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perversion of the remedy itself. This being legiti- blandishments and friendly alliances. President mate, then all the conditions and qualifications, found
Brown was young and enthusiastio, and desirous not in extradition treaties, sink into absolute insignifi- only that the students should acquit themselves well
as scholars, but that they should be kindly received cance, and become the sheerest surplusage imagina- and should make friends for themselves and the instible. The extradition treaties of the United States
tution in the village, and so carry with them to their would not, upon this construction, be respectable, homes good accounts of the college and the people. even as literary documents.
Mr. Choate found an old and valuable friend in Dr. Mussey, the head of the medical school. Dr. Mussey had practiced in Essex during the childhood of Mr.
Choate, and bad boarded in his father's family. Upon RUFUS CHOATE.
being appointed to a professorship he had given up his XI.
practice to Dr. Sewell, who afterward married Mr. IOR the annexed letter we are indebted to the Hon.
Choate's sister and first taught Latin to Rufus.
He was fortunate, therefore, in his surroundings at now of over thirty years' judicial service. The
and his aptitude for study. His ambition, which we reader will think it quite natural that old college saw in his acts and habits, appears now, by confession friends of Mr. Choate in writing about him should as it were, in the letters of his college life, recently recur to those early days; also that this letter, in
furnished by your correspondent, the Rev. Dr. Put
nam. The amenities of the people and the absence of connection with the letters already published, does
rowdyism on the part of the students were alike notaample justice to that portion of Mr. Choate's life.
ble during President Brown's administration, and A short time before the death of the Rev. Joseph many who were there at this period, besides Mr. Tracy, D. D., he had written an article on the re- Choate, owe much to the graceful influences of the ligious character of Mr. Choate, intended for pub- cultured ladies of their early acquaintance. lication in some religious magazine. But it would
Mr. Choate was sociable as well as studious, but did
not care for play. He found exercise in walks over seem that, for some reason, the article was not
the hills around the college, and up and down his room given to the public. Judge Crosby has been kind
while pursuing his studies. His most frequent outenough to obtain it from the family or representa- door companion was his classmate, Tenney, who furtives of the writer and send it to us.
nished a ready laugh to Choate's equally ready wit. After stating the fact that much had been writ- Tenney was a jolly, light-hearted youth, well suited to
clear the cobwebs from an overworked brain, and as ten about Mr. Choate, and suggesting that much
such doubtless he ministered, perhaps unconsciously, yet remained to be written, Dr. Tracy asks: " But
but none the less beneficently, to his friend. Choate's what have we orthodox reviewers to do with Rufus
room was of ready access to his mates and was a sort Choate ?” and answers, “Mucb, on many accounts. of center of mirth and wit, but when sport was over he In all the religious or ecclesiastical relations which turned to his studies with avidity. He possessed a he sustained he was one of us. He was educated wonderful power of concentration of his mental faculfrom his earliest infancy in our faith. He studied
ties, and studied with great intensity. I roomed near
him for a year, and could appreciate this somewhat, as it, understood it, was convinced of its truth,
he studied' very much aloud, making his voice and avowed and defended it on what he deemed proper
ear, and his gestures too probably, contribute each its occasions, public or private, to the end of his life.'
power of impression upon the memory. He dropped He proceeds to illustrate that view by references into study readily, as a habit, and thus, at brief interto Mr. Choate's example, opinions and addresses,
vals, doubtless, through life added much to his stores of making special use of his remarks on the occasion
knowledge. We boarded together for a while at Prof.
Adams' and when in the dining room before the bell of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Dr. Adams' pas
called us to take our seats at the table, Mr. Choate torate of the Essex street church, in which — the
would stand at the sideboard where lay a large referlast public address ever made by Mr. Choate — he ence Bible, and turn over the leaves from place to avowed his faith in the doctrines there taught. place, as if tracing out some chain of theological inWe may refer gratefully to this article hereafter.
quiry, J. N.
