UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The name of this country. The United States,
now thirty-one in number, are Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida,
Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New
York North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina,
Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and California.
2. The territory of which these states are composed was at one time dependent
generally on the crown of Great Britain, though governed by the local
legislatures of the country. It is not within the plan of this work to give a
history of the colonies; on this subject the reader is referred to Kent's Com.
sect. 10; Story on the Constitution, Book 1; 8 Wheat. Rep. 543; Marshall, Hist.
3. The neglect of the British government to redress grievances which had been
felt by the people, induced the colonies to form a closer connexion than their
former isolated state, in the hopes that by a union they might procure what they
had separately endeavored in vain, to obtain. In 1774, Massachusetts recommended
that a congress of the colonies should be assembled to deliberate upon the state
of public affairs; and on the fourth of September of the following year, the
delegates to such a congress assembled in Philadelphia. Connecticut, Delaware,
Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia, were represented by
their delegates; Georgia alone was not represented. This congress, thus
organized, exercised de facto and de jure, a sovereign authority, not as the
delegated agents of the governments de facto of the colonies, but in virtue of
the original powers derived from the people. This, which was called the
revolutionary government, terminated only when superseded by the confederated
government under the articles of confederation, ratified in 1781. Serg. on the
Const. Intr. 7, 8.
4. The state of alarm and danger in which the colonies then stood induced the
formation of a second congress. The delegates, representing all the states, met
in May, 1775. This congress put the country in a state of defence, and made
provisions for carrving on the war with the mother country; and for the internal
regulations of which they were then in need; and on the fourth day of July,
1776, adopted and issued the Declaration of Independence. (q. v.) The articles
of confederation, (q. v.) adopted on the first day of March, 1781, 1 Story on
the Const. §225; 1 Kent's Comm. 211, continued in force until the first
Wednesday in March, 1789, when the present constitution was adopted. 5 Wheat.
5. The United States of America are a corporation endowed with the capacity
to sue and be sued, to convey and receive property. 1 Marsh. Dec. 177, 181. But
it is proper to observe that no suit can be brought against the United States
without authority of law.
6. The states, individually, retain all the powers which they possessed at
the formation of the constitution, and which have not been given to congress.
7. Besides the states which are above enumerated, there are various
territories, (q. v.) which are a species of dependencies of the United States.
New states may be admitted by congress into this union; but no new state shall
be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state, nor any state
be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the
consent of the legislatures of the states concerned, as well as of congress.
Const. art. 4, s. 3. And the United States shall guaranty to every state in this
union, a republican form of government. Id. art. 4, s. 4. See the names of the
several states; and Constitution of the United States.
UNITY, estates. An agreement or coincidence of certain qualities in
the title of a joint estate or an estate in common.
2. In a joint estate there must exist four unities; that of interest, for a
joint-tenant cannot be entitled to one period of duration or quantity of
interest in lands, and the other to a different; one cannot be tenant for life,
and the other for years: that of title, and therefore their estate must be
created by one and, the same act; that of time, for their estates must be vested
at one and the same period, as well as by one and the same title; and lastly,
the unity of possession: hence joint-tenants are seised per my et per tout, or
by the half or moiety and by all: that is, each of them has an entire
possession, as well of every parcel as of the whole. 2 Bl. Com. 179-182; Co.
3. Coparceners must have the unities of interest, title, and possession.
4. In tenancies in common, the unity of possession is alone required. 2 Bl.
Com. 192; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1861-83. Vide Estate in Common; Estate in
Joint-tenancy; Joint-tenants; Tenant in Common; Tenants, Joint.
UNITY OF POSSESSION. This term is used to designate the possession by
one person of several estates or rights. For example, a right to an estate to
which an easement is attached, or the dominant estate, and to an estate which an
easement encumbers, or the servient estate, in such case the easement is
extinguished. 3 Mason, Rep. 172; Poph. 166; Latch, 153; and vide Cro. Jac. 121.
But a distinction has been made between a thing that has being by prescription,
and one that has its being ex jure naturae; in the former case unity of
possession will extinguish the easement; in the latter, for example, the case of
a water course, the unity will not extinguish it. Poth. 166.
2. By the civil code of Louisiana, art. 801, every servitude is
extin-guished, when the estate to which it is due, and the estate owing it, are
united in the same hands. But it is necessary that the whole of the two estates
should belong to the same proprietor; for if the owner of one estate only
acquires the other in part or in common with another person, confusion does not
take effect. Vide Merger.
UNIVERSAL LEGACY. A term used among civilians. An universal legacy is
a testamentary disposition, by which the testator gives to one or several
persons the whole of the property which he leaves at his decease. Civil Code of
Lo. art. 1599; Code Civ. art. 1003; Poth. Donations testamentaires, c. 2, sect.
