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Slavery Federal Cases - 1835 - 1849

1835

DCT

Brent v. Armfield, 4 F.Cas. 60, 4 Cranch C.C. 579, 4 D.C. 579, No. 1833 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1835)(In order to protect the title of the sojourner to his slave, brought into the county of Washington, D. C., under Acts Md.1796, c. 67, 4, it is not necessary that he should bring the slave with him. The title to a slave brought into the county of Washington, D. C., under Acts Md.1796, c. 67, 4, is not protected, if the owner suffer the slave to remain two years after he himself has returned.)
1835

Sct

1835

DCT

Fenwick v. Tooker, 8 F.Cas. 1146, 4 Cranch C.C. 641, 4 D.C. 641, No. 4735 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1835)(The right to remove slaves from one county to another in the District of Columbia, under the ninth section of the act of the 24th of June, 1812 (2 Stat. 755), is confined to the inhabitants of the county from which the slaves are to be removed.)
1835

DCT

In re Martin, 16 F.Cas. 881, 2 Paine 348, No. 9154 (C.C.N.Y.,1835)(The act of congress passed in 1793, 1 Stat. 302, providing a mode for recovering fugitive slaves, is constitutional. Where an alleged fugitive from labor is brought before a magistrate under Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, the latter acquires jurisdiction of the case and authority to proceed with the inquiry, irrespective of the question whether the person seized as a fugitive and brought before the magistrate does, under the laws of the state from which he fled, owe service or labor to the person claiming him. Under Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, which empowers persons claiming the services of a fugitive slave to seize or arrest him and take him before a magistrate, no process for the purpose of authorizing such arrest is necessary. (While an examination of a fugitive from labor, seized under Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, is pending, the alleged fugitive is in the custody of the law, and the magistrate has authority to imprison him; and process will not be granted by the federal court to take such fugitive from the custody of the state officer. The writ de homine replegiando is a common-law proceeding, and adapted to try the question of slavery, and though nearly obsolete, this court cannot deny to the party the right of resorting to it; but it is not applicable to the case of a fugitive slave arrested under Act 1793, 1 Stat. 302. When an alleged fugitive from service is brought before a magistrate, under the law of 1793, 1 Stat. 302, he acquires jurisdiction of the case, and while examination is pending, the alleged fugitive is in the custody of the law, and the magistrate may imprison him for safe-keeping. Thus situated, process issuing from the circuit court, directing a United States officer to take the fugitive from the state officer, would be illegal.)
1835

DCT

Lee v. Lee, 15 F.Cas. 209, 4 Cranch C.C. 643, 4 D.C. 643, No. 8194 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1835)(A temporary hiring of Virginia slaves in the county of Alexandria, D. C., with intent to evade the law in the county of Washington against the importation of slaves into that county, will not authorize the owner, residing in Washington, to bring them into the county of Washington to reside therein. The ninth section of Act June 24, 1812 (2 Stat. 755), does not authorize an inhabitant of Washington, owning slaves in Alexandria, to remove them to Washington.)
1835

DCT

Taylor v. Buckner, 23 F.Cas. 737, 4 Cranch C.C. 540, 4 D.C. 540, No. 13,782 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1835)(An importation of slaves by a person who has only a life estate in them is an importation within Acts. Md.1796, c. 67, 1 (1 Dor.Laws Md.1796, p. 334), and the consent of the reversioner to the importation is not necessary to give freedom to the slaves thus imported. Upon a petition for freedom, where the petitioners claim freedom by reason of their importation, contrary to Acts Md.1796, c. 67, the question of the intent with which the importation is made is for the jury.)
1835

DCT

U S v. Sims, 27 F.Cas. 1080, 4 Cranch C.C. 618, 4 D.C. 618, No. 16,290 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1835)(The circuit court for the District of Columbia has no jurisdiction of larceny by a slave. The jurisdiction to try such offense is vested in the justices of the peace.)
1835

