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Treasury of the United States for patents and for fees for copies fur- into the Treasunished by the Superintendent of the Patent Office prior to the passage ry for patents, of the act to which this is additional, shall be carried to the credit of sece prior to pasthe patent fund created by said act; and the moneys constituting said which this is adfund shall be, and the same are hereby, appropriated for the payment ditional, to be of the salaries of the officers and clerks provided for by said act, and of patent fund all other expenses of the Patent Office, including all the expenditures created by said provided for by this act; and, also, for such other purposes as are or act; and said may be hereafter specially provided for by law. And the Commissioner ted for salaries. is hereby authorized to draw upon said fund, from time to time, for such &c. sums as shall be necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this act, Commissioner governed, however, by the several limitations herein contained. And draw upon it shall be his daty to lay before Congress, in the month of January, same, &c.; and annually, a detailed statement of the expenditures and payments by him lay before Conmade from said fund; And it shall also be his duty to lay before Con- gress annually gress, in the month of January, annually, a list of all patents which expenditures, shall have been granted during the preceding year, designating, under &c.; and, also,
a list of patents, proper heads, the subjects of such patents, and furnishing an alpha- &c. betical list of the patentees, with their places of residence; and he shall also furnish a list of all patents which shall have become public property during the same period; together with such other information of the state and condition of the Patent Office, as may be useful to Congress or to the public. APPROVED, March 3, 1837.
STATUTE II. Chap. XLVI.-An Act to provide for continuing the construction, and for the March 3, 1837.
repair of certain roads, and for other purposes, during the year eighteen hundred and thirty-seven.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the sum of one hundred Continuing the and ninety thousand dollars be, and the same is hereby, appropriated Cumberland for the purpose of continuing the Cumberland road in the state of Indiana, and 'IlOhio; That the sum of one hundred thousand dollars be, and the same linois. is hereby appropriated, for the purpose of continuing the Cumberland road in the State of Indiana; And the sum of one hundred thousand 1836, ch. 264. dollars be and the same is hereby appropriated for the purpose of continuing the Cumberland road in the State of Illinois; Provided, Proviso. That said road within the State of Illinois, shall not be stoned or gravelled, unless it can be done at a cost, not greater than the average cost, of stoning or gravelling said road, within the States of Ohio and Indiana; which sums shall be paid out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated; Provided, That in all cases where it can be Proviso. done, it shall be the duty of the superintending officers, to cause the work on said road to be laid off in sections, and let out to the lowest substantial bidder, after due notice.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the second section of an 2d section act act for the continuation of the Cumberland road in the States of Ohio, 20 July, 1836, Indiana and Illinois, approved the second day of July, eighteen hundred ch. 261, shall and thirty-six, shall not be applicable to expenditures hereafter to be cable, &c. made on said road.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the following sums be and the same are hereby appropriated, to be paid out of any money in the Treasury, not otherwise appropriated, to wit: For the repairs of the Repairs on the Cumberland road, east of the Ohio river, seven thousand one hundred road east of the and eighty-three dollars and sixty-three cents;
Ohio river. For continuing the construction of the road from the northern boun- Road from pordary of the Territory of Florida, by Marianna, to Appalachicola, of Florida to twenty thousand three hundred and thirteen dollars;
Expenses inci. For defraying the expenses incidental to making examinations and dental to ma surveys, under the act of the thirteenth of April, eighteen hundred and king examinations, &c., un
twenty-four, and for geological and mineralogical surveys and researches der act 30th in the Indian country, on the public lands, and in the territories of the April
, 1824, ch. United States, thirty thousand dollars ; 46, &c. Surveys of a
For surveys of a military character, and for the defences of the Atmilitary char lantic and western frontiers, fifteen thousand dollars. acter, &c.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the several sums hereby The sums hereby appro.
appropriated for the construction of the Cumberland road in the States priated for the of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, shall be replaced by said States respecCumberland tively, out of the fund reserved to each for laying out and making roads road in Ohio, Indiana, and
under the direction of Congress, by the several acts passed for the Illinois, to be admission of said States into the Union, on an equal footing with the replaced by said original States. States, &c.
APPROVED, March 3, 1837. STATUTE II. March 3, 1837. CHAP. XLIX.-An Act to grant the Atchafalaya Railroad and Banking Com
pany the right of way through the public lands of the United States.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United The right of States of America in Congress assembled, That there be, and is hereby way granted
granted to the Atchafalaya Railroad and Banking Company, a corporathrough such portions as the tion created by the Legislature of the State of Louisiana, the right of road shall pass. way through such portions of the public land as the road or roads of
said company is authorized by its charter to construct, shall pass : Proviso. Provided, That the portion of the public land occupied thereby shall
not exceed eighty feet in width. The route of Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the route of said road and said road to be its branches, shall, at the expense of the aforesaid company, be surveyed designated
and designated through the public lands by plain marks or monuments, through the and copies of the field-notes, with plat or plats of the lands, and a public lands, &c.
description of the said land-marks or monuments, and their connection with the previous official surveys of the adjacent lands, shall be returned to the office of the Surveyor General of the State of Louisiana, and to the General Land Office in Washington, within sixty days after the said surveys or plats are completed, and which shall be within one year
from the date of the passage of this act. Portions of the Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That for such depots, watering granted for de- places and workshops, as may be essential to the convenient use of said pots, &c.
road, there is also granted to said company such portion of the public
land as they may under like restrictions and conditions, select, on either Proviso. or each side of said road: Provided, That not more than four acres, to
be laid off in a square form, shall be selected for such use or purpose at any one place, and not more than one such square shall be granted for every ten miles of the said road or its branches, lying within the public lands; which selections shall be surveyed and returned in the manner aforesaid, and approved by the Secretary of the Treasury for
the time being. Permission to Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That so long as the public land use earth, stone, in the vicinity of said
road or its branches shall remain unsold, the said &c., granted.
company shall have permission to take therefrom such materials of earth, stone, or wood, as may be necessary for the construction of said
road. The grants
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the grants herein contained, contained here. as well the use of the public lands, as of the materials for the construcin shall cease, tion of said road and its branches, shall cease and determine and be of &c., unless said Toad be com
no effect, unless the said road be commenced and completed within the menced and periods fixed by the charter of the company; and if the said road shall completed with. be, at any time after its completion, or during the time of its construc
tion, discontinued or abandoned by said company, the grants and privi- in the periods leges hereby made and allowed shall cease and determine and be of no fixed by the effect.
charter, &c. APPROVED, March 3, 1837.
STATUTE II. CHAP. LI. — An Act further to amend the act incorporating the Chesapeake March 3, 1837.
and Ohio Canal Company.(a) Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that the act of the General 23, 1828, ch.85, Assembly of Virginia, entitled “An act further to amend the act incor- Act of General porating the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company," passed the twenty. Va., passed 27th seventh day of February, eighteen hundred and twenty-nine, be, and Teb., 1829, as
sented to. the same is hereby assented to and approved.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That if any person or persons Persons withshall, within the District of Columbia, wickedly, or maliciously, do in the D. C., injury to the Chesapeake and Ohio canal, its embankments, walls, moles, wickedly, &c., tow-paths, bridges, culverts, drains, or to any part necessary to the uses Chesapeake and purposes of said canal, he, she, or they, shall be liable to a fine of and Ohio canal, not less than five or more than fifty dollars, to be recovered before any ments, &c.; justice of the peace of the District of Columbia; and any such justice liable to fine, may, on his own view, or on application verified by affidavit
, to said &c. justice made, issue his warrant, describing the injury committed, and, upon conviction, the said justice shall have authority to commit the offender to close jail, without bail or mainprise, until said fine and costs be paid, or until said defendant be discharged by due course of law : Provided, however, That nothing in this act contained shall be so con- Proviso. strued as to prevent said canal company from recovering damages from any person or persons who may commit any of the trespasses aforesaid.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That all condemnations of land Condemnafor the use and purposes of said canal company, which have heretofore tions of land by peen made by the marshal of said District, or any lawful deputy mar- be c., &c. shal, shall be as valid as though the same had been situated in the State of Maryland, and had been condemned in pursuance of the laws of said State, through the action and agency of a sheriff of any of the counties of said State. APPROVED, March 3, 1837.
STATUTE II. Cap. LII.-An Act to authorize the New Orleans and Carrolton Railroad Com- March 3, 1837.
pany to construct a railroad from Carrolton to the town of Bayou Sara, in the State of Louisiana.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there be, and Right of way, is hereby, granted to the New Orleans and Carrolton Railroad Com- granted through 'pany, incorporated by the Legislature of Louisiana, the right of way public lands rethrough such portion of the public lands remaining unsold, for the ex- maining unsold. tension of their railroad from Carrolton to the town of Bayou Sara, in the said State: Provided, That the portion of the public lands occupied Proviso. therefor, shall not exceed eighty feet in breadth; that the route of the said road shall be designated, and marked on the ground by plain landmarks, within the period of eighteen months from the passage of this act, and a copy of the notes of survey and plat thereof, with a description of the said landmarks, be transmitted to the General Land Office, in Washington, within the period aforesaid.
Earth, stone, Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That so long as the public lands &c. may be in the vicinity of the said road shall remain unsold, the said company lands remain shall have power to take therefrom such materials of earth, stone, and unsold.
(a) See Appendix, No. 2.
wood, as may be necessary for the construction of the said road: ProProviso. vided, That the grants herein contained, as well of the use of the public
*lands as of the materials for the said road, shall cease and determine, unless the same shall be begun within the period of two years from the date of this act, and completed within a period of six years.
APPROVED, March 3, 1837. STATUTE II. March 3, 1837. Chap. LXXV.-An Act to give the approval and confirmation of Congress to three
several acts of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Wisconsin incorporating banks.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Acts confirmed United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following with certain limitations, &c.
acts of the Territorial Legislature of the Territory of Wisconsin, viz: an act entitled “ An act to incorporate the stockholders of the Bank of Milwaukee," an act entitled "An act to incorporate the stockholders of the Miners' Bank of Dubuque,” and an act entitled “ An act to incorporate the stockholders of the Bank of Mineral Point," be, and the same are hereby severally and respectively approved and confirmed by Congress, with the following limitations and conditions, that is to say: that neither of said banks shall issue bills or notes for circulation, until one-half of the amount of their respective capitals shall have been actually paid in; and that, to enable the directors named in the said charters respectively to comply with this limitation and restriction, they shall be authorized to make calls, according to the provisions contained in the said charters, to an amount not exceeding, at any one time, forty per cent. upon the whole stock subscribed by each stockholder, and shall not be restricted to ten per cent. at any one call, as is provided in the said charters; and that neither of said banks shall have any authority to enlarge or augment its capital, or to make it larger, at any time, than the sum of two hundred thousand dollars, without the consent and approbation of Congress previously obtained; and that neither of the said banks shall, at any time, owe, either by bond, bill, note, or other contract, over and above its actual deposites, an amount to exceed twice the amount of its capital stock actually paid in, instead of the limitation in this respect contained in the said charters respectively; and that each of the said banks shall have complied with all the requirements of their respective charters, as altered, modified, and restricted by this act, so as to enable them to commence the business of banking, and shall actually have commenced banking on or before the first day of January next, or their charters, or the charters of such of them as shall have failed to comply with this limitation, shall be void and of no effect; and the acceptance of said acts of incorporation, by the grantees or stockholders respectively, shall be deemed and taken as acceptances, subject to the conditions and limitations herein prescribed; and any infringement upon, or violation of the provisions and requirements of this act, or of the limitations and restrictions therein contained, on the part of either of the said institutions, shall forfeit its charter, and put an end to its corporate powers and privileges.
APPROVED, March 3, 1837.
RESOLUTIONS. March 2, 1837. No. 1. A Resolution to enable the Postmaster General more readily to change the
commencement of the contract year in the Post Office Department. Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled, That the Postmaster General Postmaster be, and he is hereby, authorized and empowered to let the contracts for General author- the transportation of the mails in those sections of the United States
where they expire on the thirty-first days of December, eighteen hun- ized to make dred and thirty-seven, eighteen hundred and thirty-eight, and eighteen contracts which hundred and thirty-nine, respectively, for four years and six months, so expire on 31st as to cause them to terminate on the thirtieth day of June, eighteen 1837, '8, and '9, hundred and forty-two, eighteen hundred and forty-three, and eighteen and terminate hundred and forty-four, to the end that the contract may commence on
1842, '3, and '4. the first day of July, instead of the first day of January.
