Puslapio vaizdai

submitted his story to the Court. He pleaded not guilty to the charge of beating the vice-consul; and this indictment was tried on Monday by twelve jurors, who are indeed Americans!

Mr. Dallas, the district attorney, opened the prosecution, by declaring that it was instituted by the orders of the government. He spoke of the mighty power of Bonaparte, of the savage disposition of Frenchmen in acts of retaliation; and said, that if Naglee was acquitted, our citizens would be at the mercy of the French, whom they should meet on the ocean. He said, that if there was a verdict of acquittal, the French emperor would not be satisfied with it; and he instanced as an example, the decision in the affair of Pearce, in which our government was not satisfied with the acquittal of captain Whitby. He attempted to show the privileges of the vice-consul and of Captain Brouvard; and said they were protected from violence by the law of nations, and by treaty. He said that the vice-consul's story was true, and that Naglee's witnesses were not to be believed. He concluded by telling the jury, that "he hoped they would give such a verdict that our government would hear no more of it !

Mr. Bradford then opened on the part of the defendant, and gave a brief recital of the acts of provocation which he had suffered from Brouvard, at and after the capture of his vessel. Mr. Hopkinson followed on the same side in a speech of some length and great eloquence. He spoke as an Americun, feeling for the honour of his country. He adverted, in an animated strain, to the terrors which the district attorney had held out to influence the decision of the jury. He said he hoped we were not yet prepared to offer ourselves up to the grasp of the great Napoleon; he trusted our courts of law were yet independent. He admitted the privileges of vice-consuls, but was not prepared to admit a privilege in them to assault an American citizen. He said he hoped the jury would give a verdict of acquittal, and there could be no doubt, that whatever might be the dissatisfaction of the French emperor, that our country would sanction their verdict, and unite with them to meet the consequences.


It is, however, impossible to give a correct idea of the genius and eloquence of Mr. Hopkinson's speech, or of the effect it produced on the audience. We wish it had been preserved. We wish our countrymen to see it. We wish Napoleon himself could have heard it. It was decisive upon the jury. Mr. Dallas endeavoured in his conclusion to break the force of it; but his attempt was vain. It was addressed to the feelings and to the understandings, to the heads and hearts of Americans; and the result was honourable to themselves and to their country.

They acquitted Mr. Naglee, and ordered the vice-consul to pay the costs of the prosecution.

Embargo. Injunction.




Exparte. Paul Grimball, complainant.


EMBARGO. INJUNCTION. An injunction is a prohibitory writ, restraining a person from committing or doing a thing which appears to be against equity and conscience.

An injunction granted by the Superior Court of Georgia to stay sales under an execution, because in consequence of an embargo imposed by the general government, no price could be obtained for the property. THIS was a bill in equity, stating, that several judgments

had been obtained at law against the complainant (Paul Grimball) for nearly 5000 dolls. while he had a judgment in his favour for 8000 dolls. suspended by an appeal; that executions had been issued against hiin, and a sale threatened, which if it took place, would prove ruinous to the complainant, inasmuch as nearly double the property would be sacrificed now, at a forced sale, which it would have required only four months ago to pay these judgments; and praying an injunction to delay any further proceedings at law for the present.

The case was argued on the seventh instant; Leake, the complainant's solicitor, stated, that the bill sought relief on two grounds:

1st. Equity will relieve on grounds of public utility or convenience:

Because a national measure [the embargo acts] ought not to produce individual ruin, when this Court can prevent it.

2d. Equity ought to relieve, from the peculiar situation of

the party.

Because the complainant was deprived at law of a rightful advantage.

Lawson and Stiles, for plaintiffs in execution, opposed the injunction principally on the ground, that it could not issue from the apprehensions of the party; that no levy or sale was yet ordered; and that the complainant ought to give security before the relief prayed for, could be obtained.

Upon which, his Honour pronounced the following decree:

The complainant in this bill states, that executions have been issued against his property, and a levy and sale menaced; that if a sale is made by the sheriff, at this time, when the pecuniary embarrassments occasioned by the embargo acts are so general and distressing, it will involve him in ruin, as no price, or no fair price can be obtained for his property, and that he has no other means of paying his debts.

Upon these grounds, he applies to the chancery side of this court, for the writ of injunction to restrain a sale under these executions. I shall not bottom a decision upon the peculiar circumstances of this case only, or as a particular case, involving such features of hardships and oppression, as render necessary the interposition of this branch of the Court. On the contrary, I shall view this as a case in which all our citizens are interested, and as calculated to establish a precedent for the general benefit.

I ask the question; is it not against equity and conscience? is it not in the highest degree oppressive, to compel the sheriff to obey the mandate of a writ of execution, when the facts are before the whole public, that the sale of produce, in its usual cours of traffic is suspended, or bougit up by monied men, from the necessitous planter for a song? From the planter, who must sacrifice his crops to prevent a greater sacrifice; who must sell to obtain provisions (if a cotton planter) for his negroes, and necessaries for his family; who must sell for this song, to prevent his negroes (a more valuable property, and upon whose uninterrupted labour and increase, the future support of himself and children depend) being knocked off under the hammer of the sheriff, at a price far less than one half their cash value. Is this picture overcharged? Is it not rather a correct delineation of the distresses of the agricultural interest at this moment? If it is, then relief ought somewhere to be found.

It has been, and is at this hour, a subject of sufficient magnitude, to require one of the extraordinary meetings of the legislature, which the constitution authorizes. But, until a legislative, suspension of sales is given to the people, cannot relief be afforded by this court?

I have given to the powers with which the law and the constitution have invested me their full deliberation: and though I do not possess all the powers of a Loru Chancellor, because by our local system the interposition of a jury is required in equity cases, yet that system cannot, and does not interfere with these matters in chancery, which in their nature must be exclusively referred to the discretion of the Court. Of this nature, I consider the application for the writs of injunction.

AN INJUNCTION is a prohibitory writ restraining a person from committing or doing a thing which appears to be against equity and conscience.

This is the simple definition given by one of the elementary compilers, and it is sufficiently comprehensive for me to adopt it.

The principal use made of this writ is, to restrain some rigorous proceedings at law.

I shall then consider whether a sale by the sheriff, at this crisis of our national affairs, big with calamities, as I have described, to the agricultural interest, should be restrained as a rigorous proceeding at law, and as a proceeding against equity and conscience.

1st. Is it a rigorous proceeding in law? an execution is the last stage of our common law proceedings. It places the person, or the property of the defendant, at the mercy of the judgment of the creditor, who may make his election. I am speaking of the execution, of which nothing can be alleged in chancery against its parent judgment. Of this ature are the executions before us; and they assume the appellation of ri

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