National Geographic : 1898 Nov
GEOGRAPHIC LITERA TURE acquirement of a title in fee, shall "have jurisdiction over any tracts of land within the commonwealth which may be necessary for. the erection of marine hospitals, customs offices, post-offices, life-saving stations, • . . but the commonwealth shall retain concurrent jurisdiction . . . so far that all civil and criminal processes issuing under authority of the commonwealth may be executed thereon . . ." (Pub. Stat. Mass., 1882, chap. 1, secs. 3, 4.) "The following property . . . shall be exempted from taxation: First. The property of the United States." (Idem, chap. 11, sec. 5.) Such acts vary in detail, but even, uniform exemption from taxation distinguishes the federal title from the title of a private corporation. II. There are in the United States: 1. Towns: (a) bodies corporate of a grade below cities; (b) rural bodies with democratic control of certain local affairs, sometimes including schools. 2. Townships : (a) the towns last defined, under another name; (b) bodies for school administration only; (c) congressional townships, simply areas, of 36 square miles, laid out by government surveyors, often the bases for school townships. Two forms of local government are technically: County government, township organization. Usually one form prevails throughout a state Illinois and Missouri, however, originally under county government, authorized counties desiring it to adopt township organization, and both forms are found in each of these states, at least. Each was laid off in congressional townships, in which the sixteenth or school sections were for the township. The school township prevails throughout both states, and yet not of course. In Louisiana, with a like survey and a like land grant, there is no corporate township. That state, recognizing a town ship only as a peopled area with a title to the school section, has acted as trustee and keeps accounts with congressional townships in distribut ing revenue from the land to schools therein. The grant was not uniformly "to a township" (sec. 1255), but in a township, sometimes to the state, as in Florida and in Kansas, where a corporate school township has not grown from the congressional town ship. A congressional township, a school township or town, and a civil town or township may occupy the same area at the same time, and a city cor poration may be coincident upon more or less of the same area. The greatest variety of civil bodies corporate can probably be found in Illinois or Missouri especially, with the early charters still valid. The student of " The State" will have occasion to supplement its explanations, as, indeed, the author suggests. III. This edition is apparently the first text-book to, recognize the in dependence of residents in certain cities from county taxes and county control.* The student may advantageously look for kindred cases. In arranging the functions of Boston and Suffolk county, some of which are interchangeable, it is provided that "Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop shall not be taxed for county purposes" (Pub. Stat. Mass., 1882, chap. 11, sec. 47). In Kentucky, in counties containing cities maintaining separate *The conditions in Baltimore, St Louis, and the cities of Virginia were published in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, March, 1896.