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the expediency of coining our golden dollars. I have found that the greater size and weight of the silver half-dollars is an inconvenience so much greater than that of the opposite attributes of the golden dollar, that while I can get gold dollars I shall never carry silver halves excepting for change. In order to obviate the greater liability for loss, it is only requisite to have suitable arrangements so as to keep the gold apart from the silver change. That to which I have resorted is an interior purse of leather within another of the same material. This affords three cavities,—the middle one for gold, one of the two remaining for larger, the other for smaller silver. The orifice of the inner purse, as well as that of the outer is furnished with a steel clasp, such as is used in common leather or steel purses.
Housekeepers find the gold dollars a great convenience. To travelers they are desirable, because a good supply prevents the necessity of taking as change those small notes with which they are unacquainted. R. #.
JOURNAL OF MERCANTILE LAW.
POINTS DECIDED IN ENGLISH COURTS. CARRIERS-LIABILITY OF RAILWAY COMPANY SPECIAL CONTRACT.-In the Court of Queen's Bench. Appeals from County Court.--Sittings in Banc after Michaelmas Term, November 26, 1851. Chippendale vs. the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railroad Company.
The plaintiff placed several heifers on a track of a railway company, to be conveyed by them from W. to B. The plaintiff paid for their carriage, and received a ticket with the following memorandum subscribed :-“This ticket is issued sabject to the owner taking all risks of conveyance whatever, as the company will not be responsible for any injury or damage, however caused, occurring to live stock of any description traveling upon the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, or in their vehicles." Owing to the defective construction of the truck, three heifers escaped; two were killed, and the other was injured. The plaintiff sued the railway company in a county court for the value of the three heif. ers, and the judge directed the jury to find a verdict for the defendants :-Held on appeal, (affirming the judgment below,) that the ticket constituted a special contract, which absolved the defendants fronı liability for the injury to the heifers.
FRAUD-EVIDENCE-Post-DATED CHECK-In the British Court of Exchequer. Appeal from County Court, December 1, 1851. Watson vs. Poulson.
If a man tells an untruth, knowing it to be such, in order to induce another to alter his condition, who does accordingly alter it, and thereby sustains damage, the party making the false statement is liable in an action for deceit, al. though in making the false representation no fraud or injury was intended by
A post-dated check on a bank is not absolutely void: if paid without knowl. edge of the false date the payment is good: and though not admissable in evi. dence to prove a contract, may be used to show fraud.
In Court of Common Pleas. Trinity Term, May 30, 1851. Stainbank et al., os. Fenning.
SHIP-HYPOTHECATION-POWERS OF THE MASTER-INSURABLE INTEREST.1. The master of a ship borrowed money of the plaintiffs for repairs, and gave them, by way of security, bills drawn by him upon the owner of the ship and upon the consignee of the cargo, and also an instrument of hypothecation, by which he took upon himself and his owner the risk of the voyage, made the money repayable at all events, and the ship subject to seizure, and to process of the Admiralty Courts at any place, should the bills be not accepted or paid, the plaintiffs forbearing all interest beyond the amount necessary to insure the ship to cover their advances :-Held, that a Court of Admiralty would not enforce this instrument; and, therefore, that the plaintiffs took no interest in the ship.
2. The master has no authority to hypothecate the ship to secure advances for repairs, unless repayment is made to depend on the arrival of the ship.
DESTRUCTION OF GOODS BY BLOWING THEM UP. In the Court of Errors and Appeals of New Jersey. On error to the Supreme Court, November Term, 1851. The American Print Works vs. Law. rence; Hale vs, same.