DCT

U.S. v. Cross, 25 F.Cas. 705, 4 Cranch C.C. 603, 4 D.C. 603, No. 14,894 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1835)(It is an indictable offense to cruelly beat the slave of another, in the public highway, and leave her there, exposed to public view.)
1835

DCT

U.S. v. Frye, 25 F.Cas. 1222, 4 Cranch C.C. 539, 4 D.C. 539, No. 15,173 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1835)(A slave convicted of manslaughter is, by the law of Virginia and of the District of Columbia, to be burnt in the left hand and publicly whipped.)
1835

DCT

U.S. v. Henning, 26 F.Cas. 265, 4 Cranch C.C. 608, 4 D.C. 608, No. 15,348 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1835)(To attempt to sell a free mulatto as a slave for life is not an indictable offense at common law in the District of Columbia.)
1836

DCT

Harris v. Firth, 11 F.Cas. 625, 4 Cranch C.C. 710, 4 D.C. 710, No. 6120 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1836)(If a person comes into Washington county, D. C., as a sojourner, and brings with him his slave, and dies in such county, and his executor has been prevented, by the institution of a suit for freedom, from carrying the slave out of the District, the slave is not, by such importation, entitled to freedom under Acts Md.1796, c. 67.)
1836

DCT

U S v. Vinsent, 28 F.Cas. 379, 5 Cranch C.C. 38, 5 D.C. 38, No. 16,623 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1836)(A certificate of freedom is not such a "pass" as is contemplated by Acts Md.1796, c. 67, 19.)
1836

DCT

U S v. West, 28 F.Cas. 529, 5 Cranch C.C. 35, 5 D.C. 35, No. 16,667 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1836)(Evidence that a colored person has resided in the county and city of Washington, D. C., for a year and more, going at large as a free person, and claiming to be free, in the absence of all contradictory evidence, except color, is sufficient to rebut the presumption of slavery arising from color.)
1836

DCT

U.S. v. Carter, 25 F.Cas. 314, 4 Cranch C.C. 732, 4 D.C. 732, No. 14,741 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1836)(An indictment at common law, in the county of Alexandria, will lie against a free negro or mulatto for assault and battery on a white man, notwithstanding Act Dec. 17, 1792, 17.)
1836

DCT

U.S. v. Henning, 26 F.Cas. 267, 4 Cranch C.C. 645, 4 D.C. 645, No. 15,349 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1836)(Act March 2, 1831, 17 (4 Stat. 450), known as the "Penitentiary Act for the District of Columbia," which punishes any person who shall unlawfully, by force and violence, carry away any free negro or mulatto with the intention of having him detained as a slave, does not apply to a case where negroes are kidnapped out of the District and brought within it.)
1837

DCT

Bank of U.S. v. Lee, 2 F.Cas. 702, 5 Cranch C.C. 319, 5 D.C. 319, No. 922 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1837)(A deed of conveyance of slaves in Virginia, for the separate use of the wife, loses nothing of its validity by the removal of the parties to the county of Washington, in the District of Columbia; and it is not necessary that it should be there recorded.)
1837

DCT

In re Richardson's Case, 20 F.Cas. 703, 5 Cranch C.C. 338, 5 D.C. 338, No. 11,778 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1837)(A warrant of commitment of a person as a runaway is not sufficient unless it states on its face that the party has been convicted of being a runaway servant or slave. It is not sufficient to state in the warrant that the party is "charged with being a runaway.")
1837

DCT

Moody v. Fuller, 17 F.Cas. 658, 5 Cranch C.C. 303, 5 D.C. 303, No. 9746 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1837)(An officer of the United States being the bona fide owner of a slave in Fortress Munroe, a place within the United States, but not within the jurisdiction of any one of the states, and removing thence with his family to the city of Washington, in the District of Columbia, to reside therein, and bringing his slave with him, cannot lawfully sell such slave within three years after such removal and importation; and such slave, by such importation and sale, becomes free.)
1837