Mr. Choate by ardent, if frequently interrupted labor,
became the ideal scholar aud the pride of the college. LOWELL, February 26th, 1878. No one had ever so completely won the admiration of MY DEAR JUDGE. – Mr. Choate was one year before
the faculty, of his fellow studeuts, and of the people of me in college. When I entered he had already ac
Hanover. Not a lisp of irregularity, of incivility, or quired the reputation of leader of his class. My earli
neglect was heard against him from any quarter. But est personal knowledge of him was obtained through
toward the close of his college life he became an two of his rivaling classmates, Heydook and Tracy,
invalid, was emaciated, walked feebly, his place in who had been with me in Salisbury Academy. Mr.
the recitation room was often vacant, his condition & Choate came to Hanover at an opportune period, as in
source of anxiety and alarm. Dr. Mussey took him fact we all did. The college difficulties had just di
to his house and watched over him by day and by vided the old residents into two partisan, though quite night. At length the appointments for commenceunequal bodies, both of which changed the former
ment were made, and Mr. Choate was set dowu for the limited courtesios extended to students into open
valedictory. Great fears were entertained that he
might be unable to participate in the exercises. As study as an exhibition of Mr. Choate's literary influthe day drew near the leading topic of inquiry and discussion was his condition: the last report from his Mr. Choate had great respect and love for his Alma chamber the most important news; and old graduates, Mater, and contributed from his early professional inas they arrived from day to day to participate in the come toward her support as well as to influence. her proceedings, came to share in the anxiety and feared advancing curriculum, but was greatly disquieted, and that they might not hear him whom they perceived even vexed, when declared rank in scholarship was to be so universally admired and beloved. The day abolished. He believed in laudable ambition and honcame at length and with it uncertain reports intensi-orable competition. The old Puritan school-house sysfying the anxiety, and casting doubt not only on the tem of rising from the foot to the head of the class probability of his appearance on the platform, but as stirred the little scholar with an ambition which grew to the duration of his life. The procession was formed with his years, and which he thought should not be without him and moved to the church, amid general | ignored or repudiated in higher fields of study. He gloom, for the public exercises. The place was held that a great principle of human action was incrowded; the graduating class responded to the
vaded by neglecting to rank scholarship, that life is orders of the day down to the valedictory. Then a
largely made up of struggles for superiority in mental few moments of hushed suspense and Mr. Choate was and physical efforts; that its rewards are won by called. He advanced slowly and feebly, as if strug- merit; that the diligent, exact scholar should receive gling to live and to perform this as a last scholarly his merited honors, and the idle or stupid should not be duty. Tall and emaciated, closely wrapped in his protected from the exposure of misspent time, opporblack gown, with his black curly hair overshadowing tunity and money. His own life was spent in iuceshis sallow features, he tremblingly saluted the trus- sant, honorable competition and legitimate reward. tees and officers of the college and proceeded in trem- From 1826 for several years I practiced law in Essex ulous and subdued tones with his address, which was county at the same courts with Mr. Choate, and from full of beautiful thoughts couched in chaste and ele- 1838 for a few years I lived in Boston, kept up my ao gant language. When he came to say the words of quaintance with him, and knew quite well his habits. parting to his classmates his heart poured forth treas- He died daily, retiring to bed exhausted, under ures of affectionate remembrance, aud closing with great nervous prostration, with headache. Yet he swelling fervor and inimitable power as he ex- would rise early, often long before daylight, and take horted them not to slacken or misapply their intel- a literary breakfast before his family or business lectual energies and tastes, but to press on to claimed his attention. His clients, the courts, and the highest attainments in the domain of learn- classics compelled long days and short nights. I called ing: "the world from this day and place opens upon him once in the afternoon and asked him how wide before you. You are here and now to drop early the next morning I could confer with bim upon the power and aid of the association and emulation of a matter I wished to investigate during the evening. our happy days, and strike single-handed and alone * As early as you please, sir; I shall be up." into the manly struggles of life. You may sow and mean before breakfast, Mr. Choate?” “Before light reap in whatever field or realın you choose and gather if you wish.” I called at the earliest dawn and found the glorious rewards of intellectual culture of pure him at his standing table with a shade over his eyes minds and diligent hands. Go, go forward, my class- under a brilliant light, pressing forward some treatise mates with all your honors and all your hopes. You upon Greek literature, which he said he hoped to live will leave me behind, lingering or cut short in my way, long enough to give to the public. The night had rebut I shall carry to my grave however, wherever, stored his wearied powers; he was elastio, as cheery and whenever I shall be called hence, the delightful re- brilliant as the stars I had left shining above me. membrance of our joys and of our love." I can only Seeing and hearing Mr. Choate in the trial of causes give a faint and imperfect impression of his loving was a perpetual surprise and pleasure. It seemed to words, but my memory of the scene is fresh and make little difference with him whether his cause was vivid. The great congregation, from admiration, ex- of great or small importance; he tried to win it if poscitement and grief, found relief in a flood of tears. As sible and ceased not to contest it until every considerawas said of Mr. Webster's closing appeal in the United tion favorable to his own side, and every one inimical States court in the Dartmouth College case, there to his adversary had been presented. was not one among the strong-minded men of that It has already been mentioned by one of your corassembly who would think it unmanly to weep." respondents that Mr. Choate was offered a seat upon