In Trespass against the Mayor of New York for destroying goods by blowing them up, the defendant pleaded : -1. A statute of the State of New York imposing the duty upon the Mayor of New York, in order to stop the progress of any conflagration, with the concurrence of two Aldermen, to direct any buildings likely to take fire and convey fire to others, to be pulled down and destroyed. That the defendant, as Mayor, acting under such advice and concurrence, did destroy certain buildings for that purpose which were peculiarly exposed to the fire, and but for his action would have been immediately burned up with their contents, and would have communicated the flames to adjoining buildings unless instantly demolished. That the immediate destruction of these buildings was necessary, without waiting to remove the goods, in order to prevent the spread of the conflagration, &c., whereupon the defendant says he did necessarily and unavoidably blow up and destroy certain goods in plaintiffs' declaration mentioned, &c. :-Held to be a good plea.
2. The statute, under which the buildings were destroyed, being a constitutional and valid law, and the act by which they were destroyed being a lawful act, the defendant, as a public officer, was not liable personally for the necessary and unavoidable consequences of such act.
3. The defendant, secondly, set up a justification arising out of the common law doctrine of necessity. That to prevent the spread of the conflagration and the destruction of a large portion of the city, the immediate destruction of the buildings was necessary, without waiting to remove the goods therein: and that for this purpose the defendant, a resident citizen, &c., caused the said buildings to be blown up, and did thereby necessarily and unavoidably destroy the goods, &c.:--Held a good plea.
4. In order to justify the destruction of property under the plea of necessity, in order to prevent the spread of a conflagration, it is not necessary to show any individual or personal interest in the defendant in the property at stake.
5. The common law doctrine of necessity considered.
6. The exposition of the statutes of any State, by the courts of that State, ought to be regarded as of binding authority in the construction of such statutes by courts of other States.
CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE PILOTAGE LAW OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA. · In the Supreme Court of the United States, December Term, 1851. AARON B. COOLEY, plaintiff in error,
In error to the Supreme Court The Board of Wardens of the port of Phila- i
of Pennsylvania, for the delphia, to the use of the Society for the Relief of Distressed Pilots, their Widows
Eastern District. and Children. Mr. Justice CURTis delivered the opinion of the Court.
These cases are brought here by writs of error to the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
They are actions to recover half-pilotage fees under the 29th section of the act of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, passed on the second day of March, 1803. The plaintiff in error alleges that the highest court of the State has decided against a right claimed by him under the Constitution of the United States. That right is to be exempted from the payment of the sums of money demanded pursuant to the State law above referred to, because that law contravenes several provisions of the Constitution of the United States.
The particular section of the State law drawn in question is as follows:* That every ship or vessel arriving from or bound to any foreign port or place, and every ship or vessel of the burden of seventy-five tons or more, sailing from or bound to any port not within the river Delaware, shall be obliged to receive a pilot. And it shall be the duty of the master of every such ship or vessel, within thirty-six hours next after the arrival of such ship or vessel at the city of Philadelphia, to make report to the Master Warden of the name of such ship or vessel, her draught of water, and the name of the pilot who shall have conducted her to the port. And when any such vessel shall be outward bound, the master of such vessel shall make known to the Wardens the name of such vessel, and of the pilot who is to conduct her to the Capes, and her draught of water at that time. And it shall be the duty of the Wardens to enter every such vessel in a book to be by them kept for that purpose, without fee or reward. And if the master of any ship or vessel shall neglect to make such report, he shall forfeit and pay the sum of sixty dollars. And if the master of any such ship or vessel shall refuse or neglect to take a pilot, the master, owner, or consignee of such vessel shall forfeit and pay to the Warden aforesaid a som equal to the half-pilotage of such ship or vessel, to the use of the Society for the Relief, &c., to be recovered as pilotage in the manner hereinafter directed: Provided, always, that where it shall appear to the Warden that, in case of an inward bound vessel, a pilot did not offer before she had reached Reedy Island; or, in case of an outward bound vessel, that a pilot could not be obtained for twenty-four hours after such vessel was ready to depart, the penalty aforesaid, for not having a pilot, shall not be incurred.” It constitutes one section of " an act to establish a Board of Wardens for the port of Philadelphia, and for the regulation of Pilots and Pilotage, &c.," and the scope of the act is in conformity with the title to regulate the whole subject of the pilotage of that port. . We think this particular regulation, concerning half-pilotage fees, is an appropriate part of a general system of regulations of this subject. Testing it by the practice of commercial States and countries legislating on this subject, we find it has usually been deemed necessary to make similar provisions. Numer. ous laws of this kind are cited in the learned argument of the counsel for the defendant in error; and their fitness, as a part of a system of pilotage, in many places, may be inferred from their existence in so many different States and countries. Like other laws, they are framed to meet the most usual cases, qua frequentius accidunt; they rest upon the propriety of securing lives and property exposed to the perils of a dangerous navigation, by taking on board a person peculiarly skilled to encounter or avoid them; upon the policy of discouraging the commanders of vessels from refusing to receive such persons on board at the proper times and places; and upon the expediency and even intrinsic justice of not suffering those who have incurred labor, and expense, and danger, to place themselves in a position to render important service generally necessary, to go unrewarded, because the master of a particular vessel either rashly refuses their proffered assistance, or, contrary to the general experience, does not need it. There are many cases in which an offer to perform, accompanied by present ability to perform, is deemed by law equivalent to performance. The laws of commercial States and countries have made an offer of pilotage service one of those cases : and we cannot pronounce a law which does this to be so far removed from the usual and fit scope of laws for the regulation of pilots and pilotage, as to be deemed, for this cause, a covert attempt to legislate upon another subject under the appearance of legislating on this one.
It is urged that the second section of the act of the Legislature of Pennsylvania of the 11th of June, 1832, proves that the State had other objects in view than the regulation of pilotage. That section is as follows:
"And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the first day of July next, no health fee or half-pilotage shall be charged on any American vessel engaged in the Pennsylvania coal trade."
It must be remarked that the fair objects of a law imposing half-pilotage when a pilot is not received, may be secured, and at the same time some classes of vessels exempted from such a charge. Thus, the very section of the act of 1803, now under consideration, does not apply to coasting vessels of less burden than seventy-five tons, nor to those bound to or sailing from a port in the river Delaware. The purpose of the law being to cause masters of such veg. sels as generally need a pilot to employ one, and to secure to the pilots a fair remuneration for cruising in search of vessels, or waiting for employment in port, there is an obvious propriety in having reference to the number, size, and nature of the employment of vessels frequenting the port; and it will be found, by an examination of the different system of these regulations which have from time to time been made in this and other countries, that the legislative discretion has been constantly exercised in making discriminations, founded on differences both in the character of the trade, and the tonnage of the vessels engaged therein.
We do not perceive any thing in the nature, or extent of this particular dis. crimination in favor of vessels engaged in the coal trade, which would enable us to declare it to be other than a fair exercise of legislative discretion, acting upon the subject of the regulation of the pilotage of this port of Philadelphia, with a view to operate upon the masters of those vessels, who, as a general rule, ought to take a pilot, and with the further view of relieving from the charge of half-pilotage, such vessels, as from their size, or the nature of their employment, should be exempted from contributing to the support of pilots, except so far as they actually receive their services. In our judgment, though this law of 1832 has undoubtedly modified the 29th section of the act of 1803, and both are to be taken together as giving the rule on this subject of half-pilotage, yet this change in the rule has not changed the nature of the law, nor deprived it of the character and attributes of a law for the regulation of pilotage.
Nor do we consider that the appropriation of the sums received under this section of the act, to the use of the Society for the Relief of Distressed and Decayed Pilots, their Widows and Children, has any legitimate tendency to impress on it the character of a revenue law. Whether these sums shall go directly to the use of the individual pilots by whom the service is tendered, or shall form a common fund to be administered by trustees for the benefit of such pi. lots and their families as may stand in peculiar need of it, is a matter resting in legislative discretion, in the proper exercise of which the pilots alone are interested.
