Oregon Ry. & Nav. Co. v. Oregonian Ry. Co., Ltd.
Annotate this Case
130 U.S. 1 (1889)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Oregon Ry. & Nav. Co. v. Oregonian Ry. Co., Ltd., 130 U.S. 1 (1889)
Oregon Railway and Navigation Company v.
Oregonian Railway Company, Limited
Argued April 27, 30, May 1, 1888
Decided March 5, 1889
130 U.S. 1
ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF OREGON
In the United States, a corporation can only have an existence under the express law of the state by which it is created, and can exercise no power or authority which is not granted to it by the charter under which it exists, or by some other legislative act.
When a statute makes a grant of property, powers, or franchises to a private corporation or to a private individual, the construction of the grant in doubtful points should always be against the grantee and in favor of the government, and this general rule of construction applies with still greater force to articles of association organizing a corporation under general laws.