Eager to meet a practical evil by practical remedies, the Californians have passed a law empowering the port authorities to inspect all vessels coming in from Asia
, and when they find a cargo of females on board suspected of being slaves, and obviously brought over for immoral purposes, to require the company to carry them back.
A cargo soon arrived, for many merchants are engaged in this abominable trade.
“You cannot land these women,” said the port officials.
“We shall see,” replied the merchants, who had bought the girls on speculation and were anxious for a profit on their wares.
They went to law. The first Court at San Francisco
justified the authorities, on which the merchants carried an appeal to Chief-Justice Wallace
, in the Supreme Court at Sacramento
, who sustained the verdict of the local Court.
Foiled in their design, they went into the Circuit Court of the United States
, pleading that the laws of California
are in open conflict with the American Constitution
, and are therefore void in San Francisco
, part of the territory of the United States
The Judges of the Circuit Court adopted this view.
Fretted by this verdict in the Circuit Court, the