Real Estate Agent with Perry Wellington Realty

Acquisition by Discovery


Johnson v. M’Intosh p. 3

Both parties claim ownership of the land – Indians sold it to others who sold it to plaintiffs

Individual Indians don’t have a claim but the tribe does

Did the US own the land or did the Indians?

European laws- they discovered the land so they keep it

Generally the first person to discover something that is unknown becomes the owner

Creates an incentive to posses – to use something

Makes people too ambitious – rush to exploit

King James granted the land – owned it by virtue of Cabot’s discovery

At the time of the deal it is part of the colony of Virginia

There was no rule that they couldn’t sell land

Marshall deduces the rule that they could only sell to the government

Prevents competition between buyers – gov. monopoly

Indians had the right of occupancy still but they were run out

Result is that gov. owns the land and has the right to give it to someone else

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