In international law. The right of pre-emption is the right of a nation to detain the merchandise of strangers passing through her territories or seas, in order to afford to her subjects the preference of purchase. 1 Chit. Com. Law, 103. In English law. The first buying of a thing. A privilege formerly enjoyed by the crown, of buying up provisions and other necessaries, by the intervention of the king’s purveyors, for the use of his royal household, at an appraised valuation, in preference to all others, and even without consent of the owner. 1 Bl. Comm. 2S7; Garcia v. Callender, 125 N. Y. 307, 20 N. E. 2S3. In the United States, the right of preemption is a privilege accorded by the gov- ernment to the actual settler upon a certain limited portion of the public domain, to pur- chase such tract at a fixed price to the exclusion of all other applicants. Nix v. Allen, 112 U. S. 129, 5 Sup. Ct. 70, 28 L. Ed. 075; Bray v. Ragsdale, 53 Mo. 170.