New Orleans v. Texas & Pacific Ry. Co.
171 U.S. 312 (1898)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

New Orleans v. Texas & Pacific Ry. Co., 171 U.S. 312 (1898)

New Orleans v. Texas & Pacific Railway Company

Argued January 3-4, 1898

Decided May 31, 1898

171 U.S. 312

Syllabus

Where an undertaking on one side is in terms a condition to the stipulation on the other -- that is, where the contract provides for the performance of some act or the happening of some event, and the obligations of the contract are made to depend on such performance or happening, the conditions are conditions precedent; but when the act of one is not necessary to the act of the other, and the loss and inconvenience can be compensated in damages, performance of the one is not a condition precedent to the performance of the other.

It being shown by the record that the railway terminus from which the extension along Claiborne Street was to be made was never constructed, and that the crossing from Westwego to the land in front of the park was also never established, but, on the contrary, that the company extended its road down the river to Gouldsboro, where it made its main crossing, the right to the extension and the right to the use of the batture no longer obtains.

The suspensive condition by which the rights of the company under the original ordinance were held in abeyance operates also upon the lease, and the mere payment of rent did not change the nature of the suspensive condition or work an estoppel.

Page 171 U. S. 313

The ends of justice will be best subserved by not passing upon the third assignment of error, but the rights of both parties in relation thereto may be left open for further consideration in the court below.

The New Orleans Pacific Railway Company became duly incorporated under the general laws of the State of Louisiana on June 29, 1875. By article I of its charter, it was given corporate existence for the term of twenty-five years from that date. By article III, it was empowered, among other things,

"to lay, construct, lease, own, and use a railroad with one or more tracks and suitable turntables upon such course or route as may be deemed by a majority of the directors of said company most expedient, beginning at a point on the Mississippi River at New Orleans, or between New Orleans and the Parish of Iberville, on the right bank of the Mississippi, and Baton Rouge on the left bank, or from New Orleans or Berwick's Bay via Vermilionville, in the Parish of Lafayette, and Opelousas, in the Parish of St. Landry, or from any of said points, or from any point within the limits of this state, and running thence toward and to the City of Shreveport, or the City of Marshall or Dallas, in the State of Texas, in such direction and route or routes as said company shall fix, and with such connecting branches in the State of Louisiana as may be deemed proper; to locate, construct, lease, own, maintain and use such branch railroads and tracks as the majority of the directors of said company may from time to time deem proper and expedient and for the interest of said company to own and to use, and lease, with the right to connect their main line with any other line or lines in other states, which shall authorize the exercise of said privilege within their limits: to establish and maintain in the City of New Orleans proper freight and passenger depots, and to connect them by tracks and ferries with the left bank of the Mississippi River at such point or points as may be deemed most convenient for the public interest, and to use in such ferries, steamboats and other vessels, and for the purposes of such depots, tracks and ferries to acquire property by expropriation; to acquire, construct, maintain and use suitable wharves, piers, warehouses, yards, steamboats, harbors, depots, stations and other

Page 171 U. S. 314

works and appurtenances connected with and incidental to said railway and its connections, and to run and manage the same as the directors of the said company may deem to be most expedient and to the welfare of said corporation; to construct and maintain its said railroads, or any part of the same, and to have the right of way therefor across or along or upon any waters, water courses, river, lake, bay, inlet, street, highway, turnpike or canal within the State of Louisiana which the course of said railways may intersect, touch or cross, provided that said company shall preserve any water course, street, highway, turnpike or canal which its railways may so pass upon, along or intersect, touch or cross so as not to impair its usefulness to the public unnecessarily; to obtain by grant or otherwise from any parish, city or village within the state any rights, privileges or franchises that any of said parishes, cities, or villages may choose to grant in reference to the construction, maintenance, management and use of the railroads of said company, its depots, cars, locomotives and its business within the limits of such or any of said parishes, cities, and villages; to purchase or lease from any railroad company or corporation at any authorized sale, any railroad and the charter, franchises, property and appurtenances thereof and to maintain and use the same as a part of the property of said company."

