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ship in the pilot boat unless he would bring her into 1818. port. That, in his opinion, it would have been dan- Tgerous and very unsafe to continue at sea with the New-York. said ship in the condition in which the rudder then was, and he, therefore, consented to bring her into NewYork, believing that it was necessary to do so for the preservation of the cargo and the lives of the people on board; that he was towed into New-York, by a pilot-boat, as the pilot would not take charge of the ship unless she was towed. The letter of the owner, referred to in the master's testimony, is dated in New-York, the third of October, 1811, and is addressed to him as follows:— “Not knowing if you have rum in, I take this precaution by every boat; if you have rum, you are to stand off immediately at least four leagues, and keep your ship in as good a situation as you can, either for bad weather or to come in if ordered; you must get the pilot to bring up all the letters for me, &c. also, a letter from yourself, stating the state of your ship, provisions, &c. and bring them to town as soon as possible; give me your opinion of your crew, if you think they can be depended on if we find it necessary to alter our port of departure. If you have rum in, I expect the ship must go to Amelia Island, or some other port, as they seize all that comes here. You may expect to see or hear from me in a day or two after your being off, you keeping the Highlands N. W. of you I think will be a good birth. If you are within three leagues of the land you are liable to seizure by any armed vessel.” On the 18th of October, 1811, a survey was made”

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of the New-York, by the board of wardens, which stated the rudder gone; the stern post and counter plank injured, the oakum worked out, the main cap split and settled, fore-topsailyards sprung, pallpits bro

ken; fore-topsail sheet bill, started and broken. This

injury was stated by the master to the wardens to have happened in a gale, in lat. 27° 30' N. and long. 80 WThe wardens gave it as their opinion, that the said vessel ought to be unloaded andhove out to repair her damages before she could proceed to sea in safe

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On the 7th of November, of the same year, after the New-York was unloaded, the wardens again, surveyed her, and reported, the middle rudder brace broken, the crown of the lower brace gone. Some of the sheathing fore and aft gone, the rudder badly chafed, and so much injured, as not to be fit to be repaired.

On this evidence, the district court pronounced a decree of restitution. From this sentence the United States appealed to the circuit court, held for the southern district of New-York, in the second circuit, where that sentence was reversed. From this last decree, an appeal is made to this court, whose duty it now is to inquire which of these sentences is correct.

If the articles in question were taken on board with the intention of importing the same into the United States, and with the owners or master’s knowledge, a forfeiture of the vessel must be the consequence, whether she were forced in by stress of weather or not; and even if no such intention existed at the time of loading at Jamaica, the same consequence will at

tach to the goods, if it shall appear that the coming in
of the vessel was voluntary on the part of the mas-
The claimant has first endeavoured to clear the trans-
action of all illegality in its inception, and thinks he
has offered testimony sufficient to satisfy the court that
there was no intention at the time of loading at Jamai-
ca, to import the cargo into the United States.
When an act takes place, which in itself, and un-
explained, is a violation of law, and the inducements
to such infraction are great, it will not be thought un
reasonable in a court, to expect from a party who
seeks relief against its consequences, the most satisfac
tory proofs of innocence, especially, as such proof will
generally be within his reach. If then, any papers,
which in the course of such a transaction must have
existed, are not produced, or if any others which come
to light, do not correspond with the master's relation;
and especially, if all the witnesses who are in the pow-
er, and many of them in the interest, and under the in-
fluence of the party, are omitted to be examined, when
it is impossible that they should not be intimately ac-
quainted with the most material circumstances; and
instead of this, the chief, if not only reliance of the
claimant, is placed on the evidence of a party, who, if
the allegations of the libel be true, is himself liable to

a very heavy penalty; when such a case occurs, a.

court must be expected to look at the proofs before it,

with more than ordinary suspicion and distrust.
'In this case, there was an importation which, prima

facie, was against law, and was in the same degree
Vol. III. 10

1818. x--> The New-York.

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evidence of an original intention to import; the burthen then, of showing the absence of such an intention, wis thrown upon and assumed by the claimant. In doing this, he satisfies himself with the examination of the master; who states, that he had orders from his owner, not to take on board at Jamaica any W. st India produce for the United States. What is become of these orders ? Does a master sail on a foreign voyage with verbal instructions only * This is not the common course of business. Instructions to a master of a vessel are generally in writing; and for the owners greater security, there is always left with him, a copy certified or acknowledged by the former. If so, why are they not produced They would speak for themselves, and be entitled to more credit than the declarations of a person so deeply interested to misrepresent the transaction, as this wit. ness is. The court, therefore, might well throw out of the case the little that is said of these instruction, so long as they are not produced; and it is not pretended that they were not reduced to writing, or if they were, that they are lost; which, indeed, is not a very supposable event, if the ordinary precautions on this occasion have been observed. But notwithstanding these very positive orders, the master, in direct violation of them, and at the hazard of the most serious consequences to himself, takes on board a cargo expressly prohibited by his owner, in compliance with the directions and opinion of a consignee, whose name is also withheld, and who does not appear to have had any right to interfere in this way. So great a responsibility would have attached upon such

a palpable breach of orders, that it is a good reason for 1818. doubting whether they ever existed. Nor is this part Tof the master’s testimony verified by the claim, which New York. observes a profound silence in relation to these or any other orders, that may have been given. If no written instructions were delivered to the master, which we are at liberty to believe, as none are produced, a better mode could hardly have been devised to avoid detection. It has been said in argument, that the intention of the master's coming to the United States was altogether contingent, and depended on a repeal of the non-intercourse act, and that he, accordingly, did not mean to come in if that act were still in force. But how does this appear? Nothing of the kind is stated in his deposition; on the contrary, his coming in, according to his own account, depended not on the repeal of this law, but on the orders of his owner; he came, he says, on this coast, with intention to obey. the orders of the consignee, not to attempt to come into port unless he received orders from the owner, off Sandy Hook, so to do. Is, therefore, he had found those laws yet in force, which he probably had heard was the case, soon after his coming on the American coast, and long before he fell in with the pilot boat which carried down the letter of his owner, he still intended to have come in, if his owner had ordered him so to do. His intention, therefore, as taken from his own relation, is not altogether of that innocent nature which it has been represented to be. When the vessel sailed from Jamaica, does not exactly appear; all we know from the master’s account is, that she was there in August, and met with a gale on the 6th

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