF THEIR TITLE TO LANDS IN EAST FLORIDA, PURCHASED FROM RICHARD S. HACKLEY, WITH THE OPINION OF COUNSEL, ON HIS TITLE THERETO.

[New York?]: 1824. [5], 10-74 pp [as issued]. Faint numerical rubberstamp, widely scattered spotting. Very Good copy of a rare item. Bound in modern cloth [bookplate on front pastedown], title stamped in gilt on spine.

Under the 1819 Adams-Onis Treaty, Spain ceded East and West Florida to the United States. Pursuant to Article 8 of the Treaty, Spain's land grants before 1818 were confirmed; and the United States ratified them. However, when Spain ratified the Treaty in October 1820, its King declared that Spain's pre-1818 land grants to the Duke of Alagon were void. Congress then prohibited its land commissioners "from enquiring into the title of land claimed under the grant made to the Duke of Alagon." Resulting uncertainties in land titles made complex litigation inevitable.
Lawrence and his colleagues had bought their land from Richard S. Hackley, who had acquired his title directly from the Duke of Alagon. Title to their East Florida lands, located on the river Ochlawaha in the County of St. Johns, was thus in jeopardy. In an effort to avoid years of legal proceedings, this petition seeks Congress's imprimatur that their titles are valid. Their petition-- signed in type by Lawrence, M.B. Edgar, E. Slosson, A. Dey, and Edward C. Delavan-- includes supporting opinions from several eminent attorneys, among them George Caines, William Van Ness, and William Sampson. Also accompanying their petition are the grant from the King of Spain to the Duke and the Certificate of Possession, the deed from the Duke to Hackley, the Treaty between the United States and Spain, and an Extract from the Spanish Constitution barring the King from arbitrarily interfering with the property of others. Spanish and English text translations are included.
FIRST EDITION. Streeter Sale 1210. Servies 1191. BEAL 4812.53. AI 16870 [3]. OCLC 2380884 [7- as of March 2015]. Item #25968

Price: $1,750.00

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