On February 19, 1876, the General Assembly of the State of Louisiana passed Act No. 14 of 1876, to confirm said charter of the railway company, with amendments thereto, which, among other things, declared

"that the term of existence of the said New Orleans Pacific Railway Company shall be so extended that said company, by its name and under the aforesaid mentioned articles of incorporation, shall have perpetual succession, and that Shreveport in Louisiana shall be the northwestern terminus of said New Orleans Pacific Railway Company, and that the main line shall be completed to Shreveport before any branches shall be constructed."

The City Council of New Orleans on November 9, 1880, adopted ordinance No. 6695, entitled

"An ordinance granting to the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company or its

Page 171 U. S. 315

assigns, the right to establish its terminus within its city limits, and to construct, maintain, and operate a railroad to and from such terminus with one extension for passenger purposes and another one for freight purposes into and through certain streets and places in the City of New Orleans."

This ordinance read:

"Whereas, the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company, a corporation organized and existing under Louisiana state laws, is vested with authority under an Act approved February 19, 1876, as follows, to-wit:"

" To locate, construct, lease, own and use a railroad, with one or more tracks and suitable turnouts, of such gauge and construction and upon such a course or route as may be deemed by a majority of the directors of said company most expedient,"

"and to and between the points and places mentioned and implied in said act, and is hereby authorized 'to establish and maintain in the City of New Orleans proper freight and passenger depots,' and to construct wharves, piers, warehouses, yards, depots and stations, and to"

"construct and maintain its said railroads or any part of the same, and to have the right of way therefor across and along and upon any street, highway, turnpike or canal in the State of Louisiana which the course of said railways may intersect, touch or cross, provided, the said company shall preserve any street, highway, turnpike or canal which its said railways may so pass upon, along or intersect, touch or cross, so as not to impair its usefulness to the public unnecessarily,"

"and"

"Whereas, it is for the interest of the City of New Orleans that the southern terminus of said railroad shall be fixed and established within the city limits; and,"

"Whereas, the said New Orleans Pacific Railway Company is desirous of constructing its line of road on the east bank of the Mississippi, from a crossing near Baton Rouge to some point in the City of New Orleans between the new canal and Melpomene Street, and to establish its terminus at such point, on condition that the city shall grant to the company the right to extend its tracks from such terminus into and through Claiborne Street to Canal Street, for passenger purposes, and

Page 171 U. S. 316

shall also grant the right to extend its tracks from such terminus north of Claiborne Street by the most convenient and practicable route through the public streets to the riverfront for freight purposes, with the right to operate the same by steam or otherwise, as is now done on the Belt Railroad on St. Joseph Street, and on the levees by other railroad companies in the City of New Orleans:"

"Now therefore, for the purpose of permanently securing to the City of New Orleans the advantages that will result from locating and maintaining the terminus of the said New Orleans Pacific Railway within the city limits:"

"Section 1. Be it ordained by the Council of the City of New Orleans, that the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company be, and it is hereby, authorized and empowered to locate, construct, and maintain a railroad, with all necessary tracks, switches, turnouts, sidings and structures of every kind convenient and useful and appurtenant to said railroad, upon lines and levels to be furnished by the city surveyor, to and from such point as shall be selected by such company as its terminus, between the New Canal, Claiborne Canal, and Carrollton Avenue, with the right to establish and maintain at such point necessary depots, shops, yards, warehouses, and other structures convenient and useful for the transaction of its business, and to operate the same by steam or otherwise for the transportation of freight and passengers within the city limits."

"SEC. 2. Be it further ordained that the said New Orleans Pacific Railway Company or its assigns be and they are hereby authorized and empowered to locate, construct, and maintain an extension of its railroad, with all necessary tracks, switches, turnouts, sidings and structures of every kind convenient and useful and appurtenant to said railroad, upon lines and levels to be furnished by the city surveyor, into and through Claiborne Street to Canal Street, with the right to construct a passenger depot at or near the intersection of Claiborne Street with Canal Street, and to operate the same by steam or otherwise for the transportation of passengers, provided that, should it become necessary for the building of

Page 171 U. S. 317

depot or laying of tracks to remove the Claiborne Market, then the said New Orleans Pacific Railway Company obligate themselves to rebuild the same at their own expense on such lots to be purchased by the company as the city shall designate. The said market to be rebuilt under the supervision and instructions of the administrator of waterworks and public buildings."

