253. Land owned by the United States and the states is conveyed to individuals by instruments of conveyance called patents.

Titles held by private persons are, of course, originally derived from the state. In construing grants from the state the cases say the presumption is always in favor of the state, thus varying from the usual rule, which is that in conveyances all presumptions are in favor of the grantee and against the grantor.9 It is doubted, however, whether the rule as to the presumption being in favor of the state obtains in cases where the grantee has paid a valuable

8 Post, p. 494.

9 Mayor, etc., of Allegheny v. Ohio & P. R. Co., 26 Pa. St. 855; Townsend v. Brown, 24 N. J. Law, 80; Dubuque & P. R. Co. v. Litchfield, 23 How. 66, 88.

Real Prop.-26 consideration.10 The rule is never applied unless there is an actual ambiguity.11 When an estate on condition is granted by the state, no entry is necessary to revest the title in the state on breach of the condition.12