Rhode Island v. Massachusetts - 37 U.S. 657 (1838)
U.S. Supreme Court
Rhode Island v. Massachusetts, 37 U.S. 12 Pet. 657 657 (1838)
Rhode Island v. Massachusetts
37 U.S. (12 Pet.) 657
The Supreme Court has jurisdiction of a bill filed by the State of Rhode Island against the State of Massachusetts to ascertain and establish the northern boundary between the states, that the rights of sovereignty and jurisdiction be restored and confirmed to the plaintiffs and they be quieted in the enjoyment thereof and their title, and for other and further relief.
Jurisdiction is the power to hear and determine the subject matter in controversy between parties to a suit -- to adjudicate or exercise any judicial power over them. An objection to jurisdiction on the ground of exemption from the process of the court in which the suit is brought or the manner in which a defendant is brought into it is waived by appearance and pleading to issue, but when the objection goes to the power of the court over the parties or the subject matter, the defendant need not, for he cannot give the plaintiff a better writ, or bill,
The Supreme Court is one of limited and special original jurisdiction. Its action must be confined to the particular cases, controversies, and parties over which the Constitution and laws have authorized it to act; any proceeding without the limits prescribed is coram non judice, and its action a nullity.
And whether the want or excess of power is objected by a party or is apparent to the Court, it must surcease its action or proceed extrajudicially.
The several states of the United States, in their highest sovereign capacity, in the convention of the people thereof, on whom, by the Revolution, the prerogative of the Crown and the transcendent power of Parliament devolved in a plenitude unimpaired by any act and controllable by no authority, adopted the Constitution, by which they respectively made to the United States a grant of judicial power over controversies between two or more states. By the Constitution, it was ordained that this judicial power, in cases where a state was a party, should be exercised by the Supreme Court as one of original jurisdiction. The states waived their exemption from judicial power as sovereigns by original and inherent right by their own grant of its exercise over themselves in such cases, but which they would not grant to any inferior tribunal. By this grant, this Court has acquired jurisdiction over the parties in this cause by their own consent and delegated authority, as their agent for executing the judicial power of the United States in the cases specified.
Massachusetts has appeared, submitted to the process in her legislative capacity, and plead in bar of the plaintiffs action certain matters on which the judgment of the Court is asked. All doubts as to jurisdiction over the parties are thus at rest, as well by the grant of power by the people as the submission of the legislature to the process, and calling on the Court to exercise its jurisdiction on the case presented by the bill, plea, and answer.
Although the Constitution does not in terms extend the judicial power to all controversies between two or more states, yet it in terms excludes none, whatever may be their nature or subject.
This Court, in construing the Constitution as to the grants of powers to the United
States and the restrictions upon the states, has ever held that an exception of any particular case presupposes that those which are not excepted are embraced within the grant or prohibition, and has laid it down as a general rule that where no exception is made in terms, none will be made by mere implication or construction.
In the construction of the Constitution, we must look to the history of the times and examine the state of things existing when it was framed and adopted to ascertain the old law, the mischief, and the remedy.
The boundary established and fixed by compact between nations becomes conclusive upon all the subjects and citizens thereof and binds their rights, and is to be treated to all intents and purposes as the true real boundary. The construction of such compact is a judicial question.
There can be but two tribunals under the Constitution who can act on the boundaries of states, the legislative or the judicial power; the former is limited in express terms to assent or dissent where a compact or agreement is referred to them by the states, and as the latter can be exercised only by this Court when a state is a party, the power is here or it cannot exist.
This Court exists by a direct grant from the people of their judicial power; it is exercised by their authority, as their agent, selected by themselves for the purposes specified. The people of the states, as they respectively become parties to the Constitution, gave to the judicial power of the United States jurisdiction over themselves, controversies between states, between citizens of the same or different states claiming lands under their conflicting grants within disputed territory.
No court acts differently in deciding on boundary between states than on lines between separate tracts of land. If there is uncertainty where the line is, if there is a confusion of boundaries by the nature of interlocking grants, the obliteration of marks, the intermixing of possession under different proprietors, the effects of accident, fraud, or time, or other kindred causes, it is a case appropriate to equity. An issue at law is directed, a commission of boundary awarded, or, if the court is satisfied without either, the decree what and where the boundary of a farm, a manor, province, or a state is and shall be.
