The Langdon Cheves,
17 U.S. 103 (1819)

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U.S. Supreme Court

The Langdon Cheves, 17 U.S. 4 Wheat. 103 103 (1819)

The Langdon Cheves

17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 103




A question of fact upon a seizure in port as a droit of admiralty for trading with the enemy and using his license. The circumstance of the vessel having been sent into an enemy's port for adjudication and afterwards permitted to resume her voyage held to raise a violent presumption that she had a license, which the claimant not having repelled by explanatory evidence, condemnation was pronounced.

Page 17 U. S. 104

STORY, JUSTICE, delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case differs in no essential respect from that of The Caledonian. The brig sailed from the United States on a voyage to Lisbon with a cargo of provisions in May, 1813, and was captured by a British sloop of war and sent into Bermuda, where she was either not proceeded against as prize or was acquitted on trial, and after a detention of about six weeks was permitted to resume her original voyage, and on the return voyage from Lisbon with a cargo of salt was, on her arrival at Newport on 16 December, 1813, seized by the collector of that port as forfeited to the United States jure belli for using a British license and trading with the enemy.

There is no positive proof that the brig had a British license on board, but we think that under the circumstances there arises a violent presumption that she had such a license, and that the burden of proof to repel this presumption rests on the claimant. He has not attempted this in the slightest degree, there being a total absence of all evidence in his favor, and therefore, as the case remains with all its original imperfections, the decree of the circuit court is affirmed with costs.

Decree affirmed, with costs.

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