Sivut kuvina

Opinion of the Court.

the bonds. The city had offered to sell, but it had not agreed to buy. It could have stopped with the receipt of the $100,000 of bonds, and left the city to do what it pleased with the stock.

There is, therefore, not presented the case of an ignoring of the fact or terms of a subscription. Everything authorized by the vote of the people was done, and fully done, and whatever wrong may have been committed by the city council in its proffer of sale and subsequent sale of the stock could not vitiate the bonds after they had passed into the hands of a bona fide holder.

But, further: The bonds on their face show that they were issued in payment of stock in the railroad company, and recite that they were issued in pursuance of an ordinance of the city council, and authorized by a vote of the citizens, and in accordance with the laws of the State ; and they were duly registered by the auditor of the State, and his certificate of registry was endorsed on the back. It is true that the recitals do not show when the ordinance was passed, or the election held, and do not refer by title or otherwise to the particular statute granting the authority, and the bonds were dated and issued after the constitution of 1870 had come into force. It is also true that the certificate of registry is not conclusive that the bonds were issued in full compliance with the terms and conditions of a subscription. German Savings Bank v. Franklin County, 128 U. S. 526, 540.

But surely these recitals and this certificate have significance. It is unnecessary to affirm that the certificates are so “clear and unambiguous,” School District v. Stone, 106 U. S. 183, 187, as to estop the city from showing that the bonds were issued in violation or without authority of law, or that they, in conjunction with the certificate, foreclose all possible defences. But when the law of the State provides for registry of municipal bonds and a certificate thereof, such certificate should be held as sufficient evidence to a purchaser of the existence of those facts upon which alone bonds can be registered. If the plaintiff in this case, not resting upon the mere terms of the certificate, had examined the records of the

Opinion of the Court.


auditor's office, he would have found there the certificate, under oath, of the mayor of the city, of the election, its date, and facts necessary to warrant the issue of the bonds, such officer being the one named in the statute as the one to furnish to the auditor the evidence necessary to justify the registry. Can it be that a purchaser, with this evidence before him, is not protected by the statement upon the face of the bonds that they were issued in payment of a subscription ? Is it his duty to examine all the proceedings, to see whether that which was a subscription in the first instance, was called a subscription all the way through, and was named as a subscription in the bonds, had not been transformed by some action of the city council into a donation? It will be borne in mind that it is not a matter of law, but of fact, in respect to which an estoppel is urged against the city by virtue of the recitals and the fact of registry. But it is unnecessary to pursue this line of thought further. We are of opinion that the bonds were properly held valid in the hands of a bona fide holder.

It is finally objected that the court erred in allowing interest on the coupons. They were made payable in New York, and as such drew interest according to the laws of New York. Pana v. Bowler, 107 U. S. 529, 546; Walnut v. Wade, 103 U. S. 683, 696. Counsel, not questioning the fact that such have been the frequent rulings, insists that in this case, as found by the court, the bonds were issued under the law of 1849; that that does not authorize specifically the issue of bonds payable outside of the State; that in People v. Tazewell County, 22 Illinois, 147, it was decided that "counties and municipal corporations, unless specially authorized by legislative enactment, have no power to make their indebtedness payable at any other place than at their treasury,” a decision reaffirmed in Johnson v. County of Stark, 24 Illinois, 75, 91, and adhered to in Sherlock v. Winnetka, 68 Illinois, 530.

We do not understand the findings of the court in the manner claimed. The finding is simply that the bonds are of the denomination of $1000 each, as authorized under and by the law of 1849, and not of the denomination of $500 each, as required by the charter of the railroad company. But there

Opinion of the Court

is nothing in the nature of things preventing the city from exercising all the powers conferred by two or more acts, where the acts do not involve in and of themselves substantial contradictions. It is not a vital matter whether the bonds should be of $500 or $1000 each; and as the charter of the railroad company expressly authorized the issue of bonds payable in the city of New York, we see no reason why such stipulation could not be incorporated into a bond of the denomination of $1000, and the certificate of the mayor to the auditor is that the bonds were issued under the authority of both acts. Knox County v. Ninth National Bank, 147 U. S. 91. Indeed, counsel refers to the law of 1857, (Public Laws of Illinois, 1857, p. 38,) which provides that “where any contract or loan shall be made in this State

it shall and may be lawful to make the amount of principal and interest of such contract or loan payable in any other State or Territory of the United States.” If that statute is applicable, then of course it is

” immaterial whether the bonds were issued under the general railroad law, or the act incorporating the railroad company. But it is unnecessary to consider this question at length. The settled rule in Illinois is, that coupons draw interest after maturity. Harper v. Ely, 70 Illinois, 581, 586; Humphreys V. Morton, 100 Illinois, 592; Drury v. Wolfe, 134 Illinois, 294, 297; United States Mortgage Co. v. Sperry, 138 U. S. 313, 340.

