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vent tenant, and that consequently the outgoing tenant runs practically little or no risk does not meet all the grounds of unreasonableness above pointed out. Indeed, it does not adequately meet any of them; for it would be to the interest of an unscrupulous landlord to put in an insolvent man as tenant for a short time, so as to avoid having to pay the outgoing tenant himself, and yet to obtain possession before the poverty of the new tenant could be productive of injury. The reasonableness or unreasonableness of a custom is a question of law for the court (see Tyson v. Smith, 9 A. & E. 421), and not a question of fact for the jury, and the principles applicable to such questions will be found in Com. Dig., Copyhold, S., and Tyson v. Smith, ubi sup., and on these principles we proceed. It may, indeed, be said that the custom here condemned is that which prevails in practice all over England, it being well known that as a matter of fact the outgoing and incoming tenants usually settle questions of valuation between themselves without referring to the landlord. This is no doubt true; but if the practice is examined it will be found to be based entirely on the principle that the landlord is liable by custom to the outgoing tenant, and that the incoming tenant is not liable to the outgoing tenant where there is no contract, express or tacit, between them. See Faviell v. Gascoigne, 7 Ex. 273; Stafford v. Gardner, L. Rep., 7 C. P. 242; Codd v. Brown, 15 L. T. Rep. (N. S.) 536. The custom here found to exist is totally different; it exonerates the landlord from all liability, and imposes a liability on the incoming tenant to the outgoing tenant, even in the absence of any contract, express or tacit, between them. There is no inconsistency, therefore, in condemning the custom and upholding the practice which is based upon a custom wholly opposed to that with which we have to deal. Holding as we do that the custom found to exist in point of fact caunot be supported in point of law, we set aside the verdict of the County Court judge and direct a verdict to be entered for the plaintiff subject to a valuation; the defendant must pay the costs of the action and of this appeal. Judgment for the plaintiff.

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In May, 1862, C., who was a member of the Confederate Congress, and engaged in armed hostility to the United States within the Confederate lines, conveyed to plaintiff, his son, also within the Confederate lines and engaged in hostility to the United States, certain real estate situate in the city of New Orleans, then within the Federal lines. Subsequently, and under authority of the act of Congress of July 17, 1862, the property was confiscated in proceedings against C., and sold by the United States marshal. Held, (1) that the confiscation act mentioned did not authorize proceedings for acts committed before its passage. (2) That transfers of property between those in hostility to the government before its passage were not invalid. (3) That the proceedings could only affect the interest of C. in the property at the time the act was passed, and that the proceedings did not invalidate the title of plaintiff to the property acquired by transfer from C. in May, 1862.

N error to the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Louisiana. The facts appear in the opinion.

I

Mr. Justice FIELD delivered the opinion of the

court.

This is an action for the recovery of certain real property described in the petition of the plaintiff, situated in the city of New Orleans, and of the rents and profits. The plaintiff claims title to the premises by a conveyance from his father, Charles M. Conrad, made to himself and his brother, on the 6th of May, 1862, and a subsequent conveyance to himself of his brother's interest. The conveyance of the father was made in settlement and discharge of certain obligations resting upon him under the laws of Louisiana, by reason of his having received, as the natural tutor of his children, property belonging to them as minor heirs of their deceased mother. It appears from the record that she died intestate, at New Orleans, in 1839, leaving the plaintiff and his brother, her only heirs, and au estate valued at a sum over $35,000. The estate consisted principally of her separate property; a small portion was her share of the real property belonging to the matrimonial community. The surviving husband qualified and was confirmed as the natural tutor of the children and took charge of their property. The law of Louisiana imposes a general mortgage upon all the property of a tutor to secure the interest of minors and his faithful execution of the trust, but gives him the right to substitute in place of it a special mortgage upon particular parcels of his property. The tutor here availed himself of this right at different times. The last special mortgage was executed in 1847, and, with other property, covered the premises in controversy. Previously to this, and in 1845, his indebtedness to his sons had been ascertained and fixed by decree of the probate court at the sum of $36,757. This amount was subsequently increased.

No account of his administration was ever rendered by the tutor until May 6, 1862, when a settlement took place between him and his sons, and in discharge of his obligations to them he executed before the recorder and ex-officio notary pulbic of the parish of St. Helena, a public act of sale, by which he sold and conveyed to them several lots situated in New Orleans, and among them the one in controversy in this case. This act of sale, which purports to have been recorded in the city of New Orleans on the 31st of the same month, the court refused to admit in evidence.

