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U.S. Supreme Court

North Carolina v. Tennessee, 235 U.S. 1 (1914)

North Carolina v. Tennessee

No. 4, Original

Argued October 15, 16, 1914

Decided November 9, 1914

235 U.S. 1


Slick Rock Basin and Tellico Basin sections of the boundary line between North Carolina and Tennessee located and defined in accordance with the judgment of a commission appointed by both states in 1821 and ordered to be marked by commissioners to be appointed under decree in this case.

There being a question as to the exact location of this part of the boundary line and both states having in 1821 united in appointing a joint commission and having agreed to abide by its judgment, the question in this case is to determine what that judgment was.

Marks on numerous trees along the disputed line similar to marks on trees along the undisputed line given great weight in this case as evidence of location of the continuous line referred to in the judgment of he Commission.

When states enter into an agreement giving commissioners the power to exercise judgment as to exact location of the boundary between them, they must suppose that such judgment will be exercised as to disputed locations and that, when exercised, it shall be binding upon them both.

As the Cession Act of North Carolina of 1789 under which that state chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 235 U. S. 2

ceded the western part of it territory to the United States and which was adopted by Congress was general in terms and necessarily demanded definition of the line both for purposes of private property and political jurisdiction of the states embodying such territory, an agreement made by the state to settle the exact line was in conformity with the act, and did not require further consent of or sanction by Congress, nor was it in conflict with Article I, § 10, Clause 3, of the federal Constitution prohibiting agreements between states without such consent.

The facts, which involve the location of a part of the boundary line between the North Carolina and the Tennessee, are stated in the opinion.

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