There is neither the authority of law or reason for the position that boundary between nations or states is, in its nature, any more a political question than any other subject on which they may contend. None can be settled without war or treaty, which is by political power; but under the old and new confederacy, they could and can be settled by a court constituted by themselves as their own substitutes, authorized to do that for states, which states alone could do before.
It has been contended that this Court cannot proceed in this cause without some process and rule of decision prescribed appropriate to the case; but no question on process can arise on these pleadings; none is now necessary, as the defendant has appeared and plead, which plea in itself makes the first point in the cause, without any additional proceeding; that is whether the plea shall be allowed, if sufficient in law, to bar the complaint, or be overruled as not being a bar in law, though true in fact.
This Court cannot presume that any state which holds prerogative rights for the good of its citizens, and by the Constitution has agreed that those of any other state shall enjoy rights, privileges, and immunities in each as its own do, would either do wrong or deny right to a sister state or its citizens, or refuse to submit
to those decrees of this Court, rendered pursuant to its own delegated authority; when in a monarchy, its fundamental law declares that such decree executes itself.
In the case of Olmstead, this Court expressed its opinion that if state legislatures may annul the judgments of the courts of the United States and the rights thereby acquired, the Constitution becomes a solemn mockery and the nation is deprived of the means of enforcing its laws by its own tribunal. So fatal a result must be deprecated by all, and the people of every state must feel a deep interest in resisting principles so destructive of the Union and in averting consequences so fatal to themselves.
On 16 March, 1832, the State of Rhode Island, by its solicitor, filed a bill against the State of Massachusetts for the settlement of the boundary between the two states and moved for a subpoena to be issued according to the practice of the court in similar cases.
This motion was held under advisement until the following term, and a subpoena was awarded and issued on 2 March, 1833.
This subpoena was returned with service on 30 July, 1833, and on 18 January, 1834, the appearance of Mr. Webster was entered for the defendants; and, on his motion, the cause was continued with leave to plea, answer, or demur.
On 12 January, 1835, a plea and answer was filed by Mr. Webster, and on 22 February, 1836, by agreement of counsel, it was ordered by the Court that the complainant file a replication to the answer of the defendant within six months from the last day of January term, 1836, or that the cause shall stand dismissed. The complainant filed a replication on 18 August, 1836, and at the same time a
"notice of intention to move the Court for leave to withdraw the replication upon the ground that the rule requiring the same was agreed to and entered into by mistake."
The bill filed by the complainants set forth the original charter granted on the third day of November, 1621, by King James the First to the council at Plymouth for planting, ruling, ordering and governing New England in America, describing the limits and boundaries of the territory so granted. The grant or conveyance to the council at Plymouth, of 19 March, 1628, to Sir Henry Rosewell and others of a certain tract of land described in the same, as
"all that part of New England, in America, aforesaid, which lies and extends between a great river there, commonly called Monomack, alias Merrimac, and a certain other river, there called Charles River, being in the bottom of a certain Bay, there commonly called Massachusetts, alias Mattachusetts, alias Massatusetts, Bay, and also all and
singular those lands and hereditaments whatsoever lying within the space of three English miles on the south part of the said Charles River, or of any or every part thereof, and also all and singular the lands and hereditaments whatsoever lying and being within the space of three English miles to the southward of the southernmost part of the said Bay, called Massachusetts, alias Mattachusetts, alias Massatusetts Bay, and also all those lands and hereditaments whatsoever which lie and be within the space of three English miles to the northward of the said river, called Monomack, alias Merrimac, or to the northward of any and every part thereof, and all lands and hereditaments whatsoever lying within the limits aforesaid, north and south in latitude and breadth, and in length and longitude of and within all the breadth aforesaid, throughout the main lands there, from the Atlantic and western sea and ocean on the east part, to the South sea on the west part."
The letters patent of confirmation and grant of Charles the First, of 4 March, 1629, to Sir Henry Rosewell and others, for the lands included in the charter of James the First, and the deed of the council at Plymouth, to them by the name of "The Governor and Company of Mattachusetts Bay in New England," incorporated by the said letters patent.
