82 U.S. 146 (1873), Marshall v. City Of Vicksburg

Citation:82 U.S. 146, 21 L.Ed. 121
Case Date:January 27, 1873
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 146

82 U.S. 146 (1873)

21 L.Ed. 121




United States Supreme Court.

January 27, 1873


APPEAL from the Circuit Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, on a decree given by that court on a bill filed by Charles Marshall against the city of Vicksburg. The facts of the case can be gathered from different parts of the opinion given below.


Page 147

Messrs. P. Phillips and R. M. Corwine, for the appellant; Messrs. J. M. Carlisle and J. D. McPherson, contra.

Mr. Justice SWAYNE delivered the opinion of the court.

On the 21st of November, 1851, the parties mutually executed an indenture, whereby Marshall conveyed to the city certain real estate therein described, and the city released to him certain other real estate also therein described. The premises conveyed to the city, embraced the city landing for steamers and other water-craft on the Mississippi River. It was stipulated that Marshall should receive all the wharfages and rents accruing from the premises conveyed by him from the date of the instrument, and for the term of ten years, to commence three months after the removal of a wharf-boat known as the 'Governor Jones.'

The wharfages collected from steamers were to be according to the rates specified in a lease from Marshall to Thomas Porterfield, and those from all other water-craft were to be such as should be fixed by the mayor and council of the city. The latter were not to be less than was then customary.

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The city reserved the right to levy such tax on goods, wares, and merchandise coming to the landing as the mayor and council might deem proper. The indenture contained also the following clauses, which lie at the foundation of this litigation, and must control the rights of the parties:

'It is expressly agreed by the parties hereto, that if the right to collect wharfage be suspended for any period by the intervention of third parties, the time of such suspension shall be added to the said term of ten years, it being the intention of these parties that the said Marshall, his representatives, and assigns, shall actually receive the rents and wharfages accruing in ten years altogether, and no more.

'And in case the right to collect wharfage or rents shall be interrupted or defeated permanently, through the instrumentality or with the aid of the said mayor and council of the city of Vicksburg, all the property above conveyed by said...

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