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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 ?
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.
At one part of the river, they passed, on the northern side, an isolated rock, about one hundred and fifty feet high, rising from a low marshy soil, and totally disconnected with the adjacent mountains.
From the number of dead bodies in canoes observed upon this rock by the first explorers of the river, it received the name of Mount Coffin, which it continues to bear.
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.
25th, was that river. The captain was convinced, however, that the stream was too insignificant to drain so wide a valley and the adjacent mountains: he encamped, therefore, at an early hour, on its borders, that he might take the whole of the next day to reach the main river; which he presumed to flow between him and the distant range of western hills.
He had fallen upon the trail of Captain Bonneville's party, just after leaving the Nebraska; and, finding that they had frightened off all the game, had been obliged to push on, by forced marches, to avoid famine: both men and horses were, therefore, much travel-worn; but this was no place to halt; the plain before them he said was destitute of grass and water, neither of which would be met with short of the Green River, which was yet at a considerable distance.
Then they dropped down the river with the current, and paddled about above the gorge for half an hour.
Barunda and Ninaka urged their men on, with brief rests, all day, nor did they halt even after night had closed down upon the river. On, on the swift prahu sped up the winding channel which had now dwindled to a narrow stream, at intervals rushing strongly between rocky walls with a current that tested the strength of the strong, brown paddlers.
Yet as she glanced from them to her new captors she could not but feel that she would prefer captivity in one of the settlements they were passing--there at least she might find an opportunity to communicate with her father, or be discovered by the rescue party as it came up the river. The idea grew upon her as the day advanced until she spent the time in watching furtively for some means of escape should they but touch the shore momentarily; and though they halted twice her captors were too watchful to permit her the slightest opportunity for putting her plan into action.
* You meet other boats there, and river gossip is exchanged.
A good many of the new lock-keepers, especially in the more crowded portions of the river, are excitable, nervous old men, quite unfitted for their post.
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.

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