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Opinion of the Court.

sidered as public lands; but why should they not be regarded as public lands disposable by Congress itself, care being taken to preserve a sufficient quantity to satisfy the grant ?

As we have already seen, there can be no doubt that a grant made by Congress within the limits of a territory subject to a Mexican float, would take precedence of the fioat if sufficient land remained to satisfy it. The only question is, whether the surplus land so at the disposal of Congress may be regarded as public land within the meaning of the railroad aid grants. We are disposed to think that it may be, and that as to grants of this character, floating grants as they may be called, the railroad aid grants are not deprived of effect provided a sufficient quantity lying together be left to satisfy the grant. In this case no difficulty could occur in carrying out this view. The territory described has sufficient extent west of range 7 to satisfy the grant of eleven leagues, and there seems to be no valid reason why it should not be satisfied from this part. Of course, the satisfaction of the grant is a fiction; for it never had any validity. But the part referred to would be sufficient to satisfy it, if it had been a valid grant. And as the government had the right of location, and has made a grant of its title to the railroad company, the company may exercise the same right subject to the like conditions. The company has made its election to take its lands in range 7 and the ranges that lie easterly thereof; and this option leaves the tract west of range 7 (subject to its right of way) open to disposal in the ordinary manner of other public lands.

There is really nothing in the decision of Newhall v. Sanger in conflict with the views here expressed; because the court did not have before it the case of a floating grant.

In a number of cases decided since the decision in Newhall v. Sanger, that case has been referred to with approbation; and in some of them expressions have been used as if the question of floating grants to be located in larger territories had been decided therein. But we have seen that this is not correct, and we are not aware of any case in which this class

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of grants has been actually involved and has formed the subject of decision. The decree of the Circuit Court is affirmed in this and the

other cases argued with it. In consequence of the death of Kate D. McLaughlin, the decree will be entered as of the first day of the term, nunc pro tunc.

No. 11, DEWITT v. MCLAUGHLIN; No. 12, FRIEND v. WISE. In error to the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of California. These cases were, by the above direction of the court, affirmed, and judgment entered nunc pro tunc as of October 10, 1887.


Mr. W. J. Johnston and Mr. M. D. Brainard for plaintiffs in


Mr. A. L. Rhoads and Mr. Henry Beard for defendants in error.




No. 1420. Argued May 1, 1885. – Decided May 14, 1888.

On the hearing of an appeal from a judgment of a Circuit Court, discharg

ing a writ of habeas corpus which had been issued on the petition of a person arrested for a crime committed in a foreign country, and held for extradition under treaty provisions, the jurisdiction of the commissioner and the sufficiency of the legal ground for his action are the main questions to be decided; and this court declines to considèr questions respecting the introduction of evidence, or the sufficiency of the authenti

cation of documentary proof. When a person is held for examination before a, mmissioner, to determine

whether he shall be surrendered to the Mexi. authorities, to be extradited for a crinie committed in Mexico, the question to be determined is, whether the commission of the crime alleged is so established as to justify the prisoner's apprehension and commitment for trial if the offence had been committed in the United States; and the proceeding resembles in its character preliminary examinations before a magistrate for the

Opinion of the Court.

purpose of determining whether a case is made out to justify the holding

of a person accused, to answer to an indictment. The crime of " forgery,” as enumerated in article 3 of the Treaty of Extra

dition with Mexico of June 20, 1862, is not confined to the English common-law offence of forgery; but it includes the making, forging, uttering, and selling to the public, fraudulent printed tickets of admission to an operatic performance, bearing on their face in print the name of the manager of the operatic company, and also stamped with his name and seal. It seems that such an offence is also included in the crime of forgery as defined by the English common law.

This was an appeal from a judgment denying a discharge to a prisoner, on a writ of habeas corpus. Petitioner appealed. The case is stated in the opinion.

Mr. Peter Mitchell for appellant.

Mr. S. Mallet-Prevost and Mr. De Lancey Nicoll for appellees.

MR. JUSTICE MILLER delivered the opinion of the court.

This is an appeal from a judgment of the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York upon a writ of habeas corpus, in which that court remanded the prisoner to the custody of the marshal of the district.

