Carroll v. United States
80 U.S. 151 (1871)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Carroll v. United States, 80 U.S. 13 Wall. 151 151 (1871)

Carroll v. United States

80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 151

Syllabus

In a claim by an administrator of a deceased person against the United States under the Abandoned and Captured Property Act of March 12, 1863, which makes proof that the owner never gave aid or comfort to the rebellion a condition precedent to recovery, it is no bar that the decedent gave such aid or comfort, the property having been taken after the decedent's death and from the administrator, and not from him. The owner, within the sense of the statute, was the administratrix.

The Act of March 12, 1863, "to provide for the collection of abandoned property in insurrectionary districts within the United States," enacts that:

"Any person claiming to have been the owner of any such abandoned or captured property may, at any time within two years after the suppression of the rebellion, prefer his claims to the proceeds thereof in the Court of Claims, and on proof to the satisfaction of said court of his ownership of said property, of his right to the proceeds thereof, and that he has never given any aid or comfort to the present rebellion, receive the residue of such proceeds, after the deduction of any purchase money which may have been paid, together with the expense of transportation and sale of said property, and any other lawful expenses attending the disposition thereof."

Under this act, Mrs. Lucy Carroll, administratrix of her husband, George Carroll, presented a claim for the proceeds in the Treasury of certain cotton. The husband, as appeared from the findings of the court, resided in Arkansas during the first years of the late civil war, and had raised and was owner of certain cotton. He died in September, 1863. During his life, he had given aid to the rebellion.

The cotton, upon his death, came into the possession of the claimant as administratrix, and was in her possession at the time it was captured by the army of the United States. She offered evidence to establish her own loyalty, and that she never gave aid or comfort to the rebellion, which seems to have been rejected by the court. The estate was insolvent,

Page 80 U. S. 152

the creditors numerous, and there was no proof in respect to their loyalty.

The Court of Claims decided as a conclusion of law from these facts that the claimant's right as administratrix depended upon proof of the loyalty of the decedent, and, it being shown that he voluntarily gave aid and comfort to the rebellion, dismissed the petition.

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