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upon it is hereby ordered that the said James H. Savage be, and

he is hereby, discharged from said imprisonment. It is further ordered that the said J. A. Lamping, warden as afore

said, do notify the Attorney General of the State of Colorado of the day and the hour of the day when he will discharge the said James H. Savage from imprisonment, and that such notice be given at least ten days before the release of the prisoner.

BRADLEY, J. and BREWER, J., dissenting.

Mr. Walter Van Rensselaer Berry and Mr. Henry Wise Garnett (with whom was Mr. A. T. Britton on the brief) for petitioner.

Mr. Henry M. Teller, and Mr. Aaron W. Jones, Attorney General of the State of Colorado, submitted on their brief.






No. 1539. Submitted January 13, 1890. — Decided March 10, 1890.

A fractional section of land, on the left bank of the Missouri River, in Iowa,

was surveyed by United States surveyors in 1851, and lot 4 therein was formed, and so designated on the plat filed, and as containing 37.24 acres, the north boundary of it being on the Missouri River. In 1853 the lot was entered and paid for, and wis patented in June, 1855, as lot 4. Afterwards, by ten mesne conveyances, made down to 1888, the lot was conveyed as lot 4, and became vested in the plaintiff. About 1853 new land was formed against the north line, and continued to form until 1870, so that then more than 40 acres had been formed by accretion by natural causes and imperceptible degrees within the lines running north and south on the east and west of the lot, and the course of the river ran far north of the original meander line. The defendant claimed to own a part of the new land by deed from one who had entered upon it. The plaintiff filed a bill to establish his title to the new land, claiming it as a part of lot 4. On demurrer to the bill; Held, (1) The bill alloping that the land was formed by “ imperceptible de

Statement of the Case.

grees,” the time during which the large increase was made being nearly 20 years, the averment must stand, notwithstanding the character of the river, and the rapid changes constantly going on

in its banks; (2) Where a water line is the boundary of a given lot, that line, no mat

ter how it shifts, remains the boundary; and a deed describing the lot by its number conveys the land up to such shifting water line; so that, in the view of accretion, the water line, if named as the boundary, continues to be the boundary, and a deed of the

lot carries all the land up to the water line; (3) Accretion is an addition to land coterminous with the water, which

is formed so slowly that its progress cannot be perceived, and does not admit of the view, that, in order to be accretion, the formation must be one not discernible by comparison at two

distinct periods of time; (4) The patent having conveyed the lot as lot 4, and the successive

deeds thereafter having conveyed it by the same description, the patent and the deeds covered the successive accretions, and neither the United States, nor any grantor, retained any interest

in any of the accretion; (5) Where a plat is referred to in a deed as containing a description of

land, the courses, distances and other particulars appearing upon the plat are to be as much regarded, in ascertaining the true description of the land and the intent of the parties, as if they had been expressly enumerated in the deed.

This was a suit in equity, brought in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Nebraska, on the 9th of February, 1889, by The East Omaha Land Company, a Nebraska corporation, against Thomas Jefferis. The case was heard on a demurrer to the bill, which makes it necessary to state with particularity the allegations of the bill. They are as follows:

The lands which are the subject of the suit are of the value of $2000 or more. In 1851 the deputy surveyors of the United States, then engaged in surveying the public lands in township 75 north, range 44 west, of the fifth principal meridian, in the State of Iowa, ran, marked and made field-notes and plats of the meander line of the left bank of the Missouri River, and returned the said field-notes and plats to the surveyor general of Iowa, who filed the same in the General Land Office, and they were thereupon duly approved; and since that time no resurvey has been made by the United

Statement of the Case.

•States of the lands lying along, upon, or near said river, or of the premises which are the subject of the bill.

Section 21 in that township was properly surveyed and subdivided by the deputy surveyors, and the plats and notes thereof were duly made, returned and approved as aforesaid. By the surveys the section was found, and by the plats and notes thereof returned as fractional; and a part thereof, designated as lot 4, was formed, containing 37.24 acres, the north boundary thereof being on the Missouri River. The meander line of the river was described in the field-notes as beginning at meander corner No. 6, the same being at a point on the line between sections 16 and 17 in said township and range, about 100 feet north of the intersection of the exterior lines of said sections 16 and 17 and sections 20 and 21; thence south 71 degrees east, 2.68 chains to meander post No. 7, on the north line of lot 4; thence south 79 degrees 50 minutes east, 54 chains; thence north 85 degrees east, 4.50 chains; thence east 15 chains; thence north 87 degrees east, 5.25 chains to the corner of sections 21 and 22. A map was annexed, marked Exhibit A, being a true copy of the plat so made, returned and approved, showing the meander line of the river and the lines of the subdivisions of sections 16, 17, 21 and 22.

