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Dutch merchants rented the stores ; a branch of the British house of Jardine, Matthews & Co. occupied them, and the rush and whirl of trade commenced. A correspondent of the New York Tribune, under date of February 25th, remarks :
"Despite all the remonstrances and protests of the foreign representatires, Yokuhama will be the port of trade, vice Kanagawa, omitted. In vain have letters been written, protests made, threats hinted at; the Japanese have quietly gone on putting up houses and stores at Yokuhama, not by the row or street, but by the acre; while foreign ministers, hampered by doubtful powers, have been writing dispatches, they have been building houses. The foreign merchants have too large investments of houses at Yokuhama to so much as raise the question of leaving. Since the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed must come to the mountain. The foreign representatives are, yielding as gracefully as possible to the force of circumstances; protesting on paper against the occupation of Yokuhama, and tacitly allowing it. It is a foregone conclusion; the Japanese are masters of the field, and Yokuhama carries the day against Kanagawa.
“Trade is active. A dozen vessels are in the bay receiving cargo, wbich goes mostly to China, with an occasional venture to England or the United States. There are not less than thirty foreign houses in the trade. Japan has lately discovered a new article of export. Maj. Foublanque, of the British service, is in the market purchasing horses for the great Chinese campaign of 1860. His wants are 3,000 horses, wbich he obtains through the Japanese Government at an average price of $20 to $25. Several hundred have already been purchased, and, judging from their looks, Japan is likely to be rid of some sorry nags. But we need not be scrupulous about the looks of pack-horses ; and horse flesh for the cuisine, our French cousins declare, is none the worse for age. The horse is the universal beast of burden in Japan, and a demand for 3,000 will make no serious impression on the market. Wheat flour, which is very cheap, is going forward in large quantities also. Bullocks are abundant and cheap, and are likely to be numerously shipped to China. The Chinese war will make a great demand for the surplus chow-chow of Japan, and revive the drooping trade of the foreign merchants."
Thus commerce has fastened its civilizing hand upon that coy empire, and she is fairly introduced into the great family of nations. What she has to contribute to the common weal is yet undecided. She may rival China to some extent in supplying tea and silk, and may be a customer for iron in return. In the process her scale of the metals must undergo a great change. It is quite probable, however, that the expectations of the great nations now flocking thither, to share the fancied advantages, may to some extent be disappointed.
JOURNAL OF MERCANTILE LAW.
COLLISION-MUTUAL FAULT--PLEADINGS- JURISDICTION.
In the United States District Court-in Admiralty. Before Judge BETTS. Alfred H. Hovey vs. the steamboat Francis Skiddy.
This case came up on exceptions to the report of the Commissioner to whom the case was referred under the rules of January term, 1859.
The action was brought by the owners of the canal boat Atlantic to recover the damages occasioned by her being run into by the Skiddy on the Hudson River. The boat was in tow of the steam-tug Illinois. There was a fog upon the river 80 thick that the boats were first warned of their dangerous proximity by the noise of each other's paddles, at a distance of some two or three hundred feet apart.
The Commissioner reported in favor of the libelants.
Held by the Court.-- T'hat the Commissioner bad authority to hear the case under the rules.
That the cause is one of Admiralty jurisdiction.
That on the facts both vessels were culpable in being kept under headway in such a state of the atmosphere, though their fault was mitigated by their being driven at so low a rate of speed.
That if this fault had continued till the collision, it would have been a case of mutual fault, calling for an apportionment of the damages.
That on the proofs, however, the tug stopped and backed at such a distance that a like proceeding on the part of the Skiddy would probably bave prevented a collision, and this fault no longer remained common to both.
That when it was ascertained on the Skiddy that she was stopping in a critical closeness to the tug, she was started ahead, crossing the bows of the tug, aud that this proceeding was a fault casting the blame of the collision upon her.
That the pleadings on both sides are faulty is not setting forth distinctly all the facts material to be proved to support the case of the prosecution or defence, and proofs on those points not alleged would have been legally inadmissible.
That the court also might refuse to decide those points not specifically at issue on the pleadings, but as the case has been fully discussed on the merits, and the pleadings can be reformed on an appeal, if one is taken, the court will decide on the law and facts of the case, that the findings of the commissioner are correct, and that the exceptions must be overruled.
Decree, therefore, for libelants, with a reference to ascertain the damages.
In the United States District Court—in Admiralty. Before Judge Betts. Rafael F. Torrices rs. the ship Winged Racer.
This action is brought on a charter of the ship by the owners to the libelant in July, 1857, for a voyage to China and thence back to Havana with a load of Coolies, not less than 884 in number, for which the libelant was to pay freight, $67 50 apiece to the ship, and a furtber sum to the master. The clause of the charter which the libel sought to enforce was as follows :—“The penalty of ponperformance of this contract is mutually fixed at balf the amount of freight, and to the accomplishment of the same, the charterer engages his whole responsibility, and the owners their vessel, rigging, &c., as by law. The sbip to have a lien upon the passengers for the freight money."
