« ForrigeFortsæt »
TO RICHARD H. DANA, JR., ESQ.
Cambridge, October 14th, 1840. MY DEAR SIR:
Few things could have been more acceptable to me than your kind present of your work, “ Two Years before the Mast." I have had but little time to run over its various contents, and that only by short snatches and glances; and I mean to peruse it carefully in some of the long evenings which are now approaching. It is full of interest and full of truths important to be known and felt throughout the whole community. I think that it will attract general attention, and receive high praise from all those who seek to aid the cause of a gallant, friendless, hardy, and thoughtless race of men, whose sufferings are too little understood as yet to obtain public sympathy. Your work will do great good in this view, and warm in their cause many who have hitherto looked on them with listless indifference. Your concluding chapter is full of just remarks, written in the right spirit, and cannot fail to strike every reflecting mind. Owners and masters of ships require to be enlightened, as well as seamen, on this subject. Make the seaman feel that he has a deep stake in character, in morals, in religion, in education, and half his temptations to do wrong, and more than half the temptations to do him wrong, will be at once done away. I have ever felt a deep interest in seamen; for in my early youth, I was their companion, and often in their society in the fishing town where I was born; and some of my nearest relatives began life in the humblest office on ship board, and gradually rose to the highest.
Truth, it has been said, is stranger than fiction. Your book shows that it has a deeper and more thrilling interest. I can only desire that its circulation may be as wide as its merits. Believe me, with the truest respect,
Affectionately your friend,
The next year was quite as busy as the preceding. New editions of the works on Bailments, on Equity Pleadings, and on the Conflict of Laws, were prepared by my father, upon which he spent much labor. The second edition of the Conflict of Laws swelled to nearly double its original size, and was made so much more full and complete, that, compared with it, the first edition seems to be but a sketch.
How, with all the labors of the intermediate years, my father had found time to make the wide explorations into Continental Jurisprudence, and to acquire the large and accurate knowledge of its principles and practice, that is shown in the second edition, it is difficult to understand. Yet, no one, in comparing them, can fail to perceive the superiority of the later edition, in learning and research.
The mere examination of the proofs and revises of these republications, was, in itself, no light task; and when it is considered, that the two works on Bailments and Equity Pleadings were increased in size about one third, it would seem that little time could be left beyond what was consumed by judicial and professorial duties, and the conducting of a large correspondence. But, when also it is taken into consideration, that my father never employed an amanuensis or secretary, generally making even his own indexes, and always personally revising every proof-sheet, it seems wonderful, that he should have found time before going to Washington, to make considerable progress in the composition of a new work on the Law of Partnership. Such, however, was the fact. Thus crowded with work, flowed on his life, his zeal growing like fire, by what it fed on.
The following letter, received at this time, relates to the Commentaries on the Conflict of Laws:
At all events, I am gratified with the occasion it affords me, of expressing my high respect for you, and my deep sense of the obligations which you have conferred on the Jurisprudence and Jurists of Europe, as well as of your own country, by those valuable treatises which you have given us. They have been read by me, with increased advantage and with increased respect, for the extensive learning and sound judgment of the author, and for the admirable, skilful, and lucid arrangement, with which he has been enabled to unfold so much to his readers.
Among the other excellencies of your Commentaries on the Conflict of Laws, I have never been able to express what I feel on the singular facility with which you have accomplished that, which, according to the plan of your work, was most difficult, namely, the illustration of the principles by which the selection of the appropriate law should be determined. Your very obedient and humble servant,
PROFESSORIAL AND JUDICIAL LIFE.
CASE OF UNITED STATES v. THE AMISTAD DEATH OF MR. JUSTICE
BARBOUR— SKETCH OF HIM - PUBLICATION OF COMMENTARIES ON PARTNERSHIP — LETTER OF BARON PARKE — DEDICATION TO Hon. SAMUEL PUTNAM — LETTER ON DR. TUCKERMAN - LETTER ON REFORM OF THE ENGLISH CHANCERY PRACTICE LEGISLATIVE Bills - LETTER OF MR. DANA - LETTERS FROM Mons. Felix, Mr. Justice Patteson, BARON GURNEY, PROFESSOR MITTERMAIER, BARON PARKE, AND HERR VON SAVIGNY PETERS v. WARREN INSURANCE COMPANY – LETTER OF LORD DENMAN.
Among the judgments delivered by my father during the session of the Supreme Court of 1841, is that in the celebrated case of the United States v. the Amistad, the circumstances of which were as follows:- The schooner Amistad, owned by Spanish subjects, cleared from Havana for Puerto Principe, having on board fifty slaves, owned by the captain and three passengers. On the voyage, the negroes rose, killed the captain, took possession of the vessel, brought her into Long Island, where they anchored her off Culloden Point, about a mile from the land, and a part of the negroes went ashore. While the schooner lay here, she was discovered by Lieutenant Gedney, of the United States brig Washington, who seized her and the negroes on board and on shore, brought her into Connecticut, and libelled her for salvage. The claimants of the negroes also filed libels against them, asserting them to be slaves, and praying that they should be delivered up to their owners, or to the representatives of Her Catholic Majesty. The Attorney-General of the United States also filed a libel, setting forth that the Spanish minister had made a claim for the restoration of the slaves, the cargo, and the vessel, as being the property of Spanish subjects in the jurisdiction of the United States, under such circumstances as rendered it the duty of the United States, under her treaty with Spain, to surrender them.
The negroes filed an answer, denying that they were slaves, and specially setting forth, that they were free and native born Africans, who, on the 15th of April, 1839, were unlawfully kidnapped and carried to the Island of Cuba, where their professed owners, knowing the premises, bought them, and placed them on board of the Amistad, to transport them to some place unknown to them, to be enslaved for life ; in consequence of which, they rose upon the master and killed him, and took possession of the vessel, intending to return to Africa, or to seek an asylum in some free State.
Libels were also filed by the owners of the vessel and cargo.
The principal question arose under the ninth article of the treaty, which provides that all ships and merchandise, of what nature soever, which shall be rescued out of the hands of any pirates or robbers on the high seas," shall be restored to their proprietors on due proof. The questions, therefore, were, whether, first, the negroes, under the circumstances, were merchandise in the sense of the treaty; and secondly, whether they had been rescued from pirates and robbers; and thirdly, whether