The bill further stated that on 7 June, 1635, the council established at Plymouth for planting a colony and governing New England in America, yielded up and surrendered the charter of James the First, to Charles the First, which surrender was duly and in form accepted. That after the granting of the letters patent before set forth and prior to the granting of the letters patent afterwards set forth in the bill to the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, the tract of land comprised within the limits of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations had been colonized and settled with a considerable population by emigration, principally from England and the colony of the Massachusetts Bay, and that the persons who had so colonized and settled the same were seized and possessed by purchase and consent of the Indian natives, of certain lands, islands, rivers, harbors and roads, within said tract. That on 8 July, 1663, King Charles the Second, by letters patent, granted a charter of incorporation to William Brenton, John Coddington and others, by the name of "The governor and Company of the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England, in America," and granted and conferred to the corporation by the letters patent
"all that part of
our dominions in New England, in America, containing the Nahantick and Nanhygansett, alias Narragansett Bay, and countries and parts adjacent, bounded on the west or westerly to the middle or channel of a river there, commonly called and known by the name of Pawcatuck, alias Paweawtuck, River, and so along the said river as the greater or middle stream thereof reacheth or lies up into the north country, northward unto the head thereof, and from thence, by a straight line drawn due north, until it meets with the south line of the Massachusetts Colony, and on the north or northerly by the aforesaid south or southerly line of the Massachusetts Colony or plantation, and extending towards the east or eastwardly three English miles, to the east and northeast of the most eastern and northeastern parts of the aforesaid Narragansett Bay, as the said bay lieth or extendeth itself from the ocean on the south or southwardly unto the mouth of the river which runneth towards the Town of Providence, and from thence along the eastwardly side or bank of the said river (higher called by the name of Seacunck River) up to the falls called Patuckett Falls, being the most westwardly line of Plymouth Colony, and so from the said falls in a straight line due north until it meet with the aforesaid line of the Massachusetts Colony, and bounded on the south by the ocean. And in particular the lands belonging to the Town of Providence, Pawtuxet, Warwick, Nisquammacock, alias Pawcatuck, and the rest upon the mainland in the tract aforesaid, together with Rhode Island, Block Island, and all the rest of the islands and banks in the Narragansett Bay, and bordering upon the coast of the tract aforesaid (Fisher Island only excepted), together with all firm lands, soils, grounds, havens, ports, rivers, waters, fishings, mines royal, and all other mines, minerals, precious stones, quarries, woods, wood grounds, rocks, slates, and all and singular other commodities, jurisdictions, royalties, privileges, franchises, preeminences, and hereditaments whatsoever within the said tract, bounds, lands, and islands aforesaid or to them or any of them, belonging or in anywise appertaining."
The bill proceeds to state the canceling and vacating of the charter to "The Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay in New England" on a scire facias, and afterwards the regrant of the same territory, with other territories known by the name of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay and Colony of New Plymouth, the Province of Maine, &c., by King William and Queen Mary, on 7
October, 1691. The description of the territory then granted, so far as the same is important in this case, was the following:
"All that part of New England in America lying and extending from the great river commonly called Monomack, alias Merrimack, on the north part, and from three miles northward of the said river to the Atlantic or western sea or ocean on the south part, and all the lands and hereditaments whatsoever lying within the limits aforesaid, and extending as far as the outermost points or promontories of land called Cape Cod and Cape Malabar, north and south, and in latitude, breadth, and in length and longitude of and within all the breadth and compass aforesaid, throughout the main land there, from the said Atlantic or western sea and ocean on the east part, towards the South Sea, or westward, as far as our colonies of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and the Narragansett country. And also all that part and portion of mainland beginning at the entrance of Piscataway Harbor, and so to pass up the same into the River of Newichwannock, and through the same into the furthest head thereof, and from thence northwestward till one hundred and twenty miles be finished, and from Piscataway Harbor mouth aforesaid northeastward along the sea coast to Sagadehock, and from the period of one hundred and twenty miles aforesaid to cross overland to the one hundred and twenty miles before reckoned up into the land from Piscataway Harbor, through Newichwannock River, and also the north half of the Isles of Shoals, together with the Isles of Capawock and Nantuckett, near Cape Cod aforesaid, and also the lands and hereditaments lying and being in the country or territory commonly called Accada or Nova Scotia, and all those lands and hereditaments lying and extending between the said country or territory of Nova Scotia and the said River of Sagadehock, or any part thereof."
