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court, to be to settle a question important not only to Mr. Levy, but many others, in East Florida, who were anxious to have the decision of the highest judicial tribunal whether they were citizens or not; that he does not distinctly recollect the argument of the case, but knows that the subject was considered and the case held under advisement by the court.
That the question of alienage was distinctly decided by the court, they agreeing unanimously in the opinion on that point.
Sworn and subscribed this 1st day of September, A. D. 1841.
Deposition of Wm. P. Duval.
The deposition of Wm. P. Duval, of Florida, taken before the Committee of Elections of the House of Representatives in the case of the honorable David Levy, whose seat is contested as the Delegate of Florida to Congress.
This deponent, being first sworn, says he was the first judge of East Florida in the year 1821. That he went to that, country in autumn of 1821. At that time General Andrew Jackson was the Governor of Florida, and claimed to be invested with powers of captain-general of Cuba under the act of Congress; and by commissions under James Monroe, then President of the United States, his powers were restricted in two cases only, if I remember correctly. He was prohibited from granting lands or imposing taxes. As the judge of East Florida, my opinion was that all the judicial pow er conferred upon me was confined to cases arising under the revenue laws of the United States, and under the acts of Congress prohibiting an introduction of slaves. I believe at that time (1821) no other powers or jurisdiction was conferred on the judges of that Territory.
This deponent further states that General Jackson, as Governor as aforesaid, made and issued certain ordinances or laws, regulating the transaction of the business in and for the government of Florida. This deponent never doubted he had the right so to do within the limits of his powers as defined by law, and his commissions from the President in pursuance of law. That the courts of Florida have continued for near twenty years to adjudicate on cases arising under the ordinances, and have respected them as laws binding on the people of the Territory, except certain of the said ordinances which were repealed by Congress in the spring of the year 1822, among which was one authorizing the naturalization of the resident inhabitants of Florida. This ordinance was considered by the inhabitants as a grievance, and they disclaimed the right of the Governor to subject them to any process to enforce their allegiance to the United States, as the treaty with Spain provided that they should stand in the same situation as the inhabitants of other Territories belonging to the United States. I am under the impression that I acted for the people of the Territory in this case, as well as in some others; as I was requested by many of the citizens to attend Congress in the winter 1821,-22, to represent their condition and wants to the President and Congress, as they had no Delegate to represent them at that time, and which I did in compliance with their wishes.
This deponent states that adjudications were made by Governor Jackson under his ordinances, and since by the superior courts under judges appointed by the President and Senate of the United States, (except such as had been repealed by Congress in May, 1822,) and that afterwards the Legislative Council of Florida repealed all the ordinances not before repealed by Congress, with a saving clause as to such cases as had or might thereafter arise under the said ordinance. I speak from recollection only, and I may not remember the precise phraseology of the act; but the laws of Florida can be referred to in the State Department to render certain this point. Estates of value have been settled under and in pursuance of the said ordinances by our Superior Courts and by the Court of Appeals, and I believe satisfactorily to the members of the bar and the people of the Territory. Governor Jackson left the Territory before he resigned the office of Governor, and his two Secretaries, Colonel George Watton in the West, and Wm. G. D. Worthington in the East, acted as Governors of the said provinces, under the said ordinances, exercising the powers claimed by General Jackson, until the passage of the organic law by Congress in the spring of 1822.
This deponent, under the said organic law, was appointed the successor of Governor Jackson in the spring of 1822, and exercised no powers but such as the said law for the organization and government of Florida prescribed. This deponent resided many years in the said Territory; was absent from it from spring 1834 until the winter 1836, and has resided there ever since. And further says not.
WILLIAM P. DUVAL.
The question was put to Mr. Duval by the committee, whether, as Judge, if the ordinance relating to the naturalization of the inhabitants of Florida had been submitted to his adjudication, would he have decided that the said ordinance was legal, and within the powers granted to Governor Jackson?
Answer.-Mr. Duval says it was his opinion that the treaty with Spain provided for the incorporation of the inhabitants of Florida as citizens of the United States, and no ordinance issued by the Governor could operate against the said treaty, and so far as it might it would be null and void. Deponents states that the registration of names under the ordinance of the people of Florida was a power the Governor had a right to exercise, for all purposes, except to regulate the naturalization of its inhabitants.
Question by the chairman of the committee.-Did the Mayor of the city of St. Augustine exercise the powers of a Court of Record?
Answer. He did; and the Governor had the right, in deponent's opinion, to appoint judges, or to give the jurisdiction to the magistrates and mayors, or intendants of cities, and this deponent knows, of his own knowledge, the Mayor of St. Augustine held such courts, and kept a record of his judgments and judicial proceedings.
Question by the chairman-Was the act of registration one of the pow ers belonging to the Court of Record, held by the said Mayor of St. Augustine? or did he exercise this power of registration by the special authority of the said ordinance?
Answer. The Mayor's court was a Court of Record generally; but I suppose the special power of registration was conferred by the ordinance, as all his other powers were derived in the same manner.
Question by a member of the committee.-Was the act of registration an exercise of the power of a Court of Record?
Answer. That must depend on the ordinance itself. If it required the registration to be recorded, I should say that then the Mayor's court was a Court of Record. If the ordinanee conferred a mere power to execute the duty, as that of assessing property or taking a census of the people, it would be considered not as the act of a Court of Record.
Question by a member of the committee.-Was the office of Governor of the Territory of Florida an office of record for that or any other purposes?
Answer. So far as the Governor acted in his judicial character, his office must be considered as a Court of Record. He held all the powers of the Government except the power to grant lands or lay taxes.
Question.-Did the office of Mayor of St. Augustine exist under the : Spanish laws before the cession of Florida?
Answer. I believe not. The Governor exercised the power in the last resort, but the judges decided the civil causes. Question.-Who appointed Mr. Forbes Mayor? When and how was it
Answer. I never saw his commission; but the Governor appointed him, as he since informed me. I mean General Jackson.
Question. Do you know how and when he received authority to register the names of inhabitants of Florida for the purpose of showing the fact of inhabitancy? Or was such power ever conferred on that officer in any way?
Answer.-If he had the power it was under the ordinance passed by Gov. Jackson.
Question. Are not, under the Spanish law, all authentic acts of individuals, not in the course of the administration of the law, transacted before a notary public? And does not such notary deliver to the party the original act, retaining merely a copy thereof?
Answer.-There were notaries under the Government of Florida while under the Spanish Government; but I cannot speak with certainty of the manner they transacted their business, except it was done in a very loose manner. I do not know whether they kept the original papers or gave out copies.
WILLIAM P. DUVAL.
Sworn and subscribed this 1st September, 1841.
Deposition of Joseph S. Sanchez.
Joseph S. Sanchez, being further examined, deposeth that, to the best of his knowledge and belief, no previous residence was necessary to enable a person to become a citizen and subject of Spain, in East Florida; that the applicant for admission to the rights of citizenship presented his prayer to the Governor, and, if granted, he took the oath of allegiance at once, and became a Spanish subject; and that the power of the Spanish Governor was complete and supreme in the province of East Florida upon this, as upon all other subjects, subject only to the superior and supervisory authority of the Captain-General of Cuba, and the royal will of the King of Spain. JOSEPH S. SANCHEZ. Sworn and subscribed before me this 1st day of September, A. D. 1841. W. HALSTED, Chairman.
Affidavit of F. Mallory.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Washington.
Dr. Francis Mallory, being duly sworn according to law, doth depose and say, that he knew David Levy when quite a small boy, living in Norfolk with M. Myers, and going to school; he must have been about thirteen or fourteen years old. There can be no mistake as to the identity of Mr. Levy; it was previous to the year 1827. I was not in Norfolk in 1820 and in 1821. In 1822 and 1823 I was in the navy. I have no doubt that David Levy was a minor when I saw him at Norfolk, going to school As to the dates I cannot be very precise, except that he was a minor when he was there going to school.
And, being cross-examined, the witness said that when he first saw David Levy it was after he left the navy in the year 1824. I did not know who David Levy was or where he was from.
Sworn and subscribed this 1st day of September, A. D. 1841.
Extracts from bill of Complaint of Moses E. Levy.
Humbly complaining, sheweth unto your orator, Moses E. Levy, of the county of Alachua, in said district, on the 3d day of August, one thousand eight hundred and twenty, through Messrs. Hernandez and Cheavitean, merchants of Havana, in the island of Cuba, his agents and trustees in that behalf, purchased at Havana, aforesaid, from Don Fernando de la Maza Arredondo, Senior, also of the said city of Havana, two certain tracts of land represented by the said Fernando de la Maza Arredondo, Senior, to be situated in East Florida, that is to say: one of them about eight miles above Lake George, on the St. John's river, containing 14,500 acres; the other containing 38,400 acres, on both sides of Alligator creek, for the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars, paid at the time of purchase by your orator, through the said Hernandez and Cheavitean, his agents and trustees, as aforesaid, to the said Fernando M. Arredondo, Senior, for the said two tracts of land. And for the further sum of ten thousand eight hundred and seventy-five dollars for the said two tracts of land, to be paid by your orator to the said Arredondo, upon the contingency of the United States taking possession of East Florida. And in one and two years after that event, and for the securing of the payment of the said sum of ten thousand eight hundred and seventy-five dollars, your orator gave the said Fernando M. Arredondo, Senior, his promissory note or memorandum in writing, signed by your orator, and bearing date the aforesaid 3d day of August, one thousand eight hundred and twenty.
And your orator further shows unto your honor, that the said Fernando M. Arredonda, Senior, well knew before and at the time of the said purchase and transfer of the said lands, that the said Hernandez and Chearitean had no personal interest in the said lands, or in the terms of their pur. chase; and that, so far as they had any concern in the negotiation for the
said purchase, they acted as the agents of your orator; and that, in taking the conveyance of the said lands in their name, they acted at his request as his trustees; that, the said purchase was made exclusively for and on account of your orator; that the whole of the purchase money paid and to be paid was paid, and to be paid by your orator; and that the aforesaid conveyance of the said lands was made in trust for the sole use and benefit of your orator.
And your orator further shows unto your honor, that, believing and relying upon the aforesaid representations, affirmations, and assertions, of the said Fernando M. Arredondo, Senior, he, on the twenty-third day of August, 1820, concluded the purchase of the said lands, and made the payment of twenty-five thousand dollars, and entered into the stipulation for the payment of the further sum of ten thousand eight hundred and seventyfive dollars, by giving his promissory note to the said Fernando M. Arredondo, Senior, as has been hereinbefore alleged and set forth.
Your orator further shows, that at the time he made the said purchase, he was engaged in a very profitable business as a merchant in Havana, aforesaid, and he was induced solely by the purchase of the said lands to abandon his mercantile pursuits; and, in consequence of the non-existence of the said Alligator creek land, he has been greatly damnified.