Mr. Choate remained in Hanover one year as tutor, the bench of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, and was the central figure of a set of linguists then but declined. It may be proper for me to add that in connected with the college. James Marsh and George view of his health, and the arduous nature of his proBush, distinguished scholars, just before him, Georgefessional exertions, I pressed him to seek the higher P. Marsh and Folsom, of my class, and Washington honor of a seat upon the bench of the United States Choate, brother of Rufus, Perley and Williston, two Supreme Court, and so escape the waste of his powers classes next after mine, gave an impulse to the study in the excitements of the advocate, and attain the and love of classical literature, unknown before or more quiet and dignified life of the Bench. Judge since in that college. Friendly emulation and student Woodbury's seat was at the time vacant, and Mr. pride led to the daily canvassing of books published, Webster was Secretary of State, and I believed he authors read and works studied. Folsom, W. Choate could secure the appointment. He was then fifty and Williston, died early; the other scholars named years of age, and in the highest sense eligible. "But," became eminent men. Washington Choate was re- said he, “I am too poor. I must remain as I am, live garded as equal to his brother in scholarship, and was or die. I know my power and reputation in my proeminent for his piety. I allude to this era of classical fession and I love it, but I do not know what the
change would bring upon me, or whether I should complish the greatest good for the greatest number, like it. I cannot leave my profession.” He only sur- has been worked out on a different plan from that vived eight years.
which he wished to see adopted. The war, the death He spent his money well for his family and his lists, pollution of morals, destruction of prosperity, library; gave freely to the necessitous, and gave up national debt, present condition and future destiny of liberally of his well-earned fees when full payment the colored race, and sectional discords, are present might have embarrassed his client. On one occasion I elements in the scales testing Mr. Choate's sagacity. was in his office when a client asked for his bill for a Happy for us if we can find advantages to counterwritten opinion upwi a question of importance. Said balance them! Mr. Choate, “Hand me one hundred dollars and I will
Yours truly, give you a receipt in full; if you go to my partner in
NATHAN CROSBY. the other room who keeps the books he will make you pay one hundred and fifty, sure.
GOVERNMENT CONTROL OVER TELEMr. Choate, like Webster and Everett, was an old
GRAPHS. Whig, politically, and “to the manner born," but, toward the close of his life, party lines underwent SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, OCTOBER rapid changes, and men were very unceremoniously laid
TERM, 1877. upon the shelf who were not thought to keep up with the “march of improvement.” Mr. Webster lost the PENSACOLA TELEGRAPH Co. V. WESTERN UNION nomination for the Presidency, and soon after died at
TELEGRAPH Co. Marshfield, and although the nation honored his obse
Under the power given to Congress to regulate commerce quies with every token of mourning, Mr. Choate could among the several States control may be exercised over not smother his indignation toward the rising ele
telegraphs, and laws of States in conflict with congress
ional legislation on the subject are invalid. Accordments of power. He regarded Mr. Webster's death ingly a law of Florida giving an exclusive right to a as a political murder. The great expounder and
company to maintain a telegraph line in a portion
of that State, held inoperative against a company entistatesman had been rejected through unworthy com- tled to the privileges of the act of July 24, 1866, in relabinations, his chief, worthy of all homage and confi
tion to telegraphs. dence, leader of the Whig party, and the supporter of PPEAL from the Circuit Court of the United its glory for twenty years, had been slaughtered in the States for the Northern Distriot of Florida. The house of his friends, sacrificed to the cry of "availa- opinion states the case. bility!” and the tomb only saved him from further Mr. Chief Justice WAITE delivered the opinion of ingratitude. It is impossible to appreciate the depth the court. of Mr. Choate's sorrow. He had been at the death
