Ohn Stratton, Appellant v. Leonard Jarvis and Brown, Appellees

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Citation33 U.S. 4,8 Pet. 4,8 L.Ed. 846
Decision Date01 January 1834

33 U.S. 4
8 Pet. 4
8 L.Ed. 846
January Term, 1834

Page 5

AN appeal from the circuit court of the United States for the district of Maryland.

In the district court of the United States for the district of Maryland, a libel was filed by the appellant for salvage, against several packages of merchandize of the invoice value of thirteen thousand six hundred and forty-one dollars and ninety-five cents, the property of fifteen consignees, alleged to have been saved from the brig Spark in the Chesapeake Bay; the vessel having been on a voyage from New York to Baltimore, and having struck on Thomas's Point in the bay, on the 11th of March 1831.

The libellant was master of the sloop Liberty, a small vessel which took from the Spark the merchandize stated to have been saved; he having been employed for the purpose in Annapolis,

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by the master of the Spark, who, after she was on shore, went there to obtain vessels in which to discharge the cargo.

The libel alleged that the contract under which the Liberty was employed for a stipulated compensation, was rescinded by the owners of the Spark, who had repaired to her from Baltimore after hearing of her misfortune; they declaring they would not be responsible for the payment of the sum stipulated, but that they 'abandoned the goods;' and the claim for hire having thus been converted into a case of salvage.

The answer of the appellees, the owners of the merchandize, denied the claim of the libellant to salvage, and relied upon the agreement for a stipulated compensation as fixed upon by the captain of the Spark, the amount of which was offered to be paid to the libellant, and was by him refused.

The answer also denied that the cargo of the Spark was in danger of loss; and that services of a meritorious character, upon which a claim for salvage would rest, had been performed by the libellant.

The district court allowed, as a salvage, twenty per cent; which, on appeal by the appellees, the circuit court reduced to five per cent, on the gross proceeds of the goods; from which decree of the circuit court the libellant appealed.

In the circuit court the following agreement was entered into:

'List of owners.—Patterson & Duncan, J. B. Danforth, Chamberlin & Caldwell, William B. Keys & Co., Baltzell & Davidson, Mummey & Meredith, John Armstrong & Son, William M. Ellicott & Co., Sacket & Shannon, Baltzell & Dalrymple, Peabody, Riggs & Co., Bancroft & Peck, Lawrence & Anderson, S. & J. B. Ford, Jarvis & Brown.'

'List of consignees.—Joseph Taylor & Son, John T. Barr, B. & Davidson, M. & Meredith, C. F. Pochon & Co., Ellicott & Co., S. & Shannon, B. & D., N. F. Williams, P. R. & Co. B. & Peck, E., Eichelberger & Co., Talbot Jones & Co., H. & W. Crawford, J. & B., Morrison and Egerton.'

'It is agreed that separate appeals be filed in this case for each of the owners, as specified in the foregoing list, and that the cause be considered and treated as if such separate appeals were filed, and that none of the appellants shall have any privileges

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or advantages which would not appertain to them if such appeal were a separate one.

'Signed by the proctors of the respondents and appellants.

'Nov. 18, 1831.'

The salvage was apportioned among the owners of the property saved as follows:

Amount Amount

Owners. Consignees. of goods, of

saved. salvage.

Patterson & Duncan Joseph Taylor & Son $493 12 $98 62

J.B. Danforth Same 357 82 71 56

Chamberlin & Caldwell Same 400 00 80 00

Wm. B. Keys & Co. John T. Barr 1471 65 294 33

Baltzell & Davidson B. & Davidson 757 42 151 48

Mummey & Meredith M. & M. 361 60 72 32

John Armstrong & Son C. F. Pochon & Co. 238 00 47 60

Wm. M. Ellicott & Co. Wm. M. E. & Co. 862 36 172 47

Sackett & Shannon S. & S. 501 60 100 32

Baltzell & Dalrymple B. & D. 2000 00 400 00

Peabody, Riggs & Co. P., R. & Co. 409 50 81 00

Bancroft & Peck B. & P. 360 19 72 04

Lawrence & Anderson Erskine Eichelberger & Co. 424 85 84 97

S. & J. B. Ford H. & W. Crawford 473 00 94 60

Jarvis & Brown J. & B. 4530 84 906 17

----------- ------------

$13,641 95 $2728 38

The case was argued by Mr. Wirt, for the appellant; and by Mr Mayer, for the appellees.

As the court gave no opinion on another point but that of jurisdiction, the argument upon the merits, and on other questions presented by the counsel, are omitted.

Mr Mayer, for the appellees, contended, that the supreme court had not jurisdiction in the case, as the sum in controversy was not sufficient to authorize an appeal from the circuit court to this court.

The property saved consisted of merchandize in separate parcels, belonging to different consignees. But one parcel exceeded two thousand dollars in value.

By the agreement of the counsel the appeals were to be separate; and the case rests upon the principles decided by this court in the case of The Warren, 6 Peters, 143. The interests of the owners of the merchandize were not consolidated. The consolidation, by the general...

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