Page:United States Reports, Volume 209.djvu/477

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


209 U.S. Opinion el the Court,. standing the incorporation of Michig an as a State. The bill admits and alleges that the bed of the river, or strait, sur- rounding the islands, passed to Michigan when Michigan be- came a State, Pollard v. Han, 3 How. 212; $hivdy v. Bowlby, 152 U.S. 1, subject to the same public trusts and limitations as lands under tide waters on the borders of the sea. l/inois. Central R. R. Co. v. Illinri, 146 U.S. 387. But it sets up that the islands remained the property of thc United States, and it argues that in such circumstances the islands did not pass by the patent of the neighboring land. The act offering Michigan admission to the Union provide[i that no right was conferred upon the State "to interfere with the sale by the United States, and under their authority, of the vacant and unsold lands within the limits of the said State." Act of June 15, 1836, c. 99, � 5 Star. 49, 50. And again, by a condition, that the State should "never interfere with the primary disposal of the soil within the same by the Uni- ted States." Act of June 23, 1836, c. 121. Fi/th. 5 Stat. 59, 60. The islands are little more than rocks rising very slightly above the level of the Water, and contain respectively a small fraction of an acre and a little more than an acre. They were unsurveyed and of no apparent value. We cannot think that these provisions excepted such islands from the admitted transfer to the State of the bed of the streams surrounding them. If they did not, then, whether the title remains in the State or passed to the defendant with the land conveyed by the patent, the bill must fail. The bed of the river could not be conveyed by the patent of the United States alone, but, if such is the law of the State, the bed will pa to the patentee by the help of that law, un- less there is some special reason to the contrary to be found. in cazes like Illino Central Ra{lroad Co. v. Illinois, 146 U.S. 387. This view is well established. Grawl Rapid & Ind{ana U.S. 508, 519; The right of the State to grant lands covered by tide waters or navigable lakez and the qualifications, as