In 1859 an association of persons, known as the Penbed, and could perhaps have derived some formal sacola Telegraph Company, erected a line of electric comfort in the commonplace reflection that his friend telegraph upon the right-of-way of the Alabama and bad lived his three score years and ten, and that great Florida Railroad from Pensacola, in Florida, to Polmen die like other men, but the poignancy of his grief lard, in Alabama, about six miles north of the Florida came from the undeserved obloquy heaped upon him line. The company operated the whole line until after his 7th of March speech. He knew the fervor 1862, when, upon the evacuation of Pensacola by the and intensity of Mr. Webster's love of the Union, and Confederate forces, the wire was taken down for his forebodings of civil war, and believed in the wis- twenty-three miles, and Cooper's station made the dom and justice of his efforts to compromise, and that southern terminus. In 1864 the whole was abandoned, he should go to his tomb under the impeachment of as the section of the country in which it was situated old friends, filled Mr. Choate with inexpressible an- had fallen into the possession of the United States guish. He rebelled against pacification; the wound troops. would not heal, nor could he afterward hold fellow- On the 1st December, 1865, the stockholders met, ship with the party which had rojected the great and it appearing that the assets of the company were statesman of the age. His horror of new combina- insufficient to rebuild the line, a new association was tions and platforms drove him to Buchanan. “I can formed for that purpose with the old name, and new go nowhere else," said Mr. Choate to me when I had stock to the amount of five thousand dollars suba long interview with him in regard to his purpose. scribed. A resolution was adopted by the new com“But, Mr. Choate, what becomes of your long cher- pany to purchase the property of the old at a valua. ished Whig principles?” “Whig principles! I go to tion put upon it in a report submitted to the meeting, the Democrats to find them. They have assumed our and a new board of directors was elected. principles, one after another, till there is little differ- A meeting of the directors was held on the 20 Janence between us." Here he traced them one after uary, 1866, at which the president reported the comanother as they had found adoption. “And what be- pletion of the line to Pensacola, and a resolution was comes of your Whig anti-slavery opinions ?” “I have adopted authorizing the purchase of wire for its extensettled that matter," said he; “I am bound to seek sion to the navy yard. The attorneys of the company the greatest amount of moral good for the human were also instructed to prepare a draft of a charter to race. I am to take things as I find them, and work be presented to the legislature for enactment. according to my best judgment for the greatest good
On the 24th July, 1866, Congress passed the following of the greatest number, and I do not believe it is the aot: greatest good to the slave or the free that four million “An Act to aid in the construction of telegraph lines, of slaves should be turned loose in all their ignorance, and to secure to the government the use of the same poverty and degradation, to trust to luck for a home for postal, military, and other purposes. and a living." He amplified somewhat this state- “ Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Reprement, but the above represents fairly the conclusions sentatives of the United States of America in Cougress of his argument. Mr. Choate's problem, how to ac- assembled, That any telegraph company now organ
ized, or which may hereafter be organized under the all the stockholders of the new association which had laws of any State in this Union, shall have the right rebuilt the line were named as corporators. No meetto construct, maintain, and operate lines of telegraph ing of the directors of the association was held until through and over any portion of the public domain of January 2, 1868, when the secretary was instructed to the United States, over and along any of the military notify the stockholders “that the charter drawn up or post-roads of the United States which have been or by Messrs. Campbell & Perry, attorneys, as per order may hereafter be declared such by act of Congress, of board, January 2, 1866,'' had been passed. and over, under, or across the navigable streams or On the 5th June, 1867, the directors of the Western waters of the United States: Provided, That such lines Union Telegraph Company, the defendant and a New of telegraph shall be so constructed and maintained as York corporation, passed the following resolution, not to obstruct the navigation of such streams and which was duly filed with the Postmaster-General: waters, or interfere with the ordinary travel on such “ Resolved, That this company does hereby accept military or post-roads. And any of said companies the provisions of the act of Congress entitled 'An act shall have the right to take and use from such public to aid in the construction of telegraph lines, and to lands the necessary stone, timber, and other materials secure to the government the use of the same for for its posts, piers, stations, and other needful uses in postal, military, and other purposes,' approved July the construction, maintenance, and operation of said 24, 1866, with all the powers, privileges, restrictions, lines of telegraph, and may pre-empt and use such and obligatious conferred and required thereby; and portion of the unoccupied public lands subject to pre- that the secretary be, and he is hereby, authorized and emption through which its said lines of telegraph may directed to file this resolution with the Postmasterbe located as may be necessary for its stations, not General of the United States, duly attested by the exceeding forty acres for each station; but such signature of the acting president of the company and stations shall not be within fifteen miles of each other. the seal of the corporation, in compliance with the
“SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That telegraphic fourth section of said act of Congress.” communications between the several departments of In 1872 the property of the Alabama and Florida the government of the United States and their officers
Railroad Company, including its right-of-way and and agents shall, in their transmission over the lines railroad, was transferred to the Pensacola and Louisof any of said companies, have priority over all other ville Railroad Company, and on the 18th February, business, and shall be sent at rates to be annually fixed 1873, the legislature of Florida passed au act which, as by the Postmaster-General.
