Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A place of carriage across a waterway for hire. See 73 Mo. 655, 39 Am. Rep. 535. See, also, 12 Am. Dec. 295, note.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    A llberty to have a boat upon a river for the transportation of men. horses, and carriages with their contents, for a reasonable toll. The term is also used to designate the place where such liberty is exercised. See New York v. Starin, 8 N. Y. St. Rep. 655; Broadnax v. Baker, 94 N. C. 681, 55 Am, Rep. 633; Einstman v. Black, 14 I1L App. 381; Chapelle v. Wells, 4 Mart (La. N. St) 426. "Ferry" properly means a place of transit across a river or arm of the sea; but in law it is treated as a franchise, and defined as the exclusive right to carry passengers across & river, or arm of the sen. from one vill to another, or to connect a continuous line of road leading from one township or vill to another. It is not a servitude or easement. It is wholly unconnected with the ownership or occupation of land, so much so that the owner of the ferry need not have any property in the soil adjacent on either side. (12 C. B., N. S., 32.) Brown.
    —Public and private. A public ferry is one to which ali the public have the right to resort, for which a regular fare is established, and the ferryman is a common carrier, bound to take over ali who apply, and bound to keep his ferry in operation and good repair. Hudspeth v. Hall, 111 Ga. 610, 36 S. E. 770; Broadnax v. Baker, 94 N. C. 681, 55 Am. Ren. 633. A private ferry is one mainly for the use of the owner, and though he may take pay for ferriage, he does not follow it as a business. His ferry is not open to the public at its demand, and he may or may not keep it in operation. Hudspeth v. Hall, supra.
    —Ferry franchise. The public grant of a right to maintain a ferry at a particular place; a right conferred to land at a particular point and secure toll -for the transportation of persons and property from that point across the stream. Mills v. St. Clair County, 7 III. 208.
    —Ferryman. One employed in taking persons across a river or other stream, in boats or other contrivances, at a ferry. State v. Clarke, 2 McCord (S. C.) 48, 13 Am. Dec. 701.