The Dashing Wave
72 U.S. 170

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U.S. Supreme Court

The Dashing Wave, 72 U.S. 5 Wall. 170 170 (1866)

The Dashing Wave

72 U.S. (5 Wall.) 170


1. A neutral, professing to be engaged in trade with a neutral port under circumstances which warrant close observation by a blockading squadron, must keep his vessel, while discharging or receiving cargo, so clearly on the neutral side of the blockading line as to repel, so far as position can repel, all imputation of intent to break the blockade. Neglect of that duty may well justify capture and sending in for adjudication, though, in the absence of positive evidence that the neglect was willful, it might not justify a condemnation.

2. Where a party whose national character does not appear gives his own money to a neutral house, to be shipped with money of that house and in their name to a neutral port in immediate proximity to a blockaded region, and an attorney in fact, on capture of the money and libel of it as prize, states that such neutral house are the owners thereof and that "no other persons are interested therein," the capture and sending in will be justified, though in the absence of proof of an enemy's character in the party shipping his money with the neutral's, a condemnation may not be.

3. On a capture of a vessel unobservant, through mere carelessness, of the duty first above mentioned and containing money shipped under the circumstances just stated, a decree was made restoring the vessel and cargo, including the money, but apportioning the costs and expenses consequent on the capture ratably between the vessel and the coin, exempting from contribution the rest of the cargo.

During the late Rebellion and while the coast of the Southern states, including that of Texas to the mouth of the Rio Grande, was under blockade by the United States, the Dashing Wave, a British-owned brig, was captured at anchor by a United States gunboat off the mouth of that river, the dividing

Page 72 U. S. 171

stream between the United States and Mexico, a neutral, and libeled as prize of war in the District Court of New Orleans. The vessel was employed as a general ship on a voyage from Liverpool to Matamoras, a Mexican town on the Rio Grande directly opposite to Texas. She had been freighted at Liverpool in 1862 with an assorted cargo, consigned by ten or more shippers to various persons and firms described as resident at Matamoras. There was no contraband aboard. The most remarkable shipment was one of

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