Art. XI, § 12
and even to loan it to the state. Governor v. McEwen, 24 Tenn. 241 (1844); State v. Bank of Tenn., 64 Tenn. 18 (1875); Ballentine v. Mayor of Pulaski, 83 Tenn. 633 (1885). See Acts 1873, ch. 24, § 6.
4. —To Compromise Suits.
Under this provision of the Constitution of 1834, and the statute (Acts 1835-1836, ch. 23) enacted to enforce it and put it in operation, the general assembly had the power, directly or by and through commissioners appointed for that purpose, under its resolutions (reso- lutions 49 and 53 in Acts 1843-1844, pp. 316 and 318), to settle, arrange, and compromise any suit or demand for the school fund, even after a decree had been rendered in the supreme court against the superintendent of public instruction (the treasurer of the fund) and his official sureties declaring and adjudging their liability and ordering a reference for an accounting and to ascertain the amount of their liability upon the basis fixed by the decree. Governor v. McEwen, 24 Tenn. 241 (1844); State v. Fleming, 26 Tenn. 152 (1846); Johnson v. Hacker, 55 Tenn. 389 (1874); State v. Bank of Tenn., 64 Tenn. 18 (1875).
5. ‘‘The Bank of Tennessee.’’
The moneys and debts due to ‘‘The Bank of the State of Tennessee’’ (incorporated by Acts 1820, ch. 7), and appropriated by statute (Acts 1827, ch. 64, amended by Acts 1829, ch. 107) to the use of common schools, were, by the Constitution of 1834, art. XI, § 10, converted into a perpetual, inviolable, and inalienable fund for the support and encouragement of common schools throughout the state. Ingraham v. Terry, 30 Tenn. 572 (1851).
In 1837, ‘‘The Bank of Tennessee’’ was created by Acts 1837-1838, chs. 107 and 108, partly for the purpose of aiding in the cause of education, which had been made a prominent object of the constitu- tional convention in 1834, as appears in this section of the constitution of that year. Louisville & N.R.R. v. County Court, 33 Tenn. 636 (1854); Furman, Green & Co. v. Nichol, 43 Tenn. 432 (1866), rev’d on other grounds, 75 U.S. 44, 19 L. Ed. 370 (1868).
When the school fund was, by Acts 1837-1838, ch. 107, §§ 1, 2, made a part of the capital stock of ‘‘The Bank of Tennessee,’’ it became a part of the assets of the bank, subject to the claims of creditors. When the school funds derived from the sales of the school lands were deposited in ‘‘The Bank of Tennessee,’’ to be invested in state bonds in accordance with Acts 1843-1844, ch. 104, §§ 3, 10, such funds became assets of the bank, and the districts depositing the same became simple creditors of the bank, except only as to such bonds on hand as were identified as those in which such investment was made, of which there were none. Therefore, the statute (Acts 1865-1866, ch. 28) appropriating the assets of ‘‘The Bank of Tennessee,’’ which was insolvent, as a preference for such school funds, attempted, in this way, to deprive the holders of the notes of the bank and its other creditors of their rights by impairing the obligation of the contracts of such bank, and for such reason, it was unconstitutional and void to that extent. State v. Bank of Tenn., 64 Tenn. 1 (1875); State ex rel. Bloomstein v. Sneed, 68 Tenn. 472 (1876), aff ’d, 96 U.S. 69, 24 L. Ed. 610 (1877); Leeper v. State, 103 Tenn. 500, 53 S.W. 962 (1899). See United States Fid. & Guar. Co. v. Rainey, 120 Tenn. 357, 113 S.W. 397 (1907).
6. Escheated Property to School Fund.
All escheated property of every description whatever is appropriated to the use of common schools, and the proceeds thereof become a part of the common school fund, under, by, and in accordance with, the provisions of this section of the constitution, and the statutes (Acts 1827, ch. 64, § 1, and Acts 1835-1836, ch. 23, § 6, compiled in § 31-801 (repealed)). Hinkle’s Lessee v. Shadden, 32 Tenn. 46 (1852); Puckett v. State, 33 Tenn. 355 (1853). See State v. Lancaster, 119 Tenn. 638, 105 S.W. 858 (1907).
The constitution provides that all property of every description whatever appropriated by law (enacted before or after its adoption) to the common school fund shall become a part of a perpetual fund for the use of the common schools throughout the state. By Acts 1827, ch. 64, § 1, enacted before the adoption of this provision in the Constitution of 1834, all escheated property was appropriated to the use of common schools, and being so appropriated by law, the same came within the constitutional provision, and became a part of the perpetual school fund. By Acts 1835-1836, ch. 23, § 6, enacted after the adoption of the Constitution of 1834, and before the adoption of the Constitution of 1870, all escheated property was appropriated to the use of the common schools, and being so appropriated by law, the same came within the constitutional provision, and became a part of the perpetual school fund. This provision is identical in both constitutions. (Note in Shan- non’s constitution.)
