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STATUTE I. CHAP. XXI.-- An Act authorizing a Loan for the use of the City of Washington, May 6, 1796. in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes therein mentioned.
(Obsolete.) Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa
Commission tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the ers of the city of commissioners, under the act, intituled “ An act for establishing the Washington temporary and permanent seat of the government of the United States," may, under the be, and they are bereby authorized, under the direction of the President President, borof the United States, to borrow, from time to time, such sum or sums of money, as the said President shall direct, not exceeding three hun
1790, ch. 28. dred thousand dollars in the whole, and not exceeding two hundred thou 1802, ch. 41. sand dollars, in any one year, at an interest not exceeding six per centum per annum, and reimbursable at any time after the year one thousand cight hundred and three, by instalments, not exceeding one fifth of the whole sum borrowed, in any one year; which said loan or loans shall be appropriated and applied by the said commissioners, in carrying into effect the above recited act, under the control of the President of the United States.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That all the lots, except those Certain lots now appropriated to public use in the said city, vested in the commis- made chargea. sioners aforesaid, or in trustees, in any manner, for the use of the United payment of States, now holden and remaining unsold, shall be, and are hereby those loans. declared and made chargeable with the repayment of all and every sum and sums of money, and interest thereupon, which shall be borrowed in pursuance of this act: And, to the end, that the same may be fully and Those lots to punctually repaid, the said lots, or so many of them as shall be neces- be sold, and the sary, shall be sold and conveyed, at such times, and in such manner, and to discharge the on such terms, as the President of the United States, for the time being, loans. shall direct: And the monies arising from the said sales, shall be applied and appropriated, under his direction, to the discharge of the said loans, after first paying the original proprietors any balances due to them, respectively, according to their several conveyances to the said commissioners or trustees. And if the product of the sales of all the said lots If the product shall prove inadequate to the payment of the principal and interest of of such sales the sums borrowed under this act, then the deficiency shall be paid by sufficient, then the United States, agreeably to the terms of the said loans; for it is only the United expressly hereby declared and provided, that the United States shall be States to pay the
deficiency. liable only for the repayment of the balance of the monies to be borrowed under this act, which shall remain unsatisfied by the sales of all the lots aforesaid, if any such balance shall thereafter happen.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That every purchaser or pur Purchasers of chasers, his or their heirs or assigns, from the said commissioners or lots to be exempt
from incumtrustees, under the direction of the said President, of any of the lots
brance. herein before mentioned, after paying the price, and fulfilling the terms stipulated and agreed to be paid and fulfilled, shall have, hold and enjoy the said lot or lots so bought, free, clear and exonerated from the charge and incumbrance hereby laid upon the same. Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the commissioners aforesaid, Commission
ers shall render shall, semi-annually, render to the Secretary of the Treasury, a particular account of the receipts and expenditures of all monies intrusted to receipts and exthem, and also, the progress and state of the business, and of the funds penditures, &c.
semi-annually under their administration; and that the said secretary lay the same
to the Secretary before Congress, at every session after the receipt thereof.
of the Treasury, APPROVED, May 6, 1796.
who shall lay it before Congress.
STATUTE I. Chap. XXII.-An Act making further provision relative to the Revenue Cutters.
May 6, 1796. Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa
[Obsolete.) tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That from
an account of
Alteration of and after the first day of May, in the present year, there be allowed, in the compensa- lieu of the compensation now established, to the master of each revenue tion to the offi. cers and mari.
cutter, fifty dollars per month; to each first mate, thirty-five dollars per ners of the reve- month; to each second mate, thirty dollars per month; to each third
mate, twenty-five dollars per month; and to each mariner, not exceeding twenty dollars per month; to be paid by the collectors of the revenue,
who shall be designated for that purpose. Forfeitures Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That all penalties, fines and forunder the im.
feitures which may be incurred under the impost laws of the United post laws, re. covered in con. States, and recovered in consequence of information given by any officer sequence of in- of a revenue cutter, shall, after deducting all proper costs and charges, formation given be disposed of, as follows: One fourth part shall be for the use of the by officers of the revenue cntters,
United States, and be paid into the treasury thereof; one fourth part, how to be dis. for the officers of the customs, to be distributed in the manner now proposed of.
vided, relative to that part of forfeitures they are now entitled to; and the remainder thereof, to the officers of such cutter, to be divided among
them, in proportion to their pay. President to Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the President of the United cause other rev. States be, and he hereby is authorized, to cause other revenue cutters to be built or pur.
