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A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan for a client. He was told that the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to property offered as collateral. The title dated back to 1803, and he had to spend three months running it down. After sending the information to FHA, he got this reply: "We received your letter today enclosing application for loan for your client, supported by abstract of title. Let us compliment you on the able manner in which you prepared and presented the application. However, you have not cleared the title before the year 1802, and therefore, before final approval can be accorded the application, it will be necessary that the title be cleared back to that year."

Annoyed, the lawyer replied: "Your letter regarding titles in Case No. 189156 received. I note that you wish titles extended further back than I have presented them. I was unaware that any educated man in the world failed to know that Louisiana was purchased from France in 1803. The title to the land was acquired by France by right of conquest from Spain. The land came into possession of Spain by right of discovery made in 1492 by a sailor named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the then reigning monarch, Isabella. The good Queen, being a pious woman and careful about titles, almost as much I might say, as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope for the voyage before she sold her jewels to help Columbus. Now the Pope, as you know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God, it is commonly accepted, made the world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that He also made that part of the world called Louisiana, and I hope to hell you are satisfied."

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