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MOORE V. CRAWFORD, 130 U. S. 122 (1889)

U.S. Supreme Court

Moore v. Crawford, 130 U.S. 122 (1889)

Moore v. Crawford

No. 700

Submitted January 2, 1889

Decided March 18, 1889

130 U.S. 122




In January, 1875, a patent issued from the state land office in Michigan for 160 acres of mineral land to McDonald and McKay, who furnished the money for it. The application was made by Moore in their behalf, and under an agreement which the court finds to be established by the proof as made (but not as made in writing) that he was to have one-third interest in it in consideration of his services in prospecting. On the 18th of October, 1875, Moore, being then unmarried, executed and delivered a deed of one sixth interest in the tract to Monroe for a valuable consideration, informing him that he (Moore) was to have a deed of one-third part from McDonald and McKay, which was probably at that time made out. McDonald and McKay executed their deed to Moore sometime in 1875, and deposited it with a third party to be delivered when a debt due from Moore to McDonald should be settled, which was done in 1877. Moore did not know of the existence of this deed, and it was subsequently lost. On the 16th of December, 1880, at Moore's request and for the avowed purpose of defeating his deed to Monroe, McDonald and McKay conveyed the promised one-third interest to the wife of Moore, he having been in the meantime married, and the wife having knowledge of the deed to Monroe, and of the object of the conveyance to her. Moore then entered into possession, and managed the property as if it were his own. Monroe died intestate in Colorado in 1878, and his widow moved into Canada. In the summer of 1871, she first learned that Moore disputed Monroe's title. She wrote him a letter informing him of the claim of the widow and heirs of Monroe to one-sixth

Page 130 U. S. 123

part of it, which he received in the fall of 1881, or in the spring of 1882. February 8, 1882, the widow and heirs commenced this suit to compel a conveyance of the one-sixth interest to them.


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