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The riparious owner, can only claim an interest beyond the line of ordinary high water mark, by grant, or by prescription. It is not pretended that in this case any direct grant was made, but it is claimed as appurtenant to the grant. It has been shewn above, that such claim is inconsistent with the law, as received in Pennsylvania, and with the good policy of the state. The want of a direct grant, also destroys the claim under a prescriptive rightfor this right is predicated on a supposed grant, and the prescription, is only allowed to supply its loss. It must have been so long used, that the memory of man runneth not to the contrary. In a country, therefore, where all the titles have lately accrued, and all the grants are of recent date, a title by prescription or by custom cannot prevail. 2 Bin. 484. 1 Vent. 387.
From the preceding it appears, that the river Connemaugh, by the common law as received in Pennsylvania, is a navigable stream; and that by the same laws the riparious owner has no right beyond the line of high water mark; that the title to the soil, and the use of the water between these extremes, are retained in the commonwealth; and that the salt wells being situate in the bed of the river, within the lines of high water mark, as found by the jury, and within the limits of the river, when in its best. boatable condition, they remain the property of the commonwealth.
The only question remaining is, whether it is expedient for the commonwealth to grant the exclusive use of these wells to the. petitioners? It will be recollected, that by the late trial, the contest about the title has been ended, and that the undisputed possession of the wells is now held by the petitioners; that they has been sunk and works erected, at the expence of many thousand dollars, and that the interest of some of the present holders have been purchased at an enormous price. These facts, in connection with the important advantages which the public would derive from the extension of the establishment, indicate the propriety of affording every facility in the power of the commonwealth to so valuable a purpose. It is evident, that without the consent of the commonwealth, a further extension of the works is at the risque of the proprietors. The wells being in the bed of a navigable stream, and the water being conducted in tubes across under the water to the bank, and pumps, furnaces, and other buildings being there erected, at great expense; and as the navigation of the river is in nowise impeded, or interrupted, it seems proper, that some security should be afforded to enterprizing citizens so laudably employed.
The committee therefore submits the following resolution:Resolved, That a committee be appointed to bring in a bill, releasing the right of this commonwealth to two salt wells in the Connemaugh river, in Indiana county, about two miles above the point, in the possession of Samuel M. Reed and company, to the said Samuel M. Reed and co. in the proportions corresponding with their respective interests; and that they be authorized to conduct the water therefrom in tubes across the river, so as, that
the same shall not interfere with or interrupt the navigation of the stream, or the rights of other persons.
Said report was read the second time, and the resolution thereto attached, considered and adopted, and
Ordered, That the committee who reported be a committee for the purpose specified in said resolution.
Mr. G. Weaver from the committee to whom was referred on the 22d inst. the petition of the administrators of Cornelius Tyson, on leave given, reported a bill, entitled
An act authorizing the administrators of Israel Bringhurst to convey a certain tract of land, which was read the first time.
The Speaker laid before the Senate a letter from the Secretary of the Commonwealth, transmitting in compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 19th inst. a statement* of the number of militia, small arms, &c. within the bounds of those brigade inspectors who have made return to the adjutant general; and Said letter was read, and with the statement,
Ordered, To lie on the table.
The bill, entitled
A supplement to the act, entitled, an act to authorize the Governor to incorporate a company to make a lock navigation in the river Schuylkill,' was read the second time as reported by a committee of the whole yesterdsy, considered by section and agreed to.
Ordered, That said bill be transcribed for a third reading.
A motion was made by Mr. I. Weaver and Mr. Jarrett, and read as follows, to wit.
Resolved, That the clerk procure the following books for the use of Senate, viz.
One copy of the last edition of Brooks's Gazetteer; one copy of Labaumes Narrative; one copy of Alden's Collection.
Ordered, To lie on the table.
Agreeably to order,
The Senate resolved itself into a committee of the whole, Mr. Baily in the chair, on the bill, entitled
An act to annex part of Columbia and Luzerne counties to the county of Schuylkill.'
And after some time,
The committee rose and reported the first section of the bill negatived.
On the question,
Will Senate agree to said report?
The yeas and nays were required by Mr. Frailey and Mr... Murray, and are as follow, to wit,
So it was determined in the affirmative, and the bill lost.
Agreeably to order,
The Senate resolved itself into a committee of the whole, Mr. Shearer in the chair, on the bill, entitled
An act relative to turnpike companies.",
And after some time,
The committee rose, reported progress, and asked leave to sit again; leave was granted, and
Ordered, That the committee of the whole sit again on Monday next.