The defendant, Waples, in his answer, asserts title to the premises in controversy under a deed to him by the marshal of the United States, executed in March, 1865, upon a sale under a decree of the District Court, rendered in February of that year, condemning and forfeiting the property to the United States in proceedings taken under the confiscation act of July 17, 1862. The other defendants disclaim title.

On the 1st of May, 1862, New Orleans passed into the possession of the army of the United States, and on the 6th of the month, Gen. Butler, commanding our forces there, issued a proclamation re-establishing the national authority in the city. The proclamation bears date on the 1st of May, but was not published until the 6th. The Conrads, father and sons, had left the city before it was captured. They had previously been engaged in the rebellion against the United States - the father as a member of the Confederate Congress and the sons as officers of the Confederate army - and they continued in such rebellion until the close of the war. The parish of St. Helena was within the Confederate lines when the act of sale of May 6, 1862, was executed; and the questions presented for our determination relate to the admissibility and effect of that act of sale, and to the subse

quent condemnation and sale in the confiscation proceedings.

Numerous exceptions were taken to the rulings of the Circuit Court in admitting and rejecting evidence, and in giving and refusing instructions to the jury, but we do not deem it important to notice them in detail. What we have to say upon the confiscation act, the title which passed by a condemnation and sale under it, and the power of enemies to sell and convey to each other their interest in real property situated within the lines of the other belligerent, will sufficiently express our judgment upon the questions involved, and serve to guide the court below in any subsequent proceedings.

The law of July 17, 1862, so far as it related to the confiscation of property, applied only to the property of persons who thereafter might be guilty of acts of disloyalty and treason. It carefully excluded from its application the property of persons who, previous to its passage, may have committed such acts. It left the door open to them to return to their allegiance without molestation for past offenses. The fifth section, with the exception of the third clause, directed the seizure of property only of persons who might thereafter hold an office or an agency under the goyernment of the Confederacy, or of one of the States composing it, or might thereafter act as an officer in its army or navy, or who, owning property in any loyal State or Territory or in the District of Columbia, might thereafter give aid and comfort to the rebellion; and the joint resolution of the two houses of Congress, passed in explanation and limitation of the law, removed that exception. That resolution declared that the third clause of that section should be so construed as not to apply to any act or acts done prior to its passage. The sixth section, which provided for the seizure of the property of persons other than those named in the previous section, who, being engaged in armed rebellion, did not, within sixty days after the warning and proclamation of the President, cease to aid, countenance and abet the rebellion, declared that "all sales, transfers and conveyances of any such property after the expiration of the said sixty days," should be null and void. 12 Stats. at Large, 627.

Nothing done, therefore, by the elder Conrad when he made his sale to his sons, which was before the passage of the confiscation act, affected his title or power of disposition. It is true he was, as already stated, then engaged in the rebellion, as a member of the Confederate Congress, and giving constant aid and comfort to the insurrectionary government. But until some provision was made by law, the courts of the United States could not decree a confiscation of his property and direct its sale. This follows from the doctrine declared in Brown v. United States, reported in the 8th of Cranch. In that case the question arose whether certain property of the enemy, found on land at the commencement of hostilities with Great Britain in 1812, could be seized and condemned as a consequence of the declaration of war. And it was held that it could not be condemned without an act of Congress authorizing its seizure and confiscation. The court said that it was conceded that war gives to the soyereign the right to take the persons and confiscate the property of enemies wherever found, adding that the mitigation of this rigid rule, which the humane and wise policy of modern times has introduced into practice, cannot impair the right though it may more or less affect its exercise. "That," said the court, "re

mains undiminished, and when the sovereign authority shall choose to bring it into operation, the judicial department must give effect to its will. But until that will shall be expressed, no power of condemnation can exist in the court."

The only acts of Congress providing for the confiscation of property of persons engaged in the rebellion are those of August 6, 1861, and of July 17, 1862. That of 1861 applied only to property acquired with intent to use or employ the same, or to suffer the same to be used or employed in aiding or abetting the insurrection, or in resisting the laws, and did not touch the property in controversy here. And the act of 1862, as already stated, did not authorize a seizure and confiscation for past acts. It might have done so, on the simple ground that the owner of the property seized was a public enemy, without reference to the time he became such, but Congress otherwise provided, and its will furnishes the rule by which to determine the rights of the elder Courad at the time he disposed of his property.

