United States v. Schooner Peggy

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtMARSHALL
Citation5 U.S. 103,2 L.Ed. 49,1 Cranch 103
PartiesThe UNITED STATES v. The SCHOONER PEGGY
Decision Date01 December 1801

5 U.S. 103
1 Cranch 103
2 L.Ed. 49
The UNITED STATES
v.
The SCHOONER PEGGY.
December 1, 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]

Page 108

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...

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580 practice notes
  • Plaut v. Spendthrift Farm Inc., 931121
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 18, 1995
    ...on appeal that were rendered before the law was enacted, and must alter the outcome accordingly. See United States v. Schooner Peggy, 1 Cranch 103, 2 L.Ed. 49 (1801); Landgraf v. USI Film Products, 511 U.S. ----, ---- - ----, 114 S.Ct. 1483, 1500-1508, 128 L.Ed.2d 229 (1994). Since that is ......
  • US v. Johns, Crim. No. 87-00376.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • June 18, 1990
    ...of this rule is almost two hundred years old, dating back to the opinion of Chief Justice Marshall in United States v. Schooner Peggy, 1 Cranch 103, 2 L.Ed. 49 (1801) ("It is in the general true that the province of an appellate court is only to enquire whether a judgment when rendered was ......
  • Goodman v. Lukens Steel Company United Steelworkers of America v. Goodman, AFL-CIO-CLC
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 19, 1987
    ...Thorpe v. Housing Authority of Durham, 393 U.S. 268, 281, 89 S.Ct. 518, 526, 21 L.Ed.2d 474 (1969); United States v. Schooner Peggy, 1 Cranch 103, 109, 2 L.Ed. 49 (1801). But Chevron Oil Co. v. Huson, 404 U.S. 97, 92 S.Ct. 349, 30 L.Ed.2d 296 (1971), advises that nonretroactivity is appropr......
  • Banco Nacional de Cuba v. Farr
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • July 30, 1965
    ...as well. This rule originated in Chief Justice Marshall's opinion in United States v. Schooner Peggy, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 103, 109, 2 L.Ed. 49 (1801),6 and has been followed ever since. E. g., Hamm v. City of Rock Hill, 379 U.S. 306, 85 S.Ct. 384, 13 L.Ed. 2d 300 (1964); United States v. Stat......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
578 cases
  • Plaut v. Spendthrift Farm Inc., 931121
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 18, 1995
    ...on appeal that were rendered before the law was enacted, and must alter the outcome accordingly. See United States v. Schooner Peggy, 1 Cranch 103, 2 L.Ed. 49 (1801); Landgraf v. USI Film Products, 511 U.S. ----, ---- - ----, 114 S.Ct. 1483, 1500-1508, 128 L.Ed.2d 229 (1994). Since that is ......
  • US v. Johns, Crim. No. 87-00376.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • June 18, 1990
    ...of this rule is almost two hundred years old, dating back to the opinion of Chief Justice Marshall in United States v. Schooner Peggy, 1 Cranch 103, 2 L.Ed. 49 (1801) ("It is in the general true that the province of an appellate court is only to enquire whether a judgment when rendered was ......
  • Goodman v. Lukens Steel Company United Steelworkers of America v. Goodman, AFL-CIO-CLC
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 19, 1987
    ...Thorpe v. Housing Authority of Durham, 393 U.S. 268, 281, 89 S.Ct. 518, 526, 21 L.Ed.2d 474 (1969); United States v. Schooner Peggy, 1 Cranch 103, 109, 2 L.Ed. 49 (1801). But Chevron Oil Co. v. Huson, 404 U.S. 97, 92 S.Ct. 349, 30 L.Ed.2d 296 (1971), advises that nonretroactivity is appropr......
  • Banco Nacional de Cuba v. Farr
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • July 30, 1965
    ...as well. This rule originated in Chief Justice Marshall's opinion in United States v. Schooner Peggy, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 103, 109, 2 L.Ed. 49 (1801),6 and has been followed ever since. E. g., Hamm v. City of Rock Hill, 379 U.S. 306, 85 S.Ct. 384, 13 L.Ed. 2d 300 (1964); United States v. Stat......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Establishing Judicial Review? Schooner Peggy and the Early Marshall Court
    • United States
    • Political Research Quarterly Nbr. 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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