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A fractional section of land, on the left bank of the Missouri River, in Iowa,
was surveyed by United States surveyors in 1851, and lot 4 therein
was formed, and so designated on the plat filed, and as containing
37.24 acres, the north boundary of it being on the Missouri River.
In 1853 the lot was entered and paid for, and was patented in June,
1855, as lot 4. Afterwards, by ten mesne conveyances, made down to
1888, the lot was conveyed as lot 4, and became vested in the plaintiff.
About 1853 new land was formed against the north line, and con-
tinued to form until 1870, so that then more than 40 acres had been
formed by accretion by natural causes and imperceptible degrees
within the lines running north and south on the east and west of the
lot, and the course of the river ran far north of the original meander
line. The defendant claimed to own a part of the new land by deed
from one who had entered upon it. The plaintiff filed a bill to
establish his title to the new land, claiming it as a part of lot 4. On
demurrer to the bill: Held, (1) The bill alleging that the land was
formed by "imperceptible degrees," the time during which the large
increase was made being nearly 20 years, the averment must stand,
notwithstanding the character of the river, and the rapid cha... es con-
stantly going on in its banks; (2) Where a water line is the boundary
of a given lot, that line, no matter how it shifts, remains the bound-
ary; and a deed describing the lot by its number conveys the land up
to such shifting water line; so that, in the view of accretion, he water
line, if named as the boundary, continues to be the boundary, and a
deed of the lot carries all the land up to the water line; (3) Accretion
is an addition to land coterminous with the water, which is formed so
slowly that its progress cannot be perceived, and does not admit of the
view, that, in order to be accretion, the formation must be one not
discernible by comparison at two distinct periods of time; (4) Tne
patent having conveyed the lot as lot 4, and the successive deeds there-
after having conveyed it by the same description, the patent and the
deeds covered the successive accretions, and neither the United States,
nor any grantor, retained any interest in any of the accretion; (5)
Where a plat is referred to in a deed as containing a description of
land, the courses, distances, and other particulars appearing upon the
plat are to be as much regarded, in ascertaining the true description
of the land and the intent of the parties, as if they had been expressly
enumerated in the deed. Jefferis v. East Omaha Land Co., 178.
1. The provision of the act of March 3, 1887, c. 373, § 1, 24 Stat. 552, that
"no civil suit" shall be brought before a Circuit or District Court
against any person in any other district than that of which he is an
inhabitant, does not apply to cases in admiralty. In re Louisville
2. A libel in admiralty in personam may be maintained against a corpora-
tion in any district by service there upon an attorney appointed by the
corporation, as required by the statutes of the State, to be served with
legal process. Ib.
When it is found by a Circuit Court of the United States that the clerk
has failed to put in the record an order which was made at the next
preceding term of the court, remanding a case to the District Court,
the Circuit Court may direct such an order to be entered nunc pro tunc.
In re Wight, 136.
1. When the term at which an appeal is returnable goes by without the
filing of the record, a second appeal may be taken, if the time for
appeal has not expired. Evans v. State Bank, 330.
2. If an appellee does not avail himself of his right, under the ninth rule,
to docket and dismiss an appeal for neglect of the appellant to docket
the case and file the record, as required by the rules, the appellant may
file the record at any time during the return term. 16.
3. The failure to obtain a citation or give a bond within two years from
the rendition of a decree does not deprive this court of jurisdiction
over an appeal, when the transcript of the record is filed here during
the term succeeding its allowance. It.
4. The holder of $14,000 out of $955,000 of railroad bonds secured by a
mortgage was permitted by the Circuit Court to appeal to this court,
in the name of the trustee in the mortgage, from a decree which it was
claimed affected the interest of such holder. It appearing that some
time before the appeal was taken the trustee had executed a release of
his right to appeal, and of errors in the decree, and that the court had,
in the decree, found that there was no proof showing that the trustee
had not acted in good faith; Held, that the release bound all the bond-
holders represented by the trustee; that it was properly brought before
this court, though not found in the transcript of the record; that the
appeal was the appeal of the trustee; and that on the motion of the
appellee, it must be dismissed. Elwell v. Fosdick, 500.
5. When the record is not filed in this court at the term succeeding the
allowance of an appeal, the appeal ceases to have any operation or
effect, and the case stands as if it had never been allowed. Small v.
Northern Pacific Railroad, 514.
See DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA;
JURISDICTION, D, 3, 4.
An officer in the army or navy of the United States does not hold his office
by contract, but at the will of the sovereign power. Crenshaw v.
United States, 98.
See CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, 10, 11.
ASSIGNMENT FOR THE BENEFIT OF CREDITORS.
See PARTNERSHIP, 2, 3.
BURNT RECORDS ACT.
See EQUITY, 5.
CASES AFFIRMED OR APPROVED.
1. Liverpool and London Insurance Co. v. Gunther, 116 U. S. 113, affirmed.
Gunther v. Liverpool and London Ins. Co., 110.
2. Pennsylvania Railroad v. Locomotive Truck Co., 110 U. S. 490, again
affirmed. Howe Machine Co. v. National Needle Co., 388.
3. The case of Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Co. v. Minnesota,
134 U. S. 418, affirmed, on substantially the same state of facts. Minne-
apolis Eastern Railway Co. v. Minnesota, 467.
4. Gibson v. Shufeldt, 122 U. S. 27. Wheeler v. Cloyd, 537.
5. Austin v. Citizens' Bank, 30 La. Ann. 689, approved and applied to this
case. Mendenhall v. Hall, 559.
6. McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 436; Weston v.
City Council of
Charleston, 2 Pet. 449; Henderson v. Mayor of New York, 92 U. S.
259; and Brown v. Maryland, 12 Wheat. 419, in no wise conflict with
the points decided in this case; and the court fully assents to those
cases, and has no doubt of their correctness in any particular. Home
Ins. Co. v. New York, 594.
1. Van Ness v. Van Ness, 6 How. 62; and Brown v. Wiley, 4 Wall. 165,
distinguished. Ormsby v. Webb, 47.
2. Robertson v. Bradbury, 132 U. S. 491, distinguished from this case. Lit-
tle v. Bowers, 547.
1. Hart v. Sansom, 110 U. S. 151, explained. Arndt v. Griggs, 316.
2. The case of Bate Refrigerating Co. v. Hammond, 129 U. S. 151, explained.
Pohl v. Anchor Brewing Co., 381.
CASES QUESTIONED OR OVERRULED.
Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 Dall. 419, questioned. Hans v. Louisiana, 1.
CERTIFICATE OF DIVISION IN OPINION.
The court again declines to answer a certified question which contains no
clear and distinct proposition of law. United States v. Lacher, 624.
CIRCUIT COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES.
See AMENDMENT OF RECORD;
COMMISSIONERS OF CIRCUIT COURTS;
COMMISSIONERS OF CIRCUIT COURTS.
1. The decision of a commissioner of a Circuit Court of the United States,
upon a motion for bail and the sufficiency thereof, and his decision
upon a motion for a continuance of the hearing of a criminal charge,
are judicial acts in the "hearing and deciding on criminal charges"
within the meaning of Rev. Stat. § 847, providing for a per diem com-
pensation in such cases. United States v. Jones, 483.
2. The approval of a commissioner's account by a Circuit Court of the
United States is prima facie evidence of its correctness, and, in the
absence of clear and unequivocal proof of mistake on the part of the
court, should be conclusive.
1. A State cannot, without its consent, be sued in a Circuit Court of the
United States by one of its own citizens, upon a suggestion that the
case is one that arises under the Constitution and laws of the United
States. Hans v. Louisiana, 1.
2. While a State cannot be compelled by suit to perform its contracts,
any attempt on its part to violate property or rights acquired under
its contracts may be judicially resisted; and any law impairing the
obligation of contracts under which such property or rights are held
is void, and powerless to affect their enjoyment. Ib.
3. This suit was commenced against the State of North Carolina and
against the auditor of that State, as defendants, to compel the levying
of a special tax for the benefit of certain holders of its bonds; Held,
(1) That the suit against the auditor was, under the circumstances,
virtually a suit against the State; (2) That on the authority of Hans
v. Louisiana, 134 U. S. 1, the suit could not be maintained against the
State. North Carolina v. Temple, 22.
4. The first eight of the Articles of Amendment to the Constitution of the
United States have reference only to powers exercised by the United
States, and not to those exercised by the States. Eilenbecker v.
Plymouth County, 31.
5. The provision in Article III of the Constitution of the United States
respecting the trial of crimes by jury relates to the judicial power of
the United States. Ib.
6. Article VI of the Amendments to the Constitution of the United States
respecting a speedy and public trial by jury; Articles V and VI re-
specting the right of persons accused of crime to be confronted with
the witnesses; Article VIII respecting excessive fines, and cruel and un-
usual punishments; and Article XIV respecting the abridgment of privi-
leges, the deprivation of liberty or property without due process of law,
and the denial of the equal protection of the laws, are not infringed
by the statutes of Iowa authorizing its courts, when a person violates
an injunction restraining him from selling intoxicating liquors, to
punish him as for contempt by fine or imprisonment or both. Ib.
7. Proceedings according to the common law for contempt of court are not
subject to the right of trial by jury, and are "due process of law," within
the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Ib.
8. All the powers of courts whether at common law or in chancery may be
called into play by the legislature of a State, for the purpose
pressing the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors when they are
prohibited by law, and to abate a nuisance declared by law to be such;
and the Constitution of the United States interposes no hindrance. lb.
9. A District Court of a county in Iowa is empowered to enjoin and re-
strain a person from selling or keeping for sale intoxicating liquors,
including ale, wine, and beer, in the county, and disobedience of the
order subjects the guilty party to proceedings for contempt and pun-
ishment thereunder. lb.
10. The provision in the naval appropriation act of August 5, 1882, c. 391,
§ 1, which directs, in certain cases, the honorable discharge of naval
cadets from the navy, with one year's sea pay, is not in conflict with
the contract clause of the Constitution of the United States. Crenshaw
v. United States, 99.
11. It is not within the power of a legislature to deprive its successor of
the power of repealing an act creating a public office. Ib.
12. The auditor of the State of Louisiana was sued in his official capacity,
in order to compel him, in that capacity, to act to raise a tax, author-
ized by a former law, but contrary to subsequent legislation, and to
the present laws of the State; Held, was a suit against the State.
New York Guaranty Co. v. Steele, 230.
13. The Fourteenth Amendment was not intended to compel the States to
adopt an iron rule of equal taxation. Bell Gap Railroad Co. v. Penn-
14. The act of the legislature of Minnesota, approved March 7, 1887,
General Laws of 1887, c. 10, establishing a railroad and warehouse
commission, being interpreted by the Supreme Court of that State as
providing that the rates of charges for the transportation of property,
recommended and published by the commission, shall be final and con-