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He did defeat it by the information with which he was clandestinely provided.
It was at Harrisburgh that this attorney inadvertently made the admission that he had been closeted with the commissioner, and aided him in the preparation of his report.
Permit me, sir, to express the hope that the committee will thoroughly go into this investigation. The trial was marked by gross corruption, which ought to be exposed and punished.
I write to you in your official capacity, intending my letter to be used as you may judge to be proper. With great respect, your obedient servant,
M. H. HOUSTON. Hon. FREDERICK P. STANTON,
Chairman of the Judiciary Conmittee.
To the Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company:
You are hereby notified, that on Saturday, the 24th day of June, 1854, at the hour of 10 o'clock, a. m., or as soon thereafter as counsel can be heard, application will be made on behalf of the State of Pennsylvania, before the Hon. R. C. Grier, one of the judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, at the United States court room, in the city of Philadelphia, for a writ of injunction to restrain the Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company, its president, managers, officers, engineers, agents, contractors, and servants, from erecting, constructing, or causing to be erected and constructed, any bridge, structure, or device, 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 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, wires, ropes, or chains, or any timber, structure, materials, or thing whatsoever, in, over, or across the said channel, at a less elevation than is prescribed by the said decree; and from keeping and maintaining, or causing to be kept and maintained, any cables, ropes, wires, chains, timber, or anything whatsoever, 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 Obio river, as prayed for in the bill of complaint in equity of the State of Pennsylvania against the said Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company, to be exhibited and filed in the Supreme Court of the United States, a copy whereof is hereto attached, and upon the grounds therein stated.
F. W. HUGHES,
Allorney General of Pennsylvanu. Served at Wheeling, June 19, 1854.
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES.
THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA
THE WHEELING AND BELMONT BRIDGE COMPANY.
To the honorable Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States :
The State of Pennsylvania complaining by her attorney general, Francis W. Hughes, against the Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company, a citizen of the State of Virginia, to wit: a corporation created by the State of Virginia, and transacting its business therein, and having its principal office and place of business within that State, represents in this, her bill of complaint:
I. That on or about the seventh day of September, 1849, pursuant to an order of the Hon. R. C. Grier, an associate justice of said court, at chambers, dated August 30th, 1849, she filed in this court her original and supplemental bill of complaint against the Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company, William Ottison and George Crofts, and the answer of said defendants to said bills, with the exhibits and
papers mentioned in said order, the record of which bills, answers and exhibits remaining in this court of record there, complainant refers to, and prays they may be taken as part of this bill. And that afterwards, to wit: on or about the twelfth of November, 1849, sbe filed in said court against said defendants her second supplemental bill, to which, remaining on record in said court, complainant refers and makes part of this bill.
II. The said defendants appeared and answered said original and supplemental bills, to the record of which answers, remaining in this court, complainant refers and prays they may be taken as part of this bill.
