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was Consul of Chile during the period while the persons alleged were concerned in fitting out the Meteor.
Fourth, The testimony of Mackenna that he is a resident of Chile ; that he left Chile October 1, 1865, and arrived here November 19, 1865; that he was appointed a special agent for Chile before he left his home; that he now holds that office in this country ; that his commission was in Court.
Fifth, - The testimony of Kirk, a Government Inspector, who made an official examination of the Meteor the day before she attempted to sail, and reported to the Surveyor of the Port that she had an excessive quantity of Stores on board, a large quantity of coal, no freight, a quantity of arms; that a great many of the stores were marked Reserved Stores" ; that the first officer said he had signed papers for a year, but expected to be back in three months.
Sixth, — The evidence of Wright, the ship broker, who swears that he knows Rogers and Mackenna ; that he first saw Rogers at his house, December 10, 1865, and Mackenna a few days prior to January, 22, 1866 ; that Byron, Conkling, and Nichols came to him about December 1, 1865, to purchase the Meteor, and Rogers, Consul of Chile, informed him that these persons were authorized by him to make negotiations therefor ; that he communicated with Messrs. Forbes, who said that anything Cary did was the same as if done by the owners of the Meteor; that he saw Cary, and told him (December 14, 1865) that he wanted to purchase the Meteor for parties who represented the Chilian Government; that Cary replied that he had already been in negotiation with the Chilian Government, and it had no money; that he: replied to Cary, in substance, that that difficulty was, or could be removed ; that Cary was in one room of Wright's office, and the Chilian agents in the other, and Wright bearing question and answer back and forth from one party to the other ; that the only obstacle suggested by Cary was want of cash funds; that Cary some days after, on December 26, 1865, came again to Wright's office to see what progress Wright had made ; that he had interviews with Rogers about fitting out the Meteor for Chile; that Rogers said
the special agent of Chile was here, and wanted to buy armed vessels, and Wright replied that armed vessels could not be got out of this port ; that Rogers said they wanted to purchase vessels like the Meteor ; that on Thursday or Friday, before the Meteor was seized, Wright told Rogers that he understood the Chilian government had bought the Meteor, and Rogers replied that he believed Mackenna had "made some arrangement for the Meteor," and that he (Wright) always supposed from what Rogers said and did, that Byron, Conkling, and McNichols were employed to procure vessels for him or Mackenna.
Seventh, - McNichols confirms, strengthens, and reinforces everything Wright says about Rogers and Mackenna desiring and attempting to fit out war vessels in this port for Chile. These two witnesses leave no possible shadow of doubt that the Consul and special agents of Chile were concerned in the business of violating the neutrality of the United States. Rogers was the head and inspiring fount of the Meteor negotiations, next to Mackenna.
Upon these proofs confirmatory of the propositions preceding the Government relied for a confiscation, and yet in addition to this were the proofs in the evidence of Captain Nichols.
Mr. Evarts then argued the cause for the claimants.
Whereupon the Court adjourned until Saturday, April 14th:
April 14th. — The Court met pursuant to adjournment, and adjourned until April 16th:
April 16th. — The Court met pursuant to adjournment, and Mr. Evarts continued his argument for the claimants.
Court adjourned to April 17th:
April 17th.— At the opening of the Court the Counsel for the Government, by leave of the Court, read and filed a notice of a motion to amend the libel.
Mr. Evarts for the claimants objected to any amendment of the Libel after the closing of the proofs in the cause. But the Court did not pass upon the objection.
Thereupon Mr. Evarts concluded his argument for the claimants, after which, the Court adjourned to April 21st.
April 21st. — The Court met, Mr. Webster argued the cause for the Government, and the cause was finally submitted on both sides.
(The arguments of counsel will be found in the proceedings on appeal.)
June 22d. — The claimants renewed their motion for the appointment of appraisers to appraise the Meteor and for her delivery to the claimants upon the usual stipulation for value.
July 13th. - The decree of condemnation was filed.
July 20th. — The Meteor was released on bond.
July 21st. — Notice of Appeal was entered by the claimants.
OPINION OF THE COURT.
District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of
THE UNITED STATES v8. THE STEAMSHIP “METEOR," HER
BETTS, J. In directing, on the 13th of July last, the entry of a decree condemning and forfeiting the vessel, her tackle, &c., in this case, the Court appended to the decree, as signed, a memorandum, to the effect, that it would proceed as early after the entry of the decree as might comport with the health and physical ability of the Judge, to place on file, in connection with the decree, the positions of law and fact governing the judgment of the Court in the decision thus rendered. The intention, thus expressed, will now be fulfilled.
The libel of information in this case is filed by the Attorney of the United States for this District, on behalf of the United States, against the Steamship Meteor, under seizure by the Marshal of the District, and her tackle, apparel, and furniture, together with all materials, arms, ammunition, and stores which may have been procured for the building and equipment thereof, in a cause of seizure and forfeiture. The original libel was filed on the 23d of January, 1866. A monition was issued thereupon, on the same day, against the vessel, her engines, tackle, &c., returnable on the 13th of February, 1866. The monition was duly served on the day of its issue, by an attachment of the vessel, her engines, tackle, &c., by the Marshal, and by the giving of due notice to all persons claiming the same.
On the 24th of January, 1866, an amended libel was filed, setting forth more particularly the alleged causes of action. The cause of action set forth in the original libel was simply that the vessel had been fitted out to commit hostilities against the govern
ment of Spain, in violation of the Neutrality Act of Congress, of 1818. The amended libel states (1st) that the vessel “is now lying in the port of New York, on waters navigable from the sea by vessels of the burden of ten tons and upwards, within the Southern District of New York, and within the jurisdiction of this Court, and is ready to sail for certain places to the Attorney of the United States unknown, with intent to cruise and commit hostilities, in the service of the government of Chile, against the subjects, citizens, and property of the government of her Majesty the Queen of Spain, with whom the United States are at peace”; (2d) that the vessel “has, on the 23d day of January, 1866, within the limits of the United States, to wit, at the Southern District of New York aforesaid, been fitted out and armed by certain persons to the said Attorney unknown, with intent that such steamship or vessel should be employed in the service of the agents of the government of Chile, to commit hostilities against the subjects, citizens, and property of the aforesaid government of Spain, with which the United States then were, and now are, at peace as aforesaid ”; (3d) that the vessel “ has, on the 23d day of January, 1866, within the limits of the United States, to wit, at the Southern District of New York aforesaid, been fitted out by certain persons to the said Attorney unknown, with intent that such steamship or vessel should be employed in the service of some persons to the said Attorney unknown, to commit hostilities against the subjects, citizens and property of the said government of Spain, with which the United States then were, and now are, at peace as aforesaid "; (4th) that the said vessel " has, on the day and year aforesaid, and at the place aforesaid, and within the limits of the United States as aforesaid, been attempted to be fitted out by certain persons to the said Attorney unknown, with intent that such steamship or vessel should be employed in the service of some persons to the said Attorney unknown, to commit hostilities against the subjects, citizens, and property of said government of Spain, with which the said United States are at peace”; (5th) “that certain persons whose names are to the said Attorney unknown, on the day and year aforesaid, and at the place aforesaid, and within the limits of the United States, were knowingly concerned in the furnishing and fitting out of the said steamship or vessel, with knowledge and intent that such steamship or vessel should be employed