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Opinion of the Court.

on unsurveyed land. The act is not explicit. It does not define the extent or kind of improvements. It permits a location to be made upon “unoccupied land

upon which they (half-breeds) have respectively made improvements.” Residence is not required, either initial or subsequent, temporary or continuous. The purpose of the provision of the statute would seein, therefore, necessarily to be identification, notice of appropriation, and the kind and extent of improvements only to be necessary for that. But we may concede, as held hy Secretary Noble, “that the requirement of improvements must have soine substantial significance, ” and “it is not satisfied by doing something which is a betterment of the land, but of too slight a character to mark anything more than a pretext of coinpliance.” The improvements erected on the land in controversy satisfied the rule whether they were as, it is claimed, Secretary Vilas found, or were as the trial court found in the present case.

It is further urged that the improvements were not erected for the benefit of the Indian nor did she have “a direct connection with the land,” and that those requirements are inade conditions precedent to a valid location by the circulars of the land office issued in 1872 and subsequently.

1. It was decided in Thompsom v. Myrick, supra, that a valid location could be made by an attorney in fact of the Indian, and that he could, “either before or after the location was made," enter into an agreement to secure or convey the title. That case was affirmed by this court, and the facts of the case at bar bring it within the ruling.

2. To consider the act of 1854 as requiring its beneficiaries to have a direct connection with the land and claim the same for his personal use,” would lead to great embarrassinent, if not to discrimination, between the beneficiaries. The effect of that construction was expressed by the Supreme Court of the State as follows:

“ Under the law the President was authorized to do wbat was actually done, issue to each person entitled several pieces of scrip of different sizes or acreage. Was it expected that each of these persons should be personally connected with the sev

Counsel for Parties.

eral and separate improvements required to be made if all of the pieces were located on unsurveyed lands, and would have to claim the saine for personal use ? Surely not. This law contemplated and there were actually issued several pieces of scrip to each of a large number of minors. Babes in arms were held to be entitled and to them scrip was issued, and in many cases located before the minors reached majority, as might reasonably be expected. With these facts before us can it be held that Congress thought or intended that these minors would be required by a construction of the law to personally supervise the selection of from three to five tracts of land on which to locate their pieces of scrip, or that they would have to be directly connected with each of these locations, or in case unsurveyed lands were desired they would have to claim the necessary improvements as their own ?”

It is impossible to escape the force of these observations and to accept a construction of the statute which has the consequences expressed. Upon the other points discussed by counsel we do not consider it

necessary to


Judgment affirmed.



No. 81. Argued December 4, 5, 1901.-Decided January 13, 1902.

This case is affirmed on the authority of Midway Company v. Enton, unte, 602.

The case is stated in the opinion of the court.

Mr. P. II. Seymour

Mr. Walter Ayers for plaintiff in error. was on his brief.

Mr. Jeil. L. Washburn and Mr. Luther C. Harris for de

Opinion of the Court.

fendants in error. Mr. C. A. Towne and Mr. William D. Bailey were on their briefs.

MR. JUSTICE McKenna delivered the opinion of the court.

This action was brought by the Germania Iron Company against the defendants in error in the district court of St. Louis County, State of Minnesota, to determine adverse claims to the S. E. of the N. W. of section 30, T. 63 N., of range 11 W., of the fourth principal meridian, according to the government survey in said St. Louis County.

Pending the action the land was conveyed to The Midway Company, and the latter company was substituted as plaintiff for the Germania Company.

Plaintiff in error claims title under a patent issued by the United States to Emil Hartman, dated October 21, 1895, by whom the land was conveyed to the Germania Company, and by the latter to the plaintiff in error.

The defendants claim title under a certain location of Sioux half-breed scrip issued under the act of July 17, 1854.. (10 Stat. 304, c. 83.)

The trial court rendered judgment for defendants, which was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the State, and this writ of error was then allowed by the Chief Justice of that court.

The facts of this case are the same and are presented upon exactly the same record, the same assignments of error and contentions, as in The Midway Company v. Eaton et al., ante, 602, just decided. On the authority of that case the judgment of the Supreme Court is


Statement of the Case.



No. 77. Argued November 27, December 2, 1901.-Decided January 13, 1902.

Where goods are carried by connecting railways, as between intermediate

carriers, the duty of the one in possession at the end of his route is to deliver the goods to the succeeding carrier, or notify him of their arrival, and the former is not relieved of responsibility by unloading the goods at the end of his route and storing them in his warehouse without deliv

ery or notice to or any attempt to deliver to his successor. In this case it cannot be claimed that the defendant had either actually or

constructively delivered the cotton to the steamship company at the

time of the fire. If there be any doubt from the language used in a bill of lading, as to its

proper meaning or construction, the words should be construed most

strongly against the issuer of the bill. In such a bill if there be any doubt arising from the language used as to its

proper meaning and coustruction, the words should be construed most

strongly against the companies. It cannot reasonably be said that within the meaning of this contract the

property awaits further conveyance the moment it has been uploaded

from the cars. The defendant at the time of the fire was under obligation as a common

carrier, aud was liable for the destruction of the cotton.

This action was brought in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York by the plaintiffs, who are defendants in error here, and are residents of Liverpool, England, to recover the value of some two hundred bales of cotton destroyed by fire at Westwego, Louisiana, opposite the city of New Orleans, November 12, 1894, at a pier on the west bank of the Mississippi River, owned by the plaintiff in

This is the same fire which is mentioned in Texas it Pacific Railway Company v. Clayton, 173 U. S. 348. Upon the first trial the court directed a verdict in favor of the defendant, but the judgment entered thereon was reversed by the Circuit Court of Appeals, 98 Fed. Rep. 533, and a new trial


Statement of the Case.

granted. Upon the second trial the court, following the opinion of the Circuit Court of Appeals, directed a verdict for the plaintiffs for the value of the cotton, and the judgment entered upon that verdict having been affirmed by the Circuit Court of Appeals on the authority of its former opinion, 99 Fed. Rep. 1006, the railway company brings the case here by writ of error. The defence of the company is based upon a clause in the bill of lading which will be set out hereafter.

The cotton had been shipped at Temple, in the State of Texas, on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway, to be carried over its road and the defendant's road to New Orleans, and from that port to Bremen. It arrived at New Orleans at the pier of the railway company November 6, 1894. One hundred and sixty bales were unloaded on November 7, and the balance soon thereafter, but on what day is not certain. One hundred and twenty bales were unloaded and placed at one point, and two different lots of forty bales each were deposited at other points, thus leaving the cotton at three different points on the pier of the railway company. At this time the pier was quite full, there being over twenty thousand bales deposited upon it and some eight thousand bales in cars waiting to be unloaded. The pier was built, owned and in the exclusive possession of the railway company. The bill of lading which was issued at Temple, in the State of Texas, by the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railıvay, expressed on its face to be on behalf of that company and also the defendant company and the steamship company. It was an elaborate document, and purported to be "an export bill of lading approved by the permanent committee on uniform bill of lading.” It acknowledged the receipt of the cotton consigned as marked and to be carried to the port of New Orleans, Louisiana, and thence by the Elder, Dempster & Company's steamship line to the port of Bremen, Germany. It had conditions which are stated to be:

"(1) With respect to the service until delivery at the port of New Orleans, Louisiana."

“(2) With respect to the service after delivery at the port of New Orleans, Louisiana."

There are twelve clauses relating to the service until delivery

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