The bill states that the Province of Massachusetts and the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, thus established, continued under the charters and letters patent until July 4, 1776, when with their sister colonies they became independent states. The bill alleges the dividing boundary line, under the letters patent and charter to the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and Massachusetts, to have been "a line drawn east and west three English miles south of the river called Charles River, or of any or every part thereof." That for some years after the granting of the charter to Rhode Island, the lands included in the colony adjoining Massachusetts, remained wild and uncultivated, and were of little value;
that previous to 1709, the inhabitants of Rhode Island entered on parts of the land and made improvements, and that the said northern boundary line never having been settled, defined or established, disputes and controversies arose between the inhabitants of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay and of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, and between the governments of the said province and colony in relation to the boundary of said colony.
The bill proceeds to state that in consequence of various disputes and controversies about the boundary between the two colonies, numerous efforts were made to adjust and settle the same, all of which, as the bill alleges, were not productive of a satisfactory result to the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and to the State of Rhode Island, afterwards established.
These are particularly set forth in the bill, and the proceedings of the Legislatures of Rhode Island and Massachusetts are given at large in the same, with the operations of the commissioners appointed and acting under the authority thereof. After stating the efforts made by the two states, both whilst colonies and after they became independent states, for the determination of the line, up to 1791, alleged to have been abortive and without success, the bill proceeds to state
"That on or about the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and nine, other commissioners were appointed by the said State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and the said State of Massachusetts for the purpose of ascertaining and settling the said northern line of the said State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations; that the said last mentioned commissioners respectively continued such commissioners until the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighteen; and that the said last mentioned commissioners had several meetings, but were never able to agree upon and settle, and never did agree upon and settle, the said northern line of the said State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations."
The bill asserts the right of Rhode Island to the territory in dispute; that Massachusetts is in possession of the same and exercises and asserts sovereignty and jurisdiction over the same under the pretenses that the same was included in the grants or charters from the Crown of England, under the mistaken belief that the line, three miles south of Charles River (a station having been fixed by Nathaniel Woodword and Solomon Saffrey as the point three miles south of Charles River), actually runs where Massachusetts has assumed it to run, and alleging that the line, as it is claimed and has always been
claimed by Massachusetts, was settled and adjusted by the commissioners acting under the authority of the parties respectively.
The bill proceeds to show the errors of proceedings of the commissioners acting for the two colonies, and states
"That no mark, stake or monument at that time existed by which the place in which said Woodword and Saffrey were so as aforesaid alleged to have set up a stake could then be ascertained. That the persons who executed, witnessed and consented to the said pretended agreement did not, nor did any or either of them, go to any place where said stake was alleged to have been set up, nor did they or any or either of them make any survey or cause any survey to be made or run any line or lines or cause any line or lines to be run or take any other means to ascertain at what place, if any, the said stake was set up by said Woodword and Saffrey, nor whether the place in which the said stake was alleged as aforesaid to have been set up by the said Woodword and Saffrey was in fact three English miles, and no more, south of the river called Charles River, or of any or every part thereof, nor whether the said line, alleged in said pretended agreement to have been run by the said Woodword and Saffrey, was ever in fact run by said Woodword and Saffrey, nor whether said pretended line was the true and proper boundary line between the said Province of the Massachusetts Bay on the north and the said Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations on the south, U.S. according to the true intent and meaning of the grants contained in the respective charters or letters patent aforesaid."
The bill asserts that the line designated and run under the agreements has always been resisted by Rhode Island while a colony and since she became a sovereign state, and that no other boundary than that asserted in the bill between Rhode Island and Massachusetts than that defined, granted and established in and by the respective charters and letters patent aforesaid hereinbefore set forth, according to the true and fair construction thereof, has ever been consented to or admitted to be the true boundary line by the complainants, either while she continued under the royal government or since she became an independent and sovereign state. The proceedings of Massachusetts are alleged to
"interfere with and prevent the exercise of that jurisdiction and sovereignty which, by the law of the land and the Constitution of the Union, she is entitled to exercise over the whole tract of land mentioned and described in the charter or letters patent granted to the said Colony of Rhode Island and Providence
Plantations and hereinbefore set forth, and over the citizens and inhabitants thereof, according to her claim in this her bill made."
