Ayers v. Watson

In Ayers v. Watson (1891) 137 U.S. 584, the United States Supreme Court stated that "the beginning corner of a survey does not control more than any other corner actually well ascertained, and that we are not constrained to follow the calls of the grant in the order said calls stand in the field notes, but are permitted to reverse the calls and trace the lines the other way, and should do so whenever by so doing the land embraced would most nearly harmonize all the calls and the objects of the grant." (Id. at p. 604.) It found that "the judge was entirely right in charging the jury that the footsteps of the original surveyor might be traced backward as well as forward; and that any ascertained monument in the survey might be adopted as a starting-point for its recovery." (Id. at p. 590.)