sustained from the collision. That loss will not be more than compensated by the decree of the Circuit Court. We shall direct the decree to be affirmed.

power to determine "all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction," leaving the courts to ascertain its limits, as cases may arise. And the precise case here is, whether jurisdiction exists to try a case of collision taking place on the Mississippi River, on fresh water slightly influenced by the pressure of tide from the ocean, but within the body of the State of Louisiana, and between vessels propelled by steam, and navigating that river only. It is an extreme case; still, its decision either way must govern all others taking place in the bays, harbors, inlets, and rivers of the United States where the tide flows; as the rule is, that locality gives jurisdiction in cases of collision, and that it exists if the influence of the tide is at all felt. 2 Browne's Civil and Admiralty Law, 110; 7 Peters, 343. Where this collision occurred, the influence of the tide was felt.

try all cases arising under the laws of the United States. It is only with the extent of powers possessed by the district courts, acting as instance courts of admiralty, we are dealing. There is a point in this case still untouched | The Act of 1789 gives the entire constitutional by us, which we will now decide. The libelants claim a recovery, independently of all the other evidence in the case, upon the single fact disclosed by it, that the collision happened whilst the De Soto was navigating the river at night without such signal lights as are required by the tenth section of the Act of the 7th of July, 1838, 5 Stat. at Large, 304. It is entitled, "An Act to provide for the better security of the lives of passengers on board of vessels propelled in whole or part by steam." The tenth section of it declares, "It shall be the duty of the master and owner of every steamboat, running between sunset and sunrise, to carry one or more signal lights, that may be seen by other boats navigating the same waters, under the penalty of two hundred dollars." This section, and the other pro- | visions of the act, except as it has been changed by the Act of 1843, 5 Stat. at Large, 626, apply to all steamers, whatever waters they may We have, then, presented, simply and broadbe navigated upon, within the United States or ly, the question whether the district courts, upon the coast of the same, between any of its when acting as instance courts of admiralty, ports. Signal lights at night are a proper pre-have power to try any case of collision occurcaution conducing to the safety of persons and ring in the body of a county of any State. property. The neglect of it, or of any other In Great Britain, in 1776, where our separequirement of the statute, subjects the mas-ration from that country took place, the comters and owners of steamboats to a penalty of mon law courts issued writs of prohibition to two hundred dollars, which may be recovered the Court of Admiralty, restraining the exerby suit or indictment. Sec. 11. But, besides cise of this jurisdiction in cases of collision the penalty, if such neglect or disobedience of taking place on rivers within the flow of tide, the law shall be proved to exist when injury and within the body of an English county; but shall occur to persons or property, it would the admiralty has continued at times to exerthrow upon the master and owner of a steam-cise the jurisdiction, nor do I think the validboat by whom the law has been disregarded the burden of proof, to show that the injury done was not the consequence of it.

It is said, in this case, that the De Soto had not signal lights. Whether this be so or not, we do not determine; but it is certain, from some cause or other, they were not seen by those navigating the Luda. If they had been, it is not improbable that the collision would have been avoided. We do not put our decision of this case, however, upon this ground, but we do say, if a collision occurs between steamers at night, and one of them has not signal lights, she will be held responsible for all losses until it is proved that the collision was not the consequence of it.

ity of such a decree could be called in question, because of the want of power. In the British colonies on this continent, and elsewhere, the jurisdiction to proceed in rem (in such a case) has been undisputed, so far as I can ascertain, and a cause of collision in the Instance Court of Admiralty is peculiarly a suit in rem, commencing with the arrest of the ship. Abbott on Shipping, 233.

I agree with my dissenting brethren, that the Constitution of the United States is an instrument and plan of government founded in the common law, and that to common law terms and principles we must refer for a true understanding of it, as a general rule having few exceptions; and so, also, to the common The Act of July 7th, 1838, in all its pro-law modes of proceeding in the exercise of the visions, is obligatory upon the owners and judicial power we must refer as a general rule masters of steamers navigating the waters of the United States, whether navigating on waters within a State or between States, or waters running from one State into another State, or on the coast of the United States between the ports of the same State or different States.

