Page images

merchantmen, shall take effect according to the manner and form in which the parties interested may have agreed amongst themselves by their contracts and engagements.

What Vessels and Effects are to be considered as lareful Prize.
XXIV. The following are lawful prize:

1st. Vessels of the enemy, with all that they may carry on board belonging to them, whether they be war vessels, privateers, or merchantmen.

2nd. The cargo and effects of neutrals and Mexicans which may be found on board these said vessels, after sufficient time has elapsed for the declaration of war, proclaimed by the Government of The United States against the Mexican nation, to have become known.

3rd. Vessels constructed by the enemy, or which may have belonged to the enemy, if the property be not sufficiently accredited as neutral.

4th. Those which may be navigated without patents or register showing their neutrality, as well as their entire cargo, wholly or in part, if found similarly deficient of the indispensable papers; the act of throwing papers into the sea, shall of itself be sufficient ground for declaring them lawful prize.

5th. Those which may be found without the legal patent of a sovereign state, or republic, having authority to grant one.

6th. Those which may have one from two or more different powers.

7th. Those which may fight under other colours than those of the sovereign or state to whom their patent belongs. If these vessels, and those coin prised in the foregoing paragraphs, should be armed for war, their captains and officers shall be reputed pirates.

8th. Those which after the national flag is hoisted should refuse to lie to, and should provoke combat.

9th. Those which may navigate with the patent of the enemy under the condition expressed in the second paragraph.

10th. Those belonging to Mexicans and neutrals which may be armed for privateering under the Mexican flag, without having obtained permission from the Supreme Government, with the patent showing it, their captains to be treated as pirates.

11th. Those of pirates and mutineers the latter to be returned to their owners, should they appear within a year and a day; and the former also if they can prove that they have not taken part directly or indirectly in piracy; a third part of their total value being reserved for the benefit of those making the seizure.

12th. Vessels abandoned by the enemy, or cast adrift by tempest, or any other accident, before being brought into safety, if it should not be known to whom they belong, for want of documents, or if they

should not have their proper crew, and if the owners of them should not appear within a year and a day; adjudidating, under any circumstances, the third part to those taking them, the two remaining parts to belong to the public treasury.

13th. Merchandize known as contraband of war, on board of whatsoever vessel they may be found, if they are going to the country of the enemy, or to parts occupied by them. Goods contraband of war are understood to be the following: cannons, mortars, howitzers, swivel guns, blunderbusses, muskets, guns, carbines, rifles, pistols, pikes, swords, sabres, lances, harping-irons, halberds, grenades, shells, powder, matches, balls, and any other articles appertaining to the use of arms; shields, helmets, breastplates, coats of mail, infantry and cavalry belts, uniforms or apparel for soldiers, horses with their trappings, and, lastly, every description of arms, or in. struments of iron, steel, bronze, and copper, or other manufactured materials, prepared and made for the purpose of waging war by sea or land.

14th. Provisions which may be carried to the enemy's camp, blockaded or besieged by the forces of the nation.

15th. The effects and merchandize belonging to the enemy which may be found on board neutral vessels, provided that the power to which the vessel belongs do not recognize the principle of exemption.

On Recaptures. XXV. Vessels which shall be retaken from the enemy within 24 hours, shall be returned to their owners, reserving a third part of their total value, which will remain for the benefit of the captors, to whom they will belong altogether if taken after that lapse of time.

XXVI. The national vessels of war shall only have a thirtieth part in the first case, and a tenth in the second if the recaptured vessels be Mexican, all the rest being given up to their owners.

XXVII. If the vessel of war shall assist the privateer the regulations established for this case shall be observed, and they will take a third part of that which helongs to the privateer, acting throughout in inverse order.

On the Conduct to be observed by Privateers and Vessels of War.

XXVIII. If a vessel should refuse to lie to after the Mexican flag has been hoisted, it shall be compelled to do so by force.

XXIX. If a vessel flying from pursuit should enter the waters of another power, the pursuit shall cease for the time, and the capture made in those waters shall be unlawful.

XXX. Should the enemy not respect this principle, the necessary demands will be made of the power whose jurisdiction has been violated, and if a reparation should not be obtained, such pro

[ocr errors]

ceedings will be taken against the enemy as the Government may think fit to order.

XXXI. On no account shall the captain of the detained vessel be obliged to lower his boat to go on board the Mexican vessel.

XXXII. To make his examination and search, the captain or commander, or he who may represent him, shall go on board the said vessel, with the interpreter, clerk, and two other subalterns, to whom the captain of the vessel detained shall show all his papers; and should it appear from them that the vessel and cargo belong to neutrals or Mexicans, he shall be permitted immediately to continue his course, without causing him more detention, abstaining from every kind of annoyance, and from taking anything which he may have on board, under the penalty of from one to five years' imprisonment, or hard labour, for any infraction, according to the gravity of the offence.

XXXIII. If, from the examination of the papers, it should appear, and the captain represent in good faith, that he has on board effects belonging to the enemy, or contraband, they shall be transshipped, if it be possible, without further detention than the necessary time for this operation, and giving him a circumstantial receipt for the same, he shall at once be permitted to continue his voyage.

