Gibbons v. Ogden

22 U.S. 1 (1824)


Ogden filed his bill in the Court of Chancery of New York, against Gibbons, setting forth the several acts of the Legislature, enacted for the purpose of securing to Livingston and Fulton the exclusive navigation of all the waters within the jurisdiction of that State. The bill stated an assignment from Livingston and Fulton to one Livingston, and from him to the complainant, Ogden, of the right to navigate the waters between Elizabethtown, and other places in New Jersey, and the City of New York. , and that Gibbons’ steamboats were employed in running between New York and Elizabethtown, in violation of the exclusive privilege conferred on the complainant, and praying an injunction to restrain the said Gibbons from using the said boats, or any other propelled by fire or steam, in navigating the waters within the territory of New York. Gibbons stated that the boats employed by him were duly enrolled and licensed under the Act of Congress, passed the 18th of February 1793, c. 3. Gibbons insisted on his right to navigate the waters despite the acts of the State of New York. The Chancellor perpetuated the injunction, being of the opinion that the said acts were not repugnant to the Constitution and laws of the United States, and were valid. This decree was affirmed in the Court for the Trial of Impeachments and Correction of Errors, and it was thereupon brought to this Court by appeal.