covering the whole ground of remedial justice to be administered by the national courts. To this there are two prominent *excep- [*467 tions; first, the trial of cases in equity; and, second, of cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. These may be tried according to the forms of the English Chancery Court, or the English Admiralty Court, and without the intervention of a jury. In chancery, the true The question here is, how far the judicial limit of judicial power is prescribed by the powers of the district courts extend in cases of sixteenth section of the Judiciary Act of 1789. admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, as con- The equity powers begin where the common ferred by the Constitution. With cases of prize, law powers end, in affording an adequate remand cases growing out of the revenue laws, weedy. So, in cases arising in bodies of counties. have no concern at present. These depend on (where the common law prevails) that would the general power conferred on the judiciary to be cognizable in the admiralty had the cause

466*] *Mr. Justice Catron:

cases of doubt, to follow where that principal leads, unless prevented by the overruling authority of high judicial decisions. So, under the influence of kindred considerations, in case of supposed improvements or increased convenience by changes of the law, it is an imperative duty on us to let them be made by repreacts of Congress, rather than by judicial legislation. Paine's C. C. 75. Starting with these views, then, what is the character of the adjudged cases on the facts here to which they are to be applied?

of action arisen on the ocean, the English rule | what has been reserved to the States, and, in has been equally stringent in maintaining the common law remedies where they could afford plain and adequate relief. And I think the case before us must be tested by the foregoing principles. The proceeding is against the vessel, which the decree condemns; the case is the same as on a bottomry bond enforced against the vessel or of a mortgage enforced in chan-sentatives of the people and the States, through cery. In neither case have the common law courts any power to afford relief, by enforcing the lien on the thing; still, the remedy at law, in case of the mortgage or the collision, is open to the injured party to proceed against the person; that is, of the debtor in the one Those to be found on the subject of torts case, and against a trespasser in the other. through the collision of vessels are mostly of By the maritime law, the vessel doing the in- English origin, coming from a nation which is jury is liable in rem for the tort; this is the not only the source of much of our own jurisright, and the remedy must be found some- prudence, but entitled by her vast commerce where. Chancery has no power to interfere, to great respect in all matters of maritime nor have the common law courts any power to usage and admiralty law. No principle appears seize the vessel and condemn her; and it seems to be better settled there than that the Court of to me to be a strange anomaly, that where no | Admiralty has not jurisdiction over torts other court can afford the particular relief, in a whether to person or property, unless commitcase confessedly within the admiralty jurisdic-ted on the high seas, and out of the limits of a tion if occurring on the ocean, that the power county. 3 Bl. Com. 106; 4 Instit. 134; Doug. R. did not exist because the trespass took place in 13; 2 East's Crown Law, 803; Bac. Abr. Courts the body of a State and county. of Admiralty, A; 6 Rob. Ad. 345; Fitzh. Abr. 192, 416; 2 Dod. 83; 4 Rob. Ad. 60, 73; 2 Brown's Civ. and Ad. Law, 110, 204; 2 Hagg. Ad. 398; 3 D. & E. 315; 3 Hagg. Ad. 283, 369; 4 Instit. 126; Chamberlain et al. v. Chand

I have thus briefly stated my reasons for sustaining admiralty jurisdiction in this instance, because of the divided opinions of the judges on the question; and because I do not | intend to be committed to any views beyond ler, 3 Mason's C. C. 244. This is not a docthose arising on the precise case before the court. I therefore concur that the jurisdiction exists. The facts in my judgment authorize the affirmance of the decree below.

Woodbury, J., dissenting.

trine which has grown up there since the adoption of our Constitution, nor one obsolete and lost in the midst of antiquity; but it is laid down in two acts of Parliament as early as the fourteenth century, and has been adhered to uniformly since, except where modified within a few years by express statutes. The Public Opinion, 2 Hagg. Ad. 398; 6 Dane's Abr.