"SEC. 3. Be it further ordained that the said New Orleans Pacific Railway Company or its assigns be and they are hereby authorized and empowered to locate, construct, and maintain an extension of its railroad, with all necessary tracks, switches, turnouts, sidings, and structures of every kind convenient and useful and appurtenant to said railroad upon lines and levels to be furnished by the city surveyor, across Claiborne Canal into and through such street as may hereafter be lawfully selected to the riverfront, with the right to extend its tracks through Front street, Water and Jackson Streets, connecting with the depots of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company, Morgan's Louisiana and Texas Railroad, and the Chicago, St. Louis and New Orleans Railroad, and to operate the same by steam or otherwise for the transportation of cotton, tobacco, grain, merchandise, and other freight; or the said company may purchase, lease, control, maintain, and operate by steam or otherwise any railway or railway tracks now existing in the streets of the City of New Orleans."

"SEC. 4. Be it further ordained that the right of way, franchises, and privileges herein granted to the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company are granted only on condition and in consideration that the said grantee shall permanently establish the terminus of said road within the city limits and maintain said terminus during the existence of the charter of said company for which period said right of way privileges shall last, and should the said company at any time hereafter abandon its said road on the east side of the Mississippi River and its terminus within the city limits, then this grant shall cease and terminate and be without force and effect from the date of such abandonment, and the further condition that all construction work within the city limits shall be executed under

Page 171 U. S. 318

the direction and supervision of the city surveyor and completed to the satisfaction of the administrator of improvements and the administrator of commerce, and it is still further made a condition of this grant that said railway company shall complete its road from the crossing of the Mississippi River at or near Baton Rouge, to its terminus in this city within two years from the promulgation of this ordinance."

"SEC. 5. Be it further ordained that the rights herein granted on Claiborne Street shall apply only to a railroad for passenger purposes; that the rights to be granted from north of the Claiborne Canal to the riverfront and hereby granted along the riverfront and in parallel streets shall apply to a railroad for freight purposes only, and shall not be used as a thoroughfare for the transportation of passengers without consent of this council."

On December 3, 1880, the following ordinance, numbered 6732, was adopted:

"Whereas, on the ninth day of November, 1880, the ordinance No. 6695 (administration series) was duly adopted, granting to the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company or its assigns the right to establish its terminus within the city limits, and to construct, maintain, and operate a railroad to and from such terminus, with one extension for passenger purposes and another for freight purposes, into and through certain streets and places in the City of New Orleans, and it was contemplated by said ordinance that a street should be duly selected whereby the said company should have its rights recognized to lay a track from Claiborne Street to the riverfront through a street to be selected; now, therefore,"

"Section 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of New Orleans, that the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company, or its assigns, be, and it and they are hereby authorized and empowered to locate, construct, and maintain an extension of its railroad, with all necessary tracks, switches, turnouts, sidings, and structures of every kind convenient and useful and appurtenant to said railroad upon lines and levels to be furnished by the city surveyor across Claiborne Canal into and through Thalia Street, to the riverfront,

Page 171 U. S. 319

and to operate the same by steam or otherwise for the transportation of cotton, tobacco, grain, merchandise, and other freight, or the said company may purchase, lease, control, maintain, and operate, by steam or otherwise, any railway or railway tracks now existing in the streets of the City of New Orleans, provided that there shall be but one track laid on Thalia Street, from Claiborne to Water street."