The bill asks that inasmuch as the complainants have no satisfactory relief on the common law side of the court, "especially as the controversy concerns questions of jurisdiction and sovereignty," that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts answer the matters set forth in the bill, and that
"the northern boundary line between the complainants and the State of Massachusetts may, by the order and decree of this Honorable Court, be ascertained and established, and that the rights of jurisdiction and sovereignty of the complainants to the whole tract of land, with the appurtenances mentioned, described, and granted in and by the said charter or letters patent to the said Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, hereinbefore set forth, and running on the north, an east and west line drawn three miles south of the waters of said Charles River or of any or every part thereof, may be restored and confirmed to the complainants and the complainants may be quieted in the full and free enjoyment of her jurisdiction and sovereignty over the same, and the title, jurisdiction and sovereignty of the said State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations over the same be confirmed and established by the decree of the Court, and that the complainants may have such other and further relief in the premises, as to 'the' Court shall seem meet and consistent with equity and good conscience."
"The Plea and Answer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to the bill of complaint of the State of Rhode Island" alleges that in 1642, for the purpose of ascertaining the true southern boundary line of Massachusetts, a station or monument was erected and fixed at a point south of Charles River, taken and believed to be on the true and real boundary line of the Colony of Massachusetts, which monument became and has ever since been well known and notorious, and then was and ever since has been called Woodword and Saffrey's Station, on Wrentham Plains, and after the fixing of said station, and after running of the line aforesaid, and after the granting of the charter of Rhode Island, and while all the territory north of said station and line was claimed, held, and possessed, and jurisdiction over the same exercised and enjoyed by Massachusetts as parcel of her own territory, about the year 1709, dispute and controversy having arisen between the two governments respecting the said boundary line,
persons were appointed by the government of Rhode Island and by the government of Massachusetts to settle the misunderstanding about the line between the colonies, and what the persons appointed should agree upon should be forever after taken and deemed to be the stated lines and bounds, so as the agreement be drawn up in writing, and indented, under their hands and seals, within six months as aforesaid.
That afterwards, on 19 January, 1710, the commissioners appointed by the colonies met and entered into an "agreement of the partition line betwixt the Colony of Massachusetts and the Colony of Rhode Island" by which it was declared:
"That the stake set up by Nathaniel Woodword and Solomon Saffrey, skillful approved artists, in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and forty-two, and since that often renewed, in the latitude of forty-one degrees and fifty-five minutes, being three English miles distant southward from the southernmost part of the river called Charles River, agreeable to the letters patent for the Massachusetts Province, be accompted and allowed, on both sides, the commencement of the line between the Massachusetts and the Colony of Rhode Island, and to be continued betwixt the said two governments in such manner as that, after it has proceeded between the said two governments, it may pass over Connecticut River at or near Bissell's house, as is deciphered in the plan and tract of that line by Nathaniel Woodword and Solomon Saffrey."
By this agreement, on a presumption that there had been error in setting up the station, certain surveys had been made within the line of Massachusetts thus ascertained, it stipulated that there should
"be and remain unto the said Town of Providence and inhabitants of the government of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations a certain tract of land of one mile in breadth, to the northward of the said line of Woodword and Saffrey, as before described and platted, beginning from the great River of Pautucket, and so to proceed at the north side of the said patent line, of equal breadth, until it come to the place where Providence west line cuts the said patent line, supposed to contain five thousand acres, be the same more or less, the soil whereof shall be and remain to the Town of Providence, or others, according to the disposition thereof to be made by the government of Rhode Island aforesaid. Nevertheless to continue and remain within the jurisdiction and government of her Majesty's Province of the Massachusetts Bay, anything in this agreement to the contrary thereof, or seemingly so, notwithstanding. "
The agreement contained other provisions for the preservation of the line, and for the ascertaining the surveys made by the inhabitants of Providence within the same, so that they might proceed with the settlement and improvement thereof.
