Ware v. Hylton
3 U.S. 199

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ware v. Hylton, 3 U.S. 3 Dall. 199 199 (1796)

Ware v. Hylton

3 U.S. (3 Dall.) 199


The act of the Legislature of Virginia of 1779 entitled "An act concerning escheats and forfeitures from British subjects," and under which a debtor to a subject of Great Britain had, in conformity to the provisions of that law, during the war, paid into the loan office of the state a portion of the debt due by him, did not operate to protect the debtor from a suit for such debt after the treaty of peace in 1783. The statute of Virginia, if it was valid and the legislature could pass such a law, was annulled by the fourth article of the treaty, and under this article, suits for the recovery of debts so due might be maintained, the provisions of the Virginia law to the contrary notwithstanding.

The action was brought by William Jones (but as he died pendente lite, his administrator was duly substituted as plaintiff in the cause), surviving partner of Farrel & Jones, subjects of the King of Great Britain, against Daniel Hylton & Co. and Francis Eppes, citizens of Virginia, on a bond, for the penal sum of

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Primary Holding

International treaties trump state law, although not the Constitution, because of the Supremacy Clause.