Annotate this Case
72 U.S. 183 (1866)
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U.S. Supreme Court
The Jenny, 72 U.S. 5 Wall. 183 183 (1866)
72 U.S. (5 Wall.) 183
1. A vessel sailing through blockaded waters may be properly seized on suspicion of intent to break the blockade when, in addition to the manifest bearing date as of a day when only a part of the cargo is laden, the bills of health and clearance point to one port as her port of destination, while the captain's letter of instructions require him to stop at another not in the direct line to that place for instructions; when both the vessel's bills of health specify six men and no passengers, there being in fact one passenger; when the provisional certificate of registry represents as sole owner one person and other papers another.
2. Condemnation decreed where a vessel, with a changed name and with papers open to suspicion as above stated, and whose master had ten months before commanded a blockade-runner, was found sailing from the immediate proximity of the line separating neutral from blockaded waters (in fact from within the line) with an ownership which a complicated, obscure, and apparently contradictory history left in doubt, where also the ostensible ownership was apparently but a mere cover, no claim for her being put in after capture and libel otherwise than by her captain, who put it in for the ostensible owners, he acting without instructions from them and only in his capacity of master, a part of the cargo being moreover, more plainly still, enemy's property.
3. In proceedings in libel against a ship and cargo as prize of war, the burden of proving neutral ownership of them is upon the claimants. When there is no proof of such ownership, and still more when the weight of the evidence is that the ownership is enemy ownership, condemnation will be pronounced.
APPEALS from the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Louisiana decreeing restitution of the schooner Jenny and cargo and decreeing costs and charges against their claimants, the questions involved being of fact chiefly.