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bunals a jurisdiction, which it would be a breach of faith to exercise. Those general statutory provisions, therefore, which are descriptive of the ordinary jurisdiction of the judicial tribunals, which give an individual whose property has been wrested from him, a right to claim that property in the courts of the country in which it is found, ought not, in the opinion of this court, to be so construed as to give them jurisdiction in a case in which the sovereign power has impliedly consented to waive its jurisdiction.

The arguments in favour of this opinion which have been drawn from the general inability of the judicial power to enforce its decisions in cases of this description, from the consideration that the sovereign power of the nation is alone competent to avenge wrongs committed by a sovereign, that the questions to which such wrongs give birth are rather questions of policy than of law, that they are for diplomatic, rather than legal discussion, are of great weight, and merit serious attention. But the argument has already been drawn to a length which forbids a particular examination of these points.

The principles which have been stated will now be applied to the case at bar.

In the present state of the evidence and proceedings, the Exchange must be considered as a vessel which was the property of the libellants, whose claim is repelled by the fact, that she is now a national armed vessel, commissioned by, and in the service of the Emperor of France. The evidence of this fact is not controverted. But it is contended that it constitutes no bar to an inquiry into the validity of the title, by which the Emperor holds this vessel. Every person, it is alleged, who is entitled to property brought within the jurisdiction of our courts, has a right to assert his title in those courts, unless there be some law taking his case out of the general rule. It is therefore said to be the right, and if it be the right, it is the duty of the court, to inquire whether this title has been extinguished by an act, the validity of which is recognized by national or municipal law.

If the preceding reasoning be correct, the Exchange, being a public armed ship, in the service of a foreign sovereign, with whom the government of the United States is at peace, and having entered an American port open for her reception, on the terms on which ships of war are generally permitted to enter the ports of a friendly power, must be considered as having come into the American territory under an implied promise, that while necessarily within it, and demeaning herself in a friendly manner, she should be exempt from the jurisdiction of the country.- (7 Cranch, 116.)

NOTE. The Exchange was originally an American schooner. In 1810 she was seized by order of Napoleon, then Emperor of the French, and duly set forth as a lawfully commissioned French ship under the name of the Balaou. As such she put into the port of Philadelphia in 1811, when she was claimed by her original owners. The effect of Chief Justice Marshall's decision was to confirm the authority over her of her French captain and officers.

29. Excerpts from the General Act of the Brussels Conference

of 1890 for the Suppression of the African Slave Trade



Article 1

The powers declare that the most effective means of counteracting the slave-trade in the interior of Africa are the following:

1. Progressive organization of the administrative, judicial, religious, and military services in the African territories placed under the sovereignty or protectorate of civilized nations.

2. The gradual establishment in the interior, by the powers to which the territories are subject, of strongly occupied stations, in such a way as to make their protective or repressive action effectively felt in the territories devastated by slave-hunting.

3. The construction of roads, and in particular of railways, connecting the advanced stations with the coast, and permitting easy access to the inland waters, and to such of the upper courses of the rivers and streams as are broken by rapids and cataracts, with a view to substituting economical and rapid means of transportation for the present system of carriage by men.

4. Establishment of steam-boats on the inland navigable waters and on the lakes, supported by fortified posts established on the banks.

5. Establishment of telegraphic lines, insuring the communication of the posts and stations with the coast and with the administrative centres.

6. Organization of expeditions and flying columns, to keep up the communication of the stations with each other and with the coast, to support repressive action, and to insure the security of high roads.

7. Restriction of the importation of fire-arms, at least of those of modern pattern, and of ammunition throughout the entire extent of the territory in which the slave-trade is carried on.

Article III The powers exercising a sovereignty or a protectorate in Africa confirm and give precision to their former declarations, and engage to proceed gradually, as circumstances may permit, either by the means above indicated or by any other means that they may consider suitable, with the repression of the slavetrade, each State in its respective possessions and under its own direction. Whenever they consider it possible, they shall lend their good offices to such powers as, with a purely humanitarian object, may be engaged in Africa in the fulfilment of a similar mission.

Article VI Slaves liberated in consequence of the stoppage or dispersion of a convoy in the interior of the continent, shall be sent back, if circumstances permit, to their country of origin; if not, the local authorities shall facilitate, as much as possible, their means of living, and if they desire it, help them to settle on the spot.

Article VII Any fugitive slave claiming, on the continent, the protection of the signatory powers, shall receive it, and shall be received

in the camps and stations officially established by said powers, or on board of the vessels of the State plying on the lakes and rivers. Private stations and boats are only permitted to exer

. cise the right of asylum subject to the previous consent of the State.

Article VIII

The experience of all nations that have intercourse with Africa having shown the pernicious and preponderating part played by fire-arms in operations connected with the slave-trade as well as internal wars between the native tribes; and this same experience having clearly proved that the preservation of the African population whose existence it is the express wish of the powers to protect, is a radical impossibility, if measures restricting the trade in fire-arms and ammunition are not adopted, the powers decide, so far as the present state of their frontiers permits, that the importation of fire-arms, and especially of rifles and improved weapons, as well as of powder, ball and cartridges, is, except in the cases and under the conditions provided for in the following Article, prohibited in the territories comprised between the 20th parallel of North latitude and the 22nd parallel of South latitude, and extending westward to the Atlantic Ocean and eastward to the Indian Ocean and its dependencies, including the islands adjacent to the coast within 100 nautical miles from the shore.

Article XIII

The signatory powers that have possessions in Africa in contact with the zone specified in Article VIII, bind themselves to take the necessary measures for preventing the introduction of fire-arms and ammunition across their inland frontiers into the regions of said zone, at least that of improved arms and cartridges.



Article XV

Independently of the repressive or protective action which they exercise in the centres of the slave-trade, it shall be the duty of the stations, cruisers and posts, whose establishment is provided for in Article II, and of all other stations established or recognized by Article IV, by each government in its possessions, to watch, so far as circumstances shall permit, and in proportion to the progress of their administrative organization, the roads travelled in their territory by slave-dealers, to stop convoys on their march, or to pursue them wherever their action can be legally exercised.

Article XVII

A strict watch shall be organized by the local authorities at the ports and places near the coast, with a view to preventing the sale and shipment of slaves brought from the interior, as well as the formation and departure landwards of bands of slave-hunters and dealers.

Caravans arriving at the coast or in its vicinity, as well as those arriving in the interior at a locality occupied by the territorial power, shall, on their arrival, be subjected to a minute inspection as to the persons composing them. Any such person being ascertained to have been captured or carried off by force, or mutilated, either in his native place or on the way, shall be set free.

Article XVIII In the possessions of each of the contracting powers, it shall be the duty of the government to protect liberated slaves, to return them, if possible, to their country, to procure means of subsistence for them, and, in particular, to take charge of the education and subsequent employment of abandoned children.

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