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 ?
He was to be guided by the two Indians, who knew the country and promised to take him to a place not far from the Spokan River, and in a neighborhood abounding with beaver.
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.
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.
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.
The soil of a great part of this Green River valley is a whitish clay, into which the rain cannot penetrate, but which dries and cracks with the sun.
No sooner had Bulan and his party disappeared in the jungle than Barunda and Ninaka made haste to embark with the chest and the girl and push rapidly on up the river toward the wild and inaccessible regions of the interior.
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.
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.
Round Clifton Hampden, itself a wonderfully pretty village, old- fashioned, peaceful, and dainty with flowers, the river scenery is rich and beautiful.
From Clifton to Culham the river banks are flat, monotonous, and uninteresting, but, after you get through Culhalm Lock - the coldest and deepest lock on the river - the landscape improves.
Between Iffley and Oxford is the most difficult bit of the river I know.

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