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her having been engaged in transporting one of the Lopez expeditions and its munitions, designed for the invasion of Cuba. The Department of State declined to present the claim, saying that if the judgment of the court was erroneous a remedy should have been sought by the owners of the Georgiana through appeal to the court of last resort, where it was to be presumed that the error, if any, would have been corrected. "If it were admissible now to discuss the propriety of its judgment, this Government is not," said the Department of State, "in possession of such information as would enable it to show the condemnation of the vessel to have been unwarranted. It is not sufficient that the owners, and even the master, were ignorant of the destination and purpose of the criminal expedition in which the vessel was employed. The question,' it was said by Judge Betts, delivering the judgment of the district court for the southern district of New York, condemning the schooner Napoleon, is as to the innocency or guilt of the vessel, as if the transaction in which she was implicated was one of personal volition on her part.' He further remarks that the most distinguished and unblemished reputation on the part of a shipowner will not protect his vessel from confiscation when it is engaged, through untrustworthy agents. and without his knowledge, and against his prohibition, in illicit employments, in infractions of revenue and fiscal laws and preeminently in violating the laws of war. There is nothing to show that this doctrine, of which this Government has availed itself during the late rebellion, was not legitimately applied to the case of the Georgiana."
Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Buchanan, March 30, 1869, 80 MS. Dom.
See, to a similar effect, Mr. Porter, Act. Sec. of State, to Mr. King, Feb. 27,
See, as to the case of the Susan Loud, which was associated with that of
See, further, as to the cases of the Georgiana and Susan Loud and the
A citizen of the United States in Bolivia having inquired whether he was at liberty to accept a mission to other countries on behalf of that republic, Mr. Fish said: "A citizen of the United States is at full liberty to accept any employment abroad under a government which is at peace with all others. Bolivia is technically and
nominally at war with Spain. Under these circumstances your acceptance of a commission from the government of that Republic, such as the one to which you refer, might be regarded as contrary to the spirit at least of the act of Congress of the 20th of April, 1818.
While, therefore, there may be no obligation for you to ask the permission referred to, it is conceived no express sanction to your acceptance of the trust can with propriety be given."
Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Caldwell, Sept. 4, 1869, MS. Inst. Bolivia,
The person to whom this mission was offered was Mr. Caldwell, who had
"I have to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 13th instant and to note the inquiries therein contained.
"Whether the bank or its officers could be criminally prosecuted under the neutrality laws of the United States because the bank had knowingly made itself a depository of funds contributed by sympathizers in the United States in support of the present Cuban insurrection, is a question as to which opinions may differ, and which can be -satisfactorily settled only by the adjudication of the proper court. Should a bank engage in such a transaction, and, as you suggest, publish its acceptance of such a trust to the world, it would be my duty to call upon the Department of Justice to test the question whether or not the proceeding was a crime against the United States.
"It might also be my duty to suggest whether a bank holding a United States charter does not abuse its franchises and furnish ground for their forfeiture by acts in aid of hostilities against a nation with which the United States is at peace.
"I do not anticipate, however, that anything done by your bank or its officers is likely to promote the solution of the interesting legal questions your letter presents. You ask me not merely as to your technical legal liability but also as to your moral obligations, adding for we are all too loyal to our own country to seek to overthrow in any sense her laws.' I heartily commend the sentiment of the quotation, and am in a position to say that your moral duty in the premises does not admit of the least question. It has been expounded by no less an authority than the Supreme Court of the United States in the following language:
"The intercourse of this country with foreign nations, and its policy in regard to them, are placed by the Constitution of the United States in the hands of the Government, and its decisions upon these subjects are obligatory upon every citizen of the Union. He is bound to be at war with the nation against which the war-making power has declared war, and equally bound to commit no act of hostility against a nation with which the Government is in amity and friendship.
"This principle is universally acknowledged by the laws of nations. It lies at the foundation of all government, as there could be no social order or peaceful relations between the citizens of differ
ent countries without it. It is, however, more emphatically true in relation to citizens of the United States. For as the sovereignty resides in the people, every citizen is a portion of it, and is himself personally bound by the laws which the representatives of the sovereignty may pass, or the treaties into which they may enter, within the scope of their delegated authority. And when that authority has plighted its faith to another nation that there shall be peace and friendship between the citizens of the two countries, every citizen of the United States is equally and personally pledged. The compact is made by the Department of the Government upon which he himself has agreed to confer the power. It is his own personal compact as a portion of the sovereignty in whose behalf it is made. And he can do no act, nor enter into any agreement to promote or encourage revolt or hostilities against the territories of a country with which our Government is pledged by treaty to be at peace, without a breach of his duty as a citizen, and the breach of the faith pledged to the foreign nation.'
"Trusting you will find the foregoing a satisfactory answer to your inquiries, and that your bank, yourself, and its other officers will proceed accordingly, I am," etc.
Mr. Olney, Sec. of State, to Mr. Massey, June 18. 1895, 202 MS. Dom. Let. 654.
The extract quoted from the Supreme Court in the foregoing letter is from Kennett v. Chambers, 14 How. 38, 49.
