Federal Property

atlantis

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Messages
1,289
#1
Does secession revert federal property to state gov't? Was South Carolina within its legal rights to take vacant forts for example. SC seceded before Major Anderson relocated to Sumter so who had legal right to Fort Sumter?.
 

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Carronade

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
4,413
Location
Pennsylvania
#8
There are some situations in which reversion can occur; for example, many railroad rights-of-way are essentially easements, and if the railroad ceases operation, the property may revert to the original owner, or successors, or to the adjacent property owners. We would have to look at the original documents by which the property was acquired.
 

Carronade

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
4,413
Location
Pennsylvania
#12
Arlington county Virginia was once part of district of Columbia it reverted back to Virginia in 1846.
Which was done legally, by an act of Congress, with the agreement of all parties concerned. The United States citizens resident in Arlington did not abandon it, Arlington did not secede from the District of Columbia, Virginia did not seize it, and it remained unquestionably part of the United States.
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
33,526
Location
Right here.
#13
Arlington county Virginia was once part of district of Columbia it reverted back to Virginia in 1846.
That was a legal transfer where the Federal Government ceded the land back to Virginia. Virginia didn't just walk in and take it. Had the Federal Government not ceded the land back to Virginia, it would still be part of DC today. It has nothing to do with South Carolina illegally taking Federal property.
 

Carronade

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
4,413
Location
Pennsylvania
#14
I've suggested many times that a mutually agreed peaceful separation might have been the best solution to intractable differences, although it's not something that happens often. Had that occurred, it would have included legal arrangements for transfer of property and assets as needed. But that has nothing in common with unilateral secession.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2017
Messages
2,625
Location
Monterey, CA
#15
Committee on Federal Relations
In the House of Representatives, December 31st, 1836

"The Committee on Federal relations, to which was referred the Governor's message, relating to the site of Fort Sumter, in the harbour of Charleston, and the report of the Committee on Federal Relations from the Senate on the same subject, beg leave to Report by Resolution:

"Resolved, That this state do cede to the United States, all the right, title and claim of South Carolina to the site of Fort Sumter and the requisite quantity of adjacent territory, Provided, That all processes, civil and criminal issued under the authority of this State, or any officer thereof, shall and may be served and executed upon the same, and any person there being who may be implicated by law; and that the said land, site and structures enumerated, shall be forever exempt from liability to pay any tax to this state.

"Also resolved: That the State shall extinguish the claim, if any valid claim there be, of any individuals under the authority of this State, to the land hereby ceded.

"Also resolved, That the Attorney-General be instructed to investigate the claims of Wm. Laval and others to the site of Fort Sumter, and adjacent land contiguous thereto; and if he shall be of the opinion that these parties have a legal title to the said land, that Generals Hamilton and Hayne and James L. Pringle, Thomas Bennett and Ker. Boyce, Esquires, be appointed Commissioners on behalf of the State, to appraise the value thereof. If the Attorney-General should be of the opinion that the said title is not legal and valid, that he proceed by seire facius of other proper legal proceedings to have the same avoided; and that the Attorney-General and the said Commissioners report to the Legislature at its next session.

"Resolved, That this House to agree. Ordered that it be sent to the Senate for concurrence. By order of the House:

"T. W. Glover, C. H. R."
"In Senate, December 21st, 1836

"Resolved, that the Senate do concur. Ordered that it be returned to the House of Representatives, By order:

Jacob Warly, C. S.

http://www.civilwarhome.com/sumterownership.html
 

ivanj05

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 8, 2015
Messages
1,149
#16
As I have pointed out to you before atlantis, good sir...

South Carolina very consciously asserted continuity of government after its (attempted) secession. The government that had passed the law permanently transferring ownership of the island Fort Sumter sat on was the same government that ratified the articles of secession. If every other South Carolina law passed prior to December 1860 was still considered valid by that state government after December 1860, then there is literally no argument the state of South Carolina can make that secession has somehow magically altered who owned the legal title to Fort Sumter.

The claim by the Confederacy on Fort Sumter was not grounded in any factual legal argument, but instead only in the mere fact of proximity. That was not an argument that the United States government was bound to respect.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2013
Messages
6,853
Location
Nebraska
#17
It ultimately doesn't matter if it was legal or not because they did it. Nothing changes that except they ultimately lost it back to the Feds in a game of arms.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2013
Messages
6,853
Location
Nebraska
#19
It doesn't seem that even the OP is disputing that particular point.
No, it's concern with the legality of it. My take is legality has really no play in it because it happened regardless. If South Carolina honestly thought it was an illegal move, you think they would have left Sumter to the Union? That would be like Keystone Cops running the Civil War.
 



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