Arkansas v. Mississippi
471 U.S. 377 (1985)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Arkansas v. Mississippi, 471 U.S. 377 (1985)

Arkansas v. Mississippi

No. 92, Orig.

Final decree entered April 29, 1985

471 U.S. 377

ON BILL OF COMPLAINT

FINAL DECREE

The Report of the Special Master is received and ordered filed. The parties have presented a stipulation for entry of the proposed agreed decree. The Report of the Special Master is adopted and a final decree is entered accordingly.

IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED AS FOLLOWS:

1. The common boundary between the States of Arkansas and Mississippi in the Mississippi River is the thalweg, which is the middle of the main navigable channel followed as the principal course of downstream navigation. This judgment determines the geographical location of this boundary in the reach of the Mississippi River, as more particularly described hereinafter, separating portions of Lee County, Arkansas and Tunica County, Mississippi in the vicinity of Bordeaux Point and Whiskey Island/Bordeaux Island.

2. Establishment of the common Arkansas-Mississippi boundary in "old" Walnut Bend, looping Whiskey Island/ Bordeaux Island, originated with the Bordeaux Chute Cutoff, which occurred in or about 1874 and was complete in or about 1883. The locus of that portion of the state boundary consisting of approximately the eastern one-half of "old" Walnut Bend has been subsequently established by long acquiescence by the States of Arkansas and Mississippi in private boundary lines resulting from prior litigation and agreements among the owners of lands adjacent thereto. The locus of these private boundaries, which the States of Arkansas and Mississippi have adopted by acquiescence as also being the locus of the interstate boundary, is as shown on the map of Mr. W. H. Guyer, a true and correct copy of which is

Page 471 U. S. 378

attached hereto as Exhibit "A" * and described by geodetic coordinates as Segment B, Points PA through PL, in the composite description set forth hereinafter. The remainder of the interstate boundary in approximately the western one-half of "old" Walnut Bend lies along the dead thalweg of the Mississippi River as it existed when the River's flow ceased in this abandoned bendway subsequent to, and caused by, the Bordeaux Chute Cutoff. The locus of this portion of the interstate boundary in "old" Walnut Bend is as shown in Exhibit "B" and described as Segment B, Points Pm through Pbb in the composite description set forth hereinafter.

3. Establishment of the common Arkansas-Mississippi boundary along the southerly limit of Bordeaux Point originated with the Hardin Point Cutoff, constructed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers in 1942. In 1947, when the Mississippi River ceased to flow in this abandoned bendway (Fox Island Bend), the locus of the state boundary along the dead thalweg was determined by Mr. St. George Richardson, whose plat thereof has been accepted since that time by the States of Arkansas and Mississippi as correctly depicting this portion of the interstate boundary looping Bordeaux Point. A true and correct copy of the St. George Richardson survey is attached hereto as Exhibit "C" and described as Segment D in the composite description set forth hereinafter.

The common Arkansas-Mississippi boundary looping Bordeaux Point between Lee County, Arkansas and Tunica County, Mississippi, from the upper end of Mhoon Bend to the upper end of Fox Island Bend, exclusive of that portion of this boundary in "old" Walnut Bend looping Whiskey Island/Bordeaux Island, is depicted on Exhibit "D" and described

Page 471 U. S. 379

as Segment A and Segments C and D in the composite description set forth hereinafter.

4. The common Arkansas-Mississippi state boundary looping Bordeaux Point between Lee County, Arkansas and Tunica County, Mississippi, from the upper end of Mhoon Bend to the upper end of Fox Island Bend, as depicted on Exhibits "B" and "D" hereto, is described using geodetic coordinates as follows:

a. SEGMENT A

"That portion of the Arkansas-Mississippi state boundary line being the line of the live thalweg of the Mississippi River, points P1 through P8 as depicted on the accompanying map titled 'Arkansas-Mississippi State Boundary in the Vicinity of Bordeaux Point,' and being more particularly described as follows:"

"Beginning at point P1 on the live thalweg of the Mississippi River at Mhoon Bend, said point being at approximately River Mile 686.3, at longitude 90

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