The Nereide
13 U.S. 388

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

The Nereide, 13 U.S. 9 Cranch 388 388 (1815)

The Nereide

13 U.S. (9 Cranch) 388




The stipulation in a treaty "that free ships shall make free goods" does not imply the converse proposition, that "enemy ships shall make enemy goods."

The treaty with Spain does not contain, either expressly or by implication, a stipulation that enemy ships shall make enemy goods.

A neutral may lawfully employ an armed belligerent vessel to transport his goods, and such goods do not lose their neutral character by the armament, nor by the resistance made by such vessel, provided the neutral do not aid in such armament or resistance, although he charter the whole vessel and be on board at the time of the resistance.

A merchant having a fixed residence and carrying on business at the place of his birth does not acquire a foreign commercial character by occasional visit to a foreign country.

The right of search grows out of and is auxiliary to the greater right of capture.

The rule that the goods of an enemy found in the vessel of a friend are prize of war and those of a friend found in the vessel of an enemy are to be restored is a part of the law of nations, and has been fully and unequivocally recognized by the United States.

The principle of retaliation upon the subjects of a foreign state for its unjust proceedings towards our citizens is a political, not a judicial, measure. It is for the consideration of the government, but it is not a rule of decision in courts of justice.

This was an appeal by Manuel Pinto from the sentence of the Circuit Court for the District of New York affirming pro forma the sentence of the district court which condemned that part of the cargo which was claimed by him.

The facts of the case are thus stated by THE CHIEF JUSTICE in delivering the opinion of the court

Page 13 U. S. 389

Manuel Pinto, a native of Buenos Ayres, being in London, on 26 August, 1813, entered into a contract with John Drinkald, owner of the ship Nereide, whereof William Bennet was master, whereby the said Drinkald let to the said Pinto the said vessel to freight for a voyage to Buenos Ayres and back again to London on the conditions mentioned in the charter party. The owner covenanted that the said vessel, being in all respects seaworthy, well manned, victualed, equipped, provided, and furnished with all things needful for such a vessel, should take on board a cargo to be provided for her, that the master should sign the customary bills of lading, and that the said ship being laden and dispatched, should join and sail with the first convoy that should depart from Great Britain for Buenos Ayres, that on his arrival, the master should give notice thereof to the agents or assigns of the said freighter and make delivery of the cargo according to bills of lading; and that the said ship, being in all respects seaworthy, manned, &c., as before mentioned, should take and receive on board at Buenos Ayres all such lawful cargo as they should tender for that purpose, for which the master should sign the customary bills of lading, and the ship, being laden and dispatched, should sail and make the best of her way back to London, and on her arrival deliver her cargo according to the bills of lading. For unloading the outward and taking in the homeward cargo the owner agreed to allow 90 running days, and for unloading the return cargo 15 running days. The owner also agreed that the freighter and one other person whom he might appoint should have their passage without being chargeable therefor. In consideration of the premises, the freighter agreed to send or cause to be sent alongside of the ship such lawful goods as he might have to ship or could procure from others and dispatch her therewith in time to join and sail with the first convoy, and on her arrival at Buenos Ayres to receive the cargo according to bills of lading, and afterwards to send along side of the ship a return cargo and dispatch her to London, and on her arrival receive the cargo according to bills of lading, and to pay freight as follows, viz., for the outward cargo

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