It is important to notice in the outset some unusual features in this case. The Supreme | 341. Court is called upon to try the facts as well as The first of these acts, the thirteenth of the law in it, and to decide them between par- Richard II., declared that the admiralty must ties in interest who belong to the same State,"not meddle henceforth of anything done withand as to a transaction which happened, not in the realm, but only of a thing done upon the high seas, as is usual in torts under ad- on the sea.' 3 Hagg. Ad. 282; 1 Statutes at miralty jurisdiction, but two hundred miles Large, 419. Then, in two years after, above the mouth of the Mississippi River, *to remove any doubts as to what was [*169 within the limits of a county, and in the heart meant by the realm and the sea, came the fifof the State of Louisiana. A question of ju- teenth of Richard II., ordering, that of "things risdiction, therefore, arises in this, which is done within the bodies of counties, by land or very important, and must first be disposed of. water, the admirals shall have no cognizance, 468*] It *involves the trial by jury as to tres- but they shall be tried by the law of the land." passers of every kind happening between the 2 Pickering's Statutes, 841. This gave to the ocean and the head of tide waters in all the common law courts there, and forbade to the numerous rivers of the United States, as well admiralty, the trial of all collisions between vesas the rights of the citizens near them, in such sels when not on the high seas, and not out of disputes with their neighbors, to be tried by the body of a county, though on waters navitheir own local tribunals and their own laws, gable and salt, and where strong tides ebbed rather than be subject to the great inconven- and flowed. 2 Hagg. Ad. 398; Selden on Doience and expense of coming hither, at such a minion of the Sea, B. 2, ch. 14. And it did distance, and under a different code to vindicate this originally, and continued to do it, not only their just claims. These interesting considera- down to the eighteenth century, but to our tions in the case, and my differing in opinion on Revolution, and long since; because it was them from the majority of the court, will, it is necessary to secure the highly prized trial by hoped, prove a sufficient apology for justifying jury, rather than by a single judge, for everythat difference in some detail. thing happening where a jury could be had from the vicinage of the occurrence within a county, and because it secured a decision on their rights by the highly prized common law, inherited from their fathers, and with which they were familiar, rather than by the civil

A great principle at the foundation of our political system applies strongly to the present case, and is, that, while supporting all the powers clearly granted to the general government, we ought to forbear interfering with

law or any other foreign code, attempted to
be forced upon the commons and barons by
Norman conquerers or their partisans.
Among the cases in point as to this,
both long before
before and since our Revolu-
tion, one of them, Velthasen v. Ormsley,
3 D. & E. 315, happened in A. D. 1789, the
very year the Constitution was adopted. See,
also, Violet v. Blague, Cro. Jac. 514; 2 Hagg.
Ad. 398; 4 Instit. 134-138; 6 Dane's Abr. 341,
Prohibition. And one of the most strenuous
advocates for admiralty jurisdiction in Great
Britain admits, that for damages done by the
collision of ships, "if done at sea, remedy can
be had in the admiralty, but not if it happen
within the body of a county." 2 Browne's Civ.
and Ad. Law, 111.

disputes happening there between its own citizens.

Without intending to enter with any minuteness into the origin and history of admiralty jurisdiction abroad, it will be sufficient, in order to illustrate the vital importance of this question of locality, to say that the trial by jury and the common law, so ardently adhered to by the Anglo-Saxons, was soon encroached on after the conquest by the Norman admirals claiming jurisdiction over jurisdiction over certain maritime matters, not only on the ocean, and trying them without a jury, and on principles of their favor ite civil law, but on the waters within the body of a county, and where a jury could easily be summoned, and where the principles of the common law had ever in England been accustomed to prevail. A struggle, therefore, of course, soon sprung up in respect to this, as their monarchs had begun to organize an admiral's court within a century after the conquest, but without any act of Parliament now found to vindicate it. See the Statutes at Large, and 3 Reeves' History of the English Law, 197. And laying down some regulations as to its powers by ordinances, as at Hastings, under Edward I., but not by an acts of Parliament consulting the wishes of the barons and the Commons. Whether this was constitutional the River or not, it was sufficient to make them look on the admiralty as a foreign and odious interloper. Reeves says (3 Reeves' Hist. of English Law, 137.) "The office of admiral is considered by the French as a piece of State invented by them." And whether it was imported thence by the conquerors, or originated with the Rhodians, or Romans, or Saracens, rather than the French or English, its principles seem to *have been transplanted to Western [*471 Europe from the Mediterranean, the cradle of commerce for all but the Asiastic world; and it was regarded by the commons and barons of England as an intruder into that realm, and without the sanction of Parliament.

Since then, on his complaint, an express statute has been passed (1 and 2 George IV. ch. 75, sec. 32), that any damage done by a foreign ship, "in any harbor, port, river, or creek," may be prosecuted either in admiralty, or common law courts. The Christiana, 2 Hagg. Ad. 184; 38 British Statutes, ch. 274. And, later still, a like change is considered by some to be made concerning injuries by domestic ships, under the 4 and 5 Victoria, ch. 45. (See it in the Statutes at Large.) But till these statutes, not a case of this kind can probably be found sustained in admiralty, even on the Thames, at any place within the body of a county, though yearly covered with a large portion of the navigation of the world. See cases before cited, and 1 Dod. Ad. 468; 1 Wm. Rob. 47, 131, 182, 316, 371, 391, 474; Curtis's Admiralty, tit. Collision.

