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to the status of newly acquired territories, prior to such status being settled by acts of Congress, is, with a single exception, strictly in line with the decision of this court in Cross v. Harrison, supra. The only possessions in connection with which the question has arisen are Louisiana, Florida, Texas, California and Alaska. We take these up in their order.
Louisiana: By treaty between France and Spain, October 1, 1800, (8 Stat. 202,) His Catholic Majesty promised to cede to the French Republic the colony or province of Louisiana; and by treaty between the United States and the French Republic of April 30, 1803, France ceded to the United States, “forever and in full sovereignty, the said territory with all its rights and appurtenances," with a provision, (Art. 3, “that the inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States, and admitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of the Federal Constitution.” This treaty was ratified October 21, 1803. Possession of the territory was not delivered by Spain to France until November 30, 1803, and by France to the United States, December 20, 1803. In the meantime, and on October 31, 1803, Congress authorized the President to take possession of the territory, and to administer it until Congress had further acted upon the subject. (2 Stat. 245.) On February 24, 1804, Congress passed another act, (2 Stat. 251,) taking Louisiana within the Customs Union, and repealing certain special laws laying duties upon goods imported from that territory into the United States. This act was to take effect March 25, 1804. We are then concerned only with the interval between December 20, 1803, when possession was delivered to the United States, and March 25, 1804, when the act of February 24 took effect.
In a letter to President Jefferson of July 9, 1803, Mr. Gallatin, then Secretary of the Treasury, expressed the opinion that all the duties on exports, now payable at New Orleans by Spanish laws, should cease, and all articles the growth of Louisiana, which, when imported into the United States, now pay duty, should continue to pay the same, or at least such rates as would on the whole not affect the revenue. (Writings of Gallatin, vol. 1, page 127.)
The instructions of the Treasury Department with respect to this interval are contained in a letter by Mr. Gallatin to Governor Claiborne, who was about to start for his post as governor of the new province, under date of October 3, 1803, in which he says: “It is understood that the existing duties on imports and exports, which by the Spanish law are now levied within the province, will continue until Congress shall have otherwise provided.” On November 14, 1803, Mr. Gallatin issued an order directed to Mr. Trist, who had been designated as collector of the port of New Orleans, as follows: “You will also be pleased to observe, first, that the taxes and the duties to be collected under your direction are precisely the same which by the existing laws and regulations of Louisiana were demandable under the Spanish government at the time of taking possession. . . . 10. That until otherwise provided for, the same duties are to be collected on the importation of goods in the Mississippi district, from New Orleans and vice versa, as heretofore.”
On February 28, 1804, Mr. Gallatin issued a circular letter notifying the collectors of the passage of the act of February 24, and that the same would go into effect March 25, and “that by the third section of said act so much of any law or laws imposing duties on the importations into the United States of goods, wares and merchandise from New Orleans, which is the only port of entry in said territories, has been repealed.”
These instructions undoubtedly show that Mr. Gallatin treated New Orleans as a foreign port until Congress, by the act of February 24, 1804, admitted it within the Customs Union, and, so far, is an authority in favor of the position taken by the collector in this case. But it should be borne in mind in this connection, that his instructions to collect duties levied by the Spanish law upon foreign importations into New Orleans, is manifestly inconsistent with the position subsequently taken by this court in Cross v. Harrison, supra, wherein it is said (p. 189) of the action of Mr. Harrison in California: “That war tariff, however, was abandoned as soon as the military governor had received from Washington information of the exchange and ratification of the treaty with Mexico, and duties were afterwards levied in conformity with such as Congress had imposed upon foreign merchandise imported into other ports of the United States, Upper California having been ceded by the treaty to the United States.” After saying that this action had been recognized by the President, Mr. Justice Wayne adds: “We think it was a rightful and correct recognition under all the circumstances, and when we say rightful we mean that it was constitutional, although Congress had not passed an act to extend the collection of tonnage and import duties to the ports of California.” Indeed, it is quite evident from this case that the court took an entirely different view of the relations of California to the Union from that which had been taken by Mr. Gallatin as to Louisiana in his instructions to the collector of New Orleans.
Florida: Florida was ceded by Spain to the United States by treaty signed February 22, 1819, but not ratified until October 29, 1820. (8 Stat. 252.) By act of March 3, 1821, (3 Stat. 637,) Congress authorized the President to take possession of the Floridas and extend thereto the revenue laws of the United States. Possession of East Florida was not delivered until July 10, 1821; nor of West Florida until July 17. It is true that certain ports of Florida were in the military occupation of the United States prior to the actual delivery of possession by Spain, but the cession did not take effect until there had been a voluntary and complete delivery under the treaty. As the act extending the revenue laws to the Floridas was passed before the surrender of the province to the United States, there was no interval of time upon which the Treasury Department could act, the provinces, immediately upon the surrender, becoming subject to the act of March 3, 1821.
An opinion of Mr. Wirt, then Attorney General, of August 20, 1821, in the case of The Olive Branch, (1 Ops. Atty. Gen. 483,) is instructive in this connection as illustrating the views of the administration. After stating that possession of East Florida was not delivered until July 17, (a mistake for July 10,) he held that the cargo of the Olive Branch, which had cleared from the port of St. Augustine, July 14, was imported into Philadelphia from a foreign port or place, and consequently subject to duty, because possession had not been delivered, citing the case of The Fama, (5 Ch. Rob. 97,) and adding: “On the other hand, I apprehend that goods imported into a port of Florida before the delivery, remaining in part on shipboard until after the delivery, and then brought into the United States in the same vessel or by transhipment into others, having never been entered in the Spanish customs houses, nor landed, nor the duties thereon paid or secured, but having continued all the while waterborne, would be subject to our revenue laws.... Our laws impose duties only on goods imported into the United States from some foreign port or place. If, therefore, in the case put, the importation be, in contemplation of law, an importation from the Floridas, the case is not within our laws; because at the time of the importation the Floridas were not foreign ports or places.” The learned Attorney General evidently took the view that the Floridas ceased to be a foreign country upon a delivery of possession under the treaty. In a subsequent letter of January 24, 1823, (5 Ops. Atty. Gen. 748,) Mr. Wirt admits that he had been misled by the newspapers in the belief that East Florida had been surrendered prior to July 14, on which day the Olive Branch left St. Augustine, and recommended that the case be sent to the President, as it seemed to involve a dispute with Great Britain.
Texas: On March 1, 1845, Congress adopted a joint resolution consenting to the annexation of Texas upon certain conditions, (5 Stat. 797,) but it was not until December 25, 1845, that it was formally admitted as a State. (9 Stat. 108.) In this interval, and on July 29, 1815, the Secretary of the Treasury issued a circular letter directing the collectors to collect duties upon all imports from Texas into the United States until Congress had further acted. Of course, there could be no question that Texas remained a foreign state until December 25, when she was formally admitted. The circular, therefore, is of no pertinence to the question here involved.
California: California was ceded by Mexico to the United States by treaty signed February 2, 1848, ratifications of which were exchanged May 30, 1848, and proclamation made July 4. (9 Stat. 922.)
On March 3, 1849, an act was passed, (9 Stat. 100,) including San Francisco within one of the collection districts, and on November 13 the collector appointed by the President entered upon his duties. California had been in our military possession since August, 1847. There was therefore an interval of one year and nine months between the date of the treaty, February 3, 1818, and November 13, 1849, when the collector entered upon his duties.
On October 7, 1818, Mr. Buchanan, then Secretary of State, addressed a letter to Mr. Vorhies, already referred to, in which he states that, although the military government ceased to exist with the conclusion of the treaty of peace, it would continue with the presumed consent of the people until Congress should provide for them a territorial government, and then adds: “This government de facto will, of course, exercise no power inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution of the United States, which is the supreme law of the land. For this reason no import duties can be levied in California on articles of growth, produce or manufacture of the United States, as no such duties can be imposed in any other port of our l'nion on the productions of California. Nor can new dụties be charged in California upon such foreign productions as have already paid duties in any of our ports of entry, for the obvious reason that California is within the territory of the United States. I shall not enlarge upon this subject, however, as the Secretary of the Treasury will perform that duty.” (Ex. Docs. 2d Sess. 30th Cong. vol 1, p. 47.)
