Georgia v. Brailsford
2 U.S. 402

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U.S. Supreme Court

Georgia v. Brailsford, 2 U.S. 2 Dall. 402 402 (1792)

Georgia v. Brailsford

2 U.S. (2 Dall.) 402

Syllabus

An injunction was granted on the application of the State of Georgia to stay money in the hands of the Marshal of the State of Georgia which was claimed by that state under the confiscation act for the purpose of enabling the state to have the claim decided at law.

This was a bill in equity filed by "His Excellency Edward Telfair, Esq., Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the State of Georgia, in behalf of the said state, complainant," against Samuel Brailsford, Robert Wm. Powell, and John Hopton, merchants and co-partners, and James Spalding, surviving partner of Kelsall & Spalding, defendants. The bill set forth the following case:

"That on 4 May, 1782, the State of Georgia being then free, sovereign, and independent, enacted a law entitled 'An act for inflicting penalties on and confiscating the estates of such persons as are therein declared

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guilty of treason, and for other purposes therein mentioned.'"

That, among other things, this law contained the following clauses:

"And whereas there are divers estates and other property within this state, belonging to persons who have been declared guilty or convicted in one or other of the United States of offenses which have induced a confiscation of their estates or property within the state of which they were citizens, be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid that all and singular the estates, both real and personal, of persons under this description, of whatsoever kind or nature, together with all rights and titles, which they may, do, or shall hold in law or equity, or others in trust for them, and also all the debts, dues and demands due or owing to British merchants or others residing in Great Britain (which shall be appropriated as herein after mentioned) owing or accruing to them be confiscated to and for the use and benefit of this state in like manner and form of forfeiture as they were subjected to in the states of which they respectively were citizens, and the monies arising from the sales which shall take place by virtue, and in pursuance of this act to be applied to such uses and purposes as the legislature shall hereafter direct."

"And be it further enacted that all debts, dues, and demands due or owing to merchants or others residing in Great Britain be and they are hereby sequestered, and the commissioners appointed under this act, or a majority of them, are hereby empowered to recover, receive, and deposit the same in the treasury of this state in the same manner and under the same regulations as debts confiscated, there to remain for the use of this state until otherwise appropriated by this or any future house of assembly."

"And whereas there are various persons, subjects of the King of Great Britain, possessed of or entitled to estates real and personal, which justice and found policy require should be applied to the benefit of this state, be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid that all and singular the estates, real and personal, belonging to persons being British subjects, of whatsoever kind or nature, which they may be possessed of, except as before excepted, or others in trust for them, or that they are or may be entitled to in law or equity, as also all debts, dues, or demands owing or accruing to them, be confiscated to and for the use and benefit of this state, and the monies arising from the sales which shall take place by virtue of and in pursuance of this act, to be applied to such uses and purposes as the legislature shall hereafter direct."

"That by the operation of these clauses, all the debts, dues, and demands, of the citizens of Georgia to persons who had

Page 2 U. S. 404

been subjected to the penalties of confiscation in other states, and of British merchants and others residing in Great Britain, and of all other British subjects, were vested in the said state."

"That James Spalding, a citizen of Georgia, and surviving co-partner of Kelsall & Spalding, was indebted to the defendants in the penal sum of

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