be built or purchased, in lieu of such as are or shall, from time to time, chased in lieu become unfit for further service; the expense whereof, as well as all of such as be- future expenses of building, purchasing or repairing revenue cutters, shall come unfit for service.
be paid out of the product of the duties on goods, wares and merchandise, imported into the United States, and on the tonnage of ships or
vessels. Those which Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the President of the United are unfit for ser- States be, and he is hereby authorized to cause such revenue cutters as vice to be sold. shall, from time to time, become unfit for service, to be sold at public
auction, and the proceeds of such sales to be paid into the treasury of
the United States. Limitation of Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That so much of this act as fixes the first section, the compensation of the officers and men on board the said cutters, shall
Act of March be, and remain in force, for the term of one year, and from thence to 2, 1799, ch. 22. the end of the next session of Congress thereafter, and no longer.
APPROVED, May 6, 1796.
enue cutters to
May 6, 1796. CHAP, XXIII.-An Act to continue in force, for a limited time, an act intituled
"An act declaring the consent of Congress to an act of the State of Maryland, passed the twenty-eighth of December, one thousand seven hundred and ninely
three, for the appointment of a Health Officer." (Obsolete.) Consent of Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of RepresentaCongress granttives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the ed to the act of Maryland for
consent of Congress be, and is hereby granted and declared, to the collecting a operation of an act of the General Assembly of Maryland, passed the duty of one cent twenty-eighth of December, one thousand seven hundred and ninetysels coming into three, intituled " An act to appoint a health officer, for the port of Baltimore dis. Baltimore, in Baltimore county,” so far as to enable the state aforesaid trict from a fo.
to collect a duty of one cent per ton, on all vessels coming into the disreign voyage.
trict of Baltimore, from a foreign voyage, for the purposes in the said
act intended. Limitation of Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That this act shall be in force for the act.
one year, and from thence to the end of the next session of Congress page 546, thereafter, and no longer. post.
APPROVED, May 6, 1796.
STATUTE I. Chap. XXIV.-An Act to repeal so much of an act intituled "An act to establish May 12, 1796.
the judicial courts of the United States," as directs that alternate sessions of the Circuit Courl for the district of Pennsylvania shall be holden at Yorktown; and
Act of Sep. for other purposes.
20, 1789, ch. 20.
Circuit court Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
for Pennsylva. of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That so much nia district to be of the fisth section of the act, intituled “ An act to establish the judicial holden only at courts of the United States," as directs that alternate sessions of the Philadelphia,
except when the circuit court for the district of Pennsylvania, shall be holden at York- judges direct it town, be, and the same is hereby repealed; and that all the sessions of io be holden at
Yorktown. the said circuit court, shall, from and after the passing of this act, be holden at the city of Philadelphia, excepting only, when at any session of the said court, the judges thereof shall direct the next session to be holden at Yorktown; which they are hereby authorized and empowered to do, whenever it shall appear to them to be necessary.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That all such process of the said Returns and court, as may have issued before the passing of this act, and all recog
the 11th of next nizances returnable, and all suits and other proceedings that were con- October at tinued to the said circuit court for the district of Pennsylvania, on the Yorktown eleventh of October next, in Yorktown, shall now be returned, and held changed to the
same day at continued to the same court, on the same day, at Philadelphia. And to
Philadelphia. the end, that suitors, witnesses and all others concerned, may have notice Notice there. of the alteration hereby made, the marshal of the said district of Penn- of to be given by sylvania is hereby required to make the same known, by proclamation, proclamation. on or before the first day of August next. APPROVED, May 12, 1796.
far as fourth of
Chap. XXV.–An Act allowing compensation for Horses killed in batlle belonging May 12, 1796.
to officers of the army of the United States. Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives Officers whose of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That every dleyn te berean officer in the army of the United States, whose duty requires him to be horseback, to be on horseback, in time of action, and whose horse shall be killed in bat- paid for horses ule, be allowed a sum not exceeding two hundred dollars, as a compen
killed in battle. sation for each horse so killed. Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the provision contained in
Act to be re. this act shall have retrospective operation, so far as the fourth day of
trospective as March, in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine: Pro- March, 1789. vided, That no person shall receive payment for any horse so killed, until he make satisfactory proof to the Secretary at War, that the horse,
Proof to be
made to the Secfor which he claims compensation, was actually killed under such cir
retary of War cumstances, as to entitle him to this provision, in all cases, which have within a limited heretofore taken place, within one year after the end of the present ses
time. sion of Congress; and in all cases which may take place hereafter, within one year after such horse shall have been killed.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the proof of the value of such How proof of horse shall be, by the affidavit of the quartermaster of the corps, to the value shall
be made. which the owner may belong, or of two other credible witnesses. Approved, May 12, 1796.
