United States v. Brewster
32 U.S. 164 (1833)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Brewster, 32 U.S. 7 Pet. 164 164 (1833)

United States v. Brewster

32 U.S. (7 Pet.) 164

ON CERTIFICATE OF DIVISION OF OPINION FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT

OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

Syllabus

Indictment founded on the eighteenth section of the act of Congress, passed on 15 April, 1816, entitled "Act to incorporate the subscribers to the Bank of the United States."

The indictment charged the defendant with uttering and forging "a counterfeit bill in imitation of a bill issued by the president," &c., of the bank. The forged paper was in these words and figures:

"(5) F 745 F 745 (5)"

" Cashier of the"

"Bank of the United States"

"Pay to C. W. Earnest, or order, five dollars"

"Office of Discount and Deposit in Pittsburgh, the 10th day of Dec., 1829."

"A. BRACKENEDGE, Pres. "

"J.CORREY, Cash."

"Fairman, Draper, Underwood & Co."

" (Endorsed) Pay the bearer"

"C. W. EARNEST"

Held that a genuine instrument, of which the forged and counterfeited instrument is an imitation, is not a bill issued by order of the president, &c., of the Bank of the United States, according to the true intent and meaning of the eighteenth section of the act incorporating the bank.

At the circuit court, in October, 1832, an indictment was found against the defendant containing two counts. The first,

"That on the 8th day of May, 1832, he, unlawfully and feloniously did sell, utter, and deliver a false, forged, and counterfeited bill in imitation of a bill issued by order of the president and directors of the Bank of the United States, which said false, forged, and counterfeited bill, partly written and partly printed, was in the words and figures following, to-wit: "

"(5) F 745 F 745 (5)"

" Cashier of the"

"Bank of the United States"

"Pay to C. W. Earnest, or order, five dollars"

"Office of Discount and Deposit in Pittsburgh, the 10th day of Dec., 1829."

"A. BRACKENEDGE, Pres. "

"J.CORREY, Cash."

"Fairman, Draper, Underwood & Co."

" (Endorsed) Pay the bearer"

"C. W. EARNEST"

Page 32 U. S. 165

"with intent to defraud the president, directors, and company of the Bank of the United States; he, the said Samuel Brewster, otherwise called Samuel B. Brewster, at the time he so sold, uttered, and delivered the said false, forged, and counterfeited bill as aforesaid, then and there will knowing the same to be false, forged, and counterfeited contrary to the form of the act of Congress in such case made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the United States of America."

The second count charged

"That the defendant did sell, utter, and deliver, and did cause to be sold, uttered, and delivered a false, forged, and counterfeited note in imitation of and purporting to be a note issued by order of the president and directors of the Bank of the United States, which said last-mentioned false, forged, and counterfeited note, partly written and partly printed, was in the words and figures following, to-wit [describing it in the same form as in the first count], with intent to defraud the president, directors and company of the Bank of the United States, he, the said Samuel Brewster, otherwise called Samuel B. Brewster, at the time he so sold, uttered, and delivered the said false, forged, and counterfeited note as aforesaid, then and there well knowing the same to be false, forged, and counterfeited, contrary to the form of the act of Congress in such case made and provided,"

&c.

"To this indictment the prisoner pleaded not guilty, and upon the trial the following question occurred, upon which the opinions of the judges of circuit court were opposed. Whether the genuine instrument of which the said false, forged, and counterfeited instrument was in imitation was a bill, issued by order of the president and directors of the said bank, according to the true intent and meaning of the 18th section of the Act of Congress, passed on 16 April in the year of our Lord 1816, entitled 'an act to incorporate the subscribers of the Bank of the United States?' And the said judges being so opposed in opinion upon the question aforesaid, the same was then and there, at the request of the district attorney for the United States, stated under the direction of the judges and ordered by the court to be certified under the seal of the court to the Supreme Court at its next session to be held thereafter, to be finally decided by the said

Page 32 U. S. 166

Supreme Court, and the court being further of opinion that further proceedings could not be had in said cause without prejudice to the merits of the same cause, did order that the jury empanelled as aforesaid to try said cause be discharged from giving any verdict therein."

The following certificate was directed to be issued to the circuit court:

On a certificate of division in opinion of the judges of the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. This cause came on to be heard, on the transcript of the record from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern

Page 32 U. S. 167

District of Pennsylvania, and on the question and point on which the judges of that court were opposed in opinion, and which was certified to this Court for its opinion agreeable to the act of Congress in such case made and provided, and was argued by counsel. On consideration whereof, this Court is of opinion that the genuine instrument, of which the said false, forged, and counterfeited instrument in the certificate of division mentioned is in imitation is not a bill issued by order of the president, directors, and company of the Bank of the United States according to the true intent and meaning of the 18th section of the Act of Congress passed on 16 April in the year of our Lord 1816, entitled "An act to incorporate the subscribers of the Bank of the United States," whereupon, it is ordered and adjudged by this Court that it be certified to the said Circuit Court of the district of Pennsylvania that the genuine instrument of which the said false, forged, and counterfeited instrument in the certificate of division mentioned is in imitation is not a bill issued by order of the president, directors, and company of the Bank of the United States according to the true intent and meaning of the 18th section of the Act of Congress passed on 16 April in the year of our Lord 1816, entitled, "An act to incorporate the subscribers of the Bank of the United States."

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