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which the plaintiffs in error proposed to submit to the jury were, in the view we take of the statute, immaterial and irrelevant.
The plaintiffs in error make the further point that the merchant appraiser having appraised the goods in question at 42 francs, and the general appraiser at 52 francs, the law which made it the duty of the collector to decide between them required him to adopt one valuation or the other, and did not authorize him to fix a valuation of his own between those made by the merchant and general appraisers, and that his appraisement at 49 francs was beyond his powers and unauthorized by law, and consequently void.
Without deciding whether this construction of the law is the correct one, we reply that the bill of exceptions shows that after making his first report, the general appraiser filed an amended report, in which he placed his valuation at 49 francs, which was adopted by the collector. The right of the appraiser to amend his report was distinctly recognized in this court in Bartlett v. Kane, 16 How. ubi supra. The informal character of this amended report could not affect the power of the collector to act in the premises.
Plaintiffs in error contend further that a denial of the right to bring an action at law to recover duties paid under an alleged excessive valuation of dutiable merchandise, is depriving the importer of his property without due process of law, and is therefore forbidden by the constitution of the United States. The cases of Murray's Lessee v. Hoboken Land & Imp. Co. 18 How. 272, and Springer v. U. S. 102 U. S. 586, are conclusive on this point against the plaintiffs in error.
We find no error in the record. The judgment of the circuit court must, therefore, be affirmed..
(110 U. S. 162) BISSELL v. TOWNSHIP OF SPRING VALLEY, Cherokee County, Kansas.
(January 21, 1884.)
TOWNSHIP BOND-STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS-LAWS OF KANSAS-REGISTRATION Under the laws of Kansas of 1872, c. 68, $ 15, authorizing the registration of out
Under the laws of Rangas of 1870, c. 90, authorizing the issue of township bonds,
which provides that after the requisite vote in favor of the issue “the board of county commissioners shall order the county clerk to make such subscription in the name of the township, and shall cause such bonds as may be required by the terms of said vote and subscription to be issued in the name of such town. ship, to be signed by the chairman of the board, and attested by the clerk, under the seal of the county,” held, that the signature of the clerk was essential
to the validity of the bonds, even though he had no discretion to withhold it. A township is not estopped by recitals in instruments purporting to be its bonds,
unless they actually are such, and have been duly executed; and an innocent holder for value is in no better position than the obligee.
standing bonds, wherein it is provided that it shall be the duty of the auditor of state, upon the registration of any such bonds, "within ten days thereafter to notify the officers issuing the same of such registration, which fact shall be entered by such officers in a book wherein the record of such bonds is kept, and such bonds shall thereafter be considered registered bonds," held, that no such bonds could be entitled to the benefit of the act unless due compliance with these requisitions were shown.
In Error to the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Kansas.
Alfred Ennis, for plaintiff in error.
Matthews, J. • This was an action brought by the plaintiff in error to recover the amount of certain interest coupons attached to municipal bonds, which, it is alleged in the petition or complaint, were made, issued, and delivered by the defendant, a municipal corporation of Kansas, to aid in the construction of a railroad running within and through its corporate limits, under and in pursuance of an act of the legislature of the state of Kansas, entitled “An act to enable municipal townships to subscribe for stock in any railroad, and to provide for the payment of the same," approved February 25, 1870, under and in pursuance of an order of the board of county commissioners of the county of Cherokee, and under and in pursuance of a vote of more than three-fifths of the qualified voters of the township, voting at an election duly held therein for such purpose, being negotiable bonds payable to bearer. It is further alleged "that afterwards, to-wit, on December 15, A. D. 1871, each of the said bonds, with all the interest coupons thereto attached, was put upon the market and sold and delivered to bona fide purchasers for value, the same passing from hand to hand like other negotiable securities. That afterwards, to-wit, on April 11, A. D. 1872, each of the said bonds, with all the interest coupons thereto attached, was duly registered in the office of the auditor of the state of Kansas, according to law, and the fact that each of the said bonds was so registered was then and there, under the hand and official seal of the said auditor, in writing duly certified and indorsed upon each of the said bonds, a copy of which said certificate and indorsement is filed herewith, made part hereof, and marked Exhibit B.” It is also alleged that after the issuing and delivering of the said bonds, and before the maturity, either of the bonds or of any of the coupons sued upon, they were sold and delivered to the plaintiff for the price of 90 cents on the dollar thereof in cash.
