Added: Renaldo Lecompte - Date: 03.11.2021 10:58 - Views: 11472 - Clicks: 8060
The history of the Royal Grants, and of the colonial and state legislation upon this subject reviewed. An agreement or compact as to boundaries may be made between two states, and the requisite consent of Congress may be given to it subsequently, or may be implied from subsequent action of congress itself towards the two states, and when such agreement or compact is thus made and is thus assented to, it is valid.
What "an agreement or compact" between two states of the union is, and what "the consent of Congress" to such agreement or compact is within the meaning of Article I of the Constitution considered and explained.
A boundary line between states or provinces which has been run out, located, and marked upon the earth, and afterwards recognized and acquiesced in by the parties for a long course of years, is conclusive. This is a suit to establish by judicial decree the true boundary line between the States of Virginia and Tennessee. It embraces a controversy of which this Court has original jurisdiction, and in this respect the Virginia this is tennessee department of our government is distinguished from the judicial department of any other country, drawing to itself by the ordinary modes of peaceful procedure the settlement of questions as to boundaries and consequent rights of soil and jurisdiction between states, possessed, for purposes of internal government, of the powers of independent communities, which otherwise might be the fruitful cause of prolonged and harassing conflicts.
The State of Virginia, as the complainant, summoning her sister state, Tennessee, to the bar of this Court -- a jurisdiction to which the latter promptly yields -- sets forth in her bill the sources of her title to the territory embraced within her limits and also of the title to the territory embraced by Tennessee. The claim of Virginia is that by the charters of the English sovereigns, under which the colonies of Virginia and North Carolina were formed, the boundary line between them was intended and declared to be a line running due west from a point on the Atlantic Ocean on the parallel of latitude 36 degrees and 30 minutes north, and that the State of Tennessee, having been created out of the territory formerly constituting a part of North Carolina, the same boundary line continued between her and Virginia, and the contention of Virginia is that the boundary line claimed by Tennessee does not follow this parallel of latitude, but varies from it by running too far north, so as to unjustly include a strip of land about one hundred and thirteen miles in length and varying from two to eight miles in width, over which she asserts and unlawfully exercises sovereign jurisdiction.
In order to clearly understand and appreciate the force and effect to be accorded to the respective claims and contentions of the parties, a brief history of preceding measures should be given, with reference to the charters and legislation under which they were taken. On the 23d of May,James the First of England, by letters patent, reciting letters, gave to Robert, Earl of Salisbury, Thomas, Earl of Suffolk, and divers Virginia this is tennessee persons associated with them a charter which organized them into a corporation by the name of the "Treasurer and Company of Adventurers and Planters of the City of London," for the first colony of Virginia, and granted to them all those lands and territories lying.
On the 24th of March,Charles the Second of England granted to Edward, Earl of Clarendon, and others of his subjects, all that territory within his dominion of America. On the 30th or May,Charles the Second granted to the above proprietors of Carolina a charter confirming the grant and enlarging the same so as to include the following described territory: all that province and territory within America. The northern and southern settlements of Carolina were separated from each other by nearly three hundred miles, and numerous Indians resided upon the intervening territory; and, though the whole province belonged to the same proprietors, the legislation of the settlements was by different assemblies, acting at times under different governors.
Early inthe northern part of the province was sometimes called the "Colony of North Carolina," although the province was not divided by the Crown into North and South Carolina until Story's Commentaries on the Constitution, sec.
ly to this division, the settlements on the borders of Virginia and of what was called the "Colony of North Carolina" had largely increased, and disputes and altercations frequently occurred between the settlers, growing out of the.
Virginians were charged with taking up lands, under titles of the crown, south of the proper limits of their province, and Carolinians were charged with taking up lands which belonged to the crown with warrants from the proprietors. The troubles arising from this source were the occasion of much disturbance to the communities, and various attempts were made by parties in authority in the two provinces to remove the cause of them.
ly to January,commissioners were appointed on the part of Virginia and North Carolina to run the boundary line between them, and proclamations were made forbidding surveys of the grounds until that line within the disputed limits should be marked. But these efforts for the settlement of the difficulties were unavailing. In January,commissioners were again appointed, but failed, for want of the requisite means to accomplish their intended object.
