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An act passed April 10, 1893, which is made applicable to the estates of persons dying after its passage, provides that when an estate is valued at $250, or over that amount, all estates, real, personal, or mixed, of every kind whatsoever, situated within the State, shall be subject to a collateral inheritance and succession tax of five per cent. The act applies whether the person dying seized and possessed of the estate be domiciled within or without the State, and whether the estate pass by intestacy, will, deed, grant, bargain, gift, or sale, made in contemplation of death of the grantor or bargainor. But the act does not apply where the estate passes to or for the use of the father, mother, husband, wife, children, or lineal descendants born in lawful wedlock, of the person dying seized and possessed of the estate. (Chapter 174.)
The day for the meeting of electors of President and Vicepresident of the United States was fixed for the second Monday in January after their election, so as to make the statute of Tennessee upon the subject conform to the act of Cougress.
The most noteworthy changes of general interest made by the tirst session of the Fifty-second Congress, are as follows:
In addition to the mode of taking the depositions of witnesses in causes pending at law or equity, in the District and Circuit Courts of the United States, it is made lawful to take the depositions or testimony of witnesses in the mode prescribed by the State in which the courts are beld. (Chapter 14.)
It is possible that this statute was passed to meet the decision of the United States Supreme Court, in Ex parte Fisk, 113 U. S., p. 713; but it may be held that the statute only relates to the mode of taking depositions, and does not authorize the taking of depositions in the federal courts in any instance where they could not be taken before the statute was passed.
Any citizen of the United States may commence and prosecute any suit or action, in any court of the United States, without being required to prepay fees or costs, or give security therefor, before or after bringing suit, upon filing a written statement, under oath, that, because of his poverty, he is unable to pay the costs of said suit, or to give security therefor; and that he believes he is entitled to the redress he seeks by such suit, and setting forth briefly the nature of his claim. The court may request any attorney of the court to represent such poor person, if it deems the cause worthy of a trial; and the court may dismiss any such cause, if it be made to appear that the allegation of poverty is untrue, or that the alleged cause of action is frivolous or malicious. The United States is not to be liable for any of the costs which accrue in such cases. (Chapter 209.)
Congress appropriated $150,000 to carry out the law establishing the Bureau of Animal Industry, the laws for the inspection of meats and animals, and the laws for the inspection of live cattle, hogs, and the carcasses and products thereof, which are the subject of interstate conımerce.
An appropriation of $10,000 was made to continue the experiments in the production of sugar from sugar cane, sugar beets, and sorghum. (Chapter 17.)
The following appropriations were made for rivers and harbors in Tennessee: Big Hatchie River, $3,500 ; Clinch River, $4,000; Cumberland River, above Nashville, $250,000, below Nashville, $10,000; French Broad River, $15,000; Forked Deer River, $3,000; Tennessee River, below Chattanooga, $500,000, above Chattanooga, $25,000; Obion River, $7,500; the Memphis Ilarbor, $25,000. (Pages 104-108.)
It will be seen that Tennessee stands solid “ for the old flag --and an appropriation."
The St. Louis and Birmingham Railway Company is authorized to construct a bridge over the Tennessee River at Clifton, in Wayne County, in this State. (Chapter 93.)
The time for the commencement of the bridge across the Tennessee River at Knoxville is extended one year, and the time for its completion is extended three years from July 26, 1892. (Chapter 253.)
It is declared to be unlawful to build any wharf, pier, or other structure of any kind, outside established harbor lines, or in any navigable waters of the United States where no harbor lines are or may be established, in such manner as shall obstruct or impair navigation, commerce, or anchorage; and it shall not be lawful hereafter to commence the construction of any bridge or other works over or in any port, harbor, navigable river, or navigable waters of the United States, under any act of the leg. islative assembly of any State, until the location and plan of said bridge or other works shall have been approved by the Secretary of War. (Page 110.)