The following is the form of the bond:
($1,000. 'COUNTY OF CHEROKEE, STATE OF KANSAS.
"Spring Valley Township Bond. “Know all men by these presents that Spring Valley township, county of Cherokee, state of Kansas, acknowledges itself and is firmly bound to the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad Company in the sum of one thousand dollars, which sum the said township therein promises to pay to the said Atlantic & Pacific Railroad Company, or bearer, at the office of Northrop & Chick, in the city of New York, and state of New York, on the fifteenth day of December, 1886, together with the interest on the first day of July in each and every year, until this bond matures, at the rate of seven per cent. per annum, which interest shall be payable annually on the presentation and delivery at said office of the coupons of interest hereto attached.
“This bond being issued under and pursuant to an order of the board of county commissioners of Cherokee county, in the state of Kansas, by virtue of an act of the legislature of the state of Kansas, approved February 25, 1870, entitled •An act to enable municipal townships to subscribe for stock in any railroad, and to provide for the payment of the same;' and authorized by a vote of the people taken on the fourth day of February, 1871, as required by law, upon the proposition to subscribe one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to aid in the construction of the said railroad, which proposition was voted upon on the day aforesaid, and three-fifths of the votes of said township being cast in favor of said proposition.
“In testimony whereof the said board of county commissioners of Cherokee county have executed this bond by the chairman of*said board, under the order thereof, signing his name hereunto, and by the clerk of said board attesting the same and affixing the seal of said board.
“This done at Columbus, Cherokee county, this fifteenth day of December, 1871. “[Seal of Cherokee county, Kansas.)
WM. H. CLARK,
“Chairman Board of County Commissioners. "J. G. DUNLAVY, County Clerk.”
The certificate of registration is as follows:
“I, A. Thoman, auditor of the state of Kansas, do hereby certify that this bond has been regularly and legally issued, that the signatures thereto are genuine, and that such bond has been duly registered in my office in accordance with an act of the legislature, entitled "An act to authorize counties, incorporated cities, and municipal townships to issue bonds for the purpose of building bridges, aiding in the construction of railroads, or other works of internal improvement, and providing for the registration of such bonds, the registration of other bonds, and the repealing of all laws in conflict therewith,' approved March 2, 1872.
“Witness my hand and official seal, this eleventh day of April, 1872. "[SEAL.]
A. THOMAN, Auditor of State.” The defendant, in answer to the petition, pleaded the following defense: “That it ought not to be charged with the said supposed debt, by virtue of the said supposed bonds and coupons, because it, by its attorneys, says that J. G. Dunlavy, whose name appears on said bonds and coupons as county clerk, never signed his name thereto or thereon, nor ever authorized any party or parties to sign his name thereto or thereon, and that said signature is not his signature. Nor
did he affix or authorize to be affixed the seal of said county of Cherokee to said bonds or coupons."
To this the plaintiff demurred. The demurrer was overruled, and the plaintiff declining to reply, judgment was rendered for the defendant, to review which this writ of error is prosecuted. The as
signment of error relied on is that this defense being insufficient in Slaw, the demurrer thereto should have been sustained and judgment rendered for the plaintiff. • The plaintiff in error contends that this
judgment is erroneous on several grounds, which we proceed to consider in their order.