"SEC. 2. Be it further ordained that the right of way, franchises, and privileges herein granted to the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company are granted only on condition and in consideration that the said grantees shall permanently establish the terminus of said road within the city limits, and to maintain said terminus during the existence of the charter of said company, for which period said right of way and privileges shall last, and should the said company at any time hereafter abandon its said road on the east side of the Mississippi River and its terminus within the city limits, then this grant shall cease and terminate and be without force or effect from the date of such abandonment, and upon the further condition that the said company, at the time of laying their track upon Thalia Street, shall pave said street, from Pilie Street to Rampart Street, including all intersections of said Thalia Street, with blocks of the best hard Boston granite, oblong in shape, not less than eleven inches and not more than fourteen inches in width, and not less than sixteen inches nor more than twenty-four inches in length, and from nine to ten inches in thickness; they shall be well quarried, having parallel sides and ends, and the upper side free from lumps. The blocks adjoining the gutterstones shall be cut at an angle of forty-five degrees with the sides, so as to be laid diagonally, and said pavement shall extend from curb to curb, and the said company shall, at the time of laying their track, pave with round or cobblestone pavement, laying with gutterstones the gutters of said street, from the end of the block paving at Rampart Street to Claiborne Street, with the privilege of using for the pavement the cobblestones removed from that part of the street to be paved with square block -- the rails to be laid in the pavement so that the top of the rails shall be flush with the

Page 171 U. S. 320

surface of the pavement, and upon the further condition that said railway company shall at all times keep said pavement from curb to curb in repair, and the further condition that all construction work within the city limits shall be executed under the direction and supervision of the city surveyor and completed to the satisfaction of the administrator of improvements and the administrator of commerce, and it is still further made a condition of this grant that said railway company shall complete its road from the crossing of the Mississippi River at or near Baton Rouge, to the terminus in this city, within two years from the promulgation of this ordinance."

"SEC. 3. Be it further ordained that, upon the failure of said company to comply within three days with any notice of the department of improvements to repair any portion of the street or streets through which said company shall lay its tracks, they shall be fined twenty-five dollars for each and every day they fail to comply with said notice; said fine to be recoverable before any court of competent jurisdiction."

In 1881, the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company purchased a railroad already constructed by the New Orleans, Mobile and Texas Railroad Company on the west bank of the Mississippi River, extending from Bayou Goula, a point near Baton Rouge, on the west bank, to Westwego, also on the west bank, and just opposite New Orleans. Subsequently, on March 29, 1881, the city council passed an ordinance, No. 6938, as follows:

"Whereas the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company has purchased the road heretofore constructed under the charter of the New Orleans, Mobile and Texas Railroad Company, on the west bank of the Mississippi River, between Bayou Goula and Westwego, and with a view to maintaining and operating the said road in connection with and as a part of its through line to and from its terminus in New Orleans, designated in section 1 of ordinance No. 6695, Administration Series, passed on the ninth day of November, 1880; such line to cross the Mississippi River from a point at or near Westwego to a point on the east bank of the river in front of the Upper City Park, late Fouche property; thence to extend by the best and most

Page 171 U. S. 321

practicable route to the designated terminus, between the New Canal, Claiborne Canal, and Carrollton Avenue:"

"Now, therefore, for the purpose of securing to the City of New Orleans the advantages that will result from locating and permanently maintaining the terminus of the New Orleans Pacific Railway within the limits of the City of New Orleans, as hereinabove recited:"

"Section 1. Be it ordained by the Council of the City of New Orleans, that the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company, or its assigns, be, and are hereby, authorized and empowered to locate and maintain a railroad with all necessary tracks, switches, turnouts, sidings, and structures of every kind convenient, useful, and appurtenant to said railroad from such point on the riverfront as its crossings from Westwego shall be located at in the vicinity of the Upper City Park, along the western border of the said city park, and from thence by the best and most practicable route to its designated terminus east of Carrollton Avenue."

