Carlisle v. United States
Annotate this Case
83 U.S. 147 (1872)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Carlisle v. United States, 83 U.S. 16 Wall. 147 147 (1872)
Carlisle v. United States
83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 147
1. Aliens domiciled in the United States in 1862 were engaged in manufacturing saltpeter in Alabama and in selling that article to the Confederate States, knowing that it was to be used by them in the manufacture of gunpowder for the prosecution of the war of the rebellion. Held that they thus gave aid and comfort to the rebellion.
2. The doctrine of Hanauer v. Doane, 12 Wall. 342, that
"he who, being bound by his allegiance to a government, sells goods to the agent
of an armed combination to overthrow that government, knowing that the purchaser buys them for that treasonable purpose, is himself guilty of treason or a misprision thereof"
repeated and affirmed.
3. Aliens domiciled in the United States owe a local and temporary allegiance to the government of the United States; they are bound to obey all the laws of the country not immediately relating to citizenship during their residence in it, and are equally amenable with citizens for any infraction of those laws. Those aliens who, being domiciled in the country prior to the rebellion, gave aid and comfort to the rebellion were therefore subject to be prosecuted for violation of the laws of the United States against treason and for giving aid and comfort to the rebellion.
4. The proclamation of the President of the United States dated December 25, 1868, granting
"unconditionally and without reservation to all and to every person who directly or indirectly participated in the late insurrection or rebellion a full pardon and amnesty for the offense of treason against the United States or of adhering to their enemies during the late civil war, with restoration o all rights, privileges, and immunities under the Constitution and the laws which have been made in pursuance thereof,"
includes aliens domiciled in the country who gave aid and comfort to the rebellion.
5. The pardon and amnesty thus granted relieve claimants prosecuting in the Court of Claims for the proceeds of captured and abandoned property under the Act of Congress of March 12, 1863, from the consequences of participation in the rebellion and the necessity of establishing their loyalty in order to prosecute their claims which would otherwise be indispensable to a recovery.
6. By the proceeding known as a "petition of right," the government of Great Britain accords to citizens of the United States the right to prosecute claims against that government in its courts, and therefore British subjects, if otherwise entitled, may, under the Act of Congress of July 27, 1868, prosecute claims against the United States in the Court of Claims.
This was an appeal from the Court of Claims. The claimants there were subjects of the Queen of Great Britain, but had been residents within the United States prior to the war of the rebellion and during its continuance. In 1864, they were the owners of sixty-five bales of cotton stored on a plantation in Alabama. This cotton was seized during that year by naval officers of the United States and turned over to an agent of the Treasury Department, by whom the cotton was sold and the proceeds paid into the Treasury. The present action was brought in the Court of Claims under the Act of Congress of March 12, 1863, known as
the Captured and Abandoned Property Act, to recover these proceeds.
The court found that the claimants were the owners of the cotton and that it was seized and sold as stated, and that the net proceeds, amounting to $43,232, were paid into the Treasury.
The court also found that the government of Great Britain accords to citizens of the United States the right to prosecute claims against that government in its own courts, but that the claimants were engaged in 1862 in manufacturing saltpeter in Alabama and selling that article to the Confederate States, and that they thus gave aid and comfort to the rebellion, and for that reason were not entitled to recover the proceeds of the cotton seized. Their petition was accordingly dismissed. The facts connected with the manufacture and sale of the saltpeter are thus stated by the court in its findings:
"From having, in 1860 and 1861, been engaged in the business of railroad contractors, they began in December, 1861, the manufacture of saltpeter at Santa Cave, Alabama, and continued engaged therein until the following April, when, owing to the presence of United States troops in the vicinity, they left the cave and remained absent therefrom until the following October, when, immediately after the evacuation of Huntsville, Alabama, by the United States forces, they resumed work in making saltpeter at said cave and continued it about two months. Their right to make saltpeter there was under a contract of lease between the owners of the cave and other parties, which had been transferred to the claimants, by whom it was, in May, 1863, sold and transferred to the so-called 'Confederate States of America' for $34,600. On the 28th of March, 1862, the claimants sold to the said Confederate States of America 2,480 lbs. of saltpeter at 75 cents per pound, in all, $1,860, and received payment therefor at Richmond, Virginia, on the 27th of June, 1862, from a rebel captain of artillery, and on the 30th of November, 1862, they sold to the said 'Confederate States' 4m209 lbs. of niter at 75 cents per pound, in all $3,156.75,
and in the bill of the same, which the claimants receipted, it was expressed that the said niter was 'for manufacture of gunpowder,' and the amount of said bill was paid at Larkinsville, Alabama, on the 24th of December, 1862, by the rebel 'superintendent of niter and mining district No. 9,' and the claimants hired to the said 'Confederate States' wagons to transport the said niter from Santa Cave to Rome, Georgia."
From the decree dismissing the petition the claimants appealed to this Court.