I have taken the liberty of posting a re-typed version (word for word) of the Dec 8 1930 Montreal Star newsarticle about the land claim.
Tessier Lavigne Heirs to
Call Meeting-Settlement Denied
Although inquiries are pouring in from all sides from persons claiming, an interest In the billion dollar action by which heirs of Col. Urbain Tessier Lavigne ask to be declared owners of a block of land situated in and around Place d'Armes square there are no actual developments In the case according to the lawyers engaged In the proceedings. From widely-separated parts of the United States and Canada, inquiries have been forwarded to lawyers here recently and In one instance a well,-known politician from Vermont visited Montreal to learn at first hand the exact status of the case and the possibility of establishing a claim as one of the heirs.
In come cases the lawyers have been advised of rumours on the street that a settlement had been reached, and figures of from $20,000 to $200,000 have been mentioned as going to each established heir. The rumors, it is stated are entirely erroneous, and no fresh developments have taken place, although the search is still going forward for a missing document which it is believed would establish the title of the heirs of the long-dead general to the property on which is now located Notre Dame Church and a large number of business and financial houses In the immediate vicinity.
VIEWED AS GAMBLE
"It is a pure gamble and nothing else," said A. M. Tanner, K.C., who is representing a group of the heirs when asked this morning as to rumors which have been current for some time. I have advised my clients that their claim to the property rests entirely on a deed, which so far has not been found. We have examined like 60,000 deeds in the archives at Montreal. but an yet have found no trace of the document which is absolutely essential in proving title to the estate. As a matter of fact, I fear that some of these people are being exploited by individuals who make it their business to trace genealogies. As far as the case stands I would say that it is all a chance and if interested persons are prepared to put their money into such a proposition knowing that it is a gamble and nothing else then that Is their own business. I express no
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opinion as to the chances of the gamble turning out successfully.
Mr. Tanner pointed out that the difficulty with which the heirs are confronted is to find the deed by which Col. Tessier dit Lavigne transferred the property to the Supician Order. While it is claimed by heirs that the property was handed to the Order only in Trust it has been impossible to find any documentary proof to establish the point.
In the year 1838 a bill was adopted by the Quebec Legislature confirming the title of the Order to the property. It is pointed out however that if the original deed could be found to establish that the property was transferred only in trust for the heirs, the Legislative enactment would be invalid. After 30 years, any right of action other that by way of involving the original deed of transfer would be prescribed, so that the deed now becomes absolutely essential before any further steps can avail for anything, Mr. Tanner believes.
The property in question was ceded to Col. Tessier Lavigne in 1690 by Louis XIV of France for bravery in the early French wars. By a later transfer, it was handed over to the Gentlemen of the Seminary of St. Sulpice, but the actual document by which the transfer was made, if any, has eluded all searchers to date. In the meantime the hunt is quietly proceeding and may take the searchers to the archives in Three Rivers and Quebec and possibly to Paris, France.
A meeting of interested heirs may be called shortly in order that a report may be made and a clear-cut statement sent out as to the exact situation, Mr. Tanner said. The action, he conceived to be necessary owing to the large number of inquiries from persons who apparently have been deceived by false information as to the value of their claims.
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