ameuded February 18, 1874, authorized the last-named “SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the rights
company “to construct, maintain, and operate a teleand privileges hereby granted shall not be transferred
graph line from the Bay of Pensacola along the line by any company acting under this act to any other of the said (its) road as now located, or as it may corporation, association, or person: Provided, how
hereafter be located, and along connecting roads in ever, that the United States may at any time after the said county to the boundary lines of the State of expiration of five years from the date of the passage Alabama, and the said lines may connect and be conof this act, for postal, military, or other purposes, solidated with other telegraph companies within or purchase all the telegraph lines, property, and effects without the State, and said company may pledge, of any or all of said companies at an appraised value, mortgage, lease, sell, assign, and convey the property to be ascertained by five competent disinterested appertaining to the said telegraph lines, and the persons, two of whom shall be selected by the Post
rights, privileges, and franchises conferred by this act, master-General of the United States, two by the com- with full power in such assignees to construct, own, pany interested, and one by the four so previously and operate such telegraph lines and enjoy all the selected.
privileges, rights, and franchises conferred by this act, SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That before any but in such case the said railroad company shall be telegraph company shall exercise any of the powers or responsible for the proper performance of the duties privileges conferred by this act, such company shall and obligations imposed by this act." file their written acceptance with the Postmaster- This was within the territory embraced by the exGeneral, of the restrictions and obligations required clusive grant to the Pensacola Telegraph Company. by this act.” 14 Stat. 221; Rev. Stat., $ 5263 et seq. On the 24th June, 1874, the railroad company granted
All railroads in the United States are by law post- to the estern Union Telegraph Company the right roads. Rev. Stat., $ 3964; 17 Stat. 308, $ 201.
to erect a telegraph line upon its right-of-way, and On the 11th December, 1866, the legislature of Flor- also the rights and privileges conferred by the acts of ida passed an act incorporating the Pensacola Tele- February, 1873 and 1874. The Western Union Comgraph Company and granting it “the sole and exclu- pany immediately commenced the erection of the line, sive privilege and right of establishing and maintain- but before its completion, to wit, July 27, 1874, the bill ing lines of electrio telegraph in the counties of in this case was filed by the Pensacola Telegraph Escambia and Santa Rosa, either from different points Company to enjoin the work and the use of the line on within said counties or connecting with lines coming account of the alleged exclusive right of that company into said counties, or either of them, from any point under its charter. Upon the hearing in the Circuit in this (Florida) or any other State.” The capital Court the bill was dismissed and this appeal was taken stock was fixed at five thousand dollars, with privilege from that decree. of increase to such an amount as might be considered Congress has power “to regulate commerce with necessary. The company was authorized to locate and
foreign Nations and among the several States" (Art. construct its lines within the counties named “along 1, $ 8, par. 3), and “to establish post-offices and postand upon any public road or highway, or across any roads." Id., par. 7. The Constitution of the United water, or upon any railroad or private property for States, and the laws made in pursuance thereof, are the which permission shall first have been obtained from supreme law of the land. Art. VI, par. 2. A law of the proprietors thereof." In this act of incorporation Congress made in pursuance of the Constitution sugpends or overrides all State statutes with which it is others from its use. The present case is satisfied if we in conflict.
find that Congress has power, by appropriate legislaSince the case of Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, it tion, to prevent the States from placing obstructions has never been doubted that commercial intercourse in the way of its usefulness. is an element of commerce which comes within the The government of the United States, within the regulating power of Congress. Post-offices and post- scope of its powers, operates upon every foot of terriroads are established to facilitate the transmission of tory under its jurisdiction. It legislates for the whole intelligence. Both commerce and the postal service Nation, and is not embarrassed by State lines. Its are placed within the power of Congress, because peculiar duty is to protect one part of the country being National in their operations they should be un- from encroachments by another upon the National der the protecting care of the National government. rights which belong to all.
