Davies v. Arthur

Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

96 U.S. 148

Davies  v.  Arthur

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

This is an action by John M. Davies & Co. to recover certain duties claimed by them to have been illegally exacted by Arthur, the defendant, as collector of the port of New York.

In April, 1872, they imported from Liverpool certain merchandise, a portion of which is described on the invoice as 'Ducape Eglington ties,' which are manufactured of silk, and used and known as neckties. Another portion of the merchandise is described as 'twill silk cut up.' The appraiser, in his report to the collector, returned the ties as silk scarfs, and the twill silk as silk in pieces; whereupon the collector imposed a duty of sixty per cent ad valorem upon each.

The importers thereupon protested in writing against the assessment, upon the ground that the merchandise 'should only pay duty, being articles worn by 'men, women, or children,' &c., and 'wearing-apparel,' under sect. 22, act of March 2, 1861, and sect. 13, act of July 14, 1862, at thirty-five per cent ad valorem. 'They are neither 'scarfs' nor ready-made clothing in fact, nor as known in trade and commerce.'

On the same day, they appealed to the Secretary of the Treasury, who affirmed the action of the collector, and they thereupon brought this suit.

It having been admitted by both parties at the trial that the goods were, under the concluding clause of the eighth section of the act of June 30, 1864 (13 Stat. 210), subject to a duty of fifty per cent ad valorem, as manufactures of silk not otherwise provided for, the question submitted to the court, which tried the case without a jury, was whether, under their protest, the plaintiffs could recover the difference between the amount of duties payable on said 'Ducape Eglington ties,' at the rate of fifty per cent ad valorem, and the amount claimed and exacted by the defendant on the same , at the rate of sixty per cent ad valorem.

There was a judgment for the defendant, whereupon the plaintiffs brought the case here.

Mr. Edward Hartley for the plaintiffs in error.

The Solicitor-General, contra.

MR. JUSTICE CLIFFORD 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).