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19. Who is by law visitor of all civil corporations ?–481.
The king ; and the law has appointed the court of king's bench as the place wherein be shall exercise this jurisdiction.
20. Who are visitors of eleemosynary corporations ?–482.
By the dotation the founder and his heirs are, of common right, the legal visitors.
21. Are colleges lay corporations ?-483.
It is now held as established common law, that colleges are lay corporations, though sometimes totally composed of ecclesias
22. To whom do the lands and tenements of a corporation revert upon its dissolution ?—484,
To the person, or his heirs, who granted them.
23. What becomes of the debts of the corporation, either to or from it, upon its dissolution ?-484.
They are totally extinguished.
24. By what methods may a corporation be dissolved ?–485.
1st. By act of parliament.
2d. By the natural death of all its members, in case of an aggregate corporation.
3d. By surrender of its franchises into the hands of the king.
4th. By forfeiture of its charter, through negligence or abuse of its franchises.
25. What is an information in the nature of a writ of quo warranto ?-485.
It is a proceeding to inquire by what warrant the members of a corporation exercise their corporate powers, having forfeited them by such and such proceedings. 26. What is provided against the dissolution of corporations ?–485.
As, by the common law, corporations were dissolved in case the mayor or head officer was not duly elected on the day appointed in the charter, or established by prescription, it is now provided, by statute, that for the future no corporation shall be dissolved upon that account.
OF THE RIGHTS OF THINGS.
OF PROPERTY IN GENERAL.
1. What are the rights of dominion or property 2-1.
Those rights which a man may acquire in and to such external things as are unconnected with his person.
2. Are men'in general well informed as to the nature and origin of these rights -2.
They are not : there is nothing which so generally strikes the imagination, and engages the affections of mankind, as the right of property ; or that sole and despotic dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in total exclusion of the right of any other individual in the universe. And yet there are few that will give themselves the trouble to consider the origin and foundation of this right. Pleased as we are with the possession, we seem afraid to look back to the means by which it was acquired, as if fearful of some defect in our title ; or, at best, we rest satisfied with the decision of the laws in our favor, without examining the reason, or authority upon which those laws have been built. We think it enough that our title is derived by the grant of the former proprietor, by descent from our ancestors, or by the last will and testament of the dying owner; not caring to reflect that (accurately and strictly speaking) there is no foundation in nature, or in natural law, why a set of words upon parchment should convey the dominion of land; why the son should have a right to exclude his fellow-creatures from a determinate spot of ground, be cause his father had done so before him ; or why the occupier of a particular field, or of a jewel, when lying on his death-bed, and no longer able to maintain possession, should be entitled to tell the rest of the world which of them shall enjoy it after him.
3. Why has man dominion over external things ?-2.
in the beginning, we are informed by Holy Writ, that the allbountiful Creator gave to man “ dominion over all the earth ; and over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” This is the only true and solid foundation of man's dominion over external things.
4. To whom does the earth belong ?-3.
The earth, and all things therein, are the general property of all mankind, exclusive of other beings, from the immediate gift ɔf the Creator.
5. While the earth continued bare of inhabitants, were all things in common?—3.
Yes ; every one took from the public stock to his owu use such things as his immediate necessities required.
6. Was this communion of goods ever applicable to the use of the thing?-3.
No: it seems never to have been applicable, even in the earliest ages, to aught but the substance of the thing, nor could it be extended to the use of it.
7. How was property first acquired ?-3.
By the law of nature and reason, he who first began to use anything, acquired therein a kind of transient property, that lasted so long as he was using it, and no longer. The right of possession continued for the same time only that the act of possession lasted.
8. Horo originated separate property in the substance of the thing ?-5.
When mankind increased in number, craft, and ambition, it became necessary to entertain conceptions of more permanent dominion, and to appropriate to individuals, not the immediate use only, but the very substance of the thing to be used.
9. What species of property became first appropriated ?45.
Movables, of every kind, became sooner appropriated than the soil.
10. Was the article of food a matter of early consideration ?-5.
Yes ; such as were not contented with the spontaneous productions of the earth, sought for a more solid refreshment in the flesh of beasts, which they obtained by hunting. But the frequent disappointments incident to that method of provision, induced them to gather together such animals as were of a more tame and sequacious nature ; and to establish a permanent property in their flocks and herds, in order to sustain themselves in a less precarious manner, partly by the milk of the dams, and partly by the flesh of the young. The support of these their cattle, made the article of water also a very important point. And, therefore, the book of Genesis (the most venerable monument of antiquity, considered merely with a view to history) will furnish us with frequent instances of violent contentions concerning wells; the exclusive property of which appears to have been established in the first digger or occupant, even in places where the ground and herbage remained yet in common. Thus we find Abraham, who was but a sojourner, asserting his right to a well in the country of Abimelech, and exacting an oath for his security, “because he had digged that well.” And Isaac, about ninety years afterwards, reclaimed that his father's property ; and after much contention with the Philistines, was suffered to enjoy it in peace.
11. What was the origin of the right to land ?–6.
The soil and pasture of the earth remained in common, and open to every occupant; except, perhaps, in the neighborhood of towns, where the necessity of a sole and exclusive property in lands, for the sake of agriculture, was earlier felt, and therefore more readily complied with. Otherwise, when the multitude of men and cattle had consumed every convenience upon one spot of ground, it was deemed a natural right to seize upon, and occups such other lands as would more easily supply their necessities. This practice is still retained among wild and uncultivated nations.
12. Upon what was founded the right of migration 2—7.
Upon the same principle, as the right to land, was founded the right of migration, or sending colonies to find out new habitations, when the mother-country was overcharged with inhabitants.
13. What was the principal source of property in land ?—7.
Labor and agriculture. The art of agriculture, by a regular connection and consequence, introduced and established the idea of a more permáñent property in the soil. 14. How did property in land become actually vested ?—8.
Occupancy is that by which the title to land was, in fact, originally gained ; every man seizing to his own continued use such spots of ground as he found most agreeable to his own convenience, provided he found them unoccupied by any one else.
15. How long continues the property in land thus acquired by occupancy ?-9.
It remains in the first taker, by the principles of universal law, till such time as he does some other act, which shows an intention to abandon it ; for then it becomes, naturally speaking, publici juris once more, and is liable to be again appropriated by the next occupant.
16. What was the origin of conveyances, wills, and inheritances ? .-13.
Mutual convenience introduced commercial traffic, and the reciprocal transfer of property by sale, grant, or conveyance. Ali property must cease upon death, considering men as absolute individuals, and unconnected with civil society. The universal law of almost every nation, however, has either given the dying person a power of continuing his property, by disposing of his possessions by will ; or, in case he neglects to dispose of it, or is not permitted to make any disposition at all, the municipal law of the country then steps in, and declares who shall be the successor, representative, or heir, of the deceased.