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do not proceed in rem. If the admiralty has cognizance of the principal thing, it has also of the incident, though that incident would not of itself, and if it stood for a principal thing, be within the admiralty jurisdiction. Upon this principle it is, that goods taken by pirates and sold on land, may be recovered from the vendec, by suit in the admiralty. Suits for seamen's wages are cognizable in the admiralty, though the contract be made upon land, provided it be not a contract under seal; and this is intended for the ease and benefit of seamen, for they are all allowed to join in the suit, and all the persons on board below the rank of the master, are comprehended in the description of mariners.b
This case of seamen's wages the courts of common law admit to be of admiralty jurisdiction; and this is an exception, in favour of seamen, to the general rule that the admiralty has no jurisdiction of any matter arising on land, though it be of a maritime nature, as a charter-party, or policy ofinsurance. The District Court, as a court of admiralty, possesses a general jurisdiction, in suits by seamen and by material men, in rem and in personam. The proceeding in personam, is always maintainable by those men, but the proceeding in rem is only maintainable by material men when there is a specific lien, as for wages, or for repairs made, or necessaries furnished to a foreign ship, or to a ship in the ports of the state to which she does not belong. The admiralty jurisdiction is essential in all such cases, for the process of a court of common law cannot directly reach the thing in specie. If the law raises a lien for a maritime service, a court of admiralty has power to carry it into effect. The act of Congress of July 20th, 1790, relative to seamen, section 6., has given a specific and summary relief for seamen, in the recovery of wages, by authorizing the district judge, or, in his absence, a magistrate, to summon the master before him, and to attach the vessel as security for the wages."
a Com. Dig. tit. Adm. F. 6. 3 Blacks. Com. 108. The Court of Admiralty has authority to entertain a civil suit entitled causa spolii civilis et maritima, for the restitution of goods piratically taken on the high seas. The Hercules, 2 Dodson's Adm. 369.
b 1 Salk. 34. Str. 761. 937. 1 Lord Raym. 398. 3 Lev, 60. 4 Inst. 134. 142. Com. Dig. tit Adm. E. 15. 2 Ld, Raym. 1206.
c The General Smith, 4 Wheaton, 433. The Jerusalem, 2 Gallison, 345. The Robert Fulton, 1 Paine, 620. Drinkwater v. Brig Spartan, American Jurist, No. 5. 26. Sheppard v. Taylor, 5 Peters' U. S. Rep. 675. If materials for a vessel be furnished in a home port, and a note of hand given by the owner, a libel in the admiralty in personam will not lie. Ramsay v. Allegre, 12 Wheaton, 611. In this last case the extent of admiralty jurisdiction in personam was much discussed, and questioned by Mr. Justice Johnson. But in Willard v. Dorr, 3 Mason, 93, and in Hammond v. Essex F. and M. Ins. Co. 4 Mason, 196., Mr. Justice Story considered it to be the settled jurisdiction of the admiralty, that the master could sue there in personam for his wages, and the seamen in rem as well as in personam for their wages. This appears to be a well-established distinction.
We have now finished a general survey of the admiralty jurisdiction of the District Courts, in civil and criminal cases, and both as an instance and a prize court.
It would not be consistent with the plan of these elementary disquisitions, to give a detailed sketch of the course of proceeding, and of the peculiar practice in the admiralty courts. The proceedings are according to the course of the civil law, and are remarkable for their comprehensive brevity, celerity, and simplicity. Nothing can be more unlike in its process, pleadings, proof, trial, and remedy, than the practice of the courts of admiralty and of the courts of common law.
a See vol. 3., as to the lien of material men. Ibid., as to the remedy for seamen's wages.
b For a knowledge of the admiralty practice, I would refer the student to Clerke's Practice of the Court of Admiralty in England, which is a work of undoubted credit ; and in 1809, a new edition was published in this country by Mr. Hall, with an appendix of precedents. I would also refer him to the 2d volume of Brown's Civil and Admiralty Law, and to the appendix to the 1st and 2d volumes of Mr. Wheaton's Reports, where he will find the practice of the instance and prize courts digested and summarily explained.
