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ing the rights of war, to relieve a ship in distress.
him. That he is held to take cum onere is undoubtedly true, as a rule which is to be understood to apply where the onus is immediately and visibly incumbent upon it. A captor who takes the cargo of an enemy on board the ship of a friend, takes it liable to the freight due to the owner of the ship; because the owner of the ship has the cargo in his possession, subject to that demand by the general law, independent of all contract. . . . But it is a proposition of a much wider extent, which affirms that a mere right of action is entitled to the same favorable consideration in its transfer from a neutral to a captor. It is very obvious that claims of such a nature may be so framed as that no powers belonging to this court can enable it to examine them with effect. They are private contracts, passing between parties who may have an interest in colluding; the captor has no access whatever to the original private understanding of the parties in forming such contracts; and it is, therefore, unfit that he should be affected by them. His rights of capture act upon the property, without regard to secret liens possessed by third parties. . . I am of opinion that there is no instance in which the court has recognized bonds of this kind as titles of property, and that they are not entitled to be recognized as such in the prize courts."
In The Marianna, the vessel had been sold at Buenos Ayres by American owners to a Spanish merchant; the purchase money, however, had not been paid in full, but was to be satisfied out of the proceeds of a quantity of tallow on board the vessel for sale, consigned to the agents of the American vendors at London. The vessel was seized on her voyage to England, documented as belonging to a Spanish merchant, and sailing under the flag and pass of Spain. The former American proprietors made claim to the cargo, but the claim was disallowed because
the claimants' interest was not sufficient to support it; and the court said:
“Captors are supposed to lay their hands on the gross tangible property, on which there may be many just claims outstanding, between other parties, which can have no operation as to them. If such a rule did not exist, it would be quite impossible for captors to know upon what grounds they were proceeding to make any seizure. The fairest and most credible documents, declaring the property to belong to the enemy, would only serve to mislead them, if such documents were liable to be overruled by liens which could not in any manner come to their knowledge. It would be equally impossible for the court, which has to decide upon the question of property, to admit such considerations. The doctrine of liens depends very much upon the particular rules of jurisprudence which prevail in different countries. To decide judicially opfsuch claims, would require of the court a perfect knowledge of the law of covenant, and the application of that law in all countries, under all the diversities in which that law exists. From necessity, therefore, the court would be obliged to shut the door against such discussions and to decide on the simple title of property, with scarcely any exceptions. . . . As to the title of property in the goods, which are said to have been going as the funds out of which the payment for the ship was to have been made. That they were going for the payment of a debt will not alter the property; there must be something more. Even if bills of lading are delivered, that circumstance will not be sufficient, unless accompanied with an understanding that he who holds the bill of lading is to bear the risk of the goods as to the voyage, and as to the market to which they are consigned; otherwise, though the security may avail pro tanto, it can not be held to work any change in the property."
These cases were cited by Dr. Lushington in The Ida as settling the law. In that case, claim was made by a neutral merchant to cargo of coffee which had been consigned to him by an enemy on the credit of certain advances, as security for payment of which bills of lading covering the cargo had been delivered to him. But the court declined to recognize the lien, and condemned the cargo as enemy property. Dr. Lushington referred to The San Jose Indiano and Cargo 2 Gallison, 267, and subscribed to
what was there said by Mr. Justice Story, but thought his remarks inapplicable to the case in hand.
The case referred to was affirmed by this court. 1 Wheat. 208. Goods were shipped by Dyson, Brothers and Company of Liverpool on board a neutral ship bound to Rio de Janeiro, which was captured and brought into the United States for adjudication.
The invoice was headed: “Consigned to Messrs. Dyson, Brothers, and Finnie, by order and for account of J. Lizaur.” In a letter accompanying the bill of lading and invoice, Dyson, Brothers and Company wrote Dyson, Brothers, and Finnie: “For Mr. Lizaur we open an account in our books here, and debit him, etc. We cannot yet ascertain the proceeds of his hides, etc., but find his order for goods will far exceed the amount of these shipments, therefore we consign the whole to you, that you may come to a proper understanding with him.” The two houses consisted of the same persons. It was held that the goods were, during their transit, the property and at the risk of the enemy shippers, and therefore subject to condemnation. Lizaur's claim was rejected, although Dyson, Brothers and Company had the proceeds of his hides in their hands.