The proceedings were originally instituted by a complaint, made before Samuel H. Lyman, a United States commissioner for the Circuit Court of that district, by one Juan N. Navarro, consul general of the Republic of Mexico at the city of New York, against George Benson, whom he charged with being guilty of the crime of forgery, committed in Mexico, and there fore liable to extradition under the treaty of December 11, 1861, between the United States and Mexico, to be there tried for that offence. The case was heard quite elaborately before Commissioner Lyman, who rendered the following judgment: "After a full and fair examination of the law and the facts in the case, I find that the evidence produced against the said Benson is sufficient in law to justify his commitment for the crime of forgery for the purpose of being delivered up as a fugitive from justice to the Republic of Mexico, pursuant to

Opinion of the Court.

the provisions of the said treaty. Wherefore I have committed the said Benson, pursuant to the provisions of said treaty, to the custody of the United States marshal, to be by him held in the proper jail until a warrant for the surrender of the said Benson shall issue according to the stipulation of the said treaty, or he shall be otherwise dealt with according to law.”

A writ of habeas corpus was thereupon allowed by Justice Blatchford, of the Supreme Court of the United States, directed to Martin T. McMahon, the marshal in whose custody the prisoner, Benson, was held by order of the commissioner, requiring him to produce said prisoner before the Circuit Court of the United States for that district on February 21, 1888, at 11 o'clock in the forenoon; and also a writ of certiorari to Commissioner Lyman, directing him to return at the same time the “cause of imprisonment of George Benson, and true copies of the proceedings, complaints, warrants, depositions, trials, examinations, determinations, commitmente, and record” had before him.

To this the marshal made return that he held the prisoner by virtue of a commitment of Commissioner Lyman, and the commissioner returned into the court a transcript of all the proceedings had before him, including the testimony and exhibits. Upon the hearing in the Circuit Court it was“ Ordered, That the writ of habeas corpus be, and the same is, hereby discharged; that the petitioner remain in the custody of the marshal of the United States for the Southern District of New York, pending such application on appeal as petitioner may be advised to make to a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, pursuant to the 34th Rule of that court; or until the further order of this court, upon notice by said complainant after twenty days from the date of this order."

Thereupon the petitioner, George Benson, obtained the allowance of an appeal from this judgment of the Circuit Court to this court, by Mr. Justice Blatchford. The matter has been argued very fully before us by counsel for the prisoner and for the Mexican government.

This proceeding was instituted before the commissioner under Title LXVI. of the Revised Statutes of the United

Opinion of the Court.

States, concerning extradition. The first section reads as follows:

“Sec. 5270. Whenever there is a treaty or convention for extradition between the government of the United States and any foreign government, any Justice of the Supreme Court, circuit judge, district judge, commissioner, authorized so to do by any of the courts of the United States, or judge of a court of record of general jurisdiction of any State, may, upon complaint made under oath, charging any person found within the limits of any State, district, or Territory, with having committed within the jurisdiction of any such foreign government any of the crimes provided for by such treaty or convention, issue his warrant for the apprehension of the person so charged, that he may be brought before such justice, judge, or commissioner, to the end that the evidence of criminality may be heard and considered. If, on such hearing, he deems the eridence sufficient to sustain the charge under the provisions of the proper treaty or convention, he shall certify the same, together with a copy of all the testimony taken before him, to the Secretary of State, that a warrant may issue upon the requisition of the proper authorities of such foreign government, for the surrender of such person, according to the stipulations of the treaty or convention; and he shall issue his warrant for the commitment of the person so charged to the proper jail, there to remain until such surrender shall be made.”

There is no evidence in this record, at least there is no copy of any demand or requisition made by the Mexican authorities upon our government, for the extradition of this prisoner. The proceedings, therefore, up to this time rest upon the initiative authorized by the statutes upon that subject; the Mexican government, however, being represented by counsel, and the correspondence with its officers which was introduced into the record showing their interest in the matter and their purpose to have this prisoner brought to that country for trial.

The treaty under which this right to arrest the prisoner and detain him for extradition is asserted was concluded at Mexico,

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