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[105] to enable a belligerent to claim for itself the benefit of captures made in its behalf by citizens of a neutral State. Parr's position may be, and in all probability is, very different from that of his associates; but it does not seem to me to have been sufficiently commanding to impress on the enterprise his own nationality. The question then recurs, whether the legal complection of this capture can be altered by Parker's connection with it, assuming that his Confederate character can be established by proof. In the absence of all facilities for investigation (the law library of the Province, to which I have access, being very meagre), I am not free from all doubt as to the correctness of my conclusions upon this point. The letters of marque, I am disposed to think, attach only to the vessel, and confer authority upon the master, whoever he may be, for the time being. They do not confer upon the commander a personal authority, which will survive the destruction of his ship (unless in reference to a prize which she may have captured) and enable him to act as a commissioned officer wherever he may be found. If I am correct in this, Parker can only be regarded as a private citizen of the Confederacy, with no right, such as he assumed, to enlist men or appoint officers in its service; and as he was not present when the Chesapeake was taken, the character of the capture must be determined by that of persons on board at the time.

If, however, I am mistaken in my view of the law upon this point (which I would be very glad to find), there is another principle which, whilst it would not affect the captors with any crime in the eye of public law, would no doubt be appealed to in order to deprive us of the fruits of the capture — I mean that enunciated by the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of L'Aneistad De Rues, 5 Wheat, 385; the Belle Corunes, 6 Wheat, 152; La Conception, ibid, 235; La Santissima Trinidad, 7 Wheat, 283 and 9, to wit: that where a prize has been taken by any agency created in violation of neutral sovereignty, it will, if brought voluntarily within the neutral jurisdiction, be restored to the original owners. I do not know that the case of the Chesapeake can be brought within the range of any exception to this principle. The evidence contained in the report of the trial at Saint Johns (of which I send a copy) discloses a clear violation by Parker of the British foreign enlistment act; and upon this ground alone I apprehend that any claim we might advance to the Chesapeake would be defeated.

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