Inan attempt to settle the difficulties was renewed, but, as on occasions, it failed. The commissioners of the colonies met, but they could not agree at what place to fix the latitude thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes north, nor upon the place called "Wyonoke," and they broke up without doing anything. The Governors of North Carolina and Virginia then entered into a convention upon the subject of the boundary between the two provinces and transmitted it to England for approval.
The King and council approved of it, and so did the lords and proprietors, and returned it to the governors to be executed. Virginia this is tennessee agreement was as follows:. That if said west line cuts Blackwater River to the northward of Nottaway River, then from the point of intersection, the bounds shall be allowed to be continued down the middle of said Blackwater to the middle of the entrance into said Nottaway River, and from thence a due west line shall divide the two governments.
Commissioners were appointed by Virginia and North Carolina to carry this agreement into effect. They met at Currituck Inlet in March, The variation of the compass was then found to be three degrees one minute and two seconds west nearly, and the latitude thirty-six degrees, thirty-one minutes. The dividing line between the provinces struck Blackwater poles above the mouth of Nottaway. The variation of the compass at the mouth Virginia this is tennessee Nottaway was two degrees thirty minutes.
In andVirginia and North Carolina, having become, by their separation in from the British Crown, independent states, again took up the question of the boundary between them, and appointed commissioners to extend and complete the line from the point at which the commissioners, Fry and Jefferson and others, had ended their work, on Steep Rock Creek, to Tennessee River. The commissioners undertook the work with which they were charged, but they could not find the line on Steep Rock Creek, owing.
The report of their labors was ed only by the Virginia commissioners. Their report was, in substance, that after running the line as far as Carter's Valley, forty-five miles west of Steep Rock Creek, the commissioners of Carolina conceived the idea that the line was further south than it ought to be, and, on trial, it appeared that there was a slight variation of the needle, which the Virginia commissioners thought arose from their proximity to some iron ore, that various expedients to harmonize the action of the commissioners were unavailing, and the Carolina commissioners, agreeing that they were more than two miles too far south of the proper latitude, measured off that distance directly north, and ran the line eastwardly from that place, superintended by two of the Carolina and one of the Virginia commissioners, while from the same place it was continued westwardly, superintended by the others, for the sake of expediting the business.
The Virginia commissioners subsequently became satisfied that the first line run by them was correct, and they therefore continued it from Carter's Valley, where it had been left, westward to Tennessee River. The North Carolina commissioners carried their line as far as Cumberland Mountains, protesting against the line run by the Virginia commissioners. This was in and The line adopted by the Virginia commissioners Virginia this is tennessee known as the "Walker Line," and the line adopted by the commissioners of North Carolina was known as the "Henderson Line.
ly to the appointment of these commissioners, and on the 6th of May,the State of Virginia, in a general convention, with that generous public spirit which on all occasions since has characterized her conduct in the disposition of her claims to territory under different charters from the English government, had declared that the territories within the charters erecting the colonies of Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and South Carolina were thereby ceded and forever confirmed to the people of those colonies respectively. On the. Subsequently the States of Virginia and Tennessee both took steps for the final settlement of the controversy as to the boundary between them.
On the 10th of January,the House of Delegates of the General Assembly of Virginia adopted the following resolution:. On the 13th day of November,the General Assembly of Tennessee passed an act on the same subject, the first section of which is these words:. On the 22d day of January,a report having been made by the commissioners, which is copied into the act, the Legislature of Virginia ratified what had been done in the following act:.
Markland, the surveyors duly appointed for that purpose, and marked under the directions of the said commissioners, as will more at large appear by the report of the said surveyors, hereto annexed, and bearing equal date herewith. And the said commissioners do further unanimously agree to recommend to their respective states that individuals having claims or titles to lands on either side of the said line, as now fixed and agreed on, and between the lines aforesaid, shall not, in consequence thereof, in anywise be prejudiced or affected thereby, and that the legislatures of their respective states should pass mutual laws to render all such claims or titles secure to the owners thereof.