The libel was filed to recover this penalty, amounting to $28,951, alleging that the ship prepared for the voyage, cleared at the Custom-house, but after its commencement the owners broke it up and neglected to perform it.
Held by the Court.—That by the maritime law a ship is not bound to the performance of a contract for her employment, unless there be mutually a liability charged on cargo on board for the satisfaction of those services. When the contract is for the prospective employment of a ship in transportation of cargo which is not placed on board, the remedy for a breach of such contract is in the com. mon law courts.
That the clause in the charter by which the owners engage " their vessel, rigging, &c., as by law,” subjects the security to the operation of the law maritime upon credits of that character.
That the libelant therefore shows no lien upon the vessel of which the court can take cognizance, and the exception to the jurisdiction of the court must therefore be allowed.
CHARTER-BILL OF LADING-CARGO ON DECK--JETTISON— JURISDICTION.
In the United States District Court--in Admiralty. Before Judge Betts. N. Foster Higgins, et al., vs. Barron C. Watson, et al.
The libelants were the owners of the schooner B. S. Johnson, which was chartered on August 6, 1858, to the respondents by her master, for a voyage from two ports in North Carolina to New York, the respondents engaging to provide the vessel with a full cargo of resin and spirits of turpentine in barrels under deck, and with a deck load of resin in barrels, and to pay the master or agent a certain freight for resin and spirits of turpentine under deck, an another rate of freight for resin on deck. The master signed two clean bills of lading for resin shipped on board, one deliverable to the respondents or their assigns, and the other deliverable to a third party. The vessel arrived in New York September 24, 1858, and delivered to the respondents 106 barrels of resin less than the number of barrels called for by the bills of lading, that number having been swept from the deck or jettisoned by reason of sea perils. The master duly assigned the charter-party to the libelants, who brought this action to recover the freight according to the charter, while the respondents claimed that as the bills of lading were clean bills, the libelants were responsible for the loss of the resin shipped on deck.
Held by the Court.-- That the owner of a vessel is not liable for the loss by sea perils of goods laden on deck with the consent of the shipper, when no culpable neglect or misconduct is attributed to him in their destruction or jettison. (17 How. R., 100.)
That the charter-party in this case, and not the bills of lading, form the controlling contract of shipment, and governs the rights of the parties, which are not changed by specifying a different rate of freight in the bills of lading.
That the objection that an action upon a charter-party is not within the jurisdiction of the court, cannot be maintained.
Decree for libelants, with a reference to ascertain the amount of the chartermoney due.
SEAMEN'S WAGES—UNAUTHORIZED EMPLOYMENT. In the United States District Court-in Admiralty. Before Judge Betts. William J. Gilligan and twenty-three others vs. the ship Winged Racer.
This was a libel on behalf of seamen to recover wages against the vessel, by reason of the failure of a voyage to China and back, for which they had shipped. They were shipped in this port by a broker, at the request of one Hanna, who was alleged to be the master of the ship, and four of them rendered themselves on board to do duty. HLANNA testified that he had possession of the ship at the time as master, but did not prove any authority from her owner, and testified also that she was shortly afterwards taken possession of by the United
States Marshal under process, and the voyage was broken up, and he had not had possession since. The claimants offered depositions to show that Hanna's possession was an unauthorized usurpation of her, but that evidence was excluded by reason of informality in the certificate of the commission.
Held by the Court. That the libelants do not furnish sufficient proof that Hanna's possession was such as to authorize him to encumber the ship with the charge of wages of a crew. There is no evidence that he brought the vessel to this port, or ever exercised any control over her, except in directing the broker to ship the crew. He may have wronged the libelants, but there is no proof which can authorize the court to redress that wrong at the expense of the lawsul owners, who on the proofs must be deemed wholly innocent of any misconduct on his part.
Libel dismissed, but, as the libelants are seamen, without costs.
In the United States District Court-in Admiralty. Before Judge Betts. Ebenezer Goodwin, et al., rs. the tug boat C. Durant.
The libelants, owners of the bark Elizabeth, sue to recover $212 50 damages, alleging that in October, 1856, they employed the tug to tow the bark to sea, and that in doing so she carelessly towed the bark against a schooner, injuring the bark to the amount of $100, and the schooner to the amount of $112 50, which the libelants bad to pay.
The evidence showed that the libelants first employed the tug to tow the bark from a dock in Brooklyn to anchorage ground in the North River, on which voyage the injury spoken of took place, and then made a subsequent agreement that the tug should tow the bark to sea for $30.