III. That upon said bills and answers such proceedings were afterwards had by this court, that at the adjourned term in May, 1852, your honors were pleased to order and decree as follows:
“This cause having been heard in February last, and the opinion of the court pronounced, on the suggestion of the defendants' counsel, a reference on certain points was made to William J. M'Alpine, whose report having been made and arguments had from the counsel on both sides at the adjourned term in May, 1852, the cause stands for a final decree on the original bill, the amendments thereto, the answers of respondents, and replications to said answers; and on the proofs of the cause, together with the report of the commissioner appointed by this court to examine the premises, and on the exceptions to said report, when it appeared—that the respondents, in the year 1849, had erected a suspension bridge, supported by iron wire cables, across that portion of the river Ohio lying between the city of Wheeling and Zane's island, by virtue of a charter granted by the commonwealth of Virginia, the span of said bridge being over one thousand feet long; and it also appeared, that across the other channel of the river west of Zane's island, there is a truss bridge so constructed as altogether to prevent the passage of steamboats through that channel, which bridge is owned and maintained by the defendants. And it further appeared, that the sus
pension bridge over the channel of the river east of the island is so near the flow of the water in its ordinary stages, as seriously to hinder and obstruct the largest class of steamboats from passing and repassing under said bridge in going to and returning from the port of Piitsburg, in the State of Pennsylvania ; that large and expensive public improvements made by and the property of that State, consisting of canals connecting railroads, turnpike roads, and slackwater navigation in said State, constructed years before the said suspension bridge was erected, all of which improvements terminate at Pittsburg, on the Ohio river, and extend throughout the State of Pennsylvania, to the east and north, connecting the city of Philadelphia, in the said State, and Lake Erie with the Ohio river. That a large commerce for several years has been and now is carried on over these public works of internal improvement, on which Pennsylvania levies reasonable tolls to maintain said works, and to compensate her for their erection. That said bridge imposes serious obstructions to the largest class of vessels propelled by steam, and which bring freight and passengers from below said bridge, and which freight and passengers are intended to pass east and north over the canals and railroads of Pennsylvania, or to be conveyed down the Ohio river, having been transported on the public works of Pennsylvania, a portion of which commerce has been hindered and prevented, and hereafter must be hindered and prevented from passing over the public works of that State, because of obstructions to navigalion interposed by said bridge.
“ That the said Ohio river is a navigable stream, the navigation whereof, by law, is free to all citizens of the United States, and ought to remain unobstructed. And the said suspension bridge not only obstructs and hinders navigation on said river, but by means of such obstructions does occasion a special damage to the said State of Pennsylvania, as aforesaid, for which there is not a plain and adequate remedy at law, but on the contrary thereof, such injury is irreparable by an action or actions, at common law.
“It is therefore decreed and adjudged that said suspension bridge iş an obstruction and nuisance, and that the complainant has a just and legal right to have the navigation of said river made free, either by the abatement or elevation of the bridge, so that it will cease to be an obstruction in ordinary stages of high water, to the largest class of steam vessels now navigating the Ohio river, and which alteration is hereby declared to be an elevation of said suspension bridge to the height of one hundred and eleven feet, at least, in its undermost parts, above the low water mark, by the Wheeling guage of the Ohio's water; and that the height of one hundred and eleven feet shall be maintained 10 the extent of three hundred feet on a level headway over the channel of the said river; and that from the respective ends of said headway of three hundred feet, to the abutments of each end of the bridge, the descent shall not exceed at the rate of four feet fall to every hundred feet of extension on the line of the bridge; and that the same shall be removed by respondents, or altered as above stated, on or before the tirst day of February, 1853."
“Since the above decree was drawn, certain propositions having been made by the defendants 10 open an unstructed navigation for
boats of the largest class which ply to Pittsburgh, through the western channel of the river, as is more particularly stated in the last opinion of the court in this case, which may avoid the obstructions by reason of the bridge complained of by the plaintiffs; and as time has been given to the first Monday of February next, for the defendants, should they deem proper, to carry out their propositions, by removing all obstructions in the western channel, on which day the plaintiff may move the court on the subject of the decree, and of the proposed alterations in the western channel, which being before the court, will enable them to act in the premises as the law and the equity of the case may require."
“The court order the costs to be paid by defendants." To the record of the proceedings, and decree aforesaid, remaining in this court, the complainant refers, and prays they may be taken as part of this bill.
IV. And your complainant further represents, that although the first day of February, 1853, hath long since elapsed, yet the said Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company did not make the navigation of the Ohio river free, either by the abatement or elevation of the said bridge, so that it would cease to be an obstruction in ordinary stages of high water, to the largest class of steam vessels then navigating the Ohio river.