For these reasons we cannot yield our assent to the argument, that this provision of law is in conflict with the second and third clauses of the tenth section of the first article of the Constitution, which prohibit a State, without the assent of Congress, from laying any imposts or duties on imports, or exports, or tonnage. This provision of the Constitution was intended to operate upon subjects actually existing and well understood when the Constitution was formed. Imposts and duties on imports, exports, and tonnage, were then known to the Commerce of the civilized world to be as distinct from fees and charges for pi. lotage, and from the penalties by which commercial States enforced their pilot laws, as they were from charges for wharfage, or towage, or any other local port charges for services rendered to vessels or cargoes; and to declare that such pilot fees or penalties are embraced within the words imposts or duties on imports, exports, or tonnage, would be to confound things essentially different, and which must have been known to be actually different, by those who used this lan. guage. It cannot be denied that a tonnage duty or an impost on imports or exports may be levied under the name of pilot dues or penalties; and certainly it is the thing and not the name which is to be considered. But having previously stated that in this instance the law complained of does not pass the appropriate line which limits
laws for the regulation of pilots and pilotage, the suggestion that this law levies a duty on tonnage, or on imports, or exports, is not admissible; and if so, it also follows that this law is not repugnant to the first clause of the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution, which declares that all duties, im. posts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; for if it is not to be deemed a law levying a duty, impost, or excise, the want of uniformity throughout the United States is not objectionable. Indeed, the necessity of conforming regulations of pilotage to the local peculiarities of each port, and the consequent impossibility of having its charges uniform throughout the Uni. ted States, would be sufficient of itself to prove that they could not have been intended to be embraced within this clause of the Constitution ; for it cannot be supposed uniformity was required, when it must have been known to be im. practicable.
It is further objected that this law is repugnant to the fifth clause of the ninth section of the first article of the Constitution; namely, “No preference shall be given by any regulation of Commerce or revenue to the ports of one State over those of another; nor shall vessels, to or from one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties in another.”
But, as already stated, pilotage fees are not duties within the meaning of the Constitution; and certainly Pennsylvania does not give a preference to the port of Philadelphia, by requiring the masters, owners, or consignees of vessels sailing to or from that port, to pay the charges imposed by the 29th section of the act of 1803. It is an objection to and not a ground of preference of a port, that a charge of this kind must be borne by vessels entering it, and accordingly the interests of the port require, and generally produce such alleviations of these charges, as its growing Commerce from time to time renders consistent with the general policy of the pilot laws. This State, by its act of the 24th of March, 1851, has essentially modified the law of 1803, and further exempted many vessels from the charge now in question. Similar changes may be observed in the laws of New York, Massachusetts, and other commercial States, and they undoubtedly spring from the conviction that burdens of this kind, instead of operating to give a preference to a port, tend to check its Commerce, and that sound policy requires them to be lessened and removed as early as the necessities of the system will allow.
In addition to what has been said respecting each of these constitutional objections to this law, it may be observed that similar laws have existed, and been practiced on in the States since the adoption of the Federal Constitution; that by the act of the 7th of August, 1789, (1 Stat. at Large, 54,) Congress declared that all pilots in the bays, inlets, rivers, harbors, and ports of the United States, shall continue to be regulated in conformity with the existing laws of the States, &c., and that this contemporaneous construction of the Constitution, since acted on with such uniformity, in a matter of much public interest and importance, is entitled to great weight, in determining whether such a law is repugnant to the Constitution, as levying a duty not uniform throughout the United States, or as giving a preference to the ports of one State over those of another, or as obliging vessels to or from one State to enter, clear, or pay duties in another. Stuart vs. Laird, 1 Cranch, 299; Martin vs. Hunter, 1 Whea., 304; Cohen vs. Com monwealth of Virginia, 6 Whea, 264; Prigg vs. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 16 Peters, 621.
The opinion of the court is, that the law now in question is not repugnant to either of the above mentioned clauses of the Constitution.
It remains to consider the objection that it is repugnant to the third clause of the eighth section of the first article: The Congress shall have power to regulate Commerce with foreign nations and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes.”
That the power to regulate Commerce includes the regulation of navigation, we consider settled. And when we look to the nature of the service performed by pilots, to the relation which that service and its compensations bear to navigation between the several States, and between the ports of the United States