Sct

1838

DCT

Bell v. McCormick, 3 F.Cas. 107, 5 Cranch C.C. 398, 5 D.C. 398, No. 1255 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1838)(No implied emancipation arises from a legacy of $25 bequeathed to slaves who are ordered by the will to be sold.)
1838

DCT

Coots v. Morton's Executor, 6 F.Cas. 496, 5 Cranch C.C. 409, 5 D.C. 409, No. 3205 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1838)(Where freedom was granted a slave, provided "he behaves well until the year 1837, and continues to hire for good wages," it may be shown that he did not behave well, but ran away.)
1839

DCT

Corcoran's Ex'rs v. Jones, 6 F.Cas. 544, 5 Cranch C.C. 607, 5 D.C. 607, No. 3229 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1839)(No action lies for breach of a contract on a sale of slaves that the purchaser would not sell them out of the district, where it was stipulated that such slaves should be immediately entitled to freedom on such sale.)
1839

DCT

Kennedy v. Purnell, 14 F.Cas. 318, 5 Cranch C.C. 552, 5 D.C. 552, No. 7704 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1839)(If a Maryland slave, with his consent, be carried to Virginia and kept there more than a year by the person to whom he was hired or loaned in Maryland, without the consent of the owner of such slave, no time is limited within which the owner must use coercive measures for the recovery of the slave, and the omission to use such measures does not give him any title to his freedom, but the owner may reclaim the slave at any time. If a Maryland slave, hired or loaned in Maryland to a resident in Maryland, be carried, by the person to whom he is so hired or loaned, into Virginia, with a view to temporary residence only, and for necessary attendance, and to make a transient stay, and the slave, at the end of such transient stay, be carried or sent out of the state of Virginia again, the slave does not thereby become entitled to freedom, though all these acts were done with the consent of the owner.)
1839

DCT

U.S. v. Davis, 25 F.Cas. 775, 5 Cranch C.C. 622, 5 D.C. 622, No. 14,926 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1839)(Where slaves claim to be free, and file their petitions for freedom, the persons claiming them as slaves will be required to give security for their forthcoming to prosecute their claim for freedom; and where they fail to give such security the court will order the slaves to be taken into the custody of the marshal for safe-keeping until their trial or the further order of the court.)
1840

DCT

Ash v. Williams, 2 F.Cas. 7, 5 Cranch C.C. 674, 5 D.C. 674, No. 573 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1840)(A slave is entitled to his freedom where sold by one who obtained title as devisee under a bequest of slaves which provided that he should "not carry them out of the state of Maryland, or sell them to any one; in either of which events I will and desire the said negroes to be free for life.")
1840

DCT

Graham v. Alexander, 10 F.Cas. 916, 5 Cranch C.C. 663, 5 D.C. 663, No. 5662 (C.C.Dist.Col.,1840)(If a female slave be sold in Alexandria county, D. C., "she to be free at 31, and her children then born, and those afterwards to be born, at the same age," a child afterwards born of such slave, before her age of 31, is entitled to freedom when arrived at the age of 31 years.)
1840

