In Wheeling & Belmont Bridge Co. v. Wheeling Bridge Co.29 it was held that the existence of a state law prohibiting the courts of the counties from licensing a ferry within a mile from an established ferry, did not constitute a contract with such an established ferry which might not constitutionally be impaired. This law, the court declared, "was a gratuitous proceeding on the part of the legislature by which a certain benefit was conferred upon existing ferries, but not accompanied by any conditions that made the act take the character of a contract It was a matter of ordinary legislation, subject to be repealed at any time when, in the judgment of the legislature, the public interest should require the repeal."
29 138 U. S. 287; 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 301; 34 L. ed. 967.
In C., M. & St. P. Railway Co. v. Minn.30 it was held that a charter to a railway company, empowering it to make needful rules and regulations touching the rates of toll and the manner of collecting the same, did not deprive the State of its general authority to regulate the charges that might be collected by the company.