The powers thus granted are not confined to the The State of Florida has attempted to confer upon a instrumentalities of commerce or the postal service single corporation the exclusive right of transmitting known or in use when the Constitution was adopted, intelligence by telegraph over a certain portion of its but they keep pace with the progress of the country territory. This embraces the two westernmost counties and adapt themselves to the new developments of
of the State, and extends from Alabama to the gulf. time and circumstances. They extend from the horse No telegraph line can cross the State from east to with its rider to the stage coach, from the sailing west, or from north to south within these counties, vessel to the steamboat, from the coach and the steam- except it passes over this territory. Within it is situboat to the railroad, and from the railroad to the ated an important sea-port, at which business centers, telegraph as these new agencies are successively
and with which those engaged in commercial pursuits brought into use to meet the demands of increasing have occasion more or less to communicate. The population and wealth. They were intended for the United States have there also the necessary machinery government of the business to which they relate at all
of the National government. They have a navy yard, times and under all circumstances. As they were in
forts, custom-houses, courts, post-offices, and the trusted to the general government for the good of the appropriate officers for the enforcement of the laws. Nation, it is not only the right but the duty of Congress
The legislation of Florida, if sustained, excludes all to see to it that intercourse among the States and the
commercial intercourse by telegraph between the cititransmission of intelligence are not obstructed or un
zeus of the other States and those residing upon this necessarily incumbered by State legislation.
territory except by the employment of this corporaThe electric telegraph marks an epoch in the progress
tion. The United States cannot communicate with of time. In a little more than a quarter of a century
their own officers by telegraph except in the same way. it has changed the habits of business and become one
The State, therefore, clearly has attempted to regulate of the necessities of commerce. It is indispensable as
commercial intercourse between its citizens and those a means of inter-communication, but especially is it so
of other States, and to control the transmission of all in commercial transactions. The statistics of the
telegraphic correspondence within its own jurisdiobusiness before the recent reduction in rates show that
tion. more than eighty per cent of all the messages sent by
It is unnecessary to decide how far this might have telegraph related to commerce. Goods are sold and
been done if Congress had not acted upon the same money paid upon telegraphic orders. Contracts are
subject, for it has acted. The statute of July 24, 1866, made by telegraphic correspondence; cargoes secured
in effect, amounts to a prohibition of all State monopoand the movement of ships directed. The telegraphic
lies in this particular. It substantially declares, in the announcement of the markets abroad regulates prices
interest of commerce and the convenient transmission at home, and a prudent merchant rarely enters upon
of intelligence from place to place, by the government an important transaction without using the telegraph
of the United States and its citizens, that the erection freely to secure information.
of telegraph lines shall, so far as State interference is It is not only important to the people, but to the
concerned, be free to all who will submit to the con
ditions imposed by Congress, and that corporations government. By means of it the heads of the depart
organized under the laws of one State for constructing ments in Washington are kept in close communication
and operating telegraph lines, shall not be excluded with all their various agencies at home and abroad,
by another from prosecuting their business within its and can know at almost any hour by inquiry what is jurisdiction if they accept the terms proposed by the transpiring anywhere that affects the interest they
National goverument for this National privilege. To have in charge. Under such circumstances it cannot
this extent certainly the statute is a legitimato regufor a moment be doubted that this powerful agency of lation of commercial intercourse among the States, commerce and inter-communication comes within the
aud appropriate legislation to carry into execution the controlling power of Congress, certainly as against powers of Congress over the postal service. It gives hostile State legislation. In fact, from the beginning
no foreign corporation the right to enter upon private it seems to have been assumed that Congress might aid
property without the consent of the owner and erect in developing the system, for the first telegraph line
the necessary structures for its business, but it does of any considerable extent ever erected was built be- provide that whenever the consent of the owner is tween Washington and Baltimore, only a little more obtained no State legislation shall prevent the occupathan thirty years ago, with money appropriated by tion of post-roads for telegraph purposes by such corCongress for that purpose (5 Stat. 618), and large
porations as are willing to avail themselves of its privdonations of land and money have since been made to ileges. aid in the construction of other lines. 12 Stat. 489, It is insisted, however, that the statute extends only 772; 13 id. 365; 14 id. 292. It is not necessary now to such military and post-roads as are upon the public to inquire whether Congress may assume the tele- domain; but this, we think, is not so. The language graph as part of the postal service and exclude all through and over any portion of the public do