"SEC. 2. Be it further ordained . . . that the City of New Orleans agrees to lease unto the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company, its successors and assigns, for the period of ninety-nine years, and at the price of five hundred dollars per annum, payable annually in advance, all that strip or parcel of ground on the riverfront of said Upper City Park, south of Tchoupitoulas Street, or south of an extension of Tchoupitoulas Street, in a westwardly direction, and between a prolongation of the east and west boundary lines of said park to the river, with all the batture formed thereon, or which may form during the term of said lease, with the right to establish and maintain upon said grounds such ferry facilities, wharves, piers, warehouses, yards, tracks, depots, stations, sheds, elevators, and other structures as shall be necessary and convenient for the transfer of cars, engines, passengers, and freight, and in the transaction of its business. No vessel shall occupy or lie at such wharves without the consent of said company, its successors, or assigns, and all vessels lying at or using said wharves with such consent shall be exempt from the payment of levee or wharf dues to the City of New Orleans; the proceeds of such lease

Page 171 U. S. 322

shall be applied by the city to the improvement of said park."

"SEC. 3. Be it further ordained, . . . that the said New Orleans Pacific Railway Company, its successors and assigns, shall have the right to extend its tracks from the said ground so leased between the Upper City Park and the riverfront, easterly along said riverfront to connect with the Belt Road at Louisiana Avenue, and to connect at Jackson Street with tracks heretofore authorized to be constructed between Jackson and Julia Streets by section 3 of ordinance 6695, Administration Series, adopted November 9, 1880, and by ordinance No. 6732, same series, adopted December 3, 1880, provided that between Louisiana Avenue and Jackson Street, the trains of said company shall be run only between sunset and sunrise on said track, except in case of emergency and necessity beyond the reasonable control of the company."

"SEC. 4. Be it further ordained, . . . that the said New Orleans Pacific Railway Company, its successors and assigns, shall have the right, and the same is hereby conferred for the term of its charter and from and after the expiration of the existing lease of the city wharves, to enclose and occupy for its purposes and uses that portion of the levee, batture, and wharf in the City of New Orleans in front of the riparian property acquired or to be acquired, between Thalia and Terpsichore Streets, and to erect and maintain thereon at its own expense such ferry facilities, wharves, piers, warehouses, elevators, yards, tracks, depots, stations, sheds and other structures as shall be necessary and convenient for the transfer of cars, engines, passengers and freight, and in the transaction of its business. No vessel shall occupy or lie at such wharves without the consent of said company or its successors or assigns, or discharge or receive cargo thereat, and all vessels lying at or using said wharves by such consent and on the business of the company shall be exempt from the payment of levee or wharf dues to the City of New Orleans."

"Said wharves and other structures shall be lighted and policed by said company at its own expense."

"Any vessel lying at these wharves with the consent of the

Page 171 U. S. 323

company, but not on its business or not for the purpose of discharging or receiving freight or passengers to or from said company as a carrier, shall be liable to the city for usual wharf or levee dues."

"Any vessel using said wharf to receive any freight not coming to or going from said company as a carrier shall pay usual wharfage dues to the city."

"In consideration of the permission herein given, the company will build three hundred feet of new wharf at such point between Terpsichore and Jackson Streets, for the city, as the administration of commerce may indicate, and will pave Pilie Street between Thalia and Terpsichore Streets, and Terpsichore Street between Pilie and Front with square blocks of granite or with blocks of compressed asphalt, and keep the same in good order."

"The rights conferred by this section shall not be held to interfere with the rights of the city to police any part of the riverfront."

"SEC. 5. Be it further ordained, . . . that the mayor be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to enter into a proper notarial contract of lease for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the second section of this ordinance."

"SEC. 6. Be it further ordained, . . . that the right of way, franchises and privileges herein and heretofore granted to the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company are and were granted on condition and in consideration that the said grantee shall permanently establish its terminus within the city limits, and shall maintain said terminus during the existence of the charter of said company, for which period the said franchises, rights of way, grants and privileges shall last and continue, and should the said railway company at any time hereafter remove its terminus from within the city limits, then this grant shall cease and terminate and be without force and effect from the date of such removal, and the further condition that the construction work within the city limits shall be executed under the direction and supervision of the city surveyor, and completed to the satisfaction of the administrator of public improvements and the administrator of commerce, and the

Page 171 U. S. 324

further condition that said railway company shall construct or control a line of road, ready for public use, from a crossing of the Mississippi River to its designated terminus in this city, within two years from the promulgation of this ordinance."

