Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 4.djvu/755

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

TWEN'.l.‘Y-THIRD CONGRESS. Sess. I. Ch. 126. 1834. 709 of New Jersey, for the purpose of agreeing upon and settling the jurisdiction and territorial limits of the two states, have executed ccitain articles, which are contained in the words following, viz : Agreement made and entered into by and between Benjamin F. Butler, Articles of Peter Augustus Jay and Henry Seymour, commissioners duly appointed °8’°°¤¤°¤*· on the part and behalf of the state of New York, in pursuance of an act of the legislature of the said state, entitled "An act concerning the territorial limits and jurisdiction of the state of New York and the state of New Jersey, passed January 18th, 1833, of the one part; and Theodore Frehnghuysen, James Parker, and Lucius Q. C. Elmer, commissioners duly appointed on the part and behalf of the state of New Jersey, in pursuance of an act of the legislature of the said state, entitled “An act for the settlement of the territorial limits and jurisdiction between the states of New Jersey and New York," passed February 6th, 1833, oi" the other part- Anrrcnn Fmsw. The boundary line between the two states of New York and New Jersey, from a point in the middle of Hudson river, opposite the point on the west shore thereof, in the forty-first degree of north latitude, as heretofore ascertained and marked, to the main sea, shall be the middle of the said river, of the Bay of New York, of the waters between Staten Island and New Jersey, and of Raritan Bay, to the main sea; except as hereinafter otherwise particularly mentioned. ARTICLE Sncouo. The state of NewYork shall retain its present jurisdiction of and over Bedlow’s and Ellis’s islands; and shall also retain exclusive jurisdiction of and over the other islands lying in the waters above mentioned and now under the jurisdiction of that state. ARTICLE Tumi). The state of New York shall have and enjoy exclusive jurisdiction of and over all the waters of the bay of New York ; and of and over all the waters of Hudson riverlying west of Manhattan Island pact, claimed the right to the soil, as well as the jurisdiction over the territory, andhaving grantedlauds in the same. The compact of 1820 was confirmed by Congress. The defendants in the ejectment claimed the lands under titles emanating from the state of North Carolina, in 1786, 1794, 1795; before the formation of the state of Tennessee; and grants from the state of Tennessee, in 1809, 1811, 1812, 1814, in which the lands claimed by the defendants were situated, according to the boundary of the state of Tennessee , declared and established at a time when the state of Tennessee became one of the states of the United States. The circuit court instructed the jury that the state of Tennessee, by sanctioning the compact, admitted, in the most solemn Form, that the lands in dispute were not within herjurisdiction, nor within the jurisdiction of North Carolina, at the time they were granted; and that, consequently, the titles are subjectto the compact: Held, by the Supreme Court, that the instructions of the circuit court were entirely correct. Poole v. Fleeger, ll Peters, 185. The seventh article of the compact between Virginia and Kentucky declares " all private rights and interests of lands within the said district (Kentucky,) derived from the laws of Virginia, prior to such separation, shall remain valid and secure under the laws of the proposed state, and shall be determined by the laws now existing in this state (Virginia)." Whatever course of legislation, by Kentucky, would be sanctioned by the principles and practice of Virginia, should be regarded as an unaffected compliance with the compact. Such are all reasonable quieting statutes. Hawkins v. Barney’s Lessee, 5 Peters, 457. From as early a date as the year 1705, Virginia has never been without an act of limitation; and no class oflaws is more universally sanctioned by the practice ofnations, and the consent ofmankind, than those laws which give peace and confidence to the actual possessor and tiller of the soil. Such laws have frequently passed in review before the Supreme Court; and occasions have occurred in which they have been particularly noticed, as laws not to be impeached on the ground of violating private rights. It is impossible to take any reasonable exception to the course of legislation pursued by Kentucky on. this subject. She has in fact literally complied with the compact in its most rigid construction. For she adopted the very statute of Virginia in the first instance, and literally gave her citizens the full benefit of twenty years to prosecute their suits, before she enacted the law now under consideration. As to the exceptions and provisoes, and savings in such statutes, they must necessarily be left, in all cases, to the wisdom or discretion of the legislative power. Ibid. _ It is not to be questioned, that laws limiting the time of bringing suits constitute a part of the lex for: of every country ; the laws for administering justice, one of the most sacred and important oil sovereign rights and duties, and a restriction upon which must materially affect both legislative and gudicml indopeudencc. It can scarcely be supposed that Kentucky would have consented to accept a limited and crippled sovereignty ; nor is it doing justice to Virginia to believe that she wou.ld_l1ave wished to reduce Kentucky to a state of vassalage. Yet it would be dillicult, ifthe literal and rigid construction necessary to exclude her from passing the limitation act were adopted, to assign her a position higher than that of a dependent on Virginia. Ibid. _ The limitation act of the state of Kentucky, commonly ltnown by the epithet of “ the seven years law," does not violate the compact bstwegi the state of Virginia and the state of Kentucky. Ibid. 3