Nor is this a peculiarity in the admiralty system of that country confined to torts alone. But the same rule prevails as to crimes, and has always been adhered to, with a single exception, originally made in the statute itself of Richard, as to murder and mayhem committed in great vessels in the great rivers below the 470*] first bridges. *Com. Dig. Admiralty, E, 5, note; Hale's History of Common Law, 35; 3 Rob. Ad. 336; 4 Inst. 148; 1 Hawk. P. C. ch. 37, sec. 36; Palmer's Practice in House of Lords, 371, note.

The next inquiry is, if this distinction, confining the jurisdiction in admiralty over torts to such as happen on the high seas without the limits of a county, rested on such important principles as to be adopted in this country? Some seem disposed to believe it of so little consequence as hardly to have been worth attention. But this is a great mistake. The controversy was not in England, and is not here, a mere struggle between salt and fresh water, sea and lake, tide and ordinary current, within a county and without, as a technical matter only.

But there are imbedded beneath the surface three great questions of principle in connection with these topics, which possess the gravest constitutional character. And they can hardly be regarded as of little consequence here, and assuredly not less than they possessed abroad, where they involve, (1.) the abolition of the trial by jury over large tracts of country, (2.) the substitution there of the civil law and its forms for the common law and statutes of the States, (3.) and the encroachment widely on the jurisdiction of the tribunals of the State over

In the course of a few years, that same sturdy spirit, which in Magna Charta was unwilling to let the laws of England be changed for a foreign code, proceeded, by the 13th and 15th of Richard II., to denounce and forbid the encroachments of the admirals, and their new forms and code of the civil law, into the bodies of counties and the local business of the realm. It produced those two memorable acts of Parliament, never since departed from in torts or crimes except under express statutes, and fixing the limit of jurisdiction for them at the line between the countries and the high seas. And they have ever since retained it there, except as above named, from the highest principles of safety to the common law, English liberties and the inestimable trial by jury-principles surely no less dear in a republic than a monarchy.

If the power of the admiral was permitted to act beyond that line, it was manifestly without the apology which existed thus far on the ocean, of there being no jury to be called from the vicinage to try the case. Prynne's Animadversions, 92, 93; Fitzh. Abr. 192, 216. And if the act, by an alias and a fiction, was alleged to be done in the county, when in fact it happened. at a distance, on the seas, the jury would be less useful, not in truth residing near the place of the occurrence, not acquainted with the parties

or witnesses, and the case itself, not being one happening where the common law usually operated, and with which the people and the judges were familiar.

attached to this outrage, it was remarked in the convention of North Carolina, that "the Stamp Act and the taking away of the trial by jury were the principal causes of resistance to Great This last circumstance furnished another Britain." 4 Elliot's Deb. 157. Indeed, this reason why the admiralty court was allowed same jealousy of the civil law, and its mode of there, and should be here, to continue to exer- proceeding without a jury, led, in the first cise some jurisdiction, besides their military and legislation by Congress, to forbid going into naval power, over the conduct of seamen and chancery at all, if relief at law is as ample and the business of navigation when foreign. Be- appropriate. See sixteenth section of Judiciary cause such, matters were connected with the Act, 1 Statutes at Large, 83. So as to admiocean, with foreign intercourse, foreign laws, ralty, a statute of Pennsylvania, passed during and foreign people, and it was desirable to have the Revolution, allowed it only in cases "not the law as to them uniform, and administered cognizable at common law." 1 Dall. 106. by those possessing some practical acquaintance And our fathers never could have meant, that with such subjects; they being, in short, matters parties, for matters happening within a county extraterritorial, international, and peculiar in or State, should be dragged into admiralty any some degree to the great highway of nations. It more than equity, if as full a remedy, and of as is when thus confined to that great highway and good a kind, existed in courts of law, where its concerns, that admiralty law deserves the they could enjoy their favorite code and mode of just tribute sometimes paid to it of expansive trial. 1 Bald. C. C. 405. This would leave wisdom and elevated equity. Then only there much to admiralty still, as well as to equity, and is an excellence in such regulations as to navi- more especially in the former, by proceedings gation over those for rights and duties on land; in rem. And when it became convenient to the last being often more for a single people, vest additional power in the same court, or and their limited territory, while the former are power over a wider range of territory, as it on most matters more expanded, more liberal-*might in the progress of society and [*473 472*] the gathered wisdom of and for *all maritime ages and nations. They are also what has been approved by all rather than a few, and for the territory of all in common. And hence that beautiful tribute paid to them by Antoninus, and just as beautiful, that he was "lord of the world, but Law the lord of the sea." 2 Browne's Civ. and Ad. Law, 38.

business, it could be done here by express statute, as it has been in respect to the lakes, under the power to regulate commerce, and allowing a trial by jury if desired.