The New Orleans Pacific Railway Company, on June 20, 1881, entered into a written agreement with the Texas and Pacific Railway Company, a corporation organized under the laws of the United States, by the terms whereof the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company consolidated itself with the Texas and Pacific Railway Company on the terms and conditions specified in the agreement,

"by granting, bargaining, selling, . . . unto the Texas and Pacific Railway Company all the franchises, corporate rights, or privileges of the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company, together with its track, roadbed, buildings, rolling stock, engineer's tools, bonds, stocks, grants, privileges, property (real and personal), and every right, title, and interest in and to any franchises or property, real or personal, and all rights of every name and kind in which the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company had any right, privilege, or interest, situated and being in the State of Louisiana or in the State of Texas, or elsewhere, it being declared by the agreement that the object of the agreement was to so merge the rights, powers, and privileges of the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company into the Texas and Pacific Railway Company, that the Texas and Pacific Railway Company, under its own chartered name and organization, should, without impairing any existing right, exercise, in addition thereto, all the powers, rights, privileges, and franchises, and own and control all the properties, that the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company then exercised and owned, or by its charter and bylaws it had the right to exercise, own, or control."

Thereafter, on July 11, 1882, the city council adopted Ordinance No. 7946, as follows:

"An ordinance supplementary to Ordinances 6695, 6732 and 6938, Administration Series, granting certain rights to the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company and its assigns, and providing for the selection of a site for the Claiborne Market. "

Page 171 U. S. 325

"Whereas, by section 2, of Ordinance 6695, Administration Series, a right was given to the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company, or its assigns, to locate, construct and maintain an extension of its railroad through Claiborne Street, with a right to construct a passenger depot on the neutral ground of Claiborne Street at or near the intersection of Claiborne Street with Canal Street, with a proviso that should it become necessary for the building of the depot or laying tracks to remove the Claiborne Market, then the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company, or its assigns, should rebuild the same at their own expense on such lots as the city shall designate, and"

"Whereas, by Ordinances Nos. 6732 and 6938, Administration Series, certain rights have also been granted to said company and its assigns with reference to the said Claiborne Street and to Thalia Street, and the company has built its road from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, crossing Thalia Street, and established its terminus in the city limits at Thalia Street and the levee, and is preparing also to cross from Westwego to the City Park, and thence to Claiborne Street: Now therefore"

"SEC. 1. Be it ordained by the Council of the City of New Orleans that the administrator or improvements, the administrator of commerce, and the administrator of waterworks and public buildings be and they are hereby authorized and directed, within sixty days from the passage of this ordinance to select such lots as may be needful and proper for a new site for said market, and when such selection shall have been made they shall deposit a proces-verbal thereof in the office of the Administrator of Waterworks and Public Buildings."

"SEC. 2. Be it further ordained that whenever said company or its assigns shall find it necessary to remove said building it shall be rebuilt on said lots so selected and as prescribed in said original ordinance."

"SEC. 3. Be it further ordained that in crossing the new canal under its charter, and according to the said ordinances, the said railway company or its assigns shall do so by means of a proper drawbridge. "

Page 171 U. S. 326

The company also sent its officers, with certain city officers, in the summer of 1882 to inspect lots thought suitable at that time for the Claiborne Market, when the removal of the market might be decided upon, and stated by its officers that the lots would be purchased, the market taken down, and another market put up, but that, if this was not satisfactory to the city, the city should remain silent for a while, because, if it were known the railroad wanted the lots, too much would be asked for them. In the summer of 1883, the company demanded from the city surveyor lines and levels for a track on the riverfront from Louisiana avenue to Jackson Street, and the city surveyor, not furnishing them, instituted suit June 11, 1883, in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, where the same is still pending, to compel the city surveyor by writ of mandamus to furnish such lines and levels. The company also paid $1,000 rent for the two years ending March 8, 1882 and 1883, under an alleged lease of the batture in front of the Upper City Park, and made a tender of $500 for rent under said alleged lease for the year ending March, 1884, and acquired by private ownership four squares of ground adjoining the Upper City Park, two squares fronting the river, and two in the rear thereof.

