Concord v. Robinson,
121 U.S. 165 (1887)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Concord v. Robinson, 121 U.S. 165 (1887)

Concord v. Robinson

Argued March 21, 1887

Decided April 4, 1887

121 U.S. 165


A grant to a municipal corporation of power to appropriate moneys in aid of the construction of a railroad, accompanied by a provision directing the levy and collection of taxes to meet such appropriation, and prescribing no other mode of payment, does not authorize the issuing of negotiable bonds in payment of such appropriation.

The power given by the Act of March 24, 1869, of the Legislature of Illinois, relating to the Chicago, Danville and Vincennes Railroad, to townships, towns, and cities which had voted to contribute aid in the construction of said road to borrow money and issue bonds in payment of such contributions, if not acted upon prior to July 2, 1870, was withdrawn by the Constitution of Illinois of 1870, and could not thereafter be exercised.

Subscriptions and donations in aid of railroads, voted by municipal corporations of Illinois prior to July 2, 1870, such vote being authorized by laws in force when it was taken, could be completed after that date according to the conditions attached to the vote or upon terms that did not increase the public burdens notwithstanding the provision in the Constitution of 1870 that no municipality

"shall ever become subscriber to the capital stock of any railroad or private corporation or make donation to or loan its credit in aid of such corporation."

This was an action at law to recover on coupons attached to negotiable bonds issued by the plaintiff in error. A jury was

Page 121 U. S. 166

waived at the trial. Judgment for plaintiff. Defendant sued out this writ of error. The case is stated in the opinion of the court.

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