Mr. Walker, then Secretary of the Treasury, did perform that duty in a circular letter of the same date to the collectors, in which he instructed the collectors as follows: “First, All articles of the growth, produce or manufacture of California, shipped therefrom at any time since the 30th day of May last,” (the date when the ratifications were exchanged,) “are entitled to admission free of duty into all the ports of the United States; and, second, all articles of the growth, produce or manufacture of the United States are entitled to admission free of duty into California, as are also all foreign goods which are exempt from duty by the laws of Congress, or on which goods the duties prescribed by those laws have been paid to any collector of the United States previous to their introduction into California.” (Ibid. p. 45.) He adds that foreign goods imported into California, not paying duties there, will be subject to duty if shipped thence to any port or place in the United States. In a letter from Mr. Marcy, Secretary of War, to Colonel Mason, the military commander, of October 9, 1818, he uses the same language.
These letters are cited with approval by this court in Cross v. Harrison, (16 How. 181,) and although the question there related only to duties on goods imported from foreign countries, the tenor of the opinion, as already stated, is a virtual indorsement of the position taken by the executive departments. It is evident that the administration
took an entirely different view of the law from what had been taken by Mr. Gallatin in his instructions regarding Louisiana, and established a practice which has never since been departed from, of treating territory ceded to the United States and occupied by its troops as being domestic and not foreign territory.
This correspondence with reference to California took place in 1848. The decision in Fleming v. Page, (9 How. 603,) was pronounced in 1850, yet as appears from the list of documents submitted by Mr. Johnson upon the argument of that case, (p. 611,) the attention of the court was not called to these instructions, though other letters and circulars were introduced bearing date of 1846 and 1847, as well as the treaty of peace of February 2, 1848. Had the correspondence above cited been laid before the court it is incredible that the Chief Justice should have said “that the department in no instance that we are aware of, since the establishment of the government, has ever recognized a place in a newly acquired country as a domestic port, from which the coasting trade might be carried on, unless it had been previously made so by act of Congress.”
Alaska: This territory was ceded to us by Russia by treaty ratified June 20, 1867, (15 Stat. 539,) and possession was delivered to us at the same time. No act of Congress extending the revenue laws to Alaska and erecting a collection district was passed until July 27, 1868. (15 Stat. 240.) A period of thirteen months then elapsed before Alaska was formally recognized by Congress as within the Customs Union, yet during that period goods from Alaska were, under a decision of the Secretary of the Treasury, admitted free of duty. By letter of Mr. McCullough, then Secretary of the Treasury, to the collector of the port of New York, dated April 6, 1868, he acknowledges receipt of a request from the Russian Minister for the free entry of certain oil shipped from Sitka to San Francisco and reshipped to New York. He states: “The request for the free entry of said oil was made on the ground that the oil was shipped from Sitka after the ratification of the treaty, by which the territory of Alaska became the property of the United States. The treaty in question was ratified on the 20th of June, 1867, and the collector at San Francisco has reported that the manifest of the vessel shows the oil to have been shipped from Alaska on the 6th day of July, 1867, and that the shipment consisted of fifty-two packages. Under these circumstances you are hereby authorized to admit the said fifty-two packages of oil free of duty.”
This position was indorsed by the Secretary of State, Mr. Seward, in a letter dated January 30, 1869, in which he said: “I understand the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Harrison v. Cross, (16 How. 164,) to declare its opinion that, upon the addition to the United States of new territory by conquest and cession, the acts regulating foreign commerce attach to and take effect within such territory ipso facto, and without any fresh act of legislation expressly giving