« AnteriorContinuar »
86. The commissioners under the Spanish | 94. By the last clause of the ninth article of treaty allowed Mr. Cathcart a sum of money, the treaty of 1819 with Spain, and the acts which, in his memorial to them, he stated he of March 3, 1823, chap. 35, and June 26, 1834, alone was entitled to receive; and it afterwards chap. 87, the Secretary of the Treasury is reappeared that there were other claimants to quired to pay the claims for injuries caused by the money: Held that it was a case in which the military operations of 1812 and 1813, on it was expedient to respect the injunction of which a favorable report may have been made the court directing the officers of the Treasury by the superior court of Saint Augustine, where, not to pay the money till the case was judi- upon examination of the decision and the evicially determined. Opinion of July 27, 1824, dence on which it is founded, he shall deem 1 Op. 681.
the same to be just. Opinion of Oct. 25, 1841, 87. The Spanish owners of certain negro 3 Op. 677. slaves who were shipped from Havana for Pen- 95. In these cases the examination of the sacola in an American vessel, which was cap- judge is to enlighten the mind of the Secretary, tured under the guns of the fort at Barrancas, as the verdict of a jury in a feigned issue is to then occupied by an American force under the enlighten the conscience of the chancellor; and command of Col. G. M. Brooke, and 'whilst his decision is simply arbitrium boni viri, and proceeding to adjudication were seized, with not conclusive in any degree upon the Secrethe vessel, by a revenue vessel and carried into tary. He must, nevertheless, look into the the port of Mobile, where restitution of the whole matter, and ascertain for himself whether slaves was awarded, &c., and the vessel con- the Government is liable, and to what extent. demned, have not a claim embraced by the pro- Ibid. visions of the treaty with Spain. Opinion of 96. If the case be one of injury by the miliMarch 31, 1829, 2 Op. 198.
tary operations referred to, in which no ordi88. The United States are bound to pay the nary care of the proprietor or his agents and no Spanish inhabitants of Florida the value of ordinary goodness of the property supposed slaves carried away or killed by the troops of to have been injured would have guaranteed the United States shortly prior to the treaty it against the alleged injuries, it is within the with Spain of 220 February, 1819. Opinion treaty, and the claimant is entitled to his of Dec. 18, 1838, 3 Op. 391.
damages. Ibid. 89. Remuneration should also be made for 97. In respect to the damages, the Secretary the services of such slaves as have been re- ought to be satisfied that the consequences stored to their owners during the period of which are alleged to have ensued upon the time their owners were deprived of their serv- trespasses in question were no more than what, ices. Ibid.
in the ordinary course of things, would be 90. The Secretary of the Treasury may ex- expected to be caused by them; that is, that amine into all the facts and circumstances after they occurred there was no laches on the which constitute the grounds upon which a part of the owner in his efforts to repair them, judgment for losses has been rendered, and and that the evils, whatever they were, were determine upon the whole case whether the not aggravated by some defect peculiar to the decision of the judge is just. Opinion of June character and condition of his property. Ibid. 17, 1841, 3 Op. 635.
98. The Secretary of the Treasury has power 91. The decision of the judge in such a case to review decisions of the superior court of is not analogous to the award of an arbitrator; Florida upon claims presented under the treaty and if it were, the United States have not of 1819 with Spain, and the acts of March 3, agreed to be bound by it. Ibid.
1823, chap. 35, and June 26, 1834, chap. 87, 92. The law has conferred upon the Secre- and to pay the amount that he may adjudge tary of the Treasury in such cases a jurisdic- to be due, the awards of the judge not beingin tion as plenary to decide upon the whole case law conclusive thereon. Opinion of Dec. 9, as upon the judge himself. Ibid.
1843, 4 Op. 286. 93. The Secretary of the Treasury, however, 99. The acts of March 3, 1823, chap. 35, and has no legal power to recommit a case to a June 26, 1834, chap. 87, were both designed judge for rejudication. Ibid.
for the single purpose of carrying out the ninth
article of the treaty of 1819 with Spain, and the Florida judges consistently with the longshould be read as in pari materid. Ibid. settled construction of acts of Congress appli
100. The only authority vested in the Sec- cable to the subject. A long series of uniform retary to pay these claims is contained in the decisions, adverse to the allowance of interest act of March 3, 1823, chap. 35, and can be ex- on this species of claims, must be respected as ercised only under the restrictive proviso that having the effect and force of law. Ibid. he is satisfied that they are just and equitable. | 109. The extraordinary expenses of a party Ibid.
incurred in living at Saint Mary's, whither he 101. The Secretary is not authorized to allow retired after the destruction of his property in interest on these claims, it not having been the Florida, are a matter too remotely consequenusage of the Government to do so; nor does its tial to be the proper subject of damages under duty to the claimants under the circumstances the ninth article of the treaty of 1819 between require it. Ibid.