1. It is claimed, in the first place, that the defense is not sufficient, because the signature of the county clerk is not essential to the validity of the bonds, nor that the county seal should have been affixed thereto by him. The statute of Kansas, (Laws Kan. 1870, c. 90, p. 189,) under which the bonds in question purport to have been issued, contains the following provisions:
“Section 1. Whenever fifty of the qualified voters, they being freeholders, of any municipal township in any county in the state, shall petition in writing the board of county commissioners of such county to submit to the qualified voters of such township a proposition to take stock, in the name of such township, in any railroad proposed to be constructed into or through such township, and shall in such petition designate the railroad company and the amount of stock proposed to be taken, and the mode and terms of payment for the same, together with the conditions of such subscription, if any, it shall be the duty of such board of county commissioners to cause an election to be held by the qualified voters of such township, to determine whether such subscription shall be made: provided, that the amount of bonds voted by any township shall not be above such an amount as will require a levy of more than one per cent. per annum on the taxable property of such township to pay the yearly interest on the amount of bonds issued.
"Sec. 5. If three-fifths of the electors voting at such election vote for the subscription of the stock, the board of county commissioners shall order the county clerk to make such subscription in the name of the township, and shall cause such bonds as may be required by the terms of said vote and subscription to be issued in the name of such township to be signed by the chairman of the board, and attested by the clerk, under the seal of the county: provided, that the commissioners shall not cause such bonds to be issued until the railroad shall have been completed through the township voting such bonds, or to such point in said township as may be conditioned in said bonds."
It is argued, as the board of county commissioners is the prescribed authority which orders every step to be taken to issue the bonds, and as the clerk acts only as directed by it, and signs and seals the bonds merely as a witness of its orders and acts, that it is only what that board does and directs which becomes important, and that if it issues bonds with the name of the clerk signed and the seal of the county attached, it is not material whether the clerk writes his name or affixes the seal, or whether it is done by another. It is alleged in the petition that the defendant corporation, the municipal township, made, issued, and delivered the bonds on which the suit is founded, and that it was done under, and in pursuance of, an order of the board of county commissioners of the county of Cherokee. But it is sufficient to say, that the power of the board of county commissioners to bind the township is conferred by the statute to be exercised only in the mode pointed out, and the attesting signature of the clerk is as material to the integrity and validity of the bonds as is that of the chairman of the board of county commissioners. The township had no power to bind itself for the purpose of aiding in the construction of a railroad, by subscription to its capital stock and the issue of bonds to pay for the same, except as authorized by this statute; the board of county commissioners of the county did not represent the township for any other purpose, and could not execute its power to issue bonds by instruments not conforming to the substantial requirements of the law. That law required the bonds to be executed in a particular manner, and the signature of the clerk is essential to the valid execution of them, even though he had no discretion to withhold it. Anthony v. County of Jasper, 101 U. S. 693-697; McGarrahan v. Mining Co. 96 U. S. 316. Admitting that the board could cause his signature to be affixed, without his assent, by another specially or generally appointed to do so; still, that it was so affixed in the present case does not appear as matter of fact, and if the fact could be supplied by supposition, the signature would still, in law, be the signature of the clerk. But the answer denies that fact, and the demurrer admits the truth of the denial. So that the defense set forth in the answer is, in law, that the bonds sued on are not the bonds of the township, and that is admitted by the demurrer to be true.
2. This disposes of the second ground of the contention of the plain. tiff in error, which is that the township defendant is estopped by the bonds, and the recitals contained in them, to dispute their validity. But there can be no ground for such an estoppel, unless the bonds, which are supposed to effect it, are the bonds of the defendant. We have just seen that, by the pleadings, they are admitted not to be such; and the position of the plaintiff in error is not improved by the supposition that he is an innocent holder for value. If the bonds are not the act and deed of the defendant, they do not bind it at all, and cannot be made obligatory by their own contents.
3. It is argued, however, finally, that the defendant township is estopped to dispute the validity and obligation of these bonds by the fact and certificate of registration. The statute of Kansas, (Laws Kan. 1872, c. 68, p. 110,) to authorize counties, etc., to issue bonds, and providing for their registration, etc., contained ample and specific provisions, according to which municipal corporations were authorized to lend their credit to aid in the construction of works of internal improvement. It required that when bouds were to be issued for such purpose, the officers of the municipal body making them, should deliver them in the first instance to the treasurer of