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therefore held that the general government owned the public domain, situated within the boundaries of a state, precisely as any other proprietor, except that it was not subject to taxation.5 So where the general government grants to a railroad company a right of way through mineral lands, without reservation, no exception will be implied, for the mere reason that mineral lands have been reserved from the alternate sections donated to the same company.6

1 Moore vs. Smaw, and Freemont vs. Flower, 17 Cal. 199; Boggs vs. Merced M. Co., 14 Cal. 279.

2 Hicks vs. Bell, 3 Col. 219.

3 Boggs vs. Merced M. Co., 14 Cal. 279.

4. Ibid; Moore vs. Smaw, and Freemont vs. Flower, supra.
5 Ibid; Doran vs. Central, &c. R. Co., 24 Cal. 245.

6 Doran vs. Central, &c. R. Co., supra.

§ 69. To whom may issue.-The only classes who may become patentees of the government land are (1) persons who are citizens; (2) persons who have declared their intentions to become citizens; (3) associations of persons who belong to either or both of the preceding classes, and (4) corporations organized under the laws of the United States.1 These are the classes who may acquire title to mining claims on the public domain, by purchase from the United States, and it is unnecessary to inquire what other qualifications are required for other purposes, or to what extent the term "citizen" is qualified in other connections, further than will serve to illustrate the meaning of the word as used in this connection. It has been declared as the opinion of the court, in construing a statute donating certain lands, upon certain conditions, where this word was used, and the individuals qualified to receive the benefits of the act were designated as single and married men, that in construing a benevolent statute of the government made for

the benefit of its own citizens, and inviting and encouraging them to settle on its distant public lands, the words 66 single man " and "married man, " especially if aided by the context, were to be taken in their generic sense. It was accordingly held that the terms used would include unmarried women.2 This case is not cited as authority for the purchase of mining claims on the public domain by female citizens. There seems no doubt of their right to acquire the government title. But when the unmarried woman is by birth an alien, and becomes domiciled in this country, after attaining her majority, how is she to become naturalized, or assume the citizenship necessary to qualify her to become the purchaser of land from the government, while she remains single? If the analogy between the two statutes is sufficiently close to admit of the enlargement of the terms of the act of May 2, 1872, so as to include foreign born females, it could only be by dispensing with the declaration of intention.

1 Rev. Stat. U. S. §§ 2319, 2321, 2325, ante, pp. 13-14, 17. 2 Silver vs. Ladd, 7 Wall. 219.

§ 70. Reservations in grants of public land.—It has already been noticed that the title of the government to its lands will not be divested by a patent to land reserved from sale.1 Reservations are often inserted in the grant. This is especially true of patents to lands in mineral districts, which are appropriated and purchased for other than mining purposes, as grants to railroad corporations to aid in the construction of their roads, by the clause in the patent excepting mineral lands from the grant, the reservation is as complete as though they were included in a district set apart by act of Congress. The patent conveys no title to the mineral lands included in the granted sections.2 But such exceptions do

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not reserve all lands upon which particles of gold may
be found, or which contain veins of mineral bearing
rock. It must, at least, be shown that the land contains
minerals in sufficient quantities to render it available
and valuable for mining purposes.3

1 Supra, § 64.

2 McLaughlin vs. Powell, 50 Cal. 64.
3 Alford vs. Barnum, 45 Cal. 482.

§ 71. Patents to mining claims.-The manner of proceeding to obtain a patent to mining claims is very plainly pointed out, and clearly expressed in the statute,1 and is somewhat elucidated by decisions of the executive department.2 Where the claim is taken upon lands, not included in the public surveys, very careful provisions are inserted as to designating the boundaries and quantity of lands. These are required to be inserted in descriptive language in the patent.3 When in ascertaining the lines, courses and distances are given which conflict with the natural objects designated to fix the boundaries, it is a uniform rule that the latter must prevail. And where an unnavigable river is referred to as a boundary, the grant extends to and follows the course of its channel.4

1 Rev. Stat. U. S., § 2325 et seq., ante, p. 17.

2 Post, §§ 105, 106, et seq.

3 Gazzam vs. Phillipps, 20 How. 372.

4 Brown vs. Huger, 21 How. 305. Only in the absence of monuments do courses and distances in the location certificate governPollard vs. Shively, 1 Col. Law Rep. 230. (S. C. Col., Dec. 7, 1880.)

§ 72. What conveyed by.-The patentee of mining property, obtains the same title, subject to reservations and exceptions in the law or the patent itself, as pass to patentees generally. But the patentee of a lode claim obtains something additional to a complete title to the

ground embraced within his boundary lines. His patent is a confirmation of the right, secured by location, to follow his lode on the dip, where it enters adjoining ground between the parallel end lines of his claim. And this right is what renders essential the provision in the statute that "the end lines of each claim shall be parallel to each other."2 This provision, however, has been held to be merely directory, so far as it affects the actual survey, but applies by implication to claims located prior to May 10, 1872, with like effect as to those subsequently located, and is equally restrictive upon the rights of patentees, in following their lodes on the dip, whether the actual end lines of their patented ground be parallel or not. In other words, whatever be their divergence from parallel, the patentee in following the dip of his lode will be restricted to vertical planes drawn downward through the ends of his claim, and extended parallel to each other, as the boundaries of his rights.3

1 Supra, §. 68.

2 Rev. Stat. U. S. § 2320; ante p 14.

3 Eureka, &c. Co. vs. Richmond, &c. Co., 4 Sawyer, 302.

§ 73. Land office regulations - Application.-The rules prescribed by the general land office with respect to applications for patents to mining claims, the full text of which will be found in another place,1 are designed to carry out the requirements of the statute. These rules, in so far as they supply methods for effectuating the expressed intention of the legislative body, and do not set up standards of duty which tend to impose burdens by which the rights acquired by those who have complied with the law are defeated, are obligatory. Of course the rules and decisions of the executive department, when they go beyond the formal matters connected with the application, are not binding upon the courts as rules of

decision. Where the executive officers are authorized to act judicially in this connection, the Secretary of the Interior is the highest appellate tribunal, and the rules of practice of the department will govern. But where the question involved is a construction of the law which determines the validity of the patent or the person entitled thereto, it must rest with the courts for decision, and be determined independently of executive construction of the law.

1 Post, § 75 et seq.

§ 74. Adverse claims.-For the most part the questions at issue in the prosecution of suits in support of adverse claims will be found distributed in a subsequent chapter,1 under proper headings. But there are some preliminary questions-such as, by whom filed; the effect of failure to file; jurisdiction of courts-which have been judicially determined, and are proper for notice in this place. The statute itself mentions no one else as authorized to file an adverse claim except the claimant himself; but this omission interposes no obstacle to his acting by an agent, duly authorized and whose authority is properly evidenced. The necessity of this is apparent where the adverse claimant is a corporation, which can only act by an agent. But the mere statement by the person acting in that capacity is not sufficient evidence of his authority to act.2 There is scarcely room for construction of the plain provisions of the statute 3 as to the effect of a failure to file the adverse claim, and to commence a suit in support thereof; yet it has been decided that such a failure by a prior locator amounted to a waiver of his prior rights.4 The question of jurisdiction has presented some difficulties. The statute is silent with respect to the courts to which the questions at issue between the parties shall be submitted, beyond the pro

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