The record showed that the railroad company did not establish its terminus in the rear of the City of New Orleans at the place designated by Ordinance 6695, of November 9, 1880, and referred to in Ordinance 6732, of December 3, 1880; that the company did not as stated or required in Ordinance 6938, of March 29, 1881, make its terminus on the west bank of the Mississippi River at Westwego, and there erect its wharves, inclines, and structures, necessary for the purpose of crossing the river at that point so as to reach the east bank on the batture in front of the City Park, and that the company did not build its road from the batture along the edge of the park, through the designated streets, to the point in the rear of the city where the proposed terminus was to be located, under and in accordance with the provisions of the city ordinances which have already been stated. And the record also disclosed that, instead of making Westwego its terminus on

Page 171 U. S. 327

the west bank of the river, the railroad was prolonged nine miles further down the bank of the river to a point designated as Gouldsboro, and, this latter point being approximately opposite the foot of Thalia Street, on the east bank of the river, wharves and inclines were constructed at Gouldsboro, whence the traffic of the road was carried across the river to the foot of Thalia Street, in the City of New Orleans, where depots and structures have been established by the company.

On the 15th of April, 1884, the city council adopted an Ordinance, No. 685, Council Series, as follows:

"An ordinance repealing certain sections of the Ordinance No. 6938, A.S., granting privileges to the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company."

"Be it ordained, that sec. two (2) of the ordinance No. 6938, A.S., passed March, 1881, granting to the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company a lease of the Upper City Park batture property, be, and the same is, hereby repealed and revoked."

June 16, 1886, the city council adopted an Ordinance, No. 1828, Council Series, as follows:

"An ordinance repealing certain rights granted to the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company under Ordinance 6695, A.S., adopted November 9, 1880; No. 6732, A.S., adopted December 3, 1880; No. 6938, adopted March 29, 1881; No. 7946, adopted July 11, 1882; and"

"Whereas, the City of New Orleans granted to the Pacific Railway Company the right to extend its tracks through Claiborne Street to Canal, to erect a passenger depot on Claiborne street near Canal Street, construct tracks from Claiborne Street to and through Thalia Street to the river; and"

"Whereas, the original grantee company has merged its identity with that of an alien corporation, which itself is now in the hands of a receiver appointed on the prayer of an alien corporation; and"

"Whereas, such rights were granted on various conditions which have not been complied with, and the delay for so doing has elapsed; and"

"Whereas, by the acts of said New Orleans Pacific Railway

Page 171 U. S. 328

Company such rights have been abandoned, and it is necessary for the public good that Claiborne Street, between Common street and the Old Basin, shall be used for steam and horse railway and depot purposes:"

"Therefore, be it ordained by the Council of the City of New Orleans that all rights of way on Claiborne Street, right to establish a passenger depot on said street, and rights to connect any steam or other railway by the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company through or on Claiborne Street, or to erect any depot thereon, whether acquired through or by the ordinances above enumerated or through or by any other ordinance of the Council of the City of New Orleans, be and the same are hereby repealed and revoked."

July 2, 1886, the receivers of the Texas and Pacific Railway Company and the Fidelity Insurance Trust and Safe-Deposit Company filed a bill of complaint in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Louisiana which alleged the incorporation of the Texas and Pacific Railway Company under certain acts of Congress; the acquisition by the Texas and Pacific Railway Company of all the property and franchises of the New Orleans and Pacific Railway Company; the appointment of receivers of the Texas and Pacific Railway Company; the adoption by the City of New Orleans of Ordinance No. 6695, on November 9, 1880; of Ordinance No. 6732, on December 3, 1880; of Ordinance No. 6938, on March 29, 1881; the full and fair compliance by said New Orleans and Pacific Railway Company and the Texas and Pacific Railway Company with the conditions imposed by said ordinances; the adoption of Ordinance No. 7946; the repealing Ordinances No. 685, Council Series, adopted April 24, 1884, and No. 1828, Council Series adopted June 8, 1886; the violation by the adoption of said ordinances of the contract created by Ordinances Nos. 6695, 6732, and 6938, Administration Series, and prayed that Ordinances No. 685 and No. 1828, Council Series, be adjudged and decreed to be illegal and injurious to complainants, and be cancelled, and the right of the Texas and Pacific Railway Company, under Ordinance No. 6695, to lay its tracks and build a passenger depot on the