the United States and Spain. Opinion of June 102. Claims upon the Government for inju-8, 1854, 6 Op. 530. ries sustained by Spanish officers and individ-' 110. In virtue of the acts of Congress which nal Spanish inhabitants during the military provide for the execution of the ninth article operations of the American Army in Florida, of the treaty between the United States and preferred under the ninth article of the treaty Spain for the cession of Florida, which awards of 1819 between the United States and Spain, damages in certain cases to inhabitants of Florare required to be established judicially; yet | ida, the Secretary of the Treasury has lawful the acts of Congress passed to carry that arti- authority to determine whether the awards of cle of the treaty into effect do not make the the judge of the district court of Florida are decisions of the judges of the superior courts “just and equitable" or not, and to allow or at Saint Augustine and Pensacola conclusive disallow the same accordingly, at his discretion. in respect to them. Opinion of April 16, 1851, Opinion of June 9, 1854, 6 Op. 533. 5 Op. 334.
| 111. The decision of preceding Secretaries 103. Congress, in providing a tribunal for of the Treasury that interest is not allowable the adjudication of these claims, deemed it on such claims is to be considered as res adjucompatible with the public interest to repose dicata, and binding on the present Secretary. a part of the judicial authority in the judges | Ibid. of the Territorial courts, and a part of it in the 112. The Secretary of State requested to furSecretary of the Treasury. Ibid.
nish additional information in regard to the 104. The judges were required to report their claim of R. W. Gibbes. Letter of March 30, decisions and the evidence on which they were | 1867, 12 Op. 131. founded to a tribunal of revision (the Secretary 113. The claim of R. W. Gibbes having been of the Treasury), who, on being satisfied of duly referred to the board of commissioners their justice, and of their being within the constituted under the convention with New provisions of the treaty, is required to pay Granada of September 10, 1857, and submitted them. The tribunal created for their adjudi- to an umpire authorized by that convention, cation, therefore, consists of the judges and the who reported his award during the existence Secretary. Ibid.
of the board, but payment of which was sus105. It is not the intention of Congress to pended at the Treasury by request of the Seclimit the revisory power of the Secretary of the retary of State, and the case afterward referred, Treasury to questions of jurisdiction, but to without the claimant's consent, to the comextend it to the merits. Ibid.
mission constituted under the convention of 106. The acts of Congress are not in conflict February 10, 1864, with the United States of with the treaty with Spain; but if they were, Colombia as the representative of the late rethe treaty must yield to them. Ibid.
public of New Granada: Held that by the sub107. If the revisory power cannot be law- mission of the claim to this commission in the fully exercised, the Secretary's authority to manner stated the claimant was not divested pay is invalid. Ibid.
of his rights against New Granada under the 108. The Secretary of the Treasury cannot award of the umpire aforesaid. Opinion oj allow the interest on these claims awarded by April 10, 1869, 13 Op. 19.
114. The award not having been vacated, treaties, agreements, and the award of the opened, or set aside during the lifetime of the President they have been disposed of. Opinformer commission or board, and the claimant ion of July 28, 1828, 2 Op. 110. having done nothing since to waive his rights 120. The people of Georgia had no claim on thereunder, it should be treated by our Goy- | the Creek Nation for property destroyed prior ernment as a valid and conclusive ascertain- | to the date of the treaty of Colerain; but they mentof his claim against New Granada. Ibid. had for property destroyed between the date
115. But under the seventh section of the of that treaty and the 30th of March, 1802, so act of February 20, 1861, chap. 45, the claim | far as the same was not satisfied under the proant, in order to receive payment at the Treas- visions of the act of May 19, 1796, chap. 30, to ury of the amount awarded to him, is required regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian to produce a certificate of the board of com tribes and to preserve peace on the frontiers, missioners in his favor. Ibid.
and the act of March 3, 1799, chap. 46, under 116. The Secretary of the Treasury, by the the same title, subject to any set-off for claims acts of March 3, 1823, chap. 35, and June 26, of the same description within the same period 1834, chap. 87, was invested with authority to which the Creek Nation might be able to estabrevise the decisions of the judges when made | lish on their part, and which were not satisin favor of claimants under the ninth article fied under the provisions of the said acts. of the treaty with Spain of February 22, 1819, They are also entitled to claim for the issue of and from his action thereon the law provided all the females whose mothers ought to have no appeal. The President cannot interpose to been delivered up; but not to interest. Ibid. change the result of the action of the Secretary. 121. Claims once passed upon and adjusted Opinion of Nov. 8, 1878, 16 Op. 200.
