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going to Europe for a legitimate and commercial purpose. In explana, tiou of the order of Parsley & Co., directing him to purchase soldiers' blankets and iron, it was said that the goods were to be disposed of in the regular course of business, and that they were in no manner to be considered as contraband of war. In support of this last position reference was made to the treaty of Versailles of 1786, article 23; the treaty between the United States and France of 1778; the treaty between the United States and Hollaud of 1782; the treaty between the United States and Sweden of 1783, and the treaty between the United States and Spain of 1795, in all of which it is declared in substance that vari. ous articles of merchandise shall not be reckoned as contraband or prohibited goods, and among the articles excepted are "all sorts of cloth and all other manufactures woven of wool, flax, silk, cotton, or any other materials whatever.” It was claimed also iu behalf of the memorialist that there was no effective blockade of the port of Wilmington the 6th day of August, 1861.
It was claimed by the counsel on the part of the United States that de Bebian had no interest in the letter of credit, as that was exclusively in his principals and not in himself as agent, and that the third and fourth items of the claim were therefore excluded from consideration. It was also contended that as the first, second, and fifth items of the specification were for damages for illegal treatment sustained by de Bebian in his own person, no recovery could be made by his heir-at-law. As to the case as a whole, it was contended by the counsel for the United States that if de Bebian were alive and before the Commission as a memorialist the claim must be rejected. The position of the United States was presented thus: By the proclamation of the President of the United States, dated April 27, 1861, and for the reasons set forth therein, a blockade was declared of all the ports of the States of Vir. ginia and North Carolina, including the port of Wilmington, in the lastnamed State. The Adelso sailed from Wilmington the 6th day of August, 1861, loaded with a full cargo of turpentine and rosin, taken on board after the blockade was declared. De Bebian and his principals bad kpowledge of the fact that the entire coast of the State of North Carolina was under blockade. This is disclosed in the record in many places, and it is established beyond controversy in the circunstance that de Bebian had among his papers when he was arrested at Newport a set of signals for the use of the vessel that should take the return cargo and to be answered from the shore, for the purpose of enabling the return vessel to make the river and the harbor of Wilmington and avoid seizure. This fact is important as establishing beyond controversy a knowledge of the state of blockade, and also that the blockade was effectual. It also fastens upon de Bebian the responsibility of giving aid and comfort to the enemy of the United States during the time specified, and to which the inhibition applies in the first article of the treaty. The escape of the vessel was a violation of the blockade, and de Bebian in his capacity as agent of the house of Parsley & Co., and in his character as purchaser of goods to be used for the support of the army of the Confederate States, was an active party to the violation of the blockade. The rule of law as laid down by Sir William Scott is this: That when there is an actual blockade, and when the party charged with violating the blockade had knowledge of its existence, it is an act in violation of the blockade to go in or come out with a cargo laden after the commencement of the blockade. (Lawrence's "Wheaton's Elements of International Law," p. 577.) The convention
H. Ex. 235-27
of 1801 between Great Britain and Russia contains this declaration, namely:
" That in order to determine what characterizes a blockaded port, that denomination is given only where there is, by the disposition of the power wbich attacks it with ships stationary, or sufficiently near, an evident danger in entering." (See same, note.)
Tbe counsel for the United States does not anticipate that the coupsel for the claimant or for the Republic of France will attempt to maintain the position that the blockade declared April 27, 1861, was not effective in the month of August of that year, but any such averment must fail in presence of the fact alleged, and adınitted by de Bebian, that he had in bis possession and for use the system of signals referred to. The rule of law in regard to blockaee is fatal to the claim for compensation for loss of property. A vessel which has run the blockade is liable to seizure and confiscation if arrested at any point between the place of departure and the port of final destination. The same rule applies to the cargo, subject only to the condition that the owners of the articles shipped were at the time of the shipment apprised of the existence of the blockade. (See Phillimore on Interpational Law, vol. 3, par. 406.)
In the case at bar, Parsley & Co. and de Bebian had knowledge of the blockade, and it follows, therefore, as a consequence, that whatever interest de Bebian had in the letter of credit, or in any other property for which he might otherwise claim compensation, he is barred by the fact of knowledge of the blockade, and his property is subject, therefore, to all the legal consequences of his act.
The defense of the Government against the claim is, first, that whatever rights of property de Bebiau had were confiscated by the rules of public law in regard to the violation of a legally established blockade; secondly, that the claim on account of personal injuries does not sur vive to the heirs-at-law of the deceased; and, third, that de Bebian in running the blockade, and in the transmission of correspondence in violation of the non-intercourse act, gave aid and comfort to the ene. mies of the United States. As a consequence, it would be the duty of the Commission, under article 1 of the treaty, to decline to take juris. diction of the case, even if de Bebian were now alive, and iu the pres. ence of the Commission as the memoralist.
The Commission, by the concurrence of Barou de Arinos and Mr. Commissioner Aldis, disallowed the clain; but the ground or reason for tbe disallowance is not stated.
CHARLES HEIDSIECK v. THE UNITED STATES, NO. 691.
