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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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7653. RIVERS, Increments of.—
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7653. RIVERS, Increments of.—

granting appropriations [of lands], some sovereigns
have given away the increments of rivers
to a greater, some to a lesser extent, and
some not at all. Rome, which was not feudal,
and Spain and England which were, have
granted them largely; France, a feudal country,


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has not granted them at all on navigable rivers.
Louis XIV., therefore, was strictly correct when
in his edict of 1693, he declared that the increments
of rivers were incontestably his, as a
necessary consequence of the sovereignty.
That is to say, that where no special grant of
them to an individual could be produced, they
remained in him, as a portion of the original
lands of the nation, or as new created lands,
never yet granted to any individual. They are
unquestionably a regalian, or national right,
paramount, and pre-existent to the establishment
of the feudal system. That system has
no fixed principle on the subject, as is evident
from the opposite practices of different feudal
nations. The position, therefore, is entirely
unfounded, that the right to them is derived
from the feudal law.—
Batture Case. Washington ed. viii, 541.