DCT

Strohm v. U.S., 23 F.Cas. 240, Taney 413, No. 13,539 (C.C.Md.,1840)(Under Act April 20, 1818, c. 91, 3 Stat. 450, in relation to the forfeiture of a vessel fitted for the slave trade, in order to work a forfeiture a criminal intent must exist in the mind of the party who is lawfully entitled to direct the employment of the vessel; if the owner places the vessel under the control of a factor or master, who builds or equips her with that unlawful intention, having at the time authority from the owner to direct the employment of the vessel, the offense described by the law is committed, and the vessel is liable to the penalty. The appellant built and fitted out two vessels at Baltimore for a Portuguese merchant, member of a mercantile house at Bahia, and residing in Cuba; they were built under the superintendence of two men sent to Baltimore for that purpose from Havana, and who were to have command of the two vessels when built; the merchant placed $14,000 in the hands of the appellant, his factor, in Baltimore, to be applied towards the construction of the vessels, and offered to pay any further sum that might be required. When the first of these vessels was ready for sea, she was registered as the appellant's own property, and the usual oath of ownership taken by him at the custom house; as soon as she was so registered, she was seized by the collector, and proceedings were instituted against her in the federal district court, under Act April 20, 1818, c. 91, 2, 3 Stat. 451, on the ground that she was fitted out for the slave trade and the appellant appeared to these proceedings as her claimant; it was proved on the trial that she was built and fitted out for the slave trade, and that the appellant knew she was intended to be so employed. Held, that as the contracts for building the vessels were made with the appellant, and the bills and expenses paid by him as factor for such merchant, the vessels must be regarded as built, fitted out, and equipped by him as factor for the merchant, in the sense in which those words are used in the act of congress. Upon a proceeding for the forfeiture of a vessel under Act April 20, 1818, c. 91, 2, 3 Stat. 451, on the ground that the vessel was fitted out for the slave trade, if it appears that the guilty purpose was entertained by the owner for whom the vessel was built or equipped, it is immaterial whether the person who builds her or equips her as factor or master was apprised of it or not. As the factor or master derives his authority over the vessel from the owner, she is in their hands responsible as fully for any violation of law as if the owner were present and directed it.)
1840

DCT

The Catharine, 25 F.Cas. 332, 2 Paine 721, 3 Law Rep. 255, No. 14,755 (C.C.N.Y.,1840)(As respects slave trade, to be employed in anything, means not only the act of doing it, but also to be engaged to do it, to be under contract or orders to do. Where a voyage to the coast of Africa is commenced and prosecuted under strongly suspicious circumstances, accompanied with preparations and a cargo taken, such as are usually employed in voyages in the slave trade, it is incumbent on the claimant to explain and remove such suspicious circumstances by clear, explicit and unequivocal proofs. A bona fide sale of a vessel, to be delivered at any given place on the coast of Africa, unconnected with the ulterior employment of the vessel, and not in aid of an employment in the transportation of slaves, would not subject her to forfeiture within the act of congress. Confiscation for slave trade is not limited to the American interest held in the vessel at the time she is engaged in the actual transportation of slaves. It is not the true construction of the act that the whole adventure must be performed whilst the vessel retains her American character and ownership. The penalty is incurred and the forfeiture attaches from the very inception of the voyage. The vessel becomes tainted with the offence wherever she may go, or into whatever hands she may fall, and the forfeiture attaches upon all interests concerned. If the outward voyage of vessel claimed to be engaged in slave trade under the American character and ownership be planned and undertaken with a view and under an arrangement that the ownership and national character are to be changed on the arrival of the vessel on the coast of Africa, and that she is then to be employed in the transportation of slaves, she comes clearly within the mischief and within the true intent and meaning of the act of congress. An American vessel, on her outward voyage to the coast of Africa, for the purpose of taking on board a cargo of slaves, is, before any slaves are received on board, "employed or made use of," within the act of congress of May 10th, 1800, 2 Stat. 70, "in the transportation or carrying of slaves from one foreign country or place to another." The confiscation is not limited to the American interest at the time the vessel is engaged in the actual transportation of slaves. The whole voyage must be taken to be one continuous enterprise A vessel, being on her outward voyage to the coast of Africa for the purpose of taking on board a cargo of slaves, is "employed or made use of" for the transporting or carrying of slaves before any slaves are received on board, within the meaning of act May 10, 1800, 2 Stat. 70. And if the outward voyage was planned and undertaken with a view and under an arrangement that the ownership and character were to be changed on the arrival of the vessel on the coast of Africa, and there to be employed in the transportation of slaves, such vessel would clearly come within the mischief and true intent of the act.)
1840