APPROVED, March 2, 1837.
No.2. A Resolution granting a pension to Susan Decatur, widow of the late March 3, 1837.
Stephen Decatur.(a) Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Mrs. Susan Decatur, To be paid widow of the late Commodore Stephen Decatur, be paid from the navy from the navy pension fund a pension for five years, commencing from the thirtieth pension fund, a of June, eighteen hundred and thirty-four, in conformity with the pro- years, &c. visions of the act concerning naval pensions and the navy pension fund, Act of March passed thirtieth June eighteen hundred and thirty-four, and that she bé 3, 1837, ch. 36. allowed from said fund the arrearages of the half-pay of a post captain, from the death of Commodore Decatur to the thirtieth of June, eighteen hundred and thirty-four, together with the pension hereby allowed her, and that the arrearage of said pension be vested in the Secretary of the Treasury in trust for the use of the said Susan Decatur : Provided, Proviso. That the said pension shall cease on the death or marriage of the said Susan Decatur.
APPROVED, March 3, 1837.
(a) On the 3d of March, 1837, Congress passed an act giving to the widow of any officer who had died in the naval service of the United States, authority to receive, out of the navy pension fund, half the monthly pay to which the deceased officer would have been entitled under the acts regulating the pay in the navy, in force on the 1st day of January, 1835. On the same day, a resolution was adopted by Congress, giving to Mrs. Decatur, widow of Captain Stephen Decatur, a pension for five years, out of the navy pension fund, and in conformity with the act of 30th June, 1834, and the arrearages of the half-pay of a post captain, from the death of Commodore Decatur, to the 30th June, 1834 ; the arrearages to be vested in trust for her by the Secretary of the Treasury. The pension and arrearages, under the act of 3d March, 1837, were paid to Mrs. Decatur on her application to Mr. Dickerson, the Secretary of the Navy, under a protest by her, that by receiving the same she did not prejudice her claim under the resolution of the same date. She applied to the Secretary of the Navy for the pension and arrears, under the resolution, which were refused by him. Afterwards, she applied to Mr. Paulding, who succeeded Mr. Dickerson as Secretary of the Navy, for the pension and arrears, which were refused by him. The Circuit Court of the County of Washington, in the District of Columbia, refused to grant a mandamus to the Secretary of the Navy, commanding him to pay the arrears, and to allow the pension under the resolution of March 3d, 1837. Held, that the judgment of the Circuit Court was correct. Decatur v. Paulding, 14 Peters, 497.
In general, the official duties of the head of one of the executive departments, whether imposed by act of Congress or by resolution, are not mere ministerial duties. The head of an executive department of the government, in the administration of the various and important concerns of his office, is continually required to exercise judgment and discretion. He must exercise his judgment in expounding the laws and resolutions of Congress, under which he is from time to time required to act. If he doubts, he has a right to call on the Attorney General to assist him with his counsel; and it would be difficult to imagine why a legal adviser was provided by law for the heads of departments, as well as for the President, unless their duties were regarded as executive, in which judgment and discretion were to be exercised. Ibid.
If a suit should come before the Supreme Court which involved the construction of any of the laws imposing duties on the heads of the executive departments, the Court certainly would not be bound to adopt the construction given by the head of a department. And if they supposed his decision to be wrong, they would, of course, so pronounce their judgment. But the judgment of the Court upon the construction of a law, must be given in a case in which they have jurisdiction; and in which it is their duty to interpret the act of Congress, in order to ascertain the rights of the parties in the cause before them. The Court could not entertain an appeal from the decision of one of the Secretaries, nor revise his judgment in any case where the law authorized him to exercise his discretion or judgment. Nor can it, by mandamus, act directly upon the officer, or guide and control his judgment or discretion in the matters committed to his care, in the ordinary discharge of his official duties. The interference of the Court with the performance of the ordinary duties of the executive departments of the government would be productive of nothing but mischief; and this power was never intended to be given to them. Ibid.