MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WAITE delivered the opinion of the court.
We must take the facts of this case as they are stated in the bill of exceptions, and cannot look into the evidence. The questions to be settled are: 1. Whether the lands levied on are subject to seizure and sale under execution against the city; and, 2. Whether the ground rents are liable in the same way.
This depends on the facts. If the lands are held by the corporation for public purposes, and the ground rents are part of the public revenues, it is well settled that they cannot be levied on or sold. Dillon, Mun. Corp., sects. 64, 446. Municipal corporations are the local agencies of the government creating them, and their powers are such as belong to sovereignty. Property and revenue necessary for the exercise of these powers become part of the machinery of government, and to permit a creditor to seize and sell them to collect his debt would be to permit him in some degree to destroy the government itself.
The bill of exceptions shows that the lands consisted of "two squares of ground which had formerly constituted the easterly bank of the Mississippi River, but which, by the gradual accretion of said easterly bank, had ceased to constitute the bank of the river, but which were now used by the public for wharf and levee purposes, said squares forming a portion of the land known as the `Batture property.'" From this it must be
As to the ground rents, it was decided by the Supreme Court of Louisiana, in New Orleans & Carrollton Railroad Co. v. Municipality No. 1 (7 La. Ann. 148), that "in authorizing the mayor and city council (of New Orleans) to sell property on perpetual ground rent, the legislature established a legal destination of the rents, as a portion of the public revenue of the city, to enable the municipal authority to exercise its powers of police and government. These rents, therefore, cannot be sold under execution against the municipality." There is nothing in the bill of exceptions to show that the rents levied upon in this case were in any respect different from those under consideration in that. We must presume, therefore, that they are the same.