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be loaned to any city, county, or town in the State, or on notes, with a pledge of any of those securities as collateral. (General Statutes, c. 57, SS 141, 142.)
"Most of the questions involved were very carefully considered in the case. The Society of Savings v. Corte was argued at the present term, and received the conclusive determination of the court. Extended argument in support of the judgment is unnecessary, as we are entirely satisfied with our conclusions, and with the reasons assigned therefor at the time the judgment was rendered.
“ Taxation in that State is regulated to a certain extent by the Constitution of the State, adopted in 1780, and which is still in force, and in that respect without alteration. Full power and authority are therein given to the legislature, to impose and levy proportional and reasonable assessments, rates, and taxes upon all the inhabitants of, and persons resident, and estates lying within, the said Commonwealth, and also to impose and levy reasonable duties and excises upon any produce, goods, wares, merchandise, and commodities whatsoever, brought into, produced, manufactured, or being within the same.' The first judicial exposition of that clause was given in the year 1815, in a case which was fully considered, and of much importance, and which remains unquestioned to the present time. (Portland Bank v. Apthorp, 12 Mass. 252.) Incorporated banks were required by the act of the legislature, passed June 23, 1812, to pay annually to the Treasurer of the State, for the use of the same, a tax of one half of one per cent on the amount of the original stock issued to the stockholders. (4 Mass. Laws, 317.) Due assessment of the tax was made, and the bank failing to pay the amount, it was collected by warrant of distress, and the bank instituted an action of trespass against the Treasurer of the State who issued the warrant.
“Several objections were taken to the assessment, which it becomes important to notice :
“1. That the tax was illegal, because it was not equal and proportional, as required by the Constitution.
“2. That the bank could not be made liable to the tax, because their charter was granted long before the statute imposing the tax was passed.
“3. That the legislature could not select any specific property as the subject of taxation, and assess the owner for it separately and distinctly from his equal and proportional share of such taxes as was required of all other inhabitants.
“The views of the court were, however, that the law was perfectly consistent with the Constitution, with the rights of the complaining corporation, and with the practice of the State under the Constitution, from the time of its adoption. Although such was the unanimous conclusion of the court in the case, still they all distinctly held that, under the first branch of the power conferred, the requisition upon the bank could not be justified, because the condition annexed to the power to impose and levy assessments, rates, and taxes, as given in the Constitution, is, that the taxes shall be proportional' upon all the inhabitants of, persons resident, and estates lying within, the Commonwealth ;' that the due exercise of that power requires an estimate or valuation of all the property in the State, and that the assessment upon each individual shall be according to his proportion of that property.
“The express determination of the court was, that the legislature could not select any company or individual, or any specific article of property, and assess them by themselves, as that would be a violation of that provision of the Constitution which requires that the taxes shall be proportioned. They also held, that the object of the charter was to enable the corporation to conduct their business as an individual, to make contracts and enforce them as such, avoiding the inconvenience of a copartnership; that inasmuch as there was no express waiver in the charter of the power to impose a duty or exercise it, it could not be held that the legislature had relinquished
the other side of the question, and shows by the case of Veazie v. Moor, 14 Hon. 573, that where a railroad is exclusively within the State, Congress has no control whatever over it. He further discusses, at some length, the more extensive question of the power of Congress to create a railroad corporation.
SUPREME COURT. ILLEGAL CONTRACT. - Patton v. Gilmer et al. This action was brought by the Governor, on a bond given to the State to secure the execution of a contract on the part of the “Arms Manufacturing Company," which was made by the company and the State during the war, and by which the company undertook, in consideration of an advance of State bonds to the amount of $250,000, to construct an armory, and to repay the bonds in firearms and munitions of war, to be manufactured by it; and, in case it failed to do so, the value of the bonds, or any deficiency of payment in the manner aforesaid, was to be paid to the State. The contract was authorized by the legislature. The company never furnished any arms or munitions of war; but did commence operations under the contract, and afterwards abandoned it.
The defence was, that the contract was against public policy, and that, as the State had repudiated its bonds, there was a failure of consideration.
The court, Byrd, J., held the act of the government of Alabama to be in violation of the Constitution of the United States, and the judgment for the defendants in the court below was therefore affirmed.
This decision, given at the June term of the court, seems to be one of the last official acts of Mr. Justice Byrd; for on July 18th he issued a protest to the people of Alabama against the intrusion of Messrs. Peck, Peters, and Saffold into the office of judges of the Supreme Court. “ In the face of bayonets," he says, “you and I are alike without remedy, and we must submit to military power."
CONNECTICUT. The case of Flint v. Norwich & N.Y. Transportation Co., mentioned ante, 2 Am. Law Rev. p. 569, was tried again at the April term of the U.S. Circuit Court, in June last. Shipman, J., gave the jury a similar charge to that given on the former trial, and they returned a verdict for the plaintiff, for $10,000 damages A motion for a new trial, for a misdirection, &c., was filed, and is now pending.
The General Assembly, at their late session, elected Hon. William T. Minor, of Stamford, a judge of the Superior Court, in the place of Hon. Gideon Hall, deceased.
DISTRICT COURT. EQUITY POWERS OF TERRITORIAL DISTRICT AND CIRCUIT Courts. The case of Stacy v. Abbott, in the Third Judicial District, raises the question, whether the district courts of the territory can exercise equitable jurisdiction under the laws of the territory, or whether such jurisdiction is confined to the circuit and district courts of the United States, under the Constitution and