Imágenes de páginas

president adverts to the unfortunate issue of the expedition under general Hull, the causes of which, he observes, will be investigated by a military tribunal. This leads to observations on the hostile employment of the savages by the British, which he contrasts, with the benevolent policy of the United States, which “invariably recommended peace, and promoted civilization, among that wretched portion of the human race.”

“ The misfortune at Detroit,” he continues," was not, however, without a consoling effect. It was followed by signal proofs that the national spirit rises according to the pressure on it. The loss of an important post, and of the brave men surrendered with it, inspired every where new ardour and determination. In the states and districts least remote, it was no sooner known, than every citizen was ready to fly with his arms, at once to protect his brethren against the blood-thirsty savages let loose by the enemy on an extensive frontier, and to convert a partial calamity into a source of invigorated efforts.”

The invasion of Canada from Detroit, it appears, was undertaken as well for the

purpose of intercepting the hostile influence of Great Britain over the savages, and obtaining the command of lake Erie, as to co-operate with the forces employed against other parts

of Canada. As soon as its unfortunate termination was known, measures were taken to provide a naval force on the lakes superior to that of the enemy.

$ 4. The message next notices the attack upon Queenstown, and the successful commencement of the war on the ocean, by the capture of the Guerriere, and the activity of our private cruizers.

95. The refusal of the militia by the governors of Massachu- . setts and Connecticut, “ founded upon a novel and unfortunate exposition of the provisions of the constitution,” forms another topic of the message. From the correspondence upon this subject, it appears, that by a circular letter from the war department, dated April 15, 1812, the executives of the several states were called upon to organize, and hold in readiness to march at a moment's warning, their respective quotas of 100,000 militia authorized by the act of April 10th, 1812. On the 12th of June, the secretary of war requested governor Strong of Massachusetts to order into the service of the United States, on the requisition of major-general Dearborn, such part of the quota of Massachusetts as he might deem necessary for the defence of the sea coast. On the 22d, general Dearborn called on the governor for 14 companies of artillery and 27 companies of infantry, for the defence of the ports and harbours of the state and the harbour of Newport, at the same time communicating information of the declaration of war. On the 26th, not having received notice that measures had been taken for calling the militia into service, the general again addressed governor Strong, soliciting such information on the subject as the urgency of the case demanded. , He was answered, that governor Gerry (his predecessor in office) had, on the 25th of April, ordered 10,000 men to be detached, but that the returns of those detachments had not come to hand, except in a very few instances. On the 21st of July, governor Strong was informed by the secretary at war, that the arrangement of

the militia before communicated was preparatory to the march of the regular troops to the northern frontier. That the exigencies of the service required,

. and orders had accordingly been given to major-general Dearborn, to move the regular troops to that frontier, leaving a sufficient number to man the guns in the garrisons on the seaboard. That the danger of invasion, which existed at the time of issuing the order of the president, increased, and that he was specially directed by the president, to urge the consideration, as requiring the necessary order to be given for the immediate march of the militia to their respective posts.

In answer to the communication from the war department, the governor stated, that the people of that state appeared to be under no apprehension of an invasion. In some places they had applied for arms and ammunition, but they had expressed no desire that any part of the militia should be called out for their defence, and in some cases he had been assured that such a measure would be disagreeable to them. That it could hardly be supposed, that if the state had been considered by the president in great danger of invasion, the troops would have been called thence to carry on offensive operations in a distant province. However, as it was understood that the governor of Nova Scotia had by proclamation forbid any incursions or depredations upon our territories, and as an opinion generally prevailed that the governor had no authority to call the militia into actual service, unless one of the exigencies contemplated by the constitution existed, he had thought it expedient to call the council together, and having laid before them the letter from the war department and those from general Dearborn, had requested their advice on the subject.

The council advised, that they were unable, from a view of the constitution of the United States, and of those letters, to perceive that any exigency existed which could render it advisable to comply with the requisition. But as upon important questions of law, and upon solemn occasions, the governor and council have authority to require the opinion of the justices



original but not exclusive jurisdiction. It has exclusively all such jurisdiction of suits or proceedings against ambassadors or other public ministers, or their domestics, or domestic servants, as a court of law can have or exercise consistently with the law of nations; and original, but not exclusive jurisdiction, of all suits brought by ambassadors or other public ministers, or in which a consul or vice-consul is a party. The supreme court also has appellate jurisdiction from the circuit courts, and courts of the several states, in certain cases. It also has power to issue writs of prohibition to the district courts, when proceeding as courts of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, and writs of mandamus, in cases warranted by the principle and usages of law, to any courts appointed, or persons holding office, under the authority of the United States.

§ 21. The salary of the chief justice is $4000, and that of each of the associate justices $ 3500 per annum.

