101 U.S. 433 (1880), State Of South Carolina v. Gaillard

Citation:101 U.S. 433, 25 L.Ed. 937
Party Name:SOUTH CAROLINA v. GAILLARD.
Case Date:March 22, 1880
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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101 U.S. 433 (1880)

25 L.Ed. 937

SOUTH CAROLINA

v.

GAILLARD.

United States Supreme Court.

March 22, 1880

OPINION

ERROR to the Supreme Court of the State of South Carolina.

The facts of this case are as follows:----

In December, 1812, the State of South Carolina established a bank in the name and for the benefit of the State, and pledged the faith of the State to supply any deficiency in the funds specially set apart as its capital, and to make good any losses arising from such deficiency. The bank was authorized to issue notes and bills for circulation, and by sect. 16 it was provided 'that the bills or notes of the said corporation originally made payable, or which have become payable on demand in gold and silver coin, shall be receivable at the treasury of this State, either at Charleston or Columbia, and by all tax collectors, and other public officers in payment of taxes and other moneys due the State.' The original charter was extended from time to time, and the bank continued in successful operation until the late civil war. At the close of the war it stopped business, and in 1868 the charter was repealed and provision made for winding up its affairs. Under the operation of this law a large amount of the circulating notes was surrendered to the State and bonds of the State taken in exchange therefor. The time for presenting bills to be exchanged expired Jan. 1, 1869, and only such bills as were issued prior to Dec. 20, 1860, the date of the adoption of the ordinance of secession by South Carolina, could be presented at all. A considerable amount of bills issued before the repeal of the charter are still outstanding.

When the charter was granted mandamus was an existing remedy in the State for compelling public officers to perform

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their public duties, and in that way, under the practice which prevailed in the courts, tax collectors could have been required to receive the bills of the bank in payment of taxes.

On the 9th of June, 1877, the General Assembly of South Carolina passed an act entitled 'An Act to provide the mode of proving bills of the bank of the State tendered for taxes, and the rules of evidence applicable thereto.' Sect. 1 of that act is as follows:----

'Be it enacted, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, now met and setting in general assembly, and by the authority of the same, that the treasurers of the several counties in the State shall not receive in payment of taxes of the State any bills of the corporation known as the President and Directors of the Bank of the State of South Carolina, which are not genuine and valid, or the payment of which is prohibited by the Constitution of the State and of the United States, or which have been funded by the State and since fraudulently uttered. And all bills of said corporation which shall be tendered in payment of any taxes, and shall not be received as payment, shall be enclosed in a package, sealed and signed by the party tendering the said bills, and by the treasurer to whom said tender is made; and said package shall be deposited by the treasurer with the clerk of the court of common pleas for the county, who shall give duplicate certificates of said deposit, one to the party tendering said bills, and the other to the treasurer, to abide the decision of the court in any proceedings which may be instituted in regard to said bills; and that in all proceedings by mandamus or otherwise to compel the reception of bills of the said corporation as a legal tener for taxes to the State and refused, an issue shall be framed under the direction of the judge, and at a regular term of the court of common pleas for the county wherein said bills are tendered shall be submitted to a jury to inquire and determine by their verdict if the bills so tendered in payment for taxes are genuine and valid bills of the said corporation, and have not been funded by the State and since fraudulently uttered, and are bills the payment of which is not prohibited by the Constitution of the State and of the United States. And upon the trial of said issue the burden of proof shall be upon the person tendering said bills to establish that the said bills are the genuine and valid bills of the said corporation, and have not been funded by the State and since fraudulently uttered, and that said bills are bills the payment of which is not prohibited

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by the Constitution of the State and of the United States; and if the jury shall by their verdict establish...

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