UNIVERSAL PARTNERSHIP. The name of a specie's of partnership by which
all the partners agree to put in common all their property, universorum bonorum,
not only what they then have, but also what they shall acquire. Poth. Du Contr.
de Societe, n. 29.
2. In Louisiana, universal partnerships are allowed, but properly which may
accrue to one of the parties, after entering into the partnership, by donation,
succession, or legacy, does not become common stock, and any stipulation to that
effect, previous to the obtaining the property aforesaid, is void. Civ. Code,
UNIVERSITY. The name given to certain societies or corporations which
are seminaries of learning where youth are sent to finish their education. Among
the civilians by this term is understood a corporation.
UNJUST. That which is done against the perfect rights of another; that
which is against the established law; that which is opposed to a law which is
the test of right and wrong. 1 Toull. tit. prel. n. 5; Aust. Jur. 276, n.; Hein.
Lec. El. §1080.
UNKNOWN. When goods have been stolen from some person unknown, they
may be so described in the indictment; but if the owner be really known, an
indictment alleging the property to belong to some person unknown is improper. 2
East's P. C. 651 1 Hale, P. C. 512; Holt's N. P. C. 596 S. C. 3 Engl. Common Law
Rep. 191; 8 C. & P. 773. Vide Indictment; Quidam.
UNLAWFUL. That which is contrary to law.
2. There are two kinds of contracts which are unlawful; those which are void,
and those which are not. When the law expressly prohibits the transaction in
respect of which the agreement is entered into and declares it to be void, it is
absolutely so. 3 Binn. R. 533. But when it is merely prohibited, without being
made void, although unlawful, it is not void. 12 Serg. & Rawle, 237; Chitty,
Contr. 230; 23 Amer. Jur. 1 to 23; 1 Mod. 35; 8 East, R. 236, 237; 3 Taunt. R.
244; Hob. 14. Vide Condition; Void.
UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY, crim. law. A disturbance of the public peace by
three or more persons who meet together with an intent mutually to assist each
other in the execution of some unlawful enterprise of a private nature, with
force and violence; if they move forward towards its execution, it is then a
rout (q. v.) and if they actually execute their design, it amounts to a riot.
(q. v.) 4 Bl. Com. 140; 1 Russ. on Cr. 254; Hawk. c. 65, s. 9; Com. Dig.
Forcible Entry, D 10; Vin. Abr. Riots, &c., A.
UNLAWFULLY, pleadings. This word is frequently used in indictments in
the description of the offence; it is necessary when the crime did not exist at
common law, and when a statute, in describing an offence which it creates, uses
the word, 1 Moody, Cr. Cas. 339; but it is unnecessary whenever the crime
existed at common law, and is manifestly illegal. 1 Chitty, Crim. Law, *241;
Hawk. B. 2, c. 95, s. 96; 2 Roll. Ab. 82; Bac. Abr. Indictment, G 1 Cro. C. C.
UNLIQUIDATED DAMAGES. Such damages, as are unascertained. In general
such damages cannot be set-off. No interest will be allowed on unliquidated
damages. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 1108. See Liquidated, Liquidated Damages.
UNQUES, law French. Yet. This barbarous word is frequently used in pleas as,
Ne unques executor, Ne unquas guardian, Ne unques accouple; and the like.
UNSOUND MIND; UNSOUND MEMORY. These words have been adopted in several
statutes, and sometimes indiscriminately used to signify, not only lunacy, which
is periodical madness, but also a permanent adventitious insanity as
distinguished from idiocy. 1 Ridg. Parl. Cases, 518; 3 Atk. 171.
2. The term unsound mind seems to have been used in those statutes in the
same sense as insane; but they have been said to import that the party was in
some such state as was contradistinguished from idiocy and from lunacy, and yet
such is made him a proper subject of a commission to inquire of idiocy and
lunacy. Shelf. on Lun. 5; Ray, Med. Jur. Prel. §8; Hals. Med. Jur. 336; 8 Ves.
66; 19 Ves. 286; 1 Beck's Med. Jur. 573; Coop. Ch. Cas. 108; 12 Ves. 447; 2 Mad.
Ch. Pr. 731, 732.
UNSOUNDNESS. Vide Crib-biting; Roaring; Soundness.
UNWHOLESOME FOOD. Food not fit to be eaten; food which, if eaten,
would be injurious.
2. Although the law does not in general consider a sale to be a warranty or
goodness of the quality of a personal chattel, yet it is otherwise with regard
to food and liquor when sold for consumption. 1 Roll. Ab. 90, pl. 1 and 2.
UPLIFTED HAND. When a man accused of a crime is arraigned, he is
required to raise his hand, probably in order to identify the person who pleads.
Perhaps for the same reason when a witness adopts a particular mode of taking an
oath, as when he does not swear upon the gospel, but upon Almighty God, he is
requested to hold up his hand.