The statute not only did not recognize past acts as grounds for confiscation, but it reached only the estate of the actual owner at the time the property was seized. It might, undoubtedly, have provided for the confiscation of the entire property, from its being within the enemy's country, but the Legislature did not so enact. Congress limited the exercise of its power of confiscation to those cases where the owners were officers or agents of the insurrectionary organization, or of one of the States composing it, or commanding in its army or navy; or where while holding property in a loyal State or Territory or in the District of Columbia, they gave aid and comfort to the rebellion, or where not being within these classes, but being in arms in support of the insurrection, they refused for sixty days, after the warning and proclamation of the President, to return to their allegiance. It was the seizure and confiscation of "the estate, property, money, stocks, credits, and effects" of the persons thus specially designated that the act authorized; not the seizure and confiscation of property in enemies' territory or of enemies generally. It was at the estate and interest which belonged to offending persons of the classes mentioned that the act aimed, nothing more. Proceedings under the act, therefore, affected only their estate and interest in the property seized. It was so held by this court in Day v. Micou, reported in the 18th of Wallace, where the effect of an adjudication and sale under the act was the direct point in judgment. And this conclusion was not considered as at all affected by the fact that after the seizure proceedings in rem were to be instituted for the condemnation of the property. The question, said the court, remained, what was the res against which the proceedings were directed; and this, it answered, was that which was seized and brought within the jurisdiction of the court. "A condemnation in a proceeding in rem," it added, speaking through Mr. Justice Strong, "does not necessarily exclude all claim to other interest than those which were seized. In admiralty cases and in revenue cases a condemnation and sale generally pass the entire title to the property condemned and sold. This is because the thing condemned is considered as the offender or the debtor, and is seized in entirety. But such is not the case in many proceedings which are in rem. Decrees of courts of probate or orphans' courts directing sales for the payment of a decedent's debts or for distribution are

proceedings in rem. So are sales under attachments or proceedings to foreclose a mortgage quasi proceedings in rem, at least. But in none of these cases is any thing more sold than the estate of the decedent, or of the debtor or the mortgagor, in the thing sold. The interests of others are not cut off or affected."

If we apply these views to the case at bar, we must hold that there was nothing in the proceedings and decree under the confiscation act against the property of the elder Conrad, upon which the defendant in his answer relies, which could in any respect affect the rights of the younger Conrads to the lands conveyed to them before that act was passed, unless the fact that the parties to the conveyance were, at the time of the sale, engaged in the rebellion against the United States and were within the enemies' country, rendered it unlawful for the father to transfer and the sons to receive the title to real property situated within the Federal lines. The illegality of the sale on this ground was insisted upon in the court below, and the position was there sustained. But we do not think the position at all tenable. The character of the parties as rebels or enemies did not deprive them of the right to contract with and to sell to each other. As between themselves, all the ordinary business between people of the same community in buying, selling and exchanging property, movable and immovable, could be lawfully carried on, except in cases where it was expressly forbidden by the United States, or where it would have been inconsistent with or have tended to weaken their authority. It was commercial intercourse and correspondence between citizens of one belligerent and those of the other, the engaging in traffic between them, which were forbidden by the laws of war and by the President's proclamation of non-intercourse. So long as the war existed all intercourse between them inconsistent with actual hostilities was unlawful. But commercial intercourse and correspondence of the citizens of the enemies' country among themselves were neither forbidden nor interfered with, so long as they did not impair or tend to impair the supremacy of the national authority or the rights of loyal citizens. No people could long exist without exchanging commodities, and, of course, without buying, selling and contracting. And no belligerent has ever been so imperious and arbitrary as to attempt to forbid the transaction of ordinary business by its enemies among themselves. No principle of public law and no consideration of public policy could be subserved by any edict to that effect, and its enforcement, if made, would be impossible. If, then, intercourse between the Conrads, father and sons, they being all enemies, was not unlawful; if between them contracts for the purchase and sale of property, in respect to which there was no special interdict, would have been binding, the sale in the case at bar can only be impeached, if at all, by reason of the situation of the property within the Federal lines. Aud from that circumstance it could not be impeached, unless the sale, if upheld, in some way frustrated the enforcement of the right of seizure and confiscation possessed by the United States. It may be admitted that the right of a belligerent to confiscate the property of enemies found within its territory cannot be impaired by a sale of the property during the war, but it is not perceived that on any other ground the sale could be invalidated. A conveyance in such case would pass the title subject to be defeated if the government