One of the libelants brought with him a pilot to superintend the removal of the bark to the North River, and the manner of hauling her from the dock and conducting the voyage was conducted by them, and the pilot in charge of the tug followed their orders.
Held by the Courl.-That the gist of the action rests in contract and pot in tort.
That if the bark received injuries by negligence in the management of the tug, that fault was attributable to the libelants and their agent, the pilot, and not to the owners of the tug, who acted pursuant to the directions of the libelant and the pilot.
Libel dismissed, with costs.
In the United States District Court-in Admiralty. Before Judge Betts. Benjamin F. Betts, et al., vs. Eben Goodwin, et al.
This was a cross action tried with the preceding, brought by the owners of the C. Durant to recover the $30 for towing the vessel to sea.
Held by the Court.-That the court has jurisdiction of the action. The terminus of the service in fact bappened within the exterior boundaries of the State, but the contract was indefinite as to distance, and required that the steamer should tow the bark far enough out on the high seas to enable her to clear berself from the shore, and was accordingly in principle not confined to a place within the State. Its meaning, as well as its terms looked to placing the bark fully and effectually at sea. It was, therefore, a maritime contract.
The merits of the controversy as to the damage to the bark were decided in the previous case.
Decree, therefore, for libelants for $30, with interest from the commencement of the action, the day of the contract not having been proved.
COMMERCIAL CHRONICLE AND REVIEW.
DECLINE IN THE VALUE OF MONEY-DECLINE ABROAD-TIE INVASION OF SICILY--STAGNATION OF
BUSINESS-FALLING PRICES-CROPS OF FOOD PROMISE WELL-CHECKS MERCHANTS IIERE-LARGE EXPORTS-COTTON-BREADSTUFFS-NO ENTERPRISE TO DEMAND CAPITAL-CAPITAL AND TRAVEL TEND TO NEW YORK-POPULAR ATTRACTIONS--CENTRAL PARK-GREAT EASTERN-PRINCE OP WALES-JAPANESE EMBASSY-TRAVELERS TO EUROPE-TABLE OF NUMBERS-RAPID INCREASE IMPORTANCE OF TUE EXPENDITT RE-STEAM FACILITIES-INFLUENCE ON HOTELS AND BUSINESSORYSTAL PALACE EXCITEMENT--ITS RESULTS-PLETHORA OF MONEY-TABLE OF BATES--CHEAPER THAN EVER-PAPER BETTER CHARACTER-BANK DISCOUNTS--RATES OF EXCIIANGE-SHIPMENTS OF SPECIE-TABLE OF-FALL OF MONEY IN LONDON-SUPPLIES OF APPOIE-A88 AY-OFFICE-MINTOOINAGE-LAW OF 1853-SILVER COINAGE-GREAT SUPPLY OF QUERENCY-EFFECT UPON BANK CIRCULATION-DRIVES OCT GOLD-REDUNDANCY OF CHEAP MONEY-IMPORT8.
There has been a rapid decline in the value of money at home and abroad, arising mostly from the stagnation of business enterprises. The rate of money at the Bank of England, which had been put up to five per cent in April under exceptional influences, declined to four-and-a-half, and with the stagnation in business enterprises which followed the news of the descent of Garibaldi upon Sicily, it again declined to four per cent, and was dull outside of the Bank at three-and-a-balf, and could with difficulty be loaned upon the stock exchange at any rate of interest. The buyers of goods, in the manufacturing districts, for continental account, were very cautious, and business generally was not such as to employ much capital or to tempt speculation. The growing harvests promised so well that prices of produce were mostly dull, and did not tempt investment. The cotton crop, at the same time, continues swelling in magnitude to an extent that weakens values, in face of the checks which the markets for goods have received. These circumstances have influenced the markets here in a similar mander, and the value of money has declined in face of lessened enterprise, while the exports from the port, as will be seen by reference to the monthly tables hereto appended, have been large. The exports of cotton and breadstuffs from the United States, since September 1, have been, in quantities, as follows :
bales 2,701,044 3,567,509 866,465 Flour.
..bbls. 130,839 270,476 139,617 Wheat.
.bush. 603,415 941,985 438,670 Corn...
331,316 507,314 175,998 These quantities represent alone an increased value of nearly $16,000,000, and are a large amount added to the capital of the country, as far ag sales have been realized. The stagnation of the merchandise markets from political causes, and of the food prices by reason of the crops, prevent capital from embarking in produce, and there are no other enterprises which, for the moment, attract invest ments. This, since the check of 1857, has been slowly returning to first hands from the West, while the South, having realized abundant crops at high prices, has been liberal in payments and expenditures. Inasmuch as that New York is the general focus to which capital tends for employment, as well as for per. sons of leisure and those seeking business, there is an affluence of money and persons at the metropolis this season. The attractions at this time are the visit of the Great Eastero, the popolar “ progres" of the Japanere, and the