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Opinion of the Court.

consisted in ferrying passengers and freight over the river Delaware between Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania, and Gloucester, in New Jersey. This traffic was held to be interstate commerce, and, inasmuch as it appeared that the ferry boats were registered in New Jersey and were taxable there, it was held that there was no property held by the company which could be the subject of taxation in Pennsylvania, except the lease of a wharf in that State. “Congress alone,” said the

' court, (page 204,)“therefore, can deal with such transportation; its non-action is a declaration that it shall remain free

n from burdens imposed by state legislation. Otherwise, there would be no protection against conflicting regulations of different States, each legislating in favor of its own citizens and products and against those of other States.” If, as was intimated in that case, interstate commerce means simply commerce between the States, it must apply to all commerce which crosses the state line, regardless of the distance from which it comes or to which it is bound, before or after crossing such

te line — in other words, if it be commerce to send goods from Cincinnati, in Ohio, to Lexington, in Kentucky, iü is equally such to send goods or to travel in person from Cincinnati to Covington; and while the reasons which influenced this court to hold in the Wabash case that Illinois could not fix rates between Peoria and New York may not impress the mind so strongly when applied to fixing the rates of toll upon a bridge or ferry, the principle is identically the same, and, at least in the absence of mutual or reciprocal legislation between the two States, it is impossible for either to fix a tariff of charges.

With reference to the second question, an attempt is made to distinguish a bridge from a ferry boat, and to argue that while the latter is an instrument of interstate commerce, the former is not. Both are, however, vehicles of such commerce, and the fact that one is movable and the other is a fixture makes no difference in the application of the rule. Commerce, was defined in Gibbons v. Ogilen, 9 Wheat. 1, 189, to be “intercourse," and the thousands of people who daily pass and repass over this bridge may be as truly said to be engaged in

Opinion of the Court.

commerce as if they were shipping cargoes of merchandise from New York to Liverpool. While the bridge company is not itself a common carrier, it affords a highway for such carriage, and a toll upon such bridge is as much a tax upon commerce as a toll upon a turnpike is a tax upon the traffic of such turnpike, or the charges upon a ferry a tax upon the commerce across a river. A tax laid upon those who do the business of common carriers upon a certain bridge is as much a tax upon the commerce of that bridge as if the owner of the bridge were himself a common carrier.

Let us examine some of the cases which are supposed to countenance the doctrine that ferries and bridges connecting two States are not instruments of commerce between such States in such sense as to exempt them from state control. In Conway v. Taylor's Executors, 1 Black, 603, a ferry franchise on the Ohio was held to be grantable under the laws of Kentucky to a citizen of that State who was a riparian owner on the Kentucky side. It was said not to be necessary to the validity of the grant that the grantee should have the right of landing on the other side or beyond the jurisdiction of the State. The opinion, however, did not pass upon the question of the right of one State to regulate the charge for ferriage, nor does it follow that because a State may authorize a ferry or pridge from its own territory to that of another State, it may regulate the charges upon such bridge or ferry. A State may undoubtedly create corporations for the purpose of building and running steamships to foreign ports, but it would hardly be claimed that an attempt to fix a scale of charges for the transportation of persons or property to and from such foreign ports would not be a regulation of commerce and beyond the constitutional power of the State. It is true the States have assumed the right in a number of instances, since the adoption of the Constitution, to fix the rates or tolls upon interstate ferries and bridges, and perhaps in some instances have been recognized as having the authority to do so by the courts of the several States. But we are not aware of any case in this court where such right has been recognized. Of recent years it has been the custom to obtain the consent of

Opinion of the Court.

Congress for the construction of bridges over navigable waters, and by the seventh section of the act of September 19, 1890, c. 907, 26 Stat. 426, 454, it is made unlawful to begin the construction of any bridge over navigable waters, until the location and plan of such bridge have been approved by the Secretary of War, who has also been in frequent instances authorized to regulate the tolls upon such bridges, where they connected two States. So, too, in Wiggins Ferry Company v. East St. Louis, 107 U. S. 365, it was held that a State had the power to impose a license fee, either directly or through one of its municipal corporations, upon ferry-keepers living in the State, for boats which they owned and used in conveying from a landing in the State passengers and goods across a navigable river to another State. It was said that “the levying of a tax upon vessels or other water-craft, or the exaction of a license fee by the State within which the property subject to the exaction has its situs, is not a regulation of commerce within the meaning of the Constitution of the United States." Obviously the case does 'not touch the question here involved. Upon the other hand, however, it was held in Moran v. New Orleans, 112 U. S. 69, that a municipal ordinance of New Orleans imposing a license tax upon persons owning and running tow boats to and from the Gulf of Mexico was void as a regulation of commerce.