should afterward proceed for its condemnation. And to declare this liability was the object of the provision in the confiscation act, enacting that "all sales, transfers and conveyances of property of certain designated parties made subject to seizure should be null and void. The invalidity there declared was limited and not absolute. It was only as against the United States that the transfers of property liable to seizure were null and void. They were not void as between private parties, or against any other party than the United States. This was so held in the case of Corbett v. Nutt, reported in the 10th of Wallace. There a devise (which for the purpose of the case was treated as included within the terms * sales, transfers and conveyances ") of property situated in the District of Columbia, made by a resident enemy in the State of Virginia to a person as trustee, who also resided in that State and held office under the Confederate government, was held to pass a title good against all the world except the United States. The seizure and confiscation of property of persons engaged in the rebellion, and the appropriation of the proceeds to support the army and navy, were supposed, whether wisely or unwisely is immaterial, to have a tendency to insure the speedy termination of the rebellion; and it was to prevent the provisions enacted to enforce the confiscation from being evaded by the parties whose property was liable to seizure, that sales, transfers and conveyances of it were declared invalid. As stated by the court, "They were null and void as against the belligerent or sovereign right of the United States to appropriate and use the property for the purpose designated, but in no other respect, and not as against any other party. Neither the object sought nor the language of the act requires any greater extension of the terms used. The United States were the only party who could institute the proceedings for condemnation, the offense for which such condemnation was decreed was against the United States, and the property condemned or its proceeds went to their sole use. They alone could, therefore, be affected by the sale." And the court added that any other construction would impute to the United States a severity in their legislation entirely foreign to their history. If the sale to the younger Conrads had been made after the passage of the confiscation act, it would not have prevented the title of the elder Conrad from vesting by the decree of condemnation in the United States. But having been made previously, it was not impaired by the act.

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An actual delivery of the property to the vendees at the time was not essential to the validity of the sale, it having been made by public act before a notary. The Code of the State declares that an obligation to deliver an object, which is particularly specified, is perfect by the mere consent of the parties and renders the creditor the owner; and, further, that this rule is without any exception, as respects immovables, not only between the parties, but as to all the world, provided the contract be clothed with the formalities required by law, that it is bona fide, and purports to transfer the ownership of the property." Art. 1914. The Code also declares that "the law considers the tradition or delivery of immovables as always accompanying the public act which transfers the property." Art. 2455; Lallande v. Lee, 9 Rob. 517; Flynn v. Moore, 4 An. 401; Ellis v. Prevost, 13 La. 235237. We are of opinion, therefore, that the act of sale

made on the 6th of May, 1862, was unaffected by the subsequent confiscation proceedings and should have been admitted in evidence.

This case is much stronger than that of Fairfax's Devisee v. Hunter's Lessee, reported in the 7th of Cranch, which received great consideration by this court. There a devisee to an alien enemy, resident in England, made during our revolutionary war by a citizen of Virginia, and there residing at the time, was sustained, and held to vest a title in the devisee which was good until office found. "It is clear by the common law," said Mr. Justice Story, speaking for the court, "that an alien can take lands by purchase though not by descent; or, in other words, he cannot take by the act of law but he may by the act of the party. This principle has been settled in the Year Books and has been uniformly recognized as sound law from that time. Nor is there any distinction whether the purchase be by grant or by devise. In either case the estate vests in the alien, not for his own benefit, but for the benefit of the State; or, in the language of the ancient law, the alien has the capacity to take but not to hold lands, and they may be seized into the hands of the sovereign. But until the lands are so seized the alien has complete dominion over the same." And, continues the learned justice, "We do not find that in respect to these general rights and disabilities there is any admitted difference between alien friends and alien enemies. During the war the property of alien enemies is subject to confiscation jure belli and their civil capacity to sue is suspended. But as to capacity to purchase, no case has been cited in which it has been denied; and in The Attorney-General v. Wheeden and Shales, Park. 267, it was adjudged that a bequest to an alien enemy was good, and after a peace might be enforced. Indeed, the common law in these particulars seems to coincide with the jus gentium."