"The Department is informed through its consular representatives in Cuba that the manager of the Soledad sugar plantation, belonging to you, near the city of Cienfuegos, has refused to receive a squad of soldiers ordered there by General Martinez Campos for the protection of the plantation, or to lend assistance in preparing certain defensive works near the sugar works which had been ordered to be made for the protection of the latter from assault, basing his refusal in each instance on the ground that, as the plantation is the property of an American citizen, he has to observe a perfect neutrality between the Spanish Government and the insurgents.
"In view of certain inquiries made in June last, by American owners of plantations in or near the theatre of insurrection in Cuba, as to the protection to be accorded to their property and their right to redress in case of injury thereto, the Department, on the 1st of July last, instructed the consulate-general at Havana as follows:
"It is a generally accepted principle of international law that a Sovereign government is not ordinarily responsible to alien residents for injuries they may receive within its territories from insurgents whose conduct it can not control. Within the limits of usual effective control, law-abiding residents have a right to be protected in the
ordinary affairs of life and intercourse, subject, of course, to military necessities should their property be situated within the zone of active operations. The Spanish authorities are represented to be using strenuous endeavors to prevent the class of spoliations which the writers apprehend and notification of any apprehended danger from the insurgents would probably be followed by the adoption of special safeguards by the authorities. In the event, however, of injury, a claim would necessarily have to be founded upon averment and reasonable proof that the responsible officers of the Spanish Government, being in a position to prevent such injury, have failed to use due diligence to do so.'
"As is implied by the passage above quoted, foreigners at the scene of insurrection necessarily look for protection, so far as may be required, to the titular sovereign, and they are also subject to its authority. Assuming the facts in regard to the action of the manager of the Soledad plantation to be as reported, he seems, so far at least as they relate to his refusal of protection, to have confounded his duty to abstain from participating in the conflict, and his exemption from being required to participate in it, with the doctrine of governmental neutrality as between recognized belligerents, and to have assumed that the insurgents in Cuba are to be treated by foreigners as possessing equal authority and responsibility with the Government.
"These observations are made merely for your information, and it is not doubted that the course of your manager, so far as it may be found to have involved unwarrantable assumptions, was taken upon his own responsibility and was unauthorized. The Department has instructed the consulate-general at Havana in this sense."
Mr. Adee, Act. Sec. of State, to Mr. Atkins, Aug. 31, 1905, 204 MS. Dom.
The agents in Venezuela of an American line of steamers, plying · between New York and Venezuelan ports and carrying the mails, having on several occasions been applied to by one or the other of the factions contending for power in that country for the use of their vessels for special service out of their regular itinerary, requested the advice of Mr. Scruggs, then United States minister at Caracas. Mr. Scruggs replied: "The ships .. being registered American vessels, and being besides under contract with the United States Government for carrying the mails, can not be chartered or otherwise used by anyone of the factions now contending for power in Venezuela without manifest prejudice to their neutral character and to the interests of the United States. It is hoped, therefore, that you will courteously but firmly refuse to allow them to be so used." In acknowledging receipt of the correspondence, the Department of State said: "The Department regards your letter as,
under the circumstances, discreet. Avoidance of all interference in local conflicts is very desirable on the part of a mail line, although the suggested service to the titular or de facto authorities might not in fact infringe any statute of the United States."
Mr. Foster, Sec. of State, to Mr. Scruggs, Sept. 30, 1892, For. Rel. 1892, 627-628, enclosing a letter from the Secretary of the Treasury of Sept. 23, 1892, expressing the opinion, in a case lately before him, that the chartering of an American steamer in Honduras by the President of that Republic for use there against rebels, and the granting her for the time being permission to fly the Honduranean flag. did not subject the vessel, or her owners or master, to any penalty or disability under the statutes of the United States. See, also, as to the case in Honduras, For. Rel. 1893, 149-152, and supra, § 328, II. 1075.
On July 14, 1894, Commander Charles O'Neil, U. S. N., during a revolution in the Mosquito Reserve, issued a notice to the owners. agents, and captains of vessels flying the American flag in Nicaraguan waters, cautioning them not to take part in the affairs of either faction by permitting vessels under their charge to engage in any military operations" by carrying bodies of armed men or military supplies, knowing them to be such, for either party, or by assisting in any hostile demonstration. Should either party attempt to coerce them to do so, or interfere with them in the peaceful pursuit of their legitimate business they were advised to protest, to exhibit the notice, and to communicate the facts to him.
For. Rel. 1894, Appendix, I. 321–322.
Feb. 3, 1899, on the outbreak of the insurrection under Gen. Reyes, Mr. Clancy, United States consular agent at Bluefields, issued a notice warning citizens of the United States not to take part in the political disturbances and requesting them to observe a strict neutrality. The uprising appears, however, to have been participated in by a number of aliens, including Americans, Englishmen, Cubans, Norwegians, and other nationalities. Subsequently, General Reuling, of the Nicaraguan army, on demanding the surrender of the town, with a view to avoid bloodshed and destruction of property, agreed with the commanders of an American and a British man-of-war, and with the foreign consuls, to allow the foreigners who were involved in the uprising to leave the country, and furnished them with passports with which they departed for New Orleans. This arrangement appears to have facilitated the prompt surrender of the town and the satisfactory termination of the revolution.
For. Rel. 1899, 551, 554-557, 582-584.