These are the only matters that we deem essential to consider. We see no error in the conclusions reached, and the judgment is, therefore,


MR. JUSTICE GRAY did not hear the argument and takes no part in the decision of this case.

Names of Counsel.




No. 207. Argued April 12, 13, 1893. – Decided April 24, 1893.

A steam vessel, the N., backed out from her slip in Jersey City, towards the

middle of the Hudson River between Jersey City and New York, preparatory to turning down to go to sea. Another steam vessel, the S., was going down, above the N., and nearer the New York shore, on her way to sea.

It was customary and necessary for the N. to back out of her slip to about the middle of the river. The S. knew of such practice of the N. When the N. had reached the middle of the river she stopped her engines and the S. assumed she would go ahead, and herself proceeded without any material change of course, under slow speed, until she got near enough to observe that the N. was continuing to make sternway at considerable speed, and might bring herself in the path of the S. Then the S. stopped her engines, being about 1000 feet away from the N., and one minute after, upon observing that the N. still continued to make sternway at a speed which indicated danger of collision, put her engines at full speed astern and ported. The N., after stopping her engines, waited two minutes before putting her engines at half speed ahead, and two minutes more before putting her engines at full speed ahead. The vessels collided, the N. and the S. both of them making sternway at the

time; held, that the N. was in fault and the S. not in fault. The S. was justified in assuming that the N. would pursue her customary

course and took timely measures to avert a collision. The statutory ste ing and sailing rules had little application in the case

and it was rather one of “ special circumstances."


The case is stated in the opinion.

Mr. John E. Parsons, (with whom was Mr. Henry Galbraith, Ward on the brief,) for appellant.

Mr. Frank D. Sturges, (with whom was Mr. Edward L. Owen on the brief,) for appellee.

1 The docket title of this case is “ Harlich Nichels, Master of the Belgian Steamship • Noordland,' Appellant, vs. The British Steamship • Servia,' her engines, etc., the Cunard Steamship Company, Limited, Claimant.”

Opinion of the Court.

MR. JUSTICE BLATCHFORD delivered the opinion of the court.

This is a suit in admiralty, in rem, brought in February, 1886, in the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York, by Harlich Nichels, master of the Belgian steamship Noordland, of Antwerp, against the British steamship Servia, to recover damages resulting from a collision which took place January 30, 1886, between those two vessels, in the harbor of New York, in the Hudson River, between New York and Jersey City. Both were damaged and a cross-libel was filed by the Servia against the Noordland. The Noordland was backing out, stern foremost, from her berth in a slip in Jersey City, and the Servia had backed out from her slip in the city of New York, and was heading down the Hudson River above the Noordland. Both vessels were going to sea, and had lain in their slips bow in. The libel of the master of the Noordland charges fault in the Servia in that (1) she was not stopped when the Noordland could be easily seen from her; (2) she kept on until she was brought into dangerous proximity to the Noordland ; (3) instead of then keeping out of the way of the Noordland, she threw her head to starboard, and thus struck the Noordland on the starboard quarter.

The answer of the Servia charges negligence and fault on the part of the Noordland, in that (1) she did not have competent and vigilant lookouts properly stationed and faithfully attending to their duties; (2) her officers and crew were inattentive; (3) she continued under sternway, thus bringing her down to and upon the Servia, which was as close into the New York shore as it was prudent for her to go; (4) she did not stop her sternway, or start her engines ahead, until immediately before the collision, when it was too late to avoid it; (5) after she had stopped her engines, she wrongfully and improperly started them astern again, thus crowding down to and upon the Servia’s rightful course, notwithstanding she had plenty of room between her and New Jersey to have gone ahead, which she was bound to have done, and so have avoided the Servia.


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