. The Lynchburg, Blatchford's Prize Cases, 57, and The The Lynchburg, Amy Warwick, 2 Sprague, 150, are cited on behalf of claimants, but, as we read them, they do not sustain their contention. The schooner Lynchburg with a cargo of coffee had been libelled during the civil war as enemy property, and also for an attempt to violate blockade. Brown Brothers and Company, loyal citizens, intervened as claimants of 2045 bags of coffee, part of the cargo. They alleged that they had made an advance of credit to Maxwell, Wright and Company, neutral merchants of Rio de Janeiro, for the purchase of the coffee, under which credit Maxwell, Wright and Company drew drafts on Brown Brothers and Company for £6000, on the condition expressed therein that the coffee purchased by claimants should be held until their advances were reimbursed thereon. It was admitted by the United States attorney that 1541 bags of the coffee should be released to Brown Brothers and Company, and that was done. As to the remaining 504
. bags embraced in the general claim of Brown Brothers and Company, in which Wortham and Company of Virginia, asserted an interest, it was held by the court that as no proof was given by claimants that the value of the 1541
bags restored to them was not equivalent to the sum of their advances used in purchasing the whole 2045 bags, the reasonable presumption was that the restoration satisfied the entire advance. And Judge Betts said: “The claim to an absolute ownership of the 2045 bags was placed before the court in the oral argument, and in the written points filed in the cause by the counsel for the claimants, upon the proposition of law, that a bill of lading, transmitted to them by the shipper to cover advances, passed to them the title to the cargo purchased therewith. If this doctrine be correct as to mere commercial transactions, it does not prevail in prize courts, in derogation of the rights of captors, when the interest of the claimants is only a debt, although supported by liens equitable and tacit, or legal and positive, even of the character of bottomry bonds, when not signified on the ship's papers at the time of her capture. The Frances, 8 Cranch, 418; The Tobago, 5 C. Rob. 218; The Marianna, 6 C. Rob. 24. Here, the vessel was an enemy bottom; the bill of lading consigned the cargo to order or assigns, at large, at an enemy's port, and, on the surrender of the principal portion of the consignment to the claimants, no other evidence was given in establishing the facts that the remainder of the shipment was owned by them, or yet stood under hypothecation to them on the bill of lading.” The 504 bags were condemned," because, by intendment of law, that portion belonged to Wortham and Company, and was not shown by the proofs to be exempt from capture as prize."
In The Amy Warwick, J. L. Phipps and Company of New York, British subjects, purchased 4700 bags of coffee, part of the cargo of an enemy vessel, which they had purchased through Phipps Brothers and Co., their firm at Rio, with funds of an enemy firm, and £2000 of their own money by draft on Phipps and Co., their firm at Liverpool. They took from the master a bill of lading which stated that Phipps Brothers and Company were the shippers of this coffee, and that it was to be delivered to their order. Indorsed on the bill of lading was a statement declaring that a portion of the coffee was the property of British subjects. Phipps Brothers and Company
indorsed the bill of lading over to J. L. Phipps and Co. They also delivered to the master another part of the bill of lading, an invoice of the coffee, and a letter of advice to be conveyed to the firm in New York. The letter stated that the coffee was shipped for account of mer
The Amy Warwick.
chants at Richmond, Virginia, and that a bill of lading would have been sent to them had it not been deemed advisable by reason of the unsettled state of political affairs, for the better protection of the property, and to prevent privateers from molesting the vessel, to have it certified on the bill of lading that a portion of the coffee was British property, and that this referred to the portion against which they had valued on Liverpool. It was held that the facts led plainly to the conclusion that claimants ought to be repaid the amount they had expended from their own funds in the purchase of the coffee and that the residue of the proceeds should be condemned. It was said that as the coffee was purchased at Rio by the claimants, and shipped by them on board the vessel under a bill of lading by which the master was bound to deliver it to their order, and they ordered it to be delivered to J. L. Phipps and Co., that is, to themselves, they were the legal owners of the property, and could hardly be said to have a lien upon it. Their real character was that of trustees holding the legal title and possession with a right of retention until their advances should be paid. The doctrine of liens was considered, and The Frances, The Tobago, The Marianna and other cases examined. Judge Prize courts Sprague was of opinion that the rule in such cases ought yond legal title not to be that which stops at the mere legal title, but that ficial interest. which ascertains and deals with the real beneficial interest, “for, if the court were never to look beyond the legal title, the result would be that when such title is held by an enemy in trust for a neutral, the latter loses his whole property; but, when the legal title is in a neutral in trust for an enemy, the property is restored to the neutral, not for his benefit, but merely as a conduit through which it is to be conveyed to the enemy.
To refuse to look beyond the legal title is to close our eyes for the benefit of the enemy. It would enable him always to protect his property by simply putting it in the name of a neutral trustee.” We
agree with counsel for the United States that notwithstanding the indorsement of Gibernau and Company cient in this case. on the bills of lading, the proof of a neutral title was not sufficient. Even if when the neutral interest is adequately proven to be bona fide, the claim of the captors may be required to yield, yet in this case the belligerent right overrides the neutral claim, which must be regarded merely as a debt, and the assignment as a cover to an enemy interest.
to the real bene
Proof of neu tral title insuffi