Pennsylvania v. Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company (59 U.S. 421)

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Court Documents
Concurring Opinion
Daniel
Dissenting Opinion
McLean

United States Supreme Court

59 U.S. 421

Pennsylvania  v.  Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company

THIS case was one of original jurisdiction in this court, upon the equity side; and may be said to be a continuation of the suit between the same parties reported in 13 How. 518.

By turning to that case, the reader will perceive that at page 627, a day was given to the plaintiffs to move the court on the subject of the decree. It is now proposed to continue the narrative from that time.

The motion made by the complainant and the motion made by the defendants to dismiss the suit, need not be particularly stated.

In the summer of 1854, the bridge was blown down by a violent storm, and the company were preparing to rebuild it according to the original plan, when the next step in the history of the case was taken.

On the 26th day of June, 1854, in vacation of the supreme court, the State of Pennsylvania, by her attorney-general and her counsel, Edwin M. Stanton, pursuant to previous notice served on the Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company, appeared before the Honorable R. C. Grier, one of the justices of the supreme court of the United States, at chambers, and moved for an injunction as prayed for in a supplemental bill then exhibited. The substance and object of the bill is stated in the subjoined order.

On hearing the bill and affidavits, the following order was made and injunction granted.

'In the Supreme Court of the United States.

THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA }

v. }

THE WHEELING AND BELMONT BRIDGE COMPANY. }

In Equity.

Before the Honorable R. C. GRIER, one of the judges of the supreme court of the United States.

'Whereas, on the 26th day of June, 1854, at the United States court room in the city of Philadelphia, the State of Pennsylvania, by her attorney-general and counsel, exhibited before me, R. C. Grier, one of the justices of the supreme court of the United States, her bill of complaint in equity against the Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company, setting forth, among other things, that the said Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company is about to erect and construct a bridge over and across the eastern channel of the Ohio River at Wheeling, between Zane's Island and the main Virginia shore, at a less elevation than is prescribed by the decree of the supreme court of the United States heretofore rendered against said company on complaint of said State, whereby the navigation of the Ohio River by steamboats of the largest class will be obstructed, to the injury of the said State; and in the vacation of the supreme court the said complainant hath applied to me for an injunction as prayed for in said bill against the said Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company, and its president, managers, officers, engineers, agents, contractors, and servants, to enjoin them from erecting and constructing a bridge at the place aforesaid at a less elevation than is prescribed by the decree aforesaid, and from doing any act or thing to obstruct the navigation of the Ohio River, as prayed in said bill:'And reasonable notice of said application having been given unto the said Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company to appear before me, to resist said application, and the proofs and arguments of counsel being heard, it is considered and adjudged that an injunction, as prayed for in the said bill, be, and the same is hereby, allowed. And it is ordered that the writ of injunction of the United States of America be forthwith issued by the clerk of the supreme court of the United States, under the seal of the said court, against the said Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company, its president, managers, officers, engineers, agents, contractors, and servants, and all persons acting by their instigation, authority, or procurement, or otherwise, commanding and requiring them, and every of them, under the penalty of the law, that they do forthwith and absolutely desist and abstain from erecting and constructing, or causing to be erected or constructed, any bridge, structure, or device, in, over, or across the eastern channel of the Ohio River, at Wheeling, between Zane's Island and the main Virginia shore, at a less elevation than is prescribed by the decree aforesaid of the supreme court of the United States against said bridge company, entered at the adjourned term in May, 1852, and from stretching, suspending, or placing or causing to be stretched, suspended, or placed, any iron cables, ropes, wires, or chains, or any timber, structure, material, or thing whatsoever, in over, or across the said channel, at a less elevation than is prescribed by the decree aforesaid, and from keeping and maintaining any cable, rope, wire, chain, timber, or thing whatsoever, suspended in, over, or across the said channel, at a less elevation than is prescribed by the decree aforesaid, and from doing, or causing to be done, any act or thing to obstruct the free navigation of said channel of the Ohio River.'

'It is ordered that the marshal of the District of Columbia do forthwith serve said writ.'

And the clerk of the supreme court of the United States is directed to file the bill of complainant on which the aforesaid application and allowance are made, and enter this order and issue the writ of injunction above allowed; and also, that he issue the writ of subpoena in chancery, to be served by said marshal, requiring said Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company to appear, plead, answer, or demur to said bill within ninety days from the service of said writ.

Given under my hand, at Philadelphia, this 26th day of June, 1854.

R. C. GRIER, Associate Justice Sup. Court U.S.

Notes[edit]

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).