DCT

The L'Amistad, 10 F.Cas. 141, Betts Scr.Bk. 121, No. 5294A (Negroes imported into Cuba in violation of the Spanish law,)(which declares such negroes to be free, were sold at Havana, to Spanish citizens, and shipped, under a false pass, as Ladinos, on board a Spanish coasting vessel for another port of Cuba. After a few days out, they killed the master and cook, imprisoned their owners, and assumed command of the vessel, and after many days were found in distress, seized, and taken into port by a United States naval vessel. Held, that as, under the Spanish law, there could be no title to such negroes, they should not be delivered up as property of Spanish subjects, although the custom in Cuba is opposed to the law; but that such negroes, under Act March 3, 1819, 3 Stat. 532, 36 U.S.C.A. 1357 et seq., should be ordered delivered up to the president of the United States to be transported to Africa.)
1840

Sct

1841

Sct

1841

Sct

1842

DCT

Bell v. Rhodes, 3 F.Cas. 120, 1 Hay. & Haz. 103, No. 1264 (C.C.D.C.,1842)(The District of Columbia being still governed by the laws of Maryland and Virginia, which were in force anterior to the cession, it is not lawful for an inhabitant of Washington county to purchase a slave in Alexandria county and bring him into Washington county for sale.)
1843

DCT

Jones v. Van Zandt, 13 F.Cas. 1047, 2 McLean 611, 1 West.L.J. 56, No. 7502 (C.C.Ohio,1843)(Under Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, in regard to fugitives from labor, which gives the claimant a right of action against a person interfering with the recovery of the fugitive, any overt act which intentionally places a fugitive beyond the reach of his master, or is calculated to have such an effect, is a harboring of the fugitive, within the meaning of the law. In an action by a claimant of a fugitive from labor against a person harboring such fugitive, where it appears that the plaintiff was subjected to the payment of a reward under a state law for the return of his slave, and it further appears that the defendant was the cause of his liability, the jury may consider the fact that such payment was made in estimating the damages.(In an action by a master of a fugitive slave against one who has harbored the slave, where it appears that the defendant has been the means of the entire loss of the slave, evidence may be received of the value by showing what the services of the slave are worth, and, as tending to show that fact, for what sum he might have been sold. Under the act of congress against harboring and concealing slaves, the notice required is notice in fact, and not a formal notice, either verbal or written, from the claimant or his agent.(In order to make a person liable for trespass in hindering the recovery of a fugitive from labor, under Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, notice that a colored person harbored or concealed is a fugitive from labor need not be in writing by the claimant or his agent, and it need not be given by either of them verbally. Notice under the act means knowledge; and if there be evidence conducing to show such notice or knowledge, it will be left to the jury to decide. In an action for harboring a fugitive slave, an averment that the defendant harbored and concealed the negroes after notice that they were the slaves of the plaintiff, and were fugitives from labor, is sufficient. Although the word "escaped" is used in Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, 18 U.S.C.A. 662, 663, any word of equal import will be sufficient. The act of congress against harboring and concealing fugitives from labor is constitutional.)
1843

DCT

Jones v. Vanzandt, 13 F.Cas. 1040, 2 McLean 596, 1 West.L.J. 2, 2 Ohio F.Dec. 220, No. 7501 (C.C.Ohio,1843)(Damages for harboring or concealing a slave in a free state are recoverable only by virtue of the constitution and laws of the United States. Such a suit could not be maintained at common law. Under the act of congress against harboring and concealing slaves, the notice required is notice in fact, and not a formal notice, either verbal or written, from the claimant or his agent. In order to make a person liable for trespass in hindering the recovery of a fugitive from labor, under Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, notice that a colored person harbored or concealed is a fugitive from labor need not be in writing by the claimant or his agent, and it need not be given by either of them verbally. Notice under the act means knowledge; and if there be evidence conducing to show such notice or knowledge, it will be left to the jury to decide. Slavery exists only by virtue of the laws of the states where it is sanctioned; and if a slave escape from such state to a free state, he is free according to the principles of the common law, and recaption in a free state is authorized only by the constitution and act of congress. There is no general principle in the law of nations which requires such surrender.)
1843