V. That they did not elevate their said suspension bridge to the height of one hundred and eleven feet, at least, in its undermost parts, above the low water mark, by the Wheeling guage of the Ohio waters, and maintain the said height to the extent of three hundred feet on a level headway over the channel of said river, and so that from the respective ends of said headway of three hundred feet to the abutments of each end of the bridge, the descent shall not exceed at the rate of four feet fall to every hundred feet extension on the line of the bridge.
VI. That the said defendants did not remove nor alter their said suspension bridge as directed and required by the said decree, nor in any manner obey, observe, or comply with said decree.
VII. That until the seventeenth day of May, 1854, said suspension bridge remained and continued at the same elevation that it was at the time of the entry and rendition of said decree, being an obstruction and nuisance to the navigation of the Ohio river, in manner and form as was adjudged and declared by said decree.
VIII. That although the said defendants, before the rendition of said decree, offered and proposed to open an unobstructed navigation for boats of the largest class which ply to Pittsburg through the western channel of said river, they did not nor would open an unobstructed navigation for boats of the largest class which ply at Pittsburg through the western channel of the river, nor make any provision, change, or remedy to avoid the obstructions by reason of the said suspension bridge complained of in the said original and supplemental bills, but on the contrary thereof, the said western channel hath remained, and now is, closed and obstructed in the same manner as it was at the time of the rendition of said decree.
IX. That the navigation of the Ohio river after the entry of said decree was obstructed by the obstruction and nuisance made, created, and kept up by these cietendants, with their said suspension bridge, in manner and form as declared and adjudged by said decree, said ob
struction and nuisance having been continued and kept up by said defendants until abated accidentally, as hereinafter mentioned, over and across said river, without change, alteration, or remedy.
X. And the said Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company pretend and give out in speeches thal, after the rendition of said decree, under and by virtue of some pretended act of Congress or other authority, the right and authority was conferred upon them to keep and maintain their said suspension bridge over and across the Ohio river as it was at the time of said decree, and that the same was a lawful structure at the elevation and in the position it was at the time of said decree; and that the officers and crews of all boats and vessels navigating the Ohio river are required by law to regulate the use of their vessels,
and boats, and pipes, and chimneys belonging thereto, so as not to interfere with the elevation and construction of said bridge.
XI. But your complainant charges that no such right or authority has been or could be conferred upon the defendants by any act of Congress; and that if there be any such act of Congress, as claimed by said defendants, that the same is wholly inoperative and void against your complainant.
XII. That such act of Congress would give by a regulation of commerce a preference to the ports of the State of Virginia over the ports of the State of Pennsylvania upon the said river.
That it would impose an onerous tax and duty upon vessels navigating the Ohio river to and from the ports of Pennsylvania.
That it would lay a tax and duty upon articles exported from the State of Pennsylvania.
That vessels bound to and from the State of Pennsylvania would be thereby obliged to enter and pay duties in the State of Virginia. And such act of Congress, if any there be, is contrary to the Constitution of the United States, and void.
XIII. And complainant further avers and charges that said act of Congress, if any there be, is contrary to the compact of 1789, between the States of Virginia and Kentucky, to which the State of Pennsylvania, with all the other States of the Union, by act of Congress passed the 4th day of February, 1791, did become a party, and entitled to the benefit thereof. By which said compact it was agreed and stipulated between the States that the use and navigation of the river Ohio should be free and common to the citizens of the United States. Wherefore the said act of Congress, claimed and set up by the defendants as their authority, being in violation of said compact, is void.
xiv. And the said defendants, insisting upon their right to keep and maintain the said adjudged nuisance and obstruction of their said suspension bridge over and across the Ohio river at Wheeling, as it was at the time of said decree of this court aforesaid, without change, alteration, or remedy, failed, neglected, and refused to perform and comply with the decree aforesaid of this court, or to abate, remove, or alter ihe said bridge, as ordered and required by this court, or to open an unobstructed navigation for boats of the largest class which plied to Pittsburg at the date of said decree through the western channel of the said river, as proposed by said defendants.
XV. And your complainant further represents, that on the 17th day