Guy owed billions by US?

This was in the news a few years ago, but I’ve never heard anything more about it. Back in the Revolutionary War, someone loaned the revolutionary government something like 450,000 spanish dollars. After the war, the impoverished federal government offered to pay off the debt in near-worthless Continental dollars, which the loaner refused to accept. The debt was never payed, and now factoring in interest the descendants of this person are theoreticly owed billions by the Federal government. Did they ever resolve this?

<font face=“OCRA Extended”>The “debt” was not from the Revolution, but from the Seminole Indian Wars in Florida.

Payment was a little delayed, & part of it was disallowed.

His decendents re-applied for the disallowed “balance”.It was approved, but not the intrest on the “debt”.
Every few years, for generations, these rogues turn up, trying to collect on ever-inflating claims. Often, if the Treasury is careless, they can be “repaid”. They have been “repaid” time & time again; often for things explicitly paid for in the last “appeal”.
These people have been robbing our country for generations! Are they at it again?!?!?!</font>


I just love answers that quote relevant facts, like including the names and offering sources to check for further info…

And if your last name is Drake, the British government owes you a billion dollars. We just need to file the legal fees to collect, so send me a hundred dollars.

Most of these claims are annulled under the “Doctrine of laches,” which to quote Black’s Law Dictionary “is based upon maxim that equity aids the vigilant and not those who slumber on their rights.”

There are exceptions to laches, however. Most notably in the United States, Indian tribes have an “inalienable” right to the lands that Congress has allocated to them, and are immune to laches and all other legal loopholes that land grabbers thought they could get away with when they stole tens of thousands of acres of reservation lands in the 1800s.

The result is a sticky situation where if an Indian tribe can show it once owned a plot of land, and can also show that Congress did not specifically extinguish the title to that land, the tribe is legally entitled to it–no matter what.

Usually, the Feds and the ripped-off tribes make a deal, but not always. The Oneida Nation in central New York won a case against the state after they proved that New York lifted hundreds of acres from the tribe over a hundred years ago. The state, in turn, has delayed in making a settlement with the tribe for almost two decades. So the Oneidas did the unthinkable: they brought a lawsuit against every non-Indian citizen living within the former boundaries of the reservation.

Furthermore, the Federal Government has been “managing” both individual and tribal trust funds for over a hundred years. This is not handout money; this is money that was paid to the Indians for land that they lived on and was bought fair and square by the U.S. government.

Unfortunately, the Bureau of Indian Affairs did not even have an accounting department until something like the 1930s. Some estimate that almost fifty billion dollars has disappeared over the years into a slush fund that would have made Nixon drool. Even if the government can enforce a statute of limitations on this money, they will still wind up owing billions for the funds that have been lost in just the last twenty years.

You can check out more about this gaping hole in our national conscience at these sites: