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Armstrong v. United States (80 U.S. 154)

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United States Supreme Court

80 U.S. 154

Hibernia Armstrong  v.  United States

No. 492.  Argued: Submitted: January 31, 1872. --- Decided: March 25, 1872.

APPEAL from the Court of Claims.

Mrs. Armstrong filed a claim in the court below for the proceeds of certain cotton under the 'Abandoned and Captured Property Act,' the provisions of which are quoted in the preceding case, page 151. The Court of Claims found that the cotton was raised by the claimant; that in the latter part of 1863, or early in 1864, there were on her plantation one hundred and twenty bales of cotton, which were taken possession of by the United States military forces and removed to Little Rock, Arkansas; that, prior to July, 1864, one hundred and two bales of this cotton were in the hands of the treasury agents, and were taken and used by the military forces in the works of defence around the city of Little Rock; that sixty bales, when taken out of the defences, were identified as belonging to the claimant; and with other cotton identified as belonging to other parties, and one hundred and seventeen sacks of loose cotton which came out of the fortifications and not identified, were shipped to the treasury agent at Cincinnati, sold, and the proceeds paid into the treasury. The claimant was proved to have given no active aid to the rebellion, except that on the approach of the Union army she fled south with thirty or forty of her slaves to avoid emancipation. This was in September, 1863. Judgment was rendered against her on the 4th of April, 1870, and an appeal taken to this court.

Mr. R. M. Corwine, for the appellant; Mr. B. H. Bristow, contra; the argument being directed chiefly to the point of Mrs. Armstrong's loyalty, and as to how far her going south with her slaves to avoid the emancipation of them, was proof of want of it.

The CHIEF JUSTICE delivered the opinion of the court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).