On the 10th of October, 1853, one Edmund Jefferis entered lot 4 at the United States Land Office for the district of land subject to sale at Kanesville, Iowa, paid the proper officer of the office the legal price thereof, and received therefor the usual register's certificate ; and, on the 15th of June, 1855, the usual patent of the government was duly issued to him for the land. In the certificate anu patent the land was described as lot 4 in fractional section 21, in township 75 north, range 44 west, of the fifth principal meridian, containing 37.24 acres, according to the official plat of the survey of the land returned to the General Land Office by the surveyor general. At the time of the entry, the meander line of the left bank of the river was the same, or nearly the same, as shown by such field-notes and plat.

On the 14th of July, 1856, said Jefferis duly conveyed the

Statement of the Case.

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land to Joseph Still and Joseph I. Town, describing the same simply as lot 4, in section 21, in township 75 north, range 44 west, of the fifth principal meridian. On the 21st of September, 1857, Town conveyed the undivided half of the premises, with warranty, to one McCoid, who, on the 16th of October, 1857, quit-claimed the premises to one Coleman. On the 25th of May, 1858, Coleman conveyed them, with warranty, to Mrs. Ruth A. Town. On the 27th of April, 1859, Joseph I. Town and Ruth A. Town conveyed them, with warranty, to one Boin, who, on the 30th of May, 1861, quit-claimed them to one M°Bride; and McBride, on the 30th of September, 1861, quit-claimed them to one Schoville. Schoville having died, his widow and heirs quit-claimed them to the plaintiff, on the 22d of March, 1888. On the 9th of March, 1888, Still quit-claimed the other undivided half of the premises to Lyman H. Town, who, on the 28th of March, 1888, conveyed the same to the plaintiff.' In each of the deeds made by those several parties, the premises were described as lot 4 in fractional section 21, township 75 north, range 44 west, of the fifth principal meridian, and the deeds were duly recorded in the registry of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, in which county the premises were situated.

About the time of the original entry of lot 4 by Edmund Jefferis, new land was formed along and against the whole length of the north line thereof, and from that time continued to form until 1870, so that in that year, at a distance of 20 chains and more from the original meander line before described, and within the lines of the lot on the east and west running north and south, a tract of 40 acres and more had been formed by accretion to the lot, and ever since had been and now is a part thereof. The said land was so formed by natural causes and imperceptible degrees, that is to say, by the operation of the current and waters of the river, washing and depositing earth, sand, and other material against and upon the north line of the lot; and the waters and current of the river receded therefrom, so that the new land so formed became high and dry above the usual high-water mark, and the river made for itself its main course far north of the original meander linė.

Statement of the Case.

Such process, begun in 1853 and continued until 1870, went on so slowly that it could not be observed in its progress ; but, at intervals of not less than three or four months, it could be discerned by the eye that additions greater or less had been made to the shore.

In 1877, the river, at a point more than a mile south of the north line of the lot, suddenly cut through its bank and made for itself a course through the same, leaving all of section 21 north of its bank. A plat, marked Exhibit B, was annexed, upon which was delineated the river both before and after such sudden change.

The river was and always had been navigable for steamers of large tonnage.

The United States never claimed any interest in the land so formed by accretion to lot 4. The' plaintiff submitted that by such several mesne conveyances, whereby the title to lot 4 had come to it, it had become seized in fee, not only of the land included within the boundaries of the lot at the time of such survey, but also of the land so formed by accretion thereto, so that the east and west boundaries of the lot were formed by the protraction of the east and west lines north to the left bank of the river, as the same was in 1877 when the river suddenly changed its course, and the north boundary of the lot was the said left bank at that time.

When the plaintiff became seized of the land, it entered into the same and made large and valuable improvements thereon; and it had projected the enterprise of redeeming the land and other land adjoining it, of improving the same so that the wbole would be available for railroad and manufacturing purposes, of building railroad tracks, station-houses, depots, warehouses, and manufacturing establishments, and selling parcels of the land to others for such purposes, and had expended more than $20,000, and had in hand $100,000 which it purposed to expend in grading, and in building roads, bridges, etc. : In 1888 one Counzeman and others, without any authority of law, entered upon the land so formed by accretion, and for a time occupied it, but afterwards abandoned it. Recently, Counzeman had made to the defendant a deed of quit-claim

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