Richardson v. Goddard
Annotate this Case
64 U.S. 28 (1859)
U.S. Supreme Court
Richardson v. Goddard, 64 U.S. 23 How. 28 28 (1859)
Richardson v. Goddard
64 U.S. (23 How.) 28
The general rules which regulate the delivery o goods by a carrier by land or water explained.
Where the master of a vessel delivered the goods at the place chosen by the consignees, at which they agreed to receive them, and did receive a large portion of them after full and fair notice, and the master deposited them for the consignees in proper order and condition at mid-day, on a week day, in good weather, it was a good delivery according to the general usages of the commercial and maritime law.
The fact that the governor of the state had appointed a day as a general fast day did not abrogate the right of the master to continue the delivery of the goods on that day. Holiday is a privilege, not a duty.
There was neither a law of the state forbidding the transaction of business on that day nor a general usage engrafted into the commercial and maritime law forbidding the unlading of vessels on the day set apart for a church festival, fast, or holiday, nor a special custom in the port forbidding a carrier from unloading his vessel on such a day.
In the absence of these legal restrictions, the master had a right to continue the delivery of the goods on the wharf on a fast day.
This was the case of a libel filed in the district court by Goddard & Pritchard against the barque Tangier for the nondelivery of certain bales of cotton shipped at the port of Apalachicola. The barque arrived at Boston, and the cotton was lost under the circumstances mentioned in the opinion of the Court. The district court dismissed the libel, but this decree was reversed by the circuit court and the vessel ordered to pay the amount reported by the assessor. The claimants of the vessel appealed to this Court.
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