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E. J. McLANE.
JANUARY 5, 1855.
Mr. T. WENTWORTH, from the Committee on Commerce, made the
The Committee on Commerce, to whom was referred the petition of E. J. McLane, praying compensation for his services in seizing and detaining horses and mules, smuggled into the United States from Merico, respectfully report: It appears in this case that the petitioner, E. J. McLane, being an officer of the customs duly qualified, to wit: an inspector pro tem., on the 16th of March, 1852, received the following instructions from Robert B. Kingsbury, deputy collector of Brownsville, Texas: “You are hereby commanded to take into custody any animals which you may have good reason to believe have been imported from Mexico, in violation of the revenue laws of the United States. If you should at any time take into possession any animals for an alleged violation of the revenue laws, you will report the fact to me forthwith. You will be careful, before detaining any animals, to be in possession of such evidence as will show good probable cause for such detention and seizure.” On the 18th day of March John S. Rhea, the collector at Point Isabel, approved the employment of the petitioner, under the circumstances of the case as stated by Kingsbury.
The reason assigned for the employment of the petitioner upon the extraordinary service mentioned above was, that information had been received by the deputy collector at Brownsville that a large number of animals had been stolen from the vicinity of Reynosa, in Mexico, and had been introduced into the territory of the United States in violation of the revenue laws of the same, and had been driven into the interior of Texas. In pursuance of his employment and instructions, the petitioner engaged assistants, pursued the animals, overtook and seized a part of the same, and made report of his proceedings to the said deputy collector, who, by the papers in the case, compliments the petitioner for his energetic and faithful conduct, and adds that the operations of the petitioner were perceived in the increase of duties on animals.
It also appears that said petitioner was engaged in the office of inspector of customs from the 16th of March to the 3d day of June, 1852, and a detailed report of his proceedings shows that he exerted
himself to discharge the duties of his office, and the great opposition he encountered from certain citizens of Texas through the State courts.
The claim of Mr. McLane for bis services, and for the services of his aids, was presented to the Treasury Department and payment refused, on the ground that the authority of Congress was required for its liquidation. The Secretary, in a letter dated February 4, 1854, says: “ From all the evidence before this department, he (McLane) appears to have acted with good faith, though not in all instances with sound judgment; and his action seems to have been useful in checking smuggling and the marauding connected therewith, which then prevailed extensively on our southern frontier.
“ The laws by which this department is governed have been made for ordinary cases. There was then an extraordinary combination of circumstances on the Rio Grande, under which Mr. McLane was appointed an occasional inspector, in a manner not strictly regular, and the final disposition of his claim properly devolves on Congress.”
Upon a consideration of all the facts presented, the committee are of opinion that the Senate bill, which has been drawn conformable to the recommendation of the Treasury Department, ought to pass.
JANUARY 5, 1855.
Mr. F. P. Stanton, from the Committee on the Judiciary, made the fol
The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the memorial of
Joseph Ridgway, having had the same under consideration, report : The facts of this case as set forth in the memorial, and in the letters of the Solicitor of the Treaury and the district attorney, would seem to render it proper to authorize a compromise, and the committee therefore report a bill.
To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America. The petition of Frederick H. Whitmore, of the city of New York, attorney in fact of Joseph Ridgway, respectfully shows:
That at the city of New York, on the 10th day of May, 1839, the said Joseph Ridgway signed a certain bond given for duties, conditioned in the sum of $3,083, whereon the said Joseph Ridgway and one William E. Andariese appeared as sureties, together with Edward Andariese as principal ; and also, on the 10th day of July, 1839, the said Joseph Ridgway signed another certain bond given for duties, conditioned in the sum of $687, whereon the said Joseph Ridgway and one Joseph H. Cunningham appeared as sureties, together with Edward Andariese as principal.
That soon after the execution of said bonds, to wit, on or about the first day of October, 1839, the said Joseph Ridgway became insolvent, and removed from the said city of New York to St. Thomas, in the Danish West Indies, where he has continued to reside and do business from that time to the present.
That suits were commenced upon said several bonds, in the district court of the United States for the southern district of New York, for default of payment, and judgment was entered in due course of law on the first of said bonds on the 3d of December, 1839, for $3,154 60, debt and costs; and on the second of said bonds, on the 4th of February, 1840, for $750 97, debt and costs, and executions were accordingly issued, upon each of which the marshal of the United States returned “nulla bona."
That the process upon which said suits were commenced was never served upon said Joseph Ridgway, because of his aforesaid absence; and that judgments were, therefore, only docketed against the individual property of the other defendants (they having been regularly served with process) and the partnership property of the said Edward Andariese and Joseph Ridgway, who were, at the time of the execution of said bonds, partners in business.
That no property of said partnership was remaining when said executions were issued, from the fact of the insolvency aforesaid ; and the said Joseph Ridgway never derived any benefit from or concerning the said bonds for duties, or the merchandise on account of which said bonds were given.
That the said Joseph Ridgway has no property in the United States subject to execution.
And your petitioner humbly prays, that inasmuch as the said Joseph Ridgway received no benefit or advantage from the non-payment of said bonds, and is now, and has been since, prior to the commencement of said suits, a resident of a foreign country; and inasmuch as the United States has no claim by judgment against him, and can obtain none until he shall come to the United States and be served with process; and because that the said Joseph Ridgway has no property in this country which could be reached by legal proceedings, your honorable bodies would, therefore, afford him the means of relieving himself from such liability as aforesaid by empowering the Solicitor of the Treasury of the United States 10 compromise, release and discharge, upon such terms as he may deem most 10 the interests of the government, the indebtedness of the said Joseph Ridgway, leaving the judgments aforesaid to stand in their present condition as against all the other defendants, in no manner reversed, vacated, or satisfied. And your petitioner will ever pray, &c.
F. H. WHITMORE,
As Attorney for J. Ridgway.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Southern District of N. Y.
Frederick H. Whitmore being duly sworn, deposes and says, that the facts stated in the foregoing petition are true, except as to such as are upon his information, and as to those matters he believes them to be true.
F. H. WHITMORE.
Sworn to, before me, this 19th day of May, 1854.
CHAS. ELIOT SCOVILLE,
U. S. Commissioner.
PHILADELPHIA, July 9, 1853. SIR: In the year 1839 Joseph Ridgway, together with William E. Andariese and Joseph H. Cunningham, signed, as surety, two custom