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VOLUMES AND CASES TO BE INCLUDED. .
SUPREME COURT REPORTS.
Vols. Black, 2; Cranch, 9; Dallas, 3; Howard, 24; Otto, 16; Peters, 16; Wallace, 23; Wheaton, 12,
105 CIRCUIT AND DISTRICT COURT REPORTS. Abbott's Admiralty, 1; Abbott's U. S., 2; Baldwin, 1; Bee, 1; Benedict, 10; Bissell, 9;
Blatchford, 19; Blatchford's Prize Cases, 1; Blatchford & Howland, 1; Bond, 2; Brown, 1; Chase, 1; Clifford, 4; Crabbe, 1; Cranch, C. C., 5; Curtis, 2; Daveis, 1; Deady, 1; Dillon, 5; Flippin, 2; Fisher's Prize Cases, 1; Gallison, 2; Gilpin, 1; Hempstead, 1; Hoffman, 1; Holmes, 1; Hughes, 4; Lowell, 2; McAllister, 1; McCahon, 1; McCrary, 3; McLean, 6; Marshall, 2; Mason, 5; Newberry, 1; Olcott, 1; Paine, 2; Peters' C. C., 1; Peters’ Admiralty, 2; Sawyer, 7; Sprague, 2; Story, 3; Sumner, 3; Taney, 1; Wallace, C. C., 1; Wallace, Jr., 3; Ware, 2; Washington, 4; Woods, 3; Woodbury & Minot, 3; Woolworth, 1; Van Ness, 1,
142 OPINIONS OF ATTORNEYS-GENERAL AND COURT OF CLAIMS, FEDERAL REPORTER,
12 PARTIAL LIST OF FEDERAL CASES TAKEN FROM OTHER SOURCES. Smith (N. H.); 3 and 4 Day (Conn.); 16, 32 and 34 Conn. ; 2 Brown (Pa.); 6 Call (Va.);
2 Martin (N. C.); 25 Tex. Sup. ; Cooke (Tenn.); Overton (Tenn.); Vt. Reps., 20-25, and 29; 35 Georgia; American Law Register, 30 Vols. ; Brewster (Pa.), 3 and 4; Legal Gazette Reports (Pa.), 1; 2 Haywood (N. C.); Pittsburgh Reports, the Pittsburgh Legal Journal, 3 Vols. ; The Philadelphia Reports, 12 Vols. - a reprint of the Legal Intelligencer,
20 THE WHOLE, IN ORIGINAL VOLUMES, MAKE A TOTAL OF
Blatch, Blatchford's Prize Cases... Bl. Pr. Cas. Blatchford & Howland. Bl. & How. Bond ...
Call (Va.). Central Law Journal. Cent. L. J. Chase's Decisions .. Chase's Dec. Chicago Legal News Ch. Leg. N. Clifford
Cliff. Colorado Territory..
Colo. T'y. Connecticut Reports.. ... Conn. Cooke ...
Cooke (Tenn.). Court of Claims.
Ct. Cl. Crabbe
Cr. Cranch's Circuit Court. ... Cr. C. C. Curtis ...
Curt. Dakota Territory.
Dak. Ty. Dallas
Day (Conn.) Deady.
Hughes. Law and Equity Reporter., Law & Eq. Rep. Legal Gazette Reports ... Leg. Gaz. R.
MacArth. Marshall ...
Martin (N. C.). Mason
Mason. Montana Territory
Mont. Ty. Newberry.....
Newb. National Bankruptcy Register
N. B. R. Olcott
Olc. Opinions of Attorneys-General..
Opp. Att'y Genl. Oregon
Overton (Tenn.). Paine..
Pet. Peters' Admiralty ..
Pet. Adm. Peters' Circuit Court
Pet. C. C. Philadelphia Reports Phil. Pittsburgh Reports
Pittsb. R. Sawyer
Smith (N. H.). Sprague
Taney. Utah Territory
Utah Ty. Vermont Reports
Wall. Wallace's Circuit Court Wall, C. C. Wallace, Jr .....
Wall, Jr. Ware
Wash. Washington Territory...
Wash. T'y. Wheaton
Wheat. Wheeler's Criminal Cases .. Wheeler. Woods.....
Woods. Woodbury & Minot
Woodb. & M Woolworth .......
