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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1882, by

FRANK W. HACKETT, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

UNIVERSITY PRESS :
JOHN WILSON AND Son, CAMBRIDGE.

PREFACE.

In the following pages I have sought to bring under review the legislation of Congress known as “The Geneva Award Acts.” These are the acts approved, respectively, June 23, 1874, and June 5, 1882.

Great Britain, it will be recalled, paid the United States, September 13, 1873, at Washington, the sum of $15,500,000 gold, in conformity with the terms of the award. Our government invested this sum in five per cent registered bonds of the United States. Instead of entrusting the distribution of the fund to a mere commission, Congress, in 1874, created a tribunal, the “ Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims,” composed of five judges. They were empowered to receive, examine, and give judgment for claims directly resulting from damage caused by the “Alabama," the “Florida” (and their tenders), and by the “Shenandoah ” after leaving Melbourne, February 18, 1865. These vessels were called “ inculpated cruisers,” from the fact that for their presence on the ocean Great Britain had been held responsible. The privileges of the act were also extended to insurers whose losses during the rebellion from war risks exceeded what they had gained from that source.

Later enactments prolonged the existence of the court till January 1, 1877, but did not enlarge its jurisdiction. The judgments of this court, amounting with interest to $9,316,120.25, were paid at the Treasury. Secretary Sherman cancelled the bonds March

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