Sct

1844

Sct

1844

Sct

1845

CirCt

Driskill v. Parrish, 7 F.Cas. 1100, 3 McLean 631, 5 West.L.J. 25, No. 4089 (C.C.Ohio,1845)(The penalty prescribed by Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, for hindering, etc., the arrest of a fugitive from labor, is not incurred if the arrest was made by persons who had no authority to make . Under Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, but one penalty can be recovered for obstructing the arrest of, or of harboring at the same time, one or many fugitives. Upon the question as to whether a party is liable for hindering or obstructing the arrest of a fugitive from labor, the rule is the same, whether the agent makes the arrest with a view of taking the fugitives before a judicial officer, or to take them out of the state. To harbor fugitives within Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, it must be done with a view to elude the pursuit or claim of the master. An open and fair action, with an intent to procure a fair legal hearing for the fugitive, is no violation of the act. Where the agent of the claimant of fugitives from labor acts under a written power of attorney, in a suit for hindering the arrest, under Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, the power must be given in evidence, or, if it be lost, the contents must be proved. No one incurs the penalty under Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, for hindering or obstructing the arrest, who does not act "knowingly." He must have notice that the colored persons are fugitives from labor, and that the agent has authority to arrest them.)
1845

DCT

Vaughan v. Williams, 28 F.Cas. 1115, 75, No. 16,903, 3 McLean 530, 3 West.L.J. 65, 1 Ohio Dec.Rep. 160, 8 Law Rep. (C.C.Ind.,1845)(The provision in the constitution of the United States, and in the act of congress of 1793, 1 Stat. 302, in regard to the surrender of a fugitive from labor, is binding on the state of Indiana and its citizens the same as on the other states. And the laws of Missouri, sanctioning slaves, must be respected, and rights under them enforced, when a citizen of that state claims a fugitive. In an action by an owner of a fugitive slave, under Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, the defendant is liable, though it appears that he did not, by word or action, contribute to the rescue of the fugitives at the time it took place, where it further appears that he countenanced and encouraged, from time to time, the movements of the crowd which resulted in the rescue, or where it appears that he was present and sanctioned it in any form. An individual is liable to the penalty for a rescue if he be present and encourage it. It is not necessary that he should put forth his hand to do the act. Slaves were brought by their master to the state of Illinois, which prohibited slavery, from the state of Kentucky, and kept at labor for six months under a declaration of the master that he intended to become a citizen of Illinois, and who actually exercised the right of a citizen by voting. Held, that the slaves were thereby made free, and that the master, on subsequently removing to Missouri, could not reclaim them as slaves.)
1846

DCT

.S. v. Libby, 26 F.Cas. 928, 1 Woodb. & M. 221, No. 15,597 (C.C.Me.,1846)(Whenever an American citizen carries only merchandise in his vessel, but co- operates with others who carry slaves in different vessels with the intent to make them slaves, and is transporting the merchandise as a participator in the slave trade and its gains, he is liable to capital punishment under Act May 15, 1820, 3 Stat. 600.)
1846

DCT

Merrill v. Dawson, 17 F.Cas. 86, Hempst. 563, No. 9469 (C.C.Ark.,1846)(Offspring of slaves belong to the owner of the mother.)
1846

DCT

U.S. v. Libby, 26 F.Cas. 928, 1 Woodb. & M. 221, No. 15,597 (C.C.Me.,1846)(The offense, under Act May 15, 1820, 3 Stat. 600, which makes it a capital offense to kidnap, etc., persons on foreign shore with intent to make them slaves, is committed, though the person so kidnapped is not a free person, where he is seized with an intent to perpetuate his condition as a slave. Where a person is not interested in slaves and has not kidnapped or taken them on board with intent to make them slaves, but merely carries them from one foreign port to another for others for ordinary hire, he is not guilty of a capital offense under Act May 15, 1820, 3 Stat. 600, in relation to the slave trade. History of the legislation prohibiting the slave trade. Where an American citizen is neither interested in the slaves themselves nor engaged personally in making others slaves, nor employed in carrying them, knowing them to be slaves, but transports merchandise as a carrier of goods for others, such citizen is not guilty of an offense by any act of congress, irrespective of his knowledge of the purpose for which such merchandise is to be used.In order to constitute a capital crime under Act May 15, 1820, 3 Stat. 600, in relation to slave trade, both the intention to make persons slaves and such acts as either kidnapping them or receiving them on board of vessels with such views are required.))
1847