22. The United States is divided into 20 districts, each of the states forming one district except Massachusetts and Tennessee, which are each divided into two; the former into Massachusetts and Maine, the latter into East and West Tennessee. There is a district court consisting of one judge for the two districts of East and West Tennessee; a district court consisting of two judges for the district of New York; and a district court consisting of one judge for each of the other districts. In most of the districts, there are four courts held annually, generally at the two principal places in the district alternately. In each of the districts of Pennsylvania and Maryland, the courts are held at only one place, namely, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

§ 23. The district courts have, exclusively of the courts of the several states, cognizance of all crimes and offences that are cognizable under the authority of the United States, committed within their respective districts, or upon the high seas; where no other punishment than whipping, not exceeding thirty stripes, a fine not exceeding 100 dollars, or a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months, is to be inflicted; and have also exclusive original cognizance of all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, including all seizures under laws of impost, navigation, or trade of the United States, where the seizures are made on waters which are navigable from the sea by vessels of ten or more tons burthen, within their respective districts as well as upon the high seas; saving to suitors, in all cases, the right of a common law remedy, where the common law is competent to give it. They have also exclusive original cognizance of all seizures on land, or waters other than navigable, and of all suits for penalties and forfeitures incurred

under the laws of the United States. They also have cognizance, concurrent with the courts of the several states, or the circuit courts, as the case may be, of all causes where an alien sues for a tort only in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States. They also have cognizance, concurrent with the courts of the states, of all suits at common law where the United States sue, and the matter in dispute amounts, exclusive of costs, to one hundred dollars. They have also cognizance, exclusively of the courts of the several states, of all suits against consuls or vice-consuls, except for offences greater than those above mentioned.

24. A salaries of the district judges are as follow: in Vermont $800; in Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Ohio, $1000; in New Jersey and Delaware $1200; in Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia, $1500; in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, $1600; in Virginia and South Carolina, $1800; and in Louisiana $2000 per annum.

$25. A circuit court consists of a justice of the supreme court and the district judge. The United States is divided into seven circuits, as follow: The first district includes the districts of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island; the second those of Vermont, Connecticut, and New York; the third those of New Jersey and Pennsylvania; the fourth those of Maryland and Delaware; the fifth those of Virginia and North Carolina; the sixth those of South Carolina and Geor gia; the seventh those of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio. There is no circuit court in the districts of Louisiana and Maine. The district courts of those districts have jurisdiction of all causes cognizable in circuit courts, except in cases of appeals and writs of error, which in Louisiana lie to the supreme court, and in Maine to the circuit court of Massachusetts. The circuit courts are held twice a year in each district.

26. The circuit courts have original cognizance, concurrent with the courts of the several states, of all suits of a civil nature at common law or in equity, where the matter in dispute exceeds, exclusive of costs, the sum or value of five hundred dollars, and the United States are plaintiffs, or petitioners; or an alien is a party; or the suit is between a citizen of the state where the suit is brought, and a citizen of another state. They have exclusive cognizance of all crimes and offences cognizable under the authority of the United States, with a few exceptions, and concurrent jurisdiction with the district courts, of the crimes and offences cognizable therein. No person can be arrested in one district for trial in another, in any civil action before a circuit or district court; and no civil suit can be brought before either


court against an inhabitant of the United States, by any original process in other district than that whereof he is an inhabitant, or in which he shall be found at the time of serving the writ; nor can any district or circuit court have cognizance of any suit to recover the contents of any promissory note or other chose in action in favour of an assignee, unless a suit might have been prosecuted in such court to recover the contents if no assignment had been made, except in cases of foreign bills of exchange. The circuit courts have also appellate jurisdiction from the district courts under certain regulations and restrictions. In suits commenced in state courts, against an alien, or a citizen of another state, if the matter in dispute exceeds $500, the defendant may remove the cause for trial into the circuit court. And in any action commenced in a state court, where the title of land is concerned, whose value exceeds $500, if either party claims under a grant from a state other than that in which the suit is pending, the cause may be removed for trial to the circuit court, although the parties be citizens of the same


§ 27. The attorney general of the United States is the public prosecutor before the supreme court. It is likewise his duty to give his advice and opinion upon questions of law, when requir ed by the president. He may also be consulted by the heads of departments, touching any matters that may concern those departments. He has a salary of $3000 per annum.

§ 28. The public prosecutors before the circuit and district courts are the district attorneys, of whom there is one in each district. These attorneys are compensated by fees, which are taxed by the respective courts. In Louisiana the district attorney receives an additional compensation of $600 per annum from the United States; there is also an allowance of $200 per annum to the attorney of each of the districts except Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and South Carolina.

$29. There is a marshal for each district, with the powers of a sheriff, who attends both the district and circuit courts. His fees are regulated by law. The marshals for the districts of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New Jersey, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, East Tennessee, West Tennessee, and Louisiana, have each an additional compensation of $200 per annum from the United States.

30. There is a clerk of court in each district, who attends both district and circuit courts. Their fees and compensations for attending court, and for travelling to attend circuit courts, are fixed by law.

« AnteriorContinuar »