Imágenes de página


against the Hornet, which will include counts under the piracy act of August 5, 1861.

If the district attorney of North Carolina is intrusted with the [187] charge of this matter, *permit me to suggest that his unfamiliarity with the proceedings of this nature will render it necessary to send him very explicit instructions as to the law and the practice. The court should not be permitted, I think, to entertain a plea filed by the "republic of Cuba," which can have no standing in our courts until recognized by the Government. Certainly the Government should oppose vigorously the assertion of any such claim.

If the Government desire any further information or service from me in regard to this motion to bond or the filing of the claim, both of which, as you will perceive, will come up on Monday, the 29th instant, may I ask to be advised as early as practicable.

If there is a trial it will be, I am informed, on the 20th of December at Raleigh.

If a claim is made in the name of the "republic of Cuba," and is properly opposed, it seems quite possible that the expenses of a trial may be avoided.

With great respect, yours, &c.,

Hon. E. R. HOAR, Attorney-General.

Mr. Field, Assistant Attorney-General, to Mr. Phelps, assistant district






Washington, November 23, 1869.


Assistant United States Attorney, New York City:

Go to Raleigh; oppose bonding of steamer Hornet and all recognition by the court of any "republic of Cuba."


Assistant Attorney-General.

Mr. Phelps, assistant district attorney, to Mr. Hoar, Attorney-General.

RALEIGH, November 29, 1869.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, upon the return of the process this day in the United States district court in the case of the United States vs. the steamship Hornet, &c., Messrs. Davis and Mears appeared and filed a claim, alleging ownership of the vessel in the republic of Cuba, the claim being made and verified by J. Morales Lemus, as agent for said republic. I moved, on behalf of the United States, to strike out this claim upon the ground that the republic of Cuba, not having been recognized by the political departments of the Government or either of them, had no standing in any of the courts of the United States, citing in support of that position the following authorities:

(8th Danas) Ed. Wheaton, Internat. Law, pp. 33, 36, 41, and [189] others; United States vs. Palmer, 3 Wh., 610; the Divina Pastora, 4 Wh., 52; United States vs. Hutchings, 2 Wheeler's Crim. Cases, 543; United States vs. Baker, 5 Blatchf. Cir. Ct. R. The argument was concluded by George Davis, esq., for the claimants, and by myself for the United States.

The former cited Stoughton es. Taylor, 2 Paine C. C. R., 652; Srisuni vs. Clement, 2 Carr and Payne, 223; also, Gelston vs. Hoyt.

The argument continued the whole day, and the judge announced that he would render his decision as soon as he could complete his examination of the case.

I am, sir, very respectfully, yours, &c.,

Hon. E. R. HOAR, Attorney-General.


Mr. Starbuck, district attorney, to Mr. Hoar, Attorney-General.
Salem, North Carolina, December 30, 1869.

SIR: The United States circuit court at Raleigh has just closed its session of about four weeks. I filed a petition and obtained thereon an order for the sale of the perishable portion of the property found on board the steamship Hornet, alias Cuba, consisting of ship-stores, the furniture of the vessel, and a large quanity of gunpowder. This became necessary to save the property from the damage which must [190] ensue by next June *term, to which the case of the Hornet comes up by appeal, as you have doubtless ere this been informed by Mr. Phelps, the assistant district attorney in this case.

This property will be sold and the proceeds held by the marshal subject to the final decision of the case, which will probably be made at June term, 1870, of this court.

I am, sir, very respectfully, yours, &c.,

Hon. E. R. HOAR, Attorney-General.

United States Attorney.

Mr. Macias to the President.

NEW YORK CITY, June 1, 1870.

SIR: The undersigned, Mr. Fernando Macias, merchant, resident in New York, and a naturalized citizen of the United States, respectfully calls your attention to the case of the steamship Cuba, commonly known as the Hornet, now pending in the United States district court for the district of North Carolina, and requests the discontinuance of proceedings against the vessel, and her cargo, tackle, and apparel, and her delivery to the undersigned.

