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can be formed for their trial. Such offenders are regularly kept in the exclusive custody of that service, the peculiar laws of which they are accused of having violated, and by which they are to be tried. They have, of course, been delivered up to the commanding officer of the place to which they were brought, who will detain them until a court-martial can be assembled under the orders of the Secretary of the Navy. The expense must devolve on the United States.

It appeared to be intended at the last session of Congress to remove the inconvenience of which you very justly complain, by allowing officers in the land service to be placed on certain naval courts-martial; and I had imagined that this was done. Perhaps it may be well to go even a step further, and to give a power to refer offences committed on board of privateers to the ordinary tribunals, when a court-martial (either of navy of ficers only or of navy and land officers) cannot be had without prejudice to the public. A general reference of them to the ordinary tribunals would not be judicious, nor would a particular reference be so where it could be avoided; but there may be occasions to justify and require it. I have the honor to he, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. PINKNEY. To the SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.

OPINIONS

OF

RICHARD RUSH, OF PENNSYLVANIA:

APPOINTED FEBRUARY 10, 1814.

FUR TRADE AT MICHILIMACKINAC.

It would be unlawful to grant permission to John Jacob Astor to send a vessel in ballast to

Michilimackinac to bring away skins and furs.

ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, April 11, 1814. Sir: I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 9th of this month, enclosing one addressed to you from Mr. John Jacob Astor, in which he asks permission of the government to send a vessel in ballast to Michilimackinac, for the purpose of bringing away a quantity of skins and furs belonging to him, and now at that place, and requesting my opinion whether such permission would be warranted by our laws.

Considering Michilimackinac as a place now in the actual possession and under the dominion of Great Britain, I think the decisions of the last Supreme Court of the United States would make it unlawful to grant the permission in question.

RICHARD RUSH. To the SECRETARY OF STATE.

SURETIES OF A PURSER.

A former purser reappointed to that office in the navy, under the act of 30th March, 1812,

should give a new bond.

OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE U. S.,

April 14, 1814. Sir: I have received your letter of the 13th instant, relative to Edwin T. Satterwhite, formerly a purser in the navy, reappointed and confirmed by the Senate under the act of the 30th of March, 1812, in which you state its having become important to know whether his sureties under the original bond are, or are not, liable for acts done since the reappointment.

On examining the act in question, I think its correct interpretation im. ports the necessity of a new bond in all cases of reappointment under its provisions. But, by this opinion, I would not be understood to say that the original sureties of Mr. Satterwhite are wholly discharged of responsi. bility since the reappointment. This point should be saved on behalf of the United States. I have the honor to be, with very great respect, sir, your obedient servant,

RICHARD RUSH. To the SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.

DUTIES ON GOODS SOLD UNDER ORDER OF COURT, &c.

Duties on goods seized with a vessel of a neutral nation and sold, but afterwards adjudged to

be unlawful prize, may be lawfully exacted, and cannot be remitted by the Executive.

ATTORNEY General's Office, April 16, 1814. . Sır: In answer to your letter of yesterday's date, I have the honor to state it as my opinion, that the duties in the case of the brig Euplus should be paid.

The cargo having been sold under an interlocutory order of the district court for the district of Georgia, and the goods thus distributed through the country in the hands of consumers while the libel was depending, I do not think it would comport with the meaning and objects of the revenue laws that they should be discharged of duties. The apparent hardship to the neutral claimants, to whom the cargo has been released by the ultimate decision of the court, on the ground that it was not lawful prize, must be taken to be done away in the presumption of the enhanced price at which it sold under the interlocutory order, by reason of the outstanding bonds for the duties which hung over it. Had it remained in bulk, or unsold, so as to be capable of specific restitution under the final decree, a different case, working in favor of the claimants, might have been presented.

In answer to the other question, whether, if the duties are to be exacted, the relinquishment of them is within the remitting power confided to the President? I have to reply, that I am not aware of his possessing any such. The act of Congress of the 3d of March, 1797, made perpetual by that of the 11th of February, 1800, invests the Secretary of the Treasury with certain powers to remit in cases of fines, penalties, and forfeitures; but I do not take the case of a debt due to the United States under a bond given for duties to fall under either of these heads, or that of a disabilitythe other word used in the act.

I have the honor, &c., &c.,

RICHARD RUSH, Attorney General. To the SECRETARY OF STATE.

OFFENCES ON VESSELS WITH LETTERS-OF-MARQUE.

Punishment by court-martial of offences committed on board of letters-of-marque, is contem.

plated only when such offences are committed without the jurisdiction of the United States.

OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL Of The U. S.,

May 24, 1814. Sır: In answer to your letter of yesterday's date, I have the honor to state it as my opinion, that, under the true meaning of the 15th section of the act of Congress of the 26th of June, 1812, the punishment by court martial of offences committed on board of letters-of-marque is contemplated only when such offences happen out of the jurisdiction of the United States. The reason for the distinction may probably have been, that, unless the authority of the court-martial had been recognised for offences committed on board of these vessels when abroad, no punishment could have followed them-it being matter of great doubt how far the common code of the United States extends to the high seas; but for all such offences as may take place on board of them while they are within the jurisdictional limits of the United States, or their territories, the ordinary courts of law of the country are competent to afford redress. The jurisdiction of the military tribunals is not to be stretched by implication.

I am further of opinion, in answer to your second question, that a courtmartial can take no cognizance of the validity of a contract.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient servant,

RICHARD RUSH. To the SECRETARY OF THE Navy.

MARSHAL'S COMMISSIONS.

A marshal is not entitled to the commission of one and a quarter per cent. provided by the

act of 20th February, 1799, upon specie captured, as in cases where he sells vessels and other property.

WASHINGTON, July 26, 1814. Sır: In answer to the case you submitted to my consideration, relative to the claim of the marshal of Georgia, I have the honor to state that I continue to entertain the same opinion which I intimated to you verbally; that is, that, upon the specie captured on board the Epervier, he is not entitled to the commission of one and a quarter per cent., under the act of Congress of the 28th of February, 1799, as in cases where he sells Vessels and other property.

I should have furnished you with this answer at an earlier period, but that I was desirous to inform myself as to the practice upon this point in other districts. I have accordingly done so, as far as I could. The claim, I am given to understand, was made by the marshal of Massachusetts in the case of the money taken in the Swallow packet, by Commodore Rod. gers, soon after the war. Full argument was had upon it before the court; but it was withdrawn before a decision, on a strong supposition, (as the abandonment itself would seem to indicate,) that it would not be allowed. I do not learn that it has since been renewed in any district north of New York.

In New York it has been allowed to the marshal; but whether under a judicial decision or silent acquiescence, I am not distinctly informed.

The point of practice appearing to bé thus different, I incline to the opinion I have expressed as the safer of the two, and as a construction of the act best comporting, according to my view3, with its equitable intendment, as well as its literal praseology. I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant,

RICHARD RUSH,

Attorney General. To the SECRETARY OF THE Navy.

ABUSE OF LETTERS-OF-MARQUE AND REPRISAL.

Where an American vessel commissioned with a letter-of-marque and reprisal has been sold to foreigners, and the new owners are found cruising with the same commander, with the same letter, and under the American flag, and there is good reason to suppose that the commission of the letter-of-marque has been intentionally transferred, it is such an abuse of it as will warrant a suit upon the bond.

COLLECTOR'S OFFICE,

Norfolk, December 5, 1814. Sır: In February last, a commission of letter-of-marque and reprisal issued from this office for the “ Four Friends," a schooner belonging to Messrs. Butler & Seymour, merchants of this place. The vessel, it appears, was afterwards sold, and, as is stated by one of those gentlemen, the commission retained by the Spanish authority there—the reason he alleges for its not being returned; in proof of which, a certificate, purporting to be from an officer of that government, has been produced, but without any seal or other marks that could be discovered, giving it any official character. Information derived from another source leads me to believe that this vessel has since been employed by her new owners (Carthagenians, it is presumed,) as a cruiser under cover of this commission and of the American flag. What contributes very much to strengthen this opinion is, that it appears the commander named in the commission was acting as such subsequently to the sale. I have deemed it my duty to represent this case to you, in order that I may

be instructed what steps, if any, it will be proper to adopt. It is a case which does not seem to be embraced by the conditions of the bond required to be given previous to the emanation of the commission, unless that be revoked. I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. R. MALLORY. Hon. JAMES MONROE,

Acting Secretary of State.

DECEMBER 26, 1814. If there is reason to suppose that the commission of the letter-of-marque within named was intentionally transferred, I think it such an abuse of it as would justify the bond being put in suit; but if it was forcibly detained by the Spanish authority, the owners or captain ought not to be visited by such responsibility. If a Spanish vessel should cruise under a commission so assigned, it would be at her peril.

R. RUSH. To the SECRETARY OF STATE.

INTRUDERS UPON PUBLIC LANDS.

Intruders, without title subsequent to March 3, 1807, may be removed under the provisions of

the act of that date, without three months' notice. If the marshal fail to effect such removal, upon trial, the President may employ adequate military force to accomplish it.

WASHINGTON, April 4, 1815. ASSUMING it as fact, under the letter from the register of Shawneetown, dated March 11, 1815, that the intruders in question are utterly without

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