Mephams v. Biessel
THIS was an appeal in admiralty from the decree of the Circuit Court for the District of Missouri, in which one Biessel, on the one side, had filed a libel in personam against M. & W. Mepham, owners of the steamer Iron City, for wages as master and pilot; and in which they, on the other, sought to set off against the claim for services, at whatever sum these might be estimated, a demand that they made against Biessel for injury to certain flour, which on crossing a bar in the river (in order to lighten the vessel, and so get over the bar), it had been necessary to put ashore, and afterwards when the vessel had got over, with the rest of the cargo (that being unloaded and put ashore below the bar), to come back for and reload; and which was ultimately found to be sour; injured, as the Mephams asserted, by Biessel's carelessness in stowing it, when it was taken on board the second time.
The court below sustained the claim of the libellant, fixing his wages at $900 a month, and refused to allow the set-off raised by the other side.
Mr. Dick, for the appellant; Mr. Leighton, for whom Mr. Drake had leave to file a brief, contra.
Mr. Justice SWAYNE stated the case more particularly, and delivered the opinion of the court.