And the said commissioners do further agree unanimously to recommend to their states respectively Virginia this is tennessee reciprocal laws should be passed confirming the acts of all public officers, whether magistrates, sheriffs, coroners, surveyors, or constables, between the said lines, which would have been legal in either of the said states had no difference of opinion existed about the true boundary line.
Given under our hands and seals at William Robertson's, near Cumberland Gap, December the eighth, eighteen hundred and two Dec. And whereas, Brice Martin and Nathan B. Markland, the Virginia this is tennessee duly appointed to run and mark the said line, have granted their certificate of the execution of their duties, which certificate is in the words following, to-wit:".
Given under our hands and seals, this eighth day of December, eighteen hundred and two 8th December, All claims or titles derived from the government of North Carolina or Tennessee which said lands, by the adjustment and establishment of the line aforesaid, have fallen into this state, shall remain as secure to the owners thereof as if derived from the government of Virginia, and shall not be in any wise prejudiced or affected in consequence of the establishment of the said line.
The acts of all public officers, whether magistrates, sheriffs, coroners, surveyors, or constables, heretofore done or performed in that portion of the territory between the lines called Walker's and Henderson's lines which has fallen into this state by the adjustment of the present line, and which would have been legal if done or performed in the states of North Carolina or Tennessee, are hereby recognized and confirmed. This act shall commence and be in force from and after the passing of a like law on the part of the State of Tennessee.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee that the said boundary line between this state. Be it enacted, that all claims or titles to lands derived from the government of Virginia, which said lands, by the adjustment and establishment of the line aforesaid have fallen into this state shall remain as secure to the owners thereof as if derived from the government of North Carolina or Tennessee, and shall not be in anywise prejudiced or affected in consequence of the establishment of the said line.
Be it enacted that the acts of all officers, whether magistrates, sheriffs, coroners, surveyors, or constables, heretofore done or performed in that portion of territory between the lines called Walker's and Henderson's lines which has fallen into this state by the adjustment of the present line, and which would have been legal if done or performed in the State of Virginia, are hereby recognized and confirmed. This line thus run was accepted by both states as a satisfactory settlement of a controversy which had, under their governments and that of the colonies which preceded them, lasted for nearly a century.
As seen from the acts recited, both states, through their legislatures, declared in the most solemn and authoritative manner that it was fully and absolutely ratified, established, and confirmed as the true, certain, and real boundary line between them, and this declaration could not have been more ificant had it added in express terms what was plainly implied, that it should never be departed from by the government of either, but be respected, maintained, and enforced by the governments of both.
All modes of legislative action which followed it indicated its approval. Each state asserted jurisdiction on its side up to the line deated and recognized the lawful jurisdiction of the ading state up to the line on the opposite side. Both states levied taxes on the lands on their respective sides, and.
The people on the south side voted at state and municipal elections for representatives and officers of Tennessee, and the people on the north side at such state and municipal elections voted for representatives and officers of Virginia.
The courts of the two states exercised jurisdiction, civil and criminal, on their respective side, and enforced their process up to that line, and the legislation of Congress, in the deation of districts for the jurisdiction of courts, and in prescribing limits for collection districts and for purposes of election, made no Virginia this is tennessee to the boundary as thus established.
Act of July 1,12 Stat. The line was marked with great care by the commissioners of the states, with five chops on the trees in the form of a diamond at such intervals between them as they deemed sufficient to identify and trace the line. Not a whisper of fraud or misconduct is made by either side against the commissioners for the conclusions they reached and the line they established.
