Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



The development of our modern and complex society has necessitated a widespread appropriation of private property for public use. The vital importance of present-day eminent domain is emphasized by the staggering proportions of recent and proposed takings in terms of the amount of land appropriated, its monetary value, and the number of individual citizens whose property is affected. In the Middle District of Tennessee alone--of course a small part of the national total-in excess of 700 tracts or parcels of land have been condemned during the past seven and one-half years for various projects, including the Old Hickory Dam and Reservoir, the Cheatham Dam and Reservoir, Tennessee Valley Authority projects, and a number of others. For these lands, the acquiring agencies deposited in court the approximate sum of $4,000,000 as the estimated value of the lands and interests condemned, not to mention the much greater amount of the final compensation awards. The Corps of Engineers is presently engaged in acquiring lands for the Barkley Dam and Reservoir Project on the Cumberland River, and it is indicated that approximately 1,450 tracts of land lying in the Middle District of Tennessee will be required for that project. Of course, it cannot before cast with any degree of accuracy how many of these tracts will ultimately reach the court for trial because of defective titles, disputed ownership, or refusal of landowners to accept the price offered.