Under the constitutional provision permitting the general assembly
to authorize heirs or distributees to receive and enjoy escheated property under such laws as may be passed from time to time, a statute (Acts 1849-1850, ch. 54, § 1), casting the land of an intestate husband upon his widow, where he left no heirs capable of inheriting his lands, and directing (in the fourth section thereof) that the attorney-generals shall dismiss all suits brought to recover lands as escheated under the previously existing laws, where the intestate husband left a widow, is valid and constitutional, and the dismissal of a suit brought to recover the lands of an intestate husband, or of a husband from whose will his widow dissented, and who was an unnaturalized foreigner, residing here, as land escheated to the state for want of heirs, operated to vest the same in his widow, though he died previous to the enactment of such statute. Puckett v. State, 33 Tenn. 355 (1853); Garretson v. Brien, 50 Tenn. 534 (1870).
7. Delegation of Taxing Power.
The general assembly cannot delegate the power of taxation to agencies other than counties and incorporated towns, and cannot delegate it to school districts or civil districts, though they be denom- inated incorporated towns. Such districts cannot become incorporated towns in the sense of the constitution (art. II, § 29). The power of taxation cannot be delegated to such districts, not even for school purposes, under the provisions of this section of the constitution. Keesee v. Board of Educ., 46 Tenn. 127 (1868); Waterhouse v. Board of President & Dirs., 55 Tenn. 858 (1874); Lipscomb v. Dean, 69 Tenn. 546 (1878); Luehrman v. Taxing Dist., 70 Tenn. 425 (1879); Ballentine v. Mayor of Pulaski, 83 Tenn. 633 (1885); Reelfoot Lake Levee Dist. v. Dawson, 97 Tenn. 151, 36 S.W. 1041 (1896); Redistricting Cases, 111 Tenn. 234, 80 S.W. 750 (1903); Maxey v. Powers, 117 Tenn. 381, 101
W. 181 (1906); State ex rel. Bigham v. Powers, 124 Tenn. 553, 137
W. 1110 (1911).
Municipal and County Schools.
A special law authorizing a certain municipal corporation or county to establish and provide, by local taxation, for a system of free schools, is constitutional and valid. Ballentine v. Mayor of Pulaski, 83 Tenn. 633 (1885); Burnett v. Maloney, 97 Tenn. 697, 37 S.W. 689 (1896); Redis- tricting Cases, 111 Tenn. 234, 80 S.W. 750 (1903). See Maxey v. Powers, 117 Tenn. 381, 101 S.W. 181 (1906); Prescott v. Duncan, 126 Tenn. 106, 148 S.W. 229 (1912).
A statute (Acts 1899, ch. 59), authorizing children living outside, but within one-half mile of the city limits of Memphis as recently extended (by Acts 1899, ch. 134) to attend, for the period of five years thereafter, the public schools of the city, free of tuition, tended to encourage ‘‘knowledge, learning, and virtue’’ as essentials ‘‘to the preservation of republican institutions,’’ and was, in giving to the children beyond, as well as those within, the municipal borders, the opportunities and advantages of the education afforded by these municipal schools, conducive to good order and public morals in the community of Memphis. The education of the children living so near the city might well be considered a corporate purpose calculated to promote the interest of the city. Edmondson v. Board of Educ., 108 Tenn. 557, 69 S.W. 274 (1902); Ransom v. Rutherford County, 123 Tenn. 1, 130 S.W. 1057 (1909).
It has long been firmly established in the jurisprudence of Tennessee that the establishment of a system of public schools and the exercise of the taxing power for their maintenance is at the same time a state, county, and municipal purpose, and is fully authorized by the Consti- tution of Tennessee. Ransom v. Rutherford County, 123 Tenn. 1, 130 S.W. 1057 (1909).
While it is true that the state normal school to be established under the provisions of the statute contained in Acts 1909, ch. 580, is a state institution, still it combines features providing for educational advan- tages which are peculiarly accessible to the scholastic population of the city and county in which it is established, thus combining with the state purpose also a municipal and county purpose, and there is no constitutional obstacle in the way of the state, county, and city combining for the establishment and maintenance of such an institu- tion. Ransom v. Rutherford County, 123 Tenn. 1, 130 S.W. 1057 (1909).
9. Exemptions of University.
The charter exemption of the land of a certain university from taxation so long as such land belongs to the university, as shown in its legislative charter (Private Acts 1857-1858, ch. 29, § 10), granted under the Constitution of 1834, is not affected, lost, or forfeited, by the fact that the university leased such lands for terms extending from one to 33 years, with renewal options in some cases, to divers persons, where the annual rents are used and devoted exclusively to the purposes of the university. The exemption is not made to depend upon