“An act to encourage American ship-building” authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to grant registers, as vessels of the United States, to such foreign-built steamships now engaged in freight and passenger business, and sailing in an established line from a port in the United States, as are of a tonnage of not less than eight thousand tons, and capable of a speed of not less than twenty knots per hour, of which not less than ninety per cent. of the shares of the capital of the foreign corporation or association owning the same was owned January 1, 1890, and has continued to be owned imtil the passage of this act, by citizens of the United States, including as such citizens corporations created under the laws of any of the States thereof.
The American owners of such majority interest must obtain a complete title to such steamship from the foreign corporations owning the same, and must, subsequent to the passage of said
act, have built, or have contracted to build, in American shipyards, steamships of an aggregate tonnage of not less in amount than that of the steamship so admitted to registry. Each steamship so built or contracted for to be of a tonnage of not less than seven thousand tons. Any steamship so registered may be taken and used by the United States as cruisers or transports, upon the payment to the owners of the fair actual value of the same at the time of taking, the value to be ascertained by appraisement. (Chapter 63.)
This act is believed to have been carefully guarded, so as to authorize the registry of only the steamships of the Inman line, and of only the “ City of New York” and “ City of Paris” of that line.
The services of all laborers and mechanics who are now, or may hereafter be, employed by the United States, or by the District of Columbia, or by any contractor or subcontractor upon any of the public works of the United States or of said District, is limited and restricted to eight hours in one calendar day; and it is unlawful for any officer of the United States, or of said District, or for any such coutractor, whose duty it shall be to employ, direct, or control the services of any such laborers or mechanics, to require or permit any such laborer or mechanic to work more than eight hours in any calendar day, except in case of great emergency. (Chapter 352.)
It is not explained in the act how the officer, contractor, etc., can prevent the laborers or mechanics from working more than eight hours a day, if they see proper to do so. The act will probably be amended so as to provide, at the expense of the tax-payers of the country, certain play-grounds, in which the laborers and mechanics shall be contined, and required to play, after they shall have completed their eight hours of work each day.
Whenever a national bank shall have been, or shall be placed in the hands of a receiver, and the Comptroller of the Currency shall have paid to each and every creditor of the bank (not including share-holders who are creditors of such bank) whose claim or claims shall have been proved or allowed, and all expenses of the receivership, and the redemption of the circulating notes of such bank shall have been provided for, by depositing lawful money of the United States with the Treasurer of the United States, the share holders may determine whether the receiver shall be continued, and wind up the affairs of the bank, or whether an agent shall be elected by the share-holders for that purpose. In case the share-holders shall elect an agent, the Comptroller and receiver shall transfer and deliver to him all the uudivided, uncollected, or other assets of the bank. The agent so selected shall hold, control, and dispose of said assets for the benefit of the share-holders. He may sue or be sued in the name of the bank. He may sell, compromise, or compound the debts due to the bank, with the approval of the Circuit or District Court of the United States. He shall finally settle and distribute the assets and property in his hands; and, at the conclusion of his trust, he shall render to such District or Cir. cuit Court a full account of his proceedings.
The assets are to be applied : First, to pay the expenses of the trust; second, to repay any amount or amounts which may have been paid by any share-holder or share holders by reason of any assessment or assessments made upon the stock by the Comptroller; third, the balance is to be distributed ratably among such stockholders, in proportion to the number of shares held and owned by each. (Chapter 360.)
The laws regulating and prohibiting Chinese immigration are continued in force for ten years. The burden of proof is put upon the defendant to show that he is lawfully entitled to remain in the United States; and if the defendant be convicted, he is to be imprisoned for a period not exceeding one year, at hard labor, and thereafter removed from the United States. (Chapter 60.)
If the exclusion of immigrants were based upon the character of the individual instead of his nativity, the exclusion laws would be less objectionable to some of us.
The law excluding Chinese seems to discriminate in favor of the Chinese loafer and against the Chinese laborer.