DCT

Driskell v. Parish, 7 F.Cas. 1093, 5 West.L.J. 206, 10 Law Rep. 395, No. 4087 (C.C.Ohio,1847)(Where a party charged with obstructing the claimant of fugitive slaves is proved to have driven the slaves into a house, the door of which he closed against the claimant, it is incompetent for the counsel for the claimant to inquire where the slaves had been since the door was closed. The alleged act of obstruction was the closing of the door, the effect of the obstruction formed no part of the cause of action.(In an action under Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, containing separate counts for harboring slaves and obstructing claimants, several penalties cannot be recovered for the same act, whatever may be the number of persons affected by the course of the defendant, nor can the same act be separated into district charges.))
1847

Sct

1847

Sct

1848

DCT

Giltner v. Gorham, 10 F.Cas. 424, 4 McLean 402, 6 West.L.J. 49, No. 5453 (C.C.Mich.,1848)(When a rescue of fugitive slaves has been effected by the continued action of a number of persons participating at different times, those who took part in such action at different times are joint trespassers, and may be proceeded against as such in an action, brought under the act of Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, to recover the value of such slaves. There is no abandonment of a cause of action for trespass for hindering the agent of the plaintiff in recovering fugitives from labor, where it appears that such agent stated that he should not pursue the slaves. To make a person liable to the owner of a slave, under Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, for rescuing a fugitive from labor, for the purpose of obstructing the master in capturing the fugitive, the person rescuing must act knowingly and willingly; but the knowledge that a colored person is a fugitive from labor may be inferred from circumstances. Where an agent of the owner of a fugitive from labor is attempting to seize the fugitive by virtue of Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, it is not necessary that the agent should state to every one who mingles with the crowd on what authority he proceeds, but it is enough that he states it generally; and one of a crowd who interposes by manual force, or by encouraging others by words, to rescue a fugitive, is liable to the master in an action of trespass, providing, however, that it does not appear that the defendant interposed to allay the excitement and prevent a breach of the peace. Under Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, respecting fugitives from labor, which provides that, where any person held to labor shall escape into another state, the person to whom such labor is due as agent or attorney may seize or arrest any such fugitive, etc., a parol authority by the master to his agent is sufficient to authorize a seizure of the fugitive. It is under the constitution of the United States and the legislation of congress only that the owner of a slave has a right to reclaim him in a state where slavery does not exist. There is no principle in the common law, in the law of nations, or of nature, which authorizes such right to reclaim. No warrant is necessary in order to give an agent power, under Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, to seize a fugitive from labor.)
1848

Sct

1849

DCT

Daggs v. Frazer, 6 F.Cas. 1112, 6 West.L.J. 555, 2 Am. Law J. (N.S.) 73, No. 3538 (D.C.Iowa,1849)(Trover will not lie in Iowa to recover the value of slaves.)
1849

DCT

Drayton v. U.S., 7 F.Cas. 1063, 1 Hay. & Haz. 369, No. 4074 (C.C.D.C.,1849)(Color is a prima facie evidence of slavery, but it is a presumption that may be overcome by proof to the contrary. Inducing slaves to go aboard a vessel under a promise to be transported into a free state is not larceny, under an indictment charging defendant with stealing, taking, and carrying away slaves under Acts Md.1737, c. 2, 4.)
1849