In short, instead of less, much additional importance should be attached to this line of distinction here, beyond what exists in England; because it involves here not only all the important consequences it does there, but some which are new and peculiar. Instead of being, as it once was there, a contest between courts of one and the same government, it may become here a struggle for jurisdiction between courts of the States and courts of the United States, always delicate and frequently endangering the harmony of our political system. And while the result there, in favor of the admiralty, would cause no additional inconvenience and expense, as all the courts sit in one city, such a result here compels the parties to travel beyond their own counties or States, and in case of appeal to come hither, a distance sometimes of a thousand or fifteen hundred miles.

The sea being common to all nations, its police and the rights and duties on it should be governed mainly by one code, known to all, and worthy to be respected and enforced by all. This, it will be seen, indicates in letters of strong light the very line of boundary which we have been attempting to draw, on grounds of deep principle, here as well as in England. It is the line between State territory and State laws on the one hand, and the ocean, the territory of all nations, and the laws of all nations, the admiralty and sea laws of all nations, on the other hand, leaving with those, for instance, residing within local jurisdictions, and doing business there, the local laws and local tribunals, but with those whose home and business are on Admitting, then, as we must, that the docthe ocean the forms and laws and tribunalstrine I have laid down as to torts was the estabwhich are more familiar to them. This line lished law in England at our Revolution, and being thus a certain and fixed one, and resting was not a mere technical doctrine, but rested on on sound principles, has in England withstood great principles, dear to the subject and his the shock of ages. It is true, that some modi- rights and liberties, should it not be considered fications have been recently made there, but as the guide here, except where altered, if at only by express statutes, and carefully guard-all, by our colonial laws or constitutions, or acts ed so as not to innovate on the common law of Congress, or analogies which are binding, or and the trial by jury. That this line of distinc- something in it entirely unsuitable to our contion was in fact appreciated quite as highly here dition? The best authorities require that it as in England is shown by various circumstances should be. 1 Peters' Ad. 116, 236, note; 1 that need not be repeated; but among them Peters' C. C. 104, 111-114; 1 Paine's C. C. were solemn resolutions of the old Congress 111; 2 Gall. 398, 471; 3 Mason, 27; Bemis v. against acts concerning trade and revenue, ex-The Janus et al. 1 Baldwin's C. C. 545; 12 tending the power of admiralty courts beyond Wheat. 638; 1 Kent's Com. 377; 4 Dall. 429; their ancient limits, and thus taking away the 4 Wash. C. C. 213. Yet this is contested in trial by jury. 1 Journal, 19, 20. And as a the present case. striking evidence of the dangerous importance 1.—And the vice-admiral is hence quaintly called "the justice of the peace for the sea" by Sir Leoline ins; but who ever spnosed him the jus tice of the peace two hundred miles inward from the sea?

Some argue that the Constitution, by extending the judicial power to "all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction," meant cases different from those recognized in England as belonging to the admiralty at the Revolution, or those as


modified by ourselves when colonies. These prize courts; and, by the act of Assembly, it is jurists stand prominent, and their views seem expressly provided that they are to be "govto-day adopted by a portion of this court. See erned in their proceedings and decisions by the the argument in De Lovio v. Boit, 2 Gall. 398. regulations of the Congress of the United The authorities which I have cited against | States of America, by the acts of the General this position seem to me overwhelming in num- Assembly, by the laws of Oleron, and the Rhober and strength; and some of them comedian and Imperial laws, so far as they have from those either engaged in making the Con- been heretofore observed in the English courts stitution, or in construing it in the earliest of admiralty, and by the laws of nature and stages of its operation. Let me ask, What nations." 10 Hening's Stat. 98. They thus, books have we for admiralty law, then, as well after our own laws, State and national, made as common law-both referred to in the Consti- | England the guide. tution-but almost exclusively English ones? What had the profession here been educated to administer-English or French admiralty? Surely the former. The judges here were English, the colonies English, and appeals, in all cases on the instance side of the court, lay to the English admiralty at home. 474*] *What "cases of admiralty," then, were most likely to be in the minds of those who incorporated those words into the Constitution? -cases in the English reports, or those in Spain, or Turkey?—cases living and daily cited and practised on both in England and here, or those in foreign and dead languages, found in the assizes of Jerusalem near the time of the Cru



