Bond v. Moore/Opinion of the Court
The only question in this record which we are asked to consider is as to the effect of the President's proclamation of June 13, 1865, 13 Stat. 763, upon the rights and duties of parties to commercial paper, residing respectively during the late civil war in Tennessee and New Orleans, when the paper matured after the occupation of New Orleans by the national forces and before the date of that proclamation. This, under our ruling in Matthews v. McStea, 20 Wall. 649, is a Federal question.
On the part of the plaintiffs in error, it is contended that the holders of such paper could not lawfully take steps to charge the parties by demand and notice until the proclamation was made, because up to that time the war existed as a fact, and the parties occupied towards each other the relation of public enemies. All restrictions upon commercial intercourse between Tennessee and New Orleans were removed by an executive order published April 29, 1865, 13 Stat. 776, which was followed by an executive proclamation of similar purport under date of May 22, 1865, id. 757, so that while the war existed as a political fact until June 13, the date of the official announcement of its close, business intercourse between the citizens of the two places was allowed after April 29. Bond, therefore, as the holder of the bill upon which this suit is brought, might properly have demanded its payment by the drawee in New Orleans, and notified his indorser in Tennessee of the nonpayment at any time after that date. Neither his rights nor his duties in this particular were in any manner dependent upon or affected by the proclamation of June 13. We have already decided to the same effect in Masterson v. Howard, 18 Wall. 105, and Matthews v. McStea, 91 U.S. 7.