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Collection Title: Monaco vs. Mississippi: Research pertaining to a suit by a foreign state against a state of the Union.

Collection Number: M179

Dates: 1833-1934

Volume: 1 Item

Provenance: Unknown

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

Monaco vs. Mississippi is the title given to a suit dealing with the issuance of bonds by Planter's and Union Bank in 1833 and 1838, and the 100 year effort by bondholders to collect on them.

Bonds worth $2,000,000 were issued in Mississippi in 1833 by a legislative charter to the Mississippi Planter's Bank. Another $5,000,000 worth of bonds was also sold by Mississippi Union Bank. Later the banks failed and interest payments stopped.

Several attempts were made by the individual bondholders to bring suit and to demand payment, but in 1875 a constitutional amendment was adopted to prohibit the payment of these bonds. In 1880, an act was adopted taking away the right of persons to bring suit against the State of Mississippi, and although in 1882, a representative for the Council of Foreign Bankholders in London came to Jackson, Mississippi, imploring a settlement, all efforts thwarted.

With negotiations continuing into the 20th century, the United States Congress was addressed by Scottish holders of the Union bank bonds, protesting the non-payment of these bonds. Numerous efforts were made by bondholders, several of them directly addressing and requesting action by the governor of Mississippi. Finally, in 1933, three bondholders presented $100,000 of the Mississippi bank bonds, issued in 1833 and 1838, to the Principality of Monaco, thinking that a foreign state could bring suit against a state of the Union when an individual could not, according to the Mississippi constitution. At the close of 1933, Monaco filed its suit against Mississippi in the United States Supreme Court. During legal proceedings both counsels brought up past litigation that was similar to this case, and on May 21, 1934, the Supreme Court decided that the Court did not have jurisdiction in a suit by the Principality of Monaco against the State of Mississippi.

Scope and Content:

This collection is a photocopy of a 19 page research paper focusing on a legal proceeding referred to as Monaco vs. Mississippi, a suit by a foreign state against a state of the Union. The researcher outlines the pertinent facts relating to the issuance of the bonds in 1833, and the 100 year effort to collect on them.

The paper reviews this legal proceeding, citing in footnotes similar litigation, and explains the basis for the decision made by the Supreme Court on May 21, 1934. The decision was that the court did not have jurisdiction in this suit by the Pricipality of Monaco against the State of Mississippi. At the end of the paper, the researcher's response to the Supreme Court decision is expressed.

Throughout the paper, there are various marks and notations made by an unidentified proofreader.

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