by the President, under the treaty of Indian 117. Opinion of November 8, 1878 (16 Op. Spring, cannot be reconsidered by his successor. 200)-namely, that the President cannot inter- | Ibid. fere to change the action of the Secretary of 122. By the treaty with the Ottawas, conthe Treasury upon the decisions of the judges cluded February 18, 1833, the United States under the ninth article of the treaty with Spain absolutely agreed with the Indians to pay a of February 22, 1819, for the reason that the certain sum ($10,890) to Mr. Forsyth, and acts of March 3, 1823, chap. 35, and June 26, they are bound to execute the treaty as made 1834, chap. 87, provide an appeal from the without requiring proof of the justice of the judges' decisions to the Secretary of the Treas- | claim. Opinion of April 29, 1833, 2 Op. 562. ury, and to that officeronly-reaffirmed. Opin- 123. Payment of the claims of the citizens ion of May 2, 1879, 16 Op. 317.
of Georgia under the Creek treaty of 1821, and 118. Certain questions touching the duties the act concerning them of June 30, 1834, chap. and proceedings of the judges in regard to 145, may be made by the President to the claims under said treaty, and the powers and State of Georgia for the use of the claimants. action of the Secretary of the Treasury relat- Opinion of Dec. 20,1834, 2 Op. 691. ing to the same claims, &c., considered and 124. The President may lawfully authorize answered; and, upon view of the whole matter, the proper officers of the government of Georheld that those claims have been more than a gia to settle and adjust these claims, and may quarter of a century settled and determined so impose any limitation or restriction he may far as they can be by the Executive Depart- judge reasonable on the receipt of claims, so as ment of the Government. Ibid.
to bar any which may not have been presented
either to the proper authorities of that State IV. Under Indian Treaties.
or to the persons appointed by the United 119. The source of the claims of the people states to make the investigations. Ibid. of Georgia, under the treaty of Indian Spring, 125. Claims for professional services under was wrongs done by the Creek Nation to them the treaty of 1836 with the Cherokees must be prior to 1802, consisting partly in the destruc- for services of a lawful nature, and performed tion of their property, and partly in the seizure, at the instance and request of the acting aucarrying away,and detention of other property, thorities of the nation. Opinion of April 20, such as negroes, horses, &c.; but by the several | 1837, 3 Op. 207.
126. Sixty thousand dollars is the sum ap- town lots in satisfaction of the lands granted propriated by that treaty, and constitutes the them. Opinion of Feb. 11, 1823, 5 Op. 752 whole amount which can be paid by the United | 134. Where a merchant vessel was detained States thereunder for the claims of citizens for by the agent of the United States at Buenos services rendered the Cherokee Nation. Ibid. Ayres, and by him sent to the United States,
127. Claims under the Cherokee treaty of and an act of Congress was subsequently passed 1836 were to be examined and adjudicated by directing the actual loss to the owner to be ascommissioners to be appointed by the Presi- certained and paid, and the Fifth Auditor had dent, by and with the advice and consent of disallowed a portion of the items claimed: the Senate, and their decisions were to be final. | Held that the owner is entitled only to the Opinion of Aug. 27, 1838, 3 Op. 368.
actual loss sustained. Opinion of May 20, 1837, 128. Claimants under the tenth article of 3 Op. 217. the treaty of 1836 who presented their de 135. The loss of the use of a vessel thus demands to the first board, and received their duetained, during her detention, was the first and proportion of the $60,000 therein provided for most direct consequence of that detention; the services rendered the Cherokee Nation, are not damage occasioned thereby is not constructive entitled to any further allowance from the and consequential, but actual, positive, and present board. Opinion of July 17, 1847, 4 | real. Ibid. Op. 613.
136. The Auditor may adopt the principle of 129. The appropriation of $60,000 in the difference in value, or demurrage, as the standtenth article of said treaty was in full dis- ard of his action, adding thereto, in either case, charge of all obligations in that respect as such additional allowances as will meet the sumed by the United States. Ibid.
actual loss of the party. Where the difference 130. The claim of the Board of Commission- | in value is adopted as the standard, interest ers for Foreign Missions for their missionary and personal and other expenses are to be establishments in the country ceded to the added; where the demurrage is the standard, United States by the Cherokee treaty of 1836 all necessary expenses not relating to the use cannot be paid and properly charged to the or management of the vessel are to be allowed Cherokee Nation or deducted out of their in addition. Ibid. funds held by the United States, without 137. In examining the claim of C. F. Sibthe adjudication and certificate of the board bald, under the act of August 23, 1842, chap. of commissioners provided for in seventeenth 200, the Third Auditor is to ascertain the actual article of the treaty. Opinion of Oct. 9, 1850, damages sustained by the claimant, but noth5 Op. 268.
ing like exemplary or vindictive retribution is 131. The valuation of the agents alone is not admissible. Opinion of Nov. 12, 1842, 4 Op. sufficient. The agents to make the valuations | 112. were convenient auxiliaries to the board of 138. The damages must be such as the claimcommissioners appointed by the President aut would be entitled to recover upon the under the seventeenth article of the treaty; | principles of law as applicable to other cases. but they are not substitutes for that board. | Ibid. Ibid.