The memorialist in this case was a manufacturer of one brand of Heidsieck champagne wines, his business being at Rheims, in France. Previous to the war he bad made sales in the United States, and it appeared that he had claims upon persons in this country for considerable sums of money.
Heidsieck was arrested at New Orleans the 29th of July, 1862, by virtue of an order issued by General Butler. He was detained in the city of New Orleans until the 5th of August, when he was imprisoned at Fort Jackson, where he remained until the 29th day of the same month, when he was transferred to Fort Pickens. He was finally released the Jih of November, having been in duress or in prison 110 days in all. For this imprisonment he claimed the sum of $225,000.
He further alleged that he was damaged in reputation in France, and
that he became a bankrupt; and for these injuries he claimed the sum of $115,000 in addition.
He alleged also that he was the owner of 107 bales of cotton, of the value of $3,190, of which he had been disseized by the military forces of the United States.
Heidsieck came to this country in the month of April, 1861, for the purpose, as was alleged, of protecting bis interests in the North and in the South. He passed from New York City through Schenectady, N. Y., and Louisville, Ky., and proceeded to New Orleans, where he arrived in the month of June. After the capture of New Orleans there were families in that city who were without the means of subsistence, and upon information received by General Butler that there was at Mobile a stock of four purchased by the city of New Orleans for the subsistence of its citizens, he ordered an arraugement to be made by which a steamboat was employed to transport the flour from Mobile to New Orleans, and safe conduct was given to it and to the persons employed in its service. The testimony sbowed that in the month of June, 1862, and after the capture of New Orleans, Heidsieck left that city and established himself in Mobile. There was no evidence that he had au. thority to leave New Orleans. Upon the establishment of communication between Mobile and New Orleans for the purpose specified, Heidsieck obtained or assumed the position of bartender upon one of the boats, and he was enrolled among the employés. In that capacity he passed from Mobile to New Orleans on three or four separate trips, each occupying about seven days' time. It was proved, and admitted also by Heidsieck, that he conveyed letters between New Orleans and Mo. bile. Upon the discovery of the fact Heidsieck was arrested and imprisoned as stated. When he had been detained forty eight or fifty days the proposition was made to him by General Butler that he could obtain his release upon the condition that he should return to Europe by the first vessel that sailed. This proposition Heidsieck rejected.
It was contended by the counsel for the United States that Heidsieck was properly arrested as a spy, and that the punishment imposed upon him was a very moderate one when the nature of the offense committed by bin was considered.
It was claimed by Heidsieck that he had no intention to convey in. formation that could affect the interests of the belligerents, and that the letters which he brought were, for the most part, addressed to the French consul at New Orleans.
The claim of Heidsieck was disallowed by the act of a majority of the Commission.consisting of Baron de Arinos and Mr. Commissioner Aldis. Mr. Lefaivre dissented.
Upon the rehearing, after motion, the majority of the Commission rendered an opinion in these words:
WASHINGTON, March 26, 1884. This case has been fully considered on the rehearing. As our respected colleague, the commissioner on the part of the French Republic, differs from us, and has expressed a dissenting opinion, we deem it proper to briefly state our views, though the question is purely a question of fact resting upon the evidence.
Mr. Heidsieck, in the summer of 1862, was a leading wine merchant of Rheims, France, the head of his house, and doing a large business in the sale of champagne wine both in Europe and America. He was about forty years old, and had a wife and children. He had an agency for the sale of his wines in New Orleans, and in most of the other cities of the United States.
In June, 1862, General Butler made an arrangement with the Confederate anthorities at Mobile, by which a steamboat under a day of truce could pass from Mobile to New Orleans and back, carrying tlour to New Orleans, and returning with salt to Mobile. But, as it was all important there should be no correspondence between the Confederate citizens of New Orleans and those outside, it was made a part of the arrangement that no passengers should be allowed on the boat, and all letters should be carried openly, be submitted to Captain Thornton for his inspection, and in the care and custody of Mr. Greenwood, both of whom were Federal officers, and subject to the order of General Butler. This caution was necessary to prevent all communications between the disaffected Confederate citizens in New Orleans and the armies on the outside, who were planning the recapture of the city.
In June, 1862, Mr. Heidsieck took the position of bar-keeper on this steamboat, and between that date and the 29th July he made four trips from Mobile to New Orleans and back.
That a gentleman like Mr. Heidsieck should take such a position as tbat-so humble and so much beneath him--and should continue in it for four consecutive voyages, certainly seems surprising.
He gives them, first (p. 33), “To obtain news, if possible, from the French consulate, of my affairs and of my family.” It does not seem a wise or a fair course to assume the post of bar-keeper to get such information. It would occur to any one that a frank and open letter to the French consul, to be read by General Butler would be a better way, and be open to no objections. But even if this be an excuse for so going once, still it cannot be considered as an excuse for going four times, especially as he ascertained the first time that there was nothing for him at the consulate.
It is further to be cousidered that he had directed his agents in New York not to send on his letters until they kne# where he was; that they did not know, and that he had really no reason to expect letters at New Orleans.
His second reason was that he agreed with the captain of the boat that he would sell the liquors in the bar for the benefit of the boat (the boat to furnish them), but the wines for his own benefit (he furnishing his own wines), and that as the expense of living was very great, this operation would give him a profit not to be despised.
