Young v. Bank of Alexandria
8 U.S. 384 (1808)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Young v. Bank of Alexandria, 8 U.S. 4 Cranch 384 384 (1808)

Young v. Bank of Alexandria

8 U.S. (4 Cranch) 384

Syllabus

An appeal or writ of error lies from the judgments of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia to this Court in cases where the Bank of Alexandria is plaintiff and the judgments below are in its favor, notwithstanding the clause in its charter to the contrary.

The right of Virginia to legislate for that part of the District of Columbia which was ceded by her to the United States continued until 27 February, 1801.

The act of Virginia incorporating the Bank of Alexandria is a public law.

Alexandria.

C. Simms, for the defendant in error, having obtained a rule on the plaintiff in error, to show cause why the writ of error should not be quashed, Roungs, E. J. Lee, and Jones, now showed cause, and read a printed paper produced by the other side purporting to be the act of assembly of Virginia of 1792, incorporating the bank and giving them a right to obtain judgments against their debtors at the first term, without appeal or writ of error; another printed paper, also produced by the other side, purporting to be the Act of Assembly of Virginia of 21 January, 1801, continuing the act of 1792 until the year 1811, which would otherwise have expired in the year 1803; the Act of Congress of 27 February, 1801, erecting the Circuit Court for the District of Columbia and providing for an appeal or writ of error to this Court in all cases where the matter in dispute shall exceed the value of one hundred dollars, with a proviso that nothing in that act should impair the rights granted by, or derived from the acts of incorporation of any body corporate within the district; the act of assembly of Virginia of 1789, ceding to the United States a territory for the seat of their government, and the Act of Congress of 1790, accepting the cession.

They contended

1. That when the Legislature of Virginia passed the Act of 21 January, 1801, continuing the act of 1792, which incorporated the bank, the State of Virginia had no power to legislate for the District of Columbia, and therefore could not give continuance to the act of 1792 as a law in that district. The consequence of

Page 8 U. S. 385

which is that there is now no law in the District of Columbia which gives to the bank any exclusive privileges.

2. That the act of Virginia of 2 January, 1801, was not adopted as the law for the District of Columbia by the Act of Congress of 27 February, 1801.

3. That if the act of 21 January, 1801, was adopted as to its general provisions, yet so much of it as takes away the right of appeal was not adopted, because inconsistent with that part of the adopting law, which gives an appeal or writ of error, in all cases where the matter in dispute exceeds the value of $100.

4. That the acts of 1792 and 21 January, 1801, were private acts, and that the papers read, purporting to be those acts, were not sufficiently authenticated, and could not be noticed by the Court.

The points being opened, the Court requested to hear the counsel on the other side.

Page 8 U. S. 396

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