139. By those principles no damages can be 132. The opinion given on the 9th October, allowed but such as directly flow, in the natu1850 (5 Op. 268), in regard to claims under the ral and ordinary course of things, from the Cherokee treaty, does not conflict with a pre- trespass or omission. Distant and accidental vious opinion of the Attorney-General, of July consequences, however they may aggravate 7. 1846 (4 Op. 500), and it is hereby affirmed. | the claimant's loss, are to be laid out of the Opinion of March 4, 1852, 5 Op. 515.
140. Neither can vague surmises and calcuV. Under Special Acts.
lations of the fruits of projected enterprises be
taken into the account; the damages must have 133. The act of 8th May, 1820, chap. 77, for been directly caused, not merely occasioned, the relief of the legal representatives of Henry by the interference of the agent of the United Willis, does not contemplate their entering States. Ibid.
141. Whatever agents may have done be- the appropriation for the current year for conyond their instructions they did in their own tingent expenses for transportation. Ibid. wrong, and the Government is not responsible. 148. The amount of $6,892, allowed by the Ibid.
Secretary of the Navy on account of the claim 142. As the act of 24th March, 1834, chap. of A. G. & A. K. Benson against the Navy De23, for the relief of Philip Hickey, requiring partment, may and should be paid from the the Third Auditor to ascertain the value of the appropriation for the year ending 30th June, timber taken from his lands by the United 1850, for contingent expenses that may accrue States troops, and for which he claims damages, for freights and transportation. Opinion of does not define what tract of land the timber July 9, 1849, 5 Op. 132. was cut from, it is competent for the Auditor 149. The act of 11th March, 1852, chap. 14, to refer to the report of the committee which for the relief of Lieutenant-Colonel Mitchell, accompanied the bill, and the documents, as does not entitle him to indemnification for exprima facie evidence on this point; and if they penses sustained in his efforts to procure the fail to show the extent of the tract, he may re passage of said act, nor for loss of credit ocsort to such other proof as shall be satisfactory. | casioned by a suit being brought against him Opinion of April 7, 1846, 4 Op. 469.
| for matters done under color of office; but the 143. Congress having by the act of March 3, Secretary of the Treasury will be justified in 1849, chap. 100, made an appropriation to pay refunding to him the taxable costs and the the “balance” due Ebenezer Warner for con- reasonable counsel fees incurred in the defense structing a light-house at White Fish Point, of such suit. Opinion of Sept. 9, 1852, 5 Op. on Lake Superior, after he had been paid the 623. price stipulated in his contract, and after he 150. An Indian agent while in the service had petitioned that body for a further allow-was robbed and murdered. He was behind in ance on account of his having been obliged to his accounts, but Congress, taking no notice of reconstruct some portion of the tower, which these facts, by act of March 3, 1857, chap. 146, had been riven by lightning during the prog- directed that his widow should be paid $2,000 ress of the work, it must be inferred that the as indemnity for the money of which he was term “balance” was used not with reference robbed and as pay for his undrawn salary: to the contract price, but in connection with Held (1) that the widow is entitled to the the additional expenditure caused the con- whole $2,000, Congress having declared that tractor by a calamity which he could not avert. she should have it; (2) that his sureties may Opinion of May 8, 1819, 5 Op. 94.
nevertheless deduct the amount of his undrawn 144. The appropriation is due to the claim- salary from the amount for which it may hereant; Congress designed it to be paid him; and after appear that they are liable. Opinion of there is no discretion left the accounting offi- June 9, 1857, 9 Op. 43. cers of the Treasury to disallow it in whole or 151. A person to whom Congress has, by a in part. Ibid.
special act, directed the payment of a certain 145. Under the resolution of Congress of sum in satisfaction of an acknowledged debt March 3, 1819 (No. 21), respecting the claim has an absolute right to the money, which no of A. G. & A. K. Benson, arising out of con- executive officer has authority to resist. Opintracts made with the Navy Department for the ion of July 21, 1858, 9 Op. 198. transportation of naval stores to and upon the 152. The joint resolution of June 15, 1860, Pacific, the Secretary has authority as well to relating to the settlement of the account of W. pay as to adjust it. Opinion of July 3, 1849, 5 H. De Groot, makes the Secretary of War a Op. 126.
judge between De Groot and the Government, 146. The charter-party claim, though not with power to see him paid the money actually previously made, if arising out of the contracts expended by him, and to indemnify him for mentioned in the resolution, is embraced by such other losses, liabilities, and damages as it. Ibid.
he had suffered or incurred. Opinion of Sept. 147. The amount which may be ascertained 20, 1860, 9 Op. 480. to be due is payable out of, and chargeable to, / 153. Congress having declared that he should