Advertisement

The Courthouse Coup in Iowa

  • David Ress
Chapter

Abstract

In the absence of any real community of treaty rights holders or of any Congressional, General Land Office or Office of Indian Affairs directions, groups of speculators and leaders of the Church of Latter Day Saints took it upon themselves to carve up the Iowa Half Breed Tract. The group that eventually managed to apportion the Tract did so through the Iowa territorial courts, creating fictional shares in a commons—the Tract—and allocating the bulk to an investment syndicate they had formed that had already been buying “shares” in the Tract from supposed rights holders. The legal process was rife with conflicts of interest, which were eventually condemned by the US Supreme Court, although it did not nullify the division and allocation of land on the Tract.

Keywords

Severalty Commons Land tenure Iowa Half Breed Tract Mormons 

References

  1. Barney v. Chittenden et al. 2 Greene 165 (Iowa Supreme Court, 1849).Google Scholar
  2. Barney v. Miller, 18 Iowa 460 (Iowa Supreme Court, 1870).Google Scholar
  3. Brace v. Reid, 3 Greene 422 (Iowa Supreme Court, 1852).Google Scholar
  4. Brigham v. Owners of the Half Breed Lands of Lee County, Half Breed Record, p. 10 (Lee County District Court, 1841).Google Scholar
  5. Claims under 1824 Sac and Fox Treaty, United States Office of Indian Affairs, Central Superintendency, St. Louis, Missouri, Vol. 32.Google Scholar
  6. Coy v. Mason, 58 US 580 at 581 (U.S. Supreme Court, 1855).Google Scholar
  7. “Decree in Partition of the Half Breed Tract in Lee County, Iowa,” Annals of Iowa, Third Series, Vol. 14, No 5, (Fall, 1924) pp. 424–460.Google Scholar
  8. De Louis et al. v. Meek et al. 2 Greene 55 (Iowa Supreme Court, 1849).Google Scholar
  9. Johnston v. Owners of the Half Breed Lands of Lee County, Half Breed Record, p. 104 (Lee County District Court, 1841).Google Scholar
  10. Powell v. Spaulding, 3 Greene 443 at 452 (Iowa Supreme Court, 1852).Google Scholar
  11. Reid v. Wright, 2 Greene 15 (Iowa Supreme Court, 1849).Google Scholar
  12. Spalding v. Antaya, Half Breed Record, (Lee County District Court, 1840).Google Scholar
  13. Sprott v. Reid, 3 Greene 489 (Iowa Supreme Court, 1852).Google Scholar
  14. Wright v. Marsh, Lee and Delevan, 2 Greene 94 (Iowa Supreme Court, 1849).Google Scholar
  15. Webster v. Reid, 1 Morris 467 (Iowa Supreme Court, 1846).Google Scholar
  16. Webster v. Reid, 52 US 437 (U.S. Supreme Court, 1850).Google Scholar
  17. Campbell, Isaac, “Letter,” History of Lee County Iowa (Chicago: Western Publishing Co., 1879) pp. 330–333.Google Scholar
  18. Cook, Lyndon W., “Isaac Galland, Mormon Benefactor,” BYU Studies, vol. 19, (1979) p. 261–284.Google Scholar
  19. Ford, Thomas, History of Illinois (Urbana, Ill: University of Illinois Press, 1995).Google Scholar
  20. Ivins, Virginia Wilcox, Yesterdays: Reminiscences of Long Ago, (Keokuk, Iowa: privately published 1924).Google Scholar
  21. Reid, J.M., Sketches and Recollections of the Old Settlers and New Comers, the Mormon Bandits Danite Band (Keokuk, Iowa: R.B. Ogden, 1876).Google Scholar
  22. Smith, Joseph (B.C. Roberts, editor), History of the Church, Vol. 4 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1902).Google Scholar
  23. Stiles, Edward, Recollections and Sketches of Notable Lawyers and Public Men of Early Iowa (Des Moines: Homestead Publishing, 1916).Google Scholar
  24. Wick, B.L., “The Struggle for the Half Breed Tract,” Annals of Iowa, Vol. 7, (1905) pp. 16–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Ress
    • 1
  1. 1.Newport NewsUSA

Personalised recommendations