public port

A complex subject, consisting of something that is natural, as a convenient access from the sea, a safe situation against winds, and a shore upon which vessels may well unlade; something that is artificial, as keys, wharves, and warehouses; and something that is civil, as privileges and regulations given to it by the government. It often includes more than the bare place where ships may lade or unlade; it is sometimes extended many miles, including several places as members of the port; designating one as a port of entry and another as a port of delivery. Wharf Case (Md) 3 Bland 361, 369.

Ballentine's law dictionary. . 1998.

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