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STATUTE I. May 23, 1828.
1831, ch. 23. 1832, ch. 301.
400,000 acres of relinquished lands in certain
counties in Alabama granted to said state, to be applied to navigation.
which the land shall be sold.
1836, ch. 119.
Improvement. 1830, ch. 79.
Grant of all
lands to become null and void, if applied to any other object
Improvements of said navigation shall be commenced, &c.
Surplus of said grant, to
CHAP. LXXV.-An Act to grant certain relinquished and unappropriated lands to the state of Alabama, for the purpose of improving the navigation of the Tennessee, Coosa, Cahawba, and Black Warrior rivers.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That four hundred thousand acres, of the relinquished lands in the counties of Madison, Morgan, Limestone, Lawrence, Franklin, and Lauderdale, in the state of Alabama, be, and the same is [are]hereby, granted to said state, to be applied to the improvement of the navigation of the Muscle Shoals, and Colbert's Shoals, in the Tennessee river, and such other parts of said river within said state as the legislature thereof may direct: But if there shall not be four hundred thousand acres of relinquished unappropriated land in said counties, the deficiency to be made up out of any unappropriated lands in the county of Jackson, in said state.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That said state of Alabama, shall have power to sell, dispose of and grant said land, for the purposes aforesaid, at a price not less than the minimum price of the public lands of the United States, at the time of such sale.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the said state of Alabama shall commence said improvements within two years after the passage of this act, and complete the same within ten years thereafter.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That if said state of Alabama shall apply the lands hereby granted, or the proceeds of the sales, or any part thereof, to any other use or object whatsoever, than as directed by this act, before said improvements shall have been completed, the said grant for all lands then unsold shall thereby become null and void; and the said state of Alabama shall become liable and bound to pay to the United States the amount for which said land, or any part thereof, may have been sold, deducting the expenses incurred in selling the same.
SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That the improvements of said navigation shall be commenced at the lowest point of obstruction in said river, within said state, continued up the same until completed, and be calculated for the use of steamboats, according to such plan of construction as the United States' engineers, appointed to survey and report thereon, may recommend, and the President of the United States approve: Provided, That such plan shall embrace, if practicable, a connection of the navigation of Elk river, with the said improvements.
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That after the completion of said improvements, the surplus of said grant, if any, shall be applied to the be applied, &c. improvement of the navigation of the Coosa, Cahawba, and Black Warrior rivers, in saïd state, under the direction of the legislature thereof. SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That the said rivers, when improved as aforesaid, shall remain forever free from toll for all property belonging to the government of the United States, and for all persons in their service, and for all the citizens of the United States, unless a toll shall be allowed by act of Congress. APPROVED, May 23, 1828.
Rivers, when improved, to be
ever free from
toll for all property belonging to the United States, &c.
May 23, 1828. [Obsolete.] Breakwater
to be made near
the mouth of Delaware bay.
CHAP. LXXVI.—An Act making an appropriation for the erection of a breakwater near the mouth of Delaware bay.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States cause to be made near the mouth of Delaware bay, a breakwater.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the sum of two hundred and lars appropria- fifty thousand dollars be, and it hereby is, appropriated, towards the ac
complishment of that object, and that the same be paid out of any money
CHAP. LXXVII.—An Act to establish a southern judicial district in the territory May 23, 1828. of Florida. (a)
Another judicial district to
in Florida, to
be called the
southern district, &c.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That there shall be established another judicial district in the territory of Florida, to be called the south ern district, embracing all that part of the territory which lies south of a line from Indian river on the east, and Charlotte harbour on the west, including the latter harbour; which said court shall exercise all the jurisdiction within said district as the other superior courts, respectively, exercise within their respective districts, and shall be subject to all the laws which govern or regulate the same; and there shall be appointed for said district a judge, and he is hereby authorized to appoint a clerk appointed, who
Judge to be
may appoint a
(a) Act relating to the courts of Florida, vol. iii. 752. The following case, which originated in the courts established by the act of May 23, 1826, contains decisions upon principles of admiralty law, of great general interest.