(5.) I proceed next to consider the jurisdiction of the Dis- Civil juristrict Court, when proceeding as a court of common law. It the District extends to all minor crimes and offences, cognizable under the authority of the United States, and which are not strictly of admiralty cognizance; and to all seizures on land, and on waters not navigable from the sea; and to all suits for penalties and forfeitures there incurred; and to all suits by aliens, for torts done in violation of the law of nations, or of a treaty; and to suits against consuls and vice-consuls ; and to all suits at common law, where the United States sue, and the mattter in dispute amounts to one hundred dollars." It has jurisdiction likewise of proceedings to repeal patents obtained surreptitiously, or upon false suggestions. This is * given by the act of Congress of 21st February, 1793, chap. II., and it is a jurisdiction that leads frequently to the most intricate, nice, and perplexed investigations, respecting the originality of inventions and improvements in complicated machinery. It was made a question in the District Court of New-York, in the case Ex parte Wood, whether the process to be awarded to repeal the patent, was not in the nature of a scire facias at common law, upon which issue of fact might be taken and tried by a jury. The district judge decided, that the proceeding was summary, upon a rule to show cause, and that no process of scire facias was afterwards admissible. But upon appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, the decree of the District Court was reversed, and the District Court was directed by mandamus to enter upon record the proceedings in the cause, antecedent to the granting of the rule to show cause why process should not issue to repeal the patent. The District Court was furtber directed to award process, in the nature of a scire facias, to the patentee, to show cause why the patent should not be repealed; and upon the return
a Judiciary Act of Seplember, 1789, £cc, 9. 6 9 Wheaton, 603.
of the process, the Court was to proceed to try the cause upon the pleadings of the parties, and the issue of law or fact joined thereon, as the case might be; and that if the issue be an issue of fact, the trial thereof was to be by jury, according to the course of the common law.
This was a just and liberal decision of the Supreme Court; and it was observed, in the opinion which was pronounced, that it was not lightly to be presumed, that Congress, in this class of patent cases, placed peculiarly within their patronage and protection, involving some of the dearest and most valuable rights which society acknowledges, and the constitution itself meant to favour, would institute a new and summary process, which should finally adjudge upon those rights, without a trial by jury, without a right of appeal, and without any of those guards with which, in equity suits, it has senced round the general administration of justice. The Supreme Court then went into an analytical examination of the 10th section of the act of 1793, on which the claim of summary jurisdiction rested, and vindicated the construction which they assumed, in opposition to that taken by the District Court.
The jurisdiction of the judges of the District Courts, in cases of bankruptcy, has presented for consideration some important questions on the point of jurisdiction. We have no bankrupt system in existence under the government of the United States; but there are some lingering traces of business yet arising and undetermined, under the bankrupt act of the year 1800: and we are in expectation, at every session of Congress, of a revival of that, or some other analogous system and code of national bankrupt law. In the case of Comfort Sands, in the District Court of New-York, it was observed, that, in England, the sole power of directing the execution, and controlling the administration of the bankrupt system, in all its departments,
a United States Law Journal, vol. 1. p. 15.
and in every stage of the proceeding, resided in the lord chancellor.
This jurisdiction of the English chancellor was not in the court of chancery, but in the individual who holds the great seal; and it is exercised summarily upon petition, and his judgment upon the petition is without appeal, unless the chancellor in his discretion allows a bill to be filed, in order to found an appeal thereon. The judge then proceeded to examine the several provisions of the bankrupt act of the United States of 1800, in order to show, that upon the principles of construction adopted in England, the district judge had the same jurisdiction in cases of bankruptcy as is exercised by the lord chancellor. The same course of reasoning which sustains the jurisdiction of the one, would confer that of the other. He insisted that the jurisdiction here was given, not to the District Court, but to the individual who happened to hold the office of district judge, and that, consequently, all his decisions in bankruptcy were without appeal, for appeals lie only from the decrees of the District Court. But that extraordinary doctrine has since been overruled, and it has been held, that the Circuit Courts of the United States had jurisdiction of matters arising under the bankrupt law, and the District Courts had not exclusive jurisdiction over the entire execution of such laws. They could not remove the assignees, nor compel them to account. An appeal lay in proceedings under the bankrupt act from the District to the Circuit Courts, and the state courts had a concurrent jurisdiction in matters of account between the bankrupt and his creditors, and which has been freely and extensively exercised.b
(6.) Of the Territorial Courts of the United States.
With respect to the vast territories belonging to the Uni- Territories ted States, and which are not distinct political societies, the U.Státes.
a Lucas v. Morris, 1 Paine, 396.