DCT

Driskell v. Parish, 7 F.Cas. 1095, 5 McLean 64, 7 West.L.J. 222, No. 4088 (C.C.Ohio,1849)(The penalty of Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, in relation to fugitives from labor, may be incurred, without a resort to violence, in hindering or obstructing an arrest. Any act done with the intention of defeating the arrest, and which tends to that result, is a violation of the act. Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, in relation to fugitives from labor, imposes no obligation on any one to aid in the recaption; and its penalties are not incurred by one who is merely passive in the attempt of the owner or his agent to reclaim the alleged fugitive. Neither are they incurred by an inquiry, made in good faith, as to the authority to make the arrest; nor by insisting that the alleged fugitive shall have a fair trial on the question whether he owes labor or service to the claimant. If, after knowledge that a person is a fugitive, a demand of permission to arrest him on the premises of another is made and refused, such refusal subjects the party to legal liability, under Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302; and the removal or withdrawal of the person of the alleged fugitive, by the direction of another, so as to prevent an arrest, is a hindrance and obstruction. To support a count for harboring or concealing a fugitive, under Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, the harboring or concealing must be done with the view to elude the claim of the master. If, from motives or humanity, a person permits a fugitive to remain with him for a few days, after notice of his real character, without any design to elude the claim of the owner, it is not a harboring or concealing within the meaning of Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302. To sustain the allegation of hindering or obstructing the arrest of a fugitive from labor, under Act Cong. Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, some act of interference on the part of the defendant must be proved, tending to impair the right of recaption, secured by the statute. An action brought to recover the value of fugitive slaves against one who is alleged to have harbored or concealed them, whereby their services were lost, is founded on U.S.C.A.Const. art. 4, 2, and Act 1793, 3, 1 Stat. 302.) In an action, brought under the act of 1793, 1 Stat. 302, for the value of slaves harbored or secreted by the defendant, such harboring or secretion having been proved, the only question for the jury, in assessing damages, is the value of the services of the slaves. A removal of slaves from the place where they had been secreted with the view of returning them to their master so that they were enabled to escape from the pursuit of the master, is a harboring and secreting of the slave, within the meaning of Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, and the master is entitled to damages. In an action under Act Feb. 12, 1793, 1 Stat. 302, for harboring and secreting fugitive slaves, the plaintiff has the burden of proving the ownership of the slave and that they escaped from his service.)
1849

CirCt

The Malaga, 16 F.Cas. 535, 2 Am. Law J. (N.S.) 97, 4 Pa. L.J. 339, No. 8985 (E.D.Pa.,1849)(Where a vessel has been seized for engaging in the slave trade, if there is reasonable ground for a seizure, it is a defense to a libel for damages against the commander of the seizing vessel. Where a libel against a vessel for a violation of the laws prohibiting the slave trade is, on motion of the district attorney, discontinued, and the vessel is delivered up to and accepted by the captain, it amounts to a mutual release, and is a bar to a subsequent action by the owners of the vessel for damages against her captors. An officer of the government, making an arrest on the high seas, is not liable in damages, if the seizure afterwards proved to have been tortious, unless there has been a want of probable cause. Nor is it material that all the circumstances of suspicion subsequently shown were not present to his mind at the time.)
1849

DCT

The Ohio, 27 F.Cas. 218, 1 Newb.Adm. 409, No. 15,914 (E.D.La.,1849)(The language of the statute of March 20, 1818, 3 Stat. 450, in prohibition of the slave trade, cannot be applied to persons of color who were domiciled in the United States and brought back to the United States after a temporary absence. Act April 20, 1818, 1, 3 Stat. 450, punishing as an offense the bringing of a colored person into the United States, does not apply to a case of a colored person, born and reared within the United States, sailing to a foreign port or place on an American ship, and returning to a port of the United States.)
1849

DCT

Toby v. Randon, 23 F.Cas. 1349, 6 West.L.J. 218, No. 14,071 (D.C.Tex.,1849)(A note given for slaves taken to Texas in 1835 in violation of the laws of Mexico is invalid.)

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