STATUTE I. CHAP. XXVI.- An Act declaring the consent of Congress to a certain Act of the May 12, 1796.
State of Maryland, and to continue an act declaring the assent of Congress to cerlain Acts of the States of Maryland, Georgia and Rhode Island and Provi.
[Expired.] dence Plantations, so far as the same respects the States of Georgia, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives Congress to a of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the con- certain act of
Maryland em. sent of Congress be, and is hereby granted and declared to the operapowering the tion of an act of the General Assembly of Maryland, made and passed wardens of the port of Balti.
at a session begun and held at the city of Annapolis, on the first Monmore to levy day of November, in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninetyand collect the
one, intituled “ An act empowering the wardens of the port of Baltimore duty therein mentioned.
to levy and collect the duty therein mentioned.” Part of the act Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the act, intituled “An act declaring the as, declaring the assent of Congress to certain acts of the states of Maryto certain acts of land, Georgia and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations," shall be the states of continued, and is hereby declared to be in full force, so far as the same Maryland,
respects the states of Georgia and Rhode Island and Providence PlanGeorgia, and Rhode Island
tations. and Providence Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That this act shall be, and conPlantations con. tinue in force for the term of three years, and from thence to the end tinued in force. 1800, ch. 15.
of the next session of Congress thereafter, and no longer.
ArPROVED, May 12, 1796. STATUTE I.
May 17, 1796. CHAP. XXVII.-An Act authorizing the erection of a Lighthouse on Cupe Cod,
in the State of Massachusetts. A lighthouse Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United to be erected on States of America in Congress assembled, That it shall be the duty of Cape Cod.
the Secretary of the Treasury, to provide, by contract, which shall be approved by the President of the United States, for building a lighthouse on Cape Cod, in the state of Massachusetts, (as soon as the necessary cession of land for the purpose shall be made by the said state to the United States;) and to furnish the same, with all necessary supplies: And also, to agree for the salaries, or wages of the person, or persons, who may be appointed by the President, for the superintendence and care of the same: And that the number or disposition of the light or lights in the said lighthouse, be such, as may tend to distinguish it from others, as far as is practicable; and that the light or lights on
Gurnet head, at the entrance of Plymouth harbour, be altered or dimi. Appropriation nished, if necessary: And that eight thousand dollars be appropriated therefor.
for the same, out of any monies not otherwise appropriated.
APPROVED, May 17, 1796.
May 18, 1796. Chap. XXIX.-An Act providing for the Sale of the Lands of the United States,
in the territory northwest of the river Ohio, and above the mouth of Kentucky
river.(a) A surveyor
Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representageneral to be tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That a power and du. Surveyor General shall be appointed, whose duty it shall be to engage a
sufficient number of skilful surveyors, as his deputies; whom he shall
(a) The acts of Congress relating to the sale of the public lands northwest of the river Ohio, are: An act providing for the sale of the lands of the United States, in the territory northwest of the river Ohio, and above the mouth of the Kentucky river, May 18, 1796, chap. 29; an act for regulating grants of land appropriated for military services, and for the Society of the United Brethren, for propagating the gos. pei among the heathen, June 1, 1796, chap. 46; an act to amend the act entitled “Àn act for regulating grants of land appropriated for military services, and for the Society of United Brethren for propagating the gospel among the heathen,” March 2, 1799, chap. 29; an act to authorize the sale of certain lands between the Great and Little Miami rivers, in the territory of the United States, northwest of the river Ohio; and for giving a pre-emption to certain purchasers, March 2, 1799, chap. 34 ; an act in addition to an act regulating the grants of land appropriated for military services, and for the Society of United Brethren for propagating the gospel among the heathen, and for other purposes, March 1, 1800; act of May 10, 1800; an act making provision for the disposal of the public lands in the Indiana territory, and for other
purposes, March 26, 1804, chap. 35; an act to authorize the Secretary at War, to issue land warrants, and for other purposes, April 15, 1806, chap. 26; an act providing for the cases of lost military land warrants and discharges for faithful services, April 27, 1816, chap. 127, &c. &c.
cause, without delay, to survey and mark the unascertained outlines of the lands lying northwest of the river Ohio, and above the mouth of the river Kentucky, in which the titles of the Indian tribes have been extinguished, and to divide the same in the manner herein after directed; he shall have authority to frame regulations and instructions for the government of his deputies; to administer the necessary oaths, upon their appointments; and to remove them for negligence or misconduct in office.(a)
Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That the part of the said lands,
(2) The decisions of the courts of the United States, as to the principles which regulate the titles to the public lands, in the states which form part of the territory northwest of the river Ohio, have been :
A title to lands under grants by Indian titles northwest of the river Ohio, to private individuals in the years 1773 and 1775, cannot be sustained in the courts of the United States. Lessee of Johnson et al. v. M“Intosh, 8 Wheat. 543; 5 Cond. Rep. 515.
