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enacted in 1818.' This vessel was built at Liverpool, nominally for Frazer, Trenholm & Co. She was, after being launched, immediately taken to a public dock for completion. According to the evidence at the trial, she was apparently built for war but not for commerce, but might have been used as a yacht. At the trial, which took place before the chief baron of the court of exchequer, on an information by the attorney-general, the jury found for the defendants. The question was left to the jury by the chief baron as follows: Was there any intention that in the port of Liverpool, or in any other port, she should be either equipped, furnished, fitted out, or armed with the intention of taking part in any contest? If you think the object was to equip, furnish, fit out, or arm that vessel at Liverpool, then that is a sufficient matter. But if you think the object really was to build a ship in obedience to an order and in compliance with a contract, leaving to those who bought it to make what use they thought fit of it, then it appears to me that the foreign enlistment act has not in any degree been broken.' (The Neutrality of Great Britain during the American Civil War, Mountague Bernard, ch. xiii. 355.) The arguments on the motion to discharge the rule are in Attorney-General v. Sillem, 2 Hurl & C. 131.
“Contrary to the course of the United States, in confiding the execution of her neutrality acts, including that of 1818, to the admiralty courts, the English act of 1819 gave jurisdiction to the common-law courts; and the case of the Alexandra, which was formally decided in favor of the defendant, though the opinions of the judges of the court of exchequer were divided on a technical question of construction, produced an irritation in the minds of the American people which neither the decision, in a contrary sense, of a Scotch court, nor even the interference of the Government with the purchase of the Anglo-Chinese squadron, supposed to be intended for the South, had any effect in allaying.
“ So far back as January, 1867, a commission was appointed, consisting of some of the most eminent English jurists, including Phillimore, Twiss, and Vernon Harcourt, all high authorities on international law, and to which Mr. Abbott (now Lord Tenterden) was attached in the capacity that he held to the high commission at Washington. The result of their labors was embodied in the act of 9th of August, 1870, the passage of which was hastened by the FrancoPrussian war. This act prohibits the building, or causing to be built, by any person within Her Majesty's dominions any ship, with intent or knowledge of its being employed in the military or naval service of any foreign state at war with any friendly state; issuing or delivering any commission for any such ship; equipping any such ship, or dispatching or causing any such ship to be dispatched for such purpose. It is deserving of notice that Mr. Vernon Harcourt dissented to that portion of the report of the commissioners that applied to the prohibition of ship building. Jurisdiction in cases under the act is given to the court of admiralty, which is not the least important amendment of the law."
Note by Mr. W. B. Lawrence to Wharton, Crim. Law (9th ed.), S 1908,
“I recommend that the scope of the neutrality laws of the United States be so enlarged as to cover all patent acts of hostility committed in our territory and aimed against the peace of a friendly nation. Existing statutes prohibit the fitting out of armed expeditions and restrict the shipment of explosives, though the enactments in the latter respect were not framed with regard to international obligations, but simply for the protection of passenger travel. All the statutes were intended to meet special emergencies that had already arisen. Other emergencies have arisen since, and modern ingenuity supplies means for the organization of hostilities without open resort to armed vessels or to filibustering parties.
“ I see no reason why overt preparations in this country for the commission of criminal acts, such as are here under consideration, should not be alike punishable, whether such acts are intended to be committed in our own country or in a foreign country with which we a re at peace.
“ The prompt and thorough treatment of this question is one which intimately concerns the national honor."
President Arthur, annual message, Dec. 1, 1881, For. Rel. 1884, ix.
3. EXECUTIVE ACTION.
The execution of the neutrality laws was at first left to the State executives, on the appeal of the President. “ The militia of Richmond, in Virginia, actually marched, at a moment's warning, between seventy and eighty miles, to seize a vessel supposed to be under preparation as a French privateer. Resistance was at first apprehended, but it was overawed, and the business completely effected."
Mr. Randolph, Sec. of State, to Mr. Pinckney, Aug. 11, 1794, MS. Inst.
U'. States Ministers, II. 129.
“ The extent of the United States imposes the necessity of substituting the agency of the governors in the place of an instantaneous action in the Federal Executive, and therefore general rules alone can be provided."
Mr. Randolph. Sec. of State, to Mr. Fauchet, Oct. 22, 1794, 1 Am. State
Papers, For. Rel. 589.
Down to 1818 the general practice was for the President to call on the governors of States to aid in enforcing neutrality laws. After the statute of April 20, 1818, the President (and sometimes the Secretary of State acting for him) addressed circular letters, or special letters, to the attorneys-general, or to district attorneys and marshals, as the case might require, calling for their assistance in preserving neutrality.
See, Mr. Calhoun, Sec. of State, to Mr. Hoffman, Sept. 21, 1844, 34 MS.
In 1855 the British minister at Washington called the attention of Mr. Marcy, Secretary of State, to the case of the ship Maury, at New. York, which was suspected by the British consul of fitting out to be a Russian privateer. On the strength of affidavits of the consul, his lawyer, and two police officers, who expressed their belief that such was the destination of the vessel, the United States district attorney was directed to institute a prosecution, if cause appeared. The district attorney libeled the vessel and placed her in the custody of the marshal; but investigation showed that she was intended for the China trade, and the British consul withdrew his complaint.