The whole purpose of the act, as is evident on its face, was not to change the old boundary line, but only to more perfectly identify it. Tennessee responded to that invitation. The commissioners together reran and remarked the line as it was established inand planted such additional monuments as were deemed necessary, and they reported to their respective legislatures that they had "accurately run, remarked, and measured the old line ofwith all its offsets and irregularities as shown in the surveyor's report" therein incorporated, and on the Virginia this is tennessee map therewith submitted.
The Legislature of Tennessee approved of the action of the commissioners, but Virginia withheld her approval and called for a new appointment of commissioners to rerun and remark the line, which was refused by Tennessee as unnecessary. No complaint as to the correctness of the line run and established in was made by Virginia until within a recent period. She now by her bill asks that the compact entered into between her and the State of Tennessee, as set forth in the act of the General Assembly of Virginia of January 22,and which became operative by similar action of the Legislature of Tennessee on the 3d of November following, be declared null and void as having been entered into between the states without the consent of Congress, and prays that this Court will establish the true boundary line between those states due east and west, in latitude thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes north, in accordance with what it alleges to be the ancient chartered rights of that commonwealth and the laws creating the State of Tennessee and admitting it into the Union.
Is the agreement, made without the consent of Congress, between Virginia and Tennessee, to appoint commissioners to run and mark the boundary line between them within the prohibition of this clause? The terms "agreement" or "compact," taken by themselves, are sufficiently comprehensive to.
There are many matters upon which different states may agree that can in no respect concern the United States. If, for instance, Virginia should come into possession and ownership of a small parcel of land in New York, which the latter state might desire to acquire as a site for a public building, it would hardly be deemed essential for the latter state to obtain the consent of Congress before it could make a valid agreement with Virginia for the purchase of the land.
If Massachusetts, in forwarding its exhibits to the World's Fair at Chicago, should desire to transport them a part of the distance over the Erie Canal, it would hardly be deemed essential for that state to obtain the consent of Congress before it could contract with Virginia this is tennessee York for the transportation of the exhibits through that state in that way. If the bordering line of two states should cross some malarious and disease-producing district, there could be no possible reason, on any conceivable public grounds, to obtain the consent of Congress for the bordering states to agree to unite in draining the district, and thus removing the cause of disease.
So, in case of threatened invasion of cholera, plague, or other causes of sickness and death, it would be the height of absurdity to hold that the threatened states could not unite in providing means to prevent and repel the invasion of the pestilence without obtaining the consent of Congress, which might not be at the time in session.
If, then, the terms "compact" or "agreement" in the Constitution do not apply to every possible compact or agreement between one state and another, for the validity of which the consent of Congress must be obtained, to what compacts or agreements does the Constitution apply? We can only reply by looking at the object of the constitutional provision and construing the terms "agreement" and "compact" by reference to it.
It is a familiar rule in the construction of terms to apply to them the meaning naturally attaching to them from their context. Noscitur a sociis is a rule of construction applicable to all written instruments. Where any particular word is obscure or of doubtful meaning, taken by itself, its obscurity or doubt may be removed by reference to associated words, and the meaning of a term may be enlarged or restrained by reference to the object of the whole clause in which it is used.
Looking at the clause in which the terms "compact" or "agreement" appear, it is evident that the prohibition is directed to the formation of any combination tending to the increase of political power in the states, which may encroach upon or interfere with the just supremacy of the United States. Compacts or agreements -- and we do not perceive any difference in the meaning, except that the word "compact" is generally used with reference to more formal and serious engagements than is usually implied in the term "agreement" -- cover all stipulations affecting the conduct or claims of the parties.
The mere selection of parties to run and deate the boundary line between two states, or to deate what line should be run, of itself imports no agreement to accept the line run by them, and such action of itself does not come within the prohibition. Nor does a legislative declaration, following such line, that is correct, and shall thereafter be deemed the true and established line, import by itself a contract or agreement with the ading state. It is a legislative declaration which the state and individuals affected by the recognized boundary line may invoke against the state as an admission, but not as a compact or agreement.
The legislative declaration will take the form of an agreement or compact when it recites some consideration for it from the other party affected by it -- for example, as made upon a similar declaration of the border or contracting state.