If an alien enemy can, by devise or purchase from a loyal citizen or subject, take an estate in the country of the other belligerent and hold it until office found, there would seem to be no solid reason for refusing a like efficacy to a conveyance from one enemy to another of land similarly situated. See the able and exhaustive opinion of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts in Kershaw v. Kelsey, delivered by Mr. ChiefJustice Gray, 100 Mass. 561. A different doctrine would unsettle a multitude of titles passed during the war between residents of the insurrectionary territory, temporarily absent therefrom whilst it was dominated by the Federal forces. Such residents were deemed enemies by the mere fact of being inhabitants of that territory without reference to any hostile disposition manifested or hostile acts committed by them. In numerous instances, also, transfers of property were made in loyal States, bordering on the line of actual hostilities, by parties who had left those States and joined the insurgents. This was particularly the case in Missouri and Kentucky. No principle of public policy would be advanced, or principle of public law sustained, by holding such transfers absolutely void, instead of being merely inoperative as against the right of the United States to appropriate the property jure belli; on the contrary, such a holding would create unnecessary hardship, and therefore add a new cruelty to the war.

It follows from the views expressed that the judgment of the court below must be reversed and the cause remanded for a new trial; and it is so ordered.

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A statute of Massachusetts passed in 1809 providing for the chartering of manufacturing corporations contained this: Provided always that the Legislature may from time to time, upon due notice to any corporation, make further provisions and regulations for the management of the business of the corporation and for the government thereof, or wholly repeal any act or part thereof establishing any corporation, as shall be deemed expedient." In 1828 the Boston Beer Company was incorporated for the purpose of manufacturing malt liquors in all their varieties in the city of Boston," and the act of incorporation, which was passed by the Legislature of Massachusetts, provided that said company for that purpose shall have all the power and privileges and be subject to all the duties and requirements contained in "the act of 1809 mentioned. In 1829 the act of 1809 was repealed with this provision: "But this repeal shall not affect the existing rights of any person or the existing or future liabilities of any corporation, or any members of any corporation now established, until such corporation shall have adopted this act and complied with the provisions herein contained." Held, that the repeal of the act of 1809 by the act of 1829 was not a revocation or surrender by the State of Massachusetts of the reserved power to repeal the charters of corporations, and the passage of an act forbidding the manufacture and sale of malt liquors was not an act impairing an obligation of a contract with the company mentioned and was not in violation of the Federal Constitution.

N error to the Superior Court of the Commonwealth

ion.

Mr. Justice BRADLEY delivered the opinion of the

court.

The question raised in this case is, whether the charter of the plaintiff, which was granted in 1828, contains any contract the obligation of which was impaired by the prohibitory liquor law of Massachusetts, passed in 1869, as applied to the liquor in question in this suit.

Some question is made by the defendant in error, whether the point was properly raised in the State courts, so as to be the subject of decision by the highest court of the State. It is contended that, although it was raised by plea, in the municipal court, yet, that plea being demurred to, and the demurrer being sustained, the defense was abandoned, and the only issue on which the parties went to trial was the general denial of the truth of the complaint. But whatever may be the correct course of the proceeding in the practice of courts of Massachusetts, a matter which it is not our province to investigate, it is apparent from the record that the very point now sought to be argued was made on the trial of the cause in the Superior Court, and was passed upon, and made decisive of the controversy, and was afterward carried by bill of exceptions to the Supreme Judicial Court, and was decided there adverse to the plaintiff in error on the very ground on which it seeks a reversal.

The Supreme Court, in its rescript, expressly decide as follows:

"Exceptions overruled for the reasons following: "The act of 1869, chapter 415, does not impair the obligations of the contract contained in the charter of the claimant, so far as it relates to the sale of malt liquors, but is binding on the claimant to the same extent as on individuals.

"The act is in the nature of a police regulation in regard to the sale of a certain article of property, and is applicable to the sale of such property by individuals and corporations, even where the charter of the corporation cannot be altered or repealed by the Legislature."

The judgment of the Superior Criminal Court was entered in conformity to this rescript, declaring the liquors forfeited to the Commonwealth, and that a warrant issue for the disposal of the same.

This is sufficient for our jurisdiction, and we are bound to consider the question which is thus raised.