As no passengers were allowed on the boat the idea of a profit from selling his champagne wines to the crew is plainly no good reason ; it is a pretence, and casts discredit on his whole story,
These are all the reasons he gives. The absence of any good reason for his conduct and at such a time when every artifice was resorted to to carry communications between the Confederates in and out of the city, justly subjected him to grave suspicion.
At the last voyage he carried a package of letters, as bearer of dispatches, as he called it, to Comte Méjan, the French consul. This package General Butler opened. He then sent for Comte Méjan ; had a stormy interview with him; charged Heidsieck with bringing letters fraudulently, and ordered him to be arrested as a spy and sent to Fort Jackson. This occurrred on July 29th. He arrived at Fort Jackson August 5th. Eight days after (August 13) General Butler offered the claimant his liberty if he would go to France by the next boat and not return during the war. This he refused. His case was then sent to Washington for the administration to decide. Tbis made delay. Comte Méjan went to Washington on his behalf, among other things. Travelling from New Orleans to Washington was then slow and difficult, and we may reasonably think that there must have been much delay, especially if there was correspondence between Washington and New Orleaus.
In the mean time the claimant was sent to Fort Pickens, a place thought to be more healthy than Fort Jackson.
On the 15th November the authorities directed him to be set at liberty upon condition that he would leave the country. The only difference between this offer and the one made by General Butler being that he might go to New York and then to France, instead of going by the first boat.
If he had accepted General Butler's offer on the 13th August, or had asked to have it modified as to going by the first boat, he would have been in custody only fifteen days.
We think General Butler had good cause for arresting the claimant, and that it was his own fault that his imprisonment was prolonged beyond fifteen days.
The claim is disallowed.
I cannot bring my mind to a concurrence with my colleague in disallowing this claim. In my view of the case the action in the premises of General Butler, the commanding general of the Federal forces at New Orleans, was arbitrary and illegal. The arrest and inprisonment of the claimant in close prisons, situated in unhealthy localities, for the period of one hundred aud ten days, without a trial, was not only out of proportion to any offense disclosed in the record, but was a violation of the law of nations and of the rights of a French citizen who was at the time under the safeguard of a flag of truce.
The failure of the defendant Government to produce General Butler as a witness, and the non-introduction of the so-called treasonable correspondence, is, in my opin
ion, strong proof that there was no sufficient evidence to justify the harsh treatment to which claimant was subjected at the hands of the Federal military commander.
The principle upon which I rest my dissent in this case has been indicated and sanctioned by the jurisprudence of the Commission in the Le More arrest and imprisonment cases. Under the circumstances the claimant is entitled to an award of $10,000.
EUGENE ROCHEREAU 1. THE UNITED STATES, No. 220.
The memorialist was a member of the commercial firm of Eugene Rochereau & Co., composed of Eugene Rochereau, Albin Rochereau, and William T. Hepp. Their business was at New Orleans, where the two junior members resided, and who were charged with the manage. ment of the business of the firm. Eugene Rochereau resided in France, and he was not engaged personally in the affairs of the company.
In the month of March, 1862, the authorities of the city of New Orleans adopted an ordinance by which the mayor was authorized to issue bonds of the city to the amount of $1,000,000. The object for which the bonds were issued was stated in the preamble, in these words:
Whereas the safety of the city of New Orleans being imperilled by the existence of the war now raging, and the presence of our enemies at the approaches of the city renders it of the greatest importance to the vital interest of the city, not only to the city but to the whole Southern Confederacy, that immediate and ample meaus should be placed at the disposition of the public authorities to repel invasion, and for the prompt and efficient defense of the city of New Orleans and its approaches: Be it therefore Resolred, &c.
Of these bonds the banking house of Abat, Generes & Co., of the city of New Orleans, purchased the sum of $210,000, and the firm of Engene Rochereau & Co. purchased of Abat, Generes & Co. bonds of the nominal value of $20,000.
After the capture of the city by the forces of the United States an order was issued by General Butler, by which all the purchasers of the bonds so issued by the city of New Orleans were required to pay an assessment of 25 per cent. This assessment was levied in August, 1862. Again in August, 1863, a like assessment was levied by General Banks. The assessment was first imposed upon the house of Abat, Generes & Co., and, subsequently, by an order of General Butler, Rochereau & Co. were required to pay over to Abet, Generes & Co. the sum so assessed, and it was then paid by the last-named house to the military authorities, and used for the support of the destitute inhabitants of the city of New Orleans.
It was contended by the counsel for the French Republic that the as. sessment made by General Butler was arbitrary in its nature, contrary to the rules of international law, and, having been imposed by the mili. tary authorities of the United States, the sufferers were entitled to compensation under the first article of the treaty.
On the part of the United States it was contended that the purchase by Rochereau & Co. was an act by which aid and comfort were given to the enemies of the United States within the period mentioned in the treaty.
Two points were made specifically by the counsel for the claimants, namely, that the purchase of the bonds under the circumstances—Ro. chereau & Co. not having been the original subscribers—could not be treated as an act of aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States;