THIS was an appeal from the District Court of the United States for the southern district of California. The nature of the claim, and a list of the documents in support of it, are given in the opinion of the court. The decree of the District Court was as follows, viz: That the claim presented in the petition filed in this case, for the place called San Antonio, is valid to the whole extent of its bounds, to wit: having for its northern boundary a line commencing on the bay of San Francisco, at a point where there are close to the said bay the two cerritos, as described in the first possession given by Martinez to Louis Peralta, on the 16th of August, 1820, running from the said bay eastwardly along by the southern base of the cerritos of San Antonio up a ravine, at the head of which there is a large rock or monument looking to the north, described in evidence as the Sugarloaf Rock; thence by the southern base of said rock to the comb or crest of the coast range of mountains, or the Sierra; thence for the western boundary a line running along the comb of the said Sierra, until it reaches the eastern extremity of a line, beginning on the said bay of San Francisco at the mouth of the deep creek of San Leandro, and running eastwardly up the said creek to its head or source in the Sierra, and to the comb or crest thereof, which last line is the southern boundary of the land of San Antonio; and by the said bay of San Francisco, from the mouth of the said deep creek of San Leandro up to the beginning of the said line, which has been described as the northern boundary of said tract, which line along the bay constitutes its western boundary. And it is hereby further adjudged, ordered, and decreed, that there be confirmed to the said Domingo and Vicente Peralta, the northern portion of said land of San Antonio, bounded as follows: On the north by the northern boundary of said tract of San Antonio as above described, on the east by the comb of the said Sierra, on the west by the bay of San Francisco, and on the south by a ravine a short distance south of the buildings in the town of Oakland, on the north of which ravine there is a small house in sight of the public road, being the line of division between this land and the land of Antonio Peralta, which line extends from the said bay to the most eastern boundary of the rancho of San Antonio. The United States appealed from this decree. It was argued by Mr. Gillet for the United States, and by Mr. Rose and Mr. Bibb for the appellees.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mr. Justice Grier delivered the opinion of the court.
This case originated before the commissioners for ascertaining and settling private land claims in California.
Domingo and Vicente Peralta claimed as grantees and devisees of their father, Luis Peralta.
The documentary evidence filed in support of the claim consists of a true copy from the archives in the office of the surveyor general of California, containing, so far as they are material in the present inquiry, the following averments:
1. The petition of Luis Peralta to the Governor for a grant of land, extending from the creek of San Leandro to a small mountain adjoining the sea beach, at the distance of four or five leagues, for the purpose of establishing a rancho, dated June 20, 1820.
2. The decree of Governor Sola, therein directing Captain Luis Antonio Arguello to appoint an officer to place the petitioner in possession of the lands petitioned for, dated August 3, 1820.
3. Order of Captain Arguello, dated August 10, 1820, detailing Lieut. Don Ignacio Martinez for that purpose.
4. The relinquishment of Father Narciso Duran, on behalf of the mission of San Jose, of any claim to the land, and reserving the privilege of cutting wood on the same, which, he says, should remain in common, dated August 16, 1820.
5. Under the same date, the return of Lieut. Martinez, upon the order to give the possession, describing the boundaries, &c.
6. The decree of the Governor, directing a portion of the lands assigned to Luis Peralta, by the foregoing act of possession, to be withdrawn, upon the reclamation of the mission of San Francisco, who claimed that the said portion of the lands was then in the occupancy of the mission as a sheep ranch.
7. The consent of Father Juan Cabot and Paloz Ordez, ministers of the mission, that the boundaries of the land solicited by Luis Peralta should be established at the rivulet, at the distance of three and a half to four leagues from the rancho-house of the mission.
8. The return of Maximo Martinez upon Governor Sola's second decree for the delivery of possession, filing the boundaries in accordance with the claim of the mission, at a rivulet which runs down from the mountains to the beach, where there is a grove of willows, and about a league and a half from the cerito (little mountain) of San Antonio, in the direction of San Leandro.
9. A document dated October, 1822, and signed Sola, setting out, that on that day was issued in favor of Sergeant Luis Peralta, by the Governor of the province, the certifying document for the land which has been granted him, as appears by the writ of possession which was given him by the lieutenant of his ...