The Secretary of the Commonwealth being introduced, presented a message from the Governor with the documents therein referred to, which were read as follow, to wit.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
I have directed the Secretary of the Commonwealth to lay before you a copy of a letter from the Governor of the state of Maryland, with the copy of an act of the legislature of that state, repealing the 4th section of the act, entitled "An act to incorporate a company to make an artificial road from the Philadelphia and Lancaster turnpike, through the village of Strasburg in Lancaster county to the Susquehanna bridge at McCall's ferry, and from thence to the city of Baltimore."
I have also this day approved and signed the following acts of the General Assembly, and directed the Secretary of the Commonwealth to return them to the House of Rspresentatives, in which they originated, viz.
1. An act to extend the act, entitled, an act to improve the breed of sheep in certain counties in this commonwealth, to the counties of Erie, Bucks, Westmoreland and Tioga.
2. An act concerning the patenting of lands.
3. An act authorizing the appointment of an additional auctioneer in the city and liberties of Philadelphia.
4. A supplement to an act, entitled, an act to enable the Governor to incorporate a company for making an artificial road beginning at the intersection of the Egypt road with the ridge turnpike road two miles above Norristown in the county of Montgomery, from thence to Pawling's ford bridge over the river Schuylkill.
5. An act to authorize the purchase of certain copies of Smith's edition of the laws of Pennsylvania.
Harrisburg, Jan. 25, 1816.
Annapolis, Jan. 16, 1816.. SIR-I have the honor to transmit to your excellency a copy of an act of the General Assembly of Maryland, passed during its present session.
This law is transmitted in pursuance of a resolve of the General Assembly, and with a request that it may be communicated to the legislature of Pennsylvania.
I have the honor to be,
His excellency Gov. Snyder.
C. RIDGELY, of Hampton.
An act repealing the fourth section of an act, entitled, an act to incorporate a company to make an artificial road by the nearest and best route from the Philadelphia and Lancaster turnpike road through the village of Strasburg in Lancaster county, to the Susquehanna bridge at M'Call's ferry, and from thence to the city of Baltimore.'
BE it enacted by the General Assembly of Maryland, That the fourth section of an act, entitled An act to incorporate a company to make an artificial road by the nearest and best route from the Philadelphia and Lancaster turnpike road through the village of Strasburg in Lancaster county, to the Susquehanna bridge at McCall's ferry, and from thence to the city of Baltimore,' in the words following, to wit.
And be it enacted, That in Maryland said road shall proceed from the city or eastern precincts of the city of Baltimore, and not from or over any other turnpike road,' be and the same is hereby repealed.
We hereby certify that the aforegoing is a correct copy of an original law passed by the General Assembly of Maryland at December session, eighteen hundred and fifteen.
Clerk of the Senate.
The clerk of the House of Representatives being introduced, presented for concurrence, the bill, entitled
An act for the relief of Agness Hurst, formerly the wife of Robert M Kellop a revolutionary soldier, deceased.
He returned the bill, entitled
An act to authorize the purchase and distribution of certain copies of the new edition of the laws of the United States.' And informed,
That the House of Representatives have passed said bill with one amendment, in which the concurrence of Senate is requested. He also informed,
That the House of Representatives have concurred in the amendments by Senate, to the bills, entitled as follow, viz.
An act enabling the Governor to incorporate a company for making an artificial road from the state line, near the town of Emmetsburg, in the state of Maryland, through Waynesburg, Greencastle and Mercersburg, to intersect the Chambersburg and Bedford turnpike road, at or near the east end of M'Connelsburg.'
An act incorporating the Whitestown Manufacturing Company.'
An act to incorporate the town of Waynesburg in the county of Greene.'
As also, to the resolution relative to the establishment of a district court of the United States at Pittsburg.'
He further informed,
That the House of Representatives have receded from their amendments, non-concurred in by Senate, to the bills, entitled as follow, viz.
An act supplementary to an act, entitled, an act to enable the Governor to incorporate a company for making an artificial road from the Spring House tavern in Montgomery county, to the borough of Northampton in the county of Lehigh, and to the town of Bethlehem in the county of Northampton.'
• An act for the relief of Isaac Thompson, an old soldier.' The bill presented for concurrence was read the first time. The amendment by the House of Representatives, to the bill, entitled
An act to authorize the purchase and distribution of certain copies of the new edition of the laws of the United States,' was read as follows, viz.
Sect. 1. line 9, strike from the end thereof these words not otherwise appropriated.'
Said amendment was again read, considered and concurred in. Ordered, That the clerk inform the House of Representatives thereof.
Agreeably to order,
The rule for going into a committee of the whole being in this case dispensed with, the bill, entitled