Beverly v. Brooke - 15 U.S. 100 (1817)
U.S. Supreme Court
Beverly v. Brooke, 15 U.S. 2 Wheat. 100 100 (1817)
Beverly v. Brooke
5 U.S. 100
Where the owner of certain slaves and also part owner of a vessel, hired the slaves to the master of the vessel to proceed as mariners on board on a voyage, at the usual wages and without any special contract of hiring, held that the master, having acted with good faith, was not responsible for the escape of the slaves in a foreign port, which was one of the contingent termini of the voyage, and consequently within the hazards to which the owner knew his property might be exposed, although it was doubtful whether the master had strictly pursued his orders in going to such port.
This suit was instituted by the plaintiff in the Circuit Court for the County of Alexandria to recover the value of three slaves hired by the plaintiff to the defendant for a voyage to some part of Europe in the brig Sophila, of which the defendant was master, which slaves escaped from the vessel and were lost to the owner. The claim was founded on the allegation that the master pursued a different voyage from that for which the slaves were hired, and that to this cause was to be ascribed the loss that had been sustained.