Woolw. Wyoming Territory
Wyom. T'y. Van Ness
TAX ON EXPORTS AND IMPORTS.
See CONSTITUTION AND LAWS; REVENUE,
SUMMARY - Power of congress to regulate, § 1. - Duties under title 65, Revised Statutes,
§ 2.- Power of state to tax, $ 3. $ 1. A telegraph company is an instrument of commerce, and subject to the regulating power of congress in respect to its foreign and interstate business. Telegraph Co. v. Texas, $$ 4, 5.
8 2. Telegraph companies which have taken advantage of the privileges of title 65, Revised Statutes of United States, are bound in return to give the United States precedence in the use of their lines for public rates, to be fixed by the postmaster-general, and thus as to government business become government agencies. Ibid.
$ 3. The Western Union Telegraph Company, having acccepted the restrictions and obligations of the provisions of title 65, Revised Statutes of United States, occupied in Texas the position of an instrument of foreign and interstate commerce, and of a government agent for the transmission of messages on public business. Consequently the state of Texas had no right to place a specific tax on each message sent out of the state, or sent by public officers on business of the United States, and a law of that state, imposing a tax on each message sent, was, therefore, so far as it applied to the above class of messages, unconstitutional, Ibid.
[NOTES. — See SS 6-48.]
TELEGRAPH COMPANY V. TEXAS.
(15 Otto, 460–466. 1881.) Error to the Supreme Court of Texas.
STATEMENT OF FACTS.- Under section 1 of article 8 of the constitution of Texas the legislature of that state enacted a law imposing a tax on telegraphic VOL XXVIII – 2
messages sent by telegraph companies operating in that state. The Western Union Telegraph Company failed to.pay the tax and suit was brought to collect it. There was judgment in the state court against the company, which was affirmed by the supreme court of the state. A writ of error was sued out by the company.
§ 4. A telegraph company an instrument of commerce, subject to the regulation of congress. When anů how it may become an agent of the United States.
Opinion by .WAITÉ, C. J.
In Pensacok Telegraph Co. v. Western Union Telegraph Co., 96 U. S., 1, this court held that the telegraph was an instrument of commerce, and that telegraph. companies were subject to the regulating power of congress in respect to their foreign and interstate business. A telegraph company occupies the same relation to commerce as a carrier of messages that a railroad company does as a carrier of goods. Both companies are instruments of commerce, and their business is commerce itself. They do their transportation in different ways, and their liabilities are in some respects different, but they are both indispensable to those engaged to any considerable extent in commercial pursuits.
Congress, to facilitate the erection of telegraph lines, has by statute authorized the use of the public domain and the military and post-roads, and the crossing of the navigable streams and waters of the United States for that purpose. As a return for this privilege those who avail themselves of it are bound to give the United States precedence in the use of their lines for public business at rates to be fixed by the postmaster-general. Thus, as to government business, companies of this class become government agencies.
The Western Union Telegraph Company, having accepted the restrictions and obligations of this provision by congress, occupies in Texas the position of an instrument of foreign and interstate commerce, and of a government agent for the transmission of messages on public business. Its property in the state is subject to taxation the same as other property, and it may undoubtedly be taxed in a proper way on account of its occupation and its business. The precise question now presented is whether the power to tax its occupation can be exercised by placing a specific tax on each message sent out of the state or sent by public officers on the business of the United States.
$ 5. A law imposing a tax by a state on telegraphic messages sent over the lines of a telegraph company is unconstitutional and void so far as it applies to messages sent out of the state or by an officer of the United States on public business.
In Case of the State Freight Tax, 15 Wall., 232, this court decided that a law of Pennsylvania requiring transportation companies doing business in that state to pay a fixed sum as a tax on each two thousand pounds of freight carried,” without regard to the distance moved or charge made, was unconstitutional so far as it related to goods taken through the state, or from points without the state to points within, or from points within to points without, because to that extent it was a regulation of foreign and interstate com
In this the court but applied the rule announced in Brown v. Maryland, 12 Wheat., 419, that, where the burden of a tax falls on a thing which is, the subject of taxation, the tax is to be considered as laid on the thing rather than on him who is charged with the duty of paying it into the treasury. In that case it was said a tax on the sale of an article imported only for sale was a tax on the article itself. To the same general effect are Welton v. State of Missouri, 91 U. S., 275; Cook v. Pennsylvania, 97 id., 566; and Web