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United States Supreme Court

101 U.S. 665

Scipio  v.  Wright

This was an action brought by William P. Wright against the town of Scipio, on twenty-five instruments in writing, numbered from 1 to 25, both inclusive, all being alike, except as to their number, and also except that eight of them, being those numbered from 1 to 8, both i clusive, are payable to Slocum Howland or bearer. The others are payable to bearer, no payee being named therein. To all were annexed coupons for the sum of thirty-five dollars each, differing only as to the time when payable, there being one coupon for each instalment of semi-annual interest on each bond, the first being due July 1, 1858, and the last, Jan. 1, 1873. One of which instruments is in the words and figures following, viz.:--


'Seven per cent loan, not exceeding $25,000.

One thousand dollars

'Be it known that the town of Scipio, in the county of Cayuga and State of New York, in pursuance of an act of the legislature of said State, entitled 'An Act to authorize any town in the county of Cayuga to borrow money for aiding in the construction of a railroad or railroads from Lake Ontario to the New York and Erie or Cayuga and Susquehanna Railroad,' passed April 16, 1852, and for the purpose of aiding the construction of the Lake Ontario, Auburn, and New York Railroad, owes and promises to pay to Slocum Howland or bearer one thousand dollars, with interest at the rate of seven per cent, payable semi-annually on the first days of January and July in each year, on surrender of the coupons hereto attached, at the Bank of the State of New York, in the city of New York, the principal to be reimbursable at the same place at the expiration of twenty years from the first day of January, 1853.

'In testimony whereof, the supervisor and commissioners of the town of Scipio have, pursuant to the provisions of the act aforesaid, and the written assent of two-thirds of the resident tax-payers of said town, obtained and filed in the office of the clerk of the county of Cayuga, hereunto subscribed their names this twentieth day of May, A.D. 1853.

'WILLIAM TABER, 'Supervisor.


'GEORGE SLOCUM, CommissionersOne of the coupons next to said instrument No. 2 is in the words and figures following:--


'The town of Scipio, in the county of Cayuga, hereby acknowledges that there will be due the bearer thirty-five dollars, payable at the Bank of the State of New York, in the city of New York, on the first day of July, 1858, being interest due on that day on bond No. 2.

'WILLIAM TRACY, 'Supervisor.


'GEORGE SLOCUM, 'Commissioners.'

Wright recovered judgment, and the town removed the case here.

The remaining facts and the statutes bearing upon the case are stated in the opinion of the court.

Mr. George F. Comstock and Mr. S. Edwin Day for the plaintiff in error.

Mr. David Wright, contra.

MR. JUSTICE STRONG delivered the opinion of the court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).