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Page:United States Reports, Volume 2.djvu/57

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Philadelphia Comrr or Connor: Pius. -5r r79o. . M•C1.smcrsuc, et. al. wrjiu M•C4s.·rr. ; HE Plaintiffs, in the courfe of a mercantile correfpon. ° T dence, offered to read in evidence a letter written by. them to Capt. Lafou, who was commander of the velfel, about which the controverfy had arifen. But it was oppofed b the defendant’s counfel gwho urged, that it wasa letter to a rfon, not the agent of the de-. fendant, nor conneéled with: him; that the defendant had never heard of fuch a letter before, nor had he in any-wife

 the opportunity of· conttadiéting its contents; that

although it was true, that in the inveltigation of commercial huhnefs, a greater latitude of evidence was admitted than in other cafes, yet that this was a tranfaélion between merchants . relident here, which was fufceptible of the regular proof; and that if the rules of evidence were, under fuch circumltanccs, to be waved, it would in elitfl capaeitate every one to make evidence for himfelf. ` The adrerfe counfel eontended, however, that in mercantile, tranfa€ltlons, the correfpondencc which has palfed between the ‘ parties interelled, or with perfons who have had an agency in, the buiinefs, has always been deemed good evidence; that the letter now 0Eered wasnot written eyxpgifalio, but is of an old date, antecedent to the exilteuce of any controverfy; that where no controverfy is in contemplation, the declarations of. a party, made at the time, are- evidence; and that limilar letters had alread been introdueedjnto the caufe._ Snrrun, :-.The Defendant has himfelf given in evidence a letteiwhieh he wrote to Capt. Lgfm. Belides, it, is certainly common in mercantile difputes, to lay before the -` jury the inltruétions, which are given to captains of veli`e1s._ The court think, therefore, that the objeétion to reading the_ letter mulls be over-ruled, ` · Rnaus cr. al. wxju Euoar. i THIS caufe havin been argued at large, uponamotion. AOD y [ora new trial, the fa€ts and arguments were tecapitu· ' lated, and the opinion of the mutt delivered in the following terms. 3 Si-urrsu, Prgfdenr.-—'I‘he cafe was {hott; this. Rrubm Fulfrbild, lit the year 177 5; failed from Nav- M'}, mailer of 2 Yellcl belonging to the plaintiff and himfelf, on a circuitous /B· G2 voyage- 3B' /3 . . . . 2.0. .... 4