Page 171 U. S. 329

neutral ground of Claiborne Street, near Canal Street, and to remove the Claiborne Market, be declared and decreed, and its right to the lands of said park batture, under the second section of Ordinance No. 6938, be declared and decreed, and its right to have lines furnished by the proper official of the city for its route from Louisiana avenue to Jackson Street, along the riverfront, under the third section of said ordinance, be declared and decreed and specifically enforced.

That the City of New Orleans be enjoined and restrained from in any wise executing Ordinance No. 685 and Ordinance No. 1828, Council Series, and from granting to any other person or corporation the rights sought to be taken away by said Ordinances Nos. 685 and 1828.

The City of New Orleans filed its answer November 1, 1886, which admitted the incorporation of the Texas and Pacific Railway Company; the incorporation of the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company; the contract entered into between the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company and the Texas and Pacific Railway Company; averring, however, the effect of said contract to be that the Texas and Pacific Railway Company was held and bound to all the obligations imposed upon the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company, and was affected by all the equities existing between the New Orleans Pacific Railway Company and the City of New Orleans; the appointment of the receivers; the adoption of Ordinance No. 6695, on the 9th of November, 1880; Ordinance No. 6732, on December 3, 1880; Ordinance No. 6938, on March 29, 1881; the failure on the part of complainants to comply with the obligations imposed by said ordinances; the nullity of the lease of the batture in front of the Upper City Park, purported to be granted by Ordinance No. 6938; the nullity of the grant of the right to build a depot on the neutral ground of Claiborne Street, said batture in front of said park and said neutral ground being dedicated to public use, and the legality of the repealing Ordinances, 685 and 1828, Council Series.

On the 3d of February, 1887, complainants filed a supplemental bill which alleged that, under the ordinance set forth in the original bill of complaint, the wharf of the Texas and

Page 171 U. S. 330

Pacific Railway Company, its transfers and incline between Thalia and Terpsichore Streets at New Orleans, had been duly constructed and used for about five years, and in like manner and during the same time the tracks of said railway, connecting its transfer facilities and its depots and sheds at its Thalia Street terminus had been laid and used in Pilie and Water streets, and along the riverfront from Thalia Street up to about Race Street; that it had become necessary for the business of said railway to lay a small spur track to connect said wharf above the transfer slip with the said tracks on Pilie and Water Streets; that the complainants had applied to the city surveyor for lines and levels of said spur track; that the city surveyor refused to grant said lines and levels under a certain resolution of the council of September 15, 1885, prohibiting him from giving any lines for such work in the street without submitting the question to the council; that said resolution was illegal, and a breach of complainants' contract, and that interference by the mayor of the city with complainants' building said spur track was apprehended.

Upon these allegations, a writ of injunction was prayed for restraining the city from interfering with complainants in the work of building said spur track to connect the wharf above the transfer incline between Thalia and Terpsichore Streets with the tracks of the railway between Thalia and Water Streets, along the riverfront, and in the work of strengthening and filling up said wharf and driving piling to reach the same with said spur, and for a decree as prayed for in their original bill.

Upon this supplemental bill a restraining order was granted, which, by agreement, was to stand as an injunction pending suit.

On the 23d day of June, 1891, a final decree in favor of complainants, granting in full the prayer of their bill, was rendered.

From this decree the City of New Orleans appealed.

Page 171 U. S. 331

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