It is said by others, appealing to feelings of national pride, that we are to look to our own Constitution and laws, and not to England, for a guide. So we do look to our own [*475 laws and Constitution first, and when they are silent go elsewhere. But what are our own laws and Constitution, unless those in England before our Revolution, except so far as altered here, either before, or then, or since, and except such in England then as were not applicable to our condition and form of government? This was the guide adopted by this court in its practice as early as August 8th, 1791 (1 Howard, 24), and as late as January, 1842, it treated the practice in England as the rule in equity, where not otherwise directed; and in Gaines et al. v. Relf et al., 15 Peters, 9, it decided that when our own "rules do not apply, the practice of the circuit and district courts must be regulated by the practice of the Court of Chancery in England." See, also, Vattier v. Hinde, 7 Peters, 274. And most of its forms and rules in admiralty have been adopted in our district and circuit courts. See Rule XC. in 1 How. 66, Pref. And this court has again and again disposed of important admiralty questions, looking to England alone, rather than the continent, as a guide when they differed.

It is inferred by some, from 6 Dane's Abr. 352, 353, that cases in admiralty are to be ascertained, not by English law at the Revolution, but by principles of "general law." And Judge Washington held, it is said, we must go to the general maritime law of the world, and not to England alone. Dain et al. v. Sloop Severn, 4 Hazard's Penn. Reg. 248, in 1828. But the whole tenor of Mr. Dane's quotations and reasons, in respect to admiralty jurisdiction, is to place it on the English basis; and Judge Washington, in several instances, took it for his guide, and commended it as the legal guide. In The United States v. Gill, 4 Dall. Thus the continental law would carry admi429, he says: “But still the question recurs, Isralty jurisdiction over all navigable streams. this a case of admiralty and maritime jurisdic- | Yet this court has deliberately refused to do it, tion within the meaning of the Constitution? in The Thomas Jefferson, 10 Wheat. 428. The words of the Constitution must be taken to refer to the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of England, from whose code and practice we derived our systems of jurisprudence, and, generally speaking, obtain the best glossary." See, also, 4 Wash. 456, 457.

Had it not so 'refused, in repeated instances, there would have been no necessity for the recent act of Congress as to the lakes and their tributaries. So, the civil law gives a lien for repairs of domestic ships; but this court has not felt justified in doing it without a statute, because not done in England. 7 Peters, 324. And in Hobart v. Drogan et al. 10 Peters, 122, this court felt bound to follow the English decisions as to salvage, though in some respects harsh. See, also, 3 Howard, 568.*

Neither of these eminent jurists was ever likely to go to the laws of Continental Europe as guides, unless in cases not well settled either here or in England, and then, as in the common law courts and in chancery, they might | properly search all enlightened systems of ju- So, when the Constitution and the acts of risprudence for suggestions and principles to Congress speak, as they do in several instances, aid. Chancellor Kent, also, with his accus- of the "common law," do they not mean the tomed modesty, yet with clearness, supporting English common law? This court so decided a like doctrine with that just quoted from Judge in Robinson v. Campbell, 3 Wheat. 223, adherWashington, observes: "But I apprehend it ing, it said, "to the principles of common law may fairly be doubted, whether the Constitu- and equity, as distinguished and defined in tion of the United States meant, by admiralty | that country, from which we derive our knowland maritime jurisdiction, anything more than that jurisdiction which was settled and in practice in this country under the English jurisprudence when the Constitution was made." 1 Kent's Com. 377. Another strong proof that this was the opinion prevailing here at that time is, that a court of admiralty was established in Virginia, in 1779, under the recommendation of Congress to all the States to make

edge of those principles." Why not, then. mean the English admiralty law when they speak of "cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction"? They of course must, by all analogous decisions and by established usage, as well as by the opinions of eminent jurists. The English decisions furnish, also, the most natural, appropriate, uniform, and well known principles, both for action and judicial decision.

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