XXXIV. If the transshipment should not be possible, he shall be taken to the nearest port of the Republic, upon payment in cash of the amount of freight, equivalent to this deviation, or in default of money, upon giving a draft, payable at sight, upon the owners or the respective maritime Custom-House if the captor be a vessel of war, and in this last case, taking repayment by preference from the value of the prize.

XXXV. If the captain of the vessel should not proceed in good faith in the representation spoken of in Article XXXIII, he shall lose the freight ordered to be paid in the foregoing Article.

XXXVI. If, on the said examination, it should appear that the vessel is of the class of those which are to be declared lawful prize, according to the provisions of these regulations, all the papers shall be collected, and an exact account taken of them, giving a receipt to the captain, to whom it shall be notified, that only those then produced will be admitted at the trial, so that none may be concealed.

XXXVII. These papers shall be locked up in a box or bag, in the presence of the said captain, sealing them with his seal, and with that of the captor. Should he, or any one of his crew, break the seals, or extract any of the said papers, they shall suffer the penalty of from one to three years' imprisonment or hard labour, besides losing the share which may belong to them in the prize, or other

wise, paying the costs and damages, as far as their property may enable them.

XXXVIII. The papers being secured in the before-mentioned manner, the hatches, doors, and bulkheads of the hold, saloon, or lockers where there may be merchandize or other effects, shall be fastened up, Dailed, and sealed, placing in them those goods wbich are found on deck, or any other place, and only leaving out what are necessary for the service of the vessel, of which an inventory shall be taken as soon as time permits.

XXXIX. Whoever takes or hides any thing, shall pay four times its value, or if he opens sacks, bales, papers, bags, or any other package, he shall lose, to the benefit of the Government, the part that he is entitled to in the prize.

XL. Whoever breaks the seals, or opens the hatchways, lockers, boxes, or bags, whereon they are put, besides losing the part that he is entitled to of the prize, shall be punished as a thief with forcible entry.

XLI. The official or subaltern to whom the command of the prize is intrusted, shall be personally responsible for any infractions of the provisions in the foregoing Articles, providing that the offender is not known, or even if he should be known if there has been negligence or default.

XLII. All kinds of exaction, violence, and disorder are prohibited, even when resistance has been made by the vessel, and it has been necessary to take it by boarding; the captains and commanders of vessels are charged to show humanity and moderation the moment resistance ceases. The offences or excesses which may be committed after the combat is over, will be punished with all the severity of the laws.

XLIII. The crew of the detained vessel being transferred to the privateer, the clerk shall take down, in the presence of the captain, the declaration of the commander or captain of the said vessel, of his pilot, and of such other individuals as may be fitting, respecting the circumstances of its navigation, voyage, and the cargo which it carries, interrogating them, especially if there are any things or effects which are not expressed in the invoices, so that there may be no mistake; putting in writing everything which may be worthy of notice, and reserving this information for delivery to the proper tribunal.

XLIV. The captor may retain the captured vessel under his own convoy, or send it to the port which he may determine, in which case he shall give a letter of commission to the person charged to take it there, who shall take with him all the papers, also the captain and the officer next in command, likewise those interested in the cargo, if there are any, and those individuals of the crew


whose declaration may be of importance for the decision of the Court, whatever the import may be.

XLV. In case the retention of the prize should be absolutely impossible, the captor is permitted to arrange for its ransom, should it be a inerchantman; making the captain give a copy of all his papers, and retaining one of his principal men or subalterns, and from two to five individuals of his crew, as their numbers may permit, who, besides serving to justify their conduct, shall be held, likewise, as hostages, until the contract be fulfilled.

XLVI. He that has once agreed to ransom cannot again take the ransomed vessel, nor subject it to a second ransom; but should the said vessel fall into the hands of a second privateer, it may be detained as a good prize, or be likewise admitted to ransom as the case may be; charging it in the first instance with the obligation contracted in favour of the former ransom, as far as the value of the prize goes, the hostages taken for its security, remaining as simple prisoners, if they are subjects of the enemy.

XLVII. He who accepts a ransom, without necessity, acknowledged by the Court, and all those who have consented to it, shall lose the part to which they are entitled of its value, and shall pay besides a like sum for the benefit of those interested.

XLVIII. Any violence to obtain the ransom shall be punished with five years hard labour, and they who shall arbitrarily exact it, with ten. The captain will incur the same penalty, and all his crew, if they should omit to do all that is provided in Article XLV.

XLIX. It is prohibited, under the penalty of from two to ten years hard labour, to sink or burn the vessel captured, unless without absolute necessity; and if, in consequence thereof, one for more of those on board should perish, then and for such offence shall the punishment of death be inflicted upon him who gave the orders for the act, or if no order were given, upon the actual pere petrators.

L. It shall only be allowable to sink or burn the vessel when it shall be impossible in any other way to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy, collecting before all things every one there may be on board, and taking all the papers; any omission with respect to the first shall be punished as directed in the second part of the Article XLIX; and with respect to the second, with from two to ten years hard labour.

LI. The same penalty of death will be incurred by the captain who leaves the crew of the vessel to perish, if it should sink in consequence of the action, and when he being able to save their lives does not do so.

LII. The same penalty shall be incurred if they are abandoned op desert coasts or islands.

orders te punishment ofard should perish.consequence thed

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »