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UNITED STATES V. THE ELIZA, 11 U. S. 113 (1812)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. The Eliza, 11 U.S. 7 Cranch 113 113 (1812)

United States v. The Eliza

11 U.S. (7 Cranch) 113




Decided: a vessel which has proceeded to a foreign port, contrary to the Embargo Act of January 9, 1808, is liable to be seized upon her return although that act gives a penalty of double her value in case she should not be seized.

This was an appeal from the sentence of the Circuit Court for the District of Delaware, which affirmed that of the district court, which dismissed the libel and ordered the vessel to be restored. She had been seized by the collector of the District of Delaware for having "proceeded to a foreign port or place" (viz., to Havana) contrary to the 3d section of the Act of January 9, 1808, vol. 9, p. 11,

"supplementary to the act entitled "An act laying an embargo on all ships and vessels in the ports and harbors of the United States" and for having exported from the United States sundry goods, &c., contrary to the 4th section of the Act of March 12, 1808, in addition to the act entitled "An act supplementary to the act entitled An act laying an embargo,'""

&c., vol. 9, p. 71.

By the 3d section of the Act of January 9, 1808, it is enacted that if any vessel shall, contrary to the provisions of that act or of the act to which that is a supplement, proceed to a foreign port or place, such vessel shall be wholly forfeited,

"and if the same shall not be seized, the owner or owners, agent, freightor or factors of any such ship or vessel shall, for every such offense, forfeit and pay a sum equal to double the value of the ship or vessel and cargo, and shall never thereafter be allowed a credit for duties, . . . and the master or commander of such ship or vessel, and all other persons who shall knowingly be concerned in such prohibited foreign voyage shall each respectively forfeit and pay a sum not exceeding $20,000, nor less than $1,000, for every such offense, whether the vessel be seized and condemned or not."

By the 4th section of the Act of March 12, 1808, it is enacted

"That it shall not be lawful to export from the

Page 11 U. S. 114

United States in any manner whatever any goods wares or merchandise of foreign or domestic growth or manufacture, and if any goods wares or merchandise shall, during the continuance of the act, entitled an act laying an embargo, . . . and of the act supplementary, . . . contrary to the prohibitions of this act, be exported from the United States either by land or water, the vessel . . . in which the same shall have been exported, shall, together with the tackle, apparel,', &c., 'be forfeited, and the owner or owners of such goods . . . and every other person knowingly concerned in such prohibited exportation, shall each respectively forfeit and pay a sum not exceeding $10,000 for every such offense. "

Page 11 U. S. 115

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE MARSHALL stated that it was the opinion of the Court that the vessel was liable to seizure, but that a majority of the Court was of opinion that the offense was not complete until the arrival of the vessel in a foreign port; but the facts of the case do not appear so as to enable the Court to decide that point; the cause is therefore

Continued for further proof.

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