United States v. Schooner Peggy

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Citation5 U.S. 103,2 L.Ed. 49,1 Cranch 103
Decision Date01 December 1801

ERROR to the circuit court of Connecticut.

The schooner Peggy was captured as prize by the United States armed vessel, the Trumbull, David Jewitt, Esq. commander, instructed to take any armed vessel or vessels, sailing under the authority or pretence of authority of the French Republic. The capture was made upon the 24th of April 1800, and she was sent into the district of Connecticut, and was there libelled as prize. The district court ordered the schooner and cargo to be restored, and the captors appealed to the circuit court of the district of Connecticut for September 1800. The circuit court reversed the decree of the district court, and condemned the Peggy and cargo as prize. From this decree the owners of the Peggy prosecuted this writ of error.

On the 30th of September 1801 a convention between the United States and the French Republic was signed by the plenipotentiaries of the two nations at Paris, and on the 21st of December 1801 it was finally ratified by the president of the United States.

The fourth article of the convention provides that,

'Property captured, and not yet definitively condemned, or which may be captured before the exchange of ratifications (contraband goods destined to an enemy's port excepted) shall be mutually restored. This article shall take effect from the date of the signature of the present convention. And if, from the date of the said signature, any property shall be condemned contrary to the intent of the said convention, before the knowledge of this stipulation shall be obtained, the property so considered shall without delay be restored, or paid.'

The question to be decided by the court was, whether, by the sentence of the circuit court of Connecticut of September, the schooner Peggy could be considered as definitively condemned, within the meaning of the fourth article of the convention.

[Pages 104-107 intentionally omitted] Mr. Chief Justice MARSHALL delivered the opinion of the court.

In this case the court is of opinion that the schooner Peggy is within the provisions of the treaty entered into with France, and ought to be restored. This vessel is not considered as being definitively condemned. The argument at the bar which contends that because the sentence of the circuit court is denominated a final sentence, therefore its condemnation is definitive in the sense in which that term is used in the treaty, is not deemed a correct argument. A decree or sentence may be interlocutory or final in the court which pronounces it, and receives its appellation from its determining the power of that particular court over the subject to which it applies, or being only an intermediate order...

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590 cases
  • Wilson v. Superior Court, Los Angeles County
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • July 23, 1982
    ...148, 77 L.Ed. 360.) However, an analogy can be found within the language of Chief Justice Marshall in United States v. Schooner Peggy (1801) 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 102, 108-110, 2 L.Ed. 49): "It is, in the general, true, that the province of an appellate court is only to inquire whether a judgme......
  • Phillips v. Curiale
    • United States
    • New Jersey Supreme Court
    • July 13, 1992
    ...281, 89 S.Ct. 518, 526, 21 L.Ed.2d 474, 484 (1969)). The Court based that holding on a broad reading of United States v. Schooner Peggy, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 103, 2 L.Ed. 49 (1801), in which Chief Justice Marshall explained the origin and justification for that [I]f, subsequent to the judgment......
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Maryland
    • May 30, 1984
    ...as the plaintiff contends, that the decision in Murray, 723 F.2d 1146, is governed by the holding in United States v. Schooner Peggy, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 103, 110, 2 L.Ed. 49 (1801), which provides that while a case is pending on appeal and there is an intervening change in the law decided by......
  • New Hanover Cnty. Bd. of Educ. v. Stein
    • United States
    • North Carolina Supreme Court
    • February 11, 2022
    ..., the law must be obeyed, or its obligation denied." Id. at 282, 89 S.Ct. 518 (emphasis added) (quoting United States v. Schooner Peggy , 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 103, 110, 2 L.Ed. 49 (1801) ). The principle stated in Thorpe upon which the Court of Appeals relied in Currie and in this case has no ......
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3 books & journal articles
  • When is finality ... final? Rehearing and resurrection in the Supreme Court.
    • United States
    • Journal of Appellate Practice and Process Vol. 12 No. 1, March 2011
    • March 22, 2011
    ...concerns the time at which a trial court judgment becomes ripe for appeal under the "final judgment" rule. (3.) U.S. v. Schooner Peggy, 5 U.S. 103, 110 (1801) ("It is in the general true that the province of an appellate court is only to inquire whether a judgment when rendered was erroneou......
    • United States
    • June 22, 2020
    ...like). (13.) Ware v. Hylton, 3 U.S. 199 (1796). (14.) Murray v. The Schooner Charming Betsy, 6 U.S. 64 (1804). (15.) The Schooner Peggy, 5 U.S. 103 (16.) Little v. Barreme, 6 U.S. 170 (1804). (17.) Brown v. United States, 12 U.S. 110 (1814). (18.) See David L. Sloss, Michael D. Ramsey, &......
  • Establishing Judicial Review? Schooner Peggy and the Early Marshall Court
    • United States
    • Political Research Quarterly No. 51-1, March 1998
    • March 1, 1998
    ...denied the Trumbell’sclaim on the ground that, contrary to American law, the Peggy was unarmedand was not captured on the high seas (5 U.S. at 103-4). On appeal, JusticeWilliam Cushing riding circuit reversed the lower court’s factual findings andordered condemnation (5 U.S. at 105-7). Beca......

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