It is clear that the State of Kentucky, by the statute in question, attempts to reach out and secure for itself a right to prescribe a rate of toll applicable not only to persons crossing from Kentucky to Ohio, but from Ohio to Kentucky, a right which practically nullifies the corresponding right of Ohio to fix tolls from her own State. It is obvious that the bridge could not have been built without the consent of Ohio, since the north end of the bridge and its abutments rest upon Ohio soil; and without authority from that State to exercise the right of eminent domain, no land could have been acquired for that purpose. It follows that, if the State of Kentucky has the right to regulate the travel upon such bridge and fix the tolls, the State of Ohio has the same right, and so long as their action is harmonious there may be no room for friction

Opinion of the Court.

between the States; but it would scarcely be consonant with good sense to say that separate regulations and separate tariffs may be adopted by each State, (if the subject be one for state regulation,) and made applicable to that portion of the bridge within its own territory. So far as the matter of construction is concerned, each State may proceed separately by authorizing the company to condemn land within its own territory, but in the operation of the bridge their action must be joint or great confusion is likely to result. It may be for the interest of Kentucky to add to its own population by encouraging residents of Cincinnati to purchase homes in Covington, and to do this by fixing the tolls at such a rate as to induce citizens of Ohio to reside within her borders. It might be equally for the interest of Ohio to prescribe a higher rate of toll to induce her citizens to remain and fix their homes within their own State, and as persons living in one State and doing business in another would necessarily have to cross the bridge at least twice a day, the rates of toll might become a serious question to them. Congress, and Congress alone, possesses the requisite power to harmonize such differences, and to enact a uniform scale of charges which will be operative in both directions. The authority of the State, so frequently recognized by this court, to fix tolls for the use of wharves, piers, elevators, and improved channels of navigation, has always been limited to such as were exclusively within the territory of a single State, thus affecting interstate commerce but incidentally, and cannot be extended to structures connecting two States without involving a liability of controversies of a serious nature. For instance, suppose the agent of the Bridge Company in Cincinnati should refuse to recognize tickets sold upon the Kentucky side, enabling the person holding the ticket to pass from Ohio to Kentucky, it would be a mere brutum fulmen to attempt to punish such agent under the laws of Kentucky. Or, suppose the State of Ohio should authorize such agent to refuse a passage to persons coming from Kentucky who had not paid the toll required by the Ohio statute; or that Kentucky should enact that all persons crossing from Kentucky to Ohio should be entitled to a free

Opinion of the Court.

passage, and thus attempt to throw the whole burden upon persons crossing in the opposite direction. It might be an advantage to one State to make the charge for foot passengers very low and the charge for merchandise very high, and for the other side to adopt a converse system. One scale of charges might be advantageous to Kentucky in this instance, where the larger city is upon the north side of the river, while a wholly different system might be to her advantage at Louisville, where the larger city is upon the south side.

We do not wish to be understood as saying that, in the absence of Congressional legislation or mutual legislation of the two States, the company has the right to fix tolls at its own discretion. There is always an implied understanding with reference to these structures that the charges shall be reasonable, and the question of reasonableness must be settled as other questions of a judicial nature are settled, by the evidence in the particular case. As was said in Gloucester Ferry Co. v. Pennsylvania, 114 U. S. 196, 217, “ freedom from such impositions does not of course imply exemption from reasonable charges, as compensation for the carriage of persons, in the way of tolls or fares, or from the ordinary taxation to which other property is subjected, any more than like freedom of transportation on land implies such exemption. Reasonable charges for the use of property, either on water or land, are not an interference with the freedom of transportation between the States secured under the commercial power of Congress.” Nor are we to be understood as passing upon the question whether, in the absence of legislation by Congress, the States may by reciprocal action fix upon a tariff which shall be operative upon both sides of the river.

We do hold, however, that the statute of the Commonwealth of Kentucky in question in this case is an attempted regulation of commerce which it is not within the power of the State to make. As was said by Mr. Justice Miller in the Wabash case : “ It is impossible to see any distinction in its effects upon commerce of either class between a statute which regulates the charges for transportation and a statute which

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