The mutual declarations may then be reasonably treated as made upon mutual considerations. The compact or agreement will then be within the prohibition of the Constitution, or without it, according as the establishment of the boundary line may lead or not to the increase of the political power or influence of the states affected and thus encroach or not upon the full and free exercise of federal authority. If the boundary established is so run as to cut off an important and valuable portion of a state, the political power of the state enlarged would be affected by the settlement of the boundary, and to an agreement for the running of such a boundary, or rather for its adoption afterwards, the consent of Congress may well be required.
But the running of a boundary may have no effect upon the political influence of either state; it may simply serve to mark and define that which actually existed before, but was undefined and unmarked. In that case, the agreement for the running of the line, or its actual survey. There was therefore no compact or agreement between the states in this case which required, for its validity, the consent of Congress, within the meaning of the Constitution, until they had passed upon the report of the commissioners, ratified their action, and mutually declared the boundary established by them to be the true and real boundary between the states.
Such ratification was mutually made by each state in consideration of the ratification of the other. The Constitution does not state when the consent of Congress shall be given, whether it shall precede or may follow the compact made, or whether it shall be express or may be implied. In many cases, the consent will usually precede the compact or agreement, as where it is to lay a duty of tonnage, to keep troops or ships of war in time of peace, or to engage in war. But where the agreement relates to a matter which could not well be considered until its nature is fully developed, it is not perceived why the consent may not be subsequently given.
Story says that the consent may be implied, and is always to be implied when Congress adopts the particular act by sanctioning its objects and aiding in enforcing them, and observes that where a state is admitted into the union notoriously upon a compact made between it and the state of which it ly composed a part, there the act of Congress admitting such state into the Union is an implied consent to the terms of the compact. Knowledge by Congress of the boundaries of a state and of its political subdivisions may reasonably be pd, as much of its legislation is affected by them, such as relate to the territorial jurisdiction of the courts of the United States, the extent of their collection districts, and of districts in which process, civil and criminal, of their courts may be served and enforced.
In the present case, the consent of Congress could not have preceded the execution of the compact, for until the line was run, it could not be known where it would lie, and whether or not it would receive the approval of the states. The preliminary agreement was not to Virginia this is tennessee a line run, whatever it. After its consideration, each state was free to take such action as it might judge expedient upon their report.
The approval by Congress of the compact entered into between the states upon their ratification of the action of their commissioners is fairly implied from its subsequent legislation and proceedings. The line established was treated by that body as the true boundary between the states in the asment of territory north of its as a portion of districts set apart for judicial and revenue purposes in Virginia, and as included in territory in which federal elections were to be held, and for which appointments were to be made by federal authority in that state, and in the asment of territory south of it as a portion of districts set apart for judicial and revenue purposes in Tennessee, and as included in territory in which federal elections were to be held, and for which federal appointments were to be made for that state.
Such use of the territory on different sides of the boundary deated in a single instance would not, perhaps, be considered as absolute proof of the assent or approval of Congress to the boundary line, but the exercise of jurisdiction by Congress over the country as a part of Tennessee on one side, and as a part of Virginia on the other, for a long succession of years, without question or dispute Virginia this is tennessee any quarter, furnishes as conclusive proof of assent to it by that body as can usually be obtained from its Virginia this is tennessee formal proceedings.
Independently of any effect due to the compact as such, a boundary line between the states or provinces, as between private persons, which has been run out, located, and marked upon the earth and afterwards recognized and acquiesced in by the parties for a long course of years, is conclusive even if it be ascertained that it varies somewhat from the courses given in the original grant, and the line so established takes effect not as an alienation of territory, but as a definition of the true and ancient boundary.
Lord Hardwicke, in Penn v. Lord Baltimore, 1 Vesey Sr. Graves4 Wheat. Massachusetts12 Pet. Stone2 Wall.Virginia this is tennessee
email: [email protected] - phone:(368) 982-9285 x 2567
Virginia v. Tennessee, U.S. ()