River


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RIVER. A natural collection of waters, arising from springs or fountains, which flow in a bed or canal of considerable width and length, towards the sea.
     2. Rivers may be considered as public or private.
     3. Public rivers are those in which the public have an interest.
     4. They are either navigable, which, technically understood, signifies such rivers in which the tide flows; or not navigable. The soil or bed of such a navigable river, understood in this sense, belongs not to the riparian proprietor, but to the public. 3 Caines' Rep. 307; 10 John. R. 236; 17 John. R. 151; 20 John. R. 90; 5 Wend. R. 423; 6 Cowen, R. 518; 14 Serg. & Rawle, 9; 1 Rand. Rep. 417; 3 Rand. R. 33; 3 Greenl. R. 269; 2 Conn. R. 481; 5 Pick. 199.
     5. Public rivers, not navigable, are those which belong to the people in general, as public highways. The soil of these rivers belongs generally, to the riparian owner, but the public have the use of the stream, and the authors of nuisances and impediments over such a stream are indictable. Ang. on Water Courses, 202; Davies' Rep. 152; Callis on Sewers, 78; 4 Burr. 2162.
     6. By the ordinance of 1787, art. 4, relating to the northwestern territory, it is provided that the navigable waters, leading into the Mississippi and St. Lawrence, and the carrying places between the same, shall be common highways, and forever free. 3 Story, L. U. S. 2077.
     7. A private river, is one so naturally obstructed, that there is no passage for boats; for if it be capable of being so navigated, the public may use its waters. 1 McCord's Rep. 580. The soil in general belongs to the riparian proprietors. (q.v.) A river, then, may be considered, 1st. As private, in the case of shallow and obstructed streams. 2d. As private property, but subject to public use, when it can be navigated; and, 3d. As public, both with regard to its use and property. Some rivers possess all these qualities. The Hudson is mentioned as an instance; in one part it is entirely private property; in another the public have the use of it; and it is public property from the mouth as high up as the tide flows. Ang. Wat. Co. 205, 6.
     8. In Pennsylvania, it has been held that the great rivers of that state, as the Susquehanna, belong to the public, and that the riparian proprietor does not own the bed or canal. 2 Binn. R. 75; 14 Serg. & Rawle, 71. Vide, generally, Civ. Code of Lo. 444; Bac. Ab. Prerogatives, B 3; 7 Com. Dig. 291; 1 Bro. Civ. Law, 170; Merl. Repert, h.t.; Jacobsen's Sea Laws, 417; 2 Hill. Abr. c. 13; 2 Fairf. R. 278 3 Ohio Rep. 496; 6 Mass. R. 435; 15 John. R. 447; 1 Pet. C. C. Rep. 64; 1 Paige's Rep. 448; 3 Dane's R. 4; 7 Mass. Rep. 496; 17 Mass. Rep. 289; 5 Greenl. R. 69; 10 Wend. R. 260; Kames, Eq. 38; 6 Watts & Serg. 101. As to the boundaries of rivers, see Metc. & Perk. Dig. Boundaries, IV.; as to the grant of a river, see 5 Cowen, 216; Co. Litt. 4 b; Com. Dig. Grant, E 5.

References in classic literature ?
Lewis and Clarke struck the main body of the river at the forks, about four hundred miles from its mouth.
The little squadron of canoes set sail with a favorable breeze, and soon passed Tongue Point, a long, high, and rocky promontory, covered with trees, and stretching far into the river. Opposite to this, on the northern shore, is a deep bay, where the Columbia anchored at the time of the discovery, and which is still called Gray's Bay, from the name of her commander.
From hence, the general course of the river for about seventy miles was nearly southeast; varying in breadth according to its bays and indentations, and navigable for vessels of three hundred tons.
The stream on which they had thus encamped proved, in effect, to be tributary to the Seeds-ke-dee Agie, or Green River, into which it flowed at some distance to the south.
William Sublette, the enterprising leader of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, had, two or three years previously, reached the valley of the Wind River, which lies on the northeast of the mountains; but had proceeded with them no further.
A vast valley now spread itself before the travellers, bounded on one side by the Wind River Mountains, and to the west, by a long range of high hills.
Ninaka jerked his thumb toward the river. "Some crocodile has feasted well," he said significantly.
Barunda suggested that in case of some possible emergency causing the quarry to return down the river it would be well to have a force remain at the long-house to intercept them.
It was a glorious day, and the lock was crowded; and, as is a common practice up the river, a speculative photographer was taking a picture of us all as we lay upon the rising waters.
From Wallingford up to Dorchester the neighbourhood of the river grows more hilly, varied, and picturesque.
It is an historical river; it is a romantic stream flowing through the centre of great affairs, and for all the criticism of the river's administration, my contention is that its development has been worthy of its dignity.
After the gradual cessation of all sound and movement on the faithful river, only the ringing of ships' bells is heard, mysterious and muffled in the white vapour from London Bridge right down to the Nore, for miles and miles in a decrescendo tinkling, to where the estuary broadens out into the North Sea, and the anchored ships lie scattered thinly in the shrouded channels between the sand-banks of the Thames' mouth.