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considered as of their body, and transferred with them to Louisiana.f. In 1717, Crozat transferred his rights to the compagnie d'Occident, at the head of which was the famous Law, 8. Raymal. 166. [edit. 1780.] which again in 1720, by union with others, became the Compagnie des Indes, who in 1731, surrendered the colony back to the king. 1. Valin, 20. But these various transfers from company to company, of the monopoly of their commerce, for that was the sum of what was granted them, and their final surrender to the king, could not affect the rights of the people, nor change the laws by which they were governed. When they returned to the immediate government of the king, their laws passed with them, and remained in full force until, and so far only as, subsequently altered by their legislator. That this was the sense of their "government may be inferred from a clause in the edict creating the Compagnie des Indes Occidentales, art. 34.
“Seront lesjuges établisen tous les dits lieux tenus de juger suiwant les lois et ordonnances du royaume, et les officiers de suivre et se conformer a la coutume de la Prevöté et vicomté de Paris,
“The judges established in all the said places shall be held to adjudge according to the lawsand ordinances of the kingdom, and the officers to follow and conform themselves to the customs of the
# If it be objected that the incorporation of the Roman law with the customs of Paris, and their joint transfer to Louisiana does not appear, I answer, 1. At the date of Crozat's charter, the Roman law had for many centuries been amalgamated with the customary law of Paris, made one body with it, and it's principal part. By the customs of Paris were doubtless meant the laws of Paris, of which the Roman then made an important part, and might well be understood to be transferred with them. It was hardly intended that the new colonists were to unravel this web, and to take out for their own use only the fibres of Parisian customs, the least applicable part of the system to their novel situation. 2. If the term, coutumes de Paris in the charter be rigorously restrained to it's literal import, yet the judges of Louisiana would have the same authority for appealing to the Roman as a supplementary code, which the judges of Paris and of all France, had had; and even greater, as being , sanctioned by so general an example. 3. The practice of considering the Roman law, as a part of the law of the land in Louisiana, is evidence of a general opinion of those who composed that state that it was transferred, and of an opinion much better informed, and more authoritative than ours can be. Or it may be considered as an adoption, by universal, though tacit consent, of those who had a right to adopt, either formally, or informally, as they pleased, as the laws of England were originally adopted in most of these states, and still stand on no other ground.
No. XVII. D
stivant laquelleles habitans pourront contracter, sans que l’on y puisse introduire aucune autre coutume, pour éviter la diversité.’ 1. Moreau de St. Mery, 100.
Prevoté and vicomté of Paris, according to which the inhabitants may contract, without that that any other custoun may be introduced, to avoid diversity.’ 1. Mo
reau de St. Mery, 100.
This then is the system of law by which the legal character of the facts of the case is now to be tested: and the plaintiff and his counsel having imagined that, in the Roman branch of it, they had found a niche in which they could place the batture to great advantage, have availed themselves of it with no little dexterity, and by calling it habitually an alluvion, have given a general currency to the idea that it is really an alluvion: insomuch that even those who deny their inferences, have still suffered themselves carelessly to speak of it under that term. Were we, for a moment to indulge them in this misnomer, and to look at their claim as if really an alluvial one, the false would be found to avail them as little as the true name. The Roman law indeed says, “quod per alluvionem, agro tuo flumen adjecit, jure gentium, tibi adduiritur.” “What the river adds to your field by alluvion, becomes yours by the law of nations.” Institute. L. 1. tit.1. §. 20. Dig. L. 41. tit.1. §. 7. The same law, in like manner, gave to the adjacent proprietors, the sand bars, shoals, islands rising in the river, and even the bed of the river itself, as far as it was contracted or deserted. Inst. 2. 1. 22. and 2. 1. 23. But the established laws of France differed in all these Cases.
And Guyot, in the Répertoire universel de Jurisprudence, a work also of authority and cited with approbation by the plaintiff and his counsel, [Liv. 21. Du Ponceau, 14.] under the word
‘Nous n'admettons pas comme les Romains, les alluvions, et les Accroissemens, au profit des proPrietaires riverains, soit parles changemens qui peuvent survenir dans le lit des rivières, soit relativement aux iles, et ilots qui Peuvent s'y former. Chez eux le lit, et les bords des fleuves et rivières étaient censés faire partie des heritages riverains; et par une suite deces maximes, le terrain qu'un fleuve ajoutait aces heritages, appartenait a ceux qui en €taient propriétaires. Ils reunissaient de méme a leurs possessions le lit que le fleuve abandonnait; et lorsqu'il se formait une ile dans le milieu de son lit, les riverains y avaient un droit égal, et en partageaient la propriété. Suivant nos principes, les rivières navigables, leur lit, rives, et tous les terrains qui peuvent s'y former, appartiennent au roi, a raison de sa souveraineté. C'est la disposition précise de l'article 41. du tit. 37. de l'Ordonnance des eaux et forêts de 1669, qui a dissipé tous les doutes que l'on cherchait a faire naitre dans plusieurs provinces, sur les fondemens des énonciations qui se rencontraient dans les anciennes concessions.