This agreement was executed under the hands and seals of the commissioners and was witnessed by persons on the part of the two colonies.
The plea and answer alleges that the whole of the real and true merits of the complainants' supposed cause of action were fully heard, tried, and determined by the judgment and agreement of the commissioners, that the same was a full settlement of all the matters in controversy and was made in good faith, and the station so fixed and established, became matter of common notoriety, and the line capable of being always known and ascertained.
The answer and plea further states that afterwards, on or about June 18, 1717, to complete the settling and running the line between the two governments, the General Assembly of Massachusetts passed an order appointing commissioners to meet commissioners to be appointed by Rhode Island to run the line, according to the agreement of January 19, 1710. Certain other proceedings on the part of Massachusetts took place preparatory to the proceedings of the commissioners, and on 17 June, 1717, the General Assembly of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations passed an act appointing commissioners on the part of Rhode Island for the final settlement of the boundary line with the commissioners named and appointed by Massachusetts. On or about 22 of October, 1718, the commissioners met and then made an agreement which was signed, sealed, executed, and delivered by them by which it was stipulated and declared:
"That the stake set up by Nathaniel Woodword and Solomon Saffrey in the year one thousand six hundred and forty-two upon Wrentham Plain, be the station or commencement to begin the line which shall divide between the two governments aforesaid, from which said stake the dividing line shall run, so as it may (at Connecticut River) be two miles and a half to the southward of a due west line, allowing the variation of the compass to be nine degrees, which said line shall forever be and remain to be the dividing line and boundary between the said governments, any former difference, controversy, claim, demand, or challenge whatsoever notwithstanding."
And on the twenty-ninth day of the said October last aforesaid, the General Assembly of the said Colony of
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations accepted the agreement of the said commissioners and caused the same to be duly recorded, and thereby ratified and confirmed the same.
The answer avers that all this was done in good faith and with a full and equal knowledge of all the circumstances by the respective parties and that the same has never been annulled, rescinded, or abandoned, and the last agreement was in pursuance of the agreement of 1709. Afterwards, on 14 May, 1719, the commissioners on the part of Massachusetts and Rhode Island signed a report, return, and statement of their proceedings under the designation of
"The Subscribers, being of the committee appointed and empowered by the governments of the Province of Massachusetts Bay and the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, for settling the east and west line between the said governments,"
stating that they had met at the stake of Nathaniel Woodword and Solomon Saffrey on Wrentham Plain, and had run the line, placing heaps of stones and marking trees to designate the same.
The defendant further alleges
"That the said report, return, or statement was afterwards -- that is to say on or about 16 June in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and nineteen, approved by the General Assembly of the said Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,"
and the defendant alleges that from the date of the said agreements to the present time the said Commonwealth of Massachusetts has possessed and enjoyed all the territory and exercised jurisdiction over the same north of the said line, as prescribed in the said agreements of October, 1718, without hindrance or molestation, and the said defendant avers that both the points of beginning agreed upon by said parties to said agreement, viz., the stake or station set up by the said Woodword and Saffrey, and the line run therefrom to Connecticut River, then were, ever since have been, and still are well known and notorious; that the whole boundary line fixed on by said agreement is precise, definite, and certain, and that the said defendant has occupied and exercised jurisdiction and enjoyed all rights of sovereignty according to the same from the date thereof to the present time.
The defendant pleads the agreement of 19 January, 1710, and the agreement in pursuance and confirmation thereof of 22 October, 1717, and unmolested possession under the same from their date in bar of the whole bill of the complainants, and prays judgment accordingly.
The answer and plea further aver that the agreements stated were made and entered into with full knowledge of all the circumstances in both parties; that the same were a valid and effectual settlement of the matters in controversy and were made and entered into without fraud or misrepresentation, and the station settled there has been notorious, and the line run therefrom has always been known and its marks and memorials capable of being discerned and renewed.
Mr. Webster, of counsel for the State of Massachusetts, moved to dismiss the bill filed by the State of Rhode Island on the ground that the court had no jurisdiction of the cause.