The Hornet was purchased by the undersigned in July, 1869, [191] of the United States Navy Department for the sum of about $33,000, and is now under seizure, together with the cargo, apparel, and tackle, at Wilmington, and libelled for forfeiture of the alleged violation of the neutrality laws of the United States for the purpose of commiting hostilities against Spain. The facts in the case are well known. Whatever may be its legal merits, the undersigned has the confidence to be

lieve that it is only the desire of the Government of the United States to enforce the laws, prevent their violation, and not to enrich the public treasury by harsh forfeitures. The voyage of the Cuba has been broken up, and all possibility of its being renewed has passed. The undersigned desires to regain possession of the vessel and to dispose of her for commercial purposes. He is willing to enter into any engagement that may be acceptable to the Government that the vessel shall not be used to commit hostilities against Spain, nor to violate in any manner the laws of the United States.

Trusting that the Government will magnanimously discontinue the proceedings against the vessel and cargo, and order the delivery of the property belled to the undersigned as requested,

I have the honor to be, yours, &c.,



FERNANDO MACIAS. *By his attorney in fact,


Mr. Hoar, Attorney-General, to Mr. Fish, Secretary of State.

Washington, June 11, 1870.

SIR: I have the honor to inclose a copy of the instructions which have to-day been sent to the district attorney of North Carolina, in relation to the settlement of the case of the Hornet, or Cuba, and which are, I believe, in conformity with the wishes of the President, as communicated by you to me. I inclose with them the bond which has been given by the claimant of the vessel as a condition of the settlement, and a check for twenty-five hundred dollars paid by the claimant in settlement of such of the expenses incurred by the United States in relation to the witnesses, &c., as it has been agreed he should pay..

Very respectfully,


Secretary of State.


Mr. Hoar, Attorney-General, to Mr. Starbuck, district attorney.


Washington, June 11, 1870.



United States Attorney, Raleigh, North Carolina:

SIR: Mr. Fernando Macias has applied for the release of the Hornet, otherwise called the Cuba, now in the possession of the United States marshal, and has given bond, with sufficient sureties, in the sum of $50,000, that such steamer shall not be used in any manner in violation of the neutrality laws of the United States. It has thereupon been agreed that the pending proceeding shall be disposed of in the following manner: The appeal taken from the district to the circuit court by counsel representing what they call the "republic of Cuba," or Mr. Lemus shall waive and withdraw that appeal and consent to an

order in the circuit court dismissing the same, and shall withdraw their claim and appearance in the district court; and the said Macias may appear as claimant in his own right of the vessel, tackle, apparel, and cargo; that he shall thereupon file a certificate of probable cause of seizure, and thereupon you are to discontinue all further proceedings against the said vessel under the libel in the district court, and consent to an order delivering the same to the said Macias, the claimant, and for payment to him of all moneys received by the marshal for sales [194] of any part of the property heretofore made by order or license of court. The marshal is to pay over the whole proceeds of sales, and will settle his account for fees and disbursements in the ordinary manner, where the libel is dismissed and the property discharged.

You are instructed to carry this arrangement into immediate effect without delay, if possible, on the day on which you receive this letter, and papers suitable for execution to carry into effect these instructions are inclosed herewith.

Very respectfully,


Mr. Fish, Secretary of State, to Mr. Davis, district attorney.


Washington, October 6, 1870.

NOAH DAVIS, United States Attorney, New York:

The Spanish minister alleges that the steamer Hornet is about to sail from New York on an unlawful and piratical cruise with intent to make war against Spain, and in violation of the neutrality laws. You will please take immediate steps to investigate the case, and will see that no violation of the neutrality laws of the United States be per[195] mitted, and that the vessel *be not allowed to depart on any unlawful cruise.



After the receipt of the above telegram, the Hornet was detained and an examination made of the facts in connection with her alleged voyage. It was finally decided that the evidence was not sufficient to hold her, and she was released. She afterward, in December, 1870, sailed from New York "for Saint Thomas and a market, then to a port or ports that the captain may direct, and back to a port of the United States, not exceeding six months."

She went to Nassau, afterward to Port au Prince; then to Aspinwall, where it is alleged that a filibustering expedition against Cuba went on board of her, which expedition was afterward landed on the coast of Cuba. She then went to Port au Prince, where she was, as it were, blockaded by the Spanish gunboats for several months.

In January last the Government of the United States sent a man-ofwar to Port au Prince to bring her back to the United States, where, upon her arrival, proceedings were taken for punishing any violation of the neutrality laws of the United States.

Jes. Is


« AnteriorContinuar »