Arthur v. Morrison

Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

96 U.S. 108

Arthur  v.  Morrison

ERROR to the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.

Morrison and others brought this suit to recover the sum exacted from them by Arthur, the collector of the port of New York, in excess of what they protested was the lawful duty upon certain imported veils.

The portion of the eighth section of the act of June 30, 1864, c. 171, 13 Stat. 210, applicable to the case, is as follows:

'That on and after the day and year aforesaid, in lieu of the duties heretofore imposed by law on the articles hereinafter mentioned, there shall be levied, collected, and paid, on the goods, wares, and merchandise enumerated and provided for in this section, imported from foreign countries, the following duties and rates of duties; that is to say, . . . on silk vestings, pongees, shawls, scarfs, mantillas, pelerines, handkerchiefs, veils, laces, shirts, drawers, bonnets, hats, caps, turbans, chemisettes, hose, mitts, aprons, stockings, gloves, suspenders, watch-chains, webbing, braids, fringes, galloons, tassels, cords, and trimmings,-sixty per cent ad valorem. On all manufactures of silk, or of which silk is the component material of chief value, not otherwise provided for, fifty per cent ad valorem.'

The collector pleaded that the moneys sued for were a part of the lawful duty of sixty per cent ad valorem for 'silk veils' imported by the plaintiffs. They replied, that the veils were not 'silk veils,' but a manufacture of silk, and were 'crape veils;' that at the time of the passage of the act of June 30, 1864, they were commercially known among importers and dealers, and were bought and sold, as 'crape veils,' and never otherwise, and were liable to a duty of fifty per cent ad valorem as a manufacture of silk. The defendant demurred to the replication. The demurrer was overruled, and judgment rendered for the plaintiffs. The defendant sued out this writ of error.

Mr. Assistant-Attorney-General Smith for the plaintiff in error.

Mr. Edward Hartley, contra.

MR. JUSTICE HUNT 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).