The Sequestration Act.
--As our readers are aware, the Sequestration Act
, passed by the late session of the Confederate Congress, provides, among other things, for the payment of all sums due from citizens of the Confederate States
to "alien enemies," into the Treasury of the Confederate States
There seems still to be a doubt upon the minds of some as to who are alien enemies; and, among other communications on the subject, we have received the following:
"I wish to inquire, through the columns of the Dispatch,
of such tribunal or individual as may be able to give the information, (which will be thankfully received by a large number of individuals interested in the effects and operations of the act referred to,) exactly who are to be considered "alien enemies." For instance, suppose A owes to parties, who were doing business in New York at the time the debt was created, under the style of B, C & Co.; suppose two or more members of the firm are Southern men, and at this time in the Confederates States Army
--one member a native or an adopted citizen of New York, who remains in the city.
Are they classed alien enemies?
Shall A pay the debt to the Southern
members of the firm, or to the Confederate States
Again, suppose just such a state of affairs, with this difference — that the Southern
members remain North, as they allege, to close up their business, or from compulsion.
To whom shall that debt be paid?"
As to the first inquiry, we need only inform our correspondent, (without troubling any tribunal,) that every man, woman, and child, high or low, rich or poor, who is domiciled in the enemy's country, is an "alien enemy." The law even extends to branches of foreign houses doing business at the North
The same answer applies to the second question.
If a business is done in New York by ten partners, and nine are in the Southern
army, it comes under the operation of the law. It provides, however, for dissolution of partnerships, in order that the respective interests may be separated.
The last question may be briefly answered: If the Southern
members remain at the North
to close up their business, or for any other purpose, it makes no difference where they are — they are alien enemies if their business is conducted in the enemy's country.
Portions of the law may bear heavily upon some persons, yet, as it stands, we do not see how it can be evaded in any instance.