Case of the United States at Geneva, Papers relating to the Treaty of
The Spanish consul at New York having stated that Mr. Fish had informed the Spanish minister at Washington that all complaints or information in respect to violations of the neutrality laws of the United States should be presented to the United States district attorney, Mr. Fish explained that, while he had requested the Spanish minister, for convenience in the judicial proceedings which might be
begun, as well as to secure prompt judicial action, to inform the Spanish consuls that they would be authorized to lay before the prosecuting officers of the United States, without previous transmission to the Department of State through the Spanish legation, any legal proofs of a violation of law which might be in their possession, it was not his purpose “ to surrender to these subordinates the respective right and duty of making and receiving all complaints in respect to any alleged violation of the neutrality laws of this country, to the prejudice of the lawful authority of Spain. Such a proceeding would not have accorded with the dignity of this Government, or with the respect which it entertains for its ancient ally and friend."
Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Lopez Roberts, Spanish min., Dec. 28, 1870,
For. Rel. 1871, 787, 787.
With reference to the case of the steamer Hornet, which had been seized at New York for violation of the neutrality laws, but which was afterwards discharged for want of evidence, Mr. Fish said: “A district attorney of the United States is an officer whose duties are regulated by law, and who, in the absence of executive warrant, has no right to detain the vessels of American citizens without legal process, founded not upon surmises, or upon the antecedent character of a vessel, or upon the belief or conviction of a consul, but upon proof submitted according to the forms required by law.”
Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Lopez Roberts, Spanish min., Dec. 28, 1870,
For. Rel. 1871, 785, 786.
After the announcement by Spain, in 1878, of the close of the insurrection, known as the Ten Years' War, in Cuba, the Department of State was in receipt of frequent representations from the Spanish legation as to alleged hostile expeditions, of more or less consequence, which were reported to be in preparation in the United States against the peace of Cuba. In all these cases the Department of State promptly took such measures as the circumstances admitted of, in concert with other departments of the Government, in order to prevent any violation of the neutrality laws.
The Spanish legation having informally represented that certain persons
in New York, supposed to be natives of Cuba, were holding meetings, making inflammatory speeches, and collecting money for resuming the insurrection in ('uba, the Attorney-General was requested to call the matter to the attention of the United States district attorney in New York in order that " any breach of the law against hostile expeditions to a friendly foreign country” might be prevented, and the offenders prosecuted, if the requisite proof should be obtainable. (Mr. Hunter, Act. Sec. of State, to Mr. Devens, At. Gen., Sept. 2,
1879, 129 MS. Dom. Let. 593.) Investigations through agents of the Treasury and the Department of
Justice failed to discover sufficient ground for judicial proceedings in
the case of an alleged expeditionary enterprise, in which Col. Miguel Barnet and Gen. Cecilio Gonzalez were supposed to be coucerned in Florida. (Mr. Evarts, Sec. of State, to Mr. Mendez de Vigo, Spanish min., April 7, 1880, MS. Notes to Spain, X. 96.) Investigations of reports from Cuba that an expedition was fitting out near Key West, in ships named the Cespedes and Estrella Solitaria Cubana, elicited information that no such ships had been heard of at or near Key West. (Mr. Evarts, Sec. of State, to Mr. Mendez de Vigo, Span. min., May 3 and May 14, 1880, MS. Notes to Spain, X. 101, 105.)
A press report that the fruit steamer Tropic had taken a torpedo boat from Philadelphia to the Cuban coast was, after investigation, pronounced groundless. (Mr. Evarts, Sec. of State, to Mr. Mendez de Vigo, May 3, 1880, MS. Notes to Spain, X. 101.)
As to the exertions of the United States to prevent filibustering expeditions from Key West to Cuba, in 1884, especially in connection with the movements of Carlos Aguero, see Mr. Frelinghuysen, Sec. of State, to Mr. Reed, min. to Spain, No. 167, April 30, 1884, For. Rel. 1884, 493.
In the case of a filibustering expedition against Cuba said to be in preparation at Key West in January, 1885, the Department of State invoked the aid of the Attorney-General and of the Treasury and Navy Departments, and telegraphed to the governor of Florida urging the "exercise of all vigilance by State authorities in case of need to second efforts of Departments of Treasury, Navy, and Justice to prevent violation of neutrality statutes." (Mr. Frelinghuysen, Sec. of State, to Mr. Brewster, At. Gen., Jan. 16, 1885 (and same to Sec. of Navy and Sec. of Treasury), 153 MS. Dom. Let. 674; to Mr. Perry, governor of Florida, Jan. 16, 1885, id. 672; to governor of Florida, tel., Jan. 16, 1885, id. 673.)
A petition was presented by several citizens of the United States in February, 1885, for the pardon of Emilio Diaz, convicted at Key West July 1, 1884, and sentenced to imprisonment till March 5, 1885, for violating the neutrality laws. (Mr. Frelinghuysen, Sec. of State, to Mr. Brewster, At. Gen., Feb. 13, 1885, 154 MS. Dom. Let. 234.) In May, 1885, the Attorney-General was requested to telegraph the agents of his Department at New Orleans to lend all due aid to further the ends of justice, in respect of a filibustering expedition said to be fitting out there against Cuba, “so soon as the judicial mechanism necessary for the enforcement of the laws applicable to the case shall have been set in motion by due information made under oath by some person having knowledge or belief of the facts alleged." The Treasury Department also telegraphed to the collector of customs. It was alleged that a bark named the Adelina was to be employed. (Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Valera, Span. min., May 28 and June 13, 1885, For. Rel. 1885, 773; Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to At. Gen., May 28, 1885, 155 MS. Dom. Let. 521.)
See, also, Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Valera, Span. min., March 31, 1885, For. Rel. 1885, 771; Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Garland, At. Gen., Aug. 3, 1885, 156 MS. Dom. Let. 446.
As to drilling of men at Tampa and Key West, in 1886, with supposed intent to invade Cuba, see Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to At. Gen., June 14, 1886, 160 MS. Dom. Let. 473; Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to