The schooner North Carolina, bound from Appalachicola to Charleston, with a cargo of cotton, part on account of the consignees, and part the property of the shipper, struck on a reef about ninety-five miles from Key West; and the next morning one hundred and ten bales of cotton were taken from her by the wrecking schooner Hyder Ally, when she floated, and she sailed with the Hyder Ally to Indian Key, and arrived there the same evening. The Hyder Ally was one of those wrecking schooners in the profits of which Houseman was a participator. He became the consignee of the North Carolina; and salvage being claimed by the master of the Hyder Ally, a reference was made by the master of the North Carolina, and the master of the wrecker, and by an award thirty-five per cent. was allowed as salvage; and one hundred and two bales of cotton were put into the stores of Houseman, in part payment of the salvage; and one hundred dollars was paid in cash, and a draft for six hundred dollars was given by the captain of the North Carolina, in further satisfaction of the salvage, and the commissions of Houseman, with the vessel's expenses. Afterwards, the consignees of the cotton sent an agent to Key West, who proceeded, by a libel in his name, as agent in the superior court of the United States of Monroe county in Florida, alleging the facts, and by process issued by the court, seventy-two bales of the cotton of the North Carolina were attached in the hands of Houseman. The court decreed that the libellant should recover the seventy-two bales of cotton, and Houseman appealed to the court of appeals. In that court, a supplemental libel was filed by the appellee, claiming damages for the taking and the detention of fifty other bales of cotton, making the whole number of one hundred and twentytwo bales, which had gone into the possession of Houseman. The court of appeals gave a decree in favour of the appellee for the value of one hundred and twenty-two bales. The Supreme Court affirmed the decree as to the seventy-two bales, and set aside that part of the decree which allowed the value of the fifty bales; leaving the consignees or owners of the fifty bales to proceed in the superior court of East Florida by a new libel for the recovery of the same or the value thereof. Houseman v. The Schooner North Carolina, 15 Peters, 40.
There are many cases in which the contract of the captain, in relation to the amount of salvage to be paid to the salvors, or his agreement to refer the question to arbitrators, would bind the owners. In times of disaster, it is always his duty to exercise his best judgment, and to use his best exertions for the benefit of both the vessel and cargo: and when, from his situation, he is unable to consult them or their agent, without an inconvenient and injurious delay, it is in his power to compromise a question of salvage, and he is not bound in all cases to wait for the decision of a court of admiralty. Ibid.
So, too, when the salvage service has not been important, and the compensation demanded is a small one, it may often be the interest of the owners, that the amount should be settled at once by the captain, and the vessel proceed on her voyage, without waiting even a day for the purpose of consulting them. But in all such cases, unless the acts of the captain are ratified by the owners, his conduct will be carefully watched and scrutinized by the court; and his contracts will not be regarded as binding on the parties concerned, unless they appear to have been bona fide, and such as a discreet owner, placed in the same circumstances, would probably have made. If he settles the amount by agreement, those who claim under it must show that the salvage allowed was reasonable and just. If he refers it to arbitrators, those who claim the benefit of the award, must show that the proceedings were fair, and the referees worthy of the trust. Ibid.
The case is within the jurisdiction of a court of admiralty. It is a question of salvage of a vessel which had been stranded on a reef in the ocean. The points in controversy are whether salvage is due, and if due, how much. The admiralty is the only court in which such a question can be tried. Ibid. It is well settled in admiralty proceedings, that the agent of absent owners may libel either in his own name, as agent, or in the name of his principals, as he thinks best. That a power of attorney given subsequent to the libel is a sufficient ratification of what he had before done in their behalf, and that the consignees of a cargo have a sufficient interest in the cargo that they may proceed in the admiralty for the recovery not only of their own property, but for that part of it which may be consigned to them. Ibid.
clerk for said court.
Attorney and marshal's salaries, &c.
Stated sessions of said courts.
Where in any case concerning wrecked property, &c., the
judge shall have determined the rate of salvage,
to be allowed to salvors.
Articles in the cargo of a perishable nature, a sale of
them to be directed.
Property re maining after the portion adjusted to the salvors, not to be removed
from such stores
as may be used for public purposes.
No vessel to
be employed as a wrecker, unless under the authority of the judge of said court, &c.
May 23, 1828.
Assent already given by the United States to the charter of the
for said court. There shall also be appointed an attorney and marshal, who shall exercise all the duties, give the same bond and security, and be entitled to the same salaries, fees, and compensation, that is now allowed by law to attorneys and marshals in other districts in the territory.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the stated sessions of said court shall be held on the first Mondays of May and November annually, at Key West; and such other intermediate sessions, from time to time, as the judge in his discretion may think advisable and necessary. The judge shall reside at the island of Key West, and shall be entitled to receive, as a salary for his services, two thousand dollars per annum, to be paid quarterly, out of any moneys in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That whenever, in any case concerning wrecked property, or property abandoned at sea, the judge aforesaid shall have determined the rate of salvage to be allowed to salvors, it shall be his duty, unless the salvage decreed shall have been adjusted, without recourse to vessel and cargo, to direct such proportion of salvage to be paid to the salvors in kind; and that the property saved shall be divided accordingly, under the inspection of the officers of the court, and before it shall have been taken out of the custody of the revenue officers.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That whenever it shall be ascertained, to the satisfaction of the judge of said court that any of the property saved, is, from its character, not susceptible of being divided in the manner proposed, or that there are articles in the cargo of a perishable nature, it shall be his duty to direct a sale of the same, for the benefit of all concerned.
SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That the property remaining, after separating the portion adjudged to the salvors shall not be removed from such store as may be used for public purposes, nor disposed of in any other way, within nine months, unless by the order of the owners, or of their authorized agents: and that the duties accruing upon such property may be secured at any port in the United States, where the owners may
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That no vessel shall be employed as a wrecker, unless under the authority of the judge of said court; and that it shall not be lawful to employ on board such vessel, any wrecker who shall have made conditions with the captain or supercargo of any wrecked vessel, before or at the time of affording relief. APPROVED, May 23, 1828.
CHAP. LXXXV.-An Act to amend and explain an act, entitled "An act confirming an act of the legislature of Virginia, incorporating the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, and an act of the state of Maryland, for the same purpose."(a) Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That the assent already given by the United States to the charter of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, by an act of Congress, entitled. "An act confirming an act of the legislature of Virginia, entitled an act incorporating the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company;" and an act of the state of Maryland confirming the same, shall not be impaired by any change of the route of rating, and of the said canal, from or above the town of Cumberland, on the river
Ohio Canal by an act of Con
(a) For the acts of the states of Virginia and Maryland, and of the Congress of the United States, incorporating the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, the proceedings of the general special meeting of the Potowmac Company declaring their assent thereto, made necessary by said acts, to which, are added extracts from the charter of the Potowmac Company; see Appendix, No. 1.
Potomac, or the distribution thereof into two or more sections, at any time hereafter, or any change in the dimensions of that part of the present eastern section, extending from Cumberland, or the mouth of Will's Creek, to the mouth of Savage, at the base of the Alleghany, or any substitution which the interest of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company may, in the opinion of the company, require to be made, of inclined planes, rail-ways, or an artificial road for a continued canal, through the Alleghany mountain, in any route which may be, by the company, finally adopted therefor, between the town of Cumberland and the river Ohio.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That, to obviate any possible ambiguity that might arise in the construction of the second section of the act of Congress aforesaid, the authority, by that act designed to be given to the states of Maryland and Virginia, or to any company incorporated by either or both of those states, to extend a branch from the said canal, or to prolong the same, from the termination thereof, by a continuous canal, within, or through the District of Columbia, towards the territory of either of those states, shall be deemed and taken to be as full and complete in all respects, as the authority granted by that act, to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company to extend the main stem of the said canal, within the said district; or the authority reserved to the ment of the United States to provide for the extension thereof, on either or both sides of the river Potomac, within the District of Columbia: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall impair the restriction in the charter of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, designed to protect the canal from injury, by the prolongation thereof, or by any branch therefrom.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the act of the legislature of Maryland, which passed at their December session, of one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, entitled "An act further to amend the act incorporating the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company," be, and the same is hereby, confirmed, so far as the assent of Congress may be deemed necessary thereto.
APPROVED, May 23, 1828.
Maryland confirming, the same not to be impaired by any change, &c.
Act of March 3, 1825, ch. 52.
any possible might arise in ambiguity, that the construction of the 2d section of the
act of Congress aforesaid, the authority given
to the states of Maryland and Virginia, &c.
shall be as full
Act of the
legislature of Maryland of Dec. 1837, confirmed.
CHAP. LXXXVI.—An Act authorizing a subscription to the stock of the Chesa May 24, 1828. peake and Ohio Canal Company.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of the Treasury be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to subscribe, in the name and for the use of the United States, for ten thousand shares of the capital stock of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, and to pay for the same, at such times, and in such proportions, as shall be required of and paid by the stockholders, generally, by the rules and regulations of the company, out of the dividends which may accrue to the United States upon their bank stock in the bank of the United States: Provided, That not more than one fifth part of the sum, so subscribed for the use of the United States, shall be demanded, in any one year, after the organization of the said company; nor shall any greater sum be paid on the shares so subscribed for, than shall be proportioned to assessments made on individual or corporate stockholders: And provided, moreover, That, for the supply of water to such other canals as the state of Maryland, or Virginia, or the Congress of the United States, may authorize to be constructed, in connection with the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, the section of the said canal leading from the head of the Little Falls of the Potomac river, to the proposed basin, next above Georgetown, in the District of Columbia, shall have the elevation, above the tide of the
the Treasury in United States,
the name of the
to subscribe for
the Treasury to vote for president, &c., of said company, according to the number of
ed for the United States.
river at the head of the said falls, and shall preserve, throughout the
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the said Secretary of the
May 24, 1828.
of Washington, and Alexandria, to have several ly, full power, &c., to subscribe, &c.
Corporations, severally au
thorized to bor
CHAP. LXXXVII.—An Act to enlarge the powers of the several corporations of
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the said corporations shall, severally, have power and authority, from time to time, as the same may be deemed by them, respectively, either necessary or expedient, to borrow money, at any rate of interest, not exceeding six per centum per annum, to pay their respective subscriptions, and the interest accruing ceeding six per thereon, to the amount which they have subscribed, or shall hereafter subscribe.
row money, at any rate of interest not ex
cent. per an
stock for the
to be constituted.
A list of such certificates denoting their respective numbers, &c., to be deposited with the Secretary of
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the said corporations shall
City or town of [here insert the title of the city or town.]
Be it known, That there is due from the corporation of the city or
Register, or other recording officer of the corporation.
The said certificate shall not be issued, in any case, for a less sum