NEW JERSEY v. WILSON

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Case Basics
Petitioner 
New Jersey
Respondent 
Wilson
Opinion 
Term:
Facts of the Case 

In 1758, the New Jersey colonial legislature made an agreement with the Delaware Indians, granting to them a portion of land which would remain an Indian possession forever. Part of the contract provided that the land could never be sold or taxed. In 1801, the Indians gained permission to sell the land. In 1804 the state legislature repealed the land's tax exemption.

Question 

Did the repeal of the tax exemption impair the obligation of a contract between the state and the new owner of the land?

Conclusion 

Yes. The unanimous Court held that the tax-exempt privilege, though originally enacted for the benefit of the Indians, was "annexed, by the terms which create it, to the land itself." The purchaser was entitled to "all the rights of the Indians" by virtue of claiming "the benefit of their contract."

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NEW JERSEY v. WILSON. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 04 April 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1792-1850/1812/1812_0>.
NEW JERSEY v. WILSON, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1792-1850/1812/1812_0 (last visited April 4, 2014).
"NEW JERSEY v. WILSON," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed April 4, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1792-1850/1812/1812_0.