The title to land depends entirely on the laws of the nation in which they lie. Ibid.
Discovery constitutes the original title to lands on the American continent, as between the different Euro. pean nations. The title thus derived was the exclusive right of acquiring the soil from the natives, and establishing settlements upon it. The title was to be consummated by possession. Ibid.
The right of the original inhabitants, was to a considerable extent impaired, but in no instance dig. regarded. The Europeans respected the right of the natives as occupants, but asserted the ultimate dominion to be in themselves; and claimed and exercised as a consequence of this ultimate dominion, a power to grant the soil while yet in the possession of the natives. Ibid.
By the treaty between Great Britain and the United States, which concluded the revolution, the powers of government and the right of soil, which had been previously in Great Britain, passed definitely to the United States. Ibid.
The United States, or the several states, have a clear title to all the lands within the boundary lines described in the treaty; subject only to the Indian right of occupancy: and the exclusive power to extinguish that right, was vested in the United States, which might constitutionally exercise it. lbid.
It is a principle of universal law, that if an uninhabited country be discovered by a number of individuals, who acknowledge no connection with, and own no allegiance to any government whatever, the country becomes the property of the discoverers, so far as they can use it. Ibid.
If the discovery be made, and possession be taken under the authority of an existing government which is acknowledged by the emigrants, the discovery is made for the whole nation; and the country becomes a part of the nation, and the vacant soil is to be disposed of by that organ of the government which has the constitutional power to dispose of the national domain. Ibid.
The decision of the register and receiver of a land-office, in the absence of fraud, would be conclusive as to the facts that the applicant for the land was then in possession, and of his cultivating the land during the preceding year; because these questions are directly subrnitted to those officers. Yet if they undertake to grant pre-emptions to land, on which the law declares they shall not be granted, then they are acting on a subject matter clearly not within their jurisdiction; as much so, as if a court whose jurisdiction was declared not to extend beyond a given sum, should attempt cognizance of a case beyond that sum. Wilcox v. Jackson, 13 Peters, 498.
Appropriation of land by the government, is nothing more or less than setting it apart for some pecuJiar use. Whenever a tract of land has been once legally appropriated to any purpose, from that mo. ment the land thus appropriated becomes severed from the mass of public lands : and no subsequent law or proclamation, or sale, would be construed to embrace it, or to operate upon it, although no other reservation were made of it. Ibid.
Nothing passes a perfect title to public lands, with the exception of a few cases, but a patent. The exceptions are where Congress grants lands in words of present grant. The general rule applies as well to pre-emptions, as to other purchases of public land. Ibid.
Á state has a perfect right to legislate as she may please, in regard to the remedies to be prosecuted in her courts, and to regulate the disposition of the property of her citizens, by descent, devise or alienation. But Congress are invested by the constitution with the power of disposing of the public land, and making needful rules and regulations concerning it., Ibid.
Where a patent has not been issued for a part of the public land, a state has no power to declare any title less than a patent valid against the claim of the United States to the land; or against a title held under a patent from the United States. Ibid.
Whenever the question in any court, state or federal, is whether the title to property which had belonged to the United States, has passed, that question must be resolved by the laws of the United States. But whenever the property has passed, according to those laws, then the property, like all other in the state, is subject to state legislation ; so far as that legislation is consistent with the admission that the title passed, and was vested according to the laws of the United States. Ibid.
Congress has the sole power to declare the dignity and effect of titles emanating from the United States : and the wbole legislation of the government, in reference to public lands, declares the patent to be the supe. rior and conclusive evidence of legal title. Until it issues, the fee is in the government, which by the patent passes to the grantee, and he is entitled to recover the possession by ejectment. Bagnell v. Broderick, 13 Peters, 436.
Where the title to the public land has passed out of the United States by conflicting patents, there can be no objection to the practice adopted by the courts of a state, to give effect to the better right in any form of remedy the legislature or courts of the state may prescribe.
No doubt is entertained, of the power of the states to pass laws authorizing purchasers of lands from the United States, to prosecute actions of ejectment upon certificates of purchase against trespassers on the lands purchased; but it is denied that the states have any power to declare certificates of purchase, of equal dignity with a patent. Congress alone can give them such effect. Ibid.