* We do not admit, as the Romans, alluvions and accumulations to go to the riparian proprietors, either by changes which may happen in the bed of rivers, or relating to isles, and islots which may there be formed. With them the bed and borders of rivers and streams were considered as making part of the riparian inheritances; and as a consequence of these maxims, the earth which a river added to these inheritances, belonged to those who were the proprietors of them. They reunited in like manner to their possessions the bed which a river abandoned, and when an isle was formed in the middle of it’s bed, the riparians had an equal right to it, and divided the property. According to our principles, navigable streams, theirbed, banks, and all the grounds which may be formed there, belong to the king, in right of his sovereignty. It is the precise provision of art. 41. tit. 37, of the Ordonnance des eaux et forêts, which has dissipated all the doubts which they had endeavoured to raise in several provinces, on the grounds of the enunciations which were found in the ancient concessions.” Cited Derbigny 23.
Again, after laying down the Roman law of alluvion, and of
islands formed in the beds of rivers, Le Rasle, in the Law Dictionary, forminga part of the Encyclopédie Méthodique. Juris
* Pour ce qui regarde l'augmentation arrivée à un héritage subitement et tout d'un coup, la décision que les loix Romaines ont faites à cet égard n'est point observée dans le royaume. Cette augmentation appartient au roi, dans les rivieres navigables.'And Denizart agrees, * que les attérissements formés subitement dans la mer, ou dans les fleuves ou rivières navigables, appartiennent au roi, par le seul titre de sa sou veraineté.'
And he refers to the edicts of 1683. 1693. and 171o. And to put aside all further question as to the law of France on this subject, Louis XIV. by an edict of December 15, 1693, Having no copy of this Ordinance, I quote it from Mr. Derbigny, p. 2O. Duponceau, p. 1O. and l'Examen de la Sentence, p. 8 By putting together the parts they cite, for neither gives
* As to augmentations happening suddenly and all at once, the decision of the Roman laws in this respect, is not observed in the kingdom. These augmentations belong to the king in navigable rivers.' And Denizart agrees, *that atterrisscments formed suddenly in the sea, or the navigable rivers or streams, belong to the king in the sole right of his sovereignty.'
* Louis, &c. Greeting. The - right of property which we have
* Louis, &c. salut. Le droit de propriété que nous avons sur tous les fleuves et rivières navigables de notre royaume, et conséquemment de toutes les isles, moulins, bacs, &c. attérissemens et accroissemens formés pas les dits fleuves et rivières, étant incontestablement établi par les lois de l'état, comme une suite et une dépendance nécessaire de notre souveraineté, les rois nos prédecesseurs et nous, avons de tems en tems, ordonné des recherches des isles et crémens qui s'y sont formés,&c. Aces causes, de l'avis de notre conseil et de notre certaine science, pleine puissance et autorité royale, nous avons par ces *présentes, signées de notre main, dit, statué et ordonné, disons, statuons et ordonnons, voulons et nous plait, que tous les détenteurs, propriétaires, ou possesseurs des isles, islots, attérissemens, accroissemens, alluvions, droits de pêche, péages, ponts, moulins, bacs, coches, bateaux, édifices et droits sur les rivières navigables de notre royaume, qui rapporteront des titres de propriété ou de possession, avant le l er Avril, 1566, y soient maintenus et conservés dans leurs possessions, en payant au fisc une année, et ceux sans titre, ni possession antérieurs au ler Avril, 1566, en payant deux années de revenu.'
inall rivers and navigable streams ofour kingdom, and consequently in all the isles, mills, ferries, &c.accumulations andincrements formed by the said rivers and navigable streams, being incontestably established by the laws of the state, as a necessary consequence and dependance of our sovereignty, the kings, our predecessors, and ourselves, have from time to time ordered inquiries as to isles and increments therein formed, &c. For these causes with the advice of our council, and of our certain knolege, full power and royal authority, we have by these presents, signed with our hand, declared, enacted and ordained, and we do declare, enact and ordain, we will, and it is our pleasure that all the holders, proprietors, or possessors, of isles, islots, accumulations, increments, alluvions, rights of fishery, tolls, bridges, mills, ferries, packets, bateaux, edifices and imposts on the navigable rivers of our kingdom which shall produce titles of property or of possession before the lst of April, 1566, shall be therein maintained and secured in their possessions, on paying to the treasury one year's revenue, and those without title papers, or possession prior to the 1st of April, 1566, on payment of two years'revenue.'