As before stated, the charter of the plaintiff in error was granted in 1828, by an act of the Legislature passed on the 1st of February in that year, entitled An act to incorporate the Boston Beer Company." This act consisted of two sections. By the first, it was enacted that certain persons (named), their successors and assigns, "be and they hereby are made a corporation by the name of The Boston Beer Company, for the purpose of manufacturing malt liquors in all their varieties, in the city of Boston, and for that purpose shall have all the powers and privileges, and be subject to all the duties and requirements contained in an act passed on the 3d day of March, A. D. 1809, entitled An act defining the general powers and duties of manufacturing corporations,' and the several acts in addition thereto." The second section gave the company power to hold such real and personal property to certain amounts, as might be found necessary and convenient for carrying on the manufacture of malt liquors in the city of Boston.

The general manufacturing act of 1809, referred to in the charter, had this clause, as a proviso of the 7th section thereof: "Provided always that the Legislature may from time to time, upon due notice to any corporation, make further provisions and regulations for the management of the business of the corporation and for the government thereof, or wholly to repeal any act or part thereof, establishing any corporation, as shall be deemed expedient."

A substitute for this act was passed in 1829, which repealed the act of 1809 and all acts in addition thereto, with this qualification: "But this repeal shall not affect the existing rights of any person or the existing or future liabilities of any corporation, or any members of any corporation now established, until such corporation shall have adopted this act and complied with the provisions herein contained."

It thus appears that the charter of the company, by adopting the provisions of the act of 1809, became subject to a reserved power of the Legislature to make further provisions and regulations for the management of the business of the corporation and for the government thereof, or wholly to repeal the act or any part thereof establishing the corporation. This reservation of the power was a part of the contract.

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But it is contended by the company that the repeal of the act of 1809, by the act of 1829, was a revocation or surrender of this reserved power.

We cannot so regard it. The charter of the company adopted the provisions of the act of 1809 as a portion of itself, and those provisions remained a part of the charter notwithstanding the subsequent repeal of the act. The act of 1829 reserved a similar power to amend or repeal that act at the pleasure of the Legislature, and declared that all corporations established

under it should cease and expire at the same time when the act should be repealed. It can hardly be supposed that the Legislature, when it reserved such plenary powers over the corporations to be organized under the new act, intended to relinquish all its power over the corporations organized under or subject to the provisions of the former act. The qualification of the repeal of the act of 1809 before referred to seems to be intended, not only to continue the existence of the corporations subject to it in the enjoyment of all their privileges, but subject to all their liabilities, of which the reserved legislative control

was one.

If this view is correct, the Legislature of Massachusetts had reserved complete power to pass any law it saw fit, which might affect the powers of the plaintiff in error.

But there is another question in the case which, as it seems to us, is equally decisive.

The plaintiff in error was incorporated “for the purpose of manufacturing malt liquors in all their variety," it is true; and the right to manufacture, undoubtedly, as the plaintiff's counsel contends, included the incidental right to dispose of the liquors manufactured. But although this right, or capacity, was thus granted in the most unqualified form, it cannot be construed as conferring any greater or more sacred right than any citizen had to manufacture malt liquor; nor as exempting the corporation from any control therein to which a citizen would be subject, if the interests of the community should require it. If the public safety or the public morals require the discontinuance of any manufacture or traffic, the hand of the Legislature cannot be stayed from providing for its discontinuance, by any incidental inconvenience which individuals or corporations may suffer. All rights are held subject to the police power of the State.

We do not mean to say that property, actually in existence, and in which the right of the owner has become vested, may be taken for the public good without due compensation. But we infer that the liquor in this case, as in the case of Bartemeyer v. The State of Iowa, 18 Wall. 129, was not in existence when the liquor law of Massachusetts was passed. Had the plaintiff in error relied on the existence of the property prior to the law, it behoved it to show that fact. But no such fact is shown, and no such point is taken. The plaintiff in error boldly takes the ground that, being a corporation, it has a right, by contract, to manufacture and sell beer forever, notwithstanding, and in spite of any exigencies which may occur in the morals or the health of the community requiring such manufacture to cease. We do not so understand the rights of the plaintiff. The Legislature had no power to confer any such rights.

Whatever differences of opinion may exist as to the extent and boundaries of the police power, and however difficult it may be to render a satisfactory definition of it, there seems to be no doubt that it does extend to the protection of the lives, health and property of the citizens, and to the preservation of good order and the public morals. The Legislature cannot, by any contract, divest itself of the power to provide for these objects. They belong emphatically to